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What should I do?
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

What should I do?

by dbarton9 on Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:50 am

Hello everyone,

I need some help. I'm a junior in college studying electrical engineering and I want to build a scoreboard. The reason I'm doing this is because we have to do senior projects and I plan on doing something with circuit and programming. So I thought I would get a head jump on it learning how to use some common microprocessors/fpgas.

Long story short, as I previous said, I thought a good start would e designing and building a scoreboard like one you would see in a high school gym. I don't plan on using lcd displays but basically making 7-segment displays with LEDs.

What I need is some suggestions on what boards would be good to use. I was looking at Arduino and Cerebot, but I don't really know what I would need. I know that coding in different languages will use a different amount of space.

My budget is about 150-200 bucks and that includes all the materials (electrical components and parts for frame/case).

Any help would be appreciated.
dbarton9
 
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Re: What should I do?

by zener on Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:41 pm

That seems pretty ambitious for that budget. A scoreboard like that is very big and will use up that budget quickly just on basic materials I think. You might work up a bill of materials and see if you need to scale back a bit. Your teacher can probably give you some guidance. Arduino would be a good choice for that I think. There was a good link recently that showed how to make large 7 seg displays, but it looked like quite a bit of time and money went into it.

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Re: What should I do?

by dbarton9 on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:30 pm

Sorry, allow me to be a little more specific. I don't plan on making a full size scoreboard. I should have said a scale scoreboard. About 3' x 2'.
dbarton9
 
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Re: What should I do?

by zener on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:56 pm

You could use an Arduino, some shift registers like 74HC595 and some drivers like ULN2803A. That should do it. Or you could use latches instead of shift registers. Like 74HC373 or 573

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Re: What should I do?

by brucef on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:05 pm

This SparkFun clock might be worth looking at, just as a source of ideas. They seem to have gotten a good even light in their "LED segments" for fairly low build cost. The controller looks a little expensive, but an Arduino and some latches built on protoboard should be more affordable.
- Bruce

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Re: What should I do?

by dbarton9 on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:10 pm

Thanks guys. I appreciate the help.
dbarton9
 
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Re: What should I do?

by mkanoap on Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:46 am

The instructables I wrote that I just posted in another thread might give you some pointers.

It's an 8 digit score keeper broken into 4 separate 2 digit scores that could easily be adapted. It uses 3 pins from an attiny2313 to controll a max7219 to drive the 64 different LEDs.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a ... orage-box/

How many digits are going to have? If it's something like 4 you don't even need the Max7219, you could do all of it from an arduino with multiplexing. For that you need (8+number of digits) pins. 8 pins are wired to EVERY segment (probably with transistors because you may not be able to directly drive all of LEDS on one display at once) and a separate pin is wired to the common pin of each display. Your code then loops through all the displays setting the 8 pins for the desired number for the current display and turning the specific on one with the control pin briefly. Cycle through them fast enough and it looks like they are all lit.

If you want to get really crazy, you can look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlieplexing which allows you to use n pins to drive n^2-n leds. It makes my head hurt.

The max7219 takes care of all that stuff for you, but it's $10.

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