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Author Topic: Understanding and Modding the Rapidstrike  (Read 124332 times)
Rexar5


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« on: July 17, 2013, 07:50:41 PM »

So the Rapidstrike is starting to roll out and people are starting to mod it.  There is a whole mess of wiring in the blaster and most of it is bullshit.  This thread is designed to be a sort of living guide for modding the RS.  If you have any tips, pointers, or questions, feel free to add them and if they're awesome enough, I'll edit the original post to include them (along with giving you credit for the idea of course!)

So first of all, the RS is a full auto flywheel blaster.  The main components are the flywheel motors (which propel the dart), the pusher motor (which pushes darts into the flywheels and is responsible the full auto) and three switches.  The first switch is called the acceleration switch.  It's hooked up to the acceleration trigger (which you pull to start the flywheels like on any other flywheel blaster).  The second switch is the trigger switch.  This causes the pusher motor to run and is activated when you pull or hold the trigger.  The last switch is the "firing mechanism" switch.  This isn't ever directly activated, but it is extremely important.  It causes the pusher to run (even after you release the trigger) until it returns to its fully retracted position.  This keeps the pusher in the same position after every shot (or burst) and ensures the reliability of the blaster.  


Basic Mods

If your blaster is glued shut, dremel out the spots in this pic



Now that we've gone over the basics of how the blaster works, lets move on to modding.  The first thing you want to do is a battery replacement.  Trustfires kind of fit in the stock battery holder.  But trustfires suck.  They can't deliver current worth shit.  Most of the NIC is all about voltage (more voltage means higher max RPM for your flywheels and pusher).  However current also makes a huge difference.  Current affects the torque of your motors.  Higher torque means that flywheels spin up faster (better reaction time) and recover faster (more consistently long ranges when firing quickly).  Current is especially important for the RapidStrike because it makes a big difference in consistency at full auto.  I suggest getting a LiPo RC battery and hooking it up with a deans connector (which is a high current connector).  Unless you want to do motor swaps, get a 2 cell (2s) battery (presuming you go with lithium).  I know it's only 7.4 volts which is barely more than stock, but the current makes a huge difference.  3S is probably too much for the stock motors.  I have tested a 3S and it introduces all kinds of weird issues and makes me fear for the motors.  All of this is basically what Toruk (among others) has been telling us all forever about flywheel blasters and decent batteries.  But seriously, stop using trustfires.  

Something like this (http://www.hobbypartz.com/32p-20c-2200-2s1p-74.html) is probably ideal.  You get 2 cells and a shitload of capacity.  And it's a really good price... My local hobby store clearly ripped me off haha.  Though I love it there so I forgive them.  

If you do no rewiring with thicker wire (a more advanced mod), just do the following!  De-solder the left end of the yellow wire from where it is and solder it back on top of the red wire that comes in from the positive battery.  This will disable the mechanism that causes the flywheels to be slow at first.  In the pic below, I've circled the end of yellow that you want to de-solder and where you want to put it instead.  

Battery Safety
Note that if you use lithium battery, they can be dangerous.  Don't short them.  When you're doing rewiring, make sure you test with alkalines (standard AAs) and then try it with a LiPo.  I got a AA battery holder from radio shack that I hooked up to a deans connector so that I can test wiring without doing it on the LiPo.  Make sure you use a charger designed for LiPo batteries and set it for the voltage you need.  If you have a 2 cell battery, do not plug it into a 3 cell charger!  Don't leave it charging unattended and be very careful when soldering it up to a connector!  Only solder one lead at a time and then cover it in heat shrink tubing so you don't accidentally short the battery.  One last thing!  Always solder the female deans connector to the battery.  If you solder the male connector, you can short the battery on accident because the prongs are exposed.  

More Advanced Mods

One very helpful mod is to simplify the wiring in your blaster and use thicker wire.  Simplifying the circuit removes unnecessary resistance (in the form of lock switches, resistors,  and other components) and using thicker wire lowers the resistance of the wire.  Why lower resistance?  MORE CURRENT!  And we like current.  I recommend 18 gauge.  16 is better for carrying current, but you will find yourself having a hard time working with it in the rapidstrike.  Even simplified, it is a lot more complicated than previous flywheel blasters and you will find 16 gauge wire hard to fit into the places where it needs to go.  

Diaries of a Nerf Armourer has put together some nice schematics of the RS (http://nerfarmourer.tumblr.com/post/54996810209/rapidstrike-cs-18-circuit-schematics). Check out their top schematic if it helps you visualize what's going on.  Ignore their bottom schematic!  It is wrong in a few key ways and following it will wreck your blaster (though it is totally fixable if you did follow their plan).  Here is a slightly modified version of their schematic that will keep the blaster functioning properly in addition to simplifying your wiring.  In this diagram, all switches are in the position they would be when everything is off.  

EDIT: Fixed Schematic

Some of the key points in this circuit are as follows:
  • Acceleration "loop" is unobstructed except for the switch.  This will give you maximum current to the flywheels which will increase power and recovery rate.
  • The trigger switch and the firing mech switch are not both in series with the pusher motor.  This is vitally important.  Both should be able to cause the pusher to run when pressed regardless of what position the other switch is in.
  • The pusher motor is not dependant on the acceleration trigger.  A mistake in the simplified schematic from Nerf Armourer is that the firing mech switch gets cut off when you release the acceleration trigger.  This will prevent the firing mechanism switch from doing its job and returning the pusher to the retracted position if you release the acceleration trigger before the pusher fully retracts.
  • Notice how there are three wires hooked up to the firing mech switch.  When the motor is running the arrow is in the down position which completes the circuit between the battery and the pusher motor.  This causes the motor to run until the pusher collides with the firing mechanism.  When it does this, that switch is flipped to the up position.  The pusher motor now forms a circuit with itself.  This causes it to act as generator instead of a motor in a phenomenon known as "dynamic braking".  It causes the motor to slow down much more quickly.  If you do not have this wire connected to the top portion of the switch, the pusher motor will wind down slowly and have enough momentum to disengage the firing mechanism.  This will cause the pusher motor to run perpetually even if you don't have the trigger held down.  
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:28:07 PM by Rexar5 » Logged
Herbert West

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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 08:22:13 PM »

Edit: This pertains to an older version of the rewire schematic. This problem has been fixed now.

Quick reply (I have more to say, which I'll say later): When the trigger switch is activated, and the firing mechanism switch is not, the pusher motor is bypassed and the batteries are shorted. This means that your blaster will never shoot; in the worst case, it will rev up fine and then catch fire when the trigger is pulled!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 09:07:46 AM by Herbert West » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 08:25:02 PM »

Quick reply (I have more to say, which I'll say later): When the trigger switch is activated, and the firing mechanism switch is not, the pusher motor is bypassed and the batteries are shorted. This means that your blaster will never shoot; in the worst case, it will rev up fine and then catch fire when the trigger is pulled!
As a zombie, I want to see this!
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Rexar5


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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 08:25:58 PM »

Quick reply (I have more to say, which I'll say later): When the trigger switch is activated, and the firing mechanism switch is not, the pusher motor is bypassed and the batteries are shorted. This means that your blaster will never shoot; in the worst case, it will rev up fine and then catch fire when the trigger is pulled!

Oh, derp.  I need to fix that later
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torukmakto4

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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 08:49:41 PM »

Yeah... watch where those wires are going when working on these! I am definitely going to invest in some quality 16/18AWG, teflon insulated (thinner insulation, smaller, easier to cram in) wire in all the necessary colors to make my harnesses for these intelligible.

How does the trigger switch interact with the pusher cycle control switch in the STOCK harness?

I don't think the trigger should be SPST - it should either be DPST with the other pole used to interrupt the braking circuit when manually powering the pusher up with the trigger... OR... it should be SPDT (as shown, but the top terminal is unconnected) and go in series with the cycle control switch i.e. the cycle control switch is disconnected from the motor in favor of the battery when the trigger is pulled.

I would recommend the latter strategy - this will allow the pusher to be fully cycle-controlled except when the trigger is down; in which case power is constantly applied until the trigger is released, reverting the pusher to cycle control and allowing it to keep running if extended and then brake in the right position. The series approach eliminates any chance of the dual pole switch not operating synchronously with age/wear resulting in a shoot-through when the trigger is pulled.

I will also take a moment to note that LiPo requires due care to use safely. If you are in the market for batts, look at NiCd/NiMH, which are much safer and tougher and will probably live longer in use by the average HvZer, though a comparable pack is heavier.
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 09:09:13 PM »

I think in this thread we should get links to a good Li Po battery or two to use with the Rapidstrike.
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 10:05:04 PM »

I have a question for y'all: in my Stryfe, I installed a toggle switch to take the place of the acceleration trigger in the circuit, as I wanted to leave the motors running during games and save a few precious seconds. I want to do this in a rapid strike as well, but I don't know if it will work with the pusher as I interpret these diagrams. I'm wanting to use the existing switch as a trigger for integrations like a swarmfire, so I can one-hand it while reloading and still be protected.


Tldr: will the rapidstrike still work correctly if I install a toggle switch to keep the motors running?
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torukmakto4

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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 10:15:15 PM »

Flywheels are independent from the pusher. The toggle switch will not affect the pusher, though I would be careful when using continuously running flies not to have a wear or heat problem with the flywheel motors. Really, there are much better solutions to the "precious few seconds" issue than removing the grip switch functionality.
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Herbert West

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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 10:33:22 PM »

As a zombie, I want to see this!

Watching a human's blaster self-immolate when they need it the most could be even more satisfying than watching the trigger happy human run out of ammo. Failure is funny (when it doesn't happen to you).

Now, on to the stuff that I planned to say earlier: I think that it would be a good idea to have a safety writeup somewhere for electrical braking, given the potential for shorts when things go wrong. Given the likely importance of both EB and rewiring for this blaster - which means modders making an EB system - this guide seems as good a place as any to put a well-polished EB safety reference. Otherwise, even just a link to the relevant posts in the "dynamic braking" thread would be beneficial. Imagining a player's blaster catching fire might be fun, but actual battery fires are something that I'm sure we'd all very much like to prevent.

There are a lot of mods that could be developed and put in this post. Figuring out a good basic setup for rewiring the blaster is a good place to start.

Finding combinations of motors that allow the pusher and flywheels to work well on the same voltage would be a good way to proceed. It would be really nice if we could run the RS on motors that work from batteries that are also good for a Swarmfire, allowing us to make Swarmstrikes more easily.

I'd be interested in seeing a mod which enables the blaster to fire (reliably, without jamming) when just the trigger is pulled, making it usable for snap reactions. Good flywheel motors would help with this, but I'm not sure whether they might suffice. Putting resistors (perhaps recycled resistors from the flywheel cage PCB) on the pusher motor which are bypassed when the acceleration trigger is pulled would allow for the slower ROF that might be needed to allow the flywheels to rev up properly before the first dart fires in a snap reaction while still allowing a higher ROF for horde shredding or burst firing.

It would be rather cool to have a RS with a mode selector switch (FA or SA), although the same effect can be achieved with brief trigger pulls, so this would likely be more nifty than useful.
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Rexar5


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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 01:30:01 PM »

Quote
Quick reply (I have more to say, which I'll say later): When the trigger switch is activated, and the firing mechanism switch is not, the pusher motor is bypassed and the batteries are shorted. This means that your blaster will never shoot; in the worst case, it will rev up fine and then catch fire when the trigger is pulled!
And
Quote
Yeah... watch where those wires are going when working on these! I am definitely going to invest in some quality 16/18AWG, teflon insulated (thinner insulation, smaller, easier to cram in) wire in all the necessary colors to make my harnesses for these intelligible.

How does the trigger switch interact with the pusher cycle control switch in the STOCK harness?

I don't think the trigger should be SPST - it should either be DPST with the other pole used to interrupt the braking circuit when manually powering the pusher up with the trigger... OR... it should be SPDT (as shown, but the top terminal is unconnected) and go in series with the cycle control switch i.e. the cycle control switch is disconnected from the motor in favor of the battery when the trigger is pulled.

I would recommend the latter strategy - this will allow the pusher to be fully cycle-controlled except when the trigger is down; in which case power is constantly applied until the trigger is released, reverting the pusher to cycle control and allowing it to keep running if extended and then brake in the right position. The series approach eliminates any chance of the dual pole switch not operating synchronously with age/wear resulting in a shoot-through when the trigger is pulled.

I will also take a moment to note that LiPo requires due care to use safely. If you are in the market for batts, look at NiCd/NiMH, which are much safer and tougher and will probably live longer in use by the average HvZer, though a comparable pack is heavier.

Thanks to Herbert and Toruk for pointing out the errors in my diagram.  I went home and actually diagramed out what was going on in my blaster (My blaster was not doing this, I just got lazy when making the diagram) and updated the diagram to remove the short.  I believe this diagram is consistent with stock wiring (after the lock switches are gone and the flywheel slowing mechanism is bypassed.)


Updating the top post for some info on LiPo Safety as well

Quote
Tldr: will the rapidstrike still work correctly if I install a toggle switch to keep the motors running?

Yeah, that will work, but I don't recommend it.  Add in an extra momentary switch somewhere on the handle.  

Quote
It would be rather cool to have a RS with a mode selector switch (FA or SA), although the same effect can be achieved with brief trigger pulls, so this would likely be more nifty than useful.
Unless you really like holding your trigger down on SA, I don't think this is necessary.  SA is already very natural.  Unless you just have insane voltage, it's really hard to fire more than one dart when you do a quick trigger pull.  I find that SA is about as responsive as the stryfe.  
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:03:33 PM by Rexar5 » Logged
torukmakto4

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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2013, 05:22:35 PM »

I started my build finally.

So here's the right shell of the receiver emptied of guts:


The green lines? Exactly what they look like. Holy shit! The damn thing can be the size of a Stryfe... I may not make this build a chop (I am undecided whether this one will be swarmed or just a regular rifle at the moment, probably a regular rifle so I can make the Rapidswarm my next build) but I will certainly own one in pistol form, just because!

Teardown note 1: The flywheel cage is heavily Stryfe-derived and the RS uses Stryfe flywheels.


Teardown note 2: The telescoping stock is a nice self-contained unit that removes without hassle and locks very solidly into the receiver. Very nice. It could also be modified (with the RS mount and telescoping feature deleted) and fitted to an old stock mount to make a nice N-Strike modular stock - an idea for minimizers to make use of their superfluous RS stocks.


Where my battery will probably go on all RS.


The factory electrical system laid out. It's not as much a nightmare as I thought to deal with. The fire control group lifts out, tool free. The pusher GB is mounted in the receiver with some screws and disassembles with 4 more screws (my unit did not have any CA in this area).

I am going to create a properly labeled diagram of the stock harness with ALL components including motor inductors and PTCs (there are THREE PTCs by the way!) in the interest of making repairs and hacking easier (i.e. removing the voltage dropped flywheel rev with the trigger up and removing the damn PTCs) for those who don't want to rewire.

Teardown note 3: The flywheel voltage nerf is not accomplished via resistors, but rather by what appear to be diodes, which are located on the cycle control switch PCB. More later.

Teardown note 4:

Some have seen these and assumed they were resistors. There are 6 of them in the stock harness - 2 per motor, one on each terminal.


They don't have much resistance.

I am not sure whether these are purpose designed inductors in a resistor-like package, or just low value wirewound resistors that are being USED as inductors - but they are definitely in this circuit for inductance, not resistance. (Edit: To clarify, I chopped one of them up and it is definitely a wire-wound device just like previous flywheel inductors - perhaps Hasbro just elected to use a wirewound resistor instead of a ferrite bead wound with wire and heatshrunk, for convenience/cost.) The PCBs are labeled "L1" etc. where they are placed. Regardless, they need to be diked out because they still have resistance.

Teardown note 5: There was a flaky solder joint on the pusher motor suppression cap PCB. Watch it, Hasbro assembly techs in China.


Pusher motor has a standard shaft length for a 130 size motor. The pusher gearbox is extremely beefy and well designed, including this beast worm gear.


18g Teflon insulated wire for the new harness and a set of 180s.

I will be posting more when I get to the pusher motor tests.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 05:26:33 PM by torukmakto4 » Logged

CT-2406
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2013, 08:55:51 PM »

I took some semi-rough measurements (ruler and eyeballing) of the worm part of the worm gear system. So far

3mm between worm teeth

14.5mm long

8mm diameter

I could be off by a small bit. I would say this is the most vital section of the blaster at the moment since the plastic appears thin and easily destroyed. The worm gear looks like something from the stampede so I'm assuming it's bulky enough to take some nice upgrades.



What is that blue motor package on the left?
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torukmakto4

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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2013, 10:12:34 PM »

...worm part of the worm gear system... the plastic appears thin and easily destroyed. The worm gear looks like something from the stampede...

What is that blue motor package on the left?

Thin and easily destroyed? That worm gear stood out to me as one of the most overkilled badass gears outta this company. It is literally 8 times the size of the worm gear in the Tommy 20 feed system GB (another auto pusher driven by a 130 motor). I would call it practically indestructible by external means with the limited loads of pushing darts and the limited torque of the 130. Did I majorly overlook something with the construction of that gear, i.e. hollow or such nonsense?


Blue motor package on the left is a newer style Blade motor package.
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2013, 10:16:43 PM »

Thin and easily destroyed? That worm gear stood out to me as one of the most overkilled badass gears outta this company.


Blue motor package on the left is a newer style Blade motor package.
The worm just seemed a bit thin to me. I could be insanely wrong. I'm stating my observations as I go. No ones done anything substantial with this yet, so I'm putting what I think out there.

I remember the Tommy 20 system, I shredded it with a 9.6v Tenergy pack haha
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torukmakto4

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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2013, 10:21:57 PM »

The worm just seemed a bit thin to me. I could be insanely wrong. I'm stating my observations as I go. No ones done anything substantial with this yet, so I'm putting what I think out there.

I remember the Tommy 20 system, I shredded it with a 9.6v Tenergy pack haha

Good point, we are still collectively in shakedown period with the very few guns which are going right now, and mine is still in pieces. I guess the raw size of that gear (and all the gearing, which has a very large pitch and big strong teeth compared to a Stampede GB that has to pull a lot more forces) next to the puny little motor just seems like it precludes a problem.

The T20 GB's problem was the bearings on the driven gear of the worm set. They had literally half a mm of play from the factory and this allowed grinding. T20A's are not, so to speak, "lipo ready". I fixed mine with new inserts before it had opportunity to shred, and the GB itself is great, but I scrapped the whole gun because the cylinder rotation was a nightmare of unreliability.
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