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This idea came to my son because he's been learning to make baskets, and wants to keep track of the highest number in a row he accomplishes.-Keith

At first he had wanted to mark the letters of the game of H.O.R.S.E. (where you get a letter each time you miss) but the larger possibilities of counting attracted him.

1, 2, 3, 4, ...

For the basketball to make a point it needs to go through the hoop. The net seemed to hard to build on, so we attached the switch to the rim. The cricket that sensed the switch was hidden down below, away from the net. This protected the cricket from the basketball and shaded the IR port enough to send a valid value to another cricket that kept count of the number of baskets

Here's how we made our counting device:

  • a cardboard flap was used as the switch lever.
  • a small LEGO piece was glued to the cardboard to hit the microswitch
  • when the switch was pressed a beep sounded to confirm the closed switch (a basket!)
  • Then the cricket sent an IR value to the "counter" cricket.

The counter display was a disk that a little LEGO motor rotated. Here's how it worked:

  1. The basketball hits the sensor on the hoop
  2. The sensor sends the message to the cricket
  3. The cricket under the hoop beeps and sends an IR signal to the counter cricket
  4. the counter cricket tells motor A to turn 1
  5. The dial turns a little to show that another basket was made!

After we got the counter working, we made the tick marks on the dial as it turned for each basket. Then we added the numbers.

The counter worked well, and rarely missed a point, and when it did it was loudly noted.

What else
See how you can make wands that play music as they sense light

Read about an activity that combines food and Crickets.

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