Introduction: Flash Grenade!

Picture of Flash Grenade!

i've come up with a project that i've been contemplating for a long time. It's a flash grenade made from a disposable camera circuit and a part of a pringles can.

You need:
-one safety switch, toggle or otherwise, with on/off (for convinience)
-a pringles can (can be one of the snack size or larger type, i cut down a larger type one)
-a camera flash circuit
-various bits of wire, in total not even a foot, but it's good to have extra.
-a motion/impact switch (i jerry rigged one up out of a grommet, a wire nail, and a bit of wire and solder)
-AA battery holder case thing

soldering iron or pencil
knife or scissors
pliers (or your hands, doesn't really matter)
duct tape

Step 1: Remove Circuit, Attach Safety

Picture of Remove Circuit, Attach Safety

rst extract the circuit and short the capacitor by touching the two wires with a screwdriver or a bit of wire. remove the battery and short it again to be sure. This is a relatively simple process, as all it requires is the addition of a safety switch and the motion/impact switch.
Once you have your circuit discharged, you can begin work.
First switch is the safety switch.

Take your toggle switch and one end of the battery holder, preferrably the forked end (+ end) and solder one contact of the switch onto it by a bit of wire. then, attach the other contact to your battery ( i don't know how smart or dumb this was, as i soldered it in place.) The battery didn't do anything to me, it didn't explode, but in hindsight, i assume this was an unsafe decision. Attach the battery to the wire with elecrical tape or solder a proper battery holder to the original contacts. This creates a safety switch which allows you to cut off power to the grenade so it doesn't accidentally charge and go off, as these circuits are finnicky.
Now take your knife and cut out a hole in the side of your container to fit the switch out the side.

Step 2: Add Motion/impact Switch, Cram in Da Can!

Picture of Add Motion/impact Switch, Cram in Da Can!

next is the motion/imact switch. This could be replaced with a proper switch, but i didn't know where i could get one. so i rigged one up. See the long bit of copper bar right next to the cap? well, if you create a contact between that bar and the other metal plate to the right of it (with the flash bulb on top and the cap facing away from you) the flash goes off. so. what i did is soldered a grommet (brass little ring thing) to the bar so it looks like a basket ball hoop. then i took another bit of wire and wrapped it around and soldered it to a little wire nail. this is to add weight and a contact point. then i soldered the other end of the nail-wire to the little metal platform. you now have an operational motion/impact switch. thread the nail end of the wire through the grommet and place it, with a battery inserted into the circuit, into your pringles can, flash bulb up. i had to do a bit of bending to the cap and the motion/impact switch rig to get it to fit.

Now comes the tricky part. You have to get the whole deal inside the pringles can, which can take a lot of tweaking. Once you have it in, the OTHER tricky part rears its head. You have to get the motion switch to work properly by taking the wire nail, and threading it through your grommet so that it doesn't touch it, but will if vibrated enough. this took doing, but i found a spot that works. You'll get it with a bit of tweaking and wire twisting and bending.

Also make sure that your circuit is not completely loose in the can. wad up some duct tape or do something so that it doesn't shake loose every time you drop it. It should be a firm fit when you're done.

Now it is time to test your grenade. Turn the safety switch to ON, take off the cap to your pringles can, and push the charge button on your circuit. Wait for the LED to come on, and turn the safety to "OFF" (you can leave it to ON as a booby trap that when your victim goes to pick it up it flashes again, as well) Then lob in a gentle arc. the flash should go off.

These have practical uses in paintball, and airsoft that i can see.

Note that this is a first design and has its bugs. Fiddling may be necessary. If you come up with an improvement upon my design, give me a mail at Thanks!


lxavier2 (author)2014-09-06

Please can you get this thank you

lxavier2 (author)2014-09-06

Hi abbabibble2 I'm doing a wide game and to distract them to get to the flag. it's basically huge capture the flag in the woods is there anyway I can make it timed

Quin5 (author)2014-05-15

I'm looking to purchase a lazertag system to start a lazertag business,
would you be able to produce or lead me to the guns and equipment I need
that would be safe and certifiable, that would be a cheaper option than
the $600/gun price range that I've seen advertised by the lazertag
manufacturers? email if so at

Green X (author)2014-05-14


Tetranitrate (author)2006-07-05

You could turn the thing into a real flash grenade by filling the can with flash powder afterwords. Youd only have to be sure that the aluminum in the flash powder dosent short circuit the capacitor because that would be very very bad... (Note: noone should try this I was kinda just kidding)

it works. the third time i used it the wrap it came off and it turned into a gernade. it blew up and shrapnel went every where. worse yet the cops came and got mad cuz they said i wuz makin gernades which i wuznt really( sorta kinda.........yes)

For Christ Sakes

jlee170 (author)Thundertydus2013-11-18


SFXguy (author)Thundertydus2011-07-07


Pie Ninja (author)Thundertydus2009-10-14

Sorry to point this out but, "For christ sakes" is not exactlya shining example of proper spelling/grammar either.

dudemanclc (author)Pie Ninja2011-04-08

thats pretty ironic

Pie Ninja (author)dudemanclc2011-04-09

Yes, it is! :D

well, sorry to point this out :P but

Damn, My "Post Images" Are broken

Sorry to point this out;

good idea. just put cling wrap ( damn stuff, keeps sticking together when u dont want it 2) aroind it. :)

PYROFREAK (author)Tetranitrate2007-06-05

if you electric taped up all wires and housed the capasitator in a waterproof case eg: a camers pot? it would be safe to keep near flash powder but yea if any shorts ocured it would blast your arm of whitch would not be funy

GES1985 (author)PYROFREAK2007-07-04

contact smokebombs would be nice... i have an idea for them, but i dont know if it would work.... try this http.. my idea is posted there

Home made spy gear (author)2012-11-29

Yah please make a video

Aron313 (author)2012-02-29

Make a video! I want to see what it does before i go through the trouble of making it.

sanagol (author)2011-10-22

look at mine but its made out of a flatend toilet paper role

mdgnys (author)2009-08-06

I want to make an infra-red flash grenade for lazer tag that will copy your gun signal and send it out all over

codongolev (author)mdgnys2009-10-18

 I was thinking about bringing a prism to laser tag.... just sitting it on the ground and shooting it.

mdgnys (author)codongolev2009-10-18

Soundl like a great idea or put gum on a metal reflector and stick it to the ceiling haha!

codongolev (author)mdgnys2009-10-19

put an extremely elaborate series of mirrors everywhere so that you can snipe the guy shooting from the other little balcony by shooting at just the right angle. 

Colonel88 (author)codongolev2009-10-25

Or put an elaborate series of mirrors, then one dude runs out, baits in another person, and then you go ahead and shoot at the mirrors and it richochets everywhere and kills him!

codongolev (author)Colonel882009-10-29

 you just figure out how to sneak in tons of mirror paint (if that even exists) and paint everything. then just shoot somewhere and it'll hit him.

Colonel88 (author)codongolev2009-11-04

I like where this is going.

ImJustCurious (author)Colonel882011-08-24

Use Aluminium foil, its removable......

codongolev (author)codongolev2010-11-02

it does exist. I actually looked it up for something completely unrelated and now I'm back here looking at this.

account3r2 (author)mdgnys2010-10-16

or use a learning ir remote and program it and hold the button down and run around pointing at everyone

airsoftbeast40 (author)mdgnys2009-11-21

thats a really good idea if you make it post an instructable and tell me

Pie Ninja (author)mdgnys2009-10-14

Good luck with that, they'll probably ban you from laser tag though.

mdgnys (author)Pie Ninja2009-10-15

It would be really cool though and it was just an idea.

dudemanclc (author)2011-04-15

My friend made a sound grenade out of a window alarm. its made it get your attention so its a great distraction device for airsoft.

account3r2 (author)2010-10-16

haha i got an idea you could use a timer of some sort then a switch then a couple of flash circuits so you could push the button then throw it.

Articas (author)2010-07-16

You could ad some sort of reflector (like a big one not the piddly little one from thr camera) around the bulb and mount it in a pipe to make a flash stick type thing. Sorta like the mind wiper thing from men in black

what.the.ph0 (author)2006-04-04

I love the idea but I dont understand some of your instruction could you be more clear like diagram wise point you arrows please

abbabibble2 (author)what.the.ph02006-04-04

yeh. I can do that... it's kind of hard when paint doesn't seem to be working. I'll do that as soon as i can.

yoyohead415 (author)abbabibble22009-12-07

holy CRAP!!!!!!! that look hard to make and powerful flash it can probablly make a person go blind but still it is plane old BEASTINES!!!!!!!!!! or at least thats what it looks like

Colonel88 (author)2009-11-04


(This is unodirectional, so if it faces the wrong way, people wont see it. SO it's like a 1/6 chance of landing right if it is a square box.)

electricalman123 (author)2009-01-03

Anyone got an idea on how to make one that goes off every time someone walks by it?

How bout a motion sensor, one like is on the light above most peoples house doors, or a pressure plate.

Pie Ninja (author)jacob56802009-10-14

Making a pressure plate is easy; two sheets of aluminium foil, a pieceof foam:
tape or solder the wire to a sheet of foil each, put the foam betweenthem with a hole in the middle so that it triggers when stepped on. done.

ya tape thread to it and use as a trip wire

bradleyj94 (author)2009-08-12

make it as a booby trap, instead of the nail and wire wrap tin foil around the parts of a washing line peg, then attach the wires to the pieces of tinfoil. then insert the trip wire(ensure it doesnt conduct electricity). when the wire is tripped it sets off the flash.

Gamer917 (author)2009-08-02

i have an idea, a momentary switch turned on by pulling a pin that activates a 5 second timer, which when the timer runs out, the flash goes off, so you pull the pin, throw it and the flash goes off in your attackers face

jacob5680 (author)2009-02-17

ever think about wiring about twelve flashes in parallel to a larger cap and attaching them to a hollow sphere? ( possibly a small hamster ball =) ) that would make a pretty nice flash, just don't throw it... as that would make a pretty good mess.
I had a rig in my locker at school with a mechanical timer ( falling weight and a gear box, lol ) where about six seconds after the door opened, the flash would go off, same idea, fun trick, and really startles people, it makes a good variation to the same idea. those who have time to waste like I did, should try it. =)

belgvr (author)jacob56802009-06-30

whoa, amazing idea... why dont you post a instructable on how to make one? :D

jacob5680 (author)belgvr2009-07-01

Im outa school so I got time, just gotta get my hands on two more cameras ( one to take the pictures with ) =D

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