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Multiple LED Bar Scoreboard

Hi everyone,

Me and a friend of mine would to make a scoreboard which can display the score of around 70 different people. The way we would like to do this is by making 70 individual led strips which represents a person. Each strip has to contain about 100 leds (so the maximum score is 100). We would like to be able to set each persons score individually from anywhere between 0-100. Preferably with as little knobs as possible. 

What do you guys think is the easiest and cheapest way of doing this? 

We were thinking about a system with a arduino or some kind of controller and a chain of LED Bar Graphs as shown in the link below.
http://i01.i.aliimg.com/photo/v57/241783705/LED_bar_graph_display.jpg

We are not that experienced with electrical components so we would like to have some help with that!  

Looking forward to hear some of your ideas! 



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JasonH1861 year ago

Great post, thanks for sharing ! Where do you usually buy led light bars ? Last time I needed one for my X-Trail I just ordered it at https://www.ledoutfitters.com/ , but I also wonder where people buy this stuff for interior .

I agree with caitlinsdad

if you're talking about scoring for 70 or more individual "players", your best bet is to do it with software and a more traditional display instead of trying to use LEDs or even addressable LED strips.

you'd basically make some software, or a webpage that can display all of the relevant info and either increment a bar for the score or actually just show the numerical score. then you'd use a normal display like a projector or a large TV to just show that software/webpage on the wall in the room.

TDDG (author)  crapflinger1 year ago

The plan is to show the score by means of a bar and has to be shown and be constantly adjusted for approximatly two weeks straight. Is some kind of pre-fabricate ledscreen an option? If i'm right those can be programmed to show whatever you like right?

Find an old PC, have it run an excel spreadsheet displaying the bar graph and pipe it through a big screen TV/monitor for a kiosk-type setup. A zillion LEDs lit up does not make an informative or useful display.

TDDG (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

The thing is that it will be used mainly as a scoreboard for a childrens summercamp, so not only does it have to be functional but also quite fun for them to track their score during the week. I think it is a lot more fun to come up with something different then simply reading your score off of a screen. As long as they can see the bar beside their name it will be fine, so it's okay if it looks a little messy from a distance. I like the idea of the addresable led strips so i will see if that is going to work out. Thank you for you input anyway!

You can't spell INSTRUCTABLES without F U N...wait

Look at Adafruit's neopixel strips. You can chain them together and light up each LED element individually with an arduino. You can custom make a matrix of 70x100 and mount that to a board. I would suggest you make a plexiglass board so you can print some graphics to go under it and then light it from behind with the strips. If you can get away with posting the scores as something like every 5 or 2 point intervals, you would need less dense LED strips to light up. If you had a scale printed out, you could have the diffused leds light up the block like my thermometer scarf project. The 144 neopixels/meter strips are about $60, 60neopixels/m $25 and 30neopixels/m $17 so costs multiply. Contact them to see if you can get a discount or wait until their webshows on wed/thur for a 10 % discount code.

TDDG (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

I think something like that
will be the final design. Hopefully i will find some led strips on ebay or
somewhere else that are a little cheaper than the neopixel strips. Only thing
i am not sure about how we are going to pull it of is controlling each ledstrip
seperatly with as little controllers as possible.

You can do that with one arduino but you might run into power requirements. Since you don't have much experience with microcontrollers/programming and I don't know what your budget is, maybe the better solution would be this

https://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Lite-Brite/

How big of a display did you need? Something to be viewed in a gym, outdoors, classroom? That is a lot of LEDs (7,000). With the basic route of charlieplexing, I haven't seen stuff bigger than 8x8 so you probably have to work on modules that go several layers deep and the wiring would be a nightmare. Addressible led strips are expensive. You would have to figure out how to daisy chain your bar graph chip and are probably limited by the number of pins used on your arduino.

Maybe you should go the raspberry pi route and make an app or use "processing/arduino" to come up with a graphical program to input and display your data. Project the display if everyone needs to see.

TDDG (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago

Thanks for your reply!

The board can be looked at from up close in a classroom sized space, so it doesn't have to be very big. The quantity of the LED's is the reason why we started looking at the LED bar graphs. Drilling holes for, and solder 7000 individual led's is probably not the way to go.

Addressable led strips is the thing I have been looking for, but i couldn't come up with the right name for it. Big thanks for that!

If i understand you right, a arduino is limited to it's number of outputs, meaning we can't control more ledstrips than the arduino has outputs? And a raspberry pi is up to that job? We have a friend that has knowledge about programming and stuff like that so I think he could help us out with that.

Thanks a lot for your reply, it has been very helpfull already!