Arduino Laser Tag Update #1

IR Sensor & 7 Segment Display Initial Testing

IR Sensor, 7 Segment Display

As part of the prototype for laser tag project, I’ve put together a Universal IR Infrared Receiver TL1838 VS1838B working in conjunction with a 4 digit 7 segment display I brought from Aliexpress. I am working towards building a testing platform to something similar to the schematic I’ve drawn below.

Electronic Schematic

We decided to go with a 4 digit display for flexibility in game programming. Mostly likely, the first two digits will be used for health and the last two will be used for ammo. The three IR Sensors on the bottom with their respective LEDs will eventually be attached on to a vest and linked back up to the gun. The IR sensors were tested with the Arduino Nano and the IR detector library from Ken Shirriff’s Blog. It was successful in detecting my remote control from a distance of more than 10 meters away. The testing code for the IR sensor and the 7 segment display is shown below.

#include <IRremote.h>

int RECV_PIN = 6;

IRrecv irrecv(RECV_PIN);

decode_results results;

int x = 1;

void setup()
irrecv.enableIRIn(); // Start the receiver

pinMode(13, OUTPUT);

pinMode(12, OUTPUT);
pinMode(8, OUTPUT);
pinMode(7, OUTPUT);
pinMode(14, OUTPUT);
pinMode(15, OUTPUT);
pinMode(16, OUTPUT);
pinMode(17, OUTPUT);
pinMode(18, OUTPUT);

pinMode(2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(4, OUTPUT);
pinMode(5, OUTPUT);

digitalWrite(12, LOW);
digitalWrite(8, LOW);
digitalWrite(7, LOW);
digitalWrite(14, LOW);
digitalWrite(15, LOW);
digitalWrite(16, LOW);
digitalWrite(17, LOW);
digitalWrite(18, LOW);


void loop() {

digitalWrite(2, HIGH);
digitalWrite(3, LOW);
digitalWrite(4, LOW);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);


digitalWrite(2, LOW);
digitalWrite(3, HIGH);
digitalWrite(4, LOW);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);


digitalWrite(2, LOW);
digitalWrite(3, LOW);
digitalWrite(4, HIGH);
digitalWrite(5, LOW);


digitalWrite(2, LOW);
digitalWrite(3, LOW);
digitalWrite(4, LOW);
digitalWrite(5, HIGH);


if (irrecv.decode(&amp;results)) {
irrecv.resume(); // Receive the next value

digitalWrite(13, HIGH);

digitalWrite(3, LOW);
digitalWrite(4, HIGH);
digitalWrite(6, HIGH);
digitalWrite(13, LOW);

The hardware setup of the 7 segment display was a bit complicated because I couldn’t find the specifications for the pins. I had to test each individual segment myself. If anybody is having trouble figuring out where the common anode is, you can refer to my spread sheet here.

Arduino Laser Tag

Ebay Laser Tag Guns

For the past few months, my friends and I have been planning to make our own laser tag system that we can play at home. The goal is to make a laser tag system that we can modify and program different game modes. Why are we doing his? We just want to play some laser tag, and learn a couple of things along the way.

How Laser Tag Works

The technology we are dealing with uses infrared (IR) light. It’s been around for a long time, so if you’ve ever used a remote to turn on a TV, then chances are you’ve already seen this technology. This light is located past the lower end of the visible electromagnetic spectrum, so we can’t actually see it. But most digital cameras can still pick it up, so if you take a picture at the right moment, you can see something like this:

Remote Control

Remote control infrared operates at 38 kHz, which is very uncommon in nature. For our Laser tag set-up, we will be using infrared at the same frequency because it is a common standard. The core idea is very simple, have guns that fire off infrared and attach sensors on vests that can detect them. The logic will be handled by a programmable micro-controller. In our case, the Arduino.

Bill of Materials

Since we will be making several sets of guns, we decided to prototype one first, then mass produce the others. Here is our bill of materials for the first laser tag set, just to get us started.

Bill of Materials V1.0

Most of the parts were from China so we expected at least a month of lead time.