« Last post by matencio on Today at 02:52:17 PM »
What configuration do you intend to build? The whole installation for a carnival stall as shown in your photographs, i.e. 18 flipper tables to control 18 horses, plus the big light display? Or just a small single-player version? (Playing alone or maybe against a computer?)
If I were to build this, for one or a small number of players, I would have a strong inclination to use actual stepping relays. They can be bought on ebay for $50 to $100 apiece; 25 positions seems to be a common version. Nothing like the clicking, clacking sound of an actual mechanical stepper! Add "real" switch contacts, and either light bulbs or LEDs to taste...
On the other hand, if you want to build this for a larger number of players and actually deploy it for routine use, the stepping relays may become a cost and reliability challenge. In that case, a microcontroller-based implementation is probably the more pragmatic approach. You will need to add hard-wired multiplexing logic to read a large number of switches and drive an even larger number of LEDs, however!
I think I'm going with the second version using an Arduino Uno (hopefully I can figure out how to program it). I'm not building for 20 people, just four or maybe six. Small but I'd like to be able to increase the number if I changed my mind later - like from four to six or more. As I said, this is more for family to play on and me to learn about electronics and even the Arduino I have.
As much as I would love those clanking, thumping step relays, the cost is prohibitive. So that makes the choice easy. The micro-controller-based implementation is intimidating for my lack of experience. Thanks, I think this is on the right path though.