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Using a computer to make the table awesome...

 
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gojetsgo
Minor Leaguer
Minor Leaguer


Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 13
Location: Edmonton, AB

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Using a computer to make the table awesome... Reply with quote

I searched this forum, but I don't think anyone has posted about this...

In searching for a way to upgrade my table's scoreboard, I thought - why not use a computer to add custom sounds, a video scoreboard, etc? I'm surprised others haven't gone this route (or have they?).

Some modern scoreboards don't use individual bulbs anymore, they just show a high-resolution screen with the score and video. A computer and a couple of LCD screens can easily recreate that. Plus a computer gives the flexibility of using as many different sound events as you'd like to add - custom goal horns, boos, cheers, etc.

To get ambitious, you can even set up webcams and have replays of the goals available - even to play automatically after a goal.

My Shelti uses a leaf switch to indicate a goal. This can be easily interfaced to the computer just by hacking a USB controller or joystick. I've done the same with my MAME arcade. The computer would not need to be high-powered. A cheap used one would suffice.

As far as software, this scoreboard software is free and fairly customizable (the basketball-specific stuff like "fouls" can be removed):

http://www.bellsouthpwp2.net/b/a/baileyvision/scoreboard/

What are your guys' thoughts? Perhaps some might think a computer is unnecessary, akin to killing a fly with a sledghammer?

Does anyone know of other software (preferably freeware) that would help this idea take flight?
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oilersfan99
2nd Team All Star
2nd Team All Star


Joined: 30 Oct 2007
Posts: 302
Location: Kamloops BC

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey gojetsgo,

I like the username.

I've done a bit of playing around with building scoreboards for tablehockey. I do programming for work and leisure as well.

Hard experience has led me to believe that the best bet is to go with some LCD screens and then use your hacked keyboard or MAME interface. I've used an IPAC from the UK on my MAME. It's a little cleaner in my book - but a keyboard hack is cheaper - so call it a wash.

I've seen that scoreboard you are talking about. Another option might be to code one yourself or find a programmer in uni or college to do it as a side project to completely customize it for you.

You could use a computer motherboard or a netbook to run your sound and displays, or you could use a microcontroller to get your goal events and tie in sound and display. It isn't all that difficult. It takes a little time, and a little learning. You can tuck it under the game and keep it a little more discreet.

Anyways, good luck.
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Cheers,

Joel.
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