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Member Since 16 May 2015
Offline Last Active Feb 26 2018 07:17 PM

Topics I've Started

LEDs Question

13 March 2017 - 04:58 PM

I'm looking to put LED lighting in two clear Vulcans as part of my overhaul. Given the size of the blaster and the number of LEDs involved I'm thinking of using several parallel circuits to help alleviate voltage drop. I've got two questions about this:


1. Is it actually worth usng parallel circuits, or is the voltage drop between LEDs so small as to make it trivial? I'm expecting to use around 25 LEDs all up with its own power source.


2. If I do use, say, 5 parallel circuits of 5 LEDs conected in series to each other - with each one being a 5mm red LED - what's the recommended input voltage (I'll be using lithium ion batteries)


Thanks in advance.

Wye not?

27 August 2016 - 01:50 AM



This is a discussion of a new type of hopper mechanism for use on homemade nerf guns.


When I first became interested in Nerf as a hobby I thought that the tiny breeches inherent in stock nerf guns were the culmination of reloadable design. After a bit of research I found out about brass breeches, which allowed for much longer barrels but still required a mechanism to "cycle" the breech from open to shut and back again. More digging uncovered the speedloader, shotgun attachements and other clever devices for powerful guns that didn't offer much in the way of rate of fire, but capitalised on power per shot, culminating in the RSCB. My cup of tea leant more towards massive dart spamming at medium range, so I was not satisfied.


Finally, I found out about the Wye hopper, capitalising upon both high rate of fire (all that is needed is a prime and a trigger pull, which is much quicker than even RSCBs) and power. Their ability and reliability was enhanced over time, leading to the modern, effective design. You've probably seen at least one b now, but here's a nice picture demonstrating exactly what they do:



Simply put, the blue part is the hopper, or clip/magazine where the darts are stored (you can see 5 in there if you look closely, the purple part is a simple PVC end cap, the red part is a PVC wye and the green part is the barrel. Air is forced into the wye piece through its open side, and the resulting suction on the dart at the top of the clip (whose tip is poking into the main part of the wye) sucks the dart first into the wye and then into the barrel. This leaves you with a fairly reliable mechanism that will fire 1 dart at a time, and is gravity fed.


The problems that occur with wyes (as near as I can tell) are the following:


1. They're super hard to obtain depending on one's location. In Australia (my home country) they're nearly impossible to find, requiring shipping from overseas to obtain them.

2. They can be very unreliable with even slight changes to dart dimensions. This means that using someone else's ammo in a war becomes very risky.

3. The air expended in sucking the dart into the barrel is air that could otherwise be used to shove the dart further downrange, leading to a slight efficiency problem.


Overall, the wye is superior, but with room for improvement.


While roaming the various Nerf fan sites one day I found an interesting take on the wye that seemed to solve all its problems:




This design - which I'll dub the Speed Hopper for want of a better word - dramatically increases fire rate over wyes, eliminates the air inefficiency and improves feed reliability.


The basic idea is that darts are gravity fed one at a time into the PVC T-piece, then expelled through the 45 degree bend and out the barrel via air coming in through the second 45 degree PVC joint.


The basic operation is the same as the wye, with one shot being fired per spring release (if you're using a springer, that is), but has several benefits:


1. Because the darts are already located in a preliminary pert of the barrel, no air is required to force them into the barrel, leading to slightly better efficiency.

2. Because the darts aren't gently sucked around a bend, but instead are fully forced into the barrel, the Speed Hopper is able to cope with different dart lengths a lot better.

3. Air guns can give this thing some serious punch, as you'll see later.

4. The part are so readily available that almost any town in the world with a hardware store should be able to supply them.


The greatest benefit is that the pressure wave from the firing mechanism (be it a plunger or compressed air) does not impede darts sliding into the red PVC T, so larger volume plungers have the benefit of being able to fire two shots at once (by large, I mean bigger than a Maverick plunger). When using good darts, a huge hopper and a blowpipe setup (exactly what is shown above) I can get around 20 darts per second downrange, or 1200 darts per minute. Take that 700 dpm Vulcan!


Overall I am very satisfied with it, as my playstyle is pretty much about intimidation through walls of foam.


I'd encourage you to try it out with a 1meter/yard long hopper and Silicone Darts in the blowpipe setup and see how it goes.


New Forms of War

04 July 2015 - 02:01 AM

We all know capture the flag, carpe, deathmatch and all those original, entertaining game modes. Many of us know other, fancier games that are often more interesting, but take heaps of time to explain. I recall one game (not Nerf, but similar mechanics and could be easily adaptable) that took over 30 minutes to explain. It was a blast,but in the time taken to explain rule everyone (of the 60 people there) could have played 2-3 games of CTF. Come on.

The objective of this article is to propose some new game modes that create interesting mechanics while keeping explanation time low. Some of these have been extensively play tested, and others have yet to be. I'll mark them as they come. Enjoy.

1: Clips.

This has nothing to do with ammunition, but rather clothes pegs - cheap and accessible. At the start of each game every player (irrelevant of player numbers) is given 4 pegs, which are clipped onto any visible section of clothing. Whenever a player is hit they have 20 seconds of "respawn (no attacking, cannot be hit) in which to give one peg to the player that shot them ( who is invulnerable while actually attaching the token) and find a safe place to get back into it. Once a player reaches 0 pegs they're out of the game. After 15 minutes the winner is either the last player standing or whomever has the most pegs.

My experience with this mode is fantastic. We played in a very large house (5 bedrooms, 2 stories, 2 staircases) and played for about 30 minutes. Because of the very large indoor area and the relatively few players (5 or so) ambushes were a viable tactic. Because of my Stryfe primary, I lost drastically. Obviously, outdoor play would be very different. This game mode is a free for all with the benefit of both time pressure and quantifiable victory conditions. Unlike 3:15 deathmatch and all its variants Clips allows redemption of lagging players, producing a more forgiving, yet fast paced game. The highlight was a 5 player standoff between several rooms, where every plyer was conscious of the clock ticking down, yet nobody was willing to concede their strategic positions.

2: Trouble in Terrorist Town.

Airsoft fans may have heard of it. Its based of of a dice game where secrecy and betrayal combine with firepower. Google it for some well made videos (not by me, of course) with airsoft guns. At the beginning of each game (which normally lasts less than 5 minutes with 11 people) every player is dealt a card (see Appendix A for card distribution ratios) and depending on the card will be either a Detective, Innocent or Terrorist. Terrorists are face cards, detectives are aces, innocents are anything else. The objective of the detective(s) and innocents is to kill all terrorists, and conversely the objective of the terrorists is to kill all detectives and innocents. The game does not happen until one of those two conditions are met.

The catch is, all cards are dealt in secret, so there is no way for a Detective/Innocent to prove he/she really is a detective and not a Terrorist. However, before the start of each game, everyone closes their eyes, and the terrorists look up, so they know whose on their side. By playing in a small area (we used the above house with 11 people) everyone must continually watch their backs. Because the terrorists know who each other are, they can work together against a divided foe. The detective can ask the dead (who, once shot, lie on the ground unmoving, obviously) who shot them. The game boils down to a race as the terrorists slowly wipe out the innocents and detectives and the detectives work to expose the killers.

My experience of the game is that, if everyone avoids cheating during setup, this game is well balanced and very run. it is best played indoors where players can hide killings. If one has access to a large house then I would highly recommend this game mode.

My best experience was when we had (for some inexplicable reason) 2 terrorists against 9 others. Myself and another were the Terrorists, and we worked so effectively that by one minute into the match we had cleaned up almost all the innocents and Detectives. We had been split up, searching for the final Detective when suddenly, a figure lunges past a wall, firing at me as he went. I fired all I had at him, striking him several times as he hit me. Only after we both stood up did we realize; we were both Terrorists, and we'd just shot each other...

Appendix A; For an easy game for the innocents, have 1 Detective and 2 Innocents for every 2 Terrorists. This means that the Terrorists are outnumbered,but have the element of surprise on their side. For an easy game for the Terrorists,have 1 Detective and 1 Innocent for every 2 Terrorists. This means that the Terrorists have strength in numbers, but also that the detectives have less suspects to eliminate before exposing the terrorists.

3: Classy War.

Admit it. At some point you've thought that it would be amazing to be able to select classes to play as, like the heavy, or spy etc. Of course, the problems inherent in such a game make it almost impossible. I believe I've worked out a simple and fun 3:15 team deathmatch version. Every player has the standard 3 lives, and must return to a spawn point to get back into a game The winning team is the last one alive, or the team with the most members alive after 15 minutes.

There are 3 classes: Heavy, Scout and Medic.

The Scout is the only class allowed to pick up ammo from the ground, and can then share it among his team mates. They pay for this by only being able to carry 2 weapons, and neither can have a maximum capacity above 6. They can carry as much ammunition as thy desire, however. Scouts wear a cap of their team colourto denote themselves on the battlefield.

The Heavy can withstand 2 hits before being sent back to spawn, greatly increasing his durability. They pay for this by only being able to walk at any time (This includes while walking back to spawn, and is defined as having one foot on the ground at all times). Heavies denote themselves on the battlefield by wearing a bandanna or their team colour.

The Medic acts as a mobile base for spawning, drastically reducing the time needed to do so. Any friendly player can simple touch them and be instantly revived. The medic pays for this by not being able to carry battery operated weapons. Medics denote themselves on the battlefield with an armband of their team colour.

Unfortunately, I have no experience with this game type, but if players already know 3:15, then these simple classes are an easy addition to the game. i would expect that teams of 5 or 4 are best, and between 2 and 4 teams, depending upon player numbers. I would recommend an outdoor playing field with high cover. Teams can vary roles to keep the gimmick entertaining. For example, a team of a Medic, 3 Heavies and a Scout moving together would be very hard to defeat.

That wraps it up for now. Obviously, these rules are different, and a "learning" game will definitely be required for Trouble in Terrorist Town, but the short games allow for this. A Classy war will obviously be better the more players one musters, while Clips maxes at around 10, or else risk players becoming extremely overpowered. If anyone could give feedback on Classy Wars, that would be much appreciated.