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...
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.
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
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.