How many times have you thought about “How to Set Up an Electronic Dart Board” at home to enhance your gaming experience? I’m sure, more than once. We all agree that darts is more than just a game; it’s an emotion, a tradition, and for some, an art. With the evolution of technology, it’s time to bring the art of darts into the 21st century.
I promise, by the end of this guide, you’ll master the steps to set up your electronic dart board seamlessly.
Dive in as we preview the wonders of these advanced boards, their historical origins, components, and of course, a detailed guide on setting one up. Let’s transform your darting experience together!
What is an “Electronic Dart Board”?
An electronic dart board is a technologically advanced version of a traditional dart board. Rather than having a bristle board with holes for darts to stick into, an electronic dart board has a solid plastic board with thousands of tiny holes embedded with sensors.
When a dart hits the board, the sensors register the exact location of impact. The board is hooked up to an electronic scoring system, either built into the board itself or external, that automatically calculates and displays the player’s score on an LED screen after each throw. Electronic boards have many advantages over traditional bristle boards – they automatically score each throw, calculate averages and stats, allow for different game options like cricket or ’01, can support online play, and the board surface doesn’t degrade over time like a bristle board.
Advanced electronic boards may even have animated targets or sound effects. While some dart purists prefer the feel of a traditional bristle board, electronic boards have transformed the dart throwing experience with technology.
What is the Component of an Electronic Dart Board?
Here are the main components that make up an Electronic Dart Board:
- Board surface – The main playing area that is made up of thin wires or segments that register dart hits electronically. The wires are embedded under a sisal/bristle surface.
- Segment rings – The circular wires that divide the board into different score areas. There are typically 20 segment rings that create the various scoring zones.
- Dart sensors – Electronic sensors that detect when a dart hits the board and registers the score. These are located behind the board surface.
- Display – An electronic display that shows the score. This is usually an LCD or LED display located above or below the board.
- Power supply – Provides power to the electronics. This is often batteries or a power adapter.
- Circuit board – The PCB (printed circuit board) that connects all the electronic components.
- Speaker – Optional speaker that plays sounds and announces scores.
- Dart holder – Metal dart holder built into the side of the cabinet to hold the darts.
So, in essence, electronic dart boards integrate sensors, software, and display technology to enable automated scoring and enhanced features compared to traditional dart boards.
When was first Electronic Dart Board Made?
The first electronic dart board was patented and introduced in the late 1970s. Some key dates and events:
|1977||The first electronic dart machine was patented by David Ralph and T.E. Thurman. Their design used touch pads placed around a dart board to electronically register dart hits.|
|1978||The first commercial electronic dartboard was introduced by the American company Magnavox. It was called the Magnavox Odyssey Electronic Dart Game.|
|1980s||Electronic dartboards started gaining popularity in pubs and bars. They had electronic segment scoring and allowed for various games to be programmed.|
|1983||The British Darts Organization approved the use of electronic dartboards for tournament play. This helped popularize the electronic boards.|
|1986||Arachnid Inc, a leading dartboard manufacturer, released the first electronic board with a fully automated scoring system and x/y coordinate scoring. This made electronic boards suitable for full tournament play.|
|1987||The American Darts Organization also approved electronic dartboards. This opened up the professional electronic dartboard market in the US.|
|1994||The first touch screen electronic dartboard was introduced, adding LCD displays and expanded game options.|
So, in summary, while basic electronic dart scoring systems existed in the 1970s, the first true commercial electronic dartboards emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with major improvements in automated scoring in the mid-1980s making them viable for competitive play. The technology continued improving in the 1990s and 2000s.
Types of Electronic Dart Boards
There are a few main types of electronic dart boards:
|Electronic Dartboard Types||Description|
|Bristle Dartboards||The most common type. The bristles are embedded with thin steel or tungsten wires that register dart hits electronically. The wires are separated by insulating materials. The bristles provide a traditional feel.|
|Soft-Tip Dartboards||Instead of steel wires, soft-tip boards use a sheet of plastic or silicone with electronic sensors. The soft tip darts have plastic tips. The bounce-out rate is lower than bristle boards.|
|Electronic Coil Dartboards||The wires are replaced by magnetized coils behind the board face. When a dart hits, it triggers a magnetic field change in the coil which registers the hit.|
|Electronic Segment Dartboards||One of the first types. The board is divided into large electronic segments that register hits without needing to pinpoint x/y coordinates.|
|Electronic Matrix Dartboards||Behind the face is a matrix of rows and columns of circuits. When a dart hits, it completes a circuit in the x-y matrix which is read to determine the location.|
|Electronic Timer Boards||Designed for training, these boards measure the time between thrown darts and provide feedback on timing and consistency.|
|Electronic Cricket Boards||Optimized for playing cricket, with features like automatic cricket scoring.|
The most feature-packed boards now integrate LCD displays, various games, multiplayer options, and expanded connectivity features like Wi-Fi and apps. But the core sensing technologies remain similar to detect dart hits electronically.
What Tools do I need to set up an Electronic Dart Board?
Here are the basic tools and supplies needed to properly set up an Electronic Dart Board:
- Stud finder – To locate studs in the wall to securely mount the dart board cabinet.
- Drill – Preferably a power drill, to drill holes in the wall for mounting the cabinet.
- Drill bits – Various drill bit sizes to match the mounting hardware. Often around 1/8″ or smaller.
- Screwdrivers – Both Phillips and flathead screwdrivers to drive the screws into the wall and assemble the dartboard cabinet.
- Level – To ensure the dartboard cabinet is mounted evenly and level on the wall.
- Tape measure – For measuring and marking where to drill the mounting holes.
- Pencil – To mark the mounting hole locations on the wall.
- Hardware – Screws and anchors designed to mount the dartboard cabinet to the wall. Often included.
- Ladder – A small ladder or step stool may be needed to reach higher mounting locations.
- Power drill bits – For pre-drilling masonry if mounting to concrete walls.
- Electrical tape – For securing wires to the wall.
- Laser level (optional) – Can make leveling easier compared to a standard bubble level.
Take precautions, get help lifting heavier boards, and follow all instructions for safe and easy mounting. Enjoy your new electronic dartboard!
What Are the Initial steps to set up an Electronic Dart Board?
Here are the typical initial steps to set up a new electronic dart board:
1. Select Mounting Location
- Pick a flat, open wall with plenty of clearance in front and on the sides of where the board will be mounted. Make sure there is enough room for players to stand at the throwing line.
2. Find Studs
- Find the wall studs using a stud finder and screw the dartboard into them. Mark the stud locations.
3. Mark Board Position
- Following the mounting instructions, hold the board cabinet up and use a pencil to mark the wall at the mounting bracket holes.
4. Drill Pilot Holes
- Using a drill bit sized for the wall anchors or screws, drill pilot holes at the marked locations. Drill into a stud wherever possible.
5. Install Wall Anchors
- If needed for holes not in a stud, install wall anchors that align with the mounting bracket holes.
6. Mount Dartboard Cabinet
- Carefully lift and align the dartboard cabinet and screw it securely onto the wall through the pre-drilled holes.
7. Level the Board
- Use a level on the cabinet to double check it is mounted evenly and adjust as needed.
8. Assemble Dartboard
- Attach the bristle board surface, bullseye, and other components to the mounted cabinet per the instructions.
9. Install Batteries/Power
- Insert batteries or plug in the AC power adapter as required for that model.
10. Test Operation
- Turn on the board and test that it powers on and registers hits properly before beginning play.
Take it slow and follow all safety steps when mounting a dartboard to ensure it is securely installed.
Benefits of Setting Up Your Own Electronic Dart Board
Here are some of the benefits of setting up your own electronic dart board at home:
- Convenience – You can play darts anytime without having to go out to a bar or arcade. It’s great for practice and improving your game.
- Cost Savings – After the initial investment, you’ll save money compared to constantly paying per game at a bar. No coins needed!
- Customized Setup – You can set up the board in the perfect spot and height for your space and needs.
- Variety of Games – Electronic boards allow you to switch between many games like cricket, 01/501, around the clock, baseball, etc.
- Handicapping and Accuracy Tracking – Use the electronics to handicap players or track stats like throw accuracy over time.
- Automated Scoring – The board will automatically score each game, letting you focus on your throws.
- Multiplayer Options – Many boards allow online multiplayer competitions or multiple score tracking.
- Tournaments – You can host dart tournaments and leagues at your home rather than going out.
- Safer for Kids – Soft tip darts and plastic board surfaces pose less risk for children compared to steel tip darts.
- Entertaining – An electronic dart board provides hours of entertainment and gives you an activity for family game nights.
For dart enthusiasts or competitive players, having your own electronic dart board at home is a great investment that provides convenience, savings, and fun.
What is The Proper Setup up an “Electronic Dart Board”?
Here are some tips for the proper setup of an Electronic Dart Board:
- Mounting Height – Install the bullseye of the board at 5 feet 8 inches from the floor, which is the official height.
- Installation – Make sure to mount the board securely onto wall studs using provided hardware. Use a level to ensure it is mounted completely vertically.
- Clearance – Leave at least 2-3 feet of open space clearance around the sides and front of the board so players can stand a proper throwing distance away.
- Lighting – Avoid mounting in areas with direct sunlight, which can cause glare on the board’s surface. Good overhead lighting is ideal.
- Power Source – Place the board near a power outlet and use a surge protector. Neatly secure any loose cables/wires.
- Accessories – Mount any accompanying accessories like scoreboard, dart holders according to included instructions.
- Testing – After mounting, test that scoring sensors and buttons function properly before beginning play.
- Throwing Line – Use tape to mark a throwing line 7 ft 9 inches from the board for regulation distance.
- Maintenance – Keep board clean and replace worn parts like dart tips to maintain longevity and playability.
Following these best practices for setup will help ensure your electronic dart board provides an optimal and long-lasting playing experience for users.
How Do Electronic Dart Boards Work?
Electronic dart boards work using sensors and a computer circuit board to automatically track scores and provide gameplay features. Here’s a quick overview of how they function:
- Segment Sensors – There are sensors embedded behind each scoring segment of the dartboard. These detect when a dart hits and registers which segment was hit.
- Tip Sensors – There are metal tip sensors around the board’s wiring that detect the metal dart tip when thrown. This tells the board a dart has been thrown.
- Circuit Board – A computer circuit board receives data from the sensors and processes where the dart landed and keeps score accordingly.
- Display – The score is shown on an LCD or LED display on the board. Stats like players’ scores and cricket marks are displayed.
- Voice Announcements – Many boards have speakers that announce scores or gameplay vocally as well.
- Automatic Functions – Electronics control things like player change prompts, foul line warnings, and game resets automatically.
- Game Modes – Circuitry allows selecting from a variety of game modes like cricket, 01, around-the-clock, etc.
- Player Capacity – Advanced circuitry can support score tracking for solo play up to 16 or more players.
So, the key components like sensors, processors, and displays work together to deliver an automated and feature-rich dart playing experience!
FAQ: What Are the Common Mistakes Made During the Setup of an Electronic Dart Board?
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when setting up an electronic dart board:
- Mounting it too high or low. The bullseye should be 5 feet 8 inches from the floor. An improper height affects your throw.
- Not leaving enough space. You need at least 8 feet of clearance in front of the board and 2-3 feet on the sides for safe gameplay.
- Uneven surface. Make sure to mount the board on a flat wall. Uneven surfaces can cause bounce-outs.
- Poor lighting. Glare, shadows or dim lighting makes it hard to see the segments clearly. Illuminate the board well.
- Bad backdrop. Dart boards mounted in front of windows or busy backdrops are distracting. Choose a solid, blank wall.
- Not using wall anchors. Heavy boards require anchors rated for the weight. Improper mounting can cause the board to fall.
- Mounting on an exterior wall. Outdoor humidity and temperature swings can damage the sensors. Mount indoors.
- Putting it in a high-traffic area. The space immediately in front of the board should be kept clear during play.
- Not checking for level. An unbalanced board can skew dart accuracy. Always use a level.
- Ignoring manufacturer instructions. Follow their guidelines for best results and safety.
- Forgetting access to power. Electronic boards need an outlet nearby. Plan this prior to mounting.
With some care taken during setup, you can avoid these mistakes and enjoy your electronic dartboard for years to come!
FAQ: How do I choose the right location for mounting my electronic dartboard?
Here are some tips for choosing the right location to mount your electronic dartboard:
- Make sure you have enough space. You need at least 8-9 feet of clear space in front of the board and 2-3 feet on either side. This gives players room to stand at a safe distance and take shots.
- Put it at eye level. The bullseye should be approximately 5 feet 8 inches off the ground, which is about typical eye level. This makes it easy to line up your shots.
- Ensure good lighting. The board should be well-lit so you can clearly see the scoring segments. Avoid locations with glare or shadows on the board.
- Choose a spot with a clear backdrop. Try to avoid mounting it where darts could potentially hit walls, windows, etc. if they miss the board. The wall behind the board should be bare.
- Pick a location away from high traffic areas. The area right in front of the board should be free from furniture or walking paths that could block play or get damaged by errant darts.
- Install on an interior wall. Outdoor walls can be exposed to moisture and extreme temperatures which can damage the board over time. Interior walls tend to be more protected.
- Mount it securely. Use wall anchors that can support the weight of the board. Make sure it’s perfectly level.
- Consider noise levels. Electronic boards make sounds, so pick a spot away from bedrooms if playing at night.
Take measurements first and pick your spot carefully for best results. And of course – follow the manufacturer’s specific mounting instructions. Have fun and play safely!
The journey of understanding “How to Set Up an Electronic Dart Board” has been both informative and exhilarating. From the components to the advanced features, and the setup steps, we’ve traversed the landscape of electronic dart boards together. With the right tools and guidance, the process can be seamless, bringing countless hours of joy and competition to your home or gaming space. We hope this comprehensive guide has empowered you with the confidence to elevate your darting experience.