My idea was to make a scoreboard for our softball team utilizing an Arduino, an IR remote control and LED strips. I decided to use LED strips to make large 7-segment LEDs because it would cost less than buying large ones. My idea is to make the scoreboard for less than $100.00.
The scoreboard displays the visitor and home team scores to 2 digits, the inning to 9 and the outs to 3. Since our league doesn't count balls and strikes, I ommitted them but they can be added in a similar fashion to how the outs were done.
The segments are controlled with an Arduino Mega thru 74HC595 shift registers and TIP-120 NPN transistors with 220 Ohm resistors. The scoreboard circuit was created using copper tape that was adhered to an IKEA table top. The scoreboard is powered from any car 'cigarette' lighter, a 12V battery or a Booster Battery Jumper module. It can also be powered using a 9V-12V wall wart.
Watch the Video.
Step 1: Parts & Tools Needed
5 - 74HC595 Shift Registers
38 - TIP-120 NPN Transistors with the TO-220 Package
38 - 220 Ohm Resistors
5 Meters of Red LED Strip (300 LEDs)
Ikea Table Top
Roll of 5mm X 50' Copper Tape (Sparkfun)
Remote Control (buy one or repurpose an old one)
IR Receiver (VISHAY - TSOP34838)
Black Electrician's Tape
Vinyl Letters - 2" High
12V battery or other power source
Step 2: A Quick Set-up of the Circuit
Test the 7-segment by setting up the circuit on a breadboard and running a quick, simple code. Use the remote to change the numbers 0-9.
Step 3: Layout
Remove the backing from the LED strips and use the burnisher to adhere them to the tabletop.
Layout where the TIP-120 transistors will go. Start with the Visitor Tens’ digit.
Cut the copper tape to a manageable length and carefully cut it into two equal halves.
Remove the backing from the tape and adhere it to the tabletop and burnish it.
Once you have one digit completed, solder all the tape where there’s a seam.
Solder in the TIP-120s and then the resistors.
Use a Multi-meter to test each part of the circuit for continuity.
Continue laying out the circuit for the next digits and test them for continuity and functionality along the way.
Once complete, prime the tape with solder. Take the legs of the 16-pin socket and splay them flat. Place the socket on the solder and heat with the soldering iron until it liquefies and sets into the solder. Upon completion, check to make sure there’s continuity and there is not crossing of the circuit.
Step 10: IR Receiver
The IR remote I used was one up-cycled from an old Sirius Satellite radio. This website has a tutorial about IR remotes.
To get the hexadecimal code that the IR transmitter sends, you can run an Arduino code that will tell you the hex when you press the buttons of your remote. You can change the code for the scoreboard with these new hexadecimals to respond to your remote. Some remotes will not work, so if it doesn't, try another until you find one that produces a hex.
Additionally, you could make wooden on metal plates with your team name. Place some strong magnets on the board and cover up the defaults with your team plate. You could also use temporary paper ones that could be made and printed for whomever you are playing that week.