Case #89: Nathan Loden: Glidden Special Forces Volunteer

September 04, 2006

Looking to paint the town red (or his buddies at any rate), Nathan Loden devised this simple device to detect if the paintballs are traveling at a safe speed (& 300 ft/sec). Consisting of sensor circuitry and a microcontroller with a three digit, seven segment display driver, it detects the presence or absence of a ball by measuring the amount of IR energy striking the sensor, causing a voltage swing detectable by the micro. A timer is set to overload if the number of instruction cycles exceeds a limit equal to 300 ft/sec, indicating safe shooting.

Get Nathan Loden's complete instructions on how to build your own paintball safety system .
Paintball Safety System Parts List
Amt Part Description Allied Part #
1 Voltage regulator, 5V 568-3101
2 IR LEDs 980-0002
1 IR Phototransistor 980-0165
1 Capacitor, 0.1 muF disk 881-0192
1 Capacitor, 0.33 muF disk 881-0195
1 Green LED 263-1170
1 Red LED 679-9981
1 9V Battery 774-0940
2 1 Mohms Resistors, 1/4W 296-0012
2 90.9 ohm Resistors, 1/2W 296-0083
2 422 ohm Resistors, 1/4W 296-0032
1 5V Regulator 263-0136
Additional parts required: PIC 12F675 microcontroller.

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