The Counting Box

How I built a simple counting circuit housed in bamboo for my son.

Written and photographed by Nathan Pryor

More than a few times I’ve peeked in at night to find my son in bed with a calculator in one hand and a flashlight in the other, sound asleep after pushing “1 + = = =” and watching the numbers climb until he couldn’t keep his eyes open. So, for his fourth birthday I decided to build him a dedicated machine that would do nothing but count up and count down at his command.

My initial idea was simple: a large multi-digit seven-segment LED display, two big arcade buttons to add and subtract, and ...

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