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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
When your done it should look like this when lit.
Step 14: 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
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
Step 17: 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
Cut only until you get to this point then use mid-low RPM on the DREMEL.
Step 19: Cleaning It Up
Finish it off with an X-ACTO Knife sweeping in an upward motion and in one direction.
Step 20: Dart Check
Make sure that the dart still fits snug and dose not slip through the rear.
Step 21: 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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
Use the DREMEL #115 bit or similar to get the surface as flat as possible.
Step 32: 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
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
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
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!!!
Step 36: 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
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
How a switch mounts in.
Step 39: 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
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
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
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!
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......
Step 44: Pics 001
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
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
Step 47: Pics 004
Here's a look at the front sight at night!!!