This Mod Guide will cover some performance mods for the Photon Storm Blaster.
- Voltage Increase
- Trigger Activated Power On
- Flywheel Grip Improvement
Disclaimer: Modify at your own risk. Modifications may wear out or damage your blaster. Please be careful when using hobby tools!
:: Voltage Increase ::
As the Photon Storm is a flywheel based blaster, the faster the flywheel motors spin the faster foam darts get fired out, hence longer range and faster dart velocity.
To increase the speed of the motors, simply increase the voltage feed.
In my examples, i use 14500 size 3.7V Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries (Brand: TrustFire / Unprotected versions) in my modded Photon Storms. The batteries can be sourced from specialist electronics stores.
14500 size 3.7V Li-Ion TrustFire rechargeable batteries are usually charged up to 4.2V, so i use 3 of them with dummy AA batteries in the remaining battery slots. This configuration provides 12.6 Volts of power to the Photon Storm's motors.
With 12.6 Volts of power, the Photon Storm's motors spin much faster and the start-up response time is also quicker.
I have also tested it with 4 x and 5 x fully charged unprotected TrustFire Li-Ion rechargeable batteries with a total of 16.8 Volts and 21 Volts respectively, the motors spin even faster but it seems to be too fast for the foam darts i used as they tend to spiral out of control or tumble in flight at those faster flywheel speeds. Modders will just have to test and see what speeds suit their foam darts.
Note that conventional Alkaline batteries have more limited discharge rates, and will therefore perform differently at the same voltage compared to these unprotected TrustFire Li-Ion batteries.
:: Trigger Activated Power On ::
Stock Photon Storms require their motors to be separately switched on, then constantly running to be able to fire.... so the motors will still be spinning even when its not firing anything.
This creates an annoying constant buzzing sound, along with the added power drain on the batteries too.
One way to solve this issue is by installing a pressure switch that is activated by the trigger pull instead.
Step 1: Open the casing and locate the the wiring that links the battery compartment and the motors.
You can choose either the red or black wire (i use the black wire). Simply cut that wire above where the tip of the "dart pusher"stalk is situated.
Get a push-to-on pressure switch that utilizes a flip/rocker action, you can source these from electronics parts supply shops.
Step 2: Solder the wiring to the push-to-on pressure switch (i added some electrical tape to further prevent the soldered connections from accidentally shorting).
Glue the pressure switch to the plastic shelf just above the "dart pusher" stalk.
:: Flywheel Grip Improvement ::
As an optional mod, electrical or rubber tape can be wrapped around the flywheels to increase their grip for better contact with the foam darts. This can help improve performance if matched with the right foam darts.
The amount of tape layers required will depend on the foam darts used, so its up to modders to test and find the best combination of tape layers to apply.
Note that the tape needs to be applied evenly and in an equal amount (ie. both flywheels must have the exact same amount of tape material with no bumps), or else they may result in unbalanced flywheel speed and timing.
:: Modified Photon Storm - Demo Video ::
Here is a demo video for reference.
:: Sample Test Fire Data ::
PTG: Parallel-To-Ground (Shoulder height, no elevation)
ATG: Angled-To-Ground (Aimed higher, 30 degrees elevation)
Distance is measured at where the dart lands (Average of 12 darts).
Stock Photon Storm
PTG = 25 ft
ATG = 30 ft
Modded Photon Storm (12.6 Volts & Trigger Activated Power On)
PTG = 50 ft
ATG = 60 ft
Note that the tests were done under controlled conditions with custom calibrated foam darts. The results are sample estimates for reference (your results may differ depending on materials and mod techniques used).