Introduction: Nerf ELITE GLOW MOD: STRONGARM

Picture of Nerf ELITE GLOW MOD: STRONGARM

     I love glow in the dark things and when I found out that Nerf had GITD darts I bought my first Nerf gun in November 2012. It was the Nerf Nitefinder. I got it on ebay and immediately got to work modifying it with blacks light LED's....I had soooo much fun and never realized how many people loved to modify Nerf guns as well. So I bought the next best thing -The FIRESTRIKE and did the same mod followed by the Maverick and some other guns---- I always love to find the next thing to modify......

  -So here's the full guide for the Nerf STRONGARM GLOW TUTORIAL, hope you like it:)



Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

Some things you'll need:

1) 3,000-5,000mcd UV LED's, Two 5mm and one 3mm LED      Plus 1/2 watt and 1/4 watt 150ohm resistors

2) A 9Volt battery

3) Switches -either a pushbutton, rocker or slide type  (A TACT switch for SLAMFIRES is optional)

4) Wires AWG-26 or similar plus heat shrink tubes or electrical tape  (JST connector optional)

5) Super Glue or Plastic cement

6) X-ACTO KNIFE (NEW BLADE)

7) A soldering iron plus Rosin FLUX

8) And a DREMEL with a #11 bit and a cutting wheel 409, 420, or 426 work fine

Step 2: LED HOLDER

Picture of LED HOLDER

     The first step is to find where your LED holder is going to sit on the gun. I prefer placing the edge of the plastic holder on the flat surface where it just begins to slope.

Step 3: Making Your Mark

Picture of Making Your Mark

     The hole size for the LED holder is almost 5/16 of an inch so I just made a circle one size smaller 9/32 with a sharpie to make sure I don't over cut the hole.

Step 4: Another Look

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     After you draw your mark separate the two halves of the shell and get the DREMEL with the #115 bit and X-ACTO knife.

Step 5: First Cuts

Picture of First Cuts

     Okay, so the best way to cut the hole is to DREMEL a half circle on either side then clean it up with the X-ACTO knife and remember not to over cut the hole size.

Step 6: Holder Fit Check

Picture of Holder Fit Check

Do a quick fitment check by closing the two halves.....It's important that the holder itself sits flush because your going to glue one side of it to the frame.

Step 7: Front Two LED's

Picture of Front Two LED's

     Your gonna be using a 3mm LED (optional) and a 5mm LED. The little LED is for lighting up the front sight. It looks impressive at night and works well under low lighting conditions but it not necessary.

Whatever you decide on, know that the negative of the LED's is going to require a 150ohm resistor if your going to power them with 9Volts.

1/4 watt 150ohm small resistor for the 3mm LED 
1/2 watt 150 ohm resistor for the 5mm LED

Here is a picture of the two LED's with pre-bent leads using pliers. The negatives have been cut to make room for the resistors......

Step 8: Soldering

Picture of Soldering

     The positive ends of the LED's should be joined together as shown in the picture. Then add the resistors to the negative ends.

NOTE: Add a little dab of Rosin FLUX to any part that you intend to solder together.

Step 9: Top View LED's

Picture of Top View LED's

The negative wire from the power source should go to each end of a resistor as shown. Only the positive is shared.

NOTE: Use heat shrink to keep the lines from contacting each other
-When your done check if it lights using A 9Volt battery.

Step 10: Mounting It In

Picture of Mounting It In

     Time to use the DREMEL cutting wheel:)

Your going to need to make room for the resistor plus the wiring by cutting a bit of some plastics shown in the picture.....

Step 11: Checking Fitment Again

Picture of Checking Fitment Again

     Here's another look at the LED front sight with the plastic frame cut out. I cut out a little to much so I'm sure your will look much better when your done:)

Step 12: Front Sights

Picture of Front Sights

Your going to have to DREMEL the front sight on the bottom slightly so that the 3mm LED fits snug.

Step 13: First Part DONE!

Picture of First Part DONE!

When your done it should look like this when lit.

Step 14: Taking the Barrel Apart

Picture of Taking the Barrel Apart

Now here's the part that going to take a lot of your time.....


     Start by taking a look at the back of the barrel. You should be able to take it apart by finding two screws in the back.
There 180 degrees of each other and can be found by rotating the barrel until you see the smaller holes that look slightly different. If you look down the hole you'll find the hidden screws.

Step 15: Inside the Barrel

Picture of Inside the Barrel

    Once you've taken the barrel apart there's one more screw that on the inside.....
It separates the gray piece that connects to the rear.

Step 16: Parts

Picture of Parts

Step 17: Taking the Posts Out

Picture of Taking the Posts Out

Some people like to use pliers but if you want to get it really clean looking DREMEL it out.

     Start by cutting through the center on medium-high RPM not full power unless you are really skilled with a DREMEL. It will tend to skip around a lot if you don't have a steady hand.

Step 18: Cutting the Edges

Picture of Cutting the Edges

     Cut only until you get to this point then use mid-low RPM on the DREMEL.

Step 19: Cleaning It Up

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Finish it off with an X-ACTO Knife sweeping in an upward motion and in one direction.

Step 20: Dart Check

Picture of Dart Check

     Make sure that the dart still fits snug and dose not slip through the rear.

Step 21: Barrel Finished!

Picture of Barrel Finished!

     Here's a look at all the barrel holes modified and cleaned out.   
-Just put all the pieces back together in reverse order and your done!

Step 22: Plunger Housing LED

Picture of Plunger Housing LED

     Here's a look at the face of the Plunger Housing. I'm assuming that most of you already know how to take out the air restriction unit. If you do not there are plenty of great tutorials on the web. 

First your going to have to cut out the center piece in the middle and insert a 5mm LED in it's place.....

Step 23: Mounting the LED

Picture of Mounting the LED


     Keep the little tabs on the side uncut so that the LED will have something to hold on to. The picture shows what it looks like from the inside. Make sure not to over cut the middle piece. If you cut just the part that looks like half a circle the 5mm LED will fit in perfectly!

NOTE: Do not glue the LED to this piece until you've soldered the wiring first!

Step 24: Check the Fitment

Picture of Check the Fitment

     Place the LED through the center and bend both of the leads to the RIGHT. Bend one of them away so that they don't accidentally touch.

Step 25: Soldering the LED

Picture of Soldering the LED

Be sure to keep track of which wire is positive and negative:)

     I soldered both leads with about 5 inches of wire. Just feed the two wires through the little hole on the top and route the wiring the way I did in the picture. It should cling to the RIGHT side of the wall. When your done glue the LED, the wiring and the area where the wires pass through the hole so no air leaks from the top.

NOTE: The top blow hole may need to be enlarged a bit according to the wiring size you choose to use.
I used a X-ACTO knife and spun it around to widen out the hole until the wires just fit.

Step 26: Plunger LED Finished!

Picture of Plunger LED Finished!

Okay so here's what it should look like when you're done with it.....

-Put the housing back together. The resistor for the negative wire will be soldered outside the housing later......

My Advise: Don't glue the front of the housing unit to second half until after you've done a test fire with the project!!
You might get a little air leak but you want to make sure that everything is working correctly 'till you tidy everything down:)

Step 27: A Closer Look

Picture of A Closer Look

     Here's where the wiring meets up with front wires. Make sure that you give the wires slack because the plunger housing moves in a back and forth motion.

Step 28: Wiring Together

Picture of Wiring Together

     Here's a look on how it all comes together. The wiring from the front LED joined with the Plunger housing LED and note where I placed a resistor for the housing LED.

-I also soldered a JST connector wire for future disassembly. Just in case you feel like painting the gun later:)

Step 29: Checking Your Work

Picture of Checking Your Work

Place the wires behind the plunger housing unit. Make sure that the wires do not interfere with the plunger brace by moving the plunger forward.....

If everything is fine then your about 90% done!!!

Step 30: 9Volt Battery Placement

Picture of 9Volt Battery Placement

     Look at the inside of the handle. There is a long triangular bar.....Use the DREMEL cutting wheel to make the first cuts. Use medium to high speed.

Step 31: Cleaning It Up

Picture of Cleaning It Up

Use the DREMEL #115 bit or similar to get the surface as flat as possible.

Step 32: Fit Check

Picture of Fit Check

Place the 9Volt battery in and see if it fits with the Gray sling elbow. It will be a very tight fit but it will work!!!

Step 33: Handle Left Side

Picture of Handle Left Side

     To make sure that the two halves come together properly you're going to need to cut some pieces on the left side of the handle as well.

Step 34: Types of Switches

Picture of Types of Switches

     From here your going to need to decide how your going to switch the LED's on.
A toggle type switch is the easiest to use. A Slide type is a little difficult because your going to need to cut a rectangular hole to mount the switch in.....So I opted for a Mini push button:)

Step 35: Check Fit

Picture of Check Fit

From here try and close the two halves together with the 9Volt battery inside to see if everything lines up correctly.

-Your about 95% Done

Everything after this page is the way I chose to switch the LED's
It's really up to you on how your going to finish your project_ GOOD LUCK!!!

_randyfivesix

Step 36: Mini Push Button

Picture of Mini Push Button

     I thought about using a on/off slide switch but I wanted to come up with something like the Firestrike so I marked the handle where my middle finger would push the button.....

Step 37: Making Room for the Switch

Picture of Making Room for the Switch

I had to cut a bit in some areas for the type of switch that I'm going to be using.....

Step 38: The Firefly Switch

Picture of The Firefly Switch

How a switch mounts in.

Step 39: Quick Steel

Picture of Quick Steel

I used Quick Steel to hold the switch in place because it cures fast, is easy to mold, and holds strong. (15 minutes cure time)

- I ended up using another switch that I custom cut so that it looks low profile.

Step 40: Slam Fire Issues

Picture of Slam Fire Issues

     So I found it kind of weird holding the Firefly button down while pressing the trigger back at the same time during Slam firing, it does not feel comfy. So I added a TACT switch behind the trigger and the spring. See pic

The TACT switch completes the signal wire so that when you hold the trigger down completely the LED's will stay on!!!

Step 41: Fine Tuning Slam Fire

Picture of Fine Tuning Slam Fire

     The TACT switch works wonderfully but you might have issues if the switch does not line up correctly. In the picture see how the trigger when fully depressed must activate the switch and touch the screw post at the same time. This is where the spacers come into play.

Step 42: Left Side Handle Cuts

Picture of Left Side Handle Cuts

     Because I added more wires for the Slamfire TACT switch,  I needed to cut more areas on the inner left side of the handle. This ensures that everything closes up without any wires getting pinched. Trust me the gun fires fine with all the extra cuts that I have made.

Step 43: Firefly Switch Finished!

Picture of Firefly Switch Finished!

     Well it's nothing fancy but it works great and is discreet just how I like it.....
Do some test fires and make sure everything works. If the gun is firing correctly you can go back and apply contact cement to the plunger housing piece or upgrade the spring with a better one......

-Have fun!!!

Step 44: Pics 001

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Here's my gun complete. It looks stock because I like the Elite Paint scheme:) Eventually I'll buy another Strongarm and give it a Disel Punk paint job.

Step 45: Pics 002

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The plunger LED. It lights 85% of the dart. The rest of the dart is charged from the top firing LED mounted in the front.

Step 46: Pics 003

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:)

Step 47: Pics 004

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Here's a look at the front sight at night!!!

Comments

TheRoyalJester (author)2014-03-14

iv been comparing the strongarm and the maverick and, correct me if im wrong, there the same thing.one just got a cooler paint job.the question is, which one has the best paint job?

isedde (author)TheRoyalJester2015-04-13

Actually the strongarm has a more compact and stronger firing system than the maverick

Actually The Maverick looks similar to the Strongarm but in fact the Strongarm is better and refined in everyway....There's a whole bunch of video's on YouTube if your wondering....Plus Orange Mod Works Makes an upgrade kit for it which I still plan on buying in the future:) --As for you question about paint jobs..."Im a big fan of the Elite Blue" However I have painted some of my other guns Graphite Grey......

Lunarius (author)2013-07-24

Really exceptional guide. The photos are all clear, the information on what Dremel bits you used is excellent, and in general I found it very easy to follow. I'm a definite novice at both Nerf blaster mods and wiring, so this looks like a great entry project! Thanks very much for all the effort you took in putting this up. :D

randyfivesix (author)Lunarius2013-07-24

Thank you much!!! - Don't forget to always apply a tiny amount of FLUX to the areas that are getting soldered. Also use real UV LED's not blue one's. This will maximize the way the darts recharge their glow, unfortunately they require power that's why I use the 9Volt with the resistors which is very important.....GOOD LUCK!

Let me know if you need any help. -Be sure to check out randyfivesix.deviantart.com

Lunarius (author)randyfivesix2013-07-24

You're very welcome, and I hugely appreciate the tips! I'll be making a few trips in the near future and one of them will have me close to an electronics supply store; I think I'll stock up on a variety of LEDs while I'm there. I'll make sure to get the real-deal on UV LEDs, too.

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