LED Beer Pong Table (Video)

Here is my first project ever with the Arduino. I had the idea for the table and started looking into how it could be done. I had no experience with electronics so it was a steep self learning process. I just have to finish putting plexiglass over the table and rework the code to incorporate more patterns.

Here is a video demo of my work in progress...Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoiDI3frg1Y

cool! I love the triangle and having 4 LEDs below each cup. Can you sense when the ball goes into the cup?!

well he can with a bend sensor, a gyro sensor, a vibration sensor, a ultrasonic sensor, or a motion sensor[theres more but its too long of a list]

I had originally planned to to have pressure sensors (the tiny buttons like the resets on the Arduino) to determine if a cup was in place or had been removed from play and adjust the light patterns based on that.

After doing some tests I feared the sensing might be too flaky and unreliable. Plus I did not know how they would hold up to liquid.

As a note the LEDS are super glued down for 2 purposes. -1. If any liquid gets dumped on them the electronics will be safe and the liquid will only touch the heads of the LED's which are waterproof. -2. If any drunk person hits or bumps them it will offer a degree of protection.

As an update everything is now in place and the lights are working on both sides. I also found a wall adaptor so I can power it and keep my laptop away from the drunks :) I may put some plexi over the table as a final touch but have not decided yet.


Very nice ;D

CMU+beer=party I like :)

question.. if you were to add sensors what would be a good route? ideally something thin, but the only sensors i can find are from sparkfun, and those are 7 bucks a pop, for a total of 140 dollars! anyone got any DIY or inexpensive sensor ideas? i looked at conductive foam, but that seemed like unreliable and a little hard to make look right. any ideas?

You could imbed a simple microswitch into the table under each cup location. Just make sure when its pressed down it is flush with the table.

this is really awesome! great work!

Just an update. I have put plexi glass over each triangle of lights. New photos to come!

The table so far has been a hit! I get so many complements and “Holy crap that’s sweet” from people.

As far as future improvements I am thinking of putting a small LCD screen in the table to use as a sign up list to keep an order of players. Any suggestions for an easy to use and cheap LCD screen?
If I do put and LCD screen I am going to have to rewrite some of my code to open more ports on the arduino board. I will probably use a flickering technique (undetectable to humans)and the fact the lights are Diodes to accomplish this.

Sounds cool! Beer + Technology = AWESOME.

Any suggestions for an easy to use and cheap LCD screen?

I would use this one from AdaFruit, I like the whole white-on-blue thing with a nice, bright backlight. Although, it would probably require some Shift registers because of the amount of Pins LCDs take (which you mentioned lower in your post :P).

By the way: You could also use a Graphic LCD, as those are relatively inexpensive too (see http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=188) if you wanted to add some graphics (and more space to put stuff) :P.

Looks nice, the only flaw with plexiglass is it doesn’t bounce the same as wood. Do you have that problem with yours?

For an LCD i would go with a basic 16x2 lcd with a serial backpack. I know sparkfun sells them. The serial backpack uses only 2 pins and makes it pretty simple to use. There are some examples on the playground showing how to use them.

Here is a link to the sparkfun white on blue lcd. http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9395 How are you going to input the name though?

Looks nice, the only flaw with plexiglass is it doesn't bounce the same as wood. Do you have that problem with yours?

The plexiglass is only in a triangle the size of what the cups cover. The remaining table is still wood so bouncing is not affected.

How are you going to input the name though?

I have been playing around with the idea of using a playstation controller to do the input. You could use the D-pad to scroll up/down through the alphabet and right to go to the next letter. I have been looking into using the PSX library for the arduino for easy interfacing with the controller.