Introduction: Arcadem Cardboredem "HOOPZ" -Mini Basketball Arcade Coinbank

Hope all you guys can check out the video! (warning: super cheesy)


UPDATE!  9-24- 12  

Whats Up Instructabuds!

   When it comes to creating, my complete and utterfaviefave thing to do is to combine the unexpected with, well.. something else unexpected!! The Goal always being to create something new with either dual purposed or to just double the cool factor..
And in this case the cool was soo doubled by combining the ordinary ol' coin bank with the super awesomeness of a basketball arcade, all glued up into some mini desktop amusement!

  Ohh, and its completely made from office supplies.. About $4.00 if you buy new and factor in the hot glue.. In my case, it was literally straight from the supply closet which = FREEE!!

I had set off to design the Arcade in sorts to have 3 levels of difficulty with the penalty of obstacles leading to the coin bank and a sweet reward of feeding the vending machine fund when you successfully make a basket!

Difficulty levels:

  • Easy- Hoop in forward position
  • Medium- Hoop in furthest position
  • Hard- Hoop in motion!
Final Measurements:
  • Length- 13in  
  • Width- 6in 
  • Height- 9in

PS. I know the proper spelling is Cardboard but its a play on words.. Get it?  Like your'e bored at work and made something or bored and decided to play! DUHH!

And aah, here we go..

Tools to Acquire:

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Hot Glue Gun (& Glue)
  • Soldering Iron (& Solder)

Materials to RAID:

  • Cardboard
    (preferably a complete box free of dents and bends. Note: I've found the tighter the corrugation the more rigid the cardboard will be)
  • Large Paperclips
    (which we will try our best to straighten so nice new bare metal ones would be awesome)
  • Rubber Bands
  • Disposable plastic pen
    (you know, the cheap ones that people tend to chew on right before they hand it back to you)
  • Double sided tape
    (it means its sticky on both sides!)
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    (Or actually the Ziplock bag it was packed in... Thanks Babe, Mmmm!! )
  • Cheapo electric pencil Sharpener
    (to cannibalize its motor and maybe gear-age. Also, keep in mind most of these operate at 3-4.5v and I ended up cheating and squeezin' in a beefier motor also cannibalized from an ancient copier)
  • 9volt Battery terminal
    (with Battery)
  • ON-OFFulator
    (a normal old switch, renamed as to be way more rad sounding)
  • Wire
    (for the circuit if needed)

Step 1: Building the Hoop 'n' Chute


   The main idea of the project was to mimic as close to possible and actual basket ball arcade, complete with moving Hoop to increase the level of difficulty and awesomeness!! Interactivity is everything!!

Soo, to achieve this the idea would be to make the hoop scoot forward and away in a continuous motion just as an actual basketball shooting game you would see in an arcade.


   This part I would say is the most important because the the whole scale, angles and rest of the design of the project will all be based off of its dimensions.

To start I traced the outline of a Quarter (25cent coin) onto cardboard and then redrew a larger circle around it to give the quarter about 1/4 inch allowance.. This will become the top of the Hoop so the greater the amount of allowance given = the easier and less accuracy needed to make a basket.

I decided to reward the player of the arcade when a basket is made and to do such I decided to redirect "Scored" coins to a separate bank/container. Which is much more easily accessed from the outside of the arcade housing, deemed "The Vending Machine Fund".

Using the overall measurement of the coins diameter and the extra allowance, I had to create a chute or a tube of sorts to redirect the "Scored" coins. Making sure that the coins will be redirected in a direction and area that wont affect the movement of the mechanism and out of the way from falling "Penalty" coins..
The chute/tube should also be appropriately sloped to encourage the coins to easily slide their way down into the "Fund" section.

And to top it off a nice little backboard completed the look and  helps give the coins something to bank off to either score from or to deflect shots while in movement.

Step 2: Maping Out Arcade Housing/ Structure

Mappin' and Measurin'

   The first thing I had done to determine the the overall layout of the structure and housing of the arcade was to measure the width and length of my shoot, the length of the backboard, the amount of travel I wished to have in the forward/backward motion of my hoop and the height of the motor with an additional 3/8ths clearance for some play room..
(Its a good habit to write all these measurements down to easily reference later)

Motor Compartment

   Since I knew I wanted the Hoop to travel a distance of 1 3/4in that would mean the the control disk of the motor would have to be at least equal in diameter.. (I will be going more into the Disk in a later step so please hold on just a bit!)
The disk will rotate at its center point giving it a radius of 7/8in. which will be the exact point the paperclip linkage will be placed (again I will go into the "Linkage" in an up coming step).  The linkage will need a little meat to grab on to for strength so I added 3/8 of and inch to the radius. When coming back to determine the overall length of the disk it would bring the diameter to 2 1/2 inches

A little math example for the kids..
      the new radius:  7/8 + 3/8 = 10/8 = 1 1/4
      the new diameter:   1 1/4 x 2 = 2 1/2

The disk needs to rotate and being extra cautious of not to run out of space later I again gave that another 1/2 inch of play, which meant my motor compartment would nee to be 3inches in length from front to back. (Make a note of that 3 inches)

The Bank/ Chute Compartment

   The chute and hoop are elevated which gives us room to make more use of this area. The chute compartment will also double as the "Bank" because this is were all the Out of bounds/ Packed/ Jacked coins will go to be stored.
Knowing the hoop will have a travel of 1 3/4in. and the length of the chute is 1 1/4in this means the Bank/ Chute compartment will need to be 3 inches in length, again in good measure I added an additional 1/2 of play for sake of adjustments and also remembering the thickness of the cardboard I am using is about 1/8in thick. (most of the time this is where things get fouled up, nearly everyone forgets to compensate for the thickness of the material)

The Coin Ramp & Dividers

   The ramp/ or slide you might say is the center compartment. This is simple and also should be laid out  last because this is where any mistakes can be made up for. I found any angle about 1 to 3 step (you add 1 inch to the height for every 3 inches of length.. I'll try to demonstrate in a diagram to help make more sense of it) or steeper will work fine.
The purpose for the slide/ramp is to redirect any of the change that has fallen through the "Packed & Jacked" holes to the bank compartment.

Note: The dividing walls are not only meant to separate each individual compartment but to also give support to the "playing field" of the game. The walls also give structure to the overall housing by connecting the side panels to each other and to the base.
On the top of each support wall I cut out openings for the linkage and "chute connector" (which will be explained in the upcoming steps) to allow movement and also cut out an opening at the bottom of the bank divider wall to allow the change to slide on through.

Housing Width and Length

   Width-  Once the compartments and dividers have been mapped out its time to determine the width, which is super simple. I wanted to give the player a better chance of hitting the moving backboard because it increased the unlikely path the coin is to follow if it were to bounce off.. (which pretty much means I want to increase the chance of the coins falling into the "Packed & Jacked" holes)
so I limited the left and right clearance of the backboard to about half an inch in each direction. (Backboard + 1/2in left = 1/2in right = inches wide)

   Length-  Combine the lengths of all 3 compartments and also compensate for the thickness for a front and back wall and for both dividers. 

Math for the Kids!..
    Front wall thickness          1/8
    Motor Compartment           3
    Ramp Divider                      1/8
    Ramp Compartment          3
    Bank Divider                        1/8
    Bank Compartmenr           3.5
Back wall thickness        + 1/8
    Total length in Inches =      10

Once I had all of my measurements I drew them out on graph paper to get an idea of what I'm working with.
I knew the height of the Motor compartment had to be   inches high and the slope of the "playing field had to begin there.
I drew a base line across the graph to help illustrate the height the slope of the playing field had to be above.
From playing around sliding change down a smooth piece of cardboard at different angles I found my desired slop which was at a step of    inches an then drew my slope line onto the graph paper.

Step 3: The RAILS

I planned to use a small motor taken from a dismantled electric pencil sharpener to give movement to arcade..
Most smaller motors have very limited torque which means the Hoop/Chute needs to capable of nearly gliding from one point to another..

To achieve such I took apart the plastic pen (making sure to save all the different parts to it) and sliced in half, giving me two equal plastic tubes. Glued the tubes to each side of the chute to act as guides that with travel along rails made of straightened paper clips.
I used two paper clips on each side to limit the top to bottom play of the chute while in motion (make sure not to allow the top and bottom rails force against the inside of the pen tubes. This will cause a lot of friction which will slow the movement and create drag)

Step 4: Bank Vs. Fund

Just wanted to give a good visual idea of how the coins were separated between the Fund and the Bank.
The chute redirects the "Scored" coins to the right of the arcade which in return slides it down a little ramp it to the Fund compartment which is accessible from the outside of the arcade.

Step 5: Locomotion

The Mechanism

Step 6: Wiring the JUICE

The Heart Warmage Part

   The goal of the project was mostly to encourage critical thinking and to demonstrate the overall concept so that others could design their own creations, inspired by other things, everything, anything..

Also with the intent for those younger and newbie Instructabuds that are limited to smaller budgets and limited to cardboard as their major medium (In a sense showing my little cousin where the lines of limitation don't actually lay, 'cause you can create all sorts of awesome out of any sort of somethin')

The Cop-Out

   With that being said the wiring is very simple. 
I felt "HOOPZ" didn't need a monsterous schematic full of gizmos to "cool it up" any more because its already full of awesomeness as it is.. and it really defeats the point of the project.

If you'd want more out of your circuit, there are some great Instructables out there demonstrating all sorts of circuits. I would recommend checking them out and trying a few to get more familiar with basic circuits or how to add in LEDs or maybe something more...

   PS. There might just be an update soon showing off the option of LEDs and Sound effects

Basic Circuit Connection:

   Positive(+) 9volt battery --> switch --> Positve(+) motor,
   Negative(-) motor --> Negative(-) battery

The motor and switch are both rated at 9volts which makes the circuit even easier.

*Most hobby motors are noisy in an electrical sense because they're pretty inconsistent (especially under the stress of forcing something uphill,  just as I have)
..this noisiness is usually smoothed out a bit with a capacitor across the motors contact leads.
Also when a permanent magnet motor goes from a heavy work load  (pushing the hoop upwards) to a lesser work load (gravity assisting the hoop back down) it builds an electric field that discharges back into the circuit which may require a diode to keep from burning out any LEDs and can kill your battery, making it do some nasty things.
PS. Mind your Current it can fry everything up.

Lots of fancy electrical mumbo jumbo would go into a perfectly designed circuit and that's why we ain't goin' ther'!

Step 7: The SHOOTER

Ohhh Yeahhh!

   I'm actually quite proud of the shooter due to its consistency and the little extra thought that went into to make it easier to change out the rubber band if it were to break.

Rubber Band Maintenance
  • Simply pull the pin and remove the lever from its housing. Pinch the rubber band, sending it through the paperclip eyelet on the lever, and then looping the rubber band around itself (I'm sure there's a fancy boyscout name for the knot/loop but I don' know it, so ohh well)
  • With the rubber band knotted onto the lever, pinch the opposite side of the rubber band and send it through the support housing eyelet, Looping again the rubber band and the lever onto its self.
  • Insert the lever (with the rubber band stretched around the levers oval-ed edge) and replace the pin.
  • Also I made the Shooter removable from the arcade to make it easier to service and also give the opportunity to upgrade its design.
*The pin in my original design was meant to be made with the outer plastic housing of a cheap Bic pen just like the Sliding rails.
But in this case since I was doing a lot of concept tests I substituted the pen with a sacrificial glasses repair screwdriver.


   The lever and its housing are mad up of several layers of cardboard (with the direction of the corrugation alternating to increase rigidity) nearly laminated together with a healthy supply of hot glue.

I bent paper clips into a tight U-shaped eyelet which I sent completely through the meat of the thick laminated cardboard and bent its ends to keep it from pulling itself out.

*The magic behind the lever is its oval and point of pivot.

I set the pivot out of center so that when the lever in its resting position the oval barely places any tension on the rubber band.
When the lever is pulled back, the radius of the oval increases and places an additional amount of tension on the rubber band  as it stretches, multiply the force of the shot.

Step 8: Makin' Her Purdy

3rd Annual Make It Stick Contest

Second Prize in the
3rd Annual Make It Stick Contest