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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gearing Up!: Burst-fire Cheap and Easy

Every once in a while.... Okay, quite often, I have been known to have some wacky ideas.  Ideas like "How much trouble can I get into using only a box of corndogs and a pack of rubber-bands?"  or "Can I shove this thing into that other thing?"  This latest bit of wackiness falls in the latter category.

I was sitting at work, minding my own business, trying to do some actual work for once.  And along comes my brain, "Hey.  Hey! Hey, Listen!!  Hey, Animal!!..... Burst fire!".  That last bit actually got my attention, because I loves me some nerf modification with a dash of mad science.  Nothing makes me giggle quite so madly as when one of my abominations works and I get to reenact the "IT'S ALIVE!" scene from Frankenstein.  Anyway thus begins the story of why I have accomplished NOTHING productive this last week.

My first thought was toward the Rapidstrike, and all the things people are developing for it.  Then I thought how expensive or in development those things are.  That made those things not worth considering.  I wanted it NOW-ish, not in several months-ish.  I also got to thinking about how those airsoft guys are so spoiled, with their plug and play, and standar-- wait a minute.  A Stampede, with wiring simplified to the greatest extent is wired IDENTICAL to a stock airsoft AEG.  So off to Airsoft GI I went, at the speed of teh interwebs.

It turned out, after a short search that ASGI (Is it wrong to have a man-crush on a store?) does in fact sell an airsoft burst controller.  Said controller is the Burst Wizard King Kong Super 2, and also a mouthful to say.  The BWKKS2 plugs into an Airsoft AEG between the battery and the gun, and fiddles with the power available at any moment.  By doing things like turning on the power for a limited interval of time, or modulating the power, it can change burst count and rate of fire.  And most interestingly, it can be manually programmed if none of the built-in burst settings work for you.  This being the case I slapped down my 40 bucks, plus 3 day shipping, without hesitation.

Three business days later, I had a surprisingly large box containing a very very small Burst Wizard, with instruction manual.  Like an idiot I ignored the manual and plugged it in between my batteries and blaster, and went off to the races, so to speak.  As advertised the device worked out of the box, but the built in burst settings did not work well with the Stampede.  Things were complicated a little by the fact that my battery connector was simply soldered into the battery tray, making it quite difficult to access the blaster's trigger to reprogram the device.  I resolved to rectify this over the next couple days, by hard wiring the device in (according to the instructions in the manual, of course).

Once wired in the controller was far easier to program, the only stumbling block being my unfamiliarity with the interface, which quickly faded.  After much experimentation, some hot glue to hold the new wiring in place, more experimentation, replacing my bolt return spring with something far beefier, manual reading, and interface learning I was able to use the custom burst setting to tune my blaster to just the burst length I desired.  And now it works, flawlessly.  I tap the trigger and it blasts off three darts before the intended target has time to react.  It's the talk of my local modders, all of whom can't wait to get thier hands on it.

Over the next couple weeks I'll be doing some more in depth articles about the device.  Features, installations, alternative applications.  Sure and Arduino is cheaper, but this sure is easy.

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