Saturday, September 17, 2011

Open Source Paintball Board (OSPB)

I don't know why but, when I got into paintball (a long time ago), I was really into how mechanical the guns were. Because of this interest I chose to be a "Autococker" guy and still love Autocockers to this day. These guns were the pinnacle of technology at the time and had ALOT of moving parts that had to be timed perfectly if you wanted a gun that shot well.

Look at the curves on this one!!!
Well the march of paintball continued and rate of fire became a very important factor, and Autocockers weren't known to be the fastest gun in the west. To resolve that problem several companies came forward (Sandridge - Out of business, Eblade - Out of business, Racegun - Out of business) to source a new generation of faster Autocockers. I chose the Racegun and to this day its been my most favorite gun.

At the time RACEGUN was the top dog, but because interest in the Autococker has waned, almost all the companies that supply the electronics have disappeared as well. And that brings us to the present day and the reason for this post.

A 05 Racegun with 45 reg.
 I think this was the last version made.
There is a small but dedicated Racegun Autococker group across the US and after a post on about a grad student wanting to make a NEW board, we all started drooling over the possibilities. Unfortunately he decided to take a different route, but myself and a few others have chosen to press on and see what we can come up with.

The tentative name is the "Open Source Paintball Board" and it aims to firstly
     - Be a replacement board for the Racegun with updated features
     - Possibly be small enough and configurable enough to use in many other guns

I know what your thinking.. Joe, there are other boards out there that do that ALREADY (Scenario Dreams). So there is a 3rd mission for this board that I feel like the other solutions dont have. To be transparent with information so that if we decide to stop work on the project, others can pick it up. That's been the flaw with Racegun, Scenario Dreams, etc, is that when someone wants to make changes or improvements they are forced to design a solution from the ground up. Hopefully with this project, if someone wants to make a different code version, they can take what we have, and build on it. That being said, I will post my code, but I want to get it past the alpha stage before I show off what I have! :-)

If you want to suggest features, please feel free to do so below! By trade I work for the 3rd largest computer company, so none of this is my profession and I am NOT an expert. If you want to help out, or give suggestions we welcome it!

Here is the project as it stands today.

Board - Arduino (ProMini)
Power - 9V, but you could put up to 12V in it without issues
Gun will NOT be rechargeable (9v batteries are cheap!)
Board can be programmed via USB

A-List features (Most important!!!)
Use existing racegun cables/connectors (Minus the propriatary LEMO connection.. This would be replaced with USB)
Use existing racegun buttonpad/LED
Programming via trigger/buttonpad (Racegun used to be programmed via serial com and since serial is almost dead...)
Semi-Auto mode
Piezo speaker for audio feedback

B-List features
All classic racegun fireing modes (Sniper, FA, Ramping, ETC)
Tournament fire modes (the common ones)
ROF cap

C-List Features (Throw in the kitchen sink!)
OLED screen
Blue tooth programming
Haptic Feedback (Vibration.. Like in your cellphone)
Pressure Monitoring - Beeps/Vibrates when your gun is low on air
Timing Wizard
Audio output chip
Re-work button pad for racegun

1 comment:

  1. Did this go anywhere?, the paintball community needs an aftermarket dual solenoid capable "universal" board. Similar to what the Morlock was. Defenently somthing of higher quality than the Scenario Derams board.