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Laser Tag Combat - Community Suggestions

FPVAirCombat

Well-known member
#41
Ioteo,

Do you think your laser tag system will work for distances and light conditions like in the following video? If so, I would love to buy one (or two - one for target and one for chaser).

 
#42
Ioteo,

Do you think your laser tag system will work for distances and light conditions like in the following video? If so, I would love to buy one (or two - one for target and one for chaser).

Hey man, are you “motionsic” or turbineFancy?
The one with the videos with the reflector gunsight?
If so, we already met and talked in the past months as I remember...
Nice to see you here too! Me and other tester used the system in different weather conditions, right now in direct sunlight we were able to shoot each other up to 25/30meters.
In evening or night(indoor) I could reach also 50meters.
You should keep in mi d a couple of things:
- there are no lenses (yet) installed to focus the IR beam that means that the distance can still be increased;
- collimating the light beam means that the shooting surface has to be reduced;
- in laser tag system sniper at able to shoot up to 200m but the beam size is really small (<5cm or 2”).
I’m working on a video where it shows the system working in daylight using two fighter models!
 

Duck

Active member
#43
If anyone wants to try building a system, I do recommend checking out the Laser Tag Parts site for some pre-built components or checking out their good content on the schematics or system design. Their store seems to be having problems but hopefully it will come back.

In particular, you likely cannot do better then their IR receiver domes. They made a very simple PCB for 1-3 IR receives that fits under a plastic dome. It is connectable in serial to other domes. You can also swap their recommend TSOP34856 with any of the variant depending on what frequency you use.

The datasheet has the part number per frequency:
https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensors/Infrared/tsop382.pdf

You can buy the PCB bare for only a few dollars or use their layout yourself if their store doesn't come back.
http://www.lasertagparts.com/mtsensors.htm

If it turns out to be down for good, it might be worth doing a little PCB design and doing a single small batch of just the receiver domes. I would recommend trying to give the laser tag parts store the business if they are still running though.
 

FPVAirCombat

Well-known member
#44
Hey man, are you “motionsic” or turbineFancy?
The one with the videos with the reflector gunsight?
If so, we already met and talked in the past months as I remember...
Nice to see you here too! Me and other tester used the system in different weather conditions, right now in direct sunlight we were able to shoot each other up to 25/30meters.
In evening or night(indoor) I could reach also 50meters.
You should keep in mi d a couple of things:
- there are no lenses (yet) installed to focus the IR beam that means that the distance can still be increased;
- collimating the light beam means that the shooting surface has to be reduced;
- in laser tag system sniper at able to shoot up to 200m but the beam size is really small (<5cm or 2”).
I’m working on a video where it shows the system working in daylight using two fighter models!
Yes. Both. Have joined the different forums at different times. I think 25/30 meters effective range is a good match for models around 1.5m wingspan. Since they are about 1:7 scale and full scale WW II fighters dogfight at about 150-200m range.

Looking forward to seeing demo of your laser tag system at work! Can’t wait to see feedback from target taking hits...

 

Duck

Active member
#45
If anyone wants to try building a system, I do recommend checking out the Laser Tag Parts site for some pre-built components or checking out their good content on the schematics or system design. Their store seems to be having problems but hopefully it will come back.

In particular, you likely cannot do better then their IR receiver domes. They made a very simple PCB for 1-3 IR receives that fits under a plastic dome. It is connectable in serial to other domes. You can also swap their recommend TSOP34856 with any of the variant depending on what frequency you use.

The datasheet has the part number per frequency:
https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensors/Infrared/tsop382.pdf

You can buy the PCB bare for only a few dollars or use their layout yourself if their store doesn't come back.
http://www.lasertagparts.com/mtsensors.htm

If it turns out to be down for good, it might be worth doing a little PCB design and doing a single small batch of just the receiver domes. I would recommend trying to give the laser tag parts store the business if they are still running though.
I did a mockup sensor board just to try out an open source PCB tool (Fritzing) I found:
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/VTIP31lM

1574460318959.png


I can pretty much guarantee the board won't work as is as I didn't break out the datasheets and just did everything from memory but in about 90 minutes I had the tool working and a first draft. The total thing is 40mm diameter. OSH Park says it should be about 13$ for 3 boards.

The board has lots of issues so I'll try to fix them before actually attempting a board. Things like:
  • The board uses the wrong TSOP IR Receiver. You can see the pins are not evenly spaced, but the ones I've used before should be.
  • None of the parts are quite even on the board. I couldn't quite get the grid snap in Fritzing working in a sane way.
  • The traces are UGLY. Autoroute gave me weird issues so I did most of them by hand in a way I could still make sense of the board and avoid overlaps between the two layers.
  • The board does not have a fancy hit led that you can make flash.
  • The label on the header pins is not clear. I need to look at how those pins can be better labeled.
  • I am not sure about the cap/resistor through hole spacing. I just picked close parts from the built in parts list.
  • The back of the board is basically blank and I missed my change to silkscreen a cool duck on it.
  • No connectors for daisy chaining boards like the neat ones from Laser Tag Parts.
Overall it was much easier then I expected. The tool also appears to be optimized for things like Arduino shields. This might make building the main controller much easier. It needs:
  • An H-Bridge for amplifying the IR LED to a reasonable power + various pull ups/downs.
  • A connector for the IR LED which would be mounted in the light tube.
  • A connector for the receiver board.
  • Maybe a power connector for tapping the flight battery or other battery. The H-Bridge requires more power then the Arduino can drive.
  • A connector for LED strip for hit indicator, which might require additional power.
That is a more complicated board however. I would really want to breadboard it first as that board involves alot more data sheets all at once :)
 
#46
I would suggest to use eagle cad as PCB editor...
It is free and full of features!
That’s the one I used for my custom PCB.
I’m working on the video footage, hopefully it will be ready in the next weeks!
 

Duck

Active member
#47
I would suggest to use eagle cad as PCB editor...
It is free and full of features!
That’s the one I used for my custom PCB.
I’m working on the video footage, hopefully it will be ready in the next weeks!
I am very big on any editor that has default templates for everything I am going to use.
 

mach1 rc

Elite member
#50
Yes. Both. Have joined the different forums at different times. I think 25/30 meters effective range is a good match for models around 1.5m wingspan. Since they are about 1:7 scale and full scale WW II fighters dogfight at about 150-200m range.

Looking forward to seeing demo of your laser tag system at work! Can’t wait to see feedback from target taking hits...

Nice video it's so fun to watch
 

Duck

Active member
#54
I had a few hours last week and started an experiment for a very basic laser tag system that could mount on an RC plane. It uses some code borrowed from my laser tag hosting station but is stand alone on an Arduino. Because I used the same protocol as my hosting station, it also works with the Phoenix LTX guns. Not that I recommend running out into the field and trying to shoot the plane from the ground but it is good for testing.

This is nothing as cool as @ioteo's solution above.

The goal was with minimal hardware to be able to play via FPV. You should be able to plug in a single receiver channel for the trigger. Then just turning it on will start the game and the LEDs give you all the status.

Status Display
My goal was to put LED strips on the trailing edge of the wing. A tail mounted FPV camera should be able to see them so the pilot can see their own status. A chasing plane should also be able to see them if they are bright enough.

It looks like:
Code:
* = lit
X = not used
_ = off

Health (Left Wing / Green)
Full [* * * *] [X X X X]
Half [_ _ * *] [X X X X]
Ammo (Right Wing / Blue)
Full [X X X X] [* * * *]
Half [X X X X] [* * _ _]
Dead (Both Wings / White)
[* * * *] [* * * *]
Hit (Both Wings / Red)
Full [* * * *] [* * * *]
IR Receiver / IR LED
The IR Receiver would also be on top. So you need to be 'above' the other plane to hit it. The IR LED would be a small tube you should be able to wing mount to avoid the prop. My goal is to 3d print that and just glue the LED in place. If you happen to have a dual motor design you could mount it in the center. The IR Receiver likely needs a little PCB to keep everything secure as it will be exposed. I found some adjustable 3d printed laser tag lens/LED mounts. But I am having trouble sourcing a small acrylic lens. I am hoping for 20mm or smaller with a focal length < 100mm.
Power
The part I have not figured out is the power regulator for the Arduino. It is a little more complicated then I think I can make myself. I have one on a breakout board I can use for prototyping but if I had to shove that into a plane with the Arduino and connected to either the flight battery and/or a separate battery the case/mounting gets a little complex. There are Arduino's that run off a 1S LIPO battery directly which solves the regulator problem but means you have one more thing to charge and keep track of. They even including charging circuits so you can mount the battery internal and charge via USB.
Setup
I was planning on a basic dip switch on the plane for configuring. Power cycling just restarts the game.
The LTX protocol allows for Solo or 2 teams and tracking player 1-8. This means 2 switches for selecting team and 3 for player Id. Player Id isn't useful unless you want to also support reporting scores. I had no plans yet on how to get the scores off the system. The LTX guns use IR communication back and forth with the 'host' which is what my hosting station did. It is not perfectly reliable and would be even harder with the system attached to a full airplane. A simple wireless solution would work well like Bluetooth LE. Any cell phone would be able to listen and get the score report from each plane once they were on the ground. Again @ioteo's solution above with an actual wireless data link is much more robust and lets you have full control but this works for scores. Not a feature a I am planning now as it is ALOT more complex on the software side.
Mounting & Case
To keep things simple, I might make a single case that houses Arduino, Arduino shield PCB with IR Receiver, dip switches and plugs for IR LED and LED strips. The alternative is to make the IR Receiver separate which means the Arduino can sit inside but it also means one more part to keep track of. It would also enable multiple receivers to be used so you could bottom mount one. Some Arduino's appear to have limits as to how well they might be able to read from multiple IR receivers at the same time as the timing appears pretty tight. It is possible with some boards, just not sure if mine will or not.
Trigger
I was planning on just using a single switch on the transmitter to control firing. RC Transmitters are not game controllers so they don't have trigger buttons in a good spot. I may try allowing the switch to enable a moderate rate of automatic fire. Something like 1 shot per second. If your plane has 50 shots then you just flip the switch while you are chasing and switch off when not using it. I was hoping to not have to use one of the LEDs for Ammo indicator but it might work.

Component Layout

rect817.png


I started the software prototype and bread-boarding some of the parts. Undocumented code here:
https://github.com/afaucher/Tagger My goal is to keep the whole thing < 1000 lines of code.

What works:
  • Reading hits and taking damage.
  • Tracking health.
  • Player 'death'.
  • Displaying hits (flash red), health (% green) & death (stay on white) on LED strip.
What doesn't work yet:
  • Reading the PWM signal from RC receiver for the 'trigger'
  • Shooting
  • Ammo tracking
  • Dual LEDs, one for each wing.
  • IR LED power amplification
  • Configuring player / team via switches
  • Powering via onboard battery
  • All the above parts for mounting on a plane.
 

Duck

Active member
#55
I had a few hours last week and started an experiment for a very basic laser tag system that could mount on an RC plane. It uses some code borrowed from my laser tag hosting station but is stand alone on an Arduino. Because I used the same protocol as my hosting station, it also works with the Phoenix LTX guns. Not that I recommend running out into the field and trying to shoot the plane from the ground but it is good for testing.

This is nothing as cool as @ioteo's solution above.

The goal was with minimal hardware to be able to play via FPV. You should be able to plug in a single receiver channel for the trigger. Then just turning it on will start the game and the LEDs give you all the status.

Status Display
My goal was to put LED strips on the trailing edge of the wing. A tail mounted FPV camera should be able to see them so the pilot can see their own status. A chasing plane should also be able to see them if they are bright enough.

It looks like:
Code:
* = lit
X = not used
_ = off

Health (Left Wing / Green)
Full [* * * *] [X X X X]
Half [_ _ * *] [X X X X]
Ammo (Right Wing / Blue)
Full [X X X X] [* * * *]
Half [X X X X] [* * _ _]
Dead (Both Wings / White)
[* * * *] [* * * *]
Hit (Both Wings / Red)
Full [* * * *] [* * * *]
IR Receiver / IR LED
The IR Receiver would also be on top. So you need to be 'above' the other plane to hit it. The IR LED would be a small tube you should be able to wing mount to avoid the prop. My goal is to 3d print that and just glue the LED in place. If you happen to have a dual motor design you could mount it in the center. The IR Receiver likely needs a little PCB to keep everything secure as it will be exposed. I found some adjustable 3d printed laser tag lens/LED mounts. But I am having trouble sourcing a small acrylic lens. I am hoping for 20mm or smaller with a focal length < 100mm.
Power
The part I have not figured out is the power regulator for the Arduino. It is a little more complicated then I think I can make myself. I have one on a breakout board I can use for prototyping but if I had to shove that into a plane with the Arduino and connected to either the flight battery and/or a separate battery the case/mounting gets a little complex. There are Arduino's that run off a 1S LIPO battery directly which solves the regulator problem but means you have one more thing to charge and keep track of. They even including charging circuits so you can mount the battery internal and charge via USB.
Setup
I was planning on a basic dip switch on the plane for configuring. Power cycling just restarts the game.
The LTX protocol allows for Solo or 2 teams and tracking player 1-8. This means 2 switches for selecting team and 3 for player Id. Player Id isn't useful unless you want to also support reporting scores. I had no plans yet on how to get the scores off the system. The LTX guns use IR communication back and forth with the 'host' which is what my hosting station did. It is not perfectly reliable and would be even harder with the system attached to a full airplane. A simple wireless solution would work well like Bluetooth LE. Any cell phone would be able to listen and get the score report from each plane once they were on the ground. Again @ioteo's solution above with an actual wireless data link is much more robust and lets you have full control but this works for scores. Not a feature a I am planning now as it is ALOT more complex on the software side.
Mounting & Case
To keep things simple, I might make a single case that houses Arduino, Arduino shield PCB with IR Receiver, dip switches and plugs for IR LED and LED strips. The alternative is to make the IR Receiver separate which means the Arduino can sit inside but it also means one more part to keep track of. It would also enable multiple receivers to be used so you could bottom mount one. Some Arduino's appear to have limits as to how well they might be able to read from multiple IR receivers at the same time as the timing appears pretty tight. It is possible with some boards, just not sure if mine will or not.
Trigger
I was planning on just using a single switch on the transmitter to control firing. RC Transmitters are not game controllers so they don't have trigger buttons in a good spot. I may try allowing the switch to enable a moderate rate of automatic fire. Something like 1 shot per second. If your plane has 50 shots then you just flip the switch while you are chasing and switch off when not using it. I was hoping to not have to use one of the LEDs for Ammo indicator but it might work.

Component Layout

View attachment 158730

I started the software prototype and bread-boarding some of the parts. Undocumented code here:
https://github.com/afaucher/Tagger My goal is to keep the whole thing < 1000 lines of code.

What works:
  • Reading hits and taking damage.
  • Tracking health.
  • Player 'death'.
  • Displaying hits (flash red), health (% green) & death (stay on white) on LED strip.
What doesn't work yet:
  • Reading the PWM signal from RC receiver for the 'trigger'
  • Shooting
  • Ammo tracking
  • Dual LEDs, one for each wing.
  • IR LED power amplification
  • Configuring player / team via switches
  • Powering via onboard battery
  • All the above parts for mounting on a plane.
That looks real, right?

1582697356104.png
 

Duck

Active member
#56
I've gotten the software and breadboard setup working to the point I need to start more extensive testing. Next up:
  1. Range Test (now powering LED via transistor from Arduino 5v regulator)
  2. Manufacturing Arduino shield PCB (breadboard will NOT be sufficient for my 'flying')
  3. Designing and printing Arduino case
  4. Designing and printing lens & IR LED tube
  5. TX focus & power testing
  6. RX angle testing
  7. Testing running off flight battery or 2S bonus LIPO
  8. Heading to the field and shooting at it with a ground based gun
  9. Two planes ...
  10. Additional IR receiver dome testing (top/bottom)
Code is coming along:
https://github.com/afaucher/Tagger
 

Duck

Active member
#58