NES Zapper Outlet Switch




Introduction: NES Zapper Outlet Switch

About: Hi, my name is Britt Michelsen, I'm a Chemical Engineer especially interested in Computational Fluid Dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work I like to make stuff in my free time.

In this Instructable I am going to show you how to put a remote control that enables radio sockets into a NES Zapper. As well as how to make a duck hunt lamp, to put it to good use.

This is a great way to safe energy, because believe me turning off electronic equipment has never been so much fun (not just for kids). Especially if the socket is normally hard to reach.

Don't worry, if you don't know anything about electronics, as long as you know how to solder you are fine.

Take a look at the video, to see it in "action". As you can see, I've added a small switch at the bottom of the handle, which turns the sockets on and the trigger can be used to turn them off again. It has a range of about 100 ft.

Step 1: Stuff You Need


What you need:
Radio switch + remote control socket (I used this one, but it is only for European sockets. If you are looking for an US version, check out this one. I couldn't find an exact match, but taking a look at it, it might even be better, because you won't have to shorten it)
NES zapper (I found a broken one at a flea market, if you can't find one/ don't want to destroy a working one just use an other type of toy gun)
Litz wire
Sanding paper (high grid I used 1000)
Small push button switch
Flat diamond file
Hot glue gun
Soldering iron
Screw driver


What you need:
Thick frame (I used "RIBBA" from Ikea, depending on what frame you use you might need spacers)
Green, white, black and orange vinyl
LED strips
paque acrylic plate according to your frame size (If you don't want to buy it you can also use vellum behind the original glass)
Hot glue gun
Screw driver
(a cutting plotter is useful, but not necessary)
(depending on your LED strips you might need a soldering iron)
(certainly helpful are: a sticker squeegee and a spray bottle with soapy water)

Step 2: Take Everything Apart

Start by taking the zapper and the remote control apart. Depending on your remote, you might have to shorten the pcb (Make sure not saw off any important parts...).

I decided to fit the remote into the barrel, because fitting it into the handle would have meant to get rid off a screw.

Unsolder the switch, that changes the channels and use the diamond file to make a small hole for it, as shown in the third and fourth picture. Make sure it fits and move on the the next step.

Step 3: Wiring

I used hot glue to secure the new on-switch where the power wire used to be and placed the battery compartment next to it (use the diamond file to make it fit, if it doesn't, but be careful not to damage the gun).

You can see the wiring in the third picture (click on the small "i" to see it in a higher resolution).

Carefully use the sand paper, to get rid of the protection coat on the pcb, where the wires go, but make sure not to damage the copper. Once your are done, test the function and put it back together.

Step 4: Lamp

The best way to scale an 8 or 16 bit image is by using the nearest neighbour algorithm. You can find it in gimp by selecting "None" as Interpolation method under "Image" ->"Scale Image". In Photoshop you can select it under "Resample Image" in the "Image Size" window.

I layered the image, starting with the white vinyl,as shown in the first two pictures. This prevents the light from shining through. Use soapy water, to place the image onto the glass.

I've uploaded my files, in case you would like to use the same image.

Step 5: Attach the LED Strip

I couldn't find a frame, which had the right thickness and size, that's why I used wooden spacers to screw the back panel to. As you can see in the second picture, I forgot about the metal things that hold the frame. So I had to cut a bit of the wood away, it's probably better to place the spacers at the long sides, in order to save you the trouble.

Simply glue the led strips with hot glue to the frame and spacers as shown in the pictures and wire every thing up (If you don't know, how to solder LED strips, check out this awesome instructable).

Congrats! You are done.

Step 6: BONUS: Mario Coin Block Lamp

In this bonus step I am going to show you an easy way, how to make a Mario coin block lamp, that turns on and off with a little tap on the top.

What you need:
Black and orange vinyl
Brown spray paint
Key Shaped LED Nightlight Button Lamp (e.g. here)
3 mm yellow acrylic, 3mm plywood
Laser cutter (or e.g.
A cutting plotter is helpful, but not necessary

Start by carefully taking the key shaped lamp apart. I've uploaded the files, so that you can cut your own block. I used plywood for the bottom and the spacer (to safe money, but you can use acrylic as well). Spray paint the top brown and assemble the box, by carefully glueing the sides together. 

I used a Dremel to grind away the plastic spacers from the bottom of the lamp as shown in the third picture, but a file should work as well. Glue the spacer to the lamp.

Cut the vinyl and stick it to the block. Now glue the lamp to the block and enjoy your new light.

Remote Control Challenge

Finalist in the
Remote Control Challenge



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      Water Contest
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      Tiny Home Contest
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      Game Life Contest

    25 Discussions

    Really awesome. Did you come up with this idea? Nice job might lead me to do something similar with one of my old zappers.

    1 reply

    Thank you, yes I did. I would love to see a picture, should you build something similar.

    I've used instructables for years, but have never joined. Today, after seeing this, I created an account just to tell you how absolutely neat I thought this was. Then I thumbed through all your other stuff and wondered how I'd never seen it before. You are quite brilliant Ms. BritLiv. Great intstructables! I'll be trying this one in the near future.

    very cool, would be better if the trigger turned the device on tho

    Would there be a way to attach a sound chip to make some of the Duck Hunt noises? Not super talented at this, so I'm just brainstorming. :)

    When I watched the video I had the same idea as jdwaynes1980. I was thinking the gun could "shoot out" an IR signal at IR sensors on the fixtures.

    I would love to have this but where you fire at a single light to turn it on, and fire again to turn it off. Such an awesome idea, thank you!

    1 reply

    Wow, this is amazing! Did you make the Mario coin block lamp as well? Any chance you could make an Instructable?

    3 replies

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, I didn't realize that you could turn it on by tapping on it, that makes it even more amazing.

    Thanks, I might. Maybe if I have some time later today (as a bonus step to this Instructable)

    Seriously, seeing people use original controllers and such is starting to piss me off. I honor the Idea; it's quite ingenious, but it's just depressing to see good vintage items be modified beyond repair...

    1 reply

    You need to chill, she wrote, that hers was broken... Though I totally agree with you. I've grown up with my NES and would never let anybody lay a hand on it.

    its perfect!, but you forgot some steps like, how to soldering & led strip.
    this will be my project coming soon.