I am working on a new beer pong table (yes i know, not the best project to work on but it helped me last time to understand some concepts and I enjoy making them). I am using foamboard to cut out the circle of the top of the cup. I made a logo out of a piece of paper with the same diameter circle. The idea is to mount 4 RGB led's in the foamboard and have a standoff of a certain distance under the table. At the top of the standoff would be the logo that would be underneath plexiglass. This would be done for 10 cups per side. I plan on multiplexing the RGB led's either in a 10x4 or 8x5 configuration. I will power them with FET's and a TLC5940. Do you see anything wrong with this setup? Will the lights be bright at all?
One concern is making the best lighting to project the logo through the clear cup that would be on top of it. I decided that I will sand all the LED's to diffuse the light to start with. But now I am at the point for mounting and I am trying to determine where to place the LED's. Should I point the LED's up through the logo or should I point them at a different angle to try and have the ambient light project out?
The next step to the table is cup sensing. The cups will all have the negative of the logos with reflective tape. I will have an arduino (or maybe xbee module) that is using an IR emitter and IR receiver to detect when the cup is there or not. The IR receiver will calibrate itself by using an initial value and then turn read for any change. If the cup is not there, make all the lights red (or off). The problem I can see with this is that plexiglass seems reflective (you can see light bounch off of it). I plan on diffusing the plexiglass as well. Will I even see a change of IR going through the glass that can be read by the detector? The detector could be as close as 1 inch away if needed.
The next step after that is smart cup detector movement. All the 10 cup lighters will be on a track or a moving system that is controlled by a motor. The motor will be able to move the cups along the x axis to read weird racks. I was even thinking maybe another motor that can pull some in the y direction but that brings a lot more to the table in terms of complexity. I guess another option would be to make the whole thing out of LED's and turn on lights based on cup values. Another idea is to scrap any type of movement and have them play the regular game.
The next step is scoreboard detection based on the receivers and a possible xbee module. This is sent to a central controller that can send the number to led segment and even a PC for real web updates or things along those lines.
So far that is what I have. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. The complexity may be over my head but I will give it a try. I love big projects and what I learn from each one.
I am sure I left out a lot of things but feel free to ask and I will also add more as I think of it. Thanks everyone in advance.