Monday, August 18, 2014

Baseball Scoreboard - Using the Scoreboard

    As I got to the all-in-one quick start, I quickly realize that I hadn't written anything about how to actually use the scoreboard.  This post will give a real quick introduction on using the scoreboard.

Selecting the site of your scoreboard

    As mentioned in the Things I'd Like to Improve post, the scoreboard is not incredibly bright.  While I don't cover adding a shade to the board in these posts, I highly recommend you do so.  Looking at the position of the sun and the crowd, I then try to select a location for the scoreboard it will stay out of direct sunlight but be visible to the fans.  Also, given the fact that the control box will overheat in direct sunlight, I also make sure that it also has a cool spot in the shade.

Start Everything Up

    In order to get a successful start-up, order matters more than anything else.  Start things up in the following order:
  • Plug scoreboard into control box
  • Power on WiFi AP
  • Power on 4G Hotspot
  • Power on Raspberry Pi (i.e., plug into USB Battery)
Once the scoreboard flashes a second time, it is ready for use.  Should you find that there was a problem with startup, reboot the Pi (either by cycling power or via the web server); that should fix any problems that can crop up in the initial boot.

Score a Game

    My going in design principle was that this had to be easy for the other scorers on my team to use.  As a result, this is the simplest part of the entire blog.  In order to score a game:
  • On the iPad, join your scoreboard's wireless network using the SSID and password configured above
  • Start the GameChanger app and score game as normal
  • Confirm scoreboard updates as the game is scored
If everything is up and working, it should just be seamless (If you didn't look up at the scoreboard, it wouldn't seem any different than scoring the game without the scoreboard).  Should you find that things aren't working, check that all of your batteries are still good.  If they are, generally all problems are solved by a scoreboard reboot.

Post Game

    After the game is over (Scorer's tip:  Finalize and exit game and app prior to dealing with the scoreboard to avoid web server sync issues), shutdown is pretty easy.  The biggest problem I've encountered is remembering to power all of the devices off (I seem to always forget the AP).  Here's what you need to do:
  • Disconnect USB battery
  • Power down WiFi AP
  • Power down 4G Hotspot
  • Disconnect scoreboard from control box
  • Pack it all up and go home

Between Game Maintenance

    To get the scoreboard ready for the next game, all you need to do is make sure the batteries are charged.  Three batteries need to be charged:
  • The WiFi AP
  • 4G Hotspot
  • USB Battery (NOTE:  This usually takes the longest)
Once the batteries are charged, pack it all back up and get ready for the next game.

    That should be all you need to get the scoreboard running and ready between games.  If not, let me know in the comments.

Up Next … Bill of Materials

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