Overengineering Beer Pong

If there’s one game that deserves to be overengineered with hundreds of LEDs, sensors, and electronic modules, it’s beer pong. [Jeff] has created the most ostentatious beer pong table we’ve ever seen. It’s just shy of playing beer pong on a single gigantic LED display, and boy, does it look good.

The table includes a 32×12 grid of LEDs in the center of the table, with 10 pods for Solo cups at each end of the table. These pods have 20 RGB LEDs each and infrared sensors that react to a cup being placed on them. The outer edge of the table has 12 LED rings for spectators, giving this beer pong table 1122 total LEDs on 608 individual channels.

With that many LEDs, how to drive all of them becomes very important. There’s a very large custom board in this table with a PIC24 microcontroller, TLC5955 PWM drivers, and enough IDC headers to seriously reconsider using IDC headers.

Put enough LEDs on something and it’s bound to be cool, but [Jeff] is taking this several steps further with some interesting features. There’s a Bluetooth module for controlling the table with a phone, a VU meter to give the table some audio-based visualizations, and air baths for cleaning the balls; drop a ball down the ‘in’ hole, and it pops out the ‘out’ hole, good as new. If you’ve ever wondered how much effort can go into building a beer pong table, there you go. Video below.

15 thoughts on “Overengineering Beer Pong

    1. I had to look that up. Not sure if it is exactly the same, but we play battle ball, and there are other names for it. Two teams with two people each, each team on opposing sides of a table, and two ping pong balls. Each person has an unopened beer can, upside down to start. First team to go, each player tries to hit the opposing team’s beers. If you hit one of them, you can start drinking your own beer as fast as you can, while the other team runs for the ball. You have to stop drinking when the other team touches the ball back on to the table and says ‘table.’ (Can is right side up now, obvs.) Then your partner throws their ball. Then the other team goes. Goal is to finish your beers before the other team.

      If your can is knocked off the table, you can catch it. If you don’t and it hits the ground, you need to get a new beer.

      On topic: Nice build.

  1. Now this is incredibly awesome, finally a worthwhile application of LEDs. Much rather see them here than on a shower head. The touch of the ball dryer is just insane, I’d definitely put a gps tracker on this as well, as I had a cheap table with just slots for the cups stolen.

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