Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

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Electronics!

Post by Redshirt on 1st August 2012, 8:50 pm

Here's a look at some of my electrical sub assemblies coming together.
I've had my circuit plan locked down since before the construction
really began, but here the components and the prototype boards come
together. For a review, here is what I plan for my electronics to do
(from my initial post):

Turn on the master circuit, light the side marker LEDs, and raise the
top shroud via a servo when the front handgrip is extended. This should
be interesting as the SPLASER is never shown in the game in its
predeployment configuration. You only see this function for a
millisecond when you pick it up or switch between weapons. I also plan
to embed white LEDs inside the BB hopper and at the gear box feed
nozzles to allow the use of glow in the dark tracer BBs.


Activate the sighting laser, start the low-frequency rumble motor,
start a 4-second timer circuit and a 3-second timer circuit when the
trigger is pressed.




Activate the high-frequency rumble motor at the expiration of the
3-second timer to give the operator a one second heads-up that the
weapon is about to fire.




Activate three relays at the expiration of the 4-second timer to light
the high-intensity red light in the outer barrel that back-lights the
outgoing BBs and, finally, to allow the three 11.1V Li-poly batteries to
start the three airsoft gear boxes to bring the pain!




Finally, my own cheat code: Pulling the trigger very hard will
override the timers and bring an instant rain of BBs onto my opponent.
After all, who really likes waiting 4 seconds for their SPLASER to fire
when someone is shooting at you?




The above-mentioned rumble motors were gutted from a dead XBOX 360
controller and will help give the replica the same feedback you get from
using the Spartan Laser in the game.


In addition to the above, I now plan to use a servo motor to charge the BB feed mechanisms.


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Here are the three mechboxes and their batteries. The master
battery is a 2200 mAH 11.1 Volt LiPoly. The slave systems are powered
by smaller 1800 mAH 11.1 Volt LiPolys controlled by solenoids energized
by the master system. The master system fires after the primary trigger
switch has been held for four seconds or if the trigger is squeezed
hard enough to trip the override trigger.



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Lots of goodies in this shot. Here's the LED tail light and socket
that's tied into the master solenoid. It comes on at 4 seconds to back
light the BBs in red as they fly downrange to create a red beam effect.
The sighting laser is also here. It's by UTG and is easily the
brightest red laser I've seen in the $50 category. It's as bright as
sighting lasers for real firearms costing hundreds more. You can see
the two rumble motors bogarted out of a dead XBOX360 controller. The
low frequency motor comes on as soon as the trigger is pressed. The
high frequency motor comes on after the trigger has been pulled for 3
seconds to let the shooter the weapon is one second from firing.



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Here are the brains of the operation, the project box. In the
finished gun, this will reside just behind the mechboxes. This is my
second go at soldering the prototype board. Electronics experts may
find it difficult to believe that this solder job is a huge improvement
over an earlier job. Inside the box you can see the three relays. The
master relay is to the left. The blue item in the box is the micro
transformer that generates the 5.1 Volt supply to drive the timer and
side marker LEDs. For final assembly, the box will have grommets added
to organize the wiring harnesses. At this stage, the final internal
arrangements are not sorted, so I made the wires for every component
extra long. Once every piece is located permanently, I'll shorten the
wires to keep things tidy.

Hopefully the next update will include a demo of all the components working together.

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Electronics Bench Test

Post by Redshirt on 5th August 2012, 9:52 pm

Live Action Bench Test!

So the last post had this birds nest of wires. Here's all of it sorted out . . . .

It's great to see the three Echo1 gearboxes working together. There is so much going on with the electronics package that I figured the only way to help people get their brains around it was to just film a demo. I've still got a little cleanup to do, and the front shroud and winder circuits to build (small potatoes), but here is everything else all up and running, especially the timer circuits. Anyway, here's the bench test:


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Sorry, Mike Rowe was unavailable to narrate.

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Awesome Halo Weapon

Post by Fett on 13th August 2012, 12:36 pm

Me and my son love Halo and think that is tight!
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Back To Working On The Internals

Post by Redshirt on 14th August 2012, 6:35 pm

Thanks for all the support from everyone that got to see the project this weekend at Wilcox. I appreciate the commentary and support.

Now that the metal frame is together, it's time to get on with the long
job of welding up the internal components. The positioning of the
mechboxes will drive where everything else goes. When I started this, I
was certain that there was no shortage of room for the three mechboxes.
Not true. This is an absolute shoehorn job. I started with a plan
for a squared-off cage for the mechbox, but actually had to tightly
tailor the cage frame around the front of the mechboxes to make it fit
inside the fiberglass upper receiver.


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Here's the configuration I'm trying to lock the three Echo1 version 6
mechboxes into. This gets the three BB barrels close enough to fit
inside the Spartan Laser barrel with the LED tail light between them.
The big issues for the two boxes that are side by side was to make sure
there was enough room for air to feed the cylinders as well as keeping
the motors far enough apart that their overlapping magnetic fields
wouldn't drag down the RPMs and raise the current draw.


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How cool is this? Three mechboxes all locked together. This is the
back end of the cage, designed to be disassembled to remove the
mechboxes for service.



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The front end. Here's how it all locks together. This end is welded
together. You can see how I had to profile the top to fit into the
fiberglass upper receiver. I've kept the trigger mechanisms attached,
but may remove them later as they are cut out of the circuit.



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Side view of everything. This is just cool to see them all work together. they make an awesome sound all together.

Thanks again to Echo1 for supporting this build.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by DarkHawk on 15th August 2012, 9:06 am

It coming right along, should be pretty awesome when you're done with it.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 15th August 2012, 9:26 am

I am so impressed with this; what else can be said?

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Test Fitting

Post by Redshirt on 19th August 2012, 11:53 pm

Here are some update photos of the mechbox (gearbox) cage test fitted to
the lower receiver with the upper receiver in place. Bear in mind that
I don't have any mounting points complete for the upper receiver to the
lower in these pictures, so everything is just in approximate
positions.


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Here is about where the cage will sit in the lower receiver.
Unsurprisingly, it's very top heavy. This location is far enough back
for the hop up units to fit between the front of the cage
and the rear of the front shroud. The down side of this unavoidable
placement is that I'll have to remove the upper receiver to adjust the
hop ups.



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Tight fit, with no room to play at the front. This has to go as far
forward as possible as I still have to make room for the batteries,
electronics, and feed mechanism in the space behind.



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You can kind of see to nozzles through the frame. This setup puts those
nozzles as high as possible to barely line up with the Splaser barrel
location without the tops of the mechboxes sticking out of the top of
the gun.



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It just barely fits under the mid shroud. That's what all the
modifications to the front of the cage were about--getting the profile
low enough for the shroud to fit. I could not make this fit into the
Reach or Halo 4 Splaser designs because they lack the mid shroud.

The mid shroud will be easily removable to allow BB refilling, battery charging/balancing, etc.

Until next time.

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!#$%* Trigger Group

Post by Redshirt on 24th August 2012, 10:18 pm

Grrr. After several abortive attempts, I've finally welded together the
shell of the trigger group. Because of the numerous small parts in
close proximity, parts that had been welded tended to come unwelded when
I worked in adjacent areas. It was very difficult to get everything
into the correct angles, but I have finally got it. There's still a
long way to go and lots of prettying up to be done, but progress
nonetheless. I fear the rest of the project (foregrip, feed mechanism,
front shroud) is going to be made up of small sub-assemblies that take
lots of time to make.



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Finally, the upper and lower portions of the trigger assembly roughed
together. I'll still need to fill in some metal once I join it all so I
can lose the homemade / Frankenweld look.


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Here's a look inside showing the trigger slot. I cut the slot into bar
stock on the router table, an imprecise job to say the least. Next, I
cut the part around the slot to be sure the slot ended up centered. The
welds appear black due to an oxidation process that occurs between the
weld and the heat shield clay I had to cover completed welds with to
keep them from shifting while making adjacent welds.



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Here's the pile of all the failures! Good times.

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Tipping the Scales

Post by Redshirt on 31st August 2012, 12:34 am

OK, I've fielded some interest on the Airsoft Retreat forums where I'm also
running this build. People are asking just how much this beast weighs. So, I
weighed all of the components and came up with (drum roll) . . . .

18.1
pounds with batteries, but without BBs!

I'm certain that figure will
be within a pound of the final weight. Not so bad considering an M249 is
15.3 pounds without batteries or BBs. Here's a breakdown:

Lower Receiver (all metal) 5.894 pounds
Mechboxes & cage 4.980 pounds
Upper Receiver (all the fiberglass) 3.364 pounds
Mags and Feeds .836 pounds
Batteries (3) .980 pounds
Brass Barrels .606 pounds
Electronics (including laser & lights) 1.436 pounds

Interesting
breakdown. The receiver weighs less than I figured, the fiberglass
weighs more, and the mechbox collection is a much more of the total than
I expected.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 1st September 2012, 10:26 pm

Time for another update on the trigger work. Having made to the two
major components of the trigger group, next up was the trigger itself as
well as the guides to make the trigger move smoothly as well as set the
stops for trigger travel

Once again it was time to don all the safety gear and try to work metal on the router table.



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Here's the actual trigger after the first pass through the router.
Because the piece was small and the cuts were deep, it was very
difficult to get smooth even cuts.



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After a couple of passes, I got a smooth enough finish that I could do
the rest of the cleanup with the sander. Now to machine the other side.



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Once it was all welded up, I got the bright idea to fill the gaps and
imperfections with a mix of JB weld and aluminum powder. To keep the
mix from sticking to the receiver instead of the trigger group parts, I
applied this PVA mold release to the receiver. You can see the purple
film on the receiver in the background.



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Here's the welded up trigger group set in place. You can see the
aluminum and JB Weld mix applied. The JB Weld mix is tougher and better
able to handle the coating cure out temperatures the receiver will get
at the end of the project than Bondo. Unfortunately, I discovered I
needed to weld some more, resulting in burned filler. Oh well.



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Here's the trigger group after scorching. Lesson learned, I won't add
any more filler to the receiver until all components are fitted and the
welding is all done. The trigger assembly is all removable for service
and adjustment. You can see two of the retaining screws in the grip.
Every screw in this gun is the same size, thread, and uses the same
allen wrench to remove. I will build in an allen wrench inside the
upper receiver cover for field maintenance.

Next up is to engineer in the springs and switches for the regular trigger and the override trigger.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 2nd September 2012, 8:50 am

Love the safety shoes with the integral heat vents.

cheers

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 5th September 2012, 9:25 pm

Finished up the trigger group (for now). Eventually it will have
components of the front grip attaching to the front of the trigger
group.


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Here's looking at the inside of the grip at the back side of the
trigger. Because I need the trigger to close two switches in order
(trigger and override trigger), I need a good amount of travel for the
trigger bar itself, but there really isn't much room for it to move
before impinging on the grip opening. In the end, total trigger
movement amounts to about half an inch. I used two coil springs to hold
the trigger forward. I would have preferred a flat spring like a
revolver, but I need the space below the trigger for the rumble motors.




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I solved it all by placing the switches above the trigger and welding a
bar across the top of the trigger to actuate the switches as the trigger
slides aft (right in this photo). The ordinary trigger is on the
bottom and uses the 'normally closed' contacts. This switch is held
compressed (open circuit) until the trigger has moved about a quarter of
an inch where the roller on the switch moves down a ramp on the switch
bar, closing the circuit and starting the delay timers, rumble motors,
and sighting laser. The second quarter inch of travel compresses the
top switch which is the override trigger. It uses the 'normally open'
contacts. When it closes, the delay timers are bypassed and the coil of
the master solenoid is energized, firing all of the mechboxes until the
trigger is released.

Could anyone follow that?



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Welding up attachment points for the upper receiver.

Next is the front grip. This unit is never shown closed in the game and
it isn't possible for the grip to rotate at the in-game rendered pivot point to stow in
the obvious fitted position. Should be fun.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by allout on 6th September 2012, 6:04 pm

what kind of rods are you brazing with , and maybe where did you get them , i need to weld/braze some mags up if it will hold under pressure

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 6th September 2012, 7:00 pm

I'm using Alumiweld rods. I started with the kit from Eastwood. I buy my replacement rods at Harbor Freight. The Eastwood starter kit gets you a stainless rod that you need to help get flow and penetration as well as heat shielding putty that works for jigging (since you can't use magnets) as well as keeping earlier welds or sensitive materials from getting hot.

I have doubts about this working on the WE magazines. I tried to weld a broken WE SCAR hinge plate. It swelled and welted before the Alumiweld could stick.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by allout on 6th September 2012, 8:14 pm

i got new pieces for the back plates so i may have to try it , thanks

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 6th September 2012, 8:52 pm

PM me when you are ready. I have a few hard won tips. On further reflection, you might be better off soldering those. Ideally, a radiator shop would probably be best. Hot solder flows into seams and bonds. Alumiweld does not flow easily even things are really hot.

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More Metal!

Post by Redshirt on 13th September 2012, 10:27 pm

Now that the main part of the trigger group has wrapped up, I've turned my attention to the folding fore grip. The construction of this piece is complicated by two things: I need it to operate two switches in succession, and the grip cannot be made to rotate into it's depicted storage position using the pivot point shown in the game render.



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Here's the cut blank laying in it's retracted position. You can see how it squares up against the front of the trigger group.



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Same deal, now right side up. It is supposed to rotate at the center of the notched out well on the left, but if it did that, it could never lie flat against the bottom of the receiver. My solution will be to retain the external look of the original pivot point, but hide the actual axle inside the receiver.



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Bigger view of all the front pieces in position (temporarily).



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Final beauty shot of the trigger group and the retracted fore grip. The next update will show where the actual point of rotation is hidden as well as the installation of the switches.

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Fore Grip Part Deux

Post by Redshirt on 23rd September 2012, 9:49 pm

The fore grip ended up being the first metal piece to get it's outer
details grafted on with JB Weld. This is the pan for all the lower
receiver parts--all the structural joints are welded and the outer
details get bonded with JB Weld. Later, the whole thing will get
blasted and Cera-Koted.



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Here's the grip with the sides bonded on. I need to positively locate
the grip at both ends of it's travel, so I chose to use rare-earth
magnets to allow the grip to click into place at both end of its travel.
I will later add springs to ensure the grip can't float in a neutral
position without snapping closed (weapon safe).



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More of the same. The rounded piece on top to the right will be the actual point of rotation.


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Marking the position of the details about to be cut in. The detail will
cut through the detail piece and into the billet core. That's why I
bonded on the detail pieces early.



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Cutting in the details with a step bit. The great thing about the step
bit is that it chamfers (rounds off) the top of the hole for a clean,
machi8ned look, rather than just a sharp-edged drilled hole.

Next up, building the carrier for the fore grip.

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Articulating the Front Grip

Post by Redshirt on 30th September 2012, 8:06 pm

The progress has slowed somewhat over the last couple of weeks as
competing must-do projects (engine rebuild, building a bar for my
office) are taking my build time. Anyway, some good progress here on
figuring out the pivot mechanism, magnet locations, and framework to
make the front grip removable (and serviceable) as well as getting it as
robust as the rest of the lower receiver assembly.

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So here's the pivot, two of the locating holes and the steel rod for one
magnet to latch the grip in the closed position. I used a steel pin
for the pivot axle. You can see there is plenty of extra space between
the fore grip and the frame cage. Still quite a bit of clean up to do
on this. Later, once the ceramic finish is on, I'll line the contact
surfaces in the cage with fiber gasket material to take up the slack and
keep the parts from rubbing.



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Here's the assembly in the open position. I will weld a crossmember
over this magnet and embed a bolt to engage the grip in the open
position. I will also add some type of over center springing mechanism
to help the grip pop full open or full closed so it can't get stuck in
between. I won't be able to do that until all of the electronic
switches and components are in place and I see what space I have to work
with.



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Here's the whole assembly in the closed position. The marker line
indicates what is exposed in the open position. Everything from the
pivot pin on up secures inside the lower receiver. There is a faint
tracing left of the pin. This area will be exposed outside the
receiver. I will detail it later with a fake pivot point as shown in
the game render.

Next I'll mount it up to the receiver and start working in the switches.

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Get A Grip

Post by Redshirt on 5th October 2012, 7:19 pm

This update doesn't have the switches yet, but I do have everything mechanical mounted up and working.


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Here's the grip setup attached to the lower receiver. I stuck the
mechboxs and frame into there as well to get a feeling for the balance.
Seems a bit top heavy. Who could have guessed?



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Top view of the assembly. Two noteworthy things here: I welded in the
bridge across the top with the steel bolt integrated to latch the grip
magnetically in the open position. The other detail is the unfilled
hole in the top of the trigger group. A section of 'C' channel will
attach there and carry forward. The 'C' channel will also screw to each
side of the receiver as well as ultimately carry the two grip switches.



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Everything buttoned up with the upper receiver set on with the front
shroud in the closed position. This will be the overall look when the
weapon is safed. Opening the grip with activate the master switch as
well as initiate the shroud lifting. Notice the upper receiver lines
are not perfectly parallel with the lower receiver. That, friends, is
big trouble ahead.



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Not much to say here. Seeing it all pieced together is highly
motivational. It really shoulders nice! Looking down the side looks
just like the game.

Till next time.

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Che Chuy on 6th October 2012, 7:31 am

It's too bad it's not 5 barrels Razz

great work!

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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

Post by Redshirt on 6th October 2012, 10:49 am

Che Chuy wrote:It's too bad it's not 5 barrels Razz

great work!

Well I have to leave myself room to grow future outrageous projects. Actually, I'm looking at replicating a 1959 vintage AR-10--beautiful granddaddy of the black rifles.

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Switches

Post by Redshirt on 10th October 2012, 11:58 pm

OK, here are the switches and the latched open bridge installed. Lots
of guestimates into what configuration would work. I finally settled on
a plunger operation for the master switch and a roller operation for
the shroud switch.


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The master switch is the small switch on the right side of the picture
and the larger switch on the right is for the shroud. Switches on the
left are the previously-covered trigger switches. The roller switch for
the shroud operation is a dual-pole,dual-throw (DPDT) configuration.
It's a tricky operation where the current is reversed when the switch is
thrown. I need this function to raise and lower the shroud. When the
fore grip is extended, the master switch is closed and the DPDT tripped
to power the shroud servo to open until the shroud hits a limit switch
(not shown or figured out for that matter), opening the circuit. When
the fore grip starts to close, the DPDT reverses, driving the shroud
closed until the master switch removes power from the shroud circuit,
along with everything else.



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A look along the inside top of the fore grip shows the placement of the
roller. The master switch's actuating rod is on the right and hard to
see.
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Here's the underside of the fore grip. The plunger for the master
switch is barely visible. It is wired normally closed. Only when the
fore grip is fully stowed is the system de-powered (open circuit).



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A profile view showing how far everything sticks up. Remember, this has
to sit low because the outer barrel sits directly on top of this.
Sharpie line indicates material to still be ground away to save space
and make things tidy.

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Inside Grip

Post by Redshirt on 16th October 2012, 9:41 pm

Here's a part I've pondered over for some time. Removable or not?
Welded or bonded? Stacked plates or bent bar stock? In the end I
decided to cut square channel in half and score this channel with my
band saw to bend it into shape. I then went back to fill the voids with
welds to strengthen it. Finally, under the belief that any crappy weld
can be made beautiful with a sufficient amount of grinding, I attacked
it with the tabletop belt sander.



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With the Alumiweld system, the rod melts at a much lower temperature
than the aluminum. The problem then is that the previous welds can
remelt while you are heating up the part for subsequent welds, often
destroying the weld and causing the alumiweld to run and pool. Here it
is early in the build, just trying to get it to stay together. Later,
the section Where the metal is pooled just melted and fell away while I
was trying to clean it up. I had to recut and redo that whole section.



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I added two small loops to the underside to support wire ties. The wire
ties will organize the harness running inside the handle and keep the
wire from fouling the rumble motors that will be mounted in the handle.



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Shaping the inside with the belt sander. The second problem with
Alumiweld is that it is actually harder than some grades of steel,
making it very hard to shape, especially given how soft the aluminum is.



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Ready for final clean up. I used the belt sander to smooth this surface
to maximize the room inside the handle for wires and electronics. The
open notch at the back will actually be filled by the mech box cage when
it is bolted into position--that's how tight my tolerances are inside
this thing. There is no spare space.



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Here it is, temporarily in position. During final assembly, this will
be bonded using JB Weld. As there is still welding to be done, I can't
bond it just yet since the adhesive can't take the extreme temperatures.

My next project is the lift for the front shroud.

Redshirt
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Redshirt
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Scissor Lift

Post by Redshirt on 22nd October 2012, 9:00 pm

Let me start this out by thanking Zarnel over on the 405th.com forum for sharing his design for the
front shroud lifting mechanism from his own Splaser. It's the nicest
complete pep-based Spartan Laser. I took Zarnel's design and branched
out from there to meet the needs of my application.

Zarnel's scissor worked by pulling on the metal loop that projects from
the front and used an axle that cut through the mid section. I couldn't
have an axle as it would interfere with the barrels and other
mechanisms. Likewise, I needed mine to operate electrically, indirectly
actuated by the movement of the front grip. I stood on the shoulders
of giants and this is what I came up with . . . .

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Once again, I bonded two sheets of aluminum together and cut the two
halves together to ensure symmetry. The job of cutting the slots was
too small to to through the trouble of setting up the router, so I
drilled a hole at each end, cut the basic slots with the air saw, then
tidied them up with the air file.


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Slots complete, This was as good as things ever looked.



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It quickly became clear that this was going to be a proof of concept and
not the final pieces used in actual construction. Once I put
everything together, I found that I'd need to move the cosmetic slots
slightly, stack the scissor arms in a different order, build the arms
with a slight crank to them, and move the entire scissor system forward
to clear the BB nozzles and feeds. Other than that, it worked
perfectly. It slid easily without wobble and kept the upper frame
parallel with the lower frame throughout the lift process.




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Along with the scissors, I realized that some portions of the shroud and
the upper receiver needed to be reprofiled in order to fit better and
clear the scissor lift.



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The cut lines on the upper receiver. I still have to figure out how to
mount the scissor mechanism to the lower receiver along with the side
stabilizers (the black metal sliders that run on the outside between the
shroud and receiver).

Redshirt
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Re: Halo Spartan Laser Metal & Fiberglass Airsoft Beast

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