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November 6, 2015 AT 12:00 am

Gravity Pong – a 4.5 meter high RGB LED game #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit customer Ragnar wrote in to tell us about this great ball bouncing RGB-LED game – check out more here!

Gravity Pong is a 4.5 meter high ball bouncing RGB-LED game. It contains, among other things, 1792 individual controllable LEDs, that together can draw up to almost 108 Amps!

Continue reading to find out how we took this into account when we built this game.

Introduction

The objective is to bounce a ball as high as possible by pressing the button as close to the bounce-line as possible. Each game contains 3 bounces. And the closer to the line you bounce the ball, the more speed upwards will it get!

The LEDs

The core of the installation is built using several steel pipes. Since it was going to be rather high it was essential that it was easy to both transport and assemble on site.

The pipes were covered with 8 APA102 LED strips, each with 56 pixels. And each pipe module is built as modular as possible, with it’s own umbilical Cord. Through this Cord we transfer both power and signal (4 wires). Each pipe section can at maximum use up to 8*56*60 mA = 27 A (@ 5V), so the cabling were scaled accordingly.

Another advantage with APA102 compared to the well known WS2812 is that they use a synchronous data transfer method, i.e. separate data and clock signals, robustness and speed FTW!

Several mechanisms for making it easier to thread the 4 umbilical cords through the centre cavities in the sections underneath were implemented. Among them a 3D-printed funnel!

To diffuse the LEDs we used regular acrylic piping covered with a semitransparent vinyl film. It looked great!

Read more.

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Featured Adafruit Product!

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APA102 5050 RGB LED w/ Integrated Driver Chip – 10 Pack – APA102C: Make your own smart LED arrangement with the same integrated LED that is used in our new fancy DotStar strips. This tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) SMD LED is fairly easy to solder and is the most compact way possible to integrate multiple bright LEDs to a design. If you want to prototype with these, we recommend our 5050-size LED breakout PCBs, solder them on for a breadboard-friendly package. Read more.


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