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Remote Controlled Arduino Scoreboard using LED Strips

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Picture of Remote Controlled Arduino Scoreboard using LED Strips
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SCOREBOARDS ARE EXPENSIVE!  Not only that, very large 7-segment LEDs are expensive, too!  Scoreboards can give your team a sense of legitimacy.   After looking at scoreboards all over the internet, I thought to myself, hey, I don't need to buy a scoreboard, I Could Make That!
 
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.
 
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Step 1: Parts & Tools Needed

Parts List:
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) 
Arduino Mega
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
Magnets
Solder
Velcro
Lexan
12V battery or other power source

Tools:
Scissors
Soldering Iron
Burnisher

Step 2: A Quick set-up of the circuit

Picture of A Quick set-up of the circuit
Cut the LED strips into 6-LED long segments.  Tape the segments temporarily to the tabletop.  

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.

wiffleballguy2 months ago

This is a very cool project. Do you happen to have a schematic diagram of it?

Thanks!

merlin2049er7 months ago
That's great. I was looking into a diy score board for my squash scoring app, but decided to do the scoreboard on a tablet (or android tv stick).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTzoMWrcnF8

What you can add is bluetooth to your arduino and write a scoring app for android (for your scoreboard.)
nasasquatch7 months ago
This is great! I want to do the same. I found a similar project, but it was 3-4 years old. I like your use of LED strips better. I will need to add balls and strikes and would like to include a timer, as well. I would also like to control with a smartphone app over an AD-hoc wifi network. Any ideas for those additions? Thanks. Your project is impressive.
boscopsoultrane (author)  nasasquatch7 months ago
Thank you.

I did error with the outs, there should be only two, so if you were to add balls and strikes, you would only need 3 and 2, respectively.

A timer wouldn't be needed with a baseball/softball scoreboard, but if you were to modify it for football or basketball, it would need a clock. An arduino is not the most accurate time-keeper, so I would think you would have to use a real-time clock. With football, you would need to add downs and yards to go and perhaps timeouts instead of outs.

As far as the smartphone control, you are on your own, I wouldn't know where to start! I think if everything is done up to a certain point, changing over from IR to wifi wouldn't be too difficult.

The TIP-120 transistors I used were overkill. I am sure using smaller transistor packages like 2N2222s would be more than enough, since the strips used for each segment are only 6 LEDs long. The segments could also be made larger or thicker if needed. Also, a lens that is opaque could be used to disperse the LED light a bit, as it is really bright at times.

The copper tape circuit was fun to do, but the whole circuit could be done in miniature, taking up a fraction of the size.
great -ible!

I think i will build a clock to put in my garage with maybe some opaque Plexi-glass over it to diffuse the eye melting light. lol.

have you thought about putting a faceplate over the wiring to clean it up? heck you could even put some clear Plexi-glass and take it to school and use it to demonstrate how circuitry works to kids.

Nonsense! The copper tape really helps visualize the wiring layout. It kills me when some one posts an -ible and it is just a crazy mass of wires and little/no instructions or a clear wiring diagram.
boscopsoultrane (author)  ak47freak7 months ago
Originally i was going to mount the copper tape directly to a large glass tabletop but this wasn't feasible because of weight and safety issues. I purposely made the circuit to be seen, I haven't put a protective plexiglas cover on it yet, but will in the future.

I am also planning on taking it to the other extreme and use only smt parts instead and make the controls really small. I also plan on making my own remote control.
nodoubtman7 months ago
no but it is on youtube, i don't really have the patience to post it on instructables, and and i don't know how to upload it..

see the clock : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE42UK4DqZs
thermometer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2nXlH0Yww

but the video is in french

thanks!
marC:)
nodoubtman7 months ago
I did a digital clock and a thermometer using led strip. I control each segment with a 2n2222 transistor. Led strips are bright ideas for making such of projects.

thank you!
marC:)
boscopsoultrane (author)  nodoubtman7 months ago
Yeah, I realized after ordering the 38 TIP-120s that they would have been
great if I were controlling a full reel of LEDs, not just a tiny 6 LED strip. I definitely should have used the 2N2222s instead, it would've been cheaper and neater. There's always next time!

Is your clock and thermometer an Instructable?
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