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How to make 2 scoreboard with two controls?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by justinp, May 12, 2013.

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  1. justinp


    May 12, 2013
    I would like to create two small LED score boards that each show scores for two players. Both players need to be able to increase and decrease 2 of the scores (ex. player 1 controls score 1A and 2A and player 2 controls scores 1B and 2B).

    I would like each player to have two buttons (increase and decrease) that affect both score boards. For example if player 1 presses the *increase score* button both scoreboards add 1 to his/her score and both scoreboards would show player 1's score as 1. Likewise if player 1 pressed the *decrease score* button both score boards would show player 1's score as 0.

    Hoping to get some recommendations with part numbers. I think I could use a micro controller, 4 LED displays and 4 button inputs that sync to 2 channels, but i'm pretty novice and have no idea what parts to get or the best place to get them from.

    Appreciate the help!

    players 1's 2 buttons -------->|score boards 1 & 2 | <-------------------player 2's 2 buttons
  2. gorgon


    Jun 6, 2011
    First you need to give more info on the project, like size of display(height of digits), how many digits in each number? Colour?
    Response time from pressing button to display?

    Distance between players and scoreboards could also be of interest.
    Outdoor, indoor use?
    How do you want to power this contraption?
  3. justinp


    May 12, 2013
    Hi gorgon thanks for the response. Here are the answers to your questions as best I can provide them:

    • display height - minimum of 3/4 inches, no larger than 3' inches. Optimal height 1-1.5 inches
    • digits in each number: each score needs to be able to go up to 21. So 2 digits for each score, (4 scores are needed total, 2 per scoreboard). That's why I think I need 4, 2 digit led displays.
    • response time after button press: as fast as possible (no longer than 1 second)
    • distance between players and scoreboards: 4.5 feet.
    • indoor use
    • buttons per player: 2 (1 increase and 1 decrease) maybe a reset button if it doesnt overly complicate things.
    • each button controls 2 scores, 1 on each score board.
    • 1 scoreboard faces player 1 and the other faces player 2
    • power method: whatever is easiest.
    • colors: two separate colors, i.e. player 1 has 1 color and player 2 has a different color. The actual colors themselves don't matter. Maybe red and green?

    Thanks again for the help and consideration.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    The simplest thing might be a microcontroller solution. You could do it with a PICaxe or an Arduino (I recommend them for their development environments more than anything else).

    If you have C or C++ skills, look at the Arduino. If you understand BASIC, look at the PICaxe.

    If you have no experience at all... Check out this thread where someone with very little programming experience is learning to use an Arduino.
  5. justinp


    May 12, 2013
    Thanks steve! I think I should be able to figure out the programming. Any part suggestions for the LED displays or buttons?
  6. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Where are you located? There's a field for that in your profile and it can help us to help you if you fill it out.

    Assuming you're in America, have a look at Digikey or Mouser. I'm sure you can guess their web site addresses! They will ship internationally too, but it's pretty expensive.

    For Digikey, the displays are in the category called Optoelectronics > Display Modules - LED Character and Numeric, and the pushbuttons are in the category called Switches > Pushbutton switches. They have a nice tabular selection guide where you can filter according to the parameters that are important, such as display height and colour, button size and shape, and so on.
  7. gorgon


    Jun 6, 2011

    If you want to make big 7-segment displays, why not make them yourself from ordinary LEDs? 4 x 3mm LEDs in each segment should make a great scoreboard. This should give around 1.5 to 2" digit size.

    If you use BCD to 7-segment decoders with open collector drive outputs, you'll only need 8bit for each 2 digit scoreboard. A total of 16 outputs from the micro. Add 5 inputs (2x Up/Down plus Reset) and you should be good.
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