Here's one of those classic games you probably played with your friends as a kid at birthday parties, mock-up military training, or just hanging out with your buds. You probably play this with your friends still, but it's a pain to keeping paying to get only a few minutes of shoot-em-up fun. Why not build your own system and play whenever you feel like it? Well, this instructable will show you how to create your very own system, from simple to arcade-style complexity. I do not recommend this project to those without some of the supplies listed in the next step, because it tends to get very expensive fast if you don't have the stuff (don't worry if you have some of these, most are pretty cheap to buy at Radioshack). To those who don't the money or supplies, I suggest buying the kids laser tag systems you can find in Toys R Us for about $20-$30. However if you have the hankering for learning circuitry, have spare time and friends you don't know what to do with, or if you just wanna build something, this is for you!
Step 1: Price and Supplies
I'm a big fan of cheap stuff so I liked what I saw when I tried designing my own laser tag system and found I had most of the parts I needed to mimic an arcade-style system, though the more complex I got with the designs (for example designing a Who-Hit-Me display) the more expensive they became, but my simple design is sufficient and is fairly cheap to replicate (for multiple players). Below is a list of prices and supplies you're need (unless it says 'opt.' which shows which parts are optional) to complete your own laser tag suit. Parts listed as being optional are things you don't absolutely need to make the system shown in my photos (though you can get even simpler without the buzzer). The following prices (and supplies) are based off local Radioshack prices:
(opt.) x2 $.48 8 pin IC socket
(opt.) $.99 14 pin IC socket
(opt.) $1.99 perf board (these 1.99-cheapies should have enough holes)
$1.99 piezo speaker (some higher dB speakers are more costly)
$1.49 .01 microfarad cap
$.99 10k ohm resistors (5-pack)
$.99 65k ohm resistors (5-pack)
$.99 100 ohm resistors (5-pack)
$2.99 CdS photoresistors (5-pack)
$3.99 5mm tactile switch
(opt.) $3.99 SPDT toggle switch
(opt.) $1.49 trimmer resistor
(opt.) $3.99 pager motor ("rumble" motor)
(opt.) $2.99 breadboard
$2.99 assorted LEDs (20 pack - cost effective if you want to make more suits)
$1.69 LM555 timer chip (8-pin)
$3.69 (@ Walmart) Laser pointer or bright flashlight (sensitivity will be explained in the build and explanation sections)
Wires and/or alligator clips, 9v battery clip
If you have ABSOLUTELY NONE of these parts these are the costs (not including batteries and wire).
If you have recovered from that price induced heart attack, remember it's only if you're missing everything, it goes down significantly if you have most of everything.