Real-life Star Trek phaser set for 'kill'

I want one, but it's probably in the best interest of the people of Seattle I don't have one.

I'll be the first to admit I'm a Star Trek fiend. I loved J.J. Abram's new movie and I'm currently re-watching the original series on Netflix via my Xbox. But that's telling: I'm using the latest real-life tech to experience the earliest fake tech. I love the tools of the Star Trek universe, and one that I love most is the phaser.

They can be set to stun, kill, or vaporize. It's a badass weapon for a badass time. Now, thanks to the how-to that one laser whiz, Jayrob, posted on Laser Pointer Forums, I can build one myself.

The whole thing is powered by a FlexDrive DC/DC converter (whatever that is), an off-the-shelf laser driver. Using an LED and some know-how, user Jayrob modded an existing Star Trek phaser toy to shoot a high-powered laser capable of popping balloons and burning skin. This is not a laser pointer, this is a real-life laser gun.

And I want one. Sadly I don't have the knowledge to build one from scratch like Jayrob. But maybe that's OK, because we're not even sure if home-brewing lasers this powerful are legal in my state.

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.


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