Monday, July 11, 2011

Photon Storm Blaster - Mod Guide!

This Mod Guide will cover some performance mods for the Photon Storm Blaster.

Mods covered:
- 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.

Its done!

:: 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).


  1. is it automatic

  2. hi,

    As it requires the trigger to be pulled repeatedly to fire shots, it is considered a semi-auto blaster.

  3. Hi there, I'm curious how this Nerf gun stacks up against the Stampede. Given shipping to the US they come to about equal.

    The only mods I'm interested in on either of them are AR removal and the mod where the motor is only on when the trigger is engaged.

    Is the second possible on the Stampede?

    Thanks for your time!

  4. bocharles,

    I think you are abit confused with how the Photon Storm and the Stampede actually work.

    The Photon Storm uses a motorized flywheel system, its basically 2 spinning wheels which catch the foam dart and throw it out (like a tennis ball launcher). There are no air restrictors or plunger springs in the firing system. It is also semi-auto only, each trigger pull fires only one shot.

    It's motors have to be switched on and spinning constantly during firing, which creates the annoying buzzing noise, so it is a good candidate for the "trigger activated power on" mod.

    The Stampede uses a motorized spring plunger system, its an automated version of the manual spring plunger systems in other Nerf blasters. It has air restrictors that can be removed and plunger springs that can be upgraded.

    In addition, the Stampede only fires when the trigger is pulled, so thats how its system works already, no need any "trigger activated power on" mods. It can also fire in full-auto, so you just keep the trigger pulled and it'll keep firing shots automatically.

    Perhaps you should read my reviews on both blasters again (and look closely at their internals guides) to see the differences in how they operate. :)

  5. Thanks for the help. I feel really stupid, I saw the difference moments after I posted it, but left it thinking someone else might have the same confusion :D

    Knowing the differences, how do they compare?

  6. bocharles,

    Overall, i'd definitely recommend to get the Nerf Stampede, it has the better Nerf build quality, has more features, can fire in full auto and comes with alot of accessories and clips.

    The Photon Storm is more of a novelty blaster, interesting to try out but its build quality is below average, its only semi-auto and the buzzing sound of the flywheels can be quite annoying. :)

  7. Hey. may i ask where u purchased the pressure switch from? Wanna attempt to mod one myself. :)

  8. H3LL bOy,

    I get my pressure switches from electronics parts supply shops.

  9. Sry. Bad question. What I meant was exactly which shop u went to buy it from? :S

  10. H3LL bOy,

    Check at the shops on 3rd floor at Sim Lim Tower, there are a good number of them there selling electronics parts and components.