Friday, August 1, 2014

Baseball Scoreboard - Control Box Overview

   While the scoreboard gets all of the attention, all of the heavy lifting happens within the control box.  The control box is responsible for providing internet to the scorer while passively listening in on the GameChanger communications and relaying the score to the scoreboard.  Here's an overview of how data flows through the control box:

(More after the jump…)

The data flow works like this:

  1. The scorekeeper joins their iPad to the WiFi access point.  
  2. Normal internet traffic flows through the Raspberry Pi and is forwarded on to the 4G Hotspot for servicing.
  3. GameChanger traffic (specifically traffic headed to is redirected to the transparent proxy via DNS reply.
  4. The transparent proxy makes a copy of the information being sent to game changer and saves it to a file.  The original copy of the traffic is sent on to the real GameChanger site enabling GameChanger to do their magic.
  5. The parser sees the file in its input directory, unzips the contents, and parses out the game state (score, inning, balls-strikes-outs, and runners on base).  Once finished parsing, the file is moved to the output directory.
  6. Parsed game state is sent via serial USB to the Scoreboard for display.  
  7. Fans are amazed (for the first 5 times after which they quickly grow to expect it).

Over the next few posts, I'll break down the different subsystems within the control box, covering

Up next…Network Configuration within the Control Box

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