TF2 Kill Counter, Binary Style


After getting some fun new toys for Christmas, [IceColdFreezie] set up this kill counter for Team Fortress 2. At first glance, we weren’t that impressed. It’s an Arduino and a few LEDs. Then we saw that it was counting the kills in binary. We’re not sure if it gets much geekier than that. You can download the source code and try it out yourself. Just don’t make more than 31 kills.

[via littlebirdceo]

27 thoughts on “TF2 Kill Counter, Binary Style

  1. You thought it was lame until you realized it was being displayed in binary?! What else would it be in using 5 leds in a row…

    Is there an API to get the kill count? That’s the most intriguing part to me.

  2. LOL its tens of times easier to (program something to) count in binary than in decimal… But yeah, I agree with Kyle that the interface is way more interesting.

    In the quickest read of a blog post I’ve ever done, I noticed he says, “I made a program in VB that reads TF2’s console log and tracks my kills, deaths, and suicides.”

    C’mon you guys, read the damned link before posting.

  3. Hey all, this is IceColdFreezie. Here’s how it works more in depth:
    The VB program reads through TF2’s console log file and checks for your name and the words Killed, Suicided, or Died and adds 1 to the appropriate counter. If you get a kill, a variable called lifeKills goes up by 1 and if you die it resets to 0. This is sent to the Arduino every time it changes, and is converted to binary and displayed on the LEDs (I don’t have a 7 segment display)

    As I said in the video description, its nothing too spectacular or useful.

    Also, @poot: Could you explain how that would work? It sounds cool and I’d like to simplify it all but I have no idea how to do that stuff.

  4. @IceColdFreezie: See for a parallel port primer. Outputting a byte value to the base address of the parallel port will make that value appear on pins 2~9. Inpout32.dll ( can be used to access the parallel port via two simple functions, P/Invoked from VB (or just about any other programming language).

    Of course, parallel ports are (sadly) increasingly rarely found on PCs, though they do provide a decent number of I/O lines at sensible voltages. Using USB may well be overkill but it’s the most widely accessible port these days.

  5. @ICeColdFreezie: Use Inpout to use the parallel port. it consists of inpout32.dll for the executable but you’ll need to get the .lib to compile your own program. I’m sure it works with C/C++ and I think I saw a VB port one time. You could just directly connect the LEDs to the Parallel port pins through resistors.

  6. People still write ‘code’ in VB? sigh

    It’s interesting and kudos for furthering your knowledge base and tinkering, etc. It’s just not something I would expect to see posted here.. There’s nothing ultra spectacular about it. :/

  7. oh my G.

    i am going to make this right away, yes, yes, yes i am… NOT! there should be a category “arduino related junk” for these kind of things. sorry, but that is the (sad?) truth.

  8. Remember back when you started out in electronics yourself. Blinking a LED was an accomplishment, counting in binary on a few LEDs a cool thing. This post must be very motivational to IceColdFreezie.

    Whether or not Hack-a-Day should provide quality posts, or be the source of motivation for beginners by posting their beginner projects is something I leave up to the discretion of HaD and its readers…

    To IceColdFreezie: keep playing with that Arduino despite of all off-putting comments people make about it. It is a good tool for learning and having fun, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be whining at the uber-hackers for posting lame hacks! :-)

  9. Whether or not it’s a “worthwhile” hack I don’t know. But, I think it’s a great use of “tools I had to hand.”

    Why bother soldering up a parallel port connection (like serial ports, do computers even reliably still have these?) when you can shunt out an 8 bit value to 8 pins in 1 line of code with the direct port access (if you pick consecutive pins of course).

    Given it’s still “something hanging off my computer” I think I’d go for the Arduino solution for expediency.

    Ob Whine: should have used a proto-shield instead of a breadboard though…

  10. I really don’t see how making something count in binary is cool. It seems like a step backwards, a unnecessarily harder way to do a simple task. I bet if Ford made a new car that required the driver to step out every few minutes, open the hood, and adjust a knob for the ignition timing (which had an Arduino flashing an LED whenever the timing was off) then hackaday would basically be all over it as the ultimate car for geeks.

    This site used to be cool before it turned into an obnoxious rambling commercial for Arduinos.

  11. It’s not the site that is crazy about arduinos it’s that people grow up with knowing only arduinos, all other sites with projects are also full of arduino stuff because that’s what people out there most often use.

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