Question around building a Tally Light system

Hello all you wonderful folks.

I've been tasked by my work to build a simple tally light system, with 5 push buttons and 4 LEDs.

Essentially each pushbutton would kill all leds except the led corresponding to that button, and the off switch will turn all LEDs off. It needs to be spread over 2 rooms. I've done some drawings and would love to hear your thoughts about the design, and if I've missed anything obvious.

Thanks in advance

don't post links to external systems, just drop your images here in the post. Many forum members (including me) won't follow external links.

This is the plan for how it will all connect together.

thanks for the images

you can use the INPUT_PULLUP mode to avoid the resistors (not right in your picture) for the buttons
for the LEDs, how long is the cable going to be?

To simplify your coding for the buttons, you could use the OneButton library from Matthias Hertel (or many others)

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For the LED Lights between 5m and 10m.

you'll have some (small) voltage drop in the cable but that should work.

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Thanks for the excellent advice.

Or use the pull up resistors, but wire them correctly. :expressionless:


In terms of the connection between the control box and the junction box, do you think a DIN5 connection could work? 1 pin for ground and the rest for each of the 4 LEDs?

Yes, probably.

And when whomever starts thinking the 10mm LEDs are insufficient, you'll be in perfect shape for using opto-isolated drivers for larger, locally powered lamps…


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I would go ahead on the path you've selected, but have you looked into simpler solution of just using a bank of radio button switches?

radio button switch bank

I googled, looks like they are available if not still manufactured. For a one-off this might be the fastest to implement.

Of course no fun at all, and no opportunities for over-engineering or enhancements &c. :wink:


Exactly! Wireless versions of this system go for 1700 Euro, so I figured I'd try make a lo-fi diy version, save some money and learn something along the way.

Remain ambitious, a DIY wireless version of this is something like happens around here alla time.

And cost no where near as much, depending on the value of your time...

For the next version.


My wife accuses me of overengineering all of my projects.

I would do everything wireless. A Wemos D1 Mini with four buttons at the TD location, then an EPS01 with the tally LED at each camera location. Each push of a button would publish on/off messages to all of the tally ESP's. If you have individual monitors for each camera, you could stick another ESP01 there. You could even build a tally box for the floor director.

If your station is anything like the one I worked at, the switcher has a tally plug, probably an RS232 connector, that has dry-contact switch connections so when you take a new camera, you only have to press one button.

I’m all for adding features and so forth; sometimes there are things where one really has an immediate problem to solve.

Around here we are still waiting for someone to finish the garage door status monitor and alarm… meanwhile everyone has pretty much learned to not leave it open. :expressionless:


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