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Toys Hardware

Modding Laser Tag Gear? 599

digitalsushi writes "With summer here again our thoughts turn to the outdoors, and for two years, my peers and I have tried to find plans online for augmenting our laser tag gear to make it more realistic. We're not engineers, but also figured it can't be that hard to do something with some kind of infrared laser to decrease the beam width. What other sorts of inexpensive things could be added to our gear to make it more interesting? We're using the popular Laser Challenge V2 kits, but any brand at all would be interesting."
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Modding Laser Tag Gear?

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  • Re:How about.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Scottarius ( 248487 ) * on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:37PM (#9678237)
    I second that. Lasers tag will never compare to the thrill of paintball. Everything is much more exciting when it actually hurts to get shot.
  • by numakris ( 684589 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:47PM (#9678401) Homepage
    HAHA Protect the kids. I hate overprotective psycho parents, hey, give them some reality. Guns are a reality, they should respect them and understand how to use one. THat's life.
  • by wwest4 ( 183559 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:48PM (#9678426)
    Why is it only serious if there is pain involved? Why do people constantly need to establish some "hard core" pecking order to everything?

    > There's no real incentive not to get shot, besides the lack of points.

    Maybe there's no incentive to play paintball without someone getting their organs shredded by hot, flesh-piercing projectiles. Roar! Seriously, the "get a life, play paintball" argument is laughable coming from grown men who wear ghilli suits and shoot each other in a make-believe battlefield.

    I love bikes. I especially like riding single track, freeride, and trials. I'd be an idiot if I called road cycling a joke because there is generally less blood involved. Not everyone needs to experience pain to feel alive, just us masochists :)

  • by djktno ( 614737 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:52PM (#9678481)
    Seeing a laser tag story allowed me to reminisce a little. I didn't even remember I had a laser tag system until I read the post. Then I remember why I forgot about it in the first place - paintball.

    What was lacking from the laser tag game was a reason to stay out of the way of the laser. No consequence to standing right out in the open, and as a kid, our games usually turned less fun after someone threw themselves into the line of fire for no reason.

    Enter paintball a few years later. I, for one, am not jumping out in front of a flying paintball. The consequence (and initial sting) keeps the game fun. I don't think I stand alone in this.

    Given the opportunity to play either, 99 times out of 100 I'm going to overlook laser tag without question.

    At one time I thought that the new laser tag things were so cool. Finally an answer to the stick-guns we usually ran around with. When I found out that I could thwart my opponents firing by turning my back, it wasn't quite the answer we were looking for. Turn your back to a paintball, you're just going to sting in a different place.

    I'm always a fan of modding things, but I can't see the point here when perfectly viable alternatives exist.
  • Re:How about.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neil Blender ( 555885 ) <> on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:57PM (#9678566)
    People see me walking out from my apartment and they get afraid.

    In the US, most of the guns have red tips. But you can order the gun from overseas and have the red tip removed once it arrives.

    You walk out of your apartment with your guns visible? Handguns with the red tips removed?

    I'm own 5 handguns and with the exception of shotguns and rifles (which are impossible to take from your home to vehicle without being seen), I don't want anyone to see me with my guns. Aside from the fact that advertising you have handguns is probably a good way to get your house broken into and having them stolen, brandishing a fake weapon can get you arrested or at the very least having a cop detain you at gun point.
  • by p4ul13 ( 560810 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @03:58PM (#9678580) Homepage
    I agree with the gist of what you're saying in that many of the replys to the thread have been along the lines of "play a real game of paintball instead".

    Though the question was 'how can I make laser tag more realistic'. The answer of paintball is almost a legitamate solution, but doesn't answer the actual question posed. On the other hand, there's probably not much that can be done to increase the laser tag realism factor.

    On the other other hand, your post made me want to get my bicycle out of the shed and onto a muddy trail.

  • Re:How about.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Unnngh! ( 731758 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:03PM (#9678665)
    Agreed. I own a handgun as well. I also go paintballing but the marker looks nothing like a gun and I am not afraid it will be confused with one. I've played airsoft once...In the U.S., as I understand it, it's illegal to be in possession of an airsoft gun that does not have a red tip. This is hearsay through secondhand sources though so I don't know if that's really the law.

    At any rate, weilding something that appears to be a gun in public != good idea.

  • by CXI ( 46706 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:09PM (#9678728) Homepage
    Sounds like a good recipe for getting yourself shot by a police officer. Don't laugh, it almost happened to a friend of mine on Halloween when he pulled his laser tag gun, at night, on what he thought was another party-goer.
  • Re:Bouncing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by kpansky ( 577361 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:11PM (#9678757)
    I can see you've never taken basic photonic physics or even and introductory EE course. Lasers are coherent radiation. Without some very inefficient, energy wasting filters, you will not be able to create a coherent laser from a non-coherent source.
  • Re:How about.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <> on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:26PM (#9678984) Homepage

    The basic premise is that the guns are VERY realistic, shoot .25g pellets, and are extremely moddable. I have a Walther p-99, a Colt M-4, and a psg-1. People see me walking out from my apartment and they get afraid.

    Please tell me you're kidding. We live in a country where the police can blow you away for pulling out a wallet [], and you think it's a good idea to tote around replica weapons that are indistinguishable from the real thing? That sounds like a baaaaaad idea to me...

  • What about PHOTON? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brew Bird ( 59050 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:45PM (#9679240)
    Does no one remeber PHOTON? Damn that game was so cool...

  • by still cynical ( 17020 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:56PM (#9679398) Homepage
    Sad to say, but you are raising your children to be victims.
    our children will have to live with not being able to fight back unless absolutely necessary
    My children will learn never to fight back unless "absolutely necessary", but they will be preapared to do so if they have to. Refusing to let your children learn to defend themselves ensures that they will be UNABLE to defend themselves when it IS necessary.

    Violence is to be avoided. My children will be taught to walk away if possible. They will be taught to RUN away if walking away is not possible. And if running away is not possible then I feel sorry for the bully that picks on them. Provided they are well-adjusted members of society, the people best prepared to deal with violent situations are the LEAST likely to find themselves in one.
  • Re:Dear Tron Guy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JAD lifter ( 778578 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @04:59PM (#9679439)

    Tron Guy could easily end up being the new goatsx guy. That jpeg is just disturbing.
  • Re:How about.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by trentblase ( 717954 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @05:07PM (#9679545)
    I've always wondered why criminals don't just paint the tips of their real guns red. Well, of course sometimes the point is intimidation but it would give them a slightly better chance when confronted by law enforcement.
  • by Phanatic1a ( 413374 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @05:47PM (#9680057)
    I call 'bullshit.' How would banging the emitters around result in a dramatic power increase? That's just silly.
  • Re:Bouncing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by L0C0loco ( 320848 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @06:10PM (#9680359) Homepage
    What you are looking to use is something called a "corner cube" or "retro reflector". It has the property of sending the incident light back in exactly the direction it came from. So your attacker would very effectively shoot himself. You might be able to use some of that retro-reflecting tape that some runners/cyclists use to be more easily seen during dawn/dusk. It is not as efficient as a good quality corner cube, but it doesn't cost several hundred dollars either.

    To address the query posed by the lead author, a beam expander will reduce the divergence of the laser beam and "tighten up" the pattern. Again, they are not cheap, you might want to experiment using an old, cheap rifle scope on the end of your weapon as a beam expander.


  • Re:How about.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @06:59PM (#9680890) Homepage Journal
    You walk out of your apartment with your guns visible? Handguns with the red tips removed?

    You are correct, this is a stupid thing to do.

    Once I was at a small LAN party my friend was having and someone came in with a Glock 17 with the big ass 30 round magazine. He walked right up behind my friend and started talking in a threatening manner. I had a 9mm pistol in the small of my back and another of my friends had a .357 magnum revolver at his side. Thinking that something bad was about to happen, I asked my friend (who was being threatened) if everything was OK. He laughed and said that this guy was a friend of his and was just joking. They both started laughing and then he showed me that the Glock was unloaded. I breathed a sigh of relief and told the guy that "Something bad almost happened to you. You DO NOT play around like that." I then showed him my pistol and told him that there was still at least one other one in the room. He looked visably shaken. He didn't think that something as simple as a joke could cost him his life, and it nearly did. Guns (and anything that looks like them) are serious business. Do not play around when it comes to firearms. Period.

    brandishing a fake weapon can get you arrested or at the very least having a cop detain you at gun point.

    I was once stopped outside of an autoparts store, while I was working on my car, my shirt hiked up in the back. I needed to get something from the store, so I drove there and walked in. Bought what I needed and left. On my way out of the store, I realized that my shirt was up and my Makarov was showing. As I got to my car two police cars blazed into the lot and one of the cops opened his door and hid behind it. I knew what was going on so I put my arms out to the sides and opened my hands to show that I didn't have anything in them. The officer instructed me to come over to his car and place my hands on the hood. I did as he asked. I told him "It's in the small of my back". He took my pistol out of the holster and removed the magazine. He asked me if it was loaded, I said "Not anymore". He tried to check the chamber, but the safety was on so the slide wouldn't go back. I told him that he had to take the safety off. He did and then he made sure that the chamber was clear. I said "In my right front pocket is my wallet. In my wallet is my (concealed weapons) permit." He retrieved my walled and I showed him my permit. He in the serial number of my gun to make sure that it wasn't stolen. When everything came back clear he gave me my gun back and then he went into the store to explain to the people working there what had happened and that I wasn't a criminal. I went on my way, but it was about 20 minutes of my life that was wasted because I wasn't careful enough about keeping my gun concealed.

  • Re:How about.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @07:09PM (#9680981)
    A number of states either have or are working on laws to ban the sale/ownership of hyper realistic toy guns. I'm not sure whether air soft guns with the red tip would be differentiated enough under these laws in the first place, but without I'm sure they'd be illegal.

    This sort of thing may sound like the government getting involved where it ought not to be and ruining peoples fun, but as I understand it the chief reason for these laws is that it can be difficult for a police officer to determine whether such a gun is real or fake at a glance. When cops see guns pointed at them, they don't usually take it lightly and people getting killed while wielding toy guns isn't terribly good for anyone.

  • Re:How about.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2004 @07:56PM (#9681343)
    I believe the issue is violent crime. Generally cops don't have to worry about getting shot while arresting an Enron executive or the Speaker of the House.
  • by mr_tap ( 693311 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @09:49PM (#9682164) Homepage

    Always carry chambered! If you're trying to beat the bad guy to the draw, the extra half a second it takes to rack the slide WILL cost you your life.

    Glad I do not live in the USA. Seriously you guys should take a step back and see how things work anyway else in the world (not counting war zones and third world countries)

  • Re:How about.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ampathee ( 682788 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @10:32PM (#9682421)
    Reading this makes me feel extremely glad I live in New Zealand :)
    Not even the cops carry guns (usually)
  • by baker_tony ( 621742 ) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @05:00AM (#9683930) Homepage
    Those of us in the world who have entrusted our governments with the sole power of lethal force are in far more danger than those places where good citizens are trusted to have the ability to defend themselves and their families. History is pretty clear on this

    Don't the people in Iraq run around with guns too, just like America?

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"