Electronic Die Rolls Up To 100

If you’re gaming on the road, or just don’t have a die with the right number of sides on hand, an electronic polyhedral die will be quite handy. [Marcus] built this using a printed circuit board of his own design, and we think an electronically simple project like this is a great way to get your feet wet with PCB fab house techniques. He suggests Seeed Studios’ service, or the DorkBotPDX group PCB order. But this would not be a hard project to build on perfboard as well.

The concept is simple. A two-digit 7-segment display shows the value of the top face of your die. when it’s time to roll, just pick up the box and tip it over. A tilt switch senses this action and rolls the die by displaying the next pseudo-random number. The single button, seen here with a pyramid die glued to it, lets you select between die with different number of sides; from 2 (like a coin flip) all the way up to 100.

We like [Marcus’] projects. He’s the same guy that built a scoring system in a game storage box.

11 thoughts on “Electronic Die Rolls Up To 100

  1. It would be neat to see this reduced to the size of an actual dice (probably a larger one like the one used in Scattegories) with a weight in the bottom so the display always came up on top and a recessed button (like a modem reset) to change the number of digits. That way you get the joy of rolling an actual dice. If you’re really into tabletop RPGs, you could set up favorite values, so you can quickly go from a d4 to a d12. Really great and simple project. I’ll add it to my list of projects to build when I have enough money.

  2. That’s way too big to be useful on trips. I don’t think it fits in my game box.
    So if I ever lose my dice, I can always use an app on my phone. And I don’t think any of the HaD readers doesn’t have a phone that can run Java/Android/iPhone applications :)

  3. @Fili
    If you had looked at the project details you could have seen that it could very easily have been packaged smaller. You may be right about using a phone app, but, and it’s a big BUT, HaD is not a phone app site. The site is about learning electronics via hardware projects and hacking gadgets, something that this project does very well.

    @Mike Szczys

    The selectable range is a nice touch.
    Perhaps you would like to add to the HaD community and put forward a hack or project of your own.

  4. If I was making an electronic dice, I would have use a bobbin inside a coil of wire to act as a “shake to roll” mechanism. When you shake the die, the bobbin moving within the coil will generate an EMF that can be detected and used to initiate a new roll.

  5. An electronic gaming die ought to have a way to input both number of dice and number of sides on each one, to better match the desired roll. (3d10 or whatever.) Whenever I contemplate such a thing, I decide that setting it up (for each roll) is harder than carrying around a bunch of real dice…

  6. I would love to see someone come up with a digital Dice that does not require external charging or battery. It should not require a lot of electricity to drive a few LEDs. e.g. use the energy harvested from shaking the dice or repurpose on of those self-charging flashlights. The PoS is less than $6 on eBay but it should fit the purpose.

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