Monday, August 18, 2014

Baseball Scoreboard - Start Here

   NOTE:  This is currently my 14th post on the subject of the baseball scoreboard.  Previous posts have covered each component of the scoreboard and what it took to create that part.  This post is intended to introduce the subject with references to the other 13 posts, depending on where your particular interests lie.


    For  almost four years now, I’ve been scoring baseball games via GameChanger (   For those who don’t know, it’s a fantastic tool for scoring games.  The scorekeeper scores via an iOS/Android app that streams wirelessly to an internet server where fans who couldn’t make it out to the game can watch its progress.
    Last year at one of our games, I was put in the position of having to score via GameChanger while also operating the scoreboard at the game.  While I was able to pawn off scoreboard duties to an eager kid, in the back of my head I got this idea that it would be great if the GameChanger app could also update the team scoreboard.  At this beginning of this season, I decided to give scoreboard building a try (see results after the jump).

The Result

The Scoreboard
    By and large, I was largely successful (I do have some things that I think could be improved).  Here is a picture of the completed scoreboard:

Because a static image of the scoreboard doesn't really do it justice, I put together this little video to show how the scoreboard works (the video is of me using GameChanger to score a fictitious game and the scoreboard changing to reflect what has been scored):

How it works

The Scoreboard
   As pictured above, the scoreboard is comprised of three LED panels, chained together and connected to an Arduino UNO.  The Arduino contains all of the code needed to display the various game elements on the score board and a rudimentary serial interpreter to take commands via the USB bus. 

The Control Box
    While the scoreboard is the face of the system, most of the actual heavy lifting is done in the control box.  Here is a picture:

    To use the scoreboard, the scorer connects to the WiFi network (AP in upper right corner) in the control box to get internet (through hotspot in upper left corner).  While scoring the game, the control box (Raspberry Pi in center of box; powered by USB battery in the top center) listens to the conversation with the server, pulling out the pertinent stats for the game and displaying them on the board.

Building the Scoreboard

    For those who are interested in building their own scoreboard (without all of the technical details), please reference the Quick Start Guide.

Engineering the Scoreboard

    For those who may be interested in the process behind some or all of the scoreboard development, I've provided a rather detailed discussion of the development process:

Using the Scoreboard

    For those looking for a guide on how to use and maintain the scoreboard, please see the Usage Guide.


    That's my project in a nutshell.  Any comments/suggestions are always welcome.  Thanks.

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