No, that isn’t Master Chief’s signature ride, that is Maker Nathan Gray’s Halo-inspired paintball buggy — though mounting a paintball gun to a moving vehicle may not be as easy as it seems.
Gray had some simple goals in mind when embarking on this project. the Maker simply wanted an electronically firing, easily accessible, and reliable paintball gun mounted to his buggy.
During the development of his initial prototypes, he discovered that the mounted gun’s vibrations had caused many of the fragile paintballs to break within the device’s hopper (akin to an ammunition clip in a real gun) or the barrel. You can imagine the cleanup that is necessary after a series of paint filled balls burst in a confined space!
Therefore, Gray set out to create a mounted gun that could withstand the vibrations and still be easily accessed and cleaned if need be. To conquer this task, he got his hands on a reliable Tippmann A-5.
He tuned his electronic trigger and an ATtiny85-based PCB to fire once the gun had recocked and reloaded itself. Nathan reveals on his Hackaday post that he “tuned the timing experimentally for the minimum time needed to engage the solenoid.” He further notes it was the minimum time needed for the marker to re-cock after firing.
Gray reveals that with his new reliable system in place, he has never broken a paintball within the unit and he can change out the gun in 30 seconds or less. If you have ever played a game of paintball, you know these are both remarkable feats of engineering!
To read Nathan’s full tutorial and download his schematics, you can head over to his original Hackaday post here.