We weren’t too impressed with the firepower of my son’s birthday present, the Nerf Centurion. So, we opened it up and removed the air restrictors. While we were in there, we also defeated or removed the various locks for making the barrel extension attachment permanent. Now, he can pull the barrel extender on and of as needed.
I built this Nerf Sentry Gun by grafting a couple of Arduinos, a power supply, a motor, and an ultrasonic distance sensor onto a Nerf Vulcan machine gun. I posted these build notes on Make: online. I’ve never compiled them all in one place, however, so this post serves to tie the whole project together in one place.
Part 1: Wiring the trigger
The first step was to add wiring and a two-wire connector to control the trigger circuit. I opened up the Nerf Vulcan (about 30 screws) and soldered an 1/8″ female jack to the fire selection mode switch. This way, I can retain all the regular functions of the gun when it’s unplugged from the Arduino. To control it from the Arduino, I’ll flip the orange switch on top to “off” and then wire the trigger into the “pulled” position (done here with a classy twist tie). Whenever the Arduino’s trigger circuit closes (bypassing that orange “off” switch) the gun will start firing.
To add the connector, I drilled a 1/4″ hole in the gun’s hand grip, fed the sleeve through, and secured it with a couple of zip ties inside for strain relief.
Next, I’m planning to build the Arduino’s trigger circuit using a MOSFET transistor wired to a male 1/8″ jack I can plug into the gun.
My daughter was busy crafting animals from yarn, glue, markers, and googly eyes yesterday. When her brother saw this rabbit head he said, “That one is awesome. You should mount it on a board like a dead animal trophy.”
She immediately cut out a little cardboard base, mounted it with tape, and presented it to an amazed and proud me. I grabbed some poster putty and attached it to my workstation monitor for display. Pretty sure we need to open an Etsy store for Beatrix the taxidermist.
The glass door of our mailbox fell off and shattered spectacularly last week. I decided to fix it by building a new door out of acrylic on Betty, my Epilog laser cutter.
I began by measuring the space and drafting it in Rhino. I created a closed polyline curve for vector cutting of the shape, and a solid text hatch for raster etching the word “LETTERS”. I then sent this file to print on the laster cutter.
For some reason the only piece I had big enough (roughly 14″x8″) was the blue acrylic I used for my Arduino Grande project. So we’ll be the people with a blue mailbox door and an orange house door. Subtle.
I donned my air filtration mask, as the fumes that come from laser cutting acrylic smell like saccharine death fumes from the planet Huffbag.
When I publicly commit to kooky goals, such as training for a Festivus-like, barren-pole feat of strength, there may be some DIY gymnastics/parkour equipment-building involved.
Rather than digging a post hole and planting a pole in concrete (which I’ll be doing for more elaborate future project) I decided to mount a pole to the wooden playset in the backyard. (I checked with my kids first — they were cool with it.)
I got a 10′ length of 1-1/2″ O.D. galvanized Schedule 40 steel pipe and cut it down to 6′. I don’t own a pipe threader, and the one at my local hardware store is down for maintenance, so I opted to press fit (as in, with a deadblow hammer) the pipe into threaded elbows.