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First Archery Countdown:

The idea for an archery countdown clock started early 90s during the TOP Face2Face archery matches in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The objective of the TOP organization was to make archery more attractive for viewing public. They created the first indoor matches with sets (face2face).


One of the improvements they want to make was a countdown to see more precise how much time is left to shoot the arrows. In those days there were no countdowns available made for archery matches.

In first instance they made use of VCR. But it was very hard to synchronize the VCR with traffic lights and buzzer. (One person operates all, Play/pause VCR, switch the correct traffic light and press the buzzer.)

We did this one match and decided that there should be a better solution for the match of next year. So we created the first countdown.

It was 1994, Windows software was too slow. Software was running with DOS. (Software written in Turbo Pascal). Resolution of the digits was created such that an AT 80286 PC could write 3 digits on the screen in 1 second.

Switching of the traffic lights and Buzzer was done via LPT (parallel) port.


System was used some years. In 1996 it was used during the European indoor championships in Belgium. For this match the ABCD indication was added to the screen. And one of the first final (alternating) round versions was made.



After the Face2Face tournament edition of 1997, the TOP organization stopped. Also personally I wasn’t involved in archery anymore. So that was the end of the first countdown.

The countdown screen in 1994:

screen 1994


The first alternating screen in 1996:

first alternating screen


The countdown screen in 1997:

1997 version


The new one:

In 2010 I decided to take my bow again. Look for an Archery club (I was moved to a different location) and starting in competition again. And guess what, the club needed a new countdown system for indoor competition.


So I created a new countdown because the old one couldn’t run anymore on modern 32bits or 64bits windows software.

Instead of the old fashion LPT parallel port, the USB port is used now.

Later additional hardware support was added like Raspberry PI, Arduino (For Led screen). And multicasting. To connect systems via (W)LAN.

The countdown screen in 2012:

1997 version


Free available:

It was decided not to make a commercial product for this countdown.

But to make the effort of developing the countdown not limiting to only a couple of systems, it is made available for free.

That doesn’t mean the design is frozen. We are still doing improvements and new implementations.


© 2020, Henk Jegers