Project Predator, part one – Overview

So for some reason I have decided it’s time to hack up Nerf guns.  I was inspired to start by this neat little project, which added an ultrasonic rangefinder to a Nerf Recon MKII.  The world is full of simple digital shot counters for Nerf blasters but I liked the retro-futuristic design of the Pimoroni Rainbow Hat and the colored LEDs for ammo.  The original product used a proximity sensor to detect a shot being fired, and a button on the hat to signal a reload or increment ammunition capacity in the magazine, though, and I figured I could find another way.  As awesome as the zip-ties-and-perfboard aesthetic of the original product was – very Metro 2033 – I wanted to enclose the electronics, package the project up, and improve the interface a bit.  I also wanted to use a quicker-firing Nerf model, and settled on the Stryfe as it’s basically everyone’s favorite flywheel gun.

I was a giant Shadowrun fan growing up, and so a big, bulky, smart semi-auto pistol always makes me think of the Ares Predator, so: Project Predator was born.

The goals of this project are:

  • Ultrasonic rangefinder and shots-remaining display, using the rainbow hat and a Raspberry Pi Zero for the brains
  • Automate trigger pull detection and magazine status (mag in, mag removed to reload), and allow for multiple magazine sizes
  • Learn my first lines of Python
  • Design / remix and 3D print various functional and cosmetic pieces
  • Make the finished product look awesome.

Part 2: Electronics and Mechanical

Part 3: Code

Part 4: Cosmetics

Part 5: Finishing and Painting


credit for the image goes to Tom Rooney aka br0uhaha on Deviantart

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