Making laser tag with real lasers

I had a really stupid idea.

Laser tag uses IR receivers and LEDs to simulate the actual shooting, right? So what if I made a system which uses a 200mw or so laser instead of an LED? Would this mean that I have to "hit" the receiver with the laser to trigger it? Or would it sense the light without that?

Also, how would I make actual vests when the IR receivers are only 5mm wide? Could I just use some sort of light dispersion technique?

You could experiment with a solar cell to see if it responds to the laser.

200mW is too high.
Glasses would be a must.

I know I'd need glasses. I was even considering higher wattages but I was afraid people would get burned.

I think 200mw is enough that the laser blasters could have incredible range, which I really want.

50mW lasers can go much more than 400 feet.

I'll look into lower powers then. How would the solar cell work? How do I read the output? I looked into it but can't find anything.

So I found this project on the projects page. Throwing in a statement table should complete the setup.

Haven’t try a solar cell myself, but a red/green laser might be detected by a solar cell, should be easy to test.

The solar cell would produce a small current that could be amplified then sent to an Arduino, Bobs your uncle.

How would I amplify the current?


Bottom line: Don't mess with lasers.

I'm not an idiot. I know lasers are incredibly dangerous.

I pride myself on my extensive project research. Once I figure out what the correct wattage I should choose, I'll go for that.

Overshooting is better than undershooting.

No, it really isn't.

It's fine with the right safety precautions. Glasses will be handed out to each competitor regardless of how strong the laser is. @LarryD mentioned that 50mw would be plenty, so I'll go with that if it's adequate.

And you'll matt black paint the entire arena and its surroundings?

No, why would I do that? Sounds like a waste of time.

If I'm to use a solar cell as the laser receiver, I need a laser powerful enough to make a significant difference in the cell's output.

Using a laser pointer is boring and useless.

Just tried a 50mW Red laser.
With no laser the solar cell in a dim room was 297mV.
With a 1/4" laser the voltage went to 339mV.

To make this better, a Red filter should be used and the laser could be modulated at some frequency.

Feed to an AC coupled voltage comparator then to the Arduino.

Just thinking out loud.

To prevent reflections of non-eyesafe radiation.

It's plenty to cause permanent injury to the cornea.

Try something like 0.5mW in the green-red spectrum or <0.1mW for blue to UVA.

Your 'extensive project research' SHOULD have told you this already and SHOULD have alerted you that in your application only laser class 1 can be considered safe enough to even consider.

It's also irresponsible, unethical and exposes you to legal repercussions - rightfully so.

Okay. So simply take the output, set parameters, and then if the voltage goes over a certain amount, subtract health.

I would need to use some sort of booster to make the voltage readable, but this seems promising.

I haven't done extensive research because I haven't given the project the green light yet.

Wearing laser goggles will safely filter enough of the light. If it doesn't I can make everyone HUDs and people can look out cameras instead of eyes.

I know it's irresponsible, that's kind of the point.

I don't think a 50mw laser is illegal considering you can buy a 1w IR laser on Amazon for less than 40 USD.

Don't try traveling to Aus with one.