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LED light question for newbie

Thread starter #1
I have a project circuit I want to build. This comes from an old (1950's) horse derby game I want to build for home.

Like a pinball machine, the ball is shot up and falls into one of 3 lanes each has roll over switches. One lane has one switch, one has two switches and one has three rollover switches.

Every time the ball rolls over the switch, a wallboard with a horse advances one, two or the lights/spaces. This continues until the lights reach the end and a winner is declared.

How do I make LED lights advance across the wallboard? I can't find any info about circuits to explain how to turn the lights on and leave them on until the game ends. After two years of searching, I'm asking for help. Thanks in advance. Mike
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#3
Good fundamental question.

I'll ask, if you were to select a LED today, which one might it be?

If it's a game, then there also should be LEDs for each player? How many players?

There are "addressable LEDs". See https://www.espruino.com/Individually+Addressable+LEDs

which might be a way to go.

The most cost effective may very well be a microprocessor.

Another concept that you need to learn is that mechanical switches bounce, which means they don;t switch once.
there is both "software debouncing" and "hardware debouncing".

I sort of want to suggest looking at www.picaxe.com and also the Arduino platform.

An idea might be to build something simple that's repeated. e.g. A PICaxe controls one string of lights (e.g. 16) and all the switches. Each PICAxe gets an enable signal to know when to respond. It might need a clear and win signal as well.

Have another PICAxe deal with which player is UP.

I could envision simple lines of a small number of LEDs. I could also envision an oval "track" with LED lanes as well. the number of lanes = number of players. Corners might be tough. Draw lines at angles through the LEDs on the corners number.
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#4
Sounds like all switches need to be in parallel and feed a simple resistor capacitor debounce to a 4017 (or more cascaded) will produce what you need. Look at the CD4017 datasheet to see how to cascade them.

Mike.
The MC74HC4017 will handle more current. Figure 11 shows how to cascade them.
 
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Thread starter #6
30 LEDs. The first six are on all the time. The game board has 24 lights. Here's a picture of what I want to build. This game is no longer made and the last one in existence (shown below) was parted out. The second picture is a close-up view of one of the four panels.
Horse derby.jpg Horse-derby2.jpg
24 that light as the horse moves across the board
Good fundamental question.

I'll ask, if you were to select a LED today, which one might it be?

If it's a game, then there also should be LEDs for each player? How many players?

There are "addressable LEDs". See https://www.espruino.com/Individually+Addressable+LEDs

which might be a way to go.

The most cost-effective may very well be a microprocessor.

Another concept that you need to learn is that mechanical switches bounce, which means they don't switch once.
there is both "software debouncing" and "hardware debouncing".

I sort of want to suggest looking at www.picaxe.com and also the Arduino platform.

An idea might be to build something simple that's repeated. e.g. A PICaxe controls one string of lights (e.g. 16) and all the switches. Each PICAxe gets an enable signal to know when to respond. It might need a clear and win signal as well.

Have another PICAxe deal with which player is UP.

I could envision simple lines of a small number of LEDs. I could also envision an oval "track" with LED lanes as well. the number of lanes = number of players. Corners might be tough. Draw lines at angles through the LEDs on the corners number.
This is stuff I'm unfamiliar with. I have used an Arduino but in limited use. Always open to learning something new but this is all stuff I never heard of before.

Sounds like all switches need to be in parallel and feed a simple resistor-capacitor debounce to a 4017 (or more cascaded) will produce what you need. Look at the CD4017 datasheet to see how to cascade them.

Mike.
The MC74HC4017 will handle more current. Figure 11 shows how to cascade them.
How easy is it to hook up. I can read a schematic but have no idea what that is.
As above, your question is missing a lot of detail. Please post a basic sketch of what you think the wallboard will look like.

ak
Here are some pictures of the very last original arcade game. Four panels with six lights behind the horse.
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
#7
24 that light as the horse moves across the board.
Is the 6 LEDs for each of 4 horses, or 4 LEDs for each of 6 horses?

Also, as the lights move across the board for each horse, do the trailing lights stay on (bar graph display) or go out (moving dot display)?
Bar graph: shift register design.
Moving dot: Johnson Counter design. Look up a CD4017 datasheet.

ak
 
Thread starter #8
Is the 6 LEDs for each of 4 horses, or 4 LEDs for each of 6 horses?

Also, as the lights move across the board for each horse, do the trailing lights stay on (bar graph display) or go out (moving dot display)?
Bar graph: shift register design.
Moving dot: Johnson Counter design. Look up a CD4017 datasheet.

ak
Each panel has 6 horses so it would need six lights per panel. There are four panels equaling 24 lights.
 
Thread starter #9
Good fundamental question.

I'll ask if you were to select a LED today, which one might it be?

If it's a game, then there also should be LEDs for each player? How many players?

There are "addressable LEDs". See https://www.espruino.com/Individually+Addressable+LEDs

which might be a way to go.

The most cost-effective may very well be a microprocessor.

Another concept that you need to learn is that mechanical switches bounce, which means they don't switch once.
there is both "software debouncing" and "hardware debouncing".

I sort of want to suggest looking at www.picaxe.com and also the Arduino platform.

An idea might be to build something simple that's repeated. e.g. A PICaxe controls one string of lights (e.g. 16) and all the switches. Each PICAxe gets an enable signal to know when to respond. It might need a clear and win signal as well.

Have another PICAxe deal with which player is UP.

I could envision simple lines of a small number of LEDs. I could also envision an oval "track" with LED lanes as well. the number of lanes = number of players. Corners might be tough. Draw lines at angles through the LEDs on the corners number.
 
Thread starter #10
It is a string of LEDs that light up as the rollover switch is activated. I need the switch to light a single light each time it is activated. The lights stay on until all 24 are lit. As for the number of players, this has 18 players so each player would have their own circuit. I imagine that it would have 18 separate circuits - each identical to the one prior. Not sure if it would be easier using regular light bulbs but LEDs seem the right way to go with this. Did this help?
 
Thread starter #11
Is the 6 LEDs for each of 4 horses, or 4 LEDs for each of 6 horses?

Also, as the lights move across the board for each horse, do the trailing lights stay on (bar graph display) or go out (moving dot display)?
Bar graph: shift register design.
Moving dot: Johnson Counter design. Look up a CD4017 datasheet.

ak
They stay on as it moves across
 
Thread starter #12
They stay on as it moves across
Is the 6 LEDs for each of 4 horses, or 4 LEDs for each of 6 horses?

Also, as the lights move across the board for each horse, do the trailing lights stay on (bar graph display) or go out (moving dot display)?
Bar graph: shift register design.
Moving dot: Johnson Counter design. Look up a CD4017 datasheet.

ak
I looked at the datasheet - honestly, I have no clue how to use this. I believe it's on par with what I'm doing but my knowledge about CMOS is zero. I wouldn't know where to begin! LOL
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#14
If there are 18 players and each has 3 lanes then is this the size of a typical fairground stall?

Are you able to program Arduino boards?

Mike.
 
Thread starter #17
First please provide the voltage and current for every single LED and are they connected in series or parallel please.

There are options, the circuit you are looking for is called a voltage monitor circuit, it can be done in a few ways, but this one is recommended:
http://www.electronicecircuits.com/electronic-circuits/lm3914-12v-battery-monitor-circuit
I have little experience building stuff. I know how to wire an LED with a resistor to a switch. It is powered by a AA battery. That is the extent of my knowledge.
 
Thread starter #18

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#19
The link in post #4 had a diagram for cascading three 4017s to control 25 LEDs. However, only 1 will be lit at a time. Maybe an Arduino with neopixel LEDs could be the way to go. You could have 1 continous line (split into 18 lines of 24) and just one Arduino. Does that sound feasible?

Mike.
 

sagor1

Active Member
#20
Besides using some type of micro, another option may be to use serial in/parallel out shift registers.
For example, a 74LS164 or equivalent. First chip has data (A/B) high and every clock pulse increments (shifts) to the next output. Of course, the CLK pulse should be clean (debounced first). The line of 24 lights could be driven by 3 chips. There would be 3 chips per horse track (line), each output driving something like a N-MOSFET LED driver (like a simple 2N7000 array or some ULN2803 8 output driver).
The 8th output of the first chip is tied to the CLR of the second chip. So, when the 8th line is latched on, the second chip gets its CLR set high as well, and it starts shifting the input (HIGH) on the next pulse. The key is the 8th output always enabled the next chip by setting the CLR high, enabling that chip to start counting.
All clock inputs are tied together on all 3 chips. A/B input is high on all chips. Lowering CLR on the first chips clears all 3 chips as all outputs go low, clearing the entire line.

If you have to run each panel of 6 lights independently, use 4 chips instead and trigger off the 6th output line in each panel to trigger the next panel. However, I don't see a need for this if the goal is to simply light the panel LEDs from light #1 to light #24

The main issue is contact debounce from the 1 to 3 contacts where the ball triggers them. This is where a small micro, like a 28 pin PIC processor could do both the debounce and the counting from 1 to 24 output pins.

This all assumes you want to leave all the lights on as the horse progresses. If you want to light just one horse at a time, and just move which light is on, a simple counter chip (as in #4 post) should do the trick.

Good luck with the project....
 
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