Counting Laps

Scalextric slot cars in all scales, tracks, projects, cars, tuning
leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

Have been working on a little project, I wanted the ability to provide a few functions the C7042 Scalextric digital power base lacks, related to more understandable scoring and a much easier to read display.

As is always the way, things grew a bit, this is where it currently is:

Image

Top centre there is an array of lights configured to act as race start lights, top right if a little timer and a set of traffic lights to show if timing services are operational. Below that is the main display, this is a prototype, the final one will show more but for now there is a header row then six rows for car data, based on the digital system allowing up to six cars - this board can support that or in theory up to six lanes of analogue racing. Cars get an identification number, eventually will allow a driver number so for an event drivers can have their own number on the board. boards sort to show the race order adjusting as cars complete laps.

then we have the most recent lap time, and the individual cars best lap time then the number of laps completed.

Bottom row shows who has the event fastest lap.

At the moment its "free practice" only, no actual race functions yet.

does work for timing though

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:32 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by admin »

looking good

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

Have it working a bit better now. needs an input board to control it but by default it powers up, waits a few seconds then starts a race sequence, lights count down then you have a 20 lap race (or 1:40 seconds, whichever comes first) cars finish the lap they wee on then you get results in race order with each cars best lap time shown and whoever got the fastest at the bottom.

can also show the time difference to the leader, or to the car in front, total race time for each car, or in theory sector times but I need to make more track sensors to test that.

bits on order to stick some coloured lights into the track so a few bits of track can light up with green, yellow or red lights during the race

has a speaker too for making various beeps and squawks

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

few more bits turned up today, have been thinking about the physical layout of the shop, no point having wires all over so have got a couple of wireless radio modules for the micro controllers I'm using. should mean we can stick the actual timing board somewhere sensible and the control console likewise without people tripping over them.

have also started sticking the track lights into the actual track, can be used for several things - e.g. "red flag", "yellow flag" and "green flag". or just tied to the start lights for red before the countdown, yellow during it and green during the race

red ones installed and working in the test board I've been using

Image

nice and easy to see, fitted very slightly below the surface so shouldn't upset any cars.

hope to have some slightly more robust sensors working later part of next week when the printed circuit boards for them turn up and the sticky tape being used currently can be retired

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

Bit more mucking about, the little 7 segment LED displays were only a stopgap, nice but a bit small and not formatted as I want them to be.

Prototype of their replacement is now working

Image

spacing of the last digit is off and needs fixing but otherwise works well, easy to read as the digits are 0.56" high and a wider viewing angle than a Liquid Crystal display would be. should be easy to read from one side of the shop to the other at least, which is the idea.

circuit boards for the actual lap counter/timing boards to go under the track are on order, in a few weeks will be passing an order Colins way for a few bits including a bit more tack to mount them to.

have also tried out a more powerful controller board to run it all on, which is also able to control the Scalextric base unit - so no more mucking about for twenty minutes trying to get it set up right, one button and done

not working yet but also experimenting with wireless controllers and replacing the actual scalextic base with something more versatile and likely a heck of a lot cheaper

Baldie
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:58 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by Baldie »

Very cool, you looking at mounting em on a race board when you done with your development?

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

Baldie wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:28 am
Very cool, you looking at mounting em on a race board when you done with your development?
thinking something like a bit of plywood painted black, about A3 sized, maybe a bit bigger, stick a bit of smoke coloured clear acrylic in front of them

will be six rows of these, each row two of these and two others I have yet to sort, but will work with just these, a header row, bit at the bottom for fastest lap and maybe fastest speed and a timer at the top with a set of start lights

have it largely working with the prototype now, just needs a few more bits to arrive.


pondering what could be done with the same little micro controllers and something like a 40k sized tank

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

1st test article of the printed circuit board to detect cars (analogue and digital) and identify them (digital only)

Image

also has some nice coloured lights, have asked Col to order me a few more bits of track to get the three of these stuck to, then not only can we count laps and time them - we can also have sector times or look at four lane racing if we get enough track to do it

Baldie
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:58 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by Baldie »

You terrify and impress me in equal measure Dale.

leopard
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:05 pm

Re: Counting Laps

Post by leopard »

Baldie wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:03 pm
You terrify and impress me in equal measure Dale.
MAD SCIENCE!!!

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