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Diatron mods

Lock removal, spring retensioning, ergonomic improvements

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#1 snakerbot

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:40 PM

The Diatron is an interesting blaster. As you probably know, it fires two vortex disks at once. Itís kind of gimmicky, yeah, but still fun. This writeup is split up into three sections: lock removal, spring retensioning, and ergonomic improvements, with a section at the beginning covering disassembly, and another later covering reassembly. Each section will have its own list of steps and could theoretically be done independently, but if you plan to retension the spring and remove the locks, you should probably do it all at once while itís open. Iíll start with a picture of a stock Diatron.
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Section 1: Taking it apart.
Whatever sections of the mod you want to do, you will at least need to disassemble the blaster as far as is covered in this section. Further disassembly required only for a specific section is covered in that section.

Tools needed:
#1 phillips head screwdriver
Needle-nose pliers

Before you can do anything else, take out this screw at the back in the center of the stock mount.
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The stock mount then comes off easily.
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Now you can take out the rest of the screws. One is longer than all the others. It goes in the top front screw port. Before taking off the shell, prime the blaster. This allows you to get the shell off easily.
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I recommend de-priming the blaster now, before going further in the disassembly. To do this, pull the magazine follower down and load two disks.
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Then move the priming lever all the way back, all the way forward, and all the way back again. This loads the disks into the chamber, and makes most of the locks happy. There is still one more though that prevents the trigger from being pulled unless the magazine is closed. Itís the white piece Iím pointing at in this picture.
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Push it up with your finger like so:
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While itís up you can pull the trigger.
Next up, remove the follower and magazine spring.
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There is one screw holding the internals in place, on the side of the magazine.
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Take it out, and the internals should come out, looking like the following. The white piece is the tac rail.
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In order to get to anything useful here, you will need to take apart the firing mechanism. These two screws near the priming lever need to come out.
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There is also this little white plastic piece tabbed into place behind the priming lever.
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Using your pliers, make it look like this. The plastic is pretty flexible, so this is easy.
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That white piece covers up the spring behind the priming lever when the lever is forward. It proceeded to fall out while I was doing this mod, and I couldnít be bothered to put it back in. It doesnít seem to have affected the performance or anything, but if youíre worried about dirt getting into the mechanism, you might want to make sure it stays in place.
Once youíve taken care of the screws and the white piece, there are five of these tabs around the mechanism.
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Use your screwdriver and push them a little until all five are popped and you can separate the two halves. This will greet you inside.
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Here you can see the spring, several locks, and the side-mounted firing arm that makes the Diatron unique among the vortex blasters.
Where you go from here depends on whether you want to just retension the spring, just remove the locks, or do both.

Section 2: Lock removal
There are several locks in the Diatron. One prevents you from pulling the trigger unless the priming arm is all the way back. One prevents you from pulling the trigger unless there are two disks loaded in the chamber. One prevents you from pulling the trigger if the disks are loaded upside-down. One prevents you from pulling the trigger if the magazine door is not closed. That last one is the only one I left in. Of note here is that removing all these locks will allow for dry-firing, which is a bad thing to do to a blaster. Since I havenít noticed these locks leading to any failure to fire when everything was loaded properly, my recommendation is to only take these locks out if you want to be able to de-prime the blaster or fire upside down disks. If these donít matter to you, skip this section and leave all the locks in.

Tools needed:
#1 phillips head screwdriver
Needle-nosed pliers

First up is the two-disk lock. See those two little arms at the top of the last picture? Remove them and the pin they sit on so it looks like this.
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Next, turn this piece over. See those two little tabs?
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Push them through, and remove the piece they were attached to.
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Next is the lock that requires the priming lever to be all the way back. Look under the lever and find this screw.
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Remove it and the pieces it was holding in.
Thatís all the locks on this piece. Go to the top half of the firing mechanism. See this white piece here?
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It has something to do with preventing de-priming, I believe. Just pull it out.
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Now, here are two more tabs holding on the upside-down disk lock. I tried to leave this one in, but it turned out to just be a big pain in the ass, disabling the blaster for no reason when all the other locks are gone.
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So push those two tabs in and remove this stuff from the other side.
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There you go! Now your Diatron can be de-primed and can fire upside-down disks!
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#2 snakerbot

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:42 PM

Section 3: Spring retensioning
This is probably what you all came for: POWER! This is similar to the spring retensioning seen on the other vortex blasters in the past, and nets the Diatron an additional 20-30 feet of range.

Tools needed:
#1 phillips head screwdriver
Needle-nosed pliers
Dremel/knife/file. Something to remove a little material. I used a knife.

Letís start with a closeup of the firing arm, so you can see what weíre dealing with.
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See that rubber thing on the left? Pull it and the pin itís on from the housing. Be careful about the little spring there, itíll want to fly off. I have the blaster primed in this picture. Donít do that, just pull the priming lever a little bit to get the arm off the rubber piece.
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Remove the arm as well, yielding this:
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Pull the pin from the center so you can disassemble the rest of the mechanism.
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Take out that little screw, and remove the spring, we need to work on the arm itself.
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There are a couple ridges you need to shave down. You canít really see them in the pictures, but Iíve highlighted where they used to be.
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Now when you put the spring back on, have the end positioned to the side of the arm, instead of in the hole, like this.
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Getting the pin back in place in the firing mechanism is a little tough, since the spring wants to make everything fly apart. I found that holding it like this allowed me to push the parts together with one hand and use the other to push the pin in.
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One more thing before we put this back. For some reason, my Diatron wouldnít catch after I did all this. So I shaved down the edge of the arm so it had a higher ramp to push the catch down. You might not need this, I canít say for sure. But just in case, hereís what mine looked like afterward.
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When you put the firing arm back in there are a couple things to be wary of. See that little white flap covering part of the magazine well? It has to go under the little orange tab at the top of this picture. Get it in place under the tab first, then pivot the rest of the arm into place. To get the spring back in, hold the priming lever down, grab the arm of the spring with your needle-nosed pliers and bend it up, over the wall, and into place. Finally, put the rubber thing and its spring back in.
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Section 4: Reassembly
No pictures here, but some notes. Refer to the pictures in section 1 if you need to.

Note 1: Getting the top half of the firing mechanism back on is a bit tricky, but if you prime the mechanism, it helps quite a bit. Line up all the pins and the tabs, and push the two halves back together.

Note 2: Make sure the jam release slider on the right side of the shell is all the way back before putting the internals back in.

Note 3: As with disassembly, having the blaster primed helps immensely with getting the other half of the shell back on.

Note 4: You will probably need to have the internals, the muzzle section, and the tac rail all partway out and lined up in order to get anything back in place. Or you could just leave the tac rail out, since thatís the part that is troublesome for reassembly.

Note 5: Make sure to push the magazine follower down so it is underneath the door on the side. Otherwise the follower stays up when you open the magazine.

Section 5: Ergonomic improvements
That stupid lever priming thing is terrible. This makes it much nicer to use.

Tools needed:
#2 phillips head screwdriver
Dremel/knife/file. Something to remove a little material. I used a knife.
Something to cut screws with. A dremel should work fine.
Something to cut PVC with.
Drill with 7/64 drill bit

Materials needed:
1/2Ē PVC Tee
1/2ď PVC Coupler
1/2ď PVC
6-32 x 1 1/4Ē machine screw

Cut your PVC to about 1 1/2 inches. Assemble it and the two fittings like this.
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Look down the leg of the Tee. See the ridge that the PVC sits against? Shave down the top and bottom of it slightly.
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Jam this assembly on the end of the priming lever. Drill a hole through the Tee, the lever, and out the other side of the Tee.
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Put your machine screw through all this. If you have a 6-32 tap, you can use it, but the plastic is soft enough that the screw will self-tap. Cut off the screw where it protrudes from the other side, so you donít cut your hand on it.
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Thatís it! Youíre done!
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#3 Mully

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:53 PM

Great writeup!
Props for being the first to do one on the diatron.
You said it's getting around 20-30' of additional range, does the extra power do anything to accuracy?
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#4 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

Very good writeup.
(Those things are a pain to open and close, the pictures will help a lot)
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#5 481IceDragon

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

now just to do something about that awful paint.. Does retensioning the spring translate to stretching the spring in a plunger blaster? I'm not quite sure I understand how it adds any performance.. And do you think it would be possible to get a spring like that from a hardware store with greater tension?
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#6 snakerbot

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

You said it's getting around 20-30' of additional range, does the extra power do anything to accuracy?

Doesn't seem to, but I haven't really done any long-range target shooting. I also don't have anything to compare it to.

Those things are a pain to open and close

Yep.

the pictures will help a lot

I hope so!

1. Now just to do something about that awful paint.
2. Does retensioning the spring translate to stretching the spring in a plunger blaster?
3. I'm not quite sure I understand how it adds any performance.
4. And do you think it would be possible to get a spring like that from a hardware store with greater tension?


1. I like the paint job.
2. No. And you really shouldn't stretch springs. That will lead to permanent damage to the spring, and possibly some very weird characteristics like spring constants that aren't constant anymore. Just replace it with a stronger one.
3. It's kind of like adding a spacer for more precompression. The more the arm of the spring is bent sideways, the more force it exerts.
4. Possibly. Hardware stores are probably not likely, but McMaster might have something. I know SGNerf did that with the earlier vortex blasters, but I have no intention of trying that here.
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#7 481IceDragon

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:12 PM

1. I like the paint job.
2. No. And you really shouldn't stretch springs. That will lead to permanent damage to the spring, and possibly some very weird characteristics like spring constants that aren't constant anymore. Just replace it with a stronger one.
3. It's kind of like adding a spacer for more precompression. The more the arm of the spring is bent sideways, the more force it exerts.
4. Possibly. Hardware stores are probably not likely, but McMaster might have something. I know SGNerf did that with the earlier vortex blasters, but I have no intention of trying that here.



I like the paint scheme, but I think the application on the diagram, and the strong arm especially is extremely poor.

Yes I know stretching springs is bad, I was just asking if that what the equivelant is.

Ahh, that explains what I didn't understand..

Edited by 481IceDragon, 25 February 2013 - 11:12 PM.

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