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Author Topic: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...  (Read 495 times)

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Zebra

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Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« on: November 06, 2018, 05:38:05 pm »
Against all odds, my idea for a simple full auto recoil solenoid circuit actually works...

My aim was to achieve full auto light gun recoil from a cheap solenoid using only a micro-switch (trigger) and a power supply. No 555 timers or other parts I don't understand how to use. No programing a Raspberry PI etc and no mame or Windows software issues to deal with.

Check out my proof of concept video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=NNToH3yW60Y

Obviously, it's very crude at this stage (as I didn't really expect it to work). I have to refine the design to ensure the electrical contacts connect consistently and maybe make it safer (those sparks can't be good...).

The basic idea is that the micro-switch connects the solenoid to the power supply which makes the solenoid engage (shoot forward) but, when the solenoid cylinder moves forward, it breaks the circuit. There are copper contacts on the end of the solenoid cylinder. When the spring returns the solenoid back to it's resting position, the copper contacts connect to the power supply again and then the cycle repeats until you take your finger off the trigger.

If you just press the trigger once and release, the solenoid only engages once so there is no need for a seperate circuit or a switch to go from semi to full auto which further adds to the simplicity of the design. I like simplicity as this is not my area of expertise.

The solenoid in the video is a 12v long throw one bought off eBay for around $10. While I bought it for a different project, it actually has two properties that make it great for a light gun. First, it's designed to run on 12v instead of 24v or 36v. This means you get more force with a smaller PSU. The power in the video comes from a small 12v battery (from my hand drill) and it already puts out more force than I need. With a proper wired 12v PSU, it will kick ass. Conversely, the Aimtrak recoil solenoid at 24v is more of a wet fart than a full auto thump.

This solenoid has a 35mm throw - far longer than any other I have seen. That's about how much travel you would expect from the bolt on a real gun (I bought it to cock my PCP air rifle). So, it will look awesome if I connect it to a charging handle to create some visible motion while in use (like the Namco arcade guns).


Obviously, this will be of no interest to some of the very talented people here with tons of electrical knowledge but I thought it worth sharing for others like me who belong on the electronics special bus. But, if any of those talented electricians here have any ideas on how I can make this design safer with less sparks, I would be very greatful. I don't like visible sparks, burning smells or electric shocks if any kind!


Titchgamer

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 07:14:36 pm »
The sparks are caused by the circuit constantly being made and broken under load, The problem you will have with that is its going to build up heat and either burn or melt your contacts over time.
That will then increase resistance in the circuit which will pull more current and potentially cause your wiring to melt as well.

To do what you propose it would have to make and break the circuit very very fast so as not to draw a arc.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 09:00:33 pm »
How is it different to any other full auto solenoid set-up in that respect? They are all rapidly turning power to the solenoid on and off so any challenges about managing heat build up would be the same.

The beauty of this design is that there is power going to the solenoid for only a fraction of a second. There is no power in the circuit for 95%+ of the cycle as power is cut as soon as the cylinder moves.

This is better than semi auto only designs like the Aimtrak where the solenoid stays engaged (with full power) until you take your finger off the trigger (which would create a potential problem for full auto games like Operation Wolf so recoil has to be turned off).

I specifically designed it to immediately break the circuit because I was worried about heat build up. The other option I considered (and discarded) was to have the solenoid press a normally open switch when engaged but that would have meant leaving it powered for 90%+ of the cycle and there was no guarantee it would be without power long enough to travel back to it's starting position before re-engaging. With the design I used, it goes all the way back every time (which shows there is a decent break before adding power to the circuit again).

From my experimenting, it makes a spark when powered even when you do one shot at a time. I guess it just looks more alarming when it's doing it 15-20 times a second. Maybe they all do that.

It's not the end of the world if I have to periodically replace a burnt out solenoid as they are so cheap but I guess it depends on how often "periodically" is. If it gets annoying, I'll try one of the (I assume) higher quality arcade gun solenoids. Maybe that's why they cost $200 instead of $10.

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 01:11:10 am »
Solenoids are typically controlled via a relay and a low power signal line.  Typically something that flickers on and off that quickly uses an optical relay, thus no physical connection and thus, no spark.  Even when using a mechanical relay, the switches are enclosed and insulated within the relay. 

Long story short, that is a fire hazard and a half man. 


A good quality optical relay will put you back a whole 10 bucks.  Depending upon the voltage used you also have the option of using a transistor, which have a much longer life span.

Titchgamer

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 03:59:11 am »
Solenoids are typically controlled via a relay and a low power signal line.  Typically something that flickers on and off that quickly uses an optical relay, thus no physical connection and thus, no spark.  Even when using a mechanical relay, the switches are enclosed and insulated within the relay. 

Long story short, that is a fire hazard and a half man. 


A good quality optical relay will put you back a whole 10 bucks.  Depending upon the voltage used you also have the option of using a transistor, which have a much longer life span.

Yeah what Howard said.

All electrical contacts will draw a arc when opened or closed.

But the damage is mitigated in one or more of several ways. That could be special contacts to avoid burning/pitting/corrosion, Enclosed in a gas to extinguish the arc, spring loaded contacts (such as a relay) to open the contacts faster etc etc.

And also yeah it should be enclosed so it can not spread out.

The concept of your idea is good and simple. A similar system is used to control motors where the power is applied via “brushes” which may be a option you could look into for this.

But at the moment I would consider that dangerous and a fire hazzard.

Also the AT solenoids wont stay energised if you hold the trigger.
At least mine dont, They activate once and thats it until you release the trigger.

I know there is a piece of software that exists that can make them go full auto but I have never tried it.

Mike A

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 08:36:04 am »
Sweet. You made a full auto fire starter. That thing is really sparky.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 09:40:38 am »
Solenoids are typically controlled via a relay and a low power signal line.  Typically something that flickers on and off that quickly uses an optical relay, thus no physical connection and thus, no spark.  Even when using a mechanical relay, the switches are enclosed and insulated within the relay. 

Long story short, that is a fire hazard and a half man. 


A good quality optical relay will put you back a whole 10 bucks.  Depending upon the voltage used you also have the option of using a transistor, which have a much longer life span.

I agree. As I said, it's crude at this stage and has some work to do on safety. I wouldn't be able to use it in it's current form.

 I bought a couple of relays for this purpose a few weeks ago. Now that I can see how it can work mechanically, it won't be too hard to to have the solenoid break the 5v relay power circuit instead of the full 12v solenoid power.

I am not 100% convinced that alone will solve the problem but it would make the sparks smaller. If I was able to use a slightly stronger spring return, I could probably replace the large copper contacts with a second normally closed micro-switch. That would eliminate all exposed contacts and all visible sparks.

In any scenario, the mechanism would be enclosed in a shielded (and flame retardant) enclosure. My understanding is that shielding is necessary to stop the electro magnet from interfering with the light gun sensor.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2018, 09:44:43 am »
Solenoids are typically controlled via a relay and a low power signal line.  Typically something that flickers on and off that quickly uses an optical relay, thus no physical connection and thus, no spark.  Even when using a mechanical relay, the switches are enclosed and insulated within the relay. 

Long story short, that is a fire hazard and a half man. 


A good quality optical relay will put you back a whole 10 bucks.  Depending upon the voltage used you also have the option of using a transistor, which have a much longer life span.

Yeah what Howard said.

All electrical contacts will draw a arc when opened or closed.

But the damage is mitigated in one or more of several ways. That could be special contacts to avoid burning/pitting/corrosion, Enclosed in a gas to extinguish the arc, spring loaded contacts (such as a relay) to open the contacts faster etc etc.

And also yeah it should be enclosed so it can not spread out.

The concept of your idea is good and simple. A similar system is used to control motors where the power is applied via “brushes” which may be a option you could look into for this.

But at the moment I would consider that dangerous and a fire hazzard.

Also the AT solenoids wont stay energised if you hold the trigger.
At least mine dont, They activate once and thats it until you release the trigger.

I know there is a piece of software that exists that can make them go full auto but I have never tried it.

Are you saying that the Aimtrak solenoids retract back to their original position even if you keep your finger on the trigger? The one I tried and the ones they show on their YouTube videos stay engaged (and therefore energized) if you keep your finger on the trigger.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2018, 09:52:22 am »
Sweet. You made a full auto fire starter. That thing is really sparky.


It's nothing that can't be fixed with a few small mods now that I can see it is worth it.

Negativity is contagious. If you have useful ideas, I would like to hear them. If you don't, it's better to say nothing.

Mike A

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2018, 09:55:18 am »
Its a joke you goof. That thing sparks like crazy.
My useful idea for you is to have a tiny bit of a sense of humor.

Mike A

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 09:58:56 am »
You obviously know it sparks too much right now. Have a little fun with it. You undoubtedly will improve your design.

I like projects like this. If i didn't like it I would be direct about it.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2018, 10:00:33 am »
Its a joke you goof. That thing sparks like crazy.
My useful idea for you is to have a tiny bit of a sense of humor.

Ok point taken. I am a little grumpy today for some reason.

Mike A

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2018, 10:04:03 am »
No worries. Keep plugging away.
Somebody needs to make a giant M60 or M249 lightgun. You need massive recoil for that. Go big or go home. :cheers:

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2018, 10:24:37 am »
No worries. Keep plugging away.
Somebody needs to make a giant M60 or M249 lightgun. You need massive recoil for that. Go big or go home. :cheers:

Or in my case, a Steyr AUG light gun. This is the carbon fiber shell I made to put it in:



I think the bullpup design allows for a good amount of seperation between the recoil mechanism and the light gun electronics. Plus the Steyr AUG stock has enough space to fit a suitably large solenoid or motor.

It's either that or my FN FS2000 stock.

Mike A

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2018, 10:25:39 am »
Plus they look like space guns from the 50's.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2018, 10:36:20 am »
Yeah they always use bullpups in movies as their futuristic weapons. I believe the pulse rifles in Farscape were actually just Steyr AUGs.

I have a real arcade Operation Thunderbolt Mac 10 for my directional gun so I have covered all bases.

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2018, 11:36:35 am »
LOL now its getting interesting! HMG lightguns LOL

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2018, 11:52:33 am »
LOL now its getting interesting! HMG lightguns LOL

It's not a bad idea if you have a large room and some spare cash. You could start with an airsoft HMG like this:

https://www.eastcoastairsoft.net/echo1-rifle-dynamics-heavy-machine-p-1812.html


My first thought for a fixed arcade gun was to make a minigun like they use on that Jurassic Park arcade... except... I wanted to make one out of metal and have the barrels spin like on a real one. I even thought about how I could have a bullet chain rotating through the chamber using a small gear motor. Needless to say, I didn't get around to it....


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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2018, 12:12:18 pm »
I have an airsoft M41A1 pulse rifle. The light gun idea briefly crossed my mind a couple of times.

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2018, 02:07:05 pm »
I just wanted to put my two cents in because I don't think what I was getting at go through.  The pulsing of the solenoid should be computer controlled.  I have the outputs to most of the gun games in mame hooked up and many of pc-based games are on the way.  If you do it that way it'll feel more like the game as it won't recoil when you are out of ammo, ect. 

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2018, 03:10:17 pm »
Sweet. You made a full auto fire starter. That thing is really sparky.
...
No worries. Keep plugging away.
Somebody needs to make a giant M60 or M249 lightgun. You need massive recoil for that. Go big or go home. :cheers:
...
I have an airsoft M41A1 pulse rifle. The light gun idea briefly crossed my mind a couple of times.

A. "Anything else?"
B. "Phased plasma rifle in a 40W range?"
A. "Heh, just what you see pal."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdjdpoqITXk
Check out my completed projects!


Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2018, 01:15:10 pm »
I just wanted to put my two cents in because I don't think what I was getting at go through.  The pulsing of the solenoid should be computer controlled.  I have the outputs to most of the gun games in mame hooked up and many of pc-based games are on the way.  If you do it that way it'll feel more like the game as it won't recoil when you are out of ammo, ect.

I would love to be able to do that. I just don't know how. I don't understand any of the circuit diagrams I have seen online or what any of the symbols they use are meant to represent. Hence, the need in my case (and I am sure many others) for a simple design with as few components as possible....

Don't get me wrong, I'm usually up for a DIY project but only when there are instructions that I understand. I can follow instructions that say things like "solder the black wire to pin 6" etc. But, I don't know what a capacitor or a resistor does etc.

Also, after trying to play Time Crisis and Operation Wolf in mame, I lost interest in my PC for gun games. Most are poorly emulated (or incomplete) and there are very few (if any) affordable options for a PC light gun. The Mame guys are clearly not light gun fans.

Instead, I bought a PS2 with Time Crisis 3 and a Guncon 2. Compared to Mame with an Aimtrak, it was a complete joy. Those Namco Guncon 2 guns are the best home light guns I have ever used. They deserve recoil.

But, if you know of any simple instructions, I'd give it a try for my directional gun games. Jurassic Park arcade is awesome when the recoil speed increases to match the gun you are using. At lot would depend on how easy it is to set up for each games and how much "trouble shooting" you have to do in mame though.

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2018, 01:17:02 pm »
Sweet. You made a full auto fire starter. That thing is really sparky.
...
No worries. Keep plugging away.
Somebody needs to make a giant M60 or M249 lightgun. You need massive recoil for that. Go big or go home. :cheers:
...
I have an airsoft M41A1 pulse rifle. The light gun idea briefly crossed my mind a couple of times.

I do have a broken Mini Uzi BB gun here but, it's already been done.

A. "Anything else?"
B. "Phased plasma rifle in a 40W range?"
A. "Heh, just what you see pal."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdjdpoqITXk

Titchgamer

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2018, 01:56:39 pm »
I just wanted to put my two cents in because I don't think what I was getting at go through.  The pulsing of the solenoid should be computer controlled.  I have the outputs to most of the gun games in mame hooked up and many of pc-based games are on the way.  If you do it that way it'll feel more like the game as it won't recoil when you are out of ammo, ect.

I would love to be able to do that. I just don't know how. I don't understand any of the circuit diagrams I have seen online or what any of the symbols they use are meant to represent. Hence, the need in my case (and I am sure many others) for a simple design with as few components as possible....

Don't get me wrong, I'm usually up for a DIY project but only when there are instructions that I understand. I can follow instructions that say things like "solder the black wire to pin 6" etc. But, I don't know what a capacitor or a resistor does etc.

Also, after trying to play Time Crisis and Operation Wolf in mame, I lost interest in my PC for gun games. Most are poorly emulated (or incomplete) and there are very few (if any) affordable options for a PC light gun. The Mame guys are clearly not light gun fans.

Instead, I bought a PS2 with Time Crisis 3 and a Guncon 2. Compared to Mame with an Aimtrak, it was a complete joy. Those Namco Guncon 2 guns are the best home light guns I have ever used. They deserve recoil.

But, if you know of any simple instructions, I'd give it a try for my directional gun games. Jurassic Park arcade is awesome when the recoil speed increases to match the gun you are using. At lot would depend on how easy it is to set up for each games and how much "trouble shooting" you have to do in mame though.

As a wise man once told me (who happens to be a electronics engineer):

“You dont need to understand how components work, only how to use them to build what you need”

How a cap or resistor works is irrelevant (albeit easy to understand if you care to read up)

Electrical drawings use mostly standard symbols which you can look up online.
And if you have specific q’s about something someone will probably be able to help.

What I am saying is if this is something you are passionate about do it properly.
Do the research, find out what things are and then get soldering.

Just do it safely :)

Howard_Casto

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2018, 02:46:08 pm »
Controlling high power devices with low power signals is pretty easy.  You just need a relay, a diode to prevent back current, and something to control it with (the output boards that groovy game gear and ultimarc sell should work or an Arduino if you want to diy).  Searching for "how to use a relay" in google should give you any diagrams you need. 

As for the ps2, I'm pretty sure that they actually released a gun that had recoil.... it might have been japan only.  A 555 timer would allow you to do repeated pulses via a relay for that route. 

I can try to help but honestly it's better to muddle through yourself and ask questions if you get stuck.  If you learn how to do it yourself it'll make things easier for future projects.   

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2018, 03:09:37 pm »
Yeah there is at least 1 ps2 lightgun that I know of (I own one :p)
It also works on the Saturn and ps1.


Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2018, 09:26:53 pm »
Controlling high power devices with low power signals is pretty easy.  You just need a relay, a diode to prevent back current, and something to control it with (the output boards that groovy game gear and ultimarc sell should work or an Arduino if you want to diy).  Searching for "how to use a relay" in google should give you any diagrams you need. 

As for the ps2, I'm pretty sure that they actually released a gun that had recoil.... it might have been japan only.  A 555 timer would allow you to do repeated pulses via a relay for that route. 

I can try to help but honestly it's better to muddle through yourself and ask questions if you get stuck.  If you learn how to do it yourself it'll make things easier for future projects.

I'm well passed all that. I researched it to death and I am just not capable of taking on a project like that with the currently available info out there.

It's one of those things that 98% of the world doesn't know how to do and for the remaining 2%, it looks so simple that they don't understand why the rest of us can't follow their diagrams.

I bet that if you did a show of hands on any gaming forum, you will find that very few have set up light guns with self built solenoid recoil that it is controlled by mame and varies by game etc.

I know how to use a relay. That's not the issue here.

Arduinos are of no help to me. I have no coding skills (like 98% of the world). If I did, I would have coded something for the PC I use already. I have the ability to control relays from my CNC machine PC. Doesn't get me any closer here.

I have a 555 timer (from when I tried to follow someone else's "instructions"). The problem is that nobody with the patience to explain it seems to actually know how to make a 555 timer deliver full auto recoil. Every YouTube instructional video on 555 timers I could find showed only how they can cause a delay when you turn on a light or motor. None showed rapid on / off. There are diagrams on this site but I can't follow them without instructions written in English.

There are no home light guns on any console with decent recoil (or I would have bought one). I have the PS2 desert eagle "recoil gun", which is meant to be the best and they suck (like every other).

Which brings us back to the need for a simple, easy to build, easy to understand circuit for people like me and 98% of the light-gun loving world. I just want an arcade-like full auto recoil when I hold the trigger and a semi auto feel when I fire one at a time. I would like it to be controlled by the game but it's not a priority.

It's just not a big deal for me if it carries on recoiling when the game gun runs out of bullets. Plus, there aren't any pc light guns that are worth this kind of effort (which is why the PS2 is my light gun machine now).

Zebra

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2018, 09:37:14 pm »
Yeah there is at least 1 ps2 lightgun that I know of (I own one :p)
It also works on the Saturn and ps1.



They all suck (for recoil) and the recoil function is not controlled by the game (at least not on the games I have tried). Mine has a manual switch to go from semi to full auto and, if plugged in, it will fire (and recoil) whether you are in game or not, and when you run out of bullets in game.

Believe me, I have zero desire to take on another diy project right now. Any "spare" time I have for projects is going into finishing my latest CNC machine. If anyone made a decent home light gun with quality full auto recoil, I would have bought it instead.

Zebidee

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2018, 12:14:21 am »
@zebra

You really need to work out this quoting thing.

You need {quote} and {/quote} (except with square brackets, [ + ], instead of curly ones) around the quoted text, like a pair of left/right brackets or, oddly enough, quotation marks.

When you just type into the middle of that you make a big mess and nobody knows what you said or he/she said, reading it is like picking out words at random from a barrel.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 12:17:58 am by Zebidee »
Check out my completed projects!


Titchgamer

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Re: Check out my simple full auto recoil solenoid design...
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2018, 03:13:59 am »
Sorry Zebra cant read that mess lol

  
 

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