My new Arduino project – Big-Screen Sports Timekeeper

stk-1stk-2A few months ago, I turned one of the Dot-Matrix Display (DMD) boards from Australian makers Freetronics into an Audio Spectrum Analyser in my APC magazine Arduino Masterclass*, but in the new October 2014 issue of APC, I’ve used it for something more traditional – a big-screen sports timekeeper.

Most local sporting clubs end up relying on a guy with a stopwatch and a whistle, but this 32×16-LED panel can be combined with a simple Arduino Uno microcontroller to create a easy-to-use (and easy-to-see) sports timekeeper.

You can set the initial time anywhere between 1 and 99 minutes in one-minute increments, it counts down showing seconds and it even has a time-off mode where you can pause the countdown and start it up again.

The software or sketch for this project is free and will be available on the APC Arduino page in the next day or so – and you can read all about how it works in the new October 2014 issue of APC – out tomorrow.

(*At this stage, the Audio Spectrum Analyser project should have appeared on the APC website, but for some reason it hasn’t. I’ll check with APC’s publishers and if they don’t want to upload it, I’ll do so here.)

[Update: 19-Sept – the code is now available at

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