Dr. Boardman’s Color Conundrum

We feel like trumpets should be sounding. Someone took the overused project of connecting RGB LEDs to a microcontroller and produced something useful. [Paul] created Dr. Boardman’s Color Conundrum which works much like a simple mechanical coin-op game you might find at a carnival. When switched on, a random color is displayed by the ping-pong ball covered LED on the left. The player then manipulates three knobs to color-match the two lights.

Inside you’ll find a minimalist set of hardware. An ATmega8 polls the three potentiometers and uses them to mix the appropriate user color. Everything is wired-up using prototyping board and draws power from two AA batteries. He’s using a random seed stored in EEPROM and increments it every time the uC boots up. This keeps the input color different for every game.

Fun and simple, it’s not going to make your guests marvel at the complexity but [Paul’s] come up with a unique game that we think has marketing potential.

19 thoughts on “Dr. Boardman’s Color Conundrum

  1. I don’t know if I could justify building one, or if it would be remotely as fun after the hassle of coding and wiring it up, but I have a strong urge to play with that thing.

    I think it would be a good tool to teach people about RGB color mixing as well. I’m starting my senior year of a CS BS degree and it still shocks me how many ‘experienced’ C++ coders in my classes still can’t even guess at an RGB color value, or even figure it out from the hex values.

  2. I remember a station at the local science centre where they had an RGB mixing game (on a CRT). It was to test your colour perception and matching abilities. I don’t recall if it required 100% accuracy as not all kids can tell if a colour is of by 1 step or not.

    This is a great and totally marketable idea!

  3. This would be a great device to teach art students about the importance of color matching. Too many of them don’t have a strong awareness of the subtle differences between colors.
    Great work!

  4. Hey all, thanks for the suggestions and positive feedback!

    It hadn’t occurred to me that people might be interested in buying these. I thought that anyone interested in it would also be prepared to make one ;)

    I’ll get round to posting a schematic to make life easier for those interested.

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