We know, your kid is never going to be a professional athlete. But those Saturday morning soccer games don’t need to be boring for parents on the sidelines. One way to spice up the experience for both players and spectators is to add a scoreboard into the mix.
Scrolled has just the thing: a digital scoreboard for football (AKA, soccer). It counts up and down with a simple button interface, and even spells out “GOAL” when either the home or away team scores. The display is made out of 7 MAX7218 8×8 matrix displays, allowing it to count up to 99 before rolling over to 0 again. As programmed, the small display could certainly be used for other sports or competitive task—Foosball comes to mind, or perhaps even for some sort of work-related score tracking.
Making this even more interesting is that it runs on an ATMege328 chip that can be swapped out with your own bootloaded chip, then programmed using an FTDI cable. While the original scoreboard code won’t be published, the board still gives you a ready-made platform on which to display 7 matrices without having to redesign the hardware from ground zero.
If you do feel like going the hardware hacking route, since the score is actuated with simple buttons, you could bypass them with a microswitch or transistor. This would allow one to implement automated score keeping on a game or task without even modifying the device’s programming!