When creating a piece of code to operate a 7-segment display, I ran into a problem:

The seven segment display on TinkerCad (I was using this at the time) requires you to pull down the inputs to turn a segment on, while the one that I have turns on when I pull up the inputs.

Instead of completely rewriting the code for the display that I had, I wanted to make my code more universal for if I need to use it in the future.

I cannot find a way to make the method digitalWrite(int pin, int val) work with a method that returns and int in the place of "int val"

This is the code that will not work:

int F = 11;
int G = 10;
int E = 9;
int D = 8;
int C = 7;
int DP = 6;
int B = 5;
int A = 4;
int type = 1;

 int highLow(int highOrLow)

  int digOutput;

  if(type = 1)

    if(highOrLow = 1)

      digOutput = 1;

    if( highOrLow = 0)

      digOutput = 0;


  if(type = 0)

    if(highOrLow = 0)

       digOutput = 0;

    if( highOrLow = 2)

      digOutput = 1;


  return digOutput;

void zero()
  digitalWrite(F, highLow(0));
  digitalWrite(G, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(E, LOW);
  digitalWrite(D, LOW);
  digitalWrite(C, LOW);
  digitalWrite(DP, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(B, LOW);
  digitalWrite(A, LOW);

pinMode(F, OUTPUT);
pinMode(G, OUTPUT);
pinMode(E, OUTPUT);
pinMode(D, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C, OUTPUT);
pinMode(DP, OUTPUT);
pinMode(B, OUTPUT);
pinMode(A, OUTPUT);

Note : I am just using pin f to test.

Also, my etiquette is not very well defined or tested, so please keep it rather simple if you can.

If it matters, I am going to be using to using an Arduino Mega2560 produced by Elegoo.

Thanks for any help!!

1 Answer 1


In this situation it is far more efficient to use #define and conditional compilation.

// Uncomment this for tinkercad
// #define INVERTED

#  define ON HIGH
#  define OFF LOW
#  define ON LOW
#  define OFF HIGH

Then just use ON or OFF in place of HIGH and LOW.

digitalWrite(3, ON);

But the reason you have a problem is not because you are trying to use a function as the value to digtalWrite() - the problem is actually in your basic C syntax.

You are using the assignment operator (=) when you should be using the comparison operator (==). For example here:

if(highOrLow = 0)

you should have:

if(highOrLow == 0)
  • Thanks a ton! Will try this when i can get access to a computer again!
    – Nutmeg
    Nov 25, 2019 at 22:40

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