Do It Yourself: Hop Up Tracer Unit (HUTU)
First of all, thank you Jawz for your informative write up on how to do this. Here is the link to Jawz's write up: Link:
TEST FIRING HUTU VIDEO:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28j1SeydPDQ
I wanted to write a shorter, simplier "how to". If you want more in depth details then you can click on the link above. After much research I found that a HUTU is the cheapest way to add a tracer unit to an airsoft gun. I have several guns and my brother and friends have theres. Too many guns to buy each one its own tracer unit. Living out in the desert at 90+ degrees most days. The best time for us to play is 2 hours before sunset (coolest time of the day). We usually get 2-4 games in at our private field. Being able to play night games would be a definite plus for us, so we started to look into tracer units and this is what we ended up with...
There are 3 types of tracer units out on the market.
1) The first is the mock up suppressor. The unit is attached to the end of the barrel and will fit almost every gun on the market. If your gun has threads at the end of the barrel, most likely its gonna fit. The unit is powered by seperate AAA or rechargeable batteries depending on the brand you buy. It works by sensing the GITD (Glow In The Dark) BBs as they enter the suppressor and gives off a bright flash from a UV tube light. This charges the BB and you can now trace the BB as you fire them into the dark. The flash also imitates the flash of a real gun when firing. Some people like the the feature. Some dont like to give away there postion.
Tokyo Marui: First of its kind and the best. Dont bother with the version 1 units. The version 2 units fixes everything that was wrong with the version 1. Cost the most and is built to last the longest.
Echo1: Copy of Tokyo Marui. One of the cheapest ones out there. Decent build though since it is a copy of the Tokyo Marui. Even though its a copy, its not a perfect copy. The internals aren't as strong as the Tokyo Marui. Still a very good unit.
AMP: I didn't look much into this one. There was a feature/review I didn't like or something. For the price of this one, I would rather just get a Tokyo Marui.
SRC: This one also had mixed reviews. Some features were good and some bad. A notable feature is that this is the only unit with a rechargeable battery setup.
Jing Gong: This unit is rather hard to find and when you do find it, they're usually out of stock. As of June 2010, I have only found it in stock at AirsoftMegaStore.com, Link: This unit is also a copy of the Tokyo Marui unit. Seems to be just like the Echo1 units but at a cheaper price.
Big Dragon: DO NOT BUY! This unit also "looks like" a Tokyo Marui copy. All review on this units are negative. It broke easily and the sensor can't read the BBs because they exit to fast.
2) The second type is the magazine version. These are only limited to two guns, the M4 and AK series. These are mid capacity mags that hold around 130 rounds and uses UV LEDs, powered by AAA batteries. They work fine, but having tracer mags and reg mags mixed up is kind of a hassle.
G&P: This is the only brand out there. It cost as much as a high capacity mag.
3) The third is the Hop Up Tracer Unit or HUTU. These were thought up by regular people who wanted a cheap alternative to the costly units on the market. These are now also avaible on the market from Madbull.
Madbull: Cheaper than suppressor units, But only fits into M4 and M16 guns and usually requires modification to fit correctly. The Madbull Ulitimate Hopup unit is a complete hopup upgrade for the gun and has predrilled holes to allow usage of UV LEDs provided. The UV LEDs are wiring into the guns battery. If you want to turn it off you have disconnect the battery.
DIY: Custom made, per person, per gun. This is the one I'm going to show how I made mines using the write up from Jawz. Heres a quick ren through. Take apart the gun to access the hopup. Drill holes into the hopup. Fit the LEDs into the holes. Wire the LEDs together and add a resistor to the positive side. Then wire the setup to the guns battery. You can add a on/off switch on the positive wire if you want to.
Here are some of the guns I've modified with the DIY HUTU below:
First off, please review these videos provided by Evike. Remeber that neither Evike or I are responsible for any damages that may occur when you attempt any thing documented here. This is me showing you how I modified my airsoft guns. I'm not telling you how to do it. Try it at your own risk.
Dremel or power drill with attachments below
Drill bit size 1/8
Dremel cut off wheel
Dremel polish tip
Quick splice connectors
Small four head screw driver
Small flat head screw driver
Super glue or crazy glue
JB Kwik, silicone glue, or hot glue
UV LEDs: Best bet for best output glow on GITD BBs. 3mm in size with a MCD rating of 3000. MCD is the brightness output and 3000 is the most you can get out of UV LEDs.
330ohm resistor: A resistor helps reduce the amout of power from your battery to the LEDs. If there is too much power the LEDs will melt and fail. 330ohm is rated for a 9V battery. 510ohm recommended for a 12V battery. I believed Jawz used a 150ohm on 4 LEDs with a 8.5V battery and had no problems. I used a 330ohm resistor on 4 LEDs with a 8.5V battery and if I ever upgraded to a 11V battery I would use a 510ohm resistor on 4 LEDs.
JG G36K ver2
Remove the magazine. Remove the pin from the magazine well. Press the magazine release and pull the magazine well down and out.
Drill holes with the 1/8 drill bit. Use a dremel if you have one. The dremels high rev makes it easier to start the hole then a regular power drill. Drill the holes one on top of the other or both the right and left sides of the tube leading up to the hopup. Now the GITD (Glow In The Dark) BBs have a 360 degree charge area. This was the first gun I modified with the HUTU so I didn't take pictures of how I wired all the LEDs together before I applied the JB Kwik. Follow the steps and pictures provided in the link the Jawz's write up on how to position and wire the LEDs together. Then apply the JB Kwick. I used JB Kwik because I didn't want any extra light to leak out from any of the cracks of the magazine well and magazine. If you don't mind you can use hot glue or high temperature silicone glue to cover the LEDs. The glue is used to keep the LEDs in place and so that the wires dont accidently touch each other while running around.
Cut the round tips off the LEDs using the cut off wheel. That will leave rough finish so use the polish tip with a little car polish to shine it up. (Sorry my camera would let me cleary take a picture of the small LEDs) I line up all the LEDs so the positives are all on one side and the negatives are all on one side. Then simply wrap all the positive together and all the negative together. Cut off any excess wire. Solder all the connections. Then solder the 330 ohm resistor to the positive side of the LEDs. Then solder a positive wire to the resistor and a negative wire to the negative side of the LEDs. Run the to wires up towards the front of the gun to the hand guard where the battery is stored. After everything is wired up I tested the Leds to make sure I wired everything correctly and none of the wires were cross. Use aligator clamps between the battery and HUTU setup, making sure the resistor is between the battery and LEDs on the Positive side.
I used the quick splice connect to connect the negative wire from the LEDs to the negative on the battery wire. I connected the positive wire from the LEDs to the fuse on the postive side of the battery. I simply use the flat head screww driver to pry the fuse a little and slipped the wire between the fuse and the fuse connectors. I then taped off any loose wiring with black electrical tape so that battery installation will be a little easier.
Now the LEDs won't come on until the battery is plugged in. The LEDs draw very little power so having them on will hardly even drain the battery. If I ever want to unplug the HUTU, the positive wire just pulls off. The negative side can be removed by prying the quick splice connector with a flat head screw driver.
*Things to Note:
The battery does fit in very tight now, but it still fits. Since the quick splice connector now sits where the battery connector use to sit there is a little positioning you have to do there so that you can slide the hand guard on. Looking at the HUTU when its on and out of the gun, the JB Kwik covers nicely and the light only shines out the top and bottom of the hole of the magazine well. With the HUTU magazine well install and on, you can see the light down at the end of the barrel but not out the front. With the magazine in there is no visible light, unless your using a transparent magazine and even with one the light is very minimal. With the magazine out there is just enought light so you can see to reload the next magazine. The GITD BBs come out pleanty bright and stay lite up over 150ft. Even at full auto.
I will add more pictures and video of the HUTU in action. As well as the setups I have on my P90 and when I modify a Classic Army M4 and CYMA AK47.