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Old 07-02-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
Helder Crespo
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Default Turbo boosted propmaker stungun

I'm posting a few pics of my recently upgraded 'Propmaker stungun' (the first image is the original unmodified stungun, shown for reference).
These props are absolutely amazing, and whoever is lucky enough to own one of these knows what I'm talking about (hopefully, Roland will be making some more in the near future).
The upgrade basically consisted in replacing the original low-power red laser diode with a more powerful 30 mW green laser. The original button type batteries can't provide enough current for the laser, and were replaced with a CR123A 3 volt long-life lithium battery. The good news is that there's actually more room inside the gun now and the indicator crystals can be translucent without obstructions from the original wiring and battery container (I hope to install some leds and additional circuitry soon).
Apart from the difference in laser power and beam roundness (the original red diode had approximately 2 mW of output power), human eyes are 25 times more sensitive to 532 nanometer green light than the 660 nm red of most laser diodes, and this really shows. The beam is extremely bright, and the spot can be seen for many miles.
It's also intense enough to be seen directy in air (due to scattering in air molecules and dust particles, where green light is again better than red), especially in a dark room or outside at night. It's really fun to point at something and actually see this intense green beam coming out and hit it. A side effect to this are the cool laser-like noises you get without the need of additional electronics (guess how). Care must be taken with people and animals though as 30 mW is more than enough to cause eye damage in a direct hit.

This is the original (image is from another thread in this forum):


And now the upgraded version:






... and a view from the "wrong" side:

Last edited by Helder Crespo; 10-02-2009 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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I can't say I understood even half of the posting as my science knowledge and ability to grasp this stuff is very low. (My teacher gave me a few thick ears because of that!!) However the work you have clearly put into this prop is amazing and from what you say the fact that it now 'does stuff' is incredible. I'd love to see a few shots of it just put together as it would have looked on the show too. It certainly looks authentic to me and with the ability to 'fire' and make sounds is just great. Well done mate. (Nice to see rsafety comments too!)
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Helder, that is amazing!

I am not sure part of the beautiful country Portugal you are in, but in Faro's main shopping area there is an amazing sci-fi shop which I have visited

Well done

- James
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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Thanks for your nice comments. I'll post a few more pictures soon.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:19 PM   #5
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You couldn't own that in AU any more, big crack down on serious lasers. I'll be this looks wonderful though. I really love Promaker's work on these, and now you've made it better
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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You couldn't own that in AU any more, big crack down on serious lasers. I'll be this looks wonderful though. I really love Promaker's work on these, and now you've made it better
Tony, I think they are illegal in the UK too now! Saying that, they are still easily obtainable. Lasers are great but only of used responsibly.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
Helder Crespo
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Yes, Propmaker's work is just amazing, like nothing I've seen before. This is also why it took me a while to finally decide to do the upgrade. After all, there were some risks, and I didn't want to ruin such a beautiful (and rare, I think) piece.

Last edited by Helder Crespo; 07-02-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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The photos don't do justice to the beam, but they give you an idea:




Side by side with the Product Enterprise replica. A major different you can't see in the pictures is weight: the extra stuff inside the gun (together with the original metal parts) gives it a very realistic feel. Seen from the outside, my only contribution was just a laser warning sticker; everything else is propmaker's great work. Sure, the sticker would be a stupid thing to use if this was a real gun (like putting "Warning: may contain bullets" on a .44 Magnum), but hey.


Last edited by Helder Crespo; 10-02-2009 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:09 PM   #9
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That is a spectacular effect there mate! Very cleverly done too. The stun gun itself is a really nice replica as well. I really rate this piece of work. I guess something similar could be done to a STAR TREK phaser?? Anyway top marks on this cracking piece of work.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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I guess something similar could be done to a STAR TREK phaser??
Sure thing Jim. The laser modules we have today are so compact you can stuff a Noisy Cricket with them (or just about any handheld prop you can think of). The same goes for high-power red and blue/violet lasers (these tend to be pricier though) provided you manage to find a place for a small battery and switch too.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:00 PM   #11
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Admirable work! I wonder if the people who designed the original prop could ever have foreseen what can be done with modern electronics and gadgets?
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:49 AM   #12
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Interesting to see how "inaccurate" the PE one is. Propmaker went to a great deal of trouble to get it right and it shows.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:18 AM   #13
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Interesting to see how "inaccurate" the PE one is. Propmaker went to a great deal of trouble to get it right and it shows.
I agree. It's also interesting to compare these two with Reshape's stun gun, since the last is supposed to be a casting from a real studio prop (whether the "Hero" or something else is not quite clear).

Both Sidkit's and CY-Productions' are practically identical to Reshape's resin cast, so I didn't include them here. As for Warp's version, I don't really know it. Finally there is the Wilco (for those of you with guts), which is not even wrong (and I never bothered getting one); apparently it's based on the inaccurate blueprints from Starlog's Alpha Moonbase Technical Manual, but it manages to be even worse. From a design point of view, and for those of you who like guitars, I'd say that Wilco's stun gun is to Reshape's like a Fender Telecaster is to a Stratocaster (the difference if that both guitars are originals by themselves).

From left to right: Reshape, Propmaker, and PE.






Last edited by Helder Crespo; 08-02-2009 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:01 AM   #14
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Propmaker's effort just looks the part it really does. You're fortunate to have one. The Sidkit ones always looked nice to me, but I haven't seen one up close.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:09 AM   #15
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Propmaker's effort just looks the part it really does. You're fortunate to have one. The Sidkit ones always looked nice to me, but I haven't seen one up close.
The Sidkit is nicely made (mine arrived from Italy, so I guess that's where they're based), and has exactly the same proportions as the Reshape, but a higher quality casting practically without any bubbles. Also, they went through the trouble of splitting it in several parts, adding a working button, white metal parts for the barrels and dials, transparent acrylic for the indicator crystals, etc., so you really expect some quality after all this work.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:04 AM   #16
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I would have liked one, but the kit isn't available any longer and with our gun laws here its a bit hit or miss as to whether it gets past customs. I haven't seen any sold here at all and have made do with a very cheap cast which I have added so much to, and taken so much from its impossible to recognise it any more.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:56 AM   #17
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I would have liked one, but the kit isn't available any longer and with our gun laws here its a bit hit or miss as to whether it gets past customs. I haven't seen any sold here at all and have made do with a very cheap cast which I have added so much to, and taken so much from its impossible to recognise it any more.
Ah! So it is you who went through all the work of completely retooling what appeared to be a Wilco stungun. I remember reading over that thread, and thinking about the amount of work involved.
I was pretty lucky with my Sidkit (by the way, does anyone know what happened to them at all? Their website has been down for quite a while now). I think I got one of the last ones, and even though I was in the US at the time and the thing was shipped from Europe in a discrete reused cardboard box (like something your aunt sent you), it wasn't even opened for inspection.
I have a couple of things that might interest you: one is a CY productions gun (first version, with brass stun/kill switch slider) that I've started to sand off in order to give it a smooth finish, but never finished it.
(note that you can still buy this from CY for $75.00, but you'd probably need to strip it entirely in order to solve the "cheap plastic look" and rough casting seams typical of these: http://www.cyproductions.com/stungun.htm). Mine has been taken apart, but everything is there (including the black stickers that make up the lines in the grip and front section). The other stungun is a (probably unique) urethane negative (hollow) cast made a few years back by Greg Stone in the US, that I intended to use as the base for a working stungun. Now that I've upgraded my Propmaker's (where there is enough room for a laser up to 300 mW, in case I'd want to burn things with it), I won't build anything based on the negative cast.
Just let me know if you're interested.

Last edited by Helder Crespo; 08-02-2009 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:52 AM   #18
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That's very nice work.

I have a 100mw green I was going to put into a StarTrek Type 1 phaser, but the 10sec warmup makes that useless for point and shoot.

I have a couple of BluRays (HD actually, but the colour is the same) at about 200mw, and the beam looks great at night but not much chop in daylight, 409nm being way towards the edge of what we can see. Green is definitely the go, although the violet coloured BluRay is a beautiful colour.
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:01 PM   #19
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That's very nice work.

I have a 100mw green I was going to put into a StarTrek Type 1 phaser, but the 10sec warmup makes that useless for point and shoot.

I have a couple of BluRays (HD actually, but the colour is the same) at about 200mw, and the beam looks great at night but not much chop in daylight, 409nm being way towards the edge of what we can see. Green is definitely the go, although the violet coloured BluRay is a beautiful colour.
Depending on the make of your green laser (pointer?), the warmup time you mention may well be just poor assembly of components in the factory. That's why they're so cheap. The laser crystal is usually off center, as well as the collimating lenses that follow it. The thermal lens that arises in the crystal due to the diode pumping (from 500 mW to 1W @ 808 nm for a 100 mW green laser) is what makes the laser cavity stable (they use no curved mirrors whatsoever anymore, so the laser is totally monolithic, i.e., the Nd:YVO4 laser crystal is optically glued to a KTP (for frequency doubling, that is, green), with both ends (laser crystal and KTP) perfectly flat and with a highly reflective coating for 1064 nm (the fundamental radiation inside the laser). The output coupling is simply the second harmonic radiation at 532 nm generated in the KTP, which simply escapes through the front mirror. Again, this would never be a stable laser cavity if it wasn't for the thermal lens due to the pump (and later the intracavity power too). In well-built lasers (or lasers that have been carefully disassembled and centered) the thermal lens is very fast (you don't really notice, as it may take 1/10th of a second or so for the beam to come out), but in poorly made specimens, it might take a while (a few seconds) until maximum power. For example, the 30 mW laser that I used in this project was taken from a laser pointer with a rated power stated like this: "min. 5mW, typ. 15 mW, max. 30 mW". So what they do now is build lasers in a way that if they come out perfectly aligned, you get the 30 mW, and if not, you get 5 mW (worst case). I bought 2 of these, and both the output power and warmup time were very different (before tweaking, that is). In short, your 100 mW laser may well be fixable, unless it's an older (and well built) laser that actually includes a slow-start circuit in order to protect the pump diode.
As for the blu-ray diodes, I've seen one of these recently (in pointer version), and the color is quite cool (literally). But as you said, they're not as impressive (even at high powers) since their wavelength is already at the edge of the visible spectrum (~400 nm). Our eyes also have a hard time bringing deep-blue and violet light to a focus because it gets refracted (bends) much more than, say, yellow, and so ends up focused before the retina, which is why UV lamps and the like always look blurred to us. I don't know if you had the same thing there, but here (for a while), several car makers, notably VW, had all their models coming out with these horrible (but cool looking) blue-led lit dashboard controls. This didn't last long though (maybe a year or so), for the reasons I just mentioned.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:34 AM   #20
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It's definitely a slow-start circuit on my greenie, so not the best for that kind of application. Difficult getting lasers into Australia these days, and local 30mWs are far too expensive, so I'll shelve the project for the time being. Lots of other stuff to work on, anyways
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