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I am building a laser tag system with an Arduino in each gun.

I want the guns to be linked during game play for many different reasons:

  1. Start/Stop game
  2. Nearby teammates
  3. When a flag is captured
  4. etc.

I don't know how to link the guns to one another during game play because the field may be large (e.g. a park). Wifi has too short of a range, cellular would cost, linking to a phone via bluetooth would drain the phone battery (and require each player have a smart phone to play).

Can you think of another way to link the guns? Radio transmitters?

Thanks!

1 Answer 1

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You can use nRF24L01+

The chips offer:

  • Really high range with power amplifier (1km open field radius (776 acres if I'm right) , but fairly high power consumption 100-150mA @ 3.3V)
  • High range with PCB antenna (50-80m open field, low power consumption 14mA peak)
  • Low cost (0.8£-6£ a piece)
  • Many easy to use libraries available, possible to create a mesh network
  • High usable voltage range (direct Li-Po for example without step-up)
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  • That's a great idea! Just to clarify, they could transfer custom data packages, like to notify the end of a game? They aren't only used for sending up and down movements to a drone, correct?
    – Aaron
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:39
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    Payload and header can be whatever you wish it to be. Check out tmrh20.github.io/RF24 library for more details what the chip can do.
    – Avamander
    Mar 25, 2016 at 18:45
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    Optionally you could add a single central node. You could place it in a central location. Preferably in a higher location. You could even use a version with an amplifier. That way you get the optimal coverage, even if two players are at opposite ends. To conserve power you could have the player units poll the central node, instead of having to listen all the time, and use power.
    – Gerben
    Mar 25, 2016 at 20:03
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    @Aaron If the base station beams strong enough and frequent enough it's fairly certain the guns will receive the payload if close enough (1km field, maybe 500m dense forest). (Make it beam at full power, often, to all devices (one pipe, listen to one pipe), no ack and slow transmission speed) It's a matter of testing. Buy a pair. One high powered one and one regular one (make sure it's genuine) and then test the range, make the base beacon transmit as I've told, you can use even multiple and test it.
    – Avamander
    Mar 25, 2016 at 22:42
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    Perfect! Thanks for your help! This helps a lot!
    – Aaron
    Mar 25, 2016 at 23:05

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