• DIY Ammo Counter

    Do you need an ammo counter circuit for your project and are bummed that you have to wait for a spot in my build queue to open up?  Fret not, here is a step by step how to make one from scratch! In this guide, I will detail how to build your own ammo counter for ~$25 and with only minimal soldering experience. Parts: Dual Digit Seven Segment 0.56inch ‘Common Cathode’ Display Adafruit Arduino Trinket Lever switches that fit in most projects You can use other arduinos or switch and display choices.  The linked ones were chosen for number of pins and size.  This project uses 16 IO pins from the arduino…

  • Energy Sword 2015

    This is the new Energy Sword for 2015. Featuring dynamic and reactive lighting, motion activated sound effects, and an internal rechargeable battery. Videos on the bottom of this post show off the lighting and sound effects. I built my original energy sword design with the help of Sean Bradely in 2009.  This work was expanded by Joshua Kane in 2013 / 2014.  I took Joshua’s work to the next level with multiple animation modes with reactive and multi fade lighting. Kudos for the sculpting and paint job still goes to Sean Bradely. Note: I abandoned the custom circuit that I detailed in a previous post and instead went with inexpensive circuit modules from Adafruit and Sparkfun.…

  • Ammo Counter Assembly Instructions

    DIY assembly guide for the ammo counter.  If you ordered an unassembled circuit kit, this is the instruction page for you. Assembly order is from the center outward to minimize solder bridges.  Keep some solder removal braid handy to remove any bridges between pads. BACK OF THE PCB Install the IC, making sure to orient with pin1 indication on the PCB Install the three resistors. 2x 10k on the bottom 100 ohm on the top Install the LEDs and bend into position to match your install location. LED on top center position (unmarked) LED on bottom marked position. Note: The LED polarity is not marked on the board. See the…

  • New Beginnings – Sword 2014

    Announcing a new sword electronics design and a partnership. I have been working alone the past years on an updated energy sword circuit design.  Something that would allow me finer control of the LEDs without the burden of soldering the old massive LED arrays.  Details of my 2009 sword design. Joshua Kane had been working independently on his own sword controller circuit, build completely from arduino modules.  You can see a write-up of his original project here: Stunning Halo 3 Costumes and Energy Sword The outer shell of our both swords were made by an amazing sculptor named Sean Bradley.  It was through Sean that Josh and I met each other; and…

  • New Sound Options in the Store

    I often get asked about offering sound functionality in my prop kits that I sell. As demonstrated by my energy sword design I had a solution for sound, but it was not a solution that I could extend to my cheaper kits. Sound is hard, not just hard but expensive. Till now. Introducing the 300 second USB recording module from <a href=”http://www.electronics123.com/300-second-usb-recording-module.html”>electronics123.com</a>. I have fully inregrated their sound module into the Backlit Ammo Counter offered in my store via an adapter circuit. The sound module can also be used stand alone, but you do not need me for that, go buy one from Electronics123! They are good folks. The need…

  • Cortana Prop Circuit

    Project is a cortana prop. Partnered with James Hodson and friends to complete. My portion is complete. Have a circuit board here that is the size and shape of the Halo Data Crystal (the thing that can contain an AI such as Cortana). What is a Data Crystal Chip? Please see the Halo Wiki [halo.wikia.com]. Feature set: Circuit board is designed to look like a naked “cortana” data chip. Board can be placed in a molded outer shell to be more accurate. More details to come. Compatible with multiple power sources depending on final usage: LiPo cell (internal shell design) Alkaline (wired to slot connector) USB (wired to slot connector)…

  • Guide: Weapon Counter Display Overlay

    Took a lot of trial and error, but I think I came up with a method to make a display overlay that I can be proud of.  Thanks for the help James Hodson(jlhR2). Click More Info for the full guide. The overlay is meant to go on top of my ammo counters, but also looks good when used alone with a light behind it.  The overlay is made of several transparency sheets layered atop one another plus a sheet of tracing paper toact as a diffuser.  Could probably substitute tissue paper.The image files to print out are below. You will need to re-size the images to fit your weapon before…

  • DIY Recoil Action

    Goal here to add the sensation of recoil to a prop rifle gun.  I have seen it done with compressed air and motor pistons, but neither are easily synchronized with electronics and capable of rapid firings for full auto fire.  Leaves me with the third option of using a solenoid.  To fire a solenoid with enough furiosity to kick the gun into your shoulder involves some serious power requirements. I did a dry run yesterday and came up with this circuit.  The solenoid is rated 12-24V and 3 lbs force.  Using the circuit below it was weak at 18V, fully actuated at 27V, and actually had some kick at 36V. …

  • Presenting the Halo Energy Sword~!

    I knew what I wanted to do was design a circuit that would be similar in function to the star wars sabers that fans build. That meant animated lights running the length of the twin blades, an accelerometer to gather motion data, and sound playback for startup and swing sounds. What I ended up doing was designing a circuit around an ATMEGA32 controller chip. Hit more info for details. This is a summary page, additional notes are on the forum. Original Project Page Design I knew what I wanted to do was design a circuit that would be similar in function to the star wars sabers that fans build. That…

  • Halo Energy Sword

    If you read about that sort of thing, you may remember last fall Master Replicas announced a Halo Energy Sword that would feature similar functions as their ForceFX Lightsabers (powerup/down sounds, motion activated sound, animated lights). The promised release date was the holiday season 2008.There is another company that makes realistic Halo toys, this is the same company that made a plasma pistol and plasma rifle that are superb. They also announced an energy sword in 2007 with a 2008 release.Here we are in 2009 with no product from either company. I had to do some major digging to learn both these products were canceled and will never be released.…