My first Nerf Mod

Yesterday, my family and I went to the Repair Cafe. The Repair Cafe had expert volunteers that tried to help you fix your broken electronics. We had a bunch of electronics that didn’t work, but we were not sure that they could be fixed. In the end, we decided it could be a valuable experience.

When we got there, I peeked around the door. The first I saw was an old man. He was medium sized with white hair and black rimmed glasses. I thought, “Does this man really know how to fix things?” I took out my Bose Noise Cancellation headphones. Bob tested the jack with a multimeter.  There was voltage. He put on the headphones, and told us that the sound was only coming out of one ear. He surprised us when he said the jack was dirty, I thought he would need to take the headphones apart! He cleaned it with a burnishing tool. What!? You can fix a headphone set just by burnishing it? It worked!

The next fix was much more difficult. It was the Nerf blaster. I thought, “Well he did fix my headphones, but could he really fix a Nerf blaster? No”. As soon as I got my hands on the Nerf blaster I started unscrewing it. “Slow down, young man”, Bob said. I thought, “Hmph, you don’t know how many times I’ve taken this apart for modification”. But I didn’t tell him because my “modification” broke the blaster. I slowed down and soon I was done unscrewing it. I gently pried the shell apart and all of a sudden, CRACK, the shell split in two! I saw the problem now, the black negative wire was was not on the motor.

We had to re-solder the wire onto the motor. I remembered how “nerfous” I was when I was soldering. I finished soldering. I held my breath as I pressed the trigger, nothing happened. Bob tested the batteries, they were working. Then we realized we needed to trigger the interlocks. An interlock is an electronic lock that needs to be triggered in order for the circuit to run. We tried again, still nothing. Then Bob started testing the circuit. He saw the positive wire from the trigger had current flowing through, but the negative wire displayed zero. Bob explained that the negative wire was connected to the microswitch. I unscrewed the trigger door and looked. Ahh, now I could see that the trigger wasn’t triggering the microswitch! I reorganized the trigger so that it would push the microswitch every time. We quickly screwed back the trigger door and tested. It worked! I was so excited I thought I might explode any minute. Boom! I exploded. No, I’m kidding. Before I screwed the blaster back together I did a quick modification. I twisted out the thermistor so that the full current of the AA batteries were used. I tested.  It still worked! I quickly screwed it back together. Thinking this might be a miracle and end any second, I grabbed my Nerf magazine, dashed into the hallway and tested. I held my breath and closed my eyes. The next thing I heard was my dad shouting at me. I didn’t realize I shot him right in the butt! Oops! I retreated back and stole a Munchkin. Mmm, delicious! I was so excited that my Nerf blaster worked again. And yes Bob knows how to fix things.

MarchingMarshmallow Soldering


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