Foil Fencing Target

The Project:

Foil Fencing Target

For a Fencing Fun Event I designed a foil target box. Each target represents a specific target area on the body. Large buttons were constructed out of MDF, and LED’s were used to signify what target to hit. The time between the LED lighting up and the button being pressed. The results of each time were added together the top scores (lowest times) were posed on a whiteboard beside the display.

Design Constraints

  • Reliability – This box will need to  take a lot of heavy hits from fencing weapons. It had to be resilient to knocks and scrapes.
  • Cost – The event was a fundraiser and any costs that were incurred would take away from the overall goal.
  • Targets – The targets had to be around 2 inches in diameter, have an LED’s in them, and take around 5N before they switch.
  • Timeline – Around a month.

My Role

  • Circuit design – Specify parts and develop circuits.
  • Board design – Creating board and the layout of components.
  • Mechanical design – Design the buttons, the enclosure, and Covering.
  • Lead Coder – Headed up the coding department, taught a second coder how to program PIC’s.
  • Game Designer – Responsible for the flow of the fencing game.

Lessons Learned

  • Button Timing – All of the buttons could be set off when the target frame was hit by a fencer, to alleviate this a simple timing check was used. When the target is hit by a weapon a much larger timeout occurred compared to when it was momentarily set off by a random frame hit.
  • Switch Selection – We tried to use the screws and some galvanized plates as improvised switches, these worked fine originally, but as time went on the connections became worse.
  • LED Defusing – The LED’s originally had a very small spread pattern. Hot Glue was added to diffuse the light.
  • USART Timing – The timing from the USART was calculated but the bit-stream timing didn’t come out correctly, it was fudged out to work because their wasn’t enough time to figure it out correctly. This caused errors to occur with the communication and added the need for a reset of the master controller.


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