Location/Status Indicator board (LED, buttons, LCD)

I'm a beginner in programming so please forgive me if I sound stupid.

I've thought of a project where I need to know the status and exact location of multiple items. An item has 3 status and 21 possible locations. The location and item name would be read from an LCD. I want to know what's the status of all the items by using LEDs as indicators. Initially, I planned that when I press a button the location and the item's name would appear on the LCD and there would be 3 LED on each buttons to indicate it's status. Each button would have different locations and items in it. Then when I press a new button, an OK/Confirm button the status would react differently depending on what status is the item.

The 3 status are:

When the OK button is pressed:
Green -> LED turn off
Yellow -> Green
Red -> Nothing happens

The item's name, location and the initial status would be updated through VB.net but that's for another topic I guess. I would be happy if I could just do all of this in arduino. If you guys have any idea on how to make the project possible or improve the design of it, please help. Thanks.

Until the VB.net part, it seemed totally possible and I saw no serious roadblocks (except the minor issue of the array of 21 buttons which requires an Arduino with enough inputs).

It's actually 22 buttons, 1 for an "OK" button. Sorry if I didn't make it clear. My friend (We're both beginners) told me it is possible and he showed me a video where a VB.net program controls his LED but since we're both beginners I'd trust you instead. I'll go about the design again and see if I can do without VB.

Can you show me how to use 21 buttons with 3 LED each on 1 arduino? I don't know where to start. Thanks.

So that's 22 buttons AND 66 LEDs?! That's a lot. You're going to need some port extenders for that. Other than that it's quite straightforward.
Get yourself an Uno or Nano, wire up the OK button, the first control button and three LEDs, get that working, then basically multiply by 21. The port extenders do add some extra complication of course but nothing serious.
Do a quick Google on how to hook up these two things - button with external pull up (or pull down) resistor; LEDs with current limiting resistor; you'll easily find all the example sketches on how to read buttons and control LEDs. Install the Arduino IDE and if needed read up on some C tutorials.

22 buttons, 63 LEDs and an LCD. I just realized that's a lot. I think I'll just replace the yellow LED with a blinking green LED. I'll do some research on port extenders and see if it's available in my country. Thanks for your help.

Welcome to the forum.

What is the application, what are the items and what is the 21 possible locations.

Sounds like a game of battleships.

If we know the use of your proposal it will be easier for us to give you accurate information.

Thanks.. Tom.. :slight_smile:

Thanks :smiley:

It's like a big calculator that indicates what kind of item is in the storage unit. The items could be anything important to me. The storage unit which is kind of like a big locker has 21 storage and is very high for someone as short as me. So, I wanted to make a program in VB.net where I can monitor on my PC what is inside the storage unit and control the LEDs depending on whether it's empty or has my very important item. I want the the LEDs to blink if the storage is empty, turn on the red LED if the item is very important and a green LED if the storage has something in it. Then the reactions of the LED will change when I press a button for a storage and then the OK button. I think controlling what is typed in the LCD from VB is the least feasible but I'm not good enough to know for sure. Thank you for taking the trouble to help me. :smiley: