2014-10-28 (W) Arduino Laser Tag

What can I say about laser tag? What can I say without turning into a squealing, excited little kid? Nadalot. My friends and I would play weekly games of laser tag at the local arena and it was there that I got it in my head to build laser tag guns, or taggers, as they are called. It wasn't an issue of saving money but wanting to play laser tag anywhere.

I have tried building taggers entirely from PVC and that has its drawbacks. I have tried making taggers entirely from wood and that is time consuming. The biggest problems are making something that is durable, modular for easy repair or replacement, and something that can have electronics added. The current plan is to retrofit plastic replica guns with electronics.

The programming has been done for Arduino so it will be accessible to many people who may want to make changes. The receivers are already conceived so I won't be making changes to that except for sourcing different parts.

One of the biggest problems is making emitters for the infrared LEDs which transmit shots. I want to make something easily reproducible so other people can duplicate my results and affordable enough that anyone build their own system. Another issue I want to tackle is finding or making an enclosure.

This is not the first laser tag game to be programmed for Arduino. Here is one by j44.

Enough background.

A piece of 3/4”  PVC pipe was measured to be cut for two lengths, 40mm and 45mm. 45mm is the focal length of the lenses being used but the fit of the PVC components suggested having a shorter piece could be important for getting the LED the correct distance from the lens. The second piece was also to act as a holder to wedge the lens in place. Each piece was cut by hand using a hack saw so the angles were not perpendicular.

 45mm measurement on 3/4" PVC

 45mm measurement on 3/4" PVC

A hand hack saw is a terrible way to cut this squarely

A 1/4” drill bit was selected to drill the hole for a 5mm LED socket holder. The LED was to be mounted in a 3/4” PVC cap with a flat end. A pilot hole was drilled then the 1/4” bit followed. The 40mm and 45mm PVC pieces were drilled and tapped to 1/4-20 threads.

 1/4" bit and 5mm LED socket holder

Pilot hole into PVC cap

1/4" hole in PVC cap

LED socket in PVC cap

Drilled and tapped PVC segment

The lens was placed on top of the 45mm PVC segment then covered with the coupler and the 40mm segment in the other end. A red LED and a battery were plead in the LED socket holder and snugged together until a focused image of the red LED was visible on a nearby white wall. A video was made of the focusing process.

 Assembly order

Segments assembled

Lens installed

Red LED in PVC

Red LED focusing video

To do:
  • Update team colors with NeoPixels
  • Order color screens
  • Order lenses
  • Find replacement receiver enclosures
  • Program for color screen

Journal Page

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

A list showing of all the final posts of COMPLETED projects.

A list showing of all the final posts of COMPLETED projects.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

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2014-09-11 (W)