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Interesting TAP handle tech question \ quest.

Here's a weird one for  you guys.

I recently bought a Beer tap handle and noticed that it had an insert that had some LEDs on it. Cool. The problem is that the LEDs don't light (beyond a tiny SMD red LED heartbeat). I found a small button that when depressed seems to trigger a test. Bright white LEDs on the top and bottom flash to illumnnate the top of the tap (either a clear baseball or FIFA tap topper) as well as the body. It's hollow plastic so it briefly glows.

The problem is that I can't figure out how to light the things beyond the test (for which you have to remove it from the handle).

The guy who sold it to me said they've sold lots like this and could never figure it out. I figured light sensor? nope. Tilt sensor so it'll flash when you pour a beer. Nope.

I broke out  my loupe and noticed a funky thing on the circuit board that looked like it had an antenna. It was an Anaren A1101R09A.
This thing is a radio tranceiver!  That tells me there was a remote with it that was lost in the few days after they bar got their new tap handle.

Does that sound right? If so I was wondering where I could get or build another. I could put together some other LED solution, but I'd love to get this to work.

HEre's a pic of the tap handle and the insert laying on it's side. The right side is the up side with the transceiver. It's blue if you look closely.

Not sure I'll get a solution, but there's some clever people here, so you never know.

Thanks for reading.


Picture of Interesting TAP handle tech question \ quest.
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mcgary911 (author) 1 month ago

Thanks Down. I was thinking the same. Maybe rig up a universal garage door opener to make it work, but after some research the plot thickens.

This was an effort in 2014 and these are called interactive tap handles. They made about 8000 of them. They would activate AUTOMATICALLY when the home team scored a TD, goal, run, whatever. That was done via Sprints M2M network and technology developed by MESH systems.

search "Budweiser interactive tap handle" or "interactive tap marker" and there's info out there.

If sprint isn't onboard anymore, it won't work like that ever again and these wouldn't be up for sale if they still worked, i'd think. I have a contact at budweiser who's pretty high up. I may reach out to him. I figure they have to be configured with some software to work for my teams. I've also reached out to the MESH guys. You never know.

Worst case I unsolder the test switch and mount a tiny one on the tap handle that will depress when someone pours a beer. That wold still be cool.

This thing has more tech than the moon lander. Pretty cool.

More to come.......

The only thing would be that someone who still has the remote can use an app or programmable remote to copy the codes for you.
But as it is not IR there is little chance of finding someone who has both the remote and suitable hardware to read the codes.
Might be easier to get some fancy LED flasher and to add a tilt sensor.