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This Instructable is going to show you how to add a laser line to your dart board so you don't have to put a strip of ugly tape on your newly carpeted game room floor.

I had already built a dart board cabinet for my basement and wanted to find a way to add a throwing line to the floor without permanently attaching it to the carpet or floor.

I decided a laser line would be the perfect way to do this since I already had power to my dart board cabinet for the dart board itself and the lights in the top of the cabinet.

Step 1: Tools and Materials You May Need

I used a 10 mW red laser module with a line lens. I ordered it online for about $12.00 plus shipping.

This laser module came with a regular "dot" lens. I added a line lens for $3.00. The line lens had roughly a 40 degree display angle.

I found a cheap Game Boy 3 volt transformer to power the laser at Radio Shack.

The only other materials I used were a binder clip and a #8 wood screw.  The binder clip is used to hold the laser module and the wood screw attaches it to the dart board cabinet.


The tools I used on the project were as follows:
- screwdriver
- cordless drill
- scroll saw for making a slot in a piece of wood.


NOTE: If you plan on using any tool for a project please make sure you are familiar with the tool and all of the dangers associated with it. If you are not familiar with a tool then you should ask someone who is to show you the proper way to use it. A lot of communities have classes at local colleges on the proper use of tools and machinery. There are also local woodworking clubs that offer classes at very reasonable rates for beginners. I highly recommend using these resources for your safety and for the most efficient use of the tool.

Step 2: Mounting the Laser Module

Now we need to decide how to mount the laser to the cabinet.  Commercial mounting clamps are available, but I found that a regular paper binder clip works well and holds the laser module tight.  I already had a cover plate that hid the wiring for the LED light bulbs in the top of the cabinet so all I needed to do was find a place that wouldn't interfere with the light bulbs, mount the laser, and cut a slot in the cover plat to let the laser light shine through.

You can mount the laser above or below the dart board. If you are mounting the laser near the dart board then try to mount it as low as possible so there is less of a chance of people getting blasted in the eyes with the laser when they are close to it.

I chose the upper left corner of my cabinet since it was an unused area, had plenty of material to drill into for mounting the laser, and was off to the side of the center of the cabinet.  I also wanted the laser module in a place where it wouldn't get hit by a dart and get broken or knocked loose.  If the laser is positioned above the dart board in the center then when shorter people walk up to the center of the cabinet to remove their darts they will get blasted in the eyes with the laser light. If the module is off to the side then there is less of a chance of getting hit in the eyes with the laser light.

My laser turns on when I turn the power on to the cabinet. One push button switch turns power on to the dart board, cabinet lights, and the laser.

Make sure you don't mount the laser in a place that could shine into people's eyes and cause damage. My kids are a little older now and they know better than to look into the laser light.

Step 3: Positioning the Laser

Once you have the laser mounted in your cabinet you just need to focus the beam and line it up with the official toe line distance for your dart board.  I used blue painters tape to mark the line position on the floor temporarily.  Then I focused the lens on the laser module to get a crisp line at the distance to the toe line.  Once the lens is focused then you need to rotate the laser module and lens within your mounting bracket (mine is the binder clip) to get the correct line orientation.  This can take a few minutes as you might have to adjust a few times.  Once you have the laser lined up and focused you can remove the blue painters tape from the floor.

Step 4: Running and Hiding the Power

The power for the laser module in my cabinet comes from the extension cord that I have running to the top of the cabinet.  My 3-volt transformer plugs into the extension cord and is small enough to fit in the enclosed area at the top of my cabinet.  The wiring is enclosed with a cover plate that is held in place with four small rare earth magnets that are epoxied to the back. Once I had the laser module in place I just had to cut a slot for the laser light to pass through.  The narrow slot also helps narrow the output beam from the original 40 degree angle.  See the pictures for more details on the cover plate.

Step 5: Play Some Darts

Now that the laser line is showing you where to stand you can grab a cold one and play some darts.

The picture shows how the line looks although the line appears brighter in person than it shows in the pictures.

<p>whats the height of the dart board from the floor and distance for shooting line. basenji1406</p>
Not sure off hand. We are moving things around in my basement where the dart board was hung so I can't measure right now.<br><br>You should check with the instructions for your dart board or set them for what is comfortable for you.
<p>How do you attach the laser to the power supply? Total noob at this.</p>
You need to get a power supply or a battery pack that has the same output needed for the laser. It can be a little less without losing too much visibility, but not more to be on the safe side. Connect the positive power lead to the positive wire for the laser. Do the same thing with the negative side.<br><br>You might want to look online for these dart board laser lines. I think there are several companies making them now and it might save you a lot of time and headaches if you don't already have the parts.<br>
i decided to figure out what was being done without reading it... and all i can say now is... OMG I WANT ONE!! Now i need to get on this...
The picture annotations pretty much cover whats going on so but the write up is a bit better. I think I'd add a separate switch to turn the laser on and off. For when just the kids are playing. They don't care about lines anyways. Other than that its a great instructable. I like the way the electronics were hidden and how the cover plate was attached.
wow this is cool could i hook it up to sercurty system like in the movies
Quick question, Now wouldn't you have the laser hit you in the eyes when going to pull your darts? Could a motion sensor turn it off while approaching the board?
That sounds like a great idea. We've never really had a problem with the laser bothering people who are pulling out darts. I think it is partially because the laser is offset to the left of the board. If you are standing right in front of the board then the laser beam at that point is only a couple inches wide and off to the side of where you are standing..
Ahh, it all makes sense to me now. Was just wondering, very cool
Cool! this is so easy to do, i dont hav a dart board but i like this idea
Nicely done! I think all the dart players out there will really like this instructable, an adjustable line with no more sticky tape residue on the floor!
Great idea I think I will do this too. I have a small laser line level from Harbor freight for my circular saw that might work for this by turning the lens or instead it came with double sided tape I might attach to my base board trim and shoot the laser across the floor so as to not have any distractive laser at the dartboard while throwing. Of course it runs on 1 AAA battery so the fun will be rigging up a power supply for it. $4.99 plus those great 20% off coupons. Thanks for the idea.
What kind of laser is this that is not single point but in shape of line?<br>And you seem to be a fan of darts and yet don't have the original needle type of darts...This seems like magnetic. Isn't the needle one much more fun and traditional way of darts.
It is a regular laser with a line creating lens.<br><br>I have a couple young boys and I don't think it would be a good idea to let them play with the pic type of needle darts. I'd have holes in everything. The board I have is of the plastic dart tip variety. Much safer.<br><br>Cheers.
You should show the picture with the line as the first picture
Good call. I just changed it.
Great project! Did you do an I'ble for the dartboard cabinet itself? It's really great looking.
Thanks for the kind comments. I haven't created an Instructable for the dartboard cabinet. Unfortunately I did not take pictures during the construction of it.<br>
Where did you get your laser module and lens?
Here is where I originally got the laser. Looking around after the fact I found other sites that had cheaper lasers.<br><br>http://aixiz.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=44_26&amp;products_id=44
<br> $3.96 from<br> <a href="http://www.dealextreme.com/p/red-laser-module-focused-line-3-5v-4-5v-16mm-5mw-5928">http://www.dealextreme.com/p/red-laser-module-focused-line-3-5v-4-5v-16mm-5mw-5928</a><br> <br> BTW: Great idea<br>
Awesome - I'm building a project atm that should've been published already but injuries, anyway cheap laser levels for DIY have a laser and line splitter and cost less than almost any laser module I've seen, bit late now but anyone wanting to replicate this could save a few quid...

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Bio: Just a guy who likes building things for my family.
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