Maintenance notice: These forum archives are read-only, and will be removed shortly. Please visit our forums at their new location,

IR electronic shooting gallery W/ Art Controller

Hello, I could use some help advise on a project im trying to realize. Im pretty new to the world of micro electronics but not a total novice. I Am wanting to build an electronic shooting gallery on a small scale, coin-op, built inside a trailer for mobility. Folks who build these for a living are not real ready to share info, but will sell ya the electronics for about 800% markup though. So my obsessive research led me to purchase the new ART CONTROLLER! I think it will fit the bill for controlling "targets" animated actions by converting an IR signal into 12-24VDC for pneumatic solenoids (will that fit the bill for going low on the trigger part of this board)?, and possibly for the sound effects also.   I will need to link a ART CONTROLLER to power supply and coin-op system as well but was hoping to have a setup were you got a number of shots for your money rather than time...hmm..any thought on that? Targets may also have sound lasting longer than the DIP switched time on Controller for air valves..hmm, still need a good way to focus IR from a "gun" to target,and not have all my targets go off when someone hits their car remote..GEEZ i got a bunch to figure out!!! But anyway..thats an over view on my fun little project, anxious to get that cool little controller and start the build..but were to go from here? All advise from many angles are welcome.


  • I'm not entirely sure how to answer your question.  There are any number of types of IR receivers and sensors, and many of them do produce an appropriate signal that can trigger the Art Controller.  

    It is certainly possible to modify the Art Controller to stay on for a certain number of shots (if you can somehow detect that those shots have been fired), rather than time, but it would require reprogramming to do so.  We might be able to assist with some programming examples for similar situations.
  • you sorta answered my question..thanks..maybe best i be clearer. I want to use an Art Controller on the target end of the game for starters. An infrared focused beam needs to hit the (infrared phototransister) ?? connected to the art controller trigger posts? Directly? or will other components need to be added to the train? to trigger the art controller into its cycle? From there..piece of cake i think..the art controller for my purposes will work nicely activating through its times output cycle. It will run through its cycle activating an air cylinder to create an animation with compressed air..then reset its self for THE NEXT shot of IR to activate the cycle again, so you see i really don't need it to count shots really, just get triggered into its cycle from an IR beam..pardon my ignorance in some of the language and processes for i am just learning, but i hope you get the idea of what im trying to do, AND THANKS so very much for any help you can give me!!
  • After some thought..i might add...ON the "SENDING" end of this..a "gun" will send a IR pulse to the target end. This would be best if it could count shots as you described. ie..coin goes into slot, starts or triggers Art Controller, gun with IR is activated powered up, trigger shoots say...30 shots of IR at targets, then turns controller off until the next time coin receptor triggers the controller...BUT having said that...i would settle for an amount of TIME allotted  for shooting via the controller if thats the best i can do, but would rather have shots counted down on a display.   So either way im happy with what i think i can do with the Art controller, but im an artist, tinkerer, sculpture, inventive type with some,,,but not a whole lot of logic level electronics experience, but willing to learn, if you have any direction you would like to point me in or advice im all ears..and thanks again.!
  • This can work, but it will actually be pretty tricky to generate the focused infrared beam that you need.    

    An IR LED, for example, sends its light in a huge, broad cone of light, maybe 20-40 degrees across.  That means that it's not going to be very sensitive to where you aim.  It also means that the IR light is spread over a VERY large area-- and very weak (too weak to trigger a phototransistor) over the targets that it does hit.  One approach that might work is to use a telescope to project the light into a very small angle.   (A video camera that can see IR light might make this practical.)

    A second issue is that an IR phototransistor is sensitive to *any* source of infrared light that falls within its band of sensitivity.  You will need to worry about sunlight and strong incandescent lights, as sources of shadows that can trigger the phototransistors.  

    It *may* be a better approach to use visible light.  You could use "regular" phototransistors, and detect a carefully-focused flash from an LED, too.  The difference is that you would be able to see a flash of light where you shot.

    As far as limiting shots, either counting the time or number of shots is likely practical, but either method would require reprogramming the unit.
  • If you still need help with you shooting gallery project. I am available to help. I worked for one of the major electronic shooting gallery company's. I am also so working on the next generation of electronics. Here is my email address: and here is my web site .

    Tim Lewis
  • All this sounds fun!  I've looked into shooting gallery kits but they are expensive.  My son is taking an electronics class this year at our local Tech College and this would be fun for him to build.  Tim or Coop, do you happen to have a list of supplies a person could purchase to make a small shooting gallery to be hauled in a trailer?

Sign In or Register to comment.