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Create your own Interactive LED Beer Pong Table!

This instructable will guide you through all of the steps to in order to create a one-of-a-kind beer pong table complete with cup detecting RGB pods, automatic ball washers, a 32x12 ping pong ball LED grid, side LED rings for spectators and an RF interface to communicate wirelessly with a PC! It will teach you everything from theory of operation to modifying the table to suit your needs. First, I will take you through the modification and wiring of the table before we dive into the software side of things.

The toughest part about this project is just getting it started. There is a lot of prepping and labour to do before you can get anything real exciting working. However, if you can stick it out until you get the 32x12 LED grid in place, you will do just fine. Once you get up to that point, you can really start to see the potential for the table and it makes working on it a lot more enjoyable. I worked on this table on and off over the course of one year. If I were to build another one and had a set schedule of 8-hours per day to work on it, I could easily finish it within one week. The majority of the time that I spent on this project went into prototyping, development and writing the software rather than actually assembling the project.

Now come and take a tour with me through this Instructable and let us find out if you are up for the challenge!


Final Update


I have published a new Instructable that details the operation of the X5 kit and its capabilities. Although I modified the size of the table in the new Instructable, the X5 kit can handle everything that this version can do as well as more. In otherwords, customize your table however you like, whether you build off of this tables layout, the new tables layout or you completely design your own table layout. Thank you to everyone who has been patient with me! There was a lot of time needed to completely re-design the electronics and go through a few revisions before I had a solid product. Cheers!


 
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alvinlee24 days ago
why camnot i buy in singapore
Sizo218 days ago

How much is the cost to bulid? and is the code open source?

BPpro12 days ago
So where do I purchase one at
Regax (author)  BPpro10 days ago

There are kits available for the newer version (http://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-LED-Beer-Pong-Table-20/) at Kickstarter or else you can build it from scratch as the project is open-source.

Rocurium13 days ago

I was wondering how you etched and the RGB Pods. What materials did you use? Did you just use a certain dimension to fit 4 pods at a time using cooper sheets? What substances did you etch the board to make outline for the top and bottom pods?

Regax (author)  Rocurium10 days ago

I used what is called the "Toner Transfer" method to create the PCBs. Basically, you design your PCBs with a CAD program, print the board layout onto some glossy paper, then apply heat with the use of an iron or a laminator to the blank copper PCB and the glossy paper that is face down on the blank copper. The toner on the paper will stick to the blank PCB and you can then etch away the surrounding copper on the board that you don't need. This Instructable explains it better: www.instructables.com/id/Two-sided-PCB-using-toner...

I used ferric chloride to etch the PCBs and an etching tank. There is a newer version of this beer pong table located here in case you are interested. It is easier to make: http://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-LED-Beer-Pong-Table-20/

billy.erb1 month ago

I'm really excited to get this project started! A buddy of mine showed it to me and I knew it had to be done. Read through the whole thing and its gonna take a while but the end result will be well worth it.

Also saw the KCCO in the background of the video. Chive on dude!

Regax (author)  billy.erb28 days ago

Glad to hear that you like it! Feel free to PM if you have any questions about the build.

Cheers

AllanteLexus2 months ago
Is there any reason you didn't select the Arduino for this project? Or is the Arduino simply not suited for this application?

Thank You!
Regax (author)  AllanteLexus2 months ago

I find that Arduino's are great as a building block for one-off projects. If you are only making one of a project, it makes sense to buy an arduino which you can get up and running without a headache. After all, it doesn't always make sense to design a brand new circuit from the ground up for only one application sometimes.

I chose not to use Arduino for this project because I needed quite a bit of horsepower for this project and I wanted it at a lower cost. This way, it's cheaper for the consumer too. There are some really powerful Arduino's out there now, but as I said, since they are a pre-made board you will pay a little more for it than if you design your own with discrete components.

On top of that, I really like developing my circuits from the ground up. I know that sucks for a lot of people because Arduino's have a HUGE community and if I did make this project with an Arduino, it would reach out to a lot more people than it will now. I guess I just hope that I can make the documentation as simplistic as possible and hope that some people want to try it out, no matter what microcontroller is being used.

Sorry for the long-winded answer but that's my main reasons. Now most of the code is just straight C-code, so I'm sure somebody could make a ported version which runs on an Arduino too! :)

Thanks for the wonderful reply :)

I have a bunch of Arduinos sitting here, and was chomping at the bit to use them - but they can wait a little longer. Actually, there is a silver lining to all this, because this will force me into learning the PICs.

I started with the Basic Stamp way way back, and always envied people who knew how to program PIC controllers. Since that time, I've written lots of C and Java web applications, and I actually prefer to write code using these languages now. With that said, I am really excited to take a crack at this and see where it takes me.

I must say, I am truly impressed with your skills and deep down, always wanted to be where you are now. But, life has a way of taking you down different roads. You have created an amazing piece of art, and to make an Instructable out of it, is a very humbling gesture on your part.

Thanks again for your replies :)
Regax (author)  AllanteLexus2 months ago

Well I'm just a hobbyist. Heck, this Instructable simply started with me trying to code software to control 20 separate RGB channels efficiently. Now the code for version 2.0 contains drivers for the RGB pods, IR sensors, an LCD display, SD card, VU meter, bluetooth module, EEPROM module, etc. etc.

I find the trickiest part to learning any new microcontroller or programming language is just finding the correct software/setup to get a simple program up and running. Kind of that "Where do I start?" problem. Once I've got things setup as they need to be, I'm usually good to go. I think that's the main sticking point for people wanting to try out a new line of MCUs, whether it's PIC, Freescale, Atmel or any other brand. It's just getting the ball rolling that's difficult.

Let me know if you need any help setting up MPLAB or anything else with the PIC MCUs! Now I'll get back to the write-up for version 2.0, as I'm way behind on it and need to finish it up! haha

Cheers

AllanteLexus2 months ago

Do you know if there is a socket version of the PIC chip mentioned in this article? I am a little nervous about soldering such small legs (but I will if I have to). Other than the surface mount format, is there a socket version?

Thanks in advance for your help :)

Regax (author)  AllanteLexus2 months ago

You can purchase breakout PCBs on eBay (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/3pcs-QFP64-to-DIP64-0-5mm-P... which you can attach sockets/headers too. Of course, you do have to solder the chip in place first. It's really not that difficult with a soldering iron with a decent tip. Check out my videos on my 2nd Instructable detailing this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/EDMXNX9I3PK0J8H/st...

Cheers,

Jeff

first of all thank you for all of the instruction. And wow this is a incredible table. But I have 2 questions. do you have a code for the score of the game? and the second one is: where did you download the BPT control center application?

thank you for the help

Regax (author)  samuel.boyer.752 months ago

The BPT Control Center application can be downloaded from step #82. It is located in the zip file. I have learned from this Instructable to make one zip file with all of the software/schematics/documentation and post it in the first step. Otherwise users have to sift through 88 steps trying to figure out where to download anything! haha

In my new Instructable I have fixed this and will have everything for download in step #1. Anyways, the Scoreboard() function is located in the zip file of Step #43. It should be in LED_Graphics.c or LED_Control.c, I can't remember which one.

is it possible to change the sens of the scrolling text? scrolling the text down to up instead of right to left?write you lose in one side and you lose in the other side and srolling this text in front on each team?

Regax (author)  samuel.boyer.752 months ago

Yep, that's definitely possible. You would have to modify the code to change it to up/down from left/right but it's not hard to do.

Cheers

thank you

oh good thanks a lot for the informations

rlucas53 months ago
would a rgb pixel grid work instead of all those single leds that way then you could have any color for the center grid how much extra programing or changes would i have to do to that
Regax (author)  rlucas53 months ago

Well, if you were to use the 60x60mm RGB LED grids you would need a lot of them to cover the center of the table. On top of that, you would need to create additional circuitry to drive them and then write the software to handle it.

I am currently experimenting with using RGB LED strips and if all goes well, I will create a small connector on the revised PCBs so that users can either build the LED grid as detailed in the instructable, or add a larger 5V power supply and run WS2801/WS2811 RGB LED strips that are arranged in a matrix. The RGB LED strips would save a lot of time since we wouldn't have to wire up all of the LEDs one by one.

cgranger3 months ago
so do you have a set out that's going to match up with the new instructable or are you waiting till you finish it to but them onsale?
Regax (author)  cgranger3 months ago

All of the kits available for sale are the same kits that will be used in the new Instructable.

Hey man sent you a message if you wouldn't mind taking a look and responding, and awesome table thanks for the instructions!!! Also are you going to have anymore complete sets available anytime soon?

Dnoel43 months ago
Hey how will the PCB only set cost if I buy from you?? I have everything else except the glass and Table
Regax (author)  Dnoel43 months ago

The PCB Only kit is $78.99USD without shipping. You can see it here @ http://chexal.com/product/pcbs-only/.

Thanks for the interest!

Doopes3 months ago

Hi, I'm looking to purchase the fully assembled kit. Can you message me when you have more in stock?

Regax (author)  Doopes3 months ago

I sure can! Thanks for the interest.

Dnoel43 months ago
Sorry how much will it cost?
samyv913 months ago

hey just starting out on this if I buy the PCBS from you which steps do I avoid?

samyv91 samyv913 months ago
Excellent how much to post to london?
Regax (author)  samyv913 months ago

You will actually have to follow the new instructable when I post it. If you just purchase a PCB Only kit, you need to assemble the PCBs and then build/buy a bare table to install everything on. All of the details will be in the new Instructable.

JonathanS93 months ago

Hey dude! Excellent build and amazing Instructable - thanks for all the detail! I'll be building a basic table this weekend and checking your store frequently. As soon as the fully assembled kit is available, I'll buy it and add it to my table. Thanks for the great work!

jakub.partacz3 months ago

thank you
I was waiting for information . As already ready VERY PLEASE look in here very often and my table waiting for the heart : D

jakub.partacz3 months ago

Hello .
I am interested in buying a set of pcb with soldered components (ready -to-use set) I'm at the stage of independent trials but not quite me out

Greets the Polish

sorry for the language

Regax (author)  jakub.partacz3 months ago

Thanks for the interest! I am currently waiting on stock to be able to fulfill the unassembled and assembled kit orders. I can update you when I have all of the kits ready to go. At the moment, I only have PCB Only sets available.

cgranger3 months ago
Do you have an estimated time frame for new table
Regax (author)  cgranger3 months ago

Still waiting on getting my prototype back. I need it for photos and documentation in the new Instructable, but I had it completed on Dec 12th.

I am offering PCB Only sets at the moment with the BOM and parts list that are listed on my site. Just PM me if you want a PCB Only set, as for the other sets, I am waiting on inventory.

etsang57483 months ago

The Fully Assembled Kit is out of stock. :( Will you be taking more orders?

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