This Tabletop Bowling Game Brings the Alley Into Your Home

And with automatic scoring!

Jeremy S. Cook
3 months agoSports / Gaming

While you might not be able to go bowling as you could in 2019, this project presents a way to enjoy the sport at home with your own tabletop bowling rig. The game features a wooden structure, with a 5½-foot long, 6½-inch wide lane. Participants bowl using a 1½-inch ball bearing and pins are miniature models that fit into their own countersunk holes.

For scorekeeping, the device uses photoresistors under each of the pins, along with a pattern of LEDs on top. When pins are knocked over, LED light reaches the appropriate sensors underneath, sending signals to an Arduino Uno board. This then keeps count automatically, pushing out messages via an I2C LCD display. Besides automatic scoring, the particular miniature pins used actually glow under LED lighting, which would be a fun bonus. Perhaps IR LEDs could be subbed in for the white LEDs used here to enhance the effect.

The build is nicely laid out on in its write-up, including code as well as drilling templates for the LED and pin/photoresistor holes. It uses two standard size breadboards, though you could certainly convert it to perfboard, or even a PCB if you want to make things a bit more permanent.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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