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WFTDA => Gear => Topic started by: Dave Brawlings on August 20, 2014, 10:14:29 pm

Title: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Dave Brawlings on August 20, 2014, 10:14:29 pm
I am from a league which primarily bouts indoors. We use a computerized scoreboard and projectors.

But we have a game coming up fast which will be outdoors, at noon, and in a location without easy access to power.

I'd love to know a really simple and reliable way to display the clocks, 'cause we can use whiteboards for the scores.

Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Major Wood on August 22, 2014, 03:41:45 pm
I haven't done any outdoor games, so no experience there. I know there are simple and reliable ways to do this, but they are extraordinarily expensive. http://dc-digital.com/store/SglOutdoorDnTimer.html (http://dc-digital.com/store/SglOutdoorDnTimer.html)
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Wernher on August 22, 2014, 07:36:21 pm
Car battery and a power inverter? There are also power-packs available - many times they're marketed for jump-starting cars (especially around here), but many can also run standard electrical appliances.

A TV may use less power than a projector, but may not have the space to make something like the Carolina scoreboard useful; in which case maybe you go with a manual scoreboard, and have the TV just show the period and jam time.

No matter what you do, you'll need to test how feasible it'll work, and what kind of battery life you'll get out of it.
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Major Wood on August 22, 2014, 07:44:46 pm
If you go that path, be aware that power inverters are made very differently. Most of the cheaper ones output a modified sine wave, which won't work for some devices. Most of the more expensive ones use a pure sine wave, which is how power comes out of a standard outlet.
The other issue you would be contending with there is that in direct sunlight, it might not matter if you are able to get power.
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: SeerSin on August 23, 2014, 02:07:08 pm
What are your requirements? What type of game is this and how important is the clock?

If it's an exhibition game and skaters aren't terribly concerned with who wins then a loud jam timer simply announcing the jam and period time periodically may suffice. Otherwise renting a small generator may be the best solution.
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Dave Brawlings on August 23, 2014, 05:50:05 pm
Thanks for all your answers; it's to be a Junior Roller Derby Association sanctioned game, so visible clocks are a requirement. I'm doing my best to scratch up a quiet generator, and Plan A will be to take a couple of computer monitors and shade them as well as I can to keep them visible in the sun, one per clock.

I was really hoping to find a decent commercial "car battery in a box" and inverter for a reasonable price, but haven't found one that can provide enough run time that I'd be comfortable relying on it. I'd cobble something together myself, but especially with JRs everywhere, it seems prudent not to have high power jury-rigged electrical equipment sitting trackside.

The various LED clocks seem like they'd be a boon to reliability; they certainly would use less power, and setup would be a lot simpler than with computers.  But replacing multiple independent clocks with a simple interface is a major reason to use a computer scoreboard in the first place, and i can just imagine the hilarity that could follow (during the game) from _my_ being asked to operate a new-to-me set of clocks with complicated weird remote controls  and a short time to practice, and so I'm reluctant to put that on someone else. But I might, if I can find the right ones.
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: 1600-DOCTORB on September 05, 2014, 03:16:47 pm
A TV may use less power than a projector, but may not have the space to make something like the Carolina scoreboard useful

Earlier this year, at a closed bout, we used a 40" TV as our score board (using CRG) and it worked really well! Well, until the HMDI cable shat itself but that's another story.
Title: Re: What do you use for an outdoor scoreboard, particularly for clocks?
Post by: Dave Brawlings on September 07, 2014, 05:45:35 am
Game's over. We used a 39" TV and our normal scoreboard software, and everything went well enough. The TV was just barely bright enough to see from the furthest distance needed (I adjusted it as well as I could; everything all the way up, essentially) and it's true that the clocks were pretty small.

We don't use the Carolina scoreboard (although it is configurable via HTML, I understand), because most of our games are Banked, and I like having only one piece of software, 'cause it's so much less training. Next time, I'll just have the Clocks and scores, as big as possible, and eliminate everything else that is now on the screen. That ought to make it much easier to see. Even with the TV in the shade the whole time, it was on the edge of "not contrasty enough to see particularly well."

Oddly, the biggest bit of trouble was that the lineup clock was so small that it was hard to get the 5 second warning at the right time. I'll make the Lineup clock alternate with the Jam clock to make them both as big as possible in screen real estate, and I expect that problem to be fixed.

So, mission accomplished, next time will be better, thanks for the help.

Also, because of the heat and exhaustion from setting up the track in the heat, towards the end of the first half I wasn't entirely sure I'd make it all the way to the end of the bout without collapsing. Nobody collapsed, but for those of you who normally bout outdoors and set up their tracks every time: I salute you.