Make Your Own Star Trek Phaser, just In Case the Romulans Attack.
January 18, 2010 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Make Your Own Star Trek Phaser

From ComicsAlliance.com:

"Countless Star Trek fans have dreamed about owning their own phaser, and while Wikipedia lists it as a "fictional weapon," one enterprising (rim shot) gentleman decided not to let anyone else tell him what can and cannot be real, and transformed a 1994 Playmates replica of the phaser from the classic "Star Trek" series into a 320mA – 465mW laser device, complete with appropriate sound effect.

He's even got a tutorial to help you build your own, and while this may not be as dangerous as the 'real' thing -- e.g. able to burrow tunnels through solid rock and disintegrate hostile aliens -- there's a video of the guy popping balloons with the beam, so it's not a joke, particularly if you shoot it into someone's eyes. Remember: Once you add actual lasers to a toy, it's not a toy anymore, so don't point it at any living things, ok?"
posted by Olive Oil (37 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh - sweet. The popping of black balloons with the laser...ahem...phaser... was very cool. Video needed more atmospheric particulates, though.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:54 PM on January 18, 2010


I have one already, along with my life-sized cut out of Counselor Troi.... oh god I'm lonely.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 2:55 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've often wondered why Playmates and Paramount hasn't teamed up with TASER to make a Star Trek styled stun gun.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:58 PM on January 18, 2010


"Make Your Own Star Trek Phaser, just In Case the Romulans Attack"

An attack from the Romulans is unlikely. Even during the Romulan Wars, the Romulans didn't reach Earth. Also, Romulans tend to try and goad their enemy into making the first move, so we'd be more likely to attack them than vice versa.

The Star Trek movie of 2009 would have you believe otherwise, but it is to my mind apocryphal, and thus not a worthy reference point.

Finally, yes, I'm a giant nerd and yes, I would like to be having a phaser now please.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:12 PM on January 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


Set faces to stunned.
posted by Elmore at 3:17 PM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


He's blind Jim!!!
posted by panboi at 3:18 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Finally my cat and I have a way to bond over star trek, beyond dressing him up as a redshirt and cuddling up to watch episodes.
posted by piratebowling at 3:26 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm here for the LARPing, where do I register.
posted by june made him a gemini at 3:31 PM on January 18, 2010


Still waiting for a transporter from which to take my phaser to strange new worlds.
posted by bearwife at 3:33 PM on January 18, 2010


When you reverse the polarity it emits a stream of black balloons. Instant over the hill birthday party (Bring Your Own Klingons)!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:00 PM on January 18, 2010


Nerds everywhere: "SQUEEEEE!"
posted by bwg at 4:06 PM on January 18, 2010


It won't be realistic unless you manage to keep the beam PERFECTLY STILL.
posted by longsleeves at 4:18 PM on January 18, 2010


I hope noone's lured into trying this. High power lasers are seriously not to be trifled with. I've sat through about two hours of a lab safety lecture of which five minutes consisted of being told not to go in a lift with liquid nitrogen and not to eat radioactive material, and an hour and fifty-five minutes of how not to blind yourself with lasers, just because it's so ridiculously easy to do permanent damage.

Seriously, you have to be a complete idiot to do what was done in that video. He shoots it in the direction of a flipping stainless steel sink - last thing you do is shoot high power lasers around shiny metal objects. You can see the reflection flying round all over the place.

It says on the page "don't point it at living things", but it's just way too easy to point it away from a living thing and still have it bouncing into their eyeball.
posted by edd at 4:38 PM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wait, why can't you take liquid nitrogen into an elevator? I did that dozens of times and was never told it's dangerous.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:04 PM on January 18, 2010


oh: Liquid nitrogen should never be carried in an elevator, because of the remote possibility that the Dewar containing the liquid could get broken or go "soft" (i.e., the vacuum in the Dewar flask will be lost). Imagine how embarrassing it would be to be responsible for an elevator packed with people, unable to breathe, and dying of asphyxiation. The liquid nitrogen freezer - and all liquid nitrogen tanks - are meant to be kept in a well-ventilated area. Don't move them into a lab unless an oxygen alarm system is installed in the lab. If your boss tells you to do it anyway---quit!

see? i'm lucky. i always knew it, but this kinda proves it. there's so much shit that should have killed me.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:13 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Video needs more lens flare!
posted by crossoverman at 5:24 PM on January 18, 2010


Yeah, liquid nitrogen is most problematic for displacing oxygen when it stops being liquid, rather than the more obvious property of being ridiculously cold.

You put the liquid nitrogen in the elevator with a big warning notice, push the button and get out. And run up or down the stairs to pick it up at the other end. It's not bad to put liquid nitrogen in an elevator - it's bad to stay with it when it's there.

It's doubly problematic, because it's the CO2 buildup that normally tells you you're asphyxiating. If CO2 doesn't build up, and you just run out of oxygen, it's a bit easy to just keel over without warning.
posted by edd at 5:27 PM on January 18, 2010


Liquid nitrogen rapidly evaporates giving nitrogen gas. Just one liter of liquid produces around 700 liters of gas at atmospheric pressure, displacing significant quantities of breathable air if the gas is released in a confined space such as a laboratory, cold room, or storage area. The problem is compounded by nitrogen's tendency to accumulate at low levels where it is less easily dispersed than the ambient atmosphere. Even an apparently small spillage could lead to dangerously low oxygen levels, presenting a serious hazard to personnel working in the area.

jesusufuckingchrist. one of our favorite things to do in lab was pour a lot of liquid nitrogen on the carpeted hallway outside the lab, and then wait for someone to walk by. when they stepped on the invisible liquid nitrogen "puddle", a big *poof* cloud would immediately form and then disappear. the person walking (in shoes) got a big wtf? and we laughed our asses off.

i think our professors failed to warn us that this is a bad idea because they didn't conceive of us being this stupid.

now i have a kid. i can't be trusted.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:44 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


And again, our geek timing is off by decades.

Do you have any idea how different the world would be if we'd managed this even twenty-fuve years ago? Angry nerds. roaming the streets of 1985 in packs, turning their phasers on anyone that dared defy them. To dream the impossible dream - and yet it was not to be... !
posted by koeselitz at 6:20 PM on January 18, 2010


panboi, I will be your eyes!
posted by stevil at 7:01 PM on January 18, 2010


The Star Trek movie of 2009 would have you believe otherwise, but it is to my mind apocryphal, and thus not a worthy reference point.

Nero was not even remotely an agent of the Romulan Star Empire. He wasn't even in the military.
posted by lumensimus at 8:01 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope noone's lured into trying this. High power lasers are seriously not to be trifled with.

LALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME THIS IS!!!!

I've sat through about two hours of a lab safety lecture of which five minutes consisted of being told not to go in a lift with liquid nitrogen and not to eat radioactive material, and an hour and fifty-five minutes of how not to blind yourself with lasers, just because it's so ridiculously easy to do permanent damage.

Dude, he built a phaser. Even if he offs himself and wins a Darwin Award, (which seems likely,) he BUILT A FREAKIN' PHASER.

Seriously, you have to be a complete idiot to do what was done in that video.

The smart thing to do is to have one's redshirts build it, then perform all the safety checks for you, of course.
posted by zarq at 8:06 PM on January 18, 2010


You put the liquid nitrogen in the elevator with a big warning notice, push the button and get out. And run up or down the stairs to pick it up at the other end. It's not bad to put liquid nitrogen in an elevator - it's bad to stay with it when it's there.

It's also not a good idea to take the stairs.
posted by zarq at 8:08 PM on January 18, 2010


Do you have any idea how different the world would be if we'd managed this even twenty-fuve years ago? Angry nerds. roaming the streets of 1985 in packs, turning their phasers on anyone that dared defy them. To dream the impossible dream - and yet it was not to be... !

Wil Wheaton should be thanking his lucky stars right now.
posted by zarq at 8:09 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was giggling like a madman as he popped those balloons, but my god is that unbelievably dangerous. One stray reflection and your retina is fucking fried. He says he wore eye protection but even so, I wouldn't fuck around with that shit.
posted by Potsy at 10:30 PM on January 18, 2010


Effigy2000: “The Star Trek movie of 2009 would have you believe otherwise, but it is to my mind apocryphal, and thus not a worthy reference point.”

I agree with you... if by 'apocryphal' you mean 'a piece of absolute and utter shit which was unworthy even of that obnoxious TNG episode where Beverly fell in love with some ghostly green Michael Bolton lookalike, and which was directed by a guy who admitted he's always hated Star Trek as though he were trying to proclaim to the world that he still does.'
posted by koeselitz at 12:16 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, you have to be a complete idiot to do what was done in that video.

A complete idiot with A PHASER, Mr Doesn't-Have-A-Phaser.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:51 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


edd: “Seriously, you have to be a complete idiot to do what was done in that video.”

Hmm. So even though he says he used eye protection, you don't think that was enough?
posted by koeselitz at 1:09 AM on January 19, 2010


"Hmm. So even though he says he used eye protection, you don't think that was enough?"
He'll probably be alright - I'd honestly be surprised if he ever blinded himself or anyone else, but one piece of eye protection does not set a good example if you're putting basically instructions for building it out on the net. A safe laser lab has many more precautions, with routines to go through to make sure the beam never gets to eye level, and so on. He doesn't have those or any other precautions, unless his kitchen door happens to have a bloody big red flashing light and warning signs plastered all over it, which I kind of doubt.
Just saying "wear appropriate eye protection and don't point it at living things" doesn't come close enough. Yeah, it's kind of fun to see it pop balloons and stuff, and he did a hell of a good job crafting it, but it really doesn't take much of a slip to permanently blind some poor sucker who just happens to open the shed door on someone messing around with one of these at the wrong moment.
posted by edd at 2:58 AM on January 19, 2010


Koeselitz; Yes then we agree.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:38 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wake me up when they invent the holodeck.
I know a good addiction when I see one.
posted by willmize at 6:01 AM on January 19, 2010


This will only be cool when Apple invents it.
posted by juiceCake at 8:21 AM on January 19, 2010


We have phasers.
posted by mrbill at 8:22 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Delving into the etymology of phaser, it seems that the power source for the weapons in Star Trek: The Next Generation were named after airplane toilet water?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:40 AM on January 19, 2010


On a safer note, why haven't any phone manufacturers created a cell phone version of the communicator? That seems like a no-brainer.
posted by nushustu at 9:06 AM on January 19, 2010


My cell phone of choice for several years was the classic Motorola StarTac. The first clamshell cell phone, it was also incredibly lightweight for its time.


I may have taken to flipping it open with a Kirk-like flourish. Only when in private, of course.
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM on January 19, 2010


I was a bit self-concious when using my old Garmin IQue GPS, in public. With the cover open and the antena out, it just looked way too much like some sort of 'tricorder' thing, when being looked over carefully, with glances about the place.

My old Palm Treo wasn't too unlike the TOS communicators. But it sucked as a phone, so I rarely tried to actually talk with it.
posted by Goofyy at 4:54 AM on January 20, 2010


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