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Laser Tag Combat - Community Suggestions

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#1
Like many of you I have just finished watching the newest flite test video about laser tag combat and instantly want one to try it with some friends. This would be an absolute blast at an rc club and most definitely at FFE. It would also be a lot of fun to make a ground turret that anyone could use at the event during a combat. The flite test crew also wanted some community suggestions for the laser tag system and I instantly thought of a couple of them.

  1. Try to make it as compact and light weight as possible
    This would allow it to go on almost any plane of your liking, and would make it less susceptible to damage when you crash.

  2. Make it sort of economical
    Lots of us in this hobby would absolutely love a system like this but also wouldn't want pay an arm and a leg for it. Another thing is that more people can get in on the fun if its more affordable.

Those are just my thoughts and a few suggestions on this potentially awesome system.
And of course please leave more suggestions below, I'm sure they will be greatly appreciated.
 

BillH

New member
#3
It must be open source, no proprietary stuff that a single vender can hijack.
I've been playing laser tag with the Recoil brand with my wife. From what I can gather, each gun has a LIDAR range finder on it, and a high power IR LED, and a bunch of IR detectors all over the gun. The LIDAR is used to measure distance to vary the effectiveness of each shot. Obviously, the closer you are, the more damage. As for damage on the airplane, you could do anything from simply cutting out the motor, to losing individual flight controls. Thinking about this, it really isn't that complicated...
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#4
Obviously, the closer you are, the more damage. As for damage on the airplane, you could do anything from simply cutting out the motor, to losing individual flight controls. Thinking about this, it really isn't that complicated...
While I love the idea of laser tag combat in the skies, doing damage in a way that inhibits flight control could be very dangerous to spectators and pilots. Disabling the victims laser for a while would be great, and maybe some motor power reduction, but I'd leave the control surfaces alone.

If rumors are to be believed, there is another US based vendor working on this too, but I don't know if they are going to keep it proprietary or go open source or open standard.
 

BillH

New member
#5
While I love the idea of laser tag combat in the skies, doing damage in a way that inhibits flight control could be very dangerous to spectators and pilots. Disabling the victims laser for a while would be great, and maybe some motor power reduction, but I'd leave the control surfaces alone.

If rumors are to be believed, there is another US based vendor working on this too, but I don't know if they are going to keep it proprietary or go open source or open standard.
I know who you are talking about, he was at Flite Fest South, testing it out. I seriously doubt he will open source it based on questions I was asking him.
Have to agree with you on the safety aspect, but the other part of me wants M80 firecrackers to blow up the airplane from a direct hit. Seriously...
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#6
The firecracker idea might work on your own property with a friend and also might make a really fun flite test episode. Just like the good old spitfire explosion prank that David pulled on Josh back in the good old days. Unfortunately though I wouldn't bring this to a flying event, despite how much fun it would be.
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#7
I also wonder if one could modify an old three channel rc helicopter and controller to make a home made system.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#8
The firecracker idea might work on your own property with a friend and also might make a really fun flite test episode. Just like the good old spitfire explosion prank that David pulled on Josh back in the good old days. Unfortunately though I wouldn't bring this to a flying event, despite how much fun it would be.
Very much not AMA approved. But if the pieces that fall from the sky are so small they can't hurt anyone.... :black_eyed:

But what about a parachute ejection system where if you take a couple hits your plane deploys a parachute, effectively ending your participation in the combat and bringing the craft down safely...
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#9
That is actually a phenomenal idea! Even for a situation that isn't combat, for example if you're learning how to fly and don't have a plane with safe you could use a servo to hold the parachute in and use the release of it like an "oh crap" button. This actually sounds like a fun project that I might just have to try over winter break.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
#10
If you've spent anytime playing multi-player online fighter pilot games (i.e. Warbirds and Dawn of Aces) you know the problems and importance of views and situational awareness. Finding your foe and keeping track of him is hard.

Using the existing camera technology, I think it would be beneficial to simultaneously tow streamers while dogfighting. This would make target aquisition easier.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#11
I love me some streamer combat - and am excited to get into FPV combat as well. There is a very very active thread right now where people are designing tons of variants of the Bloody Wonder design for all kinds of WW2 warbids - I think there are 7 or 8 done already.

http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?37647-Bloody-WWII-Baby!

They all have in common a Bloody Wonder style fuselage - if we could get a working parachute deployment system that would tuck inside that fuselage (and I think there might be plenty of room for it) we could have a real breakout combination here :)
 
#12
If you've spent anytime playing multi-player online fighter pilot games (i.e. Warbirds and Dawn of Aces) you know the problems and importance of views and situational awareness. Finding your foe and keeping track of him is hard.

Using the existing camera technology, I think it would be beneficial to simultaneously tow streamers while dogfighting. This would make target aquisition easier.
Streamers would help, and using head trackers. I have a few years playing warbirds online, but it's been over a decade since the squadron I belonged to disbanded, the 157th TFG Swamp Foxes.

I also think what would be crucial is a proper OSD displaying a gun site, and having it calibrated to the IR LED beam.
Getting a bit more complicated, because it would require airplane to airplane communication, would be the OSD showing hit marks when you make a hit, simulating pieces falling off the other airplane. Also having limited ammunition or shots, requiring a touch and go to reload. Of course that would make you very vulnerable, all part of the strategy. The touch and go would require a "weight on wheels" sensor.
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#13
The streamer idea would be cool, you could also incorporate it into a part of the combat. You can get extra points for getting someones streamer and you can also get points taken if yours gets cut. It would help keep people close together if they are trying to shoot and cut streamers.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#14
It must be open source, no proprietary stuff that a single vender can hijack.
Would be nice...but sadly not happening right now. IBCrazy is also working on a similar setup and after the video came out contacted this guy to see he'd be interested in making their systems work together - but it was a no go. And IBCrazy is planning on keeping his closed as well.

I've been saying for a few years I'd find something like this infinitely more interesting/fun than racing for multirotors. In that approach I could see it slowing your control rates when hit or introducing a bit of wobble to your flight. But I don't have the time or money to put into developing it...or the skills to get it much past a very rudimentary prototype if I did have the time or money.

I can't really fault those doing it for wanting to make money doing it...to me it's not really worth it. Given the size of the market of people who'd be interested in it I can't see selling it for enough to be worthwhile. Though given the price of stuff advertised in the AMA magazine I'm sure there are those out there who would be more than willing to pay enough to make it worth going closed. But I can't see charging more for something then I'd be willing to pay - it's why I'm a lousy business man and do a lot of stuff for free :D

That said I'd love to see an open approach and wouldn't be surprised if it quickly eclipsed any closed systems if it actually happened.
 

cranialrectosis

The flying faceplant!
Mentor
#15
Cool idea. I think the laser shots should be limited though so they can't just shoot a constant stream of laser 'bullets'.

Maybe if you shoot too much you lose power yourself?

That makes combat much more realistic. You can lose by getting shot or lose by running out of ammo. :)
 

JimCR120

Site Moderator
#16
Watching the video I definitely like the idea of dogfighting. I would want to incorporate some audio/visual/and tactile feedback though. I think someone in the video also felt the need as I think I heard some sound mouthed sound effects.

I was actually thinking streamers but as a result of getting "shot". It could represent smoke coming out of the plane. Maybe a streamer or 2 as a precursor to losing some throttle. Sound could be done with caps (like cap guns had) or maybe something on the radio itself. And for tactile have the radios vibrate like video games do nowadays.
 

SP0NZ

FT CAD Gremlin
Mentor
#17
I love me some streamer combat - and am excited to get into FPV combat as well. There is a very very active thread right now where people are designing tons of variants of the Bloody Wonder design for all kinds of WW2 warbids - I think there are 7 or 8 done already.

http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?37647-Bloody-WWII-Baby!

They all have in common a Bloody Wonder style fuselage - if we could get a working parachute deployment system that would tuck inside that fuselage (and I think there might be plenty of room for it) we could have a real breakout combination here :)
Those are the mini size though. Trust me when I say you don't really want to add a lot more weight to those. I'm hoping they take those designs up to the swappable Bloody Baron size though.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#18
Those are the mini size though. Trust me when I say you don't really want to add a lot more weight to those. I'm hoping they take those designs up to the swappable Bloody Baron size though.
Yeah, we'll be needing to upsize those mini design's to full size for this :)
 

Fluburtur

Cardboard Boy
#19
We have been talking about that in the FT discord recently and everyone on there is pretty motivated to at least make prototypes with arduino and stuff and everyone has skills that will make that easier.
I myself will try to make the reflex sight I talked about in the HUD thread a thing.
DSC_8390.JPG
A pan and tilt fpv camera will be needed as well.
Things are moving fast so I can't say anything for sure but I hope it will be a thing.