Picture of 10-min. Star Trek Phaser flashing LED mod
I was thinking of my friend Andy when I modded a Playmates Classic Star Trek Phaser. It was surprisingly quick and easy to do. I wanted something that showed up a little better and was not as dangerous as the Blu-Ray laser phaser mod (not that the Blu-Ray mod isn't very cool).
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Step 1: Parts list

Picture of Parts list
You will need:

1. A classic Star Trek phaser - around$25 on eBay.
2. A BlinkM smart LED - made by ThinkM and available from many sources. I got mine from the Maker Shed Store for $12.95
3. An Arduino controller if you do not have one to program the BlinkM. I got the Arduino Diecimila from the Maker Shed Store for $40.

Additional items:

A 2-pin wire connector with leads, like you would find on a PC fan power lead.
Hot glue gun
Soldering Iron
Rosin-core solder
Shrink tubing or electrical tape

Step 2: Step 1: Program the BlinkM

Program the BlinkM with whatever color scheme you like. I chose alternating blue and green. Make sure that you use one timeslice per color and do a 3-second loop. This will ensure that the color flashing matches the sound oscillation of the phaser at slow and fast oscillation speeds. ThinkM has a great walkthrough on how to program the BlinkM, along with all of the files you will need.

Step 3: Step 2: Prep the phaser

Picture of Step 2: Prep the phaser
Remove the batteries and disassemble the phaser, keeping all of the loose parts in a safe place. Discard the lamp bulb holder and the clear circular shield in the barrel of the phaser. You won't need these. Now grab the phaser barrel cap with the clear phaser stalk sticking out of it.

There are two small thread pads that you will need to file down, as we will be pressing the barrel cap back onto the body. Looking into the cap, there are two screws holding the thing together. Place a glob of hot glue on each screw head to prevent any short circuits with the BlinkM. Lastly, clip off the two metal tabs that made contact with the bulb.
who1buffy4 years ago
You can get blinking LEDs for a buck or so.
spudtech (author)  who1buffy4 years ago
Yes, they are cheap and simple. Yoo wouldn't be able to adjust the colors used or the rate of the color cycling.
legless4 years ago
It looks good but spending $53 to make a flashing LED on a $25 toy seems a bit excessive. Couldn't it have been done using a 555 chip in dual astable multivibrator mode??
spudtech (author)  legless4 years ago
Part of the cost comes from the Arduino to program the BlinkM. the BlinkM itself only runs $14 at Makershed.com. Also, this fits entirely in the head of the phaser. A 555 and associated wiring could be done, but you would be locked into the blink rate that you program the 555 to do and the choice of LEDs you use.
now make one you can switch from blue to red!(from stun to kill!!!!!!)
spudtech (author)  naruto the ninja136 years ago
Nice idea! I could modify one of the hatches and extend the pin headers to allow Arduino reprogramming....