Introduction: Basketball Board

About: Aspiring roboticist

The idea came when me and my friends kept playing on an old basketball board of mine during the summer of 2017. Long story short, the plastic that covered the board shuttered through time and wear.

So I bought myself some tools including, a jigsaw, a drill, a nail gun and a generic toolbox kit. I used existing wood that was in my garden due to financing some resources, and also to get rid of some of it!

I wanted to create this project with only hand tools, therefore some of the following processes might have been easier if I used machines such as a laser cutter. However I didn't have any access to those machines at that moment.

Step 1: Idea & Disassemble

I disassembled the board to keep the stand and the two pieces that hold the board at the back. I know this is a DIY, however I understand that some may not have a previous basketball board. Therefore I suggest looking at how to make basketball stands, or either make a board on the wall! Sorry in advance!

Step 2: Frame Cutouts

I cutout a 40 mm x 40 mm timber for my frames with an estimation of 150 cm in length and 80 cm in height. I then sawed the edges diagonally to fit with its counterparts. As you can see from the 2nd picture that I didn't cut it straight, therefore I used flat file to straighten the edges and remove splinters.

Step 3: Nailing the Counterparts

I used wood glue and let the edges dry with its counterparts together for approximately 24 hours. I then used a nail gun and nailed 10 mm nails onto the edges to reinforce the glue. I hammered the nail that didn't flush onto the wood to for health and safety reasons e.g. getting scratched.

Step 4: Sawing and Nailing Planks Into Frame

Using existing wood materials I found in the garden, I sawed compressed fibreboard plank in 150 cm length. I had a total of 4 planks placed horizontally. I sanded the sides that I sawed using a flat file to remove splinters.

I nailed each plank into the frame and hammered nails that didn't flush. I left an approximate 5 mm gap from each plank for my design idea. Therefore, the height of each plank is roughly 37 cm.

In total I have 5 layers including this layer which is nailed directly into the frame.

Step 5: Buying a Display and Sawing Its Base

I initially bought only one display to practice coding it. Once I programmed the display to count when the ultrasonic sensor senses an object from a certain range. I decided to pursue this idea which resulted me to getting another one. I connected the display together to produce double digit numbers.

I bought the display on Ebay from this seller: NJP-TRADES

The seller was very helpful by giving me a basic code of lighting up the numbers. I cannot upload the code because the seller requested not to. However, it is a simple code using an ultrasonic that detects an object within a range and counts every time an object is detected. I placed the code to light up each number in functions and called each function when the sensor detects the object. I used delay when the sensor detects an object to avoid registering the ball multiple times when the ball goes through the hoop once at a time.

I cut out the fibreboard plank for the bases where the displays will be mounted on. I used a hand drill to drill hole into the middle of the drawings and used a jigsaw to cutout the drawings.

Step 6: Sanding the Base

I knew that I will have limited space as all the planks are 10 mm in width and the display is also 10 mm, including the LEDs. In total I had an available space of 40 mm. Therefore, I sanded the edges of the base to accommodate for the pins that added extra height to the display. As you can see from the picture above, the wire that is connected to the pins come out from behind of the base.

Step 7: Layering

I sawed and nailed the fibreboard plank into the existing layers. I layered the planks perpendicular to the direction of the previous layer to increase overall strength. Overall, I had a total of 5 layers of 10 mm planks mounted to each other, including the back of the backboard.

Step 8: Spray Painting

I used tape to cover the displays for spray painting the surrounding areas of the displays that would be visible when the backboard is finished. I used electrical tape to hold down the wires in place, making sure that I know which wires is which.

I spray painted few pieces prior to nailing them into the backboard layer. I made sure that all the sides are covered as this may be visible. I also made sure that the black square have bigger dimensions than the plastic sheet that I will install further on.

Step 9: Installing Lexan Sheet

I bought this plastic sheet from Sheet Plastic for £30 with a dimension of 400 mm length and 300 height. I found this website very useful for this specific use as it came with an option of sanded edges and drilled holes already. The price included delivery, however cost may vary from thickness, location and so on.

I experiment using glass with a width of 5 mm, however it shuttered after bouncing a ball onto it. I decided to use Lexan instead of other materials like Acrylic because of its high impact performance, lightweight and a 10 mm poly carbonate Lexan offered approximately 85% light transmission, however, from installing the glass, the display can be seen very clearly.

I also used electrical tape around Lexan sheet to avoid moisture from coming in and the possibility of reaching the display.

Step 10: Wood Painting

This is to show different shades of layers from 1 to 3 of mahogany and pine oak. I wanted to show the paint streaks of the paintbrush, which can be seen especially on the wood painted with pine oak. I spray painted the frame and the back of the backboard with matt black.

In the end, I added another layer of paint where pine oak is applied to increase the intensity of colour as the mahogony almost seemed to be flat in the first picture.

Step 11: Drilling Holes and Spray Painting the Hoop

I had a problem when encountering this part of the project because I am re-using some materials from the previous backboard such as the nuts, bolts and square "U" bolt. I forgot that the "U" bolt was specifically made for the old backboard which is only 10 mm in width, compared to my backboard which is 50 mm in width.

I couldn't find a "U" bolt that is appropriate for my project therefore I just used a standard nut and bolt to attach my backboard to the steel frame.

I also sanded the hoop to remove rust and spray painted in orange.

Step 12: Arduino

I create a box from wood leftovers to contain my arduino. On the left side of the box, there is an opening which I have attached a hinge to access the arduino. I used wood glue to glue the parts together. I would have liked to laser cut this part of the project for accuracy specially for positioning the sensor.

I used a strip board and soldered my wires, connecting the ultrasonic sensors, display wires and switch to power my arduino.

There is a hole on the right side of the box to connect the display wires with the Arduino.