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Old 10-12-2007, 01:57 AM #1
Poopshute
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Make your own Eye Covers and "Laser" Eyes (Pics)!!!

Hey Everyone.

To start off... I have an ACE'd 2k LCD. It had the classic JB Weld eyes from Warped Sportz on it. The eyes worked fine but I wanted to get creative and use "laser eyes". I made the eyes myself and decided I wanted to have eyes that weren't quite as permanent. Meaning, I didn't wanted them glued on and instead I wanted them to be removable by removing a screw. I heard the Eclipse eblade covers worked well but they are REALLY hard to find now days. So, I took a trip down to my local hardware store to see what I could find. Here's what I found that seemed like it could work...


Eye Covers
There's a rubber edging that exists for use on doors and whatnot. The edging is made of a thick rubber compound that seemed like it would work great as an eye cover.


The trick with the rubber edging is that it comes in two layers with a slice down the middle. You only need one half so... I cut away.


After that, it's more cutting to get it to a size that will fit on the side of the gun.


There is already a small groove in the rubber that helps keep the eye wires in place.


Next was trying to figure out a way to attach the bottom end. What I did was used some thin wire. I pushed each end into the rubber so that it would connect the two in the middle. I used the length of the eye path on my LCD (milled by WS). This way the eye covers would complement each other and stay put. The thin wire also makes it possible for the eye wires to utilize the space.




The next step is pretty standard. Drilled and tapped a spot on my gun so the top part of the cover could attach securely.

You'll notice in the next few pictures that the eye wires are covered for the most part in a front view and not as much in the back. The siding tapers off and I wanted the thicker part up front where balls may hit. It's obviously not as flush as it could be mainly because of the way my custom eyes are made. I bent the leads on the eyes to have a pretty decent size elbow. With the covers in place, it makes it so the eyes are secured nice and tight.




Front of Gun


Back of Gun


All-in-all, it turned out decent IMHO. It's a fairly easy and cheap alternative to eblade eye covers.

Now for the eyes
I didn't want to spend the $40 for eyes and found that making them from scratch ran me about $3. On top of that, I was able to buy extra eyes.

Ok, so here's all that is included with the eyes:

1.) 1 3mm colored LED (I chose red to get the "laser" effect). You can find these online or at you local hardware store, hobby store, or electric store.
2.) 1 3mm "water-clear" phototransistor (I went with the Everlight EL-PT204-6C. This phototransistor works great and can be bought from mouser.com for $0.16 a piece... WAY cheap!!!).
3.) 24 gauge wires.
4.) Different sizes of heat shrink ranging from the thinnest to a medium size that can fit two 24 gauge wires in it before shrinking.

As mentioned, you'll need 1 colored LED light (you can also do IR if you want to but make sure the phototransistor is in the nanometer range to accept IR light). You'll also need 1 phototransistor.

I only show how to do one set of eyes but it's identical for each side.

1st step is to bend the leads on the LED/phototransistor.


I used a vice to start the bend then continued with a pair of pliers. Here is the result:



You'll notice that one lead is longer than the other. This is so you can determine polarity (longer lead is positive while the shorter is ground/negative).

Next you'll need to trim the leads. I kept the length of the positive/negative leads intact. I cut the lead at an angle so the positive lead would be slightly longer.



The next step is to solder wires to the leads. A trick I learned from R/C cars is to tin the leads and the wires. Tinning makes it easy to touch solder parts so not a lot of heat is needed. To tin you'll need flux, solder, and a soldering iron. Coat the wire and leads with flux, get some solder on the end of the soldering iron. Then touch the iron with the solder to the "fluxed" wires and leads. You'll notice the solder attaches to them VERY quickly and easily. I chose to solder on the bottom of the leads to keep them covered by the leads.



The next step is to get the wires covered in heat shrink to protect them a bit and to help hold the solder joints in place. I used solder around the solder joints of the leads and wires. i also used heat shrink around the two wires so they would be slightly more protected traveling down the eye channels of the gun.



Final Product:



After finishing this step it's a matter of running the wires to your board and attaching them using a plug or a different method. I currently use a stock A4 Fly board with my own eyes. I used pins found in a computer micro plug. With the pins attached to the ends of the wires, I had to individually connect them to the Angel Ribbon Eye slot.



Looking up above at my eye cover mod, you'll understand how I mounted the eyes. Doing a quick eye test on the board and doing some much anticipated visual tests (that red glow is just so cool), I am happy to say that all is functioning great!



There's a slight unforseen added benefit with my eye cover/"laser" eyes. When turned on, you can see the red glow from the outside of the gun. No need to open the breech or removal of hopper to see if the eye is on. It's a complete visual test from the outside of the gun. Pretty cool in my opinion (click on the link since I'm over my pictures per post limit)...
~Eye On Picture~

*NOTE* PLEASE LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING POST FOR INFO ON SUNLIGHT ISSUES
Post #49

NEW 1.8MM TESTING FOR STOCK RIBBON EYE REPLACEMENTS
Ok, well, I finally tracked down a 1.8mm (stock size) phototransistor that would be sensitive to red light. Here is what I found...


From the picture you'll notice a clear LED and a diffused LED. The clear version with the flat top is the phototransistor. It's made by a company called Vishay and the part number is BPW16N (Datasheet). The red led is also made by Vishay however, after doing some testing, it is definitely not bright enough. I had a similar issue to Newball where the distance to get the eye test to pass was about a cm away from each other. I used a 3mm super bright red led and tried the test again. This time the length was definitely far enough away to work as a paintball breakbeam eye. So, here's the issue. I was able to find the PT as seen above. I'm not overly impressed with its senstivity (or lack there of) compared to the 3mm PT mentioned higher up. However, seeing as how the 1.8mm PT's are hard as heck to find, this one just may have to do. I'm currently looking for a super bright 1.8mm red led (another hard thing to find). One thing to keep in mind when searching for a colored LED to use in a "laser" eye mod is to make sure it does NOT have a diffused lens and instead has a "water-clear" lens. The clear lens allows it to radiate a brighter light giving you a farther distance for the PT to still pick up the red light. In any case, it looks like this may be a solution to replacing the stock ribbon eyes. I will keep everyone posted as to what my findings lead to. Please don't hesitate to PM me or post here if you have any questions.

So, this shows it all. How I made eye-covers and eyes themselves.

Please remember there is no such thing as true laser eyes. "Laser" eyes are simply red LED's set up with a phototransistor that is ranged for LED red light (around 700 nanometers).

I hope some will find this useful and interesting. Feel free to ask questions if you have any. I may have skipped some of the nitty gritty.

Lates!
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Last edited by Poopshute : 10-31-2007 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:33 AM #2
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Lol. Creative eye covers there In case you want the real deal, you can contact TAG at www.tagsportz.com and they'll sell you a pair of Eblade covers. Pretty good work though. I'd have soldered and heat shrink'd the leads to the LED first and then bent them flush (or as close as possible) myself, just to keep the wires as close to the body as possible. Anybody that might want to do this with different colored LED's, there's a guide to Nm range that you can use to shop for your receiver here: http://www.zdspb.com/tech/misc/ace.html
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:14 AM #3
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Look good. The only problem I see is how much the eye cover sticks out. With my Ga+ I have had dirt push the ribbon outside of the eye straps. Maybe for the next set you make you could use something that you could heat up to form with the contours. Good job tough.
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:44 AM #4
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I found a way to make the four pins into one plug.

1. Plug the four pins into the board.

2. Mask off around the female plug on the board (with the wires still attached)

3. Put a little hot glue on the four cords/parts of the plugs, right where they plug into the board

4. Pull out the plug and heat shrink around the hot glue.

Now you have one plug that fits right into any stock Angel board.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:50 AM #5
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Wow! This is a useful and informative post!
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:59 AM #6
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Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I definitely will take all the feedback everyone gave and try to improve the current setup.

To Dr.: I hear you about the flush idea. I didn't really have the time or patience to create another set or re-do the set I had created. My biggest concern was getting enough pressure on the eye from the eye cover to make sure the eyes would stay. If I run into problems at the field with too much dirt getting in them, I'll have no choice but to go with your idea. I also like the idea of the heat material... anyone know if that stuff exists and what it's called? A rubber composite that would mold to heat would be great!

Also, here's the spec sheet for the Everlight phototransistor I used. I believe it covers the entire color spectrum which is around 400 (violet) to 700 (red). However, there was a guy that tried blue and I think he had issues. I think his LED wasn't bright enough so it wasn't the fault of the phototransistor. Just make sure you get the "water-clear" lenses. I tried a version with a smoked lens and it didn't work worth squat. Here's that link...

EL-PT204-6C PDF Spec Sheet
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:14 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newball View Post
I found a way to make the four pins into one plug.

1. Plug the four pins into the board.

2. Mask off around the female plug on the board (with the wires still attached)

3. Put a little hot glue on the four cords/parts of the plugs, right where they plug into the board

4. Pull out the plug and heat shrink around the hot glue.

Now you have one plug that fits right into any stock Angel board.

Pictures by any chance? I've toyed with the idea of using an epoxy but It's just such a small area to have it not get completely messy. I've love to see it if you were able to get this to work.
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:20 AM #8
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If you mask it with either tape or plastic you can get as messy as you want. Just take the masking off when you're done. Obviously that would work better with hot glue than epoxy, since you can cut hot glue with an exacto knife after it's dry.

About the flush LED's: I didn't think about your situation with the eye covers. The Eblade covers are a little stiffer, so they hold them in place a bit more firmly. I have to tell you though, the ones you came up with are very innovative. It'd almost be a shame to buy Eblade covers to replace them
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:20 AM #9
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Originally Posted by dr.strangelove View Post
If you mask it with either tape or plastic you can get as messy as you want. Just take the masking off when you're done. Obviously that would work better with hot glue than epoxy, since you can cut hot glue with an exacto knife after it's dry.

About the flush LED's: I didn't think about your situation with the eye covers. The Eblade covers are a little stiffer, so they hold them in place a bit more firmly. I have to tell you though, the ones you came up with are very innovative. It'd almost be a shame to buy Eblade covers to replace them
Ha, thanks... all I could think of while making them was that I'm really no better than the guys that put cardboard on their cars to make them look cooler....

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Old 10-12-2007, 11:36 AM #10
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Very nice dude. I wish I would have known about this back in the day when I would break my eyes about every other weekend.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:04 PM #11
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Originally Posted by Poopshute View Post
Pictures by any chance? I've toyed with the idea of using an epoxy but It's just such a small area to have it not get completely messy. I've love to see it if you were able to get this to work.
It works really well and I will try to get pictures up.

I choose hot glue because you can take it off if you mess it up and it can be cut, or molded with heat later. It also dries really quick without running too much.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:04 PM #12
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wow, great write up, very nice job

could you take a pic of your board and how the wires plug in? i have a gat and am thinking of making my own wire eyes instead of the ribbons
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:15 PM #13
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:32 PM #14
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i thought there were only 3 holes for the gat? i'm talking about the eye ribbon plug
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:39 PM #15
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wow, great write up, very nice job

could you take a pic of your board and how the wires plug in? i have a gat and am thinking of making my own wire eyes instead of the ribbons
This is a picture of how I had it set up with the Warped Eyes. Pretty much the same setup. If you look at the pic up top (3rd from the bottom), those are the pins I'm using. Because they flag out, I alternated them in the eye plug. They stay put just fine and with the grip secure, I've never had a problem with them.



I had to make sure to heat shrink them as close to the ends as I could so they wouldn't touch each other.

Quote:
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thought there were only 3 holes for the gat?
Does the GAT use a stock WDP board? It sounds like it does since you still use the ribbon eyes. Here's a diagram I made that may help people with the eye plug...

. The negative parts can be joined and sent to one terminal. not sure how they would've done that utilizing the ribbon eyes.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:40 PM #16
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ok, thanks so much for the pics and diagram. the gat has a speed board, and should have the exact same eye plug as the a4 fly board
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:43 PM #17
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ok, thanks so much for the pics and diagram. the gat has a speed board, and should have the exact same eye plug as the a4 fly board
Cool. I'm using an A4 Fly Board in my LCD right now so it should work the same. I haven't really thought much of this but it should be possible to completely change out the plug on an Angel board. Have it so it uses a standard connector making it easy for people to use wired eyes. Not really sure how hard that will be but maybe it'll be my next project???
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:45 PM #18
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oh, so your connector is different than the ribbon one from wdp?
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:48 PM #19
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oh, so your connector is different than the ribbon one from wdp?
It's the same. It's the stock WDP connector. It just makes connecting wired eyes a bit tricky, as you can see. I was thinking that there may be a way to replace the stock ribbon connector with a standard Radio Shack plug so it would be easier for people, like me, to connect wired eyes. It would mean I'd have to remove the ribbon connector and solder in a normal connector. I'm just not sure how it would fit and all. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:50 PM #20
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no, no confusion, i'm just excited to make my own wire eyes instead of pay 50+ bucks for ribbon eyes

really appreciate your help. i'm sure i'll have more questions
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:54 PM #21
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no, no confusion, i'm just excited to make my own wire eyes instead of pay 50+ bucks for ribbon eyes

really appreciate your help. i'm sure i'll have more questions
Please do, and good luck. Also make sure to read the comments people left in this thread. There are some good ideas that you may want to try. Also make sure to measure the ribbon eyes. The smallest, readily available LED/Phototransitors I could find are 3mm. So if the hole in your GAT isn't 3mm, the LED/Phototransitor may not fit right. You can measure the hole with a caliper if you have one. If not, places like home depot have them or even better, you can buy a 3mm LED bulb and see if it'll fit. It'll cost you a $1 tops.
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