Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hacking the Toy Gun

Today we started taking apart one of the toy guns that will eventually become the wireless controller for the NES.

Toy gun that will soon become a wireless NES controller

The toy gun is really 4 plastic parts that are held together by many screws.  Two of the parts are actually glued together at the ring of the front of the flashlight, which is located below the barrel of the toy gun.  To disassemble the gun, we unscrewed all of the screws and used a saw to cut off the glued-on ring of the flashlight.

Inside of toy gun after flashlight ring was cut off with saw

Once the ring was removed, we had easy access to all four pieces of the toy gun as well as the underlying circuit that powers the speaker and flashlight.  The gun is actually perfect for this project because it provides an easy-access panel to the battery compartment, which we can gut out and replace with the Firefly node.  This will allow for easy programming of the node while it is embedded in the toy gun.

Using a Dremel to round off the edges where we cut off the flashlight ring

Lastly, in an effort to improve the aesthetics of the gun were we had sawed off the flashlight ring, we used a Dremel to round off the edges.  During the next week, we'll embed the Firefly node in the toy gun and program it to wirelessly transmit accelerometer data to the receiver node connected to the NES.

Hardcore Hackers