Turn any old toy gun into a torch.
My boys find it hilarious that I add LED’s to everything. Recently, I was talking about making a dog kennel and the first thing they ask is “you going to add LEDS?” Of course the answer is yes.
Why wouldn’t you though! They are simple to use, cheap and a great way to mod.
This ‘ible then is all about how to add an LED to a toy gun. The gun that I used is a cheap light gun that was used on the PS1. I found it at the tip and it had the cord missing. You could really use any gun with this mod, as long as there is enough room to add a 3 x AAA battery holder. That really is the only pre-requisite when deciding on what gun to use.
The gun I chose though had 2 of the main features that made this build very easy, a lens at the front and a SPDT lever switch. These things though are easy and cheap to buy from eBay, so if your gun doesn’t have them, don’t worry, I’ll put in some links to where you can buy them from
Let’s get on with the build…
Step 1: Things to Gather
1. Toy gun. This can be anything but if you want to make it as easy as possible type into eBay “Light gun”. You might even have one of these around the house gathering dust. Also, you can just use a toy gun if you wanted to
2. LED – eBay
3. 3 x AAA battery holder - eBay
4. Female power jack - eBay
5. Male power jack - eBay
6. 3.6v power charger –eBay
7. Optional – SPDT Lever switch – eBay
1. Wire cutters
4. Screwdrivers and phillips heads
5. Hot glue
6. Soldering iron
Step 2: Pulling Apart the Gun
The gun that I used is known as a “Blaze Silver Scorpion”. As I mentioned earlier, I find mine at the tip with the cord missing.
1. Un-screw the cowling and the grips
2. Remove any circuit boards inside the gun – we won’t be using these
3. If your gun has a SPDT lever switch you’re in luck – if not, you will need to decide where to add one. Look at how the trigger is pulled on your gun. Is there any room behind it to add a switch? When you pull the trigger back, can you have it activate the lever? You’ll need to work out the best way to have the lever activated when the trigger is pulled. Once you decide where to attach it, hot glue it into place.
Step 3: Modding the Inside of the Gun
To enable to batteries to be charged I added a female socket. You don’t have to do this but I didn’t want to have to open the gun up each time I wanted to change the batteries
1. Decide where you want to add the charging socket. Remember, you want it close to the battery holder and somewhere out of the way
2. With a dremel, create a hole big enough to accommodate the socket. Don’t glue into place yet as you will need to solder some wires to it first
3. To enable the battery holder to fit inside your gun handle, you may have to remove some of the supports and gussets inside. If you have a dremel you should be able to do this easily. If not, a pair of good wire snippers should do the job as well. Be careful though not to remove any screw supports or you won’t be able to put the gun back together correctly.
Step 4: Adding the Batteries
1. Solder the negative wire from the battery terminal to the negative terminal on the power socket. This is the one that is not connected to the middle pin on the power socket. See diagram of the socket below which will help you identify which pin to use.
2. Next solder another wire to the same terminal on the socket to the “open” terminal on the switch. This is to be soldered to the negative terminal on the LED.
For those who haven’t used SPDT switch before there are 2 modes that these can be in “always open or always closed” We want to wire it up so when you pull the trigger, it pushes the level and the power comes on. That’s why you need to open it up to the “open” terminal. I have included a diagram which might make it easier to understand.
3. Next solder the positive wire on the battery to the “positive” terminal on the power socket. This is the middle pin.
4. Solder another wire to the same place and attach this to the positive section of the LED
Step 5: Hot Gluing the LED Into Place
Make sure that you have soldered everything correctly and check if the LED comes on when the trigger is pulled. It does! Good.
1. Work out the best position to glue the LED into place. The lens acts like a beam director and will either make the LED beam wider or narrower. It’s up to you on what tyoe of light you want to produce.
2. Once you have decided where to place the LED, next hot glue it into place. Make sure that you aren’t shy with the hot glue, you want the LED to be stable and not move once it has been glued into place
3. Lastly, hot glue into place any bits of the gun that were held in place by either the circuit board or gussets that you might have removed in order to fit the batteries into place
Step 6: Gluing Everything Else
1. First check and make sure that everything works and that when you pull the trigger the Light comes on.
2. If everything is ok, hot glue down the charging socket
3. Next hot glue down the battery pack
Step 7: How to Charge the Batteries
As mentioned previously, I didn’t want to have to unscrew the gun each time I wanted to charge the batteries. The charging socket allows you to charge the batteries without having to do this.
The batteries I used are rechargeable 1.2v batteries (total of 3.6v) and can be purchased at most stores that sell batteries. I luckily had a 3.6v charger which I could use to charge them. All I have to do is to plug it in and leave for a couple hours and it’s fully charged.
I think having maybe a 4.5v charger would work better but the 3.6v one does the trick.