A SciFi Scanner/Ray Gun Movie Prop

Introduction: A SciFi Scanner/Ray Gun Movie Prop

About: I'm not going to explain my self so your going to have to let my groups and 'structables do the talking.

this began as a LED cube from AlexTheGreat but i wanted the battery to be interchangeable, i wasn't going to spend this time and money on something that would soon go out and be a dark cube. so then i put on a handle to house the battery. but then I thought "why stop there, i have tons of space now." so i went a little crazy, and stuck a buzzer inside, and a vibrator, some pots to control the light level and an additional light cylinder.

a moderate level of electronic knowledge will be required

soldering is required. this project is simply to complicated to be electrical taping wires together.

Here is some instructions

and Here is a dirt cheap iron.

if for some reason you still want to twist or tape your leads together then... well i just don't like you now.

please don't sell these as your own. (or if you do at least link my profile)

Step 1: Write a Circuit Plan

before you gather your materials you must first layout a circuit plan. what components you will use and how they will be connected.

heres some i used:

a vibrator (motor with weight attached to it)


heres some ideas that i wanted to do but never got around to it

a digital keychain picture viewer. you could display a animated GIF of some sort of scanner display

a Tilt Switch or accelerometer. gravitationally activate components.

laser pointer.

or you could just stick with a light box.

OR you could be a lazy bum and take my circuit plan (see below)

Step 2: Gather Materials

a transparent box of some kind (i used an empty dice box and semi-transparent film cartridge, or you could build your own.

assorted pots (potentiometers) (around 3,000 ohms to 10,000 ohms) and switches (hopefully cool looking.)

about a 1' section of 1.5" PVC pipe (sch 40) (the handle)

aluminum/copper tape or sheet metal for the light box.

knobs for the pots



BUTTLOADS of hot glue (alot)

high power LEDs of assorted color

2" PVC end cap

2 AA battery holder

buzzer (optional)

vibrator (no not that kind you pervs, see below) (optional)

spray paint of some kind (whatever color you want your handle to be)

shrink tubing or electrical tape

PVC cement. or MORE hot glue or just tape it shut with your aluminum/copper tape


drill (drill press would be best)

and array of drill bits (.5" is a must)

screw driver

Soldering iron (most of these thing like with most movie props are optional, however if this is going to be electronic at all you NEED TO SOLDER!! its not as hard as it looks, if you can drive to a store and but these parts then you can SOLDER!)

wire stripper

wire cutter

hot glue gun (if its a cheapie 4 dollar one then this project will be its last. its going to be hard on it)

alligator clips to test connections (optional)

eye protection (again REQUIRED!!!!!!!)

multimeter (optional)

hack saw or giant PVC cutter.


sharpie (or some sort of marker)

vice (not required, just helpful)

heat gun if you chose shrink tubing above

Step 3: Painting the Pipe

Cut a 1.5' section of the 1.5" piping. then prepare your PVC pipe for painting, rinse off any dirt etc... Then take your metallic spray paint on a very calm (unwindy) day, stick your cap on one end, and EXECUTE PAINTAGE!!! take your can and quickly move it out away from you in a straight line, while rotating the pipe. then rap a paper towel around the end without the cap on it and stick it in a vice (to keep it upright). let it dry for 24 hours, apply a 2nd coat if you want.

Step 4: Cutting the Pipe

first take the end cap off. with my pipe the cap was painted on and i had to take a big steel rod stick it up the pipe and ram it up there a couple of times until the cap pops off from the inside. once you have your cap off you can start cutting. (NO NOT LIKE THAT EMO BOY!) i did this with a band saw, but I'm pretty sure you could do this with a hacksaw although it would probably take forever. just cut it down the middle lengthwise

Step 5: Drill Control Holes

start by lining up all your controls (potentiometers, switches, indicator LEDs etc.) to where you want them to go on your pipe and putting dots on the paint with your sharpie. then with your calipers measure the part of your control that will hold the control in the wall of the pipe (see pic 3). then find the appropriate drill bit. you will probably want to put your control in a vice, but if you don't have one just go slow and the drill bit shouldn't grab the pipe and swing it around (but then again i had a drill press).

Step 6: Insert Controls

get your switches and other flapdoodle and put em in there respective holes.

if you have some sort of square switch like i did (see below) then you probably discovered this vexing little problem. drill bits work best when circular *OOPS*. well there is no fast way to do this, i just traced around the hole i want to cut and drilled LOTS of little holes and ground out the rest.

And now whip out your hot glue gun and glue everything in (unless its on of those switches with a nut you can tighten) go ahead and glue in your vibrator and/or buzzer.

hot glue your light cubes/cylinders on the end and/or sides (when gluing to sides you must first drill a small hole for the wires to come through)

Step 7: SOLDER!!!!!1!!!11!!!!!!!111!!!1!11!!!!one!!!!!2!!

here's where your knowledge of electronics comes in. dig your circuit plan out. remember that little old thing WAAAYYY back in good old step 1? well now its time to use it. basically solder your positive lead to any one LED in series with your switch and pot to the positive side of your battery and run the negative wire straight back to the negative side of the battery. do basically the some with your other components (plus or minus a pot or tilt switch) with motors polarity (negative or positive) does not matter. insulate all your unprotected (insulation-less) soldering points with shrink tube (not counting terminals).

Step 8: Close 'er Up!

cram all them wires up inside in between the two pipe halves and tape/hot glue/PVC cement the haves together. i chose tape because its a lot less permanent, and if there is a short circuit it would definitely be easier to get apart.

Step 9: YOUR DONE!

go show your friends, or sell it to them for moronically large amounts. or make a slideshow and clam it as your own (please dont do this :( )

or make a horribly cheesy internet movie with this prop. if you do please send me a link (it would be most amusing)

rate please? plz?

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    12 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe I missed something....U say that the double potentiometer doesn't exist? I have a dozen of them in my boxes of different KOhm Recently I've made an amplifier and a double pot is needed for both channels be adjusted in equal so i used one in 22K. It costs around 0,30 Euro


    11 years ago on Introduction

    rofl where'd you get the vibrator from?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Me, I've always liked soldering. I've even got an adjustable soldering iron that I can set the heat on, so if I don't need it to be blazing hot, I can back it down.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like sam. tell him that i solder. tell him I threw all my tape away.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Sam thanks you for your patronage.

    happy sam.jpg