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Old 05-06-2013, 11:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electronic capture/control point timer devices.

Does anyone have any experience with electronic control devices? These are small devices that can be placed at various points on a paintball field to act as objectives for certain game types. They act a bit like a chess timer, keeping track of how long a certain team was in control of the point. I've played a few scenario games that were based on the "Call of Duty" or "Battlefield" video games where a flagpole with two opposing flags at each station was used for the same purpose, but a number of referees had to carefully monitor how long each flag was up, which was imprecise and tied up a ref who could be doing other things.

Has anyone ever used something like this?

I'm interested in buying/building a couple of these for a scenario game.
I've been able to find a few pictures of devices people have made themselves, but does anyone know where I can find semi-detailed plans?
Also, wasn't there a commercially available toy that did something similar and was intended for use with laser or nerf dart tag?



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Old 05-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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those are home built projects

you can find tons of ready to build project kits here:

Bakatronics - Model Railroad Electronics

instructions, layouts, components the whole works

There are lots of other places to just download plans and parts seperately too.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Compare your costs to a standard electronic chess timer. I would look at building a box that not only protected the timer, but covered the reset button, only exposing the blue/red side buttons. For the minute by minute resolution you are getting, I don't think it would be too much to ask that they have to lift a lid to access the buttons. A ref probably needs to check them occasionally for shens anyway.

For making your own, you could just use a 555 timer and a pair of counter displays. Since you are looking at total times, the scale is relative and you don't have to have exact seconds, just consistent counting. You could always figure out the correction factor for each box if you had to.

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If you want to be cheap and cryptic, use a 555, a pair of counter chips and make the display simple LEDs in binary.

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The best part of building your own is that you can make the switching device (handle) anything you wanted.

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Surplus three position rotary switches get down to about $8 a piece. What would be mean is a pair of big pump up breakers. You trip the other teams breaker, then have to pump up yours before it throws. Nothing sneaky for that. Which makes me think some sort of noise on switch-over might be fun.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I made one of these for our local scenario games.

This is what I used for the counter:
Up/Down Counter Kit

I used two of them. Then I made a simple 555 timer astable circuit to send pulses. The buttons on the box complete the circuit between the 555 and the counters which cause the corresponding counter to start counting up. Which ever team has a higher count held their button longer.

I then put it all inside a surplus ammo box. I also used water-tight buttons. This way the entire enclosure is waterproof, so no worries if it rains on event day.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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that's pretty cool. A very nice idea.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, I found the NERF toy I was thinking of, and while it sounds like it may have some paintball applications it doesn't do the time tracking I'd want it to do.

SG Nerf: Nerf Dart Tag Capture The Flag - Review!

With the popular video game/airsoft crossover appeal, you'd think there'd be a market for something like this.

If the timer boxes were durable and could be secured, either with a small luggage lock or a passcode, they could make for some real low-hassle, low-manpower scoring for big games and scenarios.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HazXsHKqi0Y

This guy has the right idea, though a large, 3-position toggle switch would be more intuitive to use than having to stop one timer and start another.
Probably couldn't work with off-the-shelf timers like these, though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EitPM58wFkE
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Inflicted View Post
This guy has the right idea, though a large, 3-position toggle switch would be more intuitive to use than having to stop one timer and start another.
Probably couldn't work with off-the-shelf timers like these, though.

If that example just has two pushbuttons, a 3-position switch could work. It just needs two pair of normally open contacts.

I kind of worry about players diving on the box to make a change. That's why I was thinking about just keeping it all inside of a big box, kind of like modern warfare where it takes a little time to turn the station around.

While two independent timers may not be as intuitive, it does seem a little more interesting in that you have to know which buttons to push. If you leave the other team running, "oh well".

I wonder if you could put something like a Lost timer in a game, where it has to be pushed every half hour or so, or "something" happens.

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I see what you mean in the video about the switch. The one three position would have to be a normally centered switch, momentary on left and right.

So, are you planning on keys or no? That kind of leaves the other team to steal your key. Maybe you can bargain it back. I would hate to have someone loose a key in the game though.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider! View Post
If that example just has two pushbuttons, a 3-position switch could work. It just needs two pair of normally open contacts.

I kind of worry about players diving on the box to make a change. That's why I was thinking about just keeping it all inside of a big box, kind of like modern warfare where it takes a little time to turn the station around.

While two independent timers may not be as intuitive, it does seem a little more interesting in that you have to know which buttons to push. If you leave the other team running, "oh well".

I wonder if you could put something like a Lost timer in a game, where it has to be pushed every half hour or so, or "something" happens.
My idea was to mount the boxes on the inside walls of certain strongpoint bunkers, high enough off the deck that they aren't likely to get shot at or jumped on or anything.

As for designating which timer is running, an array of appropriate-color LEDs would work. That or just spraypaint the two halves of the box different colors.

For switch functionality, a 3-position toggle COULD be used with the off-the-shelf timers, but wouldn't enable the behavior I'm wanting. I would want the middle position on the toggle to stop both timers, for situations when a ref needs to declare the timer neutral, between rounds or during breaks or whatever. It would be nice if this could be done without resetting the time on the clocks.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This looks promising: Team Domination this weekend at CPX Sports.

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Old 08-04-2013, 02:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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At our rec field we have implemented a team domination mode. Each team is given a wristband that you must hold within 3" of the wireless receiver for a few seconds. Once that is done, the device logs your name and team. Visually, the lights change colour (ie. red or blue). It then sends the info back to the computer in the staging area via wifi. We have 3 flags. Matches have been played the following ways currently:

1. Timed
2. Fixed points achieved (ie. whoever gets to 500 points first)

I have little to do with the actual implementation of it. I'm just a "beta tester" ie. I'm lucky enough to get to play with it. We hit Alpha stage last year (ie. got it to work) and Beta this year (ie. work out the kinks). We plan to open these matches to the public around this September/October at our rec field if all goes as planned.


Plans? No..........but maybe.

My 2 friends are the ones doing all the work. The one wants to open source it all when they're done as he believes that their target audience are the retail fields who just want a package that they can supply. The other is undecided on whether to ever release it.

They have another couple cool ideas coming down the pipe, but real life keeps getting in the way.
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