Thursday, January 22, 2015

Informed speculation: does the Doominator hold 24 or 32 darts?

This picture of Nerf's new blaster - the Doominator - has been floating around the net for a few days now. Some sites refer to it as an announcement and others as a leak. Given that nerdist.com listed a MRSP, it's probably the former.

According to both nerdist.com and the tactical tag blog, this blaster has a capacity of 24 rounds, which means 6 per each of the 4 cylinders. Redditor lSherlockl pointed out that each turret looks like it holds at least 8 rounds - which, at a glance, it does - for a total of 32.

If the Doominator holds 8 rounds per turret, we should expect the spacing between the upper and lower pairs of darts in the picture to be a little less than sin(45 deg) = 0.707 times the spacing between the middle two darts. (It's a little less because of parallax.) If there are 6 darts in each cylinder we should expect the spacing between the upper and lower pairs of darts to be a little less than sin(30 deg) = 0.5 times the spacing between the middle two darts. 

I've measured the spacing of each set of adjacent darts on the cylinder which is the closest to the camera. Each measurement was taken between the tops of the darts where possible, and otherwise from the bottoms of each dart. All measurements are accurate to +- 1 pixel due to the slight blurring of the edges of the darts.
  • Highest to higher middle: 51 pixels
  • Middle two: 111 pixels
  • Lower middle to lowest: 54 pixels
So, we are either seeing 6-dart cylinders with only a little parallax or 8-dart cylinders with a lot of parallax. Given the amount of parallax visible on the remainder of the blaster, it is difficult to say which is more plausible.

If we assume that the turrets are rotated such that there is a single dart at the top of the cylinder, then, of course, this would mean that each cylinder holds only 6 darts. This is a plausible assumption; zooming in on the visible part of the back of the uppermost plunger tube reveals what appears to be one dart's worth of air holes, not two. 

This image might not be representative of the final design of this blaster. Note the lack of a connection between the upper part of the active cylinder and the body of the blaster where the plunger tube presumably lies. Either the PT leaps forwards during firing or some parts are missing in this picture.

Overall, if I had to call this one, I'd say that each cylinder will hold 6 darts. This is rather disappointing, given that this blaster is a potential (inferior) substitute for the now hard to find Rampage and EAT. The need to switch cylinders every 6 (or 8) shots is enough of an annoyance, not to mention the effective decrease in capacity that results from switching before a cylinder is completely depleted. If this blaster holds 24 rounds, while Rampages come with a 25-round drums, then this fact is just the disappointing icing on the disappointment cake.

Edit: I was unaware of this picture, commented on by Blasterlabs here, which shows the Doominator's top cylinder from an angle which makes the fact that it is hexagonal clear. (Well, this is a little embarrassing.) Credit goes to redditor ironmagnus and the anonymous commenter below for pointing this out to me.

Second edit: Now, it's official. Hasbro has announced that this blaster holds 24 darts. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

TBNC 01-17-15: Bunkers, Tacmod Trouble, Green Koosh, Vulture Trials

Yesterday was the latest event of the newly formed Tampa Bay Nerf Club, the latest iteration of the same group I have been playing stock class with for the last year.

A recent change is that we have added bunkers. The day before yesterday was a "mod party" at dkdavid721's place and in addition to the quick RS fix, UMB coupler, Centurion mag servicing, CleanCut planning, Hammershotting, chrono fun, Triad speed-holing, and lighting crappy kooshes on fire... We made 5 of these super cheap easy obstacles.

video
I thought I got an image of them installed, but I think I deleted it, and I only got this shakey video. This one is sagging because it was hit by a player, but it was the worst of them at the end of the day. They worked great. 1/2" Schedule 40 and 4 mil poly, I would have used 3/4" pipe perhaps, but regardless, these things are DIRT CHEAP and work. They store rolled up and for less than a case of ZS Elite you can have a speedball field where there was just grass.

One game made heavy use of them, it was a lot of fun. I got a good number of kills, but I didn't pack enough ammo and ran out. There will be more games with them which I greatly look forward to playing and posting about.

What I can say is that having cover like this forces players to avoid maximum range standoffs, and since these standoffs are IMO the worst part of the way nerf is usually played, it is a lot more satisfying. With bunkers ~50 feet apart, stock class players can shoot accurately at enemies.

I was also primarying this beast for most of the day. It did well, the velocity and accuracy are slowly coming up as it develops buildup and the motors break in. I can confirm that it handles great and doesn't f*ck my wrist up like a Rayven, so objective accomplished.

I did have a lot of trouble with mag changes, though. I am still not a fan of a bullpup primary in most situations. Training will help, but it is always going to be unfavorable geometry for quickly reloading.

BUT WHY would I primary this thing so much?


Because the Tacmod prototype cratered in the first game!

It was an HvZ/Infection round. I aimed at a zombie and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang, and something white flew from the right side of the weapon, as if it had ejected a shell casing. I thought it was a stray dart hitting. Went to fire again, dead pusher.

Then I notice the pusher endbell cover is missing. That white object was the endbell cover, violently ejected from the receiver. What the hell??

I busted out my tools and checked her out in the field. Found the pusher circuit not getting power. I quickly figure out that the 1N5551 drop diode has gone kablooey.


Thinking that the diode blew because I had a pusher crash and stalled the motor (also kicking the motor back in the mount and busting the cover) I spin over and ohm out the pusher motor to be sure it isn't shorted, slam in another 1N5551, and my pusher now has half its ROF... What the hell??

Check switches, all good. That narrows it down. Motor blown. What the hell?

So I grab the Vulture and play on.

Early today I tear into the problem.


Find a crispy fride FK:

Brush gear barely broken in. Burned winding. The broken end of the winding must have flown around in there and caused it to momentarily lock up hard enough to kick out of the mount and break the cover. Pusher box unharmed and quiet as ever. FCG unharmed. Popped in a new FK and it's ripping again.

Active braking service is hard on motors and when you get into a game with a constant background rate of semi-auto fire going, you can have a heat situation, but why this died now, I have no idea. I suspect this is a factory defect. It does however seriously bother me. This gun did have a high round count but this just shouldn't happen whether this is an engineering deficiency of the '3240 in this particular app, or a quality problem.

For the last month or so I have been wanting to have a second rifle. I have also wanted to try Xtremes for a while. I am going to act on both these thoughts.


As to the forest green BW12 koosh darts, I started the day with about 100 rounds loaded up, all BW12 greens. They surprisingly did fine. A couple tips got loose and increasing numbers of wild shots happened as they wore out (lots of scavving happened and I must have fired 600 rounds at least in this game), but the severe immediate foam problems didn't materialize. The weather was favorable, however. I would never use these for HvZ during the hot season here. They are OK darts to use and lose in stock class, which is what I am using them for. I brought home about 50 of them and they are mostly usable.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 BW12 "black green" Koosh Initial Test and thoughts

Back in December I posted about an update in the eBay seller beautifulwoman2012's listings for "koosh" darts, advertising "improved adhesive". I needed darts, so I put in an order on December 23, 2014 for 200 of these recently added forest green foam (called "black green" in the listing) darts. The shipment arrived today.

As usual, working tracking number, solidly boxed to prevent crushing, and shipping confirmation within a day or so of payment. No problems there.

10-round "clips" as always:


And the darts:


Monday, January 12, 2015

XM198 Vulture Completed

Painted, mounted the cycle control switch, and wired it up.


This switch install uses a custom bent actuator (from a flat lever type) designed to increase the switch duration versus a standard roller lever. The use of the full size micro and custom actuator will likely be added to future conventional RS FCG builds along with the direct micro trigger.

Finished product.

More images.


Something a bit crazy

When planning a build, one of the things that I like to do is to make a tape-and-hotglue mockup of the finished blaster to confirm that it works ergonomically. This is such a mockup.
In case it isn't easy to see in this picture, that's a Demolisher with a cut-down Stryfe on the side; there's one on the other side, too. The pusher mechanisms are to be linked internally such that all three component blasters can fire at once; I also intend to add extra notches to the magazines so that they can sit in the magwells without firing. The stock is going to be replaced with something that can hold two large battery packs - probably either a Nitron stock or something fabricated. My goal is to make something that looks unmodified to people who aren't familiar with Nerf.

This is, perhaps needless to say, unconventional, but there are some good reasons that motivate this build.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Vulture Progress 3

Installed motors


Fabbed endbell covers

Bent up some sheet for the front grip hook

Installed



 

Patched grip hole

Muzzle device for this is a small (fake) suppressor.

Mockup

Magwell front block, screw installed and shaped



Primer has been sprayed and is drying.

To do:
Paint
Mount and time cycle control switch
Wire
Wreck Rayvens!

Shelf Watch 01-10-15 Orlando, Florida SODO Target

Latest wave of Nerf products have dropped.


Mega Bigshock

Mega Cycloneshock

ZombieStrike Flipfury


New, as far as I can tell, are a bunch of Zuru X-Shot products.

Xcess 2-pack

Micro 2-pack with cans

Excel Darts, Zuru's version of this dart

Micro & Vigilante pack

Micro & Scope pack

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bird Is The Word. Vulture Progress 2


Last night I got this trigger group sorted. This is a direct full-size micro, it travels about 1/8", feels like an arcade button, and is by far the best trigger I have ever done. I used the stock Rayven trigger and cut nothing, and the switch body is backed against the inside of the grip. Trigger travel is restrained by a piece of PVC in front, since this was a semi-auto the stock travel was too far forward.


Begin day 2 of the build, January 1, 2015. I picked off most of the plastics fabrication chores. Here's what it looked like before, notice the carry handle went missing.


Cheek rest area had a large hole to patch.




The removed carry handle piece with rail:


And the plan:


This shroud rail is superfluous. Well, I'm not just going to leave the damn thing there.


Perhaps I will leave this hole, though. Barrel shroud ventilation hole under the carry handle?


Base of the new front carry handle standoff:


Blurry image, but that follows the receiver angles


Devcon carry handle to old front standoff, now new rear standoff and rear sight mount:


Mock up new standoff pieces



Finished carry handle/top rail install


Needs some trimming and sanding of those rough standoff pieces




Result


Started dealing with old grip situation


Fabricated stock/buttplate. 2" Schedule 40 pipe into sheet. Thick and solid. Grooves freehand with grinder


Replaced that missing side cover with a PVC one


Side view of all that.


Mocked up battery position. I considered locating the pack above the pusher box as well as under the stock area, but that was all wrong for weight distribution, not to mention tight, and in a way, this is not a "clean" build. It's a quick and dirty secondary rig. It's not a Tacmod and it will never have perfect balance and handling like a Tacmod and I didn't want to build it a custom pack or deal with charge connectors. And I had this 2S 1600mAh pack already, so done.

 

I will be getting nowhere on this for at least a week while I am away from Site B, so here it stands.

To do:
Motor endbell covers
Front grip addition (to hook the support hand like a P90 to avoid getting it in front of the muzzle)
Muzzle device - suppressor?
Mount and time cycle control switch
Install screw and shape front of magwell
Fence magwell
Patch hole in heel of grip
Bondo/Sand/Paint
Install FKs
Wire
Wreck Rayvens!