Finally getting off the pot

I have been meaning to make myself my own Lasertag weapon electronics for a long time.

All our Lasertag LARP weapons are 'homebrew' and mostly rely on a small number of people doing cottage industry builds of PCBs for them but I've previously made things of my own with Arduino Nanos and stripboard.

The barrier to committing to a 'proper' design of my own has been an inability to settle on a good solution for generating the sound. Generating the Lasertag signal is well understood but we've previously relied on bought in boards that play back uploaded samples, which have been of variable quality and sometimes a bit too quiet for my liking.

With the knowledge that the ESP32-C3 can use I2S to play back sound I've had it in my head that it should be possible to make a Lasertag board based around one. This is especially so as the ESP32-C3 also has the 'RMT' peripheral designed for IR remote control which generates signals similar to our Lasertag system in hardware.

After a bit of prototyping at my desk I got the infrared data transmission, screen and sound working so I've committed a design to EasyEDA and ordered some boards from JLCPCB.

They're very much MVP boards, with an LDO for voltage regulator (not massively efficient) and the onboard lithium cell charger being a bought in TP4056 module. This will let me test the design at our next event in May, hopefully.

The desktop testing seems to work OK but real life testing will show up how well it works with other sensors and long ranges. I may have underspecified the MOSFETs and passives, but I'll find out.

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