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When the pandemic started, I decided that I needed to ensure that I kept myself occupied during lock down, so I mentioned to my parents that I was thinking about restarting my childhood hobby of electronics.

As soon as I mentioned this, my mother said “Would you build us a Cribbage Board?”. When I asked why, she explained that they (my parents) are getting older and they lose count and where they are on the wooden board they use and this causes arguments when playing.

The scene was set for my first project.

To understand the project, you need to know about the game Cribbage. Cribbage is a card game, where players score points based on hands, just like Poker. There are various points awarded for each hand and using a traditional wooden board, the points are recorded.

The wooden scoring board is usually a rectangle, with holes drilled throughout. The boards often have four runs of 60 holes. This supports various game types and I focused on three games my parents play, being, 2 player short, 2 player long or 3 player long. It is this manual wooden board which causes a problem, as they forget which direction they started and how many times they have been across the board.

I decided to replicate the board using Adafruit NeoPixel 8x8 RGBW Matrix. Four matrices are placed in a row and using arrays, I control the LED’s to display the three game layouts.

The game has a start up sequence which notifies the players which game type has been selected. Other features include a brightness setting and charging circuit for 8 x AA NiCd batteries so they can play outside.

Inside, there is the NeoPixel array (upside down), main PCB and battery compartment.”

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