Scoreboard Display

Just getting started on Arduino and have been going through the beginner programs learning the ropes. I am hoping to use it eventually to operate a scoreboard on a acrade style game I'm making (think skee-ball).

My question is what kind of display would work best in this situation and where to look for it? What should I know about setting it up?

Basically will have sensors registering when a target is hit and then outputting that into a score display. I have some learning to do still on programming that, but would love to be pointed in the right direction. Thanks..


Depensing on what you want to spend, and how much info you want to display you can go all the way from

segment leds


one or more led matrix displays

to bigger arrays

Be sure to check out this tutorial:

I think a simple 2 line LCD would be a better option. Easier to connect to the arduino and easier to program.

Thanks for the responses so far. I'm hoping to have this mounted over the 'target' section of the game, so you'd be standing about ten feet away trying to read it. Thoughts on bigger displays?


But you might get away with normal 7 segments as used in digital alarm clocks.You usually can read a Red Led Alarm Clock from more than 10feet

Why not harvest a Cheap Alarm Clock...

Would some of these be overkill? ;)

That looks perfect. Anyone mind giving me a general overview of how this will work with the arduino in terms of other hardware I will need, etc? Thanks this is a big help already...

Assuming your “arcade” is indoors, 1-inch (perhaps .8-inch) 7-segment LEDs would probably be about the right cost/visibility tradeoff for a younger crowd, or larger (closer to 1.5 or 2-inch) for us middle-aged types.

Where you look depends a lot on where you are: if you’re in the U.S., you probably want to start with surplus sources. You can save Mondo Big BuxTM if you luck into finding a suitable display, compared to sources like Mouser and Digi-key that sell only fresh parts direct from the manufacturers.

A few of my favorite mail-order surplus dealers are:

If you can tolerate the longer shipping times, you can also save money by buying from Asian sources like Futurlec and Sure Electronics.

small florescent tubes :)

I know when I worked at a card multimedia / crap WD we had tons of 12v ccfl tubes ranging from 3 inches to 3 foot in length

Also computer case mod shops sell them, cept in limited sizes also

any color you can imagine for the most part

or heck EL wire, then you can make curvy numbers :)

Anyone mind giving me a general overview of how this will work with the arduino in terms of other hardware I will need, etc?

With the big Segment, you should consider using transistors to drive it.

Ok, probably a stupid question here. If I'm going for a three digit display, how am I going to run it without running out of IO pins?

There are shift registers specifically designed for driving LEDs. Forum searches for TLC5940, TPIC6C595, and "led shift register" will turn up lots of info and examples. You can run your whole display using only 2 or 3 Arduino pins.

Some of that info will be wrong, though: lots of people misuse the humble 74HC595 for driving LEDs, but that's a chip burn-out waiting to happen. That chip is only supposed to be used for about 5 or 6mA loads.