Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Discussion about development of draughts in the time of computer and Internet.
AartBik
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Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Sat Mar 31, 2018 22:18

Hi Team,

Long time no see! It has been a while since I was active on this forum.

Most of my spare time recently has gone to developing features for Chess for Android, and I had particular fun implementing support for an electronic chessboard, in particular the Millennium ChesGenius Exclusive.

But now the checkers itch comes back, and I was pondering over implementing a similar feature in Checkers for Android. Hence my question, what are the most popular electronic chessboards for checkers? The DGT series? Others? And where can I find detailed information on the protocols in use (most preferably bluetooth connection)?

Any pointers would be highly appreciated.



Rein Halbersma
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Rein Halbersma » Sat Mar 31, 2018 22:26

AartBik wrote:Hi Team,

Long time no see! It has been a while since I was active on this forum.

Most of my spare time recently has gone to developing features for Chess for Android, and I had particular fun implementing support for an electronic chessboard, in particular the Millennium ChesGenius Exclusive.

But now the checkers itch comes back, and I was pondering over implementing a similar feature in Checkers for Android. Hence my question, what are the most popular electronic chessboards for checkers? The DGT series? Others? And where can I find detailed information on the protocols in use (most preferably bluetooth connection)?

Any pointers would be highly appreciated.

Hi Aart,

I don't know the details but IIRC there is already some infrastructure setup to display live tournaments from electronic boards and connect this to engines such as Sjende Blyn or Kingsrow. There is already software if you buy such a board:
viewtopic.php?t=3277
viewtopic.php?t=7743

Rein

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Sat Mar 31, 2018 23:36

Rein Halbersma wrote:I don't know the details but IIRC there is already some infrastructure setup to display live tournaments from electronic boards and connect this to engines such as Sjende Blyn or Kingsrow. There is already software if you buy such a board.
Thanks Rein. Do you know of other brands of eboards for checkers, or is DGT the sole provider? As for software, I would of course be more interested in a detailed description of the bluetooth protocol, so I can connect directly from my Android apps.

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Rein Halbersma » Sat Mar 31, 2018 23:51

AartBik wrote:
Rein Halbersma wrote:I don't know the details but IIRC there is already some infrastructure setup to display live tournaments from electronic boards and connect this to engines such as Sjende Blyn or Kingsrow. There is already software if you buy such a board.
Thanks Rein. Do you know of other brands of eboards for checkers, or is DGT the sole provider? As for software, I would of course be more interested in a detailed description of the bluetooth protocol, so I can connect directly from my Android apps.
http://www.digitalgametechnology.com/in ... d-draughts
Jan-Jaap van Horssen wrote the software, you could PM/email him for more details.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Sun Apr 01, 2018 00:13

Rein Halbersma wrote:Jan-Jaap van Horssen wrote the software, you could PM/email him for more details.
Thanks again. Done!

Krzysztof Grzelak
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Krzysztof Grzelak » Mon Apr 02, 2018 18:58

Please see here https://www.raindroptime.com/dgt-draughts-e-board.html. This is the page on which I bought the board. Of course, you can buy the same board on other websites on the internet. As much as I know, the board does not support the protocol bluetooth. One interesting information at the end, you have to buy the cables to the board separately. If you bought it, please write, I will give you a link to the latest software for the board. Unfortunately on the website http://www.digitalgametechnology.com/ does not have the latest software.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Mon Apr 02, 2018 20:39

Krzysztof Grzelak wrote:Please see here https://www.raindroptime.com/dgt-draughts-e-board.html. This is the page on which I bought the board. Of course, you can buy the same board on other websites on the internet. As much as I know, the board does not support the protocol bluetooth. One interesting information at the end, you have to buy the cables to the board separately. If you bought it, please write, I will give you a link to the latest software for the board. Unfortunately on the website http://www.digitalgametechnology.com/ does not have the latest software.
I am merely interested in getting details on the bluetooth protocol used by DGT eboards that are bluetooth capable (not in other software, unless it contains documentation on protocols that are open). That would enable me to implement an eboard connection for Checkers for Android, similar to what I did for Chess for Android.

It seems the DGT protocols are proprietary, but I hope the DGT team is sufficiently interested in having support from Android apps to share. I have contacted them, but no reply yet. Another interesting possibility is here.

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Rein Halbersma » Mon Apr 02, 2018 21:42

AartBik wrote: It seems the DGT protocols are proprietary, but I hope the DGT team is sufficiently interested in having support from Android apps to share. I have contacted them, but no reply yet. Another interesting possibility is here.
I don't know much about these board, but there must be bluetooth adapter dongles that you can plug into an ethernet connection? If that works, then you "only" have the protocol to worry about :)
Last edited by Rein Halbersma on Mon Apr 02, 2018 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

Krzysztof Grzelak
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Krzysztof Grzelak » Mon Apr 02, 2018 22:07

AartBik wrote:I am merely interested in getting details on the bluetooth protocol used by DGT eboards that are bluetooth capable (not in other software, unless it contains documentation on protocols that are open). That would enable me to implement an eboard connection for Checkers for Android, similar to what I did for Chess for Android.

It seems the DGT protocols are proprietary, but I hope the DGT team is sufficiently interested in having support from Android apps to share. I have contacted them, but no reply yet. Another interesting possibility is here.
I would also be interested to be able to use the protocol bluetooth by DGT eboards.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Mon Apr 09, 2018 00:49

Good news! The DGT team was very kind to share the protocol with me, and after a weekend of hacking I got it working for my DGT chess board (this one still has a RS232 cable so it required some cable creativity as well). So I am hopeful to do something similar for checkers soon too!

http://aartbik.blogspot.com/2018/04/con ... board.html

Image

Rein Halbersma
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Rein Halbersma » Mon Apr 09, 2018 06:58

AartBik wrote:Good news! The DGT team was very kind to share the protocol with me, and after a weekend of hacking I got it working for my DGT chess board (this one still has a RS232 cable so it required some cable creativity as well). So I am hopeful to do something similar for checkers soon too!

http://aartbik.blogspot.com/2018/04/con ... board.html

Image
Nice! Will DGT publish these specs? Just curious, does the board detect pieces by weight? Looking forward to the similar BikMove version :)

Krzysztof Grzelak
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by Krzysztof Grzelak » Mon Apr 09, 2018 08:41

I'm sorry to ask you AartBik. You may not know this but if this will fit into the protocol for boards DGT Draughts e-Board.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Mon Apr 09, 2018 19:54

Rein Halbersma wrote:Nice! Will DGT publish these specs? Just curious, does the board detect pieces by weight? Looking forward to the similar BikMove version :)
I obviously can't speak for DGT's future plans, but I found them very co-operative.

The DGT board recognizes each piece based on some internal piece-color specific properties (coil winding?). In fact, when I just got my DGT board, one of the rooks was identified as a pawn (I joked that the rook had an identity crisis), and I had to exchange just that piece to get it working again.
Last edited by AartBik on Mon Apr 09, 2018 20:01, edited 1 time in total.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Mon Apr 09, 2018 19:56

Krzysztof Grzelak wrote:I'm sorry to ask you AartBik. You may not know this but if this will fit into the protocol for boards DGT Draughts e-Board.
For 8x8 I may have to use just a subset of the 10x10 board. Not hard at all, although I won't be able to test it properly. I could partly test 8x8 checkers on my chessboard though.

AartBik
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Re: Electronic checker boards (over bluetooth)

Post by AartBik » Thu Jan 03, 2019 00:02

Happy 2019, checker friends!

I extended the electronic board support in my Android chess app, which now supports Certabo, DGT, and Millennium (some USB, some bluetooth). The Certabo board in particular may be interesting for 8x8 checkers, since it ships with 34 identifying chips (full chess set + 2 extra queens), not necessarily pieces already. So with 24 chips for the checkers, and some extra ones for the kings, one could use a 3D printer to make a checkers set.

I am very interested in adding such support to Checkers for Android is there is sufficient interest for that.


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