How to Build a Scoreboard Circuit

By Nicholas Zacharewicz
A homemade scoreboard brings charm to your court or field.

The most complex part of a scoreboard is its circuit; the rest is just covering and casing. But if your gym or outdoor court needs a scoreboard then there's no need to worry since scoreboard circuit building can be quickly learned. The basic principle is that buttons on your scoreboard will be used to increase each team's score when there is power running through your circuit. A third button could also be added to your scoreboard to control resetting the scores between games.

Place your dual in-line sockets onto the breadboard. The notches showing "PIN1" should be facing up.

Put all of your resistors into the breadboard.

Add the capacitors and buttons to your breadboard.

Put the power switch in your breadboard.

Use your jumper wires to attach each of your displays to one of your DILs (at any pin numbered 9 to 13 [output pins]). Also run a wire from pin number 1 on each of your DILs (clock pin) and through your resistors to your capacitors. Run a wire from your capacitors to each of your buttons. Each button should have one line of wiring traveling between it and one of the displays.

Put jumper wires from both of your capacitors to your power switch, and from your power switch to your power supply. This completes the other half of your circuit.

Put your 4026 integrated circuits into your DIL sockets.

Add a third button to your breadboard. Connect this button to the 15th pin (reset pin) on both of your DILs, and to your power switch.

Attach your displays to your ICs via their DIL sockets.

Test your scoreboard to ensure that it is in working order.

Tip

The pin count on your ICs or DILs starts from the top left, moves down, and then across to the bottom right, and moves up from there. The notch in your IC or DIL needs to be facing forward (away from you) for this counting method to work.

If your displays are small enough, use sockets for them.

Group seven of your resistors together to keep your breadboard uncluttered.

Place your buttons close to where your displays will be after your circuit is in its casing. This will make your scoreboard easy to operate. Put your reset button wherever it is most convenient.

Use an ohmmeter to check that the output of each of your ICs is 330 ohms before you attach the displays.

About the Author

Nicholas Zacharewicz is the holder of a Master of Arts in English and has had poetry, short fiction and articles published in anthologies, journals, newspapers and online. His writing specializes in Medieval literature and culture, genre fiction, and video games.