When we first saw [lonesoulsurfer’s] ray gun, we thought it looked oddly familiar. Sure, it looks like a vintage ray gun you might see in a dozen 1950-era movies or TV shows. But still, there was something oddly familiar about it. Turns out, the core piece of it is an old-fashioned timing light used when doing a car tune-up.
This is no unobtrusive Star Trek phaser. It looks substantial and has a cool sound generator that not only gives it something to do but also sports cool control knobs out the top of the gun. The design files for the sound circuit are in a Google drive folder if you want to recreate the build.
[Tim] likes a lot of things about it (and we do, too), especially the acid green pick guard, the sparkly pickups, and the beefy bridge that lets him set the string spacing individually, on the fly. It even has a built-in phaser and distortion, but those aren’t working and may never have worked that well at all.
As you can see in the video below, [Tim] has already spent a few hours making it playable and a little more palatable in order to figure out what to do with it electronics-wise. He started by making the 9 V compartment big enough to actually fit a battery inside, and drilled out bigger holes for new tuners.
Interestingly, these guitars had a 5-pin DIN receptacle instead of a 1/4″ jack. [Tim] bought an adapter just in case, but once someone dug up a schematic and sent it over, he decided to rewire it with a 1/4″.
For all of its plus sides, [Tim] doesn’t like the headstock on this thing at all and found the neck to be too chunky for the modern guitarist, so he cut down the headstock, shaved down the neck a bit, and stained it dark. He also made a new nut out of what looks like rosewood. Then it was on to the more standard stuff — file down the frets and polish them, oil the fretboard, and clean up the body.
The point of this exercise is to make a usable guitar for the modern musician. As [Tim] says, this is not a particularly valuable guitar, nor is it rare, and it wasn’t built that well to begin with. One of the issues is the switches — they’re kind of light and cheesy feeling, and one of them is directly in the strum path. Will [Tim] change those out but fix the original effects, or will he make the thing completely his own? We wait with bated breath.
If ever there was a quintessential weapon of science fiction, it would have to be the ray gun. [lonesoulsurfer] built this one-of-a-kind stunner from his impressive collection of junk. It’s centered around a vintage Bakelite soldering gun, a vacuum tube, and a portable stove burner, all of which contribute to the fantastic mid-century look.
Inside is a slightly modified version of a ray gun sound effects circuit from MAKE: that squeezes square waves from a lo-fi synth builder’s favorite IC, the 40106 hex inverting Schmitt trigger. [lonesoulsurfer] was able to reuse the soldering gun’s trigger to start the pew-pew-pew, and he can adjust the death ray’s output with potentiometers. The gun is powered by an old cell phone battery and a combo Li-ion charger/step-up module from the world’s largest virtual auction house. Blast past the break to watch the build video.
Here’s another Star Trek phaser toy with a laser added. [Jay] started with a 1994 Star Trek phaser and added a 12X Blu-Ray diode. The sound effects of the toy still work, a nice touch that you can check out in the video after the break. That video shows him popping balloons with the laser, a feat made possible by the 465 mW that it puts out when the diode is driven at 320 mA of current. He’s made a nice carrying case for the weapon but we didn’t see a spot in there for protective glasses like we’ve seen with other phaser hacks. He did make one safety consideration by adding a safety switch and indicator LED to signal when the laser diode is armed.
[Directive0] added a 200mW laser to his Enterprise Phase Pistol toy. This joins the ranks of hand-heldlaser hacks that we’ve seen around here lately. His build makes use of the stun and kill settings of the toy to switch between different modes. The built-in 9 volt battery holder is tapped into for power. When set to stun, the stun LED indicator is illuminated and a trigger pull sends current limited electricity to the laser diode. When the kill (or blind) setting is selected, the appropriate LED is illuminated and the trigger sends the full current from the battery to the laser diode. Power regulation is managed by the driver circuit for the laser.
This build preserves the unmodded look of the toy gun. [Directive0’s] inclusion of protective glass should fend off the warnings we usually see in the comments of these types of hacks.
Phasers come with two settings: stun and kill. [Luke] took this seriously when he put two Blu-ray lasers into a toy raygun. He picked up the toy from Amazon for about twenty bucks and set to work.
The laser diodes are both pulled out of a 6x BD-R burner, which we think is a pretty expensive source to scavenge from. [Luke] removed the toy circuitry, reusing the trigger, top switch, and battery pack. The two diodes are mounted on a swiveling carriage which is turned 180 degrees to switch between the two diodes. A boost driver converts the 3v from the batteries up to 7v for the diodes.