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Help with a project

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I want to start a new project, but I don't know where to begin. I need
    to arrange 360 buttons or switches that can be depressed by a light
    weight, around 5g. Then I need to be able to integrate the information
    about the current state of each button and output it to a file. Any
    ideas for what kind of hardware I would need?
  2. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    Wel, first, you're probably gonna need a whole lot of buttons....

    What, exactly, is it you're trying to achieve here?

    Bob M.
  3. Guest

    I want to make a go board that can record a game that is played upon
    it. If I can make the buttons light up inorder to replay a game that
    would be a huge boost.

  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, 360 buttons and someplace to put them, for a start. ;-) The electronics
    won't be hard at all: 23 line drivers and 16 input bits, and scan them. Maybe
    360 diodes, just so you don't short your line drivers to each other in a
    "rollover" condition.

    The line drivers can be decoded from 5 bits of output port, or you could
    use a high-pin-count micro, and just use I/O pins.

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    Good Luck!
  5. Woody Brison

    Woody Brison Guest

    I'd suggest locating a used electronics store. Junk electronics
    often includes old keyboards (and some not so old...) from which
    lots of switches can be had for cheap.

    Another place to check is electronics parts suppliers... catalogs,
    online, &c. Can buy buttons with switches & caps in bulk - that
    way you get units that are all alike

    Gots to figure a way to mount the buttons. This depends on what
    you find in step 1, when you've got them in hand then you can work
    on this... maybe as simple as a piece of wood or fiberboard or
    aluminum sheet and drill 360 holes in it, into which you snap your
    switch bodies

    Remember if you turn a sheet of anything into a lace card by drilling
    360 holes thru it, it'll wobble, will need reinforcing ribs or

    Then on the back you can solder wires/components to the contacts

    A frame around the board, amenities like that always cheer up
    professors immeasurably It's like you care and all

    Then you're going to need a processor - a personal computer? a
    built in unit like a 8051 or something you can develop a program
    for? If it can actually play the game that'll drop some jaws

    Be sure to evaluate the need and the enthusiasm and the determination
    These things tend to drag out past estimates... usual rule of thumb
    is to double your estimate, but lately we've been seeing this needs to
    be doubled again. Maybe space time is warping or something

    If you can find a really enthusiastic lab partner it's a plus... one
    will sit up nights rewiring while you do the snoring <<<<<<< thinking

    A thing to keep in mind is... have an alternate project in mind, like
    'building a vocano with ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel' or something
    like that

  6. Richard

    Richard Guest

    I don't recall the size of the matrix, but how about one of those old
    electronic Battleship games? May be able to pick one up at a yard sale for

    Richard Seriani
  7. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    4 second-hand pc's with 104-key keyboards, a LAN, and some software :)

    what sort of time and spacial resolution do you need?

  8. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    only 10x10 or so and it wasn't electrified

    X and Y were input in sequence using buttons disguised as sliders.
  9. Andy Baxter

    Andy Baxter Guest

    Kerry.DonnyClark said:
    You could do it by having a board with a round hole at the bottom of each
    square, and a photodetector underneath it, so when the piece was in place
    it blocked out the light and the detector registers it. This would mean
    more electronics though.
  10. Andy Baxter

    Andy Baxter Guest

    Andy Baxter said:
    Sorry, forget that - it wouldn't distinguish between white and black
  11. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    In that case, just having switches isn't going to cut it for you
    - you will also need some way to distinguish the black/white
    pieces. This sounds like far more trouble than it's going to be
    worth, vs. just writing yourself a "Go-recording" program and
    playing the game on a PC screen.

    Unless you're going to be willing to get into some somewhat
    sophisticated photosensors, with light sources, you won't
    be able to use the color of the pieces as the distinguishing
    feature - perhaps you might be able to make the pieces
    different shapes, with an additional switch triggered by, say,
    the black piece that ISN'T triggered by the white. But
    again, this just seems like a massive amount of work for
    little return.

    Bob M.

    Bob M.
  12. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    For a GO board, you'll need 361 switches (or whatever). 19X19 should
    be trivial to scan[1]; it appears that the sticking point is on the
    switches themselves.

    Just put 361 little depressions on the board, each of which holds a
    stone, and each of which has two bare metal contacts, and make your
    stones of steel and brass. ;-)

    Or two photodiodes, with different spectral responses, and stones made
    of material that's a narrow-band filter at the wavelength of one or the
    other. ;-)

    Good Luck!

    [1] well, trivial for a guy who's been programming microprocessors for
    a few years. ;-)
  13. k wallace

    k wallace Guest

    at LEAST doubled. I have recently done my first project that integrated
    EE stuff with my usual ME projects...and developing and running
    optimization code (it's a thermal dissipation from a small volume of an
    IC generating 5W) for the thermal management took 4 times longer than
    our original estimate...with a 36 hour long no-stop push at the deadline.
    i have just recently woken up from about an 18 hour nap :)
    but the project's done.
    strange, my mechanical projects usually run over cost by 2x and over
    time by 1.5x..but this went far over that.
    Of course, if I'd had more experience going into it with the electronic
    end of things it may not have taken 4X the estimate...but I was lead on
    this and we were 3 ME's working on a project with a large electrical
    engineering component.
    Tells me i need to brush up on my electrical theory, pretty much.

    Maybe space time is warping or something
  14. Kerry

    Kerry Guest

    Thanks for all the advice. The order that stones are played in tells me
    the color, ie black must play first. There is a problem if the players
    are of different rank, because then black may play several stones
    before white begins. I'd like to have a switch that lets me tell the
    machine "all these stones are black handicap stones", and then just
    turn it off for the last black stone played. Software exists to do all
    the things I want and more on a computer, but tournaments are usually
    played on real boards, and writing down moves while playing results in
    worse play, as games are timed.
  15. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    probably the easist (and cheapest) way to make the switch matrix is to
    use a membrane matrix. you could fashion your own unsing that conductive
    window tape used for alarms, (or al-foil etc), on polycarbonate (or similar
    non-elastic plastic) sheets with mask between the sheets to separate them.

    On the down side a setup like this can only reliably detetrmine two
    simultaneous contacts between the sheets, so the top sheet would need
    to be stiff enough to support the stone without sagging into contact
    with the lower sheet, and the playes would have to press their pieces
    down when placing them. many computerised chessboards work on a similar

    possilby a double-layer matrix could be used to reduce the pincount

    another option would be to mount a "webcam" like device above the board
    and use image-processing software to detect the changes. filtering out the
    images showing the player's hand.

  16. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If all you need is a record of the games, why not just videotape it? :)

    Good Luck!
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