Posts Tagged ‘westaby electronics’

Ammo Counter Mk3 – Collaboration with

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

I have partnered with Nathaniel of to develop the ultimate ammo counter solution.  The circuit is a derivative of my MK3 design.  I am calling it MK3 SMD.  The new circuit is exactly as tiny as my MK3, but has modifications to allow the outsourcing of manufacturing.    In addition, with Nathan’s feedback I was able to put the finishing touches on some never before seen software features.  This is so awesome!

Here is an official announcement from  Nathan will be selling the MK3 SMD with my firmware, along with some fantastic accessories this year.  Check it out ~!

The previous feature set of the MK3 was the ability to have 10 programmable clip slots.  Two buttons below the display are used to change clip slots.  Holding the button accesses a menu where you can modify the size of the clip in memory.  This was a huge feature for me.  Allowing me to assemble a batch of ammo counters and ship them fast.  My designs prior to MK3 required me to wait to assemble the ammo counter until after a customer had purchased, so I could hardcode the clip sizes on the chip.  No longer.  The MK3 Ammo Counter can be assembled in large batches, pre-programmed with a default set of clip sizes.  Then the customer can change the clip sizes to whatever they want.  No special programming hardware required.  Just press the buttons to access the menu!

I have been working hard since announcing the MK3 Ammo Counter and am now ready to unveil the next revision of firmware improvements.  The setup menu system has been completely rewritten, the code structures made lean, and the display driver now supports dimming, and more!!  The menu system is super simple to access.

  • Faster selection of Clip Slots You can now select the next or previous slot instead of cycling through all slots.  The front buttons are used for both resetting the displayed count and changing the clip slot.
  • Same great selection of Fire Modes  Count Down, Count Up, Burst Fire.  From Nerf, to Paintball, to a Prop weapon build, this counter will do it all.
  • Display Brightness  is adjustable!  I never received a complaint that my Ammo Counters were too dim.  The opposite actually.  Especially indoors, the white displays I used were too bright!  Well, I kept the same super bright white displays.  Instead adding built-in dimming feature to the firmware to allow you to select how bright you want the display to be.  Works fantastic!
  • Low Ammo Flashing When enabled, the display will blink when a low ammo count is reached. Using the menu, low ammo flashing can be set to OFF or 1-9 ammo remaining.
  • Auto-Reset When enabled, the counter will auto reset a few seconds after reaching zero ammo. You no longer have to press an extra button while changing clips! If you like the button or like the counter reset synced to when you remove your clip, you can easily disable the auto-reset. Using the menu, auto-reset can be set to OFF or 1-9 seconds.
  • Compatible with Multiple Light Break Sensors. Using the menu, the fire input can be changed between Active High or Active Low input.  Allowing compatibility with any sensor with a TTL friendly voltage output.  My personal favorite is the OPB100Z as a complete sensor solution.  However, I have also heard reports of success using Adafruit’s IR Break Beam Sensor.  Nathan will be selling his own Light Break Sensor kit.
  • Faster Scan Rates  This is a no brainer feature, but the new scan rates allow for faster detection speeds for the IR Sensors.  The scan rate is so fast now, that detecting fast paintballs is no problem at all.

Lastly, I will be selling my owm MK3 kits on Etsy for a limited time, check it out~!

Mark 3 Ammo Counter

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Nerf, Paintball, Prop Weapons. This is the ammo counter you want~!


The Ammo Counter MK3 is a remix of my previous ammo counter design and is now completely reprogrammable by you with no additional tools! There are 10 clip slots in memory, you can easily switch magazine sizes with a single button press. In addition, each clip slot can be reprogrammed by you for any starting value up to 99. Each slot will remember your selected fire mode, semi-auto, full-auto, and count up.

Video tutorial: Coming Soon!

* Smallest Ammo Counter Circuit!
* Selectable Clip Sizes
* Programmable Clip Sizes (Default: 35, 25, 22, 18, 15, 12, 10, 6, 32, 99)
* Programmable Fire Types (Semi-Auto, Full-Auto, and Count Up Semi-Auto)
* Light Break Sensor Ready

Ammo Counter 2017 – New Design

Monday, September 18th, 2017

This is a small preview of the new ammo counter design I am working on.  There are two buttons on the face of the circuit that will allow you to select from preset modes, or add your own!  No more hardcoded starting count values!!

More info to follow…


The finished circuit will be about the same size as my previous ammo counters.

A finished one

DaftMike Clone DIY Electronics Kit

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

This has been a long time coming! ANNOUNCING AVAILABILITY of a DaftMike Clone DIY Electronics Kit !!!!

If you already have a 3D printed case, raspberry pi, arduino, NFC reader, and all you are missing is something to tie them all together. This kit is for you!!

I can answer questions here, by PM, or email

Special thanks to Joshua Kane, Jared Kirchgatter, Jason Victoria, Dave Hicks, Ruud Lok, Jeff Moore, and everyone else who helped me debug the design! This kit fixes several issues with the DaftMike’s original design: broken mosfets, non working controllers, and other assembly difficulties.

Assembly Guide is here:

Ammo Counters – Researching Competition to Push a New Generation

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

I have been selling ammo counters since 2009. After I made my energy sword, ammo counters were the most requested kit. Over the years, I have probably sold 200-300 kits. Back then, I easily beat out the lame old competition. However, sales dried up last year. I was busy with my EMF and NES projects so I didn’t look into it.

Today, I searched around for new competition. Oh man. Things have changed. I think I still got them beat on size and price, but I need to work on my offerings to stay competitive.

Old competition

New competition

  • Nathaniel Deal: Nerf Ammo Counters
    • Good price for what you get.
    • Offers both bare bones and complete kits. Some kits include 3d printed shells.
    • Mostly focused on nerf builds. Requires additional circuit boards that must be hidden inside your build.

    Nathaniel Deal: Nerf Ammo Counters

What is most interesting about Nathaniel Deal’s offerings are the complete kits for a reasonable price, the 3D printed shells, and YouTube tutorials.

Comparing Nathan’s Ammo Counter design to my own Ammo Counter design. We both use a custom display board, but mine is much much smaller in size because I mount the microcontroller on the same board as the display. While he uses an off the shelf microcontroller development board (arduino) to run the display over a cable harness and additional shift register / display resistors shield board. That is a lot of extra bulk that he is asking the builder to hide in their project! The additional switches he places under the display are on/off, reset, and clip select. In my Ammo Counter kit, I do away with the need of extra switches by using button combinations to select clip size (hold a dart in front of the light break sensor or hold the fire trigger while also cycling the ammo clip to activate the clip size selection menu).

My own ammo counter design is minimalistic. The size can be fit into any project and does not need any additional circuit boards.
Ammo Counter v3

I love my design so much! However, there are a few things I can learn from Nathan Deal.

  • Create kit listings on Etsy –
  • Add a count up mode to my Ammo Counter software
  • 3D printed shells to fit a variety of rail systems
  • Make the light break sensor as a standard option
    • I already do have a light break sensor kit, but I only make them on request.
  • YouTube tutorial videos