View Full Version : Wiring Schematic of an Electric Fencing Box

Magic Dr.Shoon
-3rd February 2004, 21:44
<---- New to the forum!
Hi to everyone :)
Just a brief introduction, I am a novice foilist, been fencing for around 8 months at Dacorum Fencing Club, and i have been graded to level one. And i am ABSOLUTLY HOOKED on fencing, I just can't get enough!

I was wondering if anyone could lay there hands on the wiring schematic of an electric fencing box? I wanted to make one as a project!

Or, failing that, all the conditions of one. Like at what times do the lights come on?, and when can they not come on?, how much time is given for a simultaneous hit, as in simultaneous + or - 0.25 seconds or something?

I look forward to hearing from you! :)

-4th February 2004, 04:03
http://www.usfencing.org/Forms/Rules2002.pdf, appendix B.

Be forewarned that it's not as simple as one might think, especially if you want to make one that's in full compliance with the FIE specs. Also, building a modern 3-W box is a much a programming exercise as a circuit-design exercise.


-4th February 2004, 07:48
double hit in epee is 4/100ths of a second :)

-4th February 2004, 11:18
Originally posted by Australian
double hit in epee is 4/100ths of a second :)

Fractions?? Don't they teach you decimals in Oz? (Just kidding - been trying to teach Year 11s how to do chemical calculations. Oh boy.)

Barry Paul
-4th February 2004, 12:58
If you go into our website F.I.E. rules button above. Downloads Unofficial rules Appendix near end Gives outline of requirements for scoring aparatus. Barry Paul

-4th February 2004, 21:40
I also wanted to make my own box at first. I thought it would be simple - you make a hit, you trigger a monostable timer to hold the light on, and it works. But then when you start to think about it, you start to need logic gates to do quite complicated logic patterns. Then blocking times and resistance measurements (presumably voltage regulators and comparators and things) are remembered. Finally as the design for the thing and the sheer physics of it (like the shorting of the sword in foil) becomes riduculously difficult. While it might be possible to do a rough-and-ready solution for sabre and epee, altering the timing manually (very difficult for epee!), it is more difficult for foil I think, and it really isn't an option unless you are really really really really good at it (e.g. you have a degree or are doing one in electrical engineering). Possibly you could do it with a computer and an interface box, but I now understand why the Leon Paul boxes are so expensive when the parts presumably aren't.

-4th February 2004, 21:54
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I thought it would be simple

Bit like fencing itself.

Magic Dr.Shoon
-5th February 2004, 11:40
Thanks for all the feedback.

I know it's going to be difficult, I have already made a design that i thought worked, but it was merely first hit only shows, but as i said i am a novice at fencing, and as such haven't learnt all the specific rules, although i know enough to have a bout at the club!

The links to the F.I.E. Rules will help a lot, thanks.

I was thinking about using a 386, you can get them minaturised now with everything it needs onboard, aside from the P.S.U.


Although i must admit it says nothing about the price, although i have enquired!

Thanks for all the responses!

Barry Paul
-5th February 2004, 12:39
programme. This required allsorts of extra logic regarding whip over hits through the blade and lots of other requirements. When the rules were simplified we junked almost half the existing programme. Barry Paul

-5th February 2004, 15:04
It's simple enough in sabre to do a simple indicator not worrying about FIE rules if you take it as Fencer A's sabre and Fencer B's Lame is a swicth and vice verser im you would need dome fancy chips and logic gates etc to get it upto FIE spec.

-8th February 2004, 18:36
I'm making one,.... it's on hold for the moment while I'm at Uni.

I have a working model,of although it's a bit messy at the moment; hundreds wire wrapped connections and interconnecting circuit boards. It's microprocessor driven, etc, etc, and easily meets the entire FIE specification for all three weapons. +extra features, which are top secret at the mo.

I decided to think small; the aim is to make the best one ever!!!!!

So, I can't exactly provide a schematic but I might be able to help, anyway.

Which weapon are you making the box for? and what kind of project is it??

-8th February 2004, 19:14
That 386 on a board thing is a bit crazy b.t.w.

Possibly about 4000 times more RAM than you actually need.
As for an operating system, I wish you the very best of luck!

and then you have to interface it, requiring loads of external circuitry.

-9th February 2004, 13:01
Mark - another 'on hold' box project is supposed to be going on with Dave and Ben here. I have no idea if you (or they for that matter) are interested in collaborating.

-9th February 2004, 18:54
I have heard about that project.

but I'm not really interested as I'm 99% finished already.

Magic Dr.Shoon
-10th February 2004, 17:53
The 386 idea i know was well over powered for what i needed, although it would have been easier. I know how to control and monitor the games ports, either usb or rs232, and the extra circuitry would have been straight forward enough, as for the operating system, either dos, linux or windows 98 would work, seeing as my brother has programmed to some level in all 3. Unfortunatley the board is $400, which negates the whole idea of it being cheaper!

I am now looking at using a second hand psion pocket computer, and programming that, although i haven't even looked at the language yet!

-10th February 2004, 22:14
Why don't you use a PIC or alike?
It's much easier to interface and it only costs about 5.
Programing is a bit more complicated and costly, you'll have do your own research. Sorry, I can't provide any more info. I'm trying to keep my implementation as secret as possible.

-10th February 2004, 22:19
and you don't want to be using Windows, DOS or linux if you can help it.

if you're going for the overkill option:
What you need is a Real Time Operating System. otherwise it probably won't work as you expect.

Magic Dr.Shoon
-11th February 2004, 10:03
Using a PIC did cross my mind, but i only brushed the surface with them at collage, and know very little about them.

Like I say, the 386 idea is out of the window purley because of the price! The one I was looking at was 3.6 inches by 3.8 inches which would have been superb!

This isn't something I want to go into business with, this is pureley a project i am doinf for the club, so this second-hand psion should do the trick i think!

Thanks for your help, i'll keep you updated with my progress.

-11th March 2004, 11:47
Methinks I will steer clear of box manufacturing now!!

-14th March 2004, 05:54
Originally posted by Magic Dr.Shoon

Like I say, the 386 idea is out of the window ...

pun intended?


Magic Dr.Shoon
-14th March 2004, 06:47
:tongue: hehe wasn't intended.