Desktop Coilgun Lets You Play Scorched Earth In Your Living Room


A few years ago when [Dr. West] was wrapping up his collegiate studies, he put together a pretty cool coilgun for his senior project. The gun was built to simulate the Scorched Earth computer game in real life, but due to time constraints he was only able to build one turret instead of two.

The turret was constructed using mainly salvaged components, most of which came from old laser printers and desktop computers. The turret sits atop a computer PSU, which also happens to be the source of the coilgun’s charging power. A Rabbit 2000 microcontroller is used to drive the gun, which is something we’re familiar with from [Dr. West’s] past projects.

The gun can be aimed manually via the attached keypad, but we prefer the more authentic route, allowing the turret to aim itself after being fed X and Y coordinates. As you can see in the demo video, the coilgun works nicely, allowing [Dr. West] to hit a target from across the room.

We love the concept, and think it would be tons of fun to play a real life game of Scorched Earth with a pair of these turrets. If you are interested in making one of your own, you can find the writeup for his final project here in his public Dropbox.

7 thoughts on “Desktop Coilgun Lets You Play Scorched Earth In Your Living Room

  1. I’ve got most of these parts at home, sans the microcontroller and drivers. If I were to toss accuracy and mobility out the window, I might be able to finagle something like this together. It’s a pretty well written report.

  2. Hmmm. Needs some heavy sandhogs. Those effers could kill you irregardless of shields once in a blue moon. What with shields not existing behind dirt. (the drillers themselves could do the same as minimissiles if they randomly hit a tank directly)

    … Also. You wouldn’t be able to bug physics to let you climb in the air with this. So it is still not as good as scorched earth. (Starting in a hillside, two into hillside, one away, repeat ad infinium, you will keep going PAST the dirt. Its awesome… tho you *will* fall when you finish.)

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