Wireless Score Tracking System For Washer Board Game

Hello I am searching for guidance on the approach to a project I intend to do. I am new to the forum so if I am presenting anything incorrectly please let me know. The project idea is to create a wireless score tracking system for the game of washer boards. My initial plan is to use 2 Arduino Nano’s along with 2 NRF24L01 transceivers equipped with some type of sensor to sense which holes the washers went into for each board. On the signal receiving end I plan to use an Arduino R3 along with another transceiver to receive sensor data and implement code to track the score and display the results.

Does this seem feasible?
Also I am unsure which sensor to use as I need to be able to accurately sense each hole preferably with some type of distance sensor so I don’t have to have a motion sensor for each hole. Any input is greatly appreciated!

This link shows a video of the game being played.

It would help us to help you if you illustrated the problem of what you are trying to detect. Maybe there are people here who might be able to help but know nothing about the game you mention. Maybe some photos or drawings.

Also, it would help if the title mentioned the game so as to attract the attention of people who do know the game. You can edit your original post, including the title.

Have a look at this Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial.

Wireless problems can be very difficult to debug so get the wireless part working on its own before you start adding any other features.

The examples are as simple as I could make them and they have worked for other Forum members. If you get stuck it will be easier to help with code that I am familiar with. Start by getting the first example to work

There is also a connection test program to check that the Arduino can talk to the nRF24 it is connected to.

A common problem with nRF24 modules is insufficient 3.3v current from the Arduino 3.3v pin. This seems to be a particular problem with the nano. The high-power nRF24s (with the external antenna) will definitely need an external power supply. At least for testing try powering the nRF24 with a pair of AA alkaline cells (3v) with the battery GND connected to the Arduino GND.

...R

I assume the game has something to do with throwing washers into a hole or holes in a board But don’t really know. Should be easy to detect if the washer is metal you can put a contact in the hole to detect it. Problem is if you have more than 1 washer going in the same hole. Either you need a way to clear the hole or a different method of detection such as weight.

I have no idea what your requirements are for the rest of the system as you don’t really explain them. Generally you post schematics, rough plans and any code you have to aid people to understand your problem. I would be thinking about ESP32 with wifi to send the score to a remote display but you could easily have a display on the board.

I have edited my original post to reflect my concept better with an attachments of a rough sketch and an image to give a better understanding of the game. One team stand on edge of one board and throws the washer into the other and vice versa.

https://youtu.be/P-oLico2tfY Also here is a link to a brief video that illustrates the object of the game for better clarity.

I guess my approach would be to shine an LED across the holes on the underside with a photo transistor on the opposite side of the hole. It might be necessary to use 2 at right angles to each other, but that’s something you would have to experiment with.

That is something I had not thought of although I am only familiar with photoresistors at this point. I believe my main concerns at this point are:

  1. finding a sensor that can produce an acceptable sensing range(PIR will sense too far and probably
    sense a person walking on or near the boards)

  2. If I am forced to use 1 sensor per hole, then is it possible for each sensor to have its own
    unique indicator or address but be used with a single transceiver that way I do not have to use a
    transceiver for each hole

I feel like I have to get a solid idea of which sensor and arrangement is possible for this task before I go out and start purchasing things. If the sensors cannot accurately detect each hole individually then there is no point on pouring effort into the wireless setup.

I thought of using an HC-SR04 sensor at the back of each board since it can be used to measure distance. I could then measure the distances to each hole and write code to interpret those distances and increment the score accordingly. Only problem is that the ultrasonic sensor uses a longitudinal wave as the washer would have to fall directly in the line of sight for it to sense. Little too far left or right and it won't detect is what I understood when reading about the HC-SR04.

You have to understand that I have never built what you are proposing, my suggestion was based on my general experience and might turn out to be wrong or unworkable.

Someone else might have a better idea.

I feel like I have to get a solid idea of which sensor and arrangement is possible for this task before I go out and start purchasing things

I don't agree with that; buy parts to allow you to experiment, that's part of the fun. At the end you will have learned a lot and will have a stock of parts for your next project.

A low tech solution: a trapdoor. Use a disc which pivots on an axle that is off centre. The disc could be made with 2 metal half sections (or metal tape) slightly separated to be joined by the washer when it lands in. The washer would upset the balance and fall out the bottom to be returned. The axle could be used to conduct the circuit To the uC. So when a washer falls in it will make the connection and the continuity will be detected by the uC.

Maybe even simpler would be a trapdoor held in place by a weak spring or counterbalance. When closed a metal tab would close a circuit. When a washer enters the weight trips the trapdoor and opens the circuit. This would require minimal effort and is very low tech.

PerryBebbington:
You have to understand that I have never built what you are proposing, my suggestion was based on my general experience and might turn out to be wrong or unworkable.

Someone else might have a better idea.
I don't agree with that; buy parts to allow you to experiment, that's part of the fun. At the end you will have learned a lot and will have a stock of parts for your next project.

PerryBebbington:
You have to understand that I have never built what you are proposing, my suggestion was based on my general experience and might turn out to be wrong or unworkable.

I was actually thinking about this last night and I think you are right. Have to start trying something and go from there. Can only speculate so much.

Robin2:
Have a look at this Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial.

Wireless problems can be very difficult to debug so get the wireless part working on its own before you start adding any other features.

The examples are as simple as I could make them and they have worked for other Forum members. If you get stuck it will be easier to help with code that I am familiar with. Start by getting the first example to work

There is also a connection test program to check that the Arduino can talk to the nRF24 it is connected to.

A common problem with nRF24 modules is insufficient 3.3v current from the Arduino 3.3v pin. This seems to be a particular problem with the nano. The high-power nRF24s (with the external antenna) will definitely need an external power supply. At least for testing try powering the nRF24 with a pair of AA alkaline cells (3v) with the battery GND connected to the Arduino GND.

...R

I'm going to go with this. I'll read and do everything you have sent I've seen your other threads concerning the NRF24L01, you seem to know your stuff. One question is, do I need the big antennas or will the pigtails do okay for what I am doing? Everything will be pretty close range.

robot199492594:
One question is, do I need the big antennas or will the pigtails do okay for what I am doing? Everything will be pretty close range.

The low power nRF24 modules just have a PCB antenna. The high-power modules have an external antenna.

How many metres is "close range" ?

...R

#12

Boards will be about 10 feet apart. And I will set up receiving Arduino in the middle of the boards a few feet to left or right.

robot199492594:
Boards will be about 10 feet apart.

That will be no problem for the low-power nRF24 modules.

...R

Robin2:
That will be no problem for the low-power nRF24 modules.

...R

So these would be the correct ones?

robot199492594:
So these would be the correct ones?

Yes

...R