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arduino: a cheap board for E11 blaster effects

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based on Arduino microcontroller



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this is an open source project released under the GPL Creative Commons license.

You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work to make derivative works under the following conditions:

Attribution: ” You must give the original author credit".

Non-Commercial: ” You may not use this work for commercial purposes"


Any active contribute to keep this Project updated is welcome.



Do It Yourself!

with just 15$ of electronics and your own ability bring life to your E11 blaster!

(speakers and battery excluded)




all schemes and pictures of this topic are mirrored here:  facebook.com/fxblasterarduino

Main purpose of the project: an accessible device that supports  high powered RGB led and sound effects for E11 Blaster or any other prop/replica

What is Arduino? Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs - light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online.

WIP Video


Final Work Video



Updated version (august 2014)

Final Work Photos








Main Features (not final)


  1. - SUPERBRIGHT 3 WATT RGB  LED with customizable colors (256*256*256=16.777.216 possible colors!), blinking and fading effects
  2. - Preset sounds from Star Wars and  our Planet weapons, included (but not only): E11-fire, E11-Stun, Boba Flame, AT AT fire, Xwing fire, TIE Fighter fire, chewbacca and jawas random voices, 44 Magnum, M1 Garand..
  3. - Play any music tracks as well (darth vader march when trooping!)
  4. - SD Micro card support up 32GB of sound effects and music tracks!
  5. - 3W + 3W amplified audio power ouput to deal with the noise generated by a crowd of people
  6. - 3 switch buttons: Fire, Reload, Selector or Radio mode (when long pressed)
  7. - Radio Mode: 45 minutes of stormtrooper radio chat in loop, a 110Mb mp3 file made by TK2243 here, to keep going when hold the blaster in the holster
  8. - sound and light effect when empty ammo is reached
  9. - sound and light effect when reloading weapon
  10. - sound and light effect at start-up
  11. - random Vader welcome voices at start-up
  12. - green and red segments led bars as counter
  13. - long battery life  ca.7 hours (battery suggested: Lithium 7,4V 1400mAh)
  14. - last but not least: Fart Machine! fart sounds as last weapon available (just for fun :) )


Change log from version 4.02L to 5.0

- Arduino Mini Pro replaced Arduino Mini

- DFPlayer Sound module replaced WT5001

- code and scheme updated

 Change log from version 4.02H to 4.02L
- added radio mode when holding the select button more than 3 seconds
- added vader welcome sound at start up
- corrected bugs
- added WT5001M02-28P sound board support


  • Electronic modules (sellers mainly from China, free shipping)
  1. Arduino Pro Mini 5v At Mega 328 c.a. 2$
  2. Arduino USB to TTL adapter c.a. 1,30$
  3. DFPlayer mp3 sound board c.a. 2$
  4. 3W mini amplifier c.a. 1,50$
  5. 3x 350mA Constant Current Regulated LED Driver c.a. 1,35$ each
  6. 5V Positive Voltage Regulator 1,30$


Electronic Components Total: c.a. 12,15$


  • Leds
  1. 3W led RGB c.a. 1,5$
  2. Led Bar Graph 10 Segments (3 red/7 green or any other colors) c.a. 2,50$ (i used this )


Leds Total: c.a. 3,50$



other components

  • batteries costs may vary, read below
  • microswitch, resistors, wires, read below



Main Scheme

Power supply: 7,4V - 9V max


Latest update scheme v.5.0.1 with DF PLAYER sound board (last update: oct. 9th 2017 ) tested and working




mirror link



Picture of the assembled boards (note: bar led counter not installed)





Discontinued schemes:


old scheme with WT5001 sound board




List of Components

the list doesn't include tools like solder, tin lead with paste and battery, sd card..


#1 Arduino Pro Mini 5v At Mega 328

should be installed on the back of the pvc pipe, pay attention 328 version (that means 32kbytes of space for programming) avoid the 168 v.2.0!


#1 Arduino USB to TTL adapter  with a DTR  pin, needed to load code to the board

#1 DFPlayer mp3 sound board

A small and reliable sound module. Rread both MP3 and WAV files. Sound quality, build in amplifier, easy to handle (everything via serial commands, only TX and RX module to Arduino),

When you put files on the card, you should first create one "MP3" folder (@ root level) and put your MP3 files in that folder.

Audio file must be named 0001.mp3, 0002.mp3.....0255.mp3 (4 letters not 2 or 3 letters)

Audio file names can have any characters after 4 digits, such as 0001_Bruno_Mars_Count_On Me.mp3




A ready to use mp3 list of sound files is available, just send me PM.

It uses a micro SD card to store all MP3 files up 32GB!

A library is needed in order the code works, just download it  from here (click on Clone or Dowload button, then Download Zip) and unzip to your "documents\arduino\libraries" folder.

like this C:\Users\YourName\Documents\Arduino\libraries\DFPlayer_Mini_Mp3


#1 5V Voltage Regulator

This sound board is better associated with a 5V Positive Voltage Regulator to provide power in order to reduce EMI. I used a L7805CV.

1k ohm  resistor between arduino's RX, TX and DFPlayer's Tx,Rx  is also needed.


For any other sound modules used in the past in this project, look the post n.3





#1 3W+3W mini amplifier c.a.

#2 speakers 3 watt or higher that fit the E11 pipe inner diameter and leave enought space to fit the cables. Speakers impendance best at 4ohm.


i used this on my set:


#1 RBG 3 watt (Red Blue Green) superbright led NOTE the led must have all the 6 pin (anode and cathode) as the one linked


#3 350mA Constant Current Regulated LED Driver

needed to power the RGB led and control colors by pwm output of Arduino
#1 10 SEGMENT LED BAR GRAPH DISPLAY - i used Kingbright DC-7G3HWA 3 green + 7 red bars but you may use any other color scheme; it should find place inside the hengster counter, working as ammo status display


#5 resistors 30 ohm for bar graph led

#3 resistors 1 kohm for output pins (pwm RGB led)
#3 resistors 10 kohm for pull-down buttons (selector, trigger, reload)


#1 resistor between 1 kohm and 10 kohm for TX/RX arduino/sound module as suggested in the manual of DF player mp3, in order to keep EMI low (i tested 10 kohm and maybe works better)


#1 microswitch for trigger

#1 momentary switch normally connected (normally close) for weapon selector (installing hole  6 mm) - u can get also a normally open but the code need mod
#1 Momentary DPDT Normal OFF-(ON) TOGGLE SWITCH for weapon reload
#1 Slide Switch for main power ON/OFF

one or two circuit boards to manually resize, where to solder the bar graphs and some connectors


any battery or set of batteries with total voltage between 7.4 and 12 volts

1) Camera lithium batteries
On my project i used a lithium LP-E8 Phottix battery 7,4volts 1400mAh (last c.a. 7 hours), but its dimensions (55.00 x 36.98 x 15.40 mm) needed a little modification of the receiver (5 mm larger). Anyway i strongly recommend to use a lithium battery sold as Camera original battery replacement of a well known (but not too expensive) brand (as Phottix, Weiss..). Avoid unbranded oem batteries , i read many bad stories about them (explosions..) and the amperage often is not real.
Actually, the smallest 7,4 volts camera battery found is the Nikon EN-EL1(Dimension:52.00x32.20x15.70 mm), 800mAh.
Same suggestion for the charger (VHBW sells very cheap charger for most any lithium camera battery).

As battery holder you may use a cutted charger plate, it's a safe and cheap choice and they sell for mostly any camera battery.

2)  2x18650 3,7v lithium batteries (7,4v) [not tested]
Because of its size, good amperage and right voltage, you may also use 2x 18650 batteries in series (7,4volts total). As showed here, best brands are Panasonicand Sanyo.

As battery holder you will need any 2x cells holder in series

If you are going to use these batteries, probably you will place the arduino in the magazine receiver, and the cells inside the rear part of the pipe. In this way modification of the magazine/receiver size is not needed.

3) 2xCR123 lithium batteries 3,7v,  series connected (7,4v) [not tested]



4) Airsoft battery

A battery like this one might be an alternative if you already own a lipo charger.








- a smoke machine from RC car toys, sold for about 20 euro over ebay china (oil included)

- a standard NPN transistor like 2n2222

the scheme with smoke machine feature:



the arduino code download here (Servo Library already included in arduino) :




[Download] Sound fonts:
please send me a PM

[Download] Code:

Latest update:

v.5.0 with DF PLAYER mp3 player support released, attached below


v.4.0.2F with WT5001 mp3 player support, attached below

you need the software from Arduino home page to edit and to upload it to the board.

Final note
English is not my motherlanguage,  sorry for any mistake ;)







Edited by skyone
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discontinued sound module used in this project



this is a new mp3 sound module that fit the project. This is the link to the ebay seller or even cheaper on aliexpress
From description datasheet it plays mp3 files via serial RS232 mode (that means can be controlled easily trought arduino), powered by 5volts. It supports microSD cards max 2gb.
it's cheaper and smaller (because it uses micro-sd instead of SD card) and works fine with arduino. The audio output linked to the miniamp is very loud and good (more than the older sound module)
I just bought 1 for test, the serial code to command it is almost the same of the bigger module. So, if you are going to use this cheaper and smaller module you will need to modify the serial commands inside arduino code (new code released soon). For more information look here: http://www.whitearmor.net/forum/topic/19322-arduino-a-cheap-board-for-e11-blaster-effects/page-7#entry295206
NOTE: it's very important the order of the files saved in the microsd... Even if the files are named 001.mp3, 002.mp3 ecc... this sound module will read the files in the order they were added on the card, that means it will not respect the order by  files name (and that means you can't call the mp3 files by name order with arduino code!). 
So, to avoid that, after you have finished to copy mp3 files on the sd, you need to use this software to sort the files order by name.
DriveSort sorts the directory tables of a volume formated in FAT12/FAT16/FAT32. This sort orders the files in each folder according to their short or long names alphabetic order.
1) select your microsd card
2) sort current folder
3) save
4) close the disk. Done!

Edited by skyone
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Been working on a similar project with the arduino pro mini and the SOMO14d sound module.

So far I have 7 leds in the barrel and 5 leds in the counter, a button on the trigger and one for reload on the side grip.

Only got so far with the code then it starts to get complicated, but for now it flashes leds and plays sound.

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Please post a tutorial or more info on this I am very interested.

i will share all the info when the project is completed, so everyone can experiment it on its blaster and/or contribute to make it better, as an open source project



So far I have 7 leds in the barrel

personally i am not a big fan of multiple leds in the barrel, it creates a light effect too far from the E11 firing as seen on the movie.

I will limit mine to a single powerfull red led inside the nozzle.

Edited by skyone
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i will share all the info when the project is completed, so everyone can experiment it on its blaster and/or contribute to make it better, as an open source project


Now we're talking! :)

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today i worked on the program that controls arduino. I changed and fixed the program from yesterday, now everything works fine.


Since now i added 11 sounds to be fired included chewbacca, a Carcano, a K98 and other rifles. All the sounds are fully customizable in the SD card.


I also added the "out of ammo" effect after some shots fired. So i need to install another button to test the reload ammo. That i will fix tomorrow.


Since now i used 5kb of the 32kb of the controller space. wink.png

Edited by skyone
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3rd button added with reload weapon function

added sound effect when empty ammo is reached

added sound effect when reloading the weapon

added led status ON / OFF

added sound at start-up

added led status of empty ammo (this should be upgraded to 4 leds ammo status: Green-Green-Yellow-Red- to be installed in the hengster counter)


since now i configured 10 weapons sound effects with ammo limit and 3 "fun effects" (suchs as chewbacca voice) unlimited


rationalized the C script (10Kbyte used / 32Kbyte)


changed the light effects to the plan:

Edited by skyone
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How much work would it be to get a small LCD working? I may be willing to sponsor you with a the LCD if you find a small one for a resonable cost.


I'm too interested in this not to consider it, especially if you can make the design and code open source.

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How much work would it be to get a small LCD working? I may be willing to sponsor you with a the LCD if you find a small one for a resonable cost.


I'm too interested in this not to consider it, especially if you can make the design and code open source.

they shouldnt' be expensive but actually i don't know where to install on the E11 since the hengster box will be occupied by the mp3 board and some leds... I must see if there is enought space (and pin availables on the arduino board) at the end of the project fot a small screen to check ammo status and the number of the weapon selected.That would be useful.


I will release the code and the circuit at the end so it can be improved and customized by everyone (the code of arduino is the same of C programming); maybe i will start a specific website for this project.

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i am looking for the clean audio of the stun effect of the blaster (the blue fire), if someone can help will be appreciated.. (i looked in jedi knight game but this sound is missing)



open source blaster core!


ever seen the hall effect sensors used in ERV's build?

nope, link? Edited by skyone
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All I can find as a stun sound is this non-clean version: http://www.moviewavs...stunsetting.wav


Edit: Found a better one! http://www.kiwi-nutz.com/sounds/play_starwars_wavs.php?soundfile=stun.wav

Edited by Locitus
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open source and in this case open hardware means that everything you need to make it yourself will be available for free under the condition that if you make any improvements yourself that you share them with the others. In contrast with normal software where you might download it, or pay for it but can't do anything other than use it (under terms of agreement)

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There are many kinds of open sorce licenses, some are more restricting, some are less. But the principle of sharing the code so others can benefit from it is the common trait. I love open source. :)

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added led fade in effect at startup

added led fade out effect on boba flame

added led flashing effect on machine gun

added multiple random tracks when the weapon is on: saber hit by blaster, chewbacca, jawa (that means you can get many similar sounds of the same selection)


rationalized the script, now the space used on arduino is 8,4Kbyte / 32Kbyte


this is the video of the WIP at this stage



to complete the program it needs the main fire customized for each weapon and the status ammo leds set up, but for this i must wait for the components from china: leds, resistors, transistor and wires


future plans: add a switch that assign the play/next/stop functions to the 3 buttons, in order to perform sound tracks like the imperial march or vader breath loop :)


time to work on the blaster to make the house for the board now :)

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since now i added 2 more sounds:

44 Magnum + reload

M1 Garand + empty ammo ("peeng" sound) + reload

both set only to single shot


so far i am still waiting the parts coming from hong kong and china


in the meantime if someone is interested to build the circuit you will need to follow this starter tutorial to connect the arduino nano to the PC, very easy






i am thinking to call this project "WIP BLASTER" because it's going to be a constant working in progress project since the code can be modded by everyone.




i updated the previous page with the components list after finding more information.

Edited by skyone
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