Digital Judging System

The Digital Judging System (DJS)  is a photo competition judging system designed for judging in front of a live audience. Using multiple USB Keypads, judges can cast votes on photographs as they are projected. There are two types of competitions Digital projections, and Print.


With the Digital Judging system you can run an entire projection competition from a single computer. Once all the judges have cast their vote the image score is displayed in the lower right corner of the image. Optionally, the each judge score is also displayed after all votes have been cast. The Digital Judging System will manage the following from a single laptop computer:

  • Projecting digital images onto a screen for judges to cast a vote.
  • Manage the judges voting keypads and scores.
  • Tally results and assist in tie-breaking rounds.
  • Calculate overall top maker and top club scores.

Since the Digital Judging System is managing both the projected image and the judging keypads, scores are directly tied to the image. This ensures that images and scores cannot be out-of-sync.


Merrimack Valley Camera Club has been using the Digital Judging System for real-time judging of our George W. Glennie Nature Salon for the last 5 years.  Setup and judging of almost 1,000 images is a snap with this software.  It makes the actual judging the easiest part of the whole competition.  Our judges are always impressed on how easy it is to use.  I can’t imagine running the Glennie without it.

We also use it for real-time judging of our Carlson Black & White print competition and PSA and NECCC Digital / Projected Image competitions that we host.

Larry Warfield, Chairperson George W. Glennie Nature Salon



  • Image and Score are affirmatively coupled
  • Projection, judging and scoring from single computer
  • 1 to 4 Judges
  • Displays each vote plus total
  • Highly Visible Readout
  • 1 – 10 Judge Voting Scores
  • Min and Max bounds ensure correct scores
  • Judge Abstaining (average of the other judges used for the abstained vote)
  • In/Out Voting
  • Easy to use Judging Controls
  • Judges get feedback to entry errors
  • Keypad reset (if something goes wrong)
  • Automatic backup after each entry is scored
  • Export all entry and scoring data to spreadsheet
  • Can be exited at any time and resume where left off
  • Judge 1 keypad can be used to control system
  • Clicking on entry grid column sorts on that columns
  • Scoring into three groups for tie-breaking
  • In/Out Scoring
  • Scoring total of judges scores
  • Scoring average of judges score
  • Can quickly review all past scores
  • Retake vote on any entry at any time
  • Preview images before voting
  • Automatically advanced to next image for voting
  • Sorting on multiple columns quickly determine awards
  • Mark tie-breaking images for quickly full screen review
  • Solid State Digital Electronics
  • Score displayed elegantly on entry image
  • Keypad connector lights ensuring secure connection
  • Entry grid hides maker and club
  • Entry grid can optionally display maker and club
  • Entry grid has thumbnail displaying selected image
  • Optionally hide judges scores
  • Optionally display Title and Category for each image
  • Quickly import files based on naming conventions
  • Use your custom spreadsheet for competition
  • Mark entries for special voting
  • Entry columns can be rearranged
  • Quickly reset scores
  • Images/Date easily transferred to other systems
  • Judges voting status displays on screen
  • Entry number displays on screen (for manual backup)
  • Works with the RMF Model 250 hardware
  • Uses standard Windows computer or laptop with USB
  • Uses any color management imbedded into the image
  • Compatible with the RMF Model 760 judging system

Hardware you will need (for three judges)

  • 3 USB Keypads
  • 1 USB 4-port hub
  • 3 USB 2.0 (5 feet) Extension Cable
  • 1 USB 2.0 Active Extension Cable 33 Feet / 10 meter
  • 3 to 4 USB Keypad Lights (you may want one for the scoring system)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 laptop, desktop computer
  • Digital Projector & cabling (digital projection competitions)
  • Second Monitor & cabling (optional, print competitions)

You can build your judging system using off-the-shelf hardware. You can purchase all the hardware you will need for under $120 from which I have provided links to for each item. Scoring hardware is the same for both digital projection and print competitions. Hardware listed does not include Laptop or computer, digital projector (digital projection), and second monitor (print competitions).

USB Keypad


Amazon Targus UAUK10U Ultra Mini USB Keypad Black

  • Faster Data Input: Low-Profile Key Design Allows for Convenient Data Input Ideal for Spreadsheet, Accounting and Financial Applications
  • Extra Functionality: “000” and “Backspace” Keys for Improved Productivity
  • Plug and Play Connectivity: Easy to Install, Simply Plug Into Your Notebook’s USB Slot with No Drivers Required
  • Two USB 1.1 ports for additional accessories



Targus 4-Port USB 1.1 Hub PA055U (Black)

  • Form Factor – External
  • Dimensions WxDxH – 3.75″ x 1.66″ x 0.75″
  • Weight – 3.0 oz

I like this hub because it light up when a keypad is attached correctly so you can quickly diagnose any issues. The most common being a judge pulls the keyboard cable and it becomes dislodged.

Short USB Extension Cable

51YZDmERoeL._SL1500_Waltzmart Premium 5FT USB 3.0 Type A Male to Female Extension Cable Cord Wire

  • Brand New and high quality
  • USB 3.0 Type A Male to Female device cables
  • Double-shielded, twisted-pair data wiring minimizes cross talk for error free SuperSpeed data transfer rates
  • Support data transfer rates up to 4.8Gbps
  • Backwards compatible with computer USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports
  • Color: Black

Any short extension cable will due, this gives the judges more room to move around while judging. The one thing I like about this cable is that it is black. Other than that any USB extension cable will do. You can tell if you have a USB extension cable as one end of the cable can plug into the other end of the cable.

10m / 33 feet USB 2.0 Active Extension Cable


33ft 10M USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Active Extension / Repeater Cable (Kinect & PS3 Move Compatible Extension) 109191 109191, computer connect camera cable problem signal adapter printer extension great device power kinect

  • PTC Brand High Speed USB2.0 certified
  • Supports data transfer rate up to 480 Mbps
  • Daisy Chainable to 3 units
  • Built-in signal amplificatio shipset to maintain high speed data rate
  • Lifetime Warranty

It should be an Active Extension USB cable, is it exceeds the maximum length for  a standard USB cable. I have had issues with non-active versions.

Keypad Light


Mr. Brightside, Blk,: Book Lights and Book Plates

  • Bright LED lights keyboard
  • Flexible neck and patented head direct light
  • Powered by USB port

Useful, I even have one for the scoring system main keyboard.

Here is a basic Competition Floor Plan which should show how all of the components are attached and used in a live judging competition.

Download Digital Judging System.

Competitions using the Digital Judging System

Merrimack Valley Camera Club

New England Camera Club Council