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Advice needed on a laser activated LED

  1. Dec 3, 2011 #1
    Hello all

    First off, I'm afraid I do not have much in the way of electrical engineering knowledge or experience, hence why I am here. I hope you will be gentle with me :)

    I am trying to determine the process (i.e. components, equipment etc) that I would need to set up an laser activated LED.

    I am an airsofter, and often use bbs that glow in the dark when charged with an LED. The usual set up is to buy these as mock style silencers; when a bb travels down the tube, it hits a laser (I assume breaking a connection), which triggers the LED to flash, which then charges the bb.

    I'm sorry if this is too simple a project for this forum, or if indeed this is totally the wrong place for this, but I would be very grateful for any guidance on this project.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2011 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Welcome to PhysicsForums!

    The thing about a laser is that they're very directional--unlike Star Trek or Star Wars, you don't see the beams unless they hit something that scatters the light. So, conceivably, the laser is on all the time, and you just perceive the flash whenever the BB crosses it.

    If there *does* need to be a triggering mechanism, it's also probably easier to just use the actual trigger of the airsoft (I'm not an airsofter so I have no clue what the electronics are like). As soon as you press the trigger, the light flashes briefly for a few milliseconds (however long it takes for the BB to go down the barrel).

    For an initial project, I'd go with my first idea of wiring up a laser to be on all the time. Regrettably, for projects such as these, anything that you or I can come up with tends to be bulkier, less refined, and usually more expensive than what you can buy (edutainment value aside).
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