Electronic Scoreboard

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by baucat9, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. baucat9

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    Hello. I am building a small electronic scoreboard for air hockey. It will have a total of 7 digits. 2 for each team score, 3 for the timer. Also, when the clock hits 0, I want to have a piezo buzzer go off for 3 seconds. For the timer/ clock and scores, I plan to use IC chips. I will wire my own board. Now my questions. How do I covert a binary IC chip to display seven segment displays, or is there an IC chip to count with seven segment displays. Also, I need help on the buzzer.

    Thanks,
    Shane
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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  3. baucat9

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    "Honestly, I would have used one of the Arduino boards." - shteii01
    I do not want to program at all. I get this more. If Arduino is easier, tell me how I could do that. I no absolutely no programming and nothing about Arduino.

    Thanks,
    Shane
     
  4. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Good luck with your scoreboard! It is a fairly complex project, but do-able if broken down into modules. Programming is like that. You arrange statements (like components) into a logical pattern to do what you want. Look at the Reference page on the Arduino web page - www.arduino.cc
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  5. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    Welcome to AAC.

    So there are two approaches - the hardware route (lots of IC's) or the software route (learning to program).

    I'll give you some ideas on how I'd do it for either case and you can decide what path you'd prefer to go down.

    Hardware Only:
    For each of the two digit team scores, I'd use two cascaded CD40110 IC's. These are all-in-one of a sort - they have separate up and down count pins - send a pulse to the up pin, the 7-segment will count up by one. I assume you'll be using IR pairs to detect the puck, so you should be able to connect these directly (or through a transistor) to the up pin. Or, if you plan to have the players press buttons to increment the score, I'd suggest using a CD4093 or CD40106 as a switch debouncer then feed into the CD40110's. These IC's also have a reset pin, so you can reset the count to zero with a button press.

    For the 3-digit timer - it will get complicated. First you want to be able to set the time, so you'll probably want to go with something like the CD4510 and either a CD4511 or CD4543 - I like the way 6's and 9's are displayed using the 4543 over the 4511 myself. You can add a BCD rotary switch to preset the minute (assuming M:SS), then add a 555 astable circuit to output 1Hz to count down or for more accuracy use a CD4060 with a CD4013 and a 32.768kHz crystal. You'll need to figure out another circuit to reset the seconds portion from 00 to 59 - I don't immediately have one off the top of my head. Lastly, you'll need another circuit to determine when the count reaches zero so you can stop the clock signal and sound the buzzer. Probably another 555 in monostable mode to sound the buzzer for a second or two then shut off.

    You can go with a piezo and make another circuit to generate the proper signal to sound the piezo or just use a mechanical buzzer like this.

    Not including the logic circuitry to reset the seconds and stop the clock, we're up to 4x CD40110's, 2x 555's, 3x CD4510, and 3x CD4511's or CD4543's - ten IC's. This is going to be a good-sized board, but if you want to go this route it is possible.

    Software (with some hardware):

    Personally, I like the PICAXE microcontroller - it's relatively cheap and it uses BASIC language which is fairly easy to understand. The PICAXE isn't a great standalone timer, so an accurate external clock is a must. Going this route, I'd use a PICAXE 20M2, a DS1307 (for an accurate 1Hz clock), and either a MCP23017 or a MAX7219. The MAX7219 is expensive at about $11USD, but it makes controlling the displays and programming much easier. The MCP23017 is an I/O extender, so we'd have to program it act a matrix driver which might be a bit tricky - I haven't tried this yet, so no guarantees with this IC. The Arduino is a nice option, but it uses the C language which not for the faint of heart - you can however find tons of example code online and put something together without fully understanding every line of code which is part of its appeal. Not having used it myself, someone else would have to help you on that front.

    If you opt for the PICAXE, I can get you started with code assuming this is a personal project and not something for a school assignment. ;)

    I can direct you to a circuit I did using the CD40110's if you want an example of that as well. Good luck!
     
  6. baucat9

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    elec mech I will be using the hardware version. I plan to sort of design my own board with the IC chips. I am willing to try PICAXE if it cheaper and easier to understand than Arduino.

    Thanks,
    Shane
     
  7. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
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    Hmm, this would be a interesting project to compare a purely hardware solution against a micro-controller (uC) one. If you'll flesh out the design and post a schematic of your hardware circuit, I'll do one with the PICAXE. This would help other members in similar situations see the pros and cons of each approach. From there, you can decide if you want stick with the hardware solution or the uC one.

    How do you want to increment the score - will each player hit a button or are you planning to use something like an IR beam to detect when a goal is made?

    What timing options do want on the clock? Will it be M:SS or something else? If so, do you want the players to select the time in whole minutes, i.e., 1-9 minutes?

    Also, what country are you in? This helps with parts selection and supplier recommendations.

    This is arguable and more of a subjective subject rather than an objective one. In other words, don't take what I say next as gospel - not that you should take anything I say as such, but the following is based more on my opinion than fact.

    Start-up cost wise, the Arduino and the PICAXE can be pretty close. Another member recently posted a link here for an inexpensive Arduino board with free shipping. All the PICAXE really needs is a USB-to-TTL or USB-to-UART adapter. You can make one for under $5 USD. A PICAXE for this project can go $4-5 USD, so cost is about the same.

    The Arduino is going to be much faster than a PICAXE which is important to consider if you want to do things like work with serially-controlled LED's, use the uC internal timer as an accurate clock, etc. For most hobby projects though, I've found the PICAXE works well or can work well with some workarounds.

    I've programmed in assembly, BASIC, and C. BASIC is by far the easiest to understand, especially for beginners. C requires more time to learn, but it allows you write modules that you can use with very little modification time and again on future projects. Not quite the case with BASIC. Also, if you have any inclination to program professionally down the road, C is the industry standard and worth learning. If you're only going to do a few projects though, BASIC will work just fine. I've only done one or two programs in C and I'd have to learn it all over again if I were use it now. BASIC is more like riding a bike, at least for me.

    Others may have a different take and experience and if they share it here, I strongly suggest you read it with an open mind. As I said, I am far from a expert on the subject and the above is highly opinionated. :)
     
  8. baucat9

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    I will be using a push button with an rf module or ir which ever is cheaper/ easier to wire with the ic hardware approach.

    Thanks,
    Shane
     
  9. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    1,513
    193
    I've used these successfully for simple wireless projects. They only accept up to 7VDC max though, so if you use, say, 12VDC to power your circuit, you'll need to add a regulator to drop the voltage down to something like 5 or 6VDC to feed the receiver. With four buttons, two can increment the score for each side, one can reset both scores to zero, and the fourth could either start/stop the clock or simply reset it. Or leave the score reset function on the main circuit and use the last two remote buttons for clock stop/start and clock reset. Just some thoughts.
     
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