Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not what I was expecting

When Daktronics started to un-crate some of the new videoboard panels, I went down to take a look... These certainly aren't what I expected!

First, notice the construction. The previous Jumbotron was a rats nest of exposed wires and such and you could see all of it from the back.

Old Jumbotron

The rear of the new videoboard panels looks like a high school full of lockers, giving access to particular parts of the videoboard. Inside these lockers, there is a plethora of cabling, but also of circuit boards and fuse panels...

New videoboard panel

The biggest surprise to me was the front of the thing... I'm used to the RGB triangle of the ribbon board and old Jumbotron. If you've ever seen our ribbon board up close, you've probably noticed that each pixel is made up of three tiny LEDs - a red, green and blue one. (hence the red/green/blue dotted theme I chose for the blog... it all comes together....)

Existing Ribbon Board detail

The LEDs on the new videoboard panels are below the surface, and all you "see" is the resulting color in these little squares... Each square is one pixel. Simple enough and makes perfect sense, but totally not what I was expecting!

New videoboard panel pixel detail

What's the benefit of something like this? With the current ribbon board, look at it especially when there is white displayed on it. This means all three LEDs are at full brightness for every pixel. If you look at the board at an angle, depending on where you look, the white may look either a little blue/green or maybe pink. This is because the blue, green or red LED is closest to you in the triangle that makes up the pixel.

With the pixels in the new videoboards, they are the color you want them to be at the surface - all the color mixing happens behind the pixel. So, no matter which angle you look at it from, white is white, orange is orange and so on.

Note the distance between the pixels. The pixels above are 20mm offset from center, meaning the center of one pixel to the center of the next is 20mm. The main videoboards (coming over the weekend...) are at a 10mm spacing, meaning the clarity and definition should be AMAZING!

With all that boring stuff said... Here are some shots of the boards before they are hung. Each of these free-standing sections is one-half of ONE side of the upper boards. There are 16 of these sections to make up the 8 boards.



To give you an idea about the size of these things, take a look at this...
I'm 6'4"...


And then it started to come together...

Hanging the first piece of the new videoboard!

The center boards are taken out to bolt the frame together as well as connect the cables between the two halves.

More of the same

Almost done... and this is just the TOP :)

Add to this a 360 ring below, then the main videoboard and another 360 ring on the bottom...



  1. Wow! you guys are just rollin along.

  2. What will the top panels be used for? Game information like penalties, etc?

  3. Starting to take shape nicely! Once all is said and done, this thing will probably light the whole place up. You gotta get shots of all the house lights down and all the scoreboard panels and ribbon board white!

  4. Facinating post... Thanks for the detailed updates. Keep em coming

  5. The upper boards will be a lot of time clock, penalty, stats stuff, but can also be triggered to go nuts with all of the other boards for some things (like when we score a goal... wolfpack in the house... etc.)

    I agree about the picture... I wonder if we can find a photographer...