Firefight

Modern and science fiction LARP in the UK.

Building Laser-Tag equipment

Building your own Laser-Tag equipment can be a rewarding experience and many people in the UKLTA do build their own. It requires basic craft skills, familiarity with basic electronics and knowing how to use a soldering iron safely.

Generally, people will buy a pre-built electronics board but it is also possible to do this from scratch with an Arduino microcontroller.

As the DOT protocol used in our Laser-Tag system is proprietary there is no fully open source DOT weapon design available, but we can supply binary files for use on Arduinos.

Sensors

Phil Higgins of Spartan Designs has provided a zip file containing complete instructions, software and PCB designs for building your own sensor. This will require a fair amount of knowledge and access to the right tools and supplies to make your own printed circuit boards.

Download sensor pack

PDFSpartan DesignWorks TinyTag Data Sensor Manual

Weapons

Spartan Designs can supply pre-made electronics that you can fit into a weapon body, be that an Airsoft weapon, NERF weapon, adult size toy or even a custom build.

You will need basic craft skills and the ability to use a soldering iron, but it is not a complicated process.

Basic WoW compatible weapon

Nick Reynolds has written up a guide on building a 'Worlds of Wonder' compatible Laser-Tag weapon from a child's toy gun.

It requires an Arduino Nano, Vishay TSAL6100 940nM Infrared emitter LED, MOSFET (a 2N7000 works acceptably), indicator LED and muzzle flash LED of your choice and some other simple bits of electronic hardware such as switches and resistors. This build assumes there is a 'sound board' and speaker that comes with the toy which makes 'weapon sounds' and that you can trigger it with a wire from the Arduino. Alternatively, standalone sound boards from Adafruit work well but make this into an expensive project compared to buying a complete weapon board.

For acceptable performance you will need to use a lens with the infrared emitter LED to focus it. This can be done experimentally by shining the output on a dark wall and viewing it with a mobile phone camera to check it is well focused. Most mobile phone cameras are sensitive to infrared light. We would however recommend buying a ready made lens assembly as focusing the output from a weapon can be fiddly.

There are two different firmwares for the Arduino, pistol and SMG. They are broadly similar but the SMG will autofire and needs a switch to select between single shot and autofire mode.

To load the software on the Arduino Nano you will need the program XLoader, available below and the zipped HEX file firmware.

PDFBasic WoW weapon construction guide v1.0

XLoader (Windows only)

WoW Pistol firmware v1.1

WoW SMG firmware v1.1

Other equipment

SIAB

Draziw have released instructions for building your own SIAB. You will need an Arduino Nano, some 'neopixels' and various bits of hardware.

To load the software on the Arduino Nano you will need the program XLoader, available below and the zipped HEX file firmware.

You can also buy a pre-built one.

PDFThe November 2018 edition of the SIAB Construction Guide

XLoader (Windows only)

SIAB firmwave v1.2

Basic Target

Nick Reynolds has written up a guide to building a target sensor you can use to test Laser-tag weapons if you don't want to be constantly resetting a body-worn sensor.

You will need an Arduino Nano v3.0 microcontroller, a Vishay TSOP34156 IR sensor, 1k resistor, LED of your choice and optionally a small speaker and button if you want it to make sounds.

To load the software on the Arduino Nano you will need the program XLoader, available below and the zipped HEX file firmware.

PDFBasic Target construction guide v1.0

XLoader (Windows only)

Basic target firmwave v1.0