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Devices Embedded projects.

Board games Score Counter.

I would like to announce that a small device I have been working on is finally ready. The description of the device’s purpose and how to use it are available bellow.

The Score Counter is available on my Online store.

Introduction:

The Score Counter is a device meant to be used for keeping the score for up to four players when playing board games like Scrabble. The numbers of players is selectable through the settings menu and names, up to ten characters long can be entered for each player.

While playing scrabble one evening I thought, there must be another way to keep the score except paper and pen. I looked around the internet and found some smart phone apps, but I dislike using a phone for that, it would lock etc. and I don’t like “living in my phone” anyway. Then the idea came to me, I can build one.

The result after a bunch of iteration is the device described here. It has the following main properties:

  • It is a purpose build device to keep score for games.
  • Small size, but still comfortable to handle (10cm / 5.5cm / 1.7cm).
  • Battery powered. Runs on two AAA batteries.
  • 1.3” OLED screen.
  • Controlled via five buttons and a rotary switch.
  • 3D printed and painted enclosure.
  • Energy independent memory to store settings and player names.
  • Supports two languages. English and Bulgarian.
Score counter Look form the front.
Score counter from the back with the battery compartment lid opened

How it is used:

Controls.

The score counter is controlled via five buttons and a rotary switch on the picture on the right the location of the controls is shown. See the picture bellow.

There are four arrow buttons on the outermost ring, there is one button in the centre, that is the OK/ON/OFF button and finally there is the rotary switch which is located between the button already mentioned.

Each button has different function when the device is in configuration mode and when it is in normal mode. The buttons function is described below in the screens description.

The device is switched on by pressing the ON/OFF button.

To switch it off, hold the ON/OFF button for 3 seconds. This will clear the score for all players as well.

If there was no activity on any of the buttons for 10 seconds, the display will be dimmed out to save battery and after 10 minutes of no activity the device will switch off, but will keep the scores and when switched on again will display them.

Score counter controls.

Screens:

Here all possible screens of the device are described and for each screens the function of the different controls is listed.

Main screen

When the device is switched on, the screen with the score for Player 1 will be shown. This kind of screen shows player’s scores and is the one used in the device’s normal mode.

Main screen

It Has three lines:

  • Player’s name
  • Fixed text – “Score:”
  • The total score for the player is shown in the left half of the line and the new points to be added are shown in the right half of the line.

The new points are increased or decreased using the rotary switch or the left and right arrows. When the desired number of points is selected the OK button is pressed and the new points are added to the player’s total score and the screen is switched to display the next player if there are more than one players.

Using the Up and Down buttons it is possible to switch between the players without changing their scores.

By pressing the OK button the values in the new points field will be added to the currently selected player and switch to the next player. If the new points field is zero, then the players might be switched by pressing repeatedly the OK button and their scores will remain unchanged.

Settings screens

Select language

Select language screen.

To enter settings mode hold the UP arrow for 3 seconds. Then the first settings screen is displayed which is for selecting the language of the interface. The Score Counter supports two languages, English and Bulgarian. The desired language is selected using the rotary switch and confirmed by pressing the OK button. Here only the English interface is shown on the screenshots.

Number of players

Select number of players screen

After selecting the language, the number of players is to be selected. The maximum number of players is four. The Desired number is set using the rotary switch and confirmed by pressing the OK button.

Player’s name

Player 1 name edit screen

Each player might be named. The default names are P1 to P4. After selecting the number of players and confirming with OK, a name editing screen for Player 1 is shown. When the desired name is entered, it is confirmed by button OK and the name edit screen for the next player is opened. This will be done between 1 and 4 times, depending on the already selected number of players.

The name is selected using the rotary switch and the Left and Right arrows. A letter is selected using the rotary switch. The possible characters are numbers from 0 to 9, small and capital A to Z, digits and small and capital Cyrillic letters. When a letter is selected, the cursor is moved to another position using the Left and Right arrows. Another letter might be selected again using the rotary switch. The Maximum number of character per name is 10.

Pressing the OK button confirms the name and switches to editing the name of the next player. If the selected number of players is reached, pressing OK will save all changes in the devices non volatile memory and will go back to normal mode, showing the first player’s points screen .

The user manual is also available in PDF form HERE.