Battery-less electronic dice for all your D&D needs

electronic_20_sided_die

[Anthony] is a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons, but he thought the game would be far more fun to play with an electronic die rather than the traditional fare. Electronic dice are nothing new around here, though we can’t help but like his design.

He wanted to keep his electronic die as small as possible while ensuring it would last an entire gaming session, so rather than use a battery to power it, he opted for a super capacitor instead. His 1F 5.5V cap keeps the PIC18 and 22 SMD LEDs chugging along quite nicely without ever requiring a break in the action for a charge.

The electronic die looks great, and give him the choice of rolling a 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sided die with a simple push of a button. While a bit less interactive than tossing a die on the table, we certainly wouldn’t mind having one.

Comments

  1. Doktor Jeep says:

    You know what would be REALLY REALLY REALLY cool?

    Imagine an electronic dice device that can read your brainwaves so you can use your thoughts to influence the outcome.

    That would be a great help when dealing with a kibbitzing assasin who wants to roleplay a dweeb who is out to kill EVERYBODY.

    Saving throw against being turned into a 6″ tall little crap-flinging butt monkey… FAILED!

  2. AllThatJazz says:

    Wow Doc. That about says it all!

  3. HackJack says:

    IMHO, it is an overkill. Especially that it still needs to be charged.

    Any phone that is capable of running Java will do a better job.

  4. Andrew Smith says:

    Someone should make electronic dice you can toss!

    It should have one flat face and stand on a semi-circle. So the same face is always up.

    We need this.

  5. Dan O'Brien says:

    On his site, he says: “If anyone is interested in buying one to play with, I have plenty that need a good home and i’d love to have some funding for a better revision!”

    How do we get in touch with Anthony? We can’t leave comments or email him if the captcha image never loads…

    If Anthony is reading these comments, I’d like 4 please! Let me know how much I owe you.
    THANKS!

  6. RP says:

    I know… Use an Arduiono and XBee to communicate with with an ATtiny tied to a 3 axis accelerometer inside a 6 sided cube with a 7 segment led on each face. Using the earths gravity as a reference, you can light up the appropriate number depending on how it falls…

  7. NBitWonder says:

    Blargh! The reCaptcha forms on the contributor’s website appear to be broken, so it’s not possible to leave comments or contact him about the seemingly broken reCaptcha’s.

    Hackaday team, if you still have his email, shoot him a note about this, would you?

  8. luckycharms says:

    Very cool. Now, instead of having to charge it by plugging it in, it would be awesome to charge it by shaking the dice! Just like you do normal dice.

    So, just need a little energy harvester on there and you’re good to go!

    • Trav says:

      That was my initial thought when I read the caption. Kinda like the shake flashlights. When it senses the shaking stopped i.e. no more electricity generated, It displays its number.

  9. Thor says:

    You mean like this one featured two weeks ago:

    http://hackaday.com/2011/09/14/attiny-hacks-look-ma-no-batteries/

  10. Presence says:

    Wow. You are right. Electronic dice. But since people are so used to reading regular dice, the electronic dice should have pips on them! And the rolling action should be used as a seed for the randomization routine!

    Yeah, thats the ticket.

  11. sariel says:

    I have to say I’m disappointed that some of you want a shake dice. That’s so last century. The Dev should put one of these puppies on it with the super-cap. No more battery problems.

    http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/manufacturers/powercast/Pages/index.aspx

    I know what you’re thinking — “but $35 is waaayyy too much for this project!” Well after adding this, you can market this as being Green, self-sustaining, and perfect for the geeks that will buy it to ogle over. Besides, those power chips are made for projects exactly like this.

    • I really like all the wonderful ideas… Power was the BIGGEST consideration for the project. I agree with all of you, plugging the thing in SUCKS! But, i have to need everything on the PCB, and it’s pretty well stuffed. I actually have an OLDER revision of this board that has a large coil for inductive charging, i have the boards and parts lying around, just never assembled it. I also wanted to keep costs as LOW as possible, right now, with everything costs are around ~20$ with the custom boards.

    • Purduecer says:

      (From the datasheet) 50mA (maximum) charging current… That’s going to lead to abysmal (to say the least) charging times.

      >> I know what you’re thinking — “but $35 is waaayyy too much for this project!”

      Yes, yes that’s correct. No need to attempt to sell us on a sevenfold price increase for a negligible nonexistent sustainability argument.

  12. NBitWonder says:

    And the captcha is working again. Post away everybody!

  13. PocketBrain says:

    Does he really need segment F? 1 and 2 (well, 1 OR 2) segments don’t use it. If he can do d100, then it makes sense to be present.

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