Votron

Collecting votes from over a hundred people in a hurry is a boring job and not very nerdy, but with a little electronics it can be automated completely, this page is about that automation.

The basic idea is to give every voter a potentiometer and then use a microcontroller to read the potentiometers and tabulate the results using a Java program running on a projector.

It's sort of hard to talk ethernet from a microcontroller, but I happened to have a stack of surplus Linksys WRT54g routers that are easy to modify to work as webservers that serve the data from the microcontrollers.

Block diagram

This shows the main components in the system notice that the microcontrollers are actually fitted inside the Linksys routers.

Controller

This is the controller that takes care of reading 32 potentiometers.

Voting wire

The 32 potentiometers per controller are distributed on two 8 conductor cables (we use cat5 because it's cheap and easy to get), this is how each 16 pot. cable must be wired:

Pot.PlusMinus
0OrangeOrange/White
1GreenOrange/White
2BlueOrange/White
3BrownOrange/White
4OrangeGreen/White
5GreenGreen/White
6BlueGreen/White
7BrownGreen/White
8OrangeBlue/White
9GreenBlue/White
10BlueBlue/White
11BrownBlue/White
12OrangeBrown/White
13GreenBrown/White
14BlueBrown/White
15BrownBrown/White

The center spacing between each potentiometer should fit the tables you are using to minimize the amount of snarl on the table, our tables are 70cm pr. seat, so we use something like 71-72 cm. per unit.

For a picture of the physical potentiometer construction, take a look at my gallery

Files

The source code for the project is available for download and use under GPL v3 here: votron.tar.gz [3.2M]

© Flemming Frandsen - Worst viewed with MSIE, because it sucks. - Firefox is ok though. - stopsoftwarepatents.eu petition banner