Current progress and moving forwards

A project log for LZRTag - Flexible DIY Lasertag

An easy to build, program, modify and use AVR and ESP based Lasertag system for everyone!

xasinXasin 02/16/2021 at 09:540 Comments

It seems like our project has gathered quite a bit of a following in the last few weeks. Multiple people have already shown interest in building their own, some even helping with different aspects of the system like the weapon optics or making components to spice up the battlefield!
(Thanks to Anthony Webb and Nathan here ^^)

However, let me say this loud and clear:

I'm not 100% satisfied with the current hardware!

It will work just fine, but it has a bunch of quirks and small errors - things that I feel should be addressed and improved before I can confidently recommend that others build their own version of the system.

Don't get me wrong, if you want a challenge, by all means, go ahead and try this out!
But you'll have to deal with some quirks in the code, a little bit of awkward wiring... It's just not as good as it should be.
If you want to make your own system but you are willing to wait a little bit, please do so!
I expect to get back to this Lasertag project by the end of 2021, plus or minus a few months!

Like many hackers on here, I don't just have this one project, and my attention is currently elsewhere. Right now I want to get my DIY Smart Home back online after it broke down recently due to a number of "Ah, I'll worry about that later", and there are a few other projects that I'd like to go through first.

So, what's up next?

With all that said and done, I do want to give you guys a list of what I intend to fix up for the next version!
There's actually quite a bit, so bear with me for a moment.

Hardware-Related issues:

This would also include better protections for any potentially exposed I/O lines, using proper drivers to make signals more reliable over longer distances, etc.


The current software is just... A bit of a mess, frankly?
The current repository is just one huge chunk of folders, branches, and I barely tag what I use where etc.

In the remake, I would write the entire batch of software from the ground up, making sure to properly keep things clean and well-documented. Things would be put into more appropriate components so that they can be reused more easily, and the different elements of the software etc. should be kept in separate repos, with better branch management.


Lastly, this is gonna be one of the more fun aspects of redesigning this stuff!

The current casing is just... Not that interesting. It's small, it's practical, but I think it fails to really hit that 'Sci-Fi Weapon' look for me.

In the newer version, I'll try to design a bigger, better casing, while still trying to keep it printable on most commonly available 3D printers. Also, I want more LEDs, which is always a good thing~

The same thing goes for the shoulder sensors. Again, they currently just are a bit too small and underwhelming to be that interesting, so I am thinking of designing a PCB for them that can easily be manufactured, includes a bunch more LEDs, and making something that actually looks like a piece of Sci-Fi armour rather than just a little glowy dot.

All in all, it's not really one "huge" thing, but it IS a lot of small quality of life improvements that, I feel, will ultimately bring this project's hardware above the level of that of commercially available systems.

Despite this, I want to stress this: I will always try to keep this project as hackable and open as possible, making sure that those who want to reproduce it, can do so somewhat easily.

One quick last thing for those that already read through this big pile:
I felt like setting up a small ko-fi. It's not meant to be an obligation, everything I make will remain 100% open and there won't be any benefits, but... I feel like if someone really enjoys what I make, they should have a chance to give a little donation too :>