8 Digit Countdown Display for Build Season

Myself and a couple friends who were on team 4976 last year, built this countdown display for build season. It’s a live countdown of the weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds left until bag and tag.

It runs off the same microcontroller as the Arduino Uno, along with a real time clock and 4, 16-channel constant current LED drivers. Here’s a quick video explaining how it works:

If anyone’s interested in building something similar, I can provide schematics, PCB layouts, CAD models, and the code for running this one.

Checkout some pictures of the final product here:

OMG I’ve got all of the parts for our team to build one and a bunch of students who have yet to pull it off. This is way cool though! Good work!

Thanks, it was a great learning experience and a fun project for the off-season. What parts do you have for your team to build one?

We’ve got the LEDs, drivers, a power supply, and an arduino. I’ve even got some RTC modules once we get far enough. It’s literally the same size and general idea you’ve got going. I’ve been having fun sharing this with a couple of my fellow mentors… they were giving me crap about wanting to make one earlier in the pre-season.

Seriously, great work!

I’d recommend the DS1307 RTC if you’ve got that one. Really easy to use over I2C and it supports a backup battery, and has a settable 1Hz output pin that you can use to tell the microcontroller to update the display. I’d be happy to provide any documentation from our build if you want help getting started!

The Doomsday clock!

We love it David (and company)

Great job!

I want one!

I’d start building one right now if I didn’t have a gazillion other things on my to-do list right now.

But I’m sure I’m the only FRC mentor that has this problem, right? :rolleyes:

Hi David,

I was wondering if we can get in contact about your board! We are looking into making one, and was wondering how you made your boards.


[email protected]@gmail.com

I’d be interested in some more info about this, although honestly, I probably won’t ever get around to making one - maybe some aspiring students on our team will end up working on this.

My email is [email protected]

Where did you purchase the large 8 segment displays?

A countdown to the end of your freedom. How depressing.

Yeah, but during build, it’s a countdown TO freedom.

Looks awesome. That would be cool at our shop.

EDIT: Also, why did you etch your own boards? There are so many places to get cheap boards done these days (though perhaps they’re not so cheap in Canada).

It looks like it’s missing something … hmmmm … oh yeah - the milliseconds :smiley:

Sent you a PM.

I too am interested in a parts list

[email protected]

Thank you.

I’m interested too, PM sent.

Great design