Water pistol, water gun, water blaster, whatever…

The IRTAG project attempts something more than writting software and building hardware.

Amognst the main driving forces that pushed us to start this project was, simply, that we wanted to play “commandos”.

We thought about airsoft but our nerd selves where quite more inclined to something more techie (and less painful) as laser tag.

But once we started talking about the project with our friends we had the sudden urge to start shooting each other at he momment.

Of course we do not have any prototype yet so we just searched another way to have some fun in the meantime.

We thought about water guns and, fortunately, the internet knows all that is to know about water guns, and it’s all here: www.isoaker.com

We spent some hours reading about the different technologies behind water guns  and we decided to make two balanced teams with the heavy weapon on each one would be a Constant Presure System with good capacity and some (at least) air pressure with lesser capacity.

We settled for Super Soaker Aquashock Arctic Blast and Water Warriors Sting Ray.

We found the Stingray quite cheap at Toys ‘R Us mainly because Toys ‘R Us is relabeling Water Warriors blasters with it’s own brand and selling them cheaper. At least in Spain.

I really recommend both blasters. The Arctic blast is really fun to use, mainly because of its “full blast” feature (it empties all the water in the pressure chamber in just one shot) and the stingray is a very good blaster by it’s size and price.

I could write a lot about what I learned about water weapons but it would not be better explained than it already is on isoaker so I encourage those of you willing to know more about the subject to spend more hours than you have reading about it.  This is why the internet was created for!

By the way we had a very fun time!

Herschel’s IRTAG at sourceforge

Today I’ve been doing some burocratic work the project is proudly hosted at sourceforge.

Not that you are going to find there a lot, though.

I am still trying to figure out how to set some kind of work in progress relase, some kind of “nightly builds” because the project, of course, is not ready at for a release schedule.

We would have a hard time just numering the relases.

In fact, in our case Relase early relase often is more What, a relase already?

Of course is deserted right now, and we are sure it will keep that way for some time but we also have a forum there and we will surely have a wiki.

It’s too early for any of this stuff to have some content yet, but I wanted to write this post just in case someone, sometime, feels curious about how that project started.

Also, as promissed, Herschel’s IRTAG has licenses. Lots, two in fact.

GPL for the code and CC by-sha for erverything else.

Again, just in case some time traveler comes here wondering… “Can I do that little thing that the CC license does not permit me to do” just contact us and ask. We don’t know yet it you can do it.

The CC license is quite open anyway.

What is this all about?

This blog is just an easy way to have a centralized webiste for the documentation of the Herschel’s IRTAG project.

The Herscel’s IRTAG project is an attempt to create a fully functional “laser tag” game.

This will involve building the hardware and writing the software but also creating game modes that combine fun, strategy and some research about real commando operations.

We have been greatly influenced by the miles tag system but we are trying to create our own protocol, our own hardware design and our own game modes.

We are also in great debt to the documentation (and at the momment compiler) of the arduino project but we are using the Atmega168 microcontroller as our main building point.

In this blog we will link all the source code as well as all the hardware designs. Everything is and will always be freelly available to everyone. We are considering the licenses still but expect nothing less than GPL2 for software and some kind of CC for designs. Everything written on the blog should be licensed with some sort of CC by the way. We will work that out soon.

Apart from all the technic mumbo jumbo we will also talk briefly about the joys of, C, programing microcontrolers, and shooting friends with IR beams.

We think we can work in a weekly schedule and we’ll try to post weekly or often but please feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed just in case.

In upcoming posts:

US army battlefield manuals, the first working prototype and some general knowledge about water pistols. Just to force myself to write them.