03.02.2022 And now, here we are, one of the few iconic Scifi weapons from my childhood.
I had the water pistol when I was a kid and years later, I still could not understand why the show did not have a trigger like the toy had. It was only in 2021 that I found out the trigger was at the top. You fire the weapon with your thumb. Just like those Star Trek: THe Next Generation Phasers. To be honest, I was actually too young to appreciate Space:1999. Because all I could remember were the Orange Astronauts dancing on the Moon, the Eagles, the Stun Guns, Maya and a scene where everyone was lazing around in an environment full of globes. Anyway, this is now and I have come to a stage where I want to integrate some electronics to the stun gun. I could not remember watching any episode where the Stun Gun was fired. And surfing though the Internet and YouTube, they seem to emit only two colours; and Blue to Kill Yellow to Stun. Right, that was easy. Or so I thought. Like the oft asked questions why the Eagle Pilots were sitting at various heights in the cockpit, why were there four barrels on the Stun Gun? The article from the Catacombs ( https://catacombs.space1999.net/main/cguide/ucstungun.html) did help but this was more to address the continuity of the show. OK, so it emits blue and yellow beams. And it’s always from the top emitter. Then there is the Technical Manual ( https://catacombs.space1999.net/cybermuseum/MATN/matn2005.html) section gave a more detailed guide on how a Stun Gun Works. So, in conclusion: 1. Unless modified ( All That Glistens, Year 02, Episode 04), the top barrel is used to Stun (Yellow) or Kill (Blue) 2. A page from the Technical Manual, Barrels 1, 2, 3 and 4 can be selected via a knob and will be lit when the Trigger is pressed with the Safety ON. In the end, If I were to follow these observations, then a certain Deluxe Set would be inaccurate. Or am I just over-thinking again? GOING OVER THE PARTS
20.01.2022 One thing nice about ordering from HobbyLink Japan is that their packages are very secure. They will lay the boxes on top of a thick corrugated cardboard and then shrink-wrap it before putting it into the box. I guess their system is all worked out as I am sure, each package has a different sized box.
20.01.2022 If the original proprietor of HobbyHQ was still around (he went missing a few years back and since I am not sure about the story, it is best not to speculate), he would be bringing subjects like these in and they would always disappear very fast.
20.01.2022 Looking at the Commlock, it does remind me of those RFID cards which were the ‘in-thing’ a decade ago and still is. But for the concept to appear in the 70’s, it was very far-ahead.
20.01.2022 The bottom of the box tells you how to detail your model.
20.01.2022 I will be building the Stun Gun as the Second Season version because it looked much cooler.
20.01.2022 These are the parts for the Stun Gun. Even right now, I am still not touching the Commlock.
20.01.2022 During the fry-fitting, I can see that the gun’s grip somehow has a gap. And if you squeeze it, the part would collapse inward and into the model’s hollow area.
20.01.2022 I never thought the stun gun would be so thin. This eliminates my plan to use a 18650 Li-ion battery.
20.01.2022 Chromed parts
20.01.2022 Test-fitting the chromed part to the Stun Gun. By golly it does look nice.
02.02.2022 If you look closely at the Stun Gun, you would realise that the front of the weapon slopes inward a little with the bottom most barrel jutting out.
13.02.2022 About three weeks in with the clamp, the grip part is starting to get smaller. It is not visually noticeable but you can feel it.
13.02.2022 When I was a kid, I remembered my water pistol version was much bulkier. But this is subjective since my hands have grown. I will definitely not putty over this gap since some of the Stun Guns looked as if it has a middle line. Furthermore, it is easier to service the electronics inside.
13.02.2022 For the next three weeks or so, I will use a strong clamp to shape the grip while using the battery as the retaining shape. I have tried hot water but with limited success. But I will definitely not use naked flame or hot air. Using the hair dryer on high setting was already scary enough.
22.01.2022 The next best thing for a Li-ion would either be a 14500 (AA size) or a shaped lithium polymer pack. The reason for the battery to ‘conform’ to the hollow area is so that it can be removed for charging and then put back again, like some power pack.
06.02.2022 I glued some styrene strips to the trigger cap which will act as a stopper to prevent the part from coming off when it is placed on top of a push switch. THE RGB LED
Referring back to the lights emitted by the Stun Gun, I would only need Blue and Green LEDs. However, if I am to assume each of the four buttons (Red, Yellow, Green and Blue) corresponds to the each of the 4 barrels, I would then have to use RGB LEDs instead of those Yellow/Blue LEDs on the market.
03.02.2022 This is a rough draft of the circuit to comply with the coloured LED ruling which I set myself. It it already taking up about 7 ports. But if I were to use those new addressable LEDs, I would save a lot of ports at the sacrifice of putting more R&D time into programming.
03.02.2022 Yep, I definitely need an extra port. This means I would need to look more closely into the PIC programming and learn how to use those addressable LEDs.
13.02.2022 RGB 001 For now, let’s take a look at the RGB LEDs today, continuing on something which I did decades ago but could never find the use for them until now. Basically, these LEDs have three smaller LED components inside them, namely the Red, Green and Blue LED. Hence the name RGB LED. A few years ago, the manufacturers have also included a white LED which gave the name RGBW. These LEDs are crucial for large video displays. The more common RGB (not RGBW) LED package would be in the form of the 5mm LED, either with diffused or clear lens. The ones I am looking for would be the 3mm version but those are difficult to find as you can see from the size of the electrodes, it is not easy to fit into a 3mm package. I have seen some manufacturer overcoming this issue by putting a 3mm lens (can I call it ‘dimple”?) on top of the 5mm electrodes. Another solution would be to use the SMD version of the LED but for the project I am developing on, it would be a challenge to align them accurately to a 3mm hole. However, I can foresee this option being the more viable solution. As there are three LEDs within the resin package, the RGB LEDs would come either in common ANODE or common CATHODE configuration. I am using common anode as it is easier to sink in the current and provide them power from the micro-controller. However you look at it, even if I use the addressable LEDs, they are almost the same as the SMD version, except they have a small microcontroller chip inside.
13.02.2022 RGB 002 This is how the the RGB (left) looked like from the top and through the clear resin lens. Try not to look at it directly when it is on as they quite blinding. Don’t ask me how I know. On the right or middle would be almost the same LED but with a diffused (milky) lens.
13.02.2022 RGB 003 Sorry for the quality of this image as it is very hard to control the lighting with my Huawei (and it is lunchtime now. heh) You can see the difference between a clear lens (left, narrow light dispersion but bright) and a diffused lens (right, wide light dispersion but dim). On a normal LED, the clear lens allow you to use it like a spotlight. It is bright but has a litmited viewing angle, which means, it would blind you if you look at it head on. For the diffused lens, it is not so bright but can be seen from almost all angles.
13.02.2022 RGB 004 Now, here is the problem when these LEDs are used. And hence my reluctance to use them at that time. I have toned down the brightness of my Huawei so that you can understand my point: you can see EACH. LED. Element. Even if each component is controlled (via PWM) to have various voltage and current values, the end result is not ‘mixed’. The diffused lens (right) gives a much better result but it is not bright enough for me. Although the colours is much better mixed, you can still see the separate LED components. Why is this so important?
13.02.2022 RGB 005 If you shine the clear RGB LED onto a surface, it is like looking at a Venn Diagram where the intersected middle area among the three LEDs is the result you want. This is also why early RGB LEDs could not give the actual white colour. And when you move your eyes a little, they can catch a bit of the actual LED element and not the desired colour. I have astigmatism and wearing glasses, I can instantly tell that a Video Wall has RGB LEDs.
13.02.2022 RGB 006 The result is slightly better with using diffused lens. But even from the same distance from the LED to the white background, the light is not that bright. The intersected area is wider but is useless unless you use it as a backlight source.
13.02.2022 RGB 007 Using a makeshift diffusing material, the mix of the clear lens RGB LED is much better. But you would need to place the material some distance away and also, use a circular template to block off the R, G, B, elements. This was around 2cm. The closer it is, the tighter grouping and so, the smaller the aperture. I am guessing this is also very common with the SMD version but since the LED elements are smaller and more compact, this issue might be minimised. Bear in mind that the colours are weird because I am lighting up each of the RGB element directly and is not controlling them via PWM signals.
Maybe it is time for me to get some SMD RGB lens to test their results. THE STUN GUN CONCEPT
03.02.2022 Stun Gun 001 This is the Blueprint sourced from Catacombs ( https://catacombs.space1999.net/main/cguide/ucstungun.html) which I coloured it for reference. I don’t think I have ever seen Barrels 2-4 being fired. This image also shows how the Stun Guns works and supposedly, each barrel emits a different colour despite how it was shown during each Episode.
03.02.2022 Stun Gun 002 Doing a quick search on the Internet for all ‘Official’ Space 1999 merchandise, I have documented all lighted barrels for comparison. It is now very easy to design my own system where I can just light up any barrel I want for the Stun And Kill Modes and be done with it. But nooo….. I wanted to try the third option which combine the TV Series and the information seen from the Space:1999 Catacombs. Now I have to re-think a lot of concepts and planning in my head. This third option literally threw everything out of the window. And I have not even gotten to the sound effects part yet. THE SOUND BOARD
Basically, this is just a cleaned up version of the first draft of the circuit. I would still need to free up at least one port though.
17.02.2022 Stun Gun 003 After referring back to the circuit diagram, I still need to do something to get an additional port, maybe reduce a feature or two. It is no point getting a bigger PIC since the Stun gun us already very thin. This might mean no SAFETY features as it would require two inputs or maybe the four barrel effect as this needs 2 outputs instead of one. The parts are already on their way from across the sea since it is not a good idea to frequent the shops what with the sudden spike in infected cases. The main issue I am posting today is that I have sourced another MP3 player module where it is the thinnest on the market. The circuit board does more or less fit into the model. Of course I can re-design that MP3 player but it would mean obtaining more components, creating new alien codes and even forcing myself to upgrade to reflow soldering, something which I am not financially prepared. While going through its translated Datasheet/manual, I realised that the commands are very similar to the previous MP3 player module which I was working on halfway. So, this is good news as it would shorten my development time. So, in this image, the command [AA 04 00 AE] tells the module to stop playing. Bear in mind that these codes are in Hexadecimal and not Decimal. The breakdown of the commands are: [AA] – Starting Code  – Command Code  – High first 8 bit  – Low second 8 bit [AE] – Checksum During the development of the Proton Pack, transmitting the hex codes via 9600 Serial baud created some problems which eventually led me to upgrading my software. Once, I got the module to play certain files, I would still need to solve the issue of the microcontroller accepting and interpreting the commands send back from the module. This is a challenge for me and also, is the key to tell the microcontroller to either continue looping the sound or replace with another file. But for the Stun gun, it does not need this feature (I hope)
24.04.2022 In the meantime, the MP3 player (small board with the red LED on the right) from China has arrived since March and this is my prototype circuit. Yeah, it is sitting there, waiting for me as my day Job beckons.