Luckily Dimitri Never Inhaled

April 04, 2005

Preferring his tennis games to be of the table-top variety, Dimitri didn't like to repeatedly bend down and pick up balls. It slowed down his play and created wear-and-tear on his back. So he built a microcontroller-based, automatic ball dispenser. A player simply pushes a switch on the four-ball device, releasing one ball at a time. Using an infrared optical detector, the system automatically counts down the ball inventory, updating and displaying the number remaining. When the last ball is released, a buzzer sounds, notifying players to replenish.

For Dimitri Merrill's complete instructions on how to build your own automatic ping pong ball dispenser, click here .
Automatic Ping Pong Ball Dispenser Parts List
Amt Part Description Allied Part #
1 H-bridge, 3A, 55V 288-1572
1 Acoustic buzzer 623-1997
1 12V, .42A dc power supply 653-0242
2 10 nF capacitor 881-3322
3 330 U resistor 296-5216
2 Normally open button 948-7199
1 Proto board 977-1951
3 1,000 microF capacitor 852-0011
1 Optical detector 263-0909
1 Infrared emitter 980-9991
Additional parts required: 1 Xilinx Spartan-3 Starter Kit (Xilinx part number DO-SPAR3-DK)

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