Gold Coast Bowls

Error G from the Gold Coast in Australia (yes Australia!!!) has built a lawn bowls scoreboard for his club, using the instructions on this website as guidance.  The scoreboard is designed to aggregate together the scores from individual games to show what is happening in the overall match (7 rinks).  However, the design could easily be used for an individual rink, which is something that his club is thinking about.

For the lawn bowls scoreboard, Errol needed three sets of digits (home score, ends, away score).  He wired them all in to pins 2,3 and 4 of the Arduino.


I updated the Westbury on Severn web interface and scoreboard.php to support the updated layout, the files for which are available from here.


To build the board and setup the software for a similar build, complete the following steps:

Wiring up the board

Follow the instructions on the Creating and Testing the Electronics and Building the Board pages to build the circuits.  Errol happened to wire his digits in the reverse format to the type we usually expect (which we solved with a simple software change).  In order to wire them correctly to support the software uploaded to this website, you should only wire up pins 2, 3 and 4 of the Arduino, and you should wire them in the following order:

homeHundreds, homeTens, homeOnes, endsHundreds, endsTens, endsOnes, awayHundreds, awayTens, awayOnes

Setup the Arduino

Follow the instructions on the Setting up the Arduino page to set up the Arduino.  Despite the fact that the standard Arduino sketch is designed for a cricket scoreboard, it will work fine for a lawn bowls scoreboard as there are 9 digits in the top row (pins 2, 3 and 4 of the Arduino) on both board.  It doesn’t matter if the bottom row isn’t wired in.

Setting up the Raspberry Pi

Follow the instructions on the Setting up the Raspberry page.  This installs the cricket web interface, but you can do some basic testing by setting Bat A (home), Total (Ends) and Bat B (Away).  Follow all of the instructions on this page, but do not install the optional Bradford Upon Avon interface.

Installing the updated bowls interface

Download the bowls interface software from here.  Copy the zip file in to the /home/pi folder on the raspberry using WinSCP.


Now open a terminal on the raspberry (either directly or via putty) and unzip the zip file by typing:

cd /home/pi


Now copy the new files that you downloaded to update the web interface by typing the following commands:

cd /home/pi/goldcoast
sudo cp * /var/www/html


Now open a browser and navigate to the IP address of the Raspberry.  You should see the updated interface!

Setting up the scorebook template – optional

Errol G put together a excel scorebook to help them keep track of the various rinks.  I added the scoreboard integration code from the laver and wood scoresheet and did some basic testing, it seemed to work ok.  You can download it from here.

The scorebook is set up as a template, which means when you open it, excel creates a new file so that you can score a match without overwriting the template.  Before you use the template, you should set it up to work with your scoreboard via the wireless interface.

Editing the template file is quite easy, and will allow you to customise the external scoreboard integration settings and other club details.  To do this, first open excel to get to a blank worksheet (don’t double click on the template).  Now click file, open and select the template file.


This will open the template file, and will stop excel from loading it as a new sheet. Now that the template file is opened, you can change the default settings on the External Scoreboard sheet.

Once the scorebook is opened you can enable our scoreboard integration, click on the External Scoreboard tab.


On this page you can enable the external scoreboard.  There are lots of options that allow you to choose if you use Wifi to connect to the board, or even a USB cable to plug directly in to the Arduino.  Use the mouse-overs (marked with a red symbol in the corner of the cell) to help you understand which settings to apply.  The integration is only supported by the Gold Coast bowls web interface.

Save the file when you have finished and the template is updated so that all new sheets work with the scoreboard automatically.

Using the scorebook

Once you have virus checked the excel sheet, open the file by double clicking on it.  The first time it is opened you might get a macro warning error, which you should acknowledge to enable the scorebook to work correctly.


Simply change the home, visitor and ends values for each rink and the scoreboard will update.

When you save the sheet, you must select the xlsm file format to prevent excel from disabling the macros and code that make the scorebook work.