Upgrade your in-home NERF basketball game with this Arduino-powered scorekeeper.
Who could forget the days of playing NERF basketball inside the house? If so, chances are that you also vividly recall the yelling of parents urging you to stop. Nowadays, you may even have a similar hoop the back of your office door — you know, something to keep you occupied during those boring conference calls. Sparking up some of that childhood nostalgia is this latest project from Maker Robbie Frazelle, who recently devised an in-home hoop scorekeeper powered by an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4).
Inspired by an earlier Instructables project, the Maker acquired an indoor hoop and coupled it together with a digital distance sensor, a quad alphanumeric display, a Perma-Proto half-sized breadboard, a USB charger, and most importantly, an Arduino Micro — though he had initially hoped to use an Adafruit Trinket (ATtiny85) — to control the system. These electronics were all housed inside a plexiglass enclosure. Double-sided Loctite tape was used to secure the proto-board to the backboard and placed below the acrylic case. Meanwhile, a dual-AA battery pack was affixed to the back of the hoop, directly behind the proto-board using the same tape.
How the system works is relatively simple. A user shoots the ball. As it makes its way through the net, a distance sensor is triggered and the score is displayed via the Arduino. The entire unit is powered on/off by plugging the USB cable into the Arduino, or from the battery pack side. According to Frazelle, the scorekeeper could run for about three hours before dying, though he does note that a rechargeable USB power stick would be much more efficient.
“This worked on the first test, which was pretty awesome! I was concerned about the net movement giving false readings to the sensor, but I wasn’t able to create an erroneous score even with rim shots and air balls. I give credit to the sensor placement in relation to the holes in the net.”
Interested in a scorekeeper of your own? Head over to the project’s official page here.