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D.I.Y. Switch Adapted Water Blaster

This guide explains how to adapt an X-Blaster water pistol for use with disability standard switches. Ideas for what to do with one? Try these:

Water your plants; Play target practice outdoors or in your bath; Use watered down coloured inks to create splatter art; Cool your dog down on a hot day; Clean a dirty relative; Spray your neighbour then hide; Wash a car (very slowly); Fill the bird bath; Rinse off the dishes; Fill water balloons; Squirt yourself; Fill an animal's water dish; Spray clothes for ironing; Cool off a friend after exercising; Give players a drink at athletic events; Write water messages on the pavement; Shoot at paper targets; Wet down someone's hair when getting a haircut; Have fun!

If you're an absolute beginner, we strongly recommend that you follow "The Basic Soldering Guide" - by Alan Winstanley.

SAFETY: Adapting equipment voids the manufacturer's guarantee, and the attempt may cause irreparable damage. Always use adapted equipment under supervision, and disconnect power when not in use. These adaptations are at your own risk. Good luck!

Most of the components used are commonly available from Electronics stores such as Maplin Electronics. The "X-Blaster" can/could be found in Homebase in the UK and occassionally on auction site eBay internationally.

1. What you will need:

1. What you will need.

  • 1x X-Blaster Water Pistol
  • 1x 3.5mm mono 'headphone' socket
  • Shrink Wrap (optional)
  • Soldering iron (15 to 30 Watt power); thin solder; soldering flux; de soldering braid; thin wire (e.g. 16 strand 0.2mm).
  • Cordless drill with drill bits (1x 1/4" for socket); Knife or wire strippers; small screwdriver set.

2. Remove Casing

2. Remove Casing.

Remove all screws from the gun, then carefully prize both sides apart, being careful not to overstretch any wires.

Lean the controller against something to stop any stretched wires breaking off.

3. Drill Socket Hole

3. Drill Socket Hole.

Make a small pilot hole then drill your 1/4" hole as pictured.

4. Wire up your Switch Socket

4. Wire up your Switch Socket.

Not all sockets are connected alike, so you will need to find which 2 of the 3 contacts you need to solder to.

Attach a test lamp or multi-meter to any 2 contacts. Plug in your switch, then press it. If the lamp comes on when pressed you have the right connections, otherwise try a different combination. There's only 3 possibilities.

Solder two lengths of wire to each socket. Melt shrink wrap around the solder points to help prevent short circuits.

5. Solder to Switch Contacts

5. Solder to Switch Contacts.

Carefully solder both trailing wires from the socket to the two encircled contact points of the trigger switch.

Ensure that the wires will not catch on anything, using cable-tidies if necessary. Grease any points that look as though they may cause friction over time.

If there are any problems, very carefully inspect the quality of your soldering, and look out for short circuits.

6. Fix Socket in Place

6. Fix Socket in Place

After a premliminary test, glue your socket into place then screw it into place tight.

7. Reassemble

7. Reassemble

Carefully reassemble the gun, ensuring that no wires catch between the two sides of the case.

The image left shows where to fit Large screws and Short screws.

8. Test

8. Test Switch Adaptation

Carefully reassemble the gun, ensuring that no wires catch between the two sides of the case. The fun bit (at last): Test the gun with water in.

Any problems, then check over all your wiring for accuracy. Check that you've not snagged and broken any wires. Check that the revolving half-ball is pushed down far enough to clear touching the surrounding case.

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