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Author Topic: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner  (Read 6960 times)

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Offline Xrad

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Hello all!

This is my third real laser blaster build. The first two utilized Hasbro battle droid blaster from 1999. Plenty of these on ebay. My first one was packed with 20 watt amp and hum sounds and scanner lights. You can see it here:

Laser Blaster 50mw green laser Adafruit sound Trinket for laser control -

My second blaster build was easier and lighter on electronics:

Real Laser Blaster II Adafruit trinket Adafruit 2mb FX soundcard - YouTube

I wrote/modified the C++ programs for the light and sound control. Nothing fancy, just functional. You may recognize some of the sounds as they are adapted from some of the Star Wars movies and processed into the sound I wanted.

Now I am on my third blaster build.  I wanted to have more consolidation with the electronics and make install simple so I chose Plecter V5 blaster core. Unfortunately, video screen not available for this version. So I designed an IR camera system for night mode!  Flip out screen and all.  Also, I just finished the "plasma crystal™" for my power source.  You can see it here(the camera does not capture the color change well):

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III Plasma Crystal Effect - YouTube

Unfortunately, not enough room in the G21 clip for sound(I really wanted that 'radioactive' ticking/static with low background hum). I finally got the 'plasma crystal' effect I wanted after a few hours rewriting some FastLED code.  Why have a boring one color/ one brightness crystal chamber when you can have a moving glowing 'plasma crystal' effect?!  The color fills the crystal with soft and harsh glows and moves randomly up and down the crystal, inside out, outside in. It will randomly flicker like a candle about to go out, and then reignite (all over or in one spot)!  AWESOME! And... I have the full 0-255(256) brightness sweep!  This crystal looks alive.  By the way, it took me two hours at the local rock shop to find just the right crystal for the plasma effect.

OK, so what is the blaster plan. Well, I am in the midst of machining, 3D printing, wiring and design.  Mostly about 70% done.   It will be an over-under green wide beam dual laser system. Trigger switch, clip switch (x2), and laser mounts all done. Speaker mount and cover all done. Separate power source for the clip and the blaster, so when the clip is removed, the crystal will ignite under its own power. cool.....Still waiting on a variable brightness control for the lasers...but it may never arrive....

More to come.

How many posts required before you can post pics?

« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 03:02:58 PM by Xrad »

Offline jbkuma

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 09:01:52 PM »
Nice work on the blaster!  There is a small but dedicated cadre of Arduino builders here who will appreciate this.

I spent some time in a local rock shop with my calipers.  I was dressed fairly nicely and taking notes.  The other patrons in the shop were a pair of teenagers who found it really amusing.  As always, I'm glad to have added joy to the world.

The photo upload feature isn't available here, I personally use imgur.com some others use other services. 

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 04:49:03 AM »
Thx for reply! Too bad about the photo upload.

As for the crystals, I ended up buying 20 or so of various colors and sizes.  My crystal chamber has an adjustable vise to clamp different sized crystals. The key is getting the internal faults to line up correctly so that reflectivity is at maximum.

For the arduino users:  The FastLED library code takes a while to compile prior to loading to the trinket...about 17 seconds. By that time, the trinket's 10 second bootload mode has ended.  Trick is to not USB connect the trinket until you count to 11-12 seconds after you begin the arduino IDE downoad . The 'download' obviously comes after compile, and there is enough time to recognize the trinket via the USB, and the sketch loads without issue. This sketch uses 80% of the trinket memory.   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 04:57:06 AM by Xrad »

Offline dr.djcolegrove

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 07:13:02 PM »
really cool!
VV/JQ Sabers: Starkiller; SC/VV: Qui-Gon limited edition; VV:Ardent Elite/Havoc/Hero; JQ Sabers:Graflex x2/Graflex Revisited/Lumi/Plo/Chromed Obi TPMx2/Chromed Duke; RO Sabers: Luke ANH and Rey TFA/Obi ANH/KotaV5; HARP: TFU1 SK/DM/SS/TFU2 SK/QGJ/Obi TPM; LDM: GK3/Jacen Solo; GCS: Bane/Ascend x2/Jaina Solo; SH: Force Witch x2/Padawan x2/Corran/Ahsoka pair/Luke V2/TFU2. OM/LDM: Stormtrooper/Skinnyflex; Goodman: Laceratus; FR: Gungi/Wampa/Kota/Yun/Tenel Ka/Darth Talon; NA: Darth Baras;OR: Adi Gallia/Mara Jade;MR:Sid; 89Sabers: Sid,LukeV2

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 08:07:05 PM »
Thanks! Appreciate the comments, good and bad. 

Did some more fun work today.  Finished the 3d printing of switch bezel for power-up and IR mode. Finished 3DP the speaker housing which also stabilizes the neopixel light bar/scanner/flashy unit (the semi-clear ABS linear unit in one of the pics..so there was a lot of cad time to get everything just right).  Finished machining/assembly of the trigger switch.  Radio shack has very good metal roller mini switches.  Mounted the full auto button. Wrote the flashy program for the lasers and built the parallel transistor relay, found the correct satin black paint, wired together x2 2s lipo 1000mah w/4s charging jack( 12v needed for IR camera) batteries and fit to external case, and a bunch of other things...

For speed and small size, I am using three adafruit trinkets:
1) to run the dual lasers over under alternating - triggerd by the plecter v5 main led output
2) to run the scanner /flashy neopixels on gun side - triggered by the v5 main led output
3) to run the 'crystal plasma' unit

The lasers I chose are green and 'instant' on with very small driver wired on to connecting lines. They are the wide beam type casing which uses lenses to create the wide beam (vs a pin point). BUT, the drivers do not have reverse polarity protection(doh!)....otherwise excellent units.

posted some prelim pics on google pics, free with google account.

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III - Google Photos
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 08:17:16 PM by Xrad »

Offline jbkuma

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 09:41:16 PM »
Looking good, thanks for sharing. I made some progress in something I've got cooking involving NeoPixels as well. It would be done, but what was supposed to be just a simple prototype/development platform accidentally got cool so now I'm waiting on parts to finish it with more experiments.

Offline Obi_1

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 06:19:51 AM »
Wow, that crystal looks fantastic with the golden hue light illuminating it! Nice job! I haven't thought about putting a crytsal into a blaster, but now you got me thinking.

I would like to learn more about the laser you use. IN a current build (I will show it once ready) I use cree RGB for the nozzle light, but it's quite an overkill and not so dedicated as a very narrow laser beam. I assume it would be quite cool to have a laser beam in the blaster on a foggy day outside :)

Your build is definitely unique and I'm happy to see more and more guys on the DIY front.

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 08:09:25 PM »
Thanks jbkuma and Obi_1!  You guys know how much work goes into these props so I do appreciate the input.  Neopixels and other assignable LEDs are really cool to work with.  I will try to get some better video of my 'plasma crystal' effect soon. It is really hard to see how the plasma look shows up in the crystal. It is amorphous, live a lava lamp with undefined blobs.  The lasers are standard 5v laser diode with some lenses sold here:

1pc 3.6-4.2V 532nm 50mW Green Laser Module Dot Thick Beam Bar Stage Light | eBay

The 50mw green laser shows up well on the foggy/rainy/snowy days. But it is not a 100mw which would show up REALLY well. However, the duty cycle and voltage requirement, and amp draw of the 50mw works perfectly with my builds.

Airbrushed 3 coats of semi gloss(satin finish) acrylic black onto the gun case today. Model Master paint and 50/50 mix with thinner was perfect for coverage on the abs housing.  Printed a right side 'NUC" cover access hatch. Bought some cool futuristic model decals from China. They will be added to the blaster but have a singularly poor characteristic of fracturing into many pieces as I try to apply them! Still thinking of a model name for the blaster..but I have the perfect place for the name once decided upon.

I used some really big (proportionately) feet for the final part print as it has two long pointy angles.  Even then, one foot popped up just as the print finished!  But they are big enough to add some weight on top while piece cools.

a few more pics added....

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III with 'Plasma Crystal' Effect - Google
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 08:47:55 PM by Xrad »

Offline jbkuma

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 08:03:07 AM »
FYI, profezzorn posted this nice guide to sharing Google photos. How to post pictures from google photos

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 08:15:09 AM »
 Thx for tip. too many clicks to post a pic. I will continue with the google album for now.  If the site owner charged a small fee for higher level access such as drag and drop auto-sizing photo GUI, it could pay for storage. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 08:22:26 AM by Xrad »

Offline jbkuma

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2017, 08:48:02 AM »
imgur is free too, and you can just click on the "Large Thumbnail" size than the BBCode button.


The board will automatically make it 300px wide, but a click will enbiggen it.

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 06:04:42 PM »
Thanks JB. I am already a google member. Don't want to join any other sites right now. I even have my own website, just too lazy to use it! One click link to my shared pics is pretty easy if anyone interested. And I suggest that you guys/girls take a look at my nearly completed blaster(sans weathering). It came out pretty well. I did not have time to do the IR screen install, but it is so packed full of spaghetti wires there is no room anyway.  Yes, could have used thinner shorter wires, but I like the ease of connecting long wires when everything is thrown up out of the case.  I machined the bottom cover so that I can access the SD card without having to remove the main cover...just remove two spring pins. And with the pica rails, I can configure or add accessories as needed. Last pic shows bottom mounted battery supply (peq), easier to fit in holster. 

System contains:
1) plecter v5 blaster core
2) 14v lipo pack with easy access external 2 pin connector
3) x2 internal trinkets
4) x1 (-) switching board
5) x1 dual (+) switching board
6) x2 wide beam lasers
7) 4w speaker full range (although I probably could have used a 10w unit)
8) mechanical safety
9) 6amp+ pololu micro switch 5-20v capable
10) x1 pololu 5v regulator 1amp
11) 1 mile of wire
12) 10 segment LED G,O,R wired as 6 segment
13) 'Plasma Crytal' effect clip  with own trinket and power source (still in progress)
14) Hours of code writing
15) 12 segment neopixel strip (w/scan, recharge, and random flash effect)
16) multiple 3d printed parts
17) design, prep, and paint time

SO MUCH FUN!!

New pics:

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III with 'Plasma Crystal' Effect - Google

New video:

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III with 'Plasma Crystal' - YouTube

will update when done. Have to do some weathering and finish the 'plasma crystal.' And get a cool corrugated hose for the power leads.....etc... never ends... :)

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:27:01 PM by Xrad »

Offline Obi_1

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 07:47:04 AM »
Holy Cow, I've been able to see only the visuals, wo/ sound, but it looks formidable! I like the light effects and the pintedness of the laser is simpy great! I wish we could have an RGB laser :) I will sure have a new look from home with sound on!

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 05:20:29 PM »
Hi Obi-1, thank you for the comments. I really like your DIYino board, VERY NICE. especially the OLED extension. I had an OLED partly programmed for this build , but too much to make it work with plecter V5 board without the code...and not enough room. Maybe I use one of the DIYino boards for my next blaster build.  I post final build pics soon. Just finished airbrushing the washes and doing a bit of abuse/use painting and cover coat. Finished the final left and right covers for the nuclear exhaust..next time a glowing afterburner at speaker/exhaust!

Anyway, spring around the corner. I now get back to RC boat building with a 53 inch 5000 watt 320 amp twin catamaran...  or steam engine...or RC tank.....or finish my turbo Alfa.......the fun list never ends (if you are into RC boats, check out my XRAD builds over on Model Boat Mayhem,  have to join to see pics, one of my better builds:  forumhttp://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,48955.0.html)

I did look all over the net and could not find any other blaster BUILDS with a crystal power core(some discussion of blaster crystal power core here and there on the gaming sites).

So you can probably say that you saw it here first!  More pics and video to come....

« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 06:29:12 PM by Xrad »

Offline Xrad

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Re: XRAD'S Real Laser Blaster III with PLASMA CRYSTAL and LIDAR Scanner
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 06:03:25 PM »
Here are the final pics.  It looks shiny but that is the effect of semi-clear under dullcoat. Looks fine in real life. Weathered a bit. Everything working OK.

Batteries last a LONG time.  I have not recharged the 14v lipo more than once, and the Plasma Crystal will run for at least 30 min straight without a charge. Charges from any 5v USB outlet. I tried the Chinese futuristic decals but they were terrible. each one fractured and none of them stuck after drying out.  I ended up creating a few designs, cutting them out of thin plasticard, and then air brushing in English Crimson, a nice deep red color. 

xtra pics:

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III with 'Plasma Crystal' Effect - Google

final vid:

XRAD'S REAL LASER BLASTER III w/PLASMA CRYSTAL EFFECT pt. 2 - YouTube

hope you enjoyed the build. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 06:07:03 PM by Xrad »