Posts Tagged ‘store’

Guide: Weapon Counter Display Overlay

Monday, August 9th, 2010

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 printing.  If printing at home, be sure to buy transparency sheets meant for ink-jet printing and not laser printing.Ink-jet printable transparency sheets have a rough surface to print onto.

I find my photo printers T-Shirt Transfer mode gives the best print out.  It takes some trial and error, but set the Print Quality to high for best results.

Halo Reach

Click Picture to download full size

Halo General Purpose – James Hodson (jlhR2)

Download full size here:

There will be four layers, from bottom to top there is the tracing paper,two black transparencies, and the color transparency.

The tracing paper and the black transparencies need to be cut so the numbercan shine through (xacto knife).  If not using an ammo counter circuit, youmay cut in whatever number you like.

DO NOT cut the color layer transparency.  This is what colors any light shining through to the proper hue.  It also makes photographs when unlit look amazing.

Tip: I first cut a piece of paper the size of the hole I wanted then taped it down so I could have something to trace with the knife.

Below are pictures of building up the different layers. In these photos onlya single layer of black is used.  You can see that the light gets through a bit in areas that are supposed to be black.  This is why we use two layers ofblack.

Clear tape is used to hold the layers together and keep them aligned.

Have fun~!

LED Rail Blade Assembly

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

This guide will walk you through assembling LED strips to place inside an electronic sword prop.




  • Spool of unshielded bare wire
  • Few feet of shielded wire
  • Solder Iron
  • Solder (0.5 oz is plenty)
  • Wire Snips
  • Needle Nose Pliers (optional)
  • Hot Glue or Clear Packing Tape
  • Safety Glasses

You can use any bare wire you like, but I found that steel craft wire works best (pictured). It is strong, thin, and does not need to be stripped.


Take a close look at one of the LEDs.  You will notice that at the base of the plastic there is a flat edge.  This identifies the red wire.


The hardest part of the blade assembly is keeping straight which side is which because all the LEDs must connect the same wire to the same rail.  I suggest bending all the wires on the LEDs before you start soldering in such a way that you can easily check which wire is red and which is blue. For me, I bent the positive wire straight down and the two side wires straight out.  When I hold the LED with the positive wire facing down and the LED pointing towards me, the red wire will be on the right.

Unroll three lengths of about 35-40 inches of wire (we will snip this down later). Use weights and tape on either side to suspend two of the wires. You want to suspend it the approx. length of one dangling LED wire so when it sags from the weight of the LEDs it does not have far to fall. We want the suspended wire tight and remain straight.  See the picture below for the spacing between the two wires (a little larger than the width of a LED).

Lay a ruler down below the wire. We will use this to align the LEDs and be certain the spacing is consistent.


You can use any spacing you like, but you have 60 LEDs for two 30inch blades.  A spacing of 1 inch seems appropriate.

In the picture I am using a tool called “helping hands” to hold my wire.  I bought mine from Menards for ~$5.


Warm up your solder iron and solder the LEDs to the single rail, but do not snip any of the leads yet.  You can start with either the red wire or the blue wire, but we will do the positive wire last.

For soldering the last few LEDs to the second rail, I brought the wires down from the suspension. The two rails were too far apart.

Before you go onto the positive wire, this is a good time for touch up.  The more solder you put on each joint, the “stronger” it is.  These blades will probably get knocked around, so we want these joints strong.  You can see in the picture the old quick and dirty joints (left) vs the new stronger joints (right).



If you are not confident in your creation, you can also test things at this point.  The wire unconnected is positive, the two rails are both negative.  Use a resister between a 9V battery and the LEDs.  BEWARE: At this voltage, one slip of the hand that exposes the LED directly to the battery will destroy the LED.

What I do is clip the battery negative to one of the rails then drag the resister across the positive wires, testing each LED in the row.  Repeat for the second rail. If something doesn’t light or lights the wrong color, it is easier to fix now than later.

Once you are confident, clip off the extra wires on the two rails and prepare to solder the resisters onto the positive wires.  If you did a good job, the rails should not be much wider than the LEDs themselves.


We need to solder the resisters between the positive wire and the positive rail.  The picture shows the steps of soldering the resisters and the positive rail to the structure.

Be sure that there is a gap between the positive rail and the positive wire.  You can see in the final picture how close they are.  If for some reason the blade was squeezed and these two wires touched, the LED would be destroyed.

You can either trust the gap or try to seal the gap with hot glue or a piece of clear packing tape (has to be thick enough so it can’t be punctured by the sharp edges).

Clip the stray wires (don’t want any shorts) and connect the bottom of the rails to a battery to test.  The entire blade will light up red or blue with each connection.

The last step is to cut the blades into 5 sections. I am assuming you used 30 LEDs in each blade, so each section will consist of 6 LEDs.  Cut the blue wire between each section.


ONLY section off the blue wire, the red and positive wires will run the entire length of the blade.

You can see in the picture the new gap between the blue rail sections and the shielded wire soldered to the section.  Each section will have its own wire.

Use the tape or hot glue to bunch the wires and keep them from becoming tangled.

It is a good idea to use a marker and label the wires. One dot for the top of the blade, 5 dots for the bottom, 2/3/4 dots for sections between, dash for the positive wire, two dashes for the red wire.

The final blade will be pretty flimsy depending on the type of unshielded wire you used for the rails.  This allows it to be gently bent into the curve of a blade. After shaping the LED rail to fit your blade interior, wrap in packing tape to strengthen the rail shape.


100_4285.JPG 100_4266.JPG

Installing an Ammo Counter

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


This is a small walk through of installing one of my ammo counters available in the store. I am need of pictures, please send me pictures of your install, thanks! :)

Tools Required

  • Solder Iron (I bought mine for $5 at menards)
  • Solder (I use 60/40, 0.032″ diameter)
  • Wire Cutter / Stripper
  • Tape


For quick start and demonstration of the counter. Connect the battery to the circuit. Use the red and black wires labeled BATT or BATTERY. Connect black to black, red to red.
No need to solder at this point, just twist the wires together and maybe use some tape so the red bare wire doesn’t touch the black bare wire.

The counter should now be on, take the wire pair labeled FIRE and connect these two wires together. Each time you connect them together, the counter will decrease. Do the same thing for RESET.

Kit Contents

  • Assembled Counter Kit
  • AAA Battery Holder
  • Pushbutton Switch
  • Slide Switch
  • Lever Switch


Note: Before getting started

  • All wire connections must be soldered. Twisting the wires onto the switch connectors will create a poor and inconsistent connection.
  • The included switches only have two connectors. They can be soldered in any order to their associated wires.
  • You may need to cut the casing to install the switches through the plastic housing of your gun, so be very certain with where you want them.
  • Please read and understand this entire page before cutting anything! thanks

Step 1 – Identify and place FIRE switch

The FIRE switch has a long lever on it. If you have an existing trigger, use the lever to connect to your existing trigger in such a way that when you pull the trigger, it will also push down on the lever switch.
If you do not have an existing trigger, you may use the lever switch as a trigger itself.

Step 2 – Identify RESET switch

The RESET switch is a square pushbutton. It has a matching round cap. The cap snaps into place on top of the square pushbutton.

Step 3 – Identify ON/OFF switch

The ON/OFF switch is a slide switch. It has mounting holes on either side so it may be fastened down.

Step 4 – Arrange

Carefully arrange the different switches and batteries around your gun. Figure out where you want them. If you cut the casing of your gun, leave an opening so you can run the wires through the hole.
The on/off switch must be placed between the battery location and the counter location.

Step 5 – Wires

Next, install the counter and thread the wires to the various locations.
If the wires are too long, cut them the proper length and re-strip them.
If the wires are too short, you will need to extend them with more wire. Tape any bare exposed wire ends.

Step 6 – Solder On/Off

PowerSwitchIf you have not already done so, please solder the counter battery wires to the battery. Match red to red and black to black. Cover the bare connections with tape.

Now you may solder in the on/off switch. The on/off switch is to be installed along the red wire between the counter and the battery. Choose a place along the battery wires to install the on/off switch. Cut the red wire and strip it so you can solder the on/off switch in place.

To the right is a drawing of installing the on/off switch.

Step 7 – Solder FIRE and RESET

Solder the FIRE and RESET switches. As noted previously, these switches only have two connectors. There is no wrong way to connect them to the wire pairs. The only thing you need to be certain of is that the bare wires ends do not touch each other, they should only be connected to the switch connectors.

Items Now Available in Store

Monday, November 30th, 2009

After a long period of testing the store site is now open. The site can be accessed here:

The main kit right now is an ammo counter. More to come, promise! :D