Gravity Pong Reaches Into the Sky

For a recent event [Norwegian Creations] decided to make something fun. They built what might just be the tallest free-standing gravity pong game out there. It’s 4.5m tall, and the LEDs in it draw over 100 amps!

What is Gravity Pong anyway? Well it’s a single person game where you get three “bounces”. A ball of light will drop from the top of the tube and the closer to the bounce-line you hit the button, the higher it will bounce. Your high score consists of how high you get the light — but if you miss the bounce line, you lose!

The structure itself is quite impressive. They’ve wrapped acrylic tubes with 1792 individually controllable RGB LEDs, in groups of four. Each section requires a power supply capable of putting out 27A @ 5V! The game is controlled by a Raspberry Pi 2 which controls a Pixelpusher to manipulate the LEDs. It’s connected to the Internet, so high scores can be automatically uploaded!

When it comes to pong though, we quite enjoy playing it with $5,000 construction crane controllers — because why not?

5 thoughts on “Gravity Pong Reaches Into the Sky

  1. Nice to see some other cylindrical displays! I know some of the pains they must have experienced when working with such a setup. You only really get a feel for working with that sort of current once you’ve accidentally shorted a wire or two on such a setup.

    I’m tempted to do a write-up on the set of displays I recently built, though less of a hack and more a production job, there are some lessons I’m sure I could share on how (and how not to!) design such a display.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xf6qtpv3qa3v2q2/20151011_182103.mp4?dl=0

    Would anyone be interested in such a build log?

    Tom

      1. I’ll try and get something written up in the next few days, maybe even get it submitted here.

        The connectors have gone through several design changes. Initially, screw terminals were used, though later changed out to some 7.62mm pitch Phoenix Contact plug/socket combos.

        At a customer request, and only after heavily reviewing the power budget for the animations they were running, I swapped out to some various bayonet circular plug/socket combos, which although heavily under-spec for the potential max current (120A Pk!), are suitable for the more modest current consumption of the basic graphics required.

        I’ll go into a bit more detail on that in the writeup, I don’t want to sidetrack this comment thead too much!

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