The idea for this project came from the legacy of the first Zepeda Ping Pong Table. With different alterations and modifications, we created the Interactive Ping Pong Deluxe. Yet due to a shortage in time (a half semester rather than a full year of working), multiple technical difficulties, and assisting other groups, our project was left between a rock and a hard place. The unfinished project of the Gods was a magnificent idea above all the others, withstood lots of countless obstacles and in the end will not live to see the joy it would've brought. This is the dream of Alexis Zepeda and Maribel Mora that will never be seen.
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Step 1: The Dream
The interactive ping pong table would provide a more “exciting” experience to players. The table will be adorned with LED strips, a projector, speakers, and buttons. The projector will display the score and a list of next pending matches so that everyone can see how the match is progressing and what to anticipate. It will be updated directly by the players by pressing the buttons on their end of the table, triggering the LEDs on their side of table to flash. These lights will vary in color and frequency depending on the score and how they are obtained. The speakers will also work alongside the lights and will say various things ranging from compliments to taunts. On appearance the table will have the LED strips wrapped around the edges of the table and the buttons will be on the right ends. The raspberry pi itself should be hidden from sight, with only its output being the indicator of its presence.
Step 2: Parts of a Whole
- SD Card / Micro SD Card
- Power Supply (12V)
- Power Strip
- Raspberry Pi
- HDMI to HDMI cord
- RGB control box power supply
- LED Strips
- LED remote controller
- 8 pin relay module
- Resistors and Transistors
- 2 Buttons
Step 3: Downloading the Program
To begin the process of creating the ping pong table, the code, and the physical appearance, we need to download Raspbian on our SD card, to be able to get the programs on the Raspberry Pi.
Step 4: Create Your Workplace
To be able to work and code on the Raspberry Pi, you must setup your workstation. We used a female HDMI monitor, USB mouse, USB keyboard, & an Ethernet cable. To then send a signal to the monitor we plugged the female HDMI from the monitor to the Raspberry Pi, as well as plugging the mouse, keyboard, and Ethernet to the Raspberry Pi. To power the Raspberry Pi we used a Micro USB Cable (Samsung Charger) both in one version we plugged the USB to a another neighboring monitor and in the other we used a Travel Wall Version of the charger and plugged it into the wall.
Step 5: Your OS
Pick at things and try to understand the programs on the Raspberry Pi to understand what resources are available to you and how they work. By understanding how things work and what programs you have, you see the programs you can use to code music, images, and the LEDs. One of the places we visited most often was the Pi's Terminal and the Internet. By using the internet we learned to code Python as well as learn to code the right things to get the outcome we desired.
Step 6: Part 1
The 8 Relay Module was intended to control two LED strips and have them perform separate functions. Originally the idea was to have different strips on each side of the ping-pong table, one showed who the leader is. However due to inexperience with this module the idea was scrapped in favor of two LED strips that do the same thing. Also it was wired to control the lights from a hacked remote control that received instructions on what to press from the Raspberry Pi. The remote control will then "press" that button and the signal was sent to a control box that was wired to the LED strips. The disadvantage of this method was that it was cumbersome and overly complicated, the remote control had to be directly pointing at the control box to work.
Step 7: Part 2
With some trial and error we are going to customize our first step and try another method to control the lights
Step 8: Test Run
Our original plan to control the lights was complicated and we came up with a more efficient method of controlling the lights. With extensive research we found that using PiBlaster program we would be able to control the lights directly into the Raspberry Pi. With this setup we plan to attach the buttons to control the output of the score and input of a push.
Step 9: Buttons
We connected the buttons to control the lights and use them as scorekeepers. Even though they are directly connected there is a connection error or flaw that fakes a button press. With the coding for the buttons we found that it was unreliable to use the Normal Count of presses.
Step 10: Sorry...
This is as far as our project got to since we had lots of complications from finding the right monitor, learning to code, finding the right wires, our Raspbian Pi crashing, and our SD being wiped clean. One semester of our class period wasn't enough time for us to complete a project of this magnitude. While other projects only needed to download code and finished easily, our was more complicated than downloading code from a source.