Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Hacking Laser Tag

laser tag hacking

Mike Yates plays lasertag. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of game that you might get in on down at the Family Fun Center, amusement park, or around your neighborhood using some toy.

Serious Lasertag

Mike is at the center of a group of hardcore lasertag players who prefer to play their games in the warrens of bunkers below abandoned military bases, using highly modified custom equipment.

Mike has been hacking lasertag gear for a decade or so, and I recently got to take a peek at his latest project, which he calls the Scorpion. The Scorpion is based on Hasbro’s newest Lazer Tag Team Ops platform.

Since Mike moves in this shadowy world of underground tagger developers, he was able to obtain a pre-release prototype circuit board for an upcoming LTTO tagger, called the TMB from it’s developers, Shoot the Moon Productions.

laser tag hacking

The TMB would be a tagger that fired a foam-tipped IR-emitting “RPG” round. In order to fire the rocket, the player has to hand pump the gun to pressurize a plastic pneumatic tank, which propells the rocket 20-40 feet. Very cool, but not very Yates. Mike had ideas for improvement.

laser tag hacking

3000 psi multi-rocket delivery

Over the next 10 months, Mike and his pal/fellow laser hacker Duncan, designed and built the ultimate LTTO compatible IR weapons system. The Scorpion is Mil-spec from top to bottom. The most obvious feature is the 4 rocket magazine which attaches to the top of the weapon. 4 Mac pneumatic relay/solonoids control the airflow from the 3000psi air tank to the various rockets through stainless steel plumbing.

laser tag hacking

The trigger/grip for firing the rockets is from an actual tank and was found on ebay.

laser tag hacking

In addition to being a rocket launcher, the weapon functions as a high powered LTTO sniper rifle with a 1500 ft range thanks to the big 4″ adjustable focal length lens.

laser tag hacking

There’s deffinately a big element of one-upsmanship motivating the development of these guns. Everybody knows that when they show up at the annual Tagfest NW meetup, there will be some new show-stopper there. More often than not, Mike is behind it.

You can check out more of Mike and Duncan’s work on their CTDYNE web site.

23 Responses to “Hacking Laser Tag”

  1. Will Merydith Says:

    I’ve seen similar DIY guns for paint ball, but never anything this cool. I’d love to see it in action.

  2. Gordo Says:

    I’m agog. Wow.

  3. Matthias Says:

    Dude, this one’s awesome. Great work!

  4. Otaku Says:

    Daaaaaaamn! Looks like something out of Rachet & Clank.

  5. Echo_Hotel Says:

    Part Number on those relay/solenoid units.
    With a cherry on top!?!?

  6. Sean O'Hara Says:

    Oh man, 300psi; the rockets must come outta there like they were fired from a gun…. oh wait.

    Joking aside, gratz Mike!

  7. TagFerret Says:

    Here is a video of SCORPION in action, taken at last July’s Tag Fest North West 2006 event:


  8. Vince Says:

    Nice work , hey mike i need to ask you a question on a certain gun i would appreacite a reply

  9. Mike Yates Says:

    The valves are manufactured by MAC. The part number is 35A-AAA-DDAJ-1KB. The four valves in the magazine on the Scorpion have been modified for this application.

  10. Mike Yates Says:

    Sean O’Hara has mistakenly read the pneumatic system pressure as 300 psi instead of 3000 psi.
    Understandable since he doesn’t know that there are primary and secondary regulators on the Scorpion. The first stage regulates the aluminum storage bottle pressure from 3000 psi to 800 psi and is fixed. The second stage regulator is adjustable and is set to approximately 120 psi. As the solenoid valve opens for each launch tube the pressure initially spikes at something less than 120 psi and starts to drop below 40 psi as soon as the missile starts to move down the launch tube.

  11. Brion Says:

    When I was in the National Guard, we went to Ft. Hunter-Ligget with our M60A3 tanks and I “accidently” set up the MILES system on my track so we didn’t have to set off the main gun blanks to fire it. So, in the middle of the night we were using the IR scope to pick off the Op-For Infantry at around 1000 yds. This is even cooler than that. :)

  12. kor Says:

    i’m lookin gto start a lazer tag facility. Do you know a supplier that has the best prices. Thanks

  13. BobZilla Says:

    kor had the same ?as iI do. I’ve got a grate location
    but no supplier, think you can help?

  14. Mike Yates Says:

    The only commercial tag gear I ever personally used is from Steradian Technologies. Steradian gear is designed to be used outdooors. I have been lucky enough to use this high quality gear on two different occasions. Each time I was extremely impressed with the fit, form and function of their gear. Probably not the cheapest commercial gear, but definately some of the best in my opinion. See it on the web at:


    Mike Yates

  15. air Says:

    HiMike Yates !!!!Say please where it is possible to take the base information. It is very necessary!

  16. Kevin Nardelle Says:

    That would go really nice with the tank I built, very well done! I am really impressed with the level of detail and level of quality you put into this design, very impressive to say the least!

  17. Megaboss Says:

    Looks GREAT! Very impressive…
    BTW, what is the weight of this gun? Is it very heavy?

    P.S. Couldn’t help publishing a brief information about this at TRUTNEE http://www.trutnee.com/index.php?page=122 ; hope nobody’s against (the appropriate back links are provided)…

  18. mister coe Says:

    Hello Mr. Yates,
    I was wondering what you used for the main housing of the gun (the beige parts) and where you got them? I am working on a gun-based project and this looks exactly like what I’ve been looking for. Any info on parts would be amazing. Thanks!

  19. bwm Says:


  20. gravemind Says:

    I wished i could buy this gun it looks so cool

  21. cameron Says:

    i want a lazer tage gun

  22. Mike Yates Says:

    Mister Coe,

    The lower half of the main body was fabricated from four inch aluminum pipe. The wall thickness is about .195. This material required a considerable amount of machining to meet the design requirements of the Scorpion. The upper half of the main body is a modified air tight welding rod container that was used to keep the rods free from moisture in the field. It has been extensively modified for use on the Scorpion. It took many hours of close tolerance work to fabricate all the necessary details to compete both assemblies.


  23. Fresh to Death Says:

    So im making an airsof bazooka based on the team ops rocket launcher and i need a firing mechanism. i was tinking of remoting a paintball tank to a regulator, second regulator then to an electric sprinkler valve. What did you use?