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Digital Timer - Display Panels

There are three options for obtaining a suitable external display panel.

  • Purchase a commercially made panel such as the one from AerobTec.
    Unfortunately AerobTec no longer offer this display panel but
    you may be able to buy a pre-owned panel.
  • Purchase a display interface board designed and built for GliderScore from Embedded-Ability.
  • Build your own display panel from components.

Each option has obvious advantages and disadvantages.

  • The commercially made panel is quick and easy, but may be expensive.
  • The display interface board solves all the electronics and programming issues for you,
    but requires that you purchase some components and carry out some assembly yourself.
    However, comprehensive instructions are provided and nothing more than basic soldering is required.
  • Building your own display from components requires good electronics knowledge, programming skills
    and construction skills to put it all togther, including the electronics components.

It is possible to make the serial connection using a radio link instead of a cable.
Suitable products can be seen here and similar products should be available from other suppliers.
I assume that you would need some electronics knowledge to use this kind of product.

With AerobTec you will have a display panel that looks like this.
A complete solution with no more to do other than make the serial cable connection.
Unfortunately AerobTec no longer offer this display panel. You will have to buy a used one.

The Embedded-Ability display interface board looks like this (actual size 120 x 98.5mm).
Add cabling, 7 segment LED panels, some assembly time and a serial cable connection and it's done.
All cables connect to the board with screw-type terminal blocks, options are activated with
plug-in jumpers, and the user guide provides lots of board and LED display installation help.

This idea, and images, come from Maarten Broess. Thank you Maarten.
The idea is to cheaply build a display panel using LED strip lighting as shown in the images above.
You will still need a controller such as the one from Embedded-Ability, but you benefit by not having
to either build or buy the LED panels.
I have not seen it all working and I do not know whether the LED strip lighting is bright enough,
but it is worth a try. I believe that wiring it all up would be similar to the wiring described
in the tab 'Display Panel Build'.

Image1 Image2

If you are after a low cost display board and are prepared to build it all yourself, Robert Budniak has the project for you.
Robert writes ...
"There was previous discussion about LED timing boards. People found these helpful but they all were pretty expensive.
I got thinking and ended designing and constructing some boards.
What I call the Gliderscore Timing Board is used to display the countdown timer, the group and the round information.
What I call the Gliderscore Information Board only displays the Group and Round information
(its purpose is to go near the pits and just keep people informed about the state of the schedule).
A third piece is a small transmitter which connects to the USB port and sends the serial Gliderscore output to the boards,
so no wiring between computer and boards is required.
It's all built around an Arduino running a sketch and serial addressable LEDs. The characters are 250mm (10 inches) in height.
The construction articles are at Instructables and you'll find the three construction articles, some videos and pictures.
Double-click on the images in Instructables to see the full construction articles.
I hope this adds to the community."
There are some videos on YouTube.