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Steve
10-19-2002, 07:20 PM
Exciting news, I have everything I need to make a simple ZZ lap timer/counter...all together, materials came to $4...not counting the computer..hehe. I'll build it tonight and if it works, I'll get the plans out ASAP. Wish me luck!

jaubery
10-19-2002, 08:35 PM
Great! I am looking for a decent timer. Good Luck!

marc515192
10-19-2002, 08:43 PM
GOOD LUCK!

lnx_author
10-19-2002, 10:21 PM
excellent! especially considering the cost!

i just *knew* someone would come up with a lap timer!

i'm definitely interested! (actually more in the counter capability)...

lookatme
10-19-2002, 11:09 PM
or you could use this one i used it and it works perfecthttp://www.kyosho.com/gallery/lapcounter.exe

lnx_author
10-19-2002, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by lookatme
or you could use this one i used it and it works perfecthttp://www.kyosho.com/gallery/lapcounter.exe

and this file is what? an executable for DOS? for Windows? a statically linked standalone Visual Basic file created by Miguel A. Frontera?

the URL/file won't help me unfortunately - i don't use *any* Microsoft products (too much of a security risk)...

thanks anyway...

lookatme
10-20-2002, 12:00 AM
its not a virus its from kyosho.com the makers of the mini z it works finehttp://www.kyosho.com/cars/kyod01x1.html heres a link to the site what kind of security risks are you afraid of its a lap counter that you press a button on your keyboard each time a car passes by. and someone could possibly port it to any os.

Steve
10-20-2002, 12:48 AM
Woohoo! So here it is...in all it's unfinished glory.

List of Materials:
:eek: Laser Pointer - $21.00 (http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F007%5F014%5F000%5F000&product%5Fid=63%2D1056)
:eek: Phototransistor - $1.50 (http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F010%5F005%5F005%5F007&product%5Fid=276%2D145)
:eek: AC Adapter - $15.00 (http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F004%5F001%5F001%5F000&product%5Fid=273%2D1756)
:D Software - Free (http://www.gregorybraun.com/LAPTIMER.ZIP)
:confused: Old 9pin or 25pin Serial Port - buried in the junk heap
:cool: Soldering Iron / Solder - if you mod you have this
:) Laptop or PC - I used a 486 DX2/50MHZ laptop with a bad LCD panel..I just knew it would be good for something. Oh yeah, you need Win9x or XP...you might get away with Linux and Wine

How it Works:
You put the phototransistor (light activated switch) on one side of your start/finish line, and then put the laser pointer on the other side and aim it at the transistor. When a car breaks the laser beam, a signal is sent through the serial cable to the PC. The software does the rest. I can see drag racing having one for each lane...the software supports 4 lanes I think, keeps track of laps, lap times, fastest lap, and speed.

The Bad News
It actually costs more than $4.00 because my original idea (flashlight) was a failure, and I had to upgrade to a laser pointer because of the distance I needed the light to travel without dispersing. So, a cheap laser pointer modified to plug into the wall will run you about $35.00, unless you can find a 3v AC adapter in your heap.

The Good News:
You don't have to attach any kind of transponder to your Zip.

More Bad News:
Because there's no transponder, any car that crosses the line is timed, if two cars cross at the same time...well you get the idea. I designed this mainly for drag racing and solo time trials around my track...forget about using this for multi-car racing purposes.

More Good News:
No more guessing about performance increases, track lines, or driver ability.

The Future:
Because the software supports more than one switch, adding a second spaced about a foot apart would give you a nice speed trap for testing high end and/or acceleration on the drag strip.

pics to come.

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:01 AM
this is more or less the setup, without the track, which isn't done yet. Because it's a laser, it doesn't matter how wide your track is.

go_zz_go
10-20-2002, 01:02 AM
good job would love to see pics i have a hundred spare lap tops around here and dying to use em

you posted em as i was talking


nice find on the software i see me building one for our drag strip good job

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:05 AM
the phototransistor only has two leads, so I only soldered those on the PC connector end. The software has a great utility so you can test your I/O ports in order to find the right pins. I also picked up a little led holder to put the transistor in, it acts like a lens to focus light into it AND it will eventually allow me to mount it flush on a retaining wall.

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by go_zz_go
... how many can you run at once?"

The software was originally designed for 4 lane slot car racing...with a phototransistor mounted in each lane and a bright light above them...slot cars can't change lanes so it works.

So, you can run 4 transistors, using different pins on the serial cable, and the software will track them all...it's pretty neat.

Slot Car Site (http://www.hoslotcarracing.com/LapCounter.html)

I tried using the pinouts from that site, but ended up using a paperclip and the ol' hit and miss method to find the right pins.

Go0ty
10-20-2002, 01:24 AM
wow your lap timer looks great=)

but i had an idea, since most people might not have a spare lap top and all of that stuff to make a lap timer, I was thinking maybe there was a device or something for a TI-83 calculator that records time of a moving object somehow. I mean TI has craploads of tools to do tons of stuff, I tried looking on their site to see if they had a tool like that, but their site is pretty poorly organized and I couldn't really tell. anyone think there might be a device or something that they have for TI's that records time of something?

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:32 AM
The first thing I did was rip the silver backing off to expose the guts...it's just glued on (be careful not to mangle it too badly). Unscrewing 4 really tiny screws gets the board out. (Theres a really tiny spring that I lost almost instantly, not sure what it does as I didn't bother looking or it and it still seems to work ok.) I pried the microswitch off the board and put a blob of solder in it's place to jumper the four terminals under the switch...this way the thing is always on once it's plugged in. Then I soldered a lead to the positive upright terminal and another to the flat negative terminal (the board is marked). I dremmeled the battery holder to allow my leads an exit, and put it all back together with the leads hanging out the battery access door. Putting the door back in made it all nice and tight (hehe). Solder the leads to the AC adapter and remember not to look at the beam with your remaining good eye ;)

go_zz_go
10-20-2002, 01:36 AM
sorry i ment how many lap tops at once

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Go0ty
but i had an idea, since most people might not have a spare lap top and all of that stuff to make a lap timer, I was thinking maybe there was a device or something for a TI-83 calculator that records time of a moving object somehow. I mean TI has craploads of tools to do tons of stuff, I tried looking on their site to see if they had a tool like that, but their site is pretty poorly organized and I couldn't really tell. anyone think there might be a device or something that they have for TI's that records time of something?

Not sure about a calculator, but my old IronMan Timex had a stopwatch, though I have no idea how to make a phototransistor talk to a Timex.

Ancient laptops or PC's aren't all that hard to find really cheap nowadays. I've seen the kind of PC horsepower I'm using on the curbside...people can't give these things away usually. I mean my laptop has 12MB of RAM...sheeesh.

Steve
10-20-2002, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by go_zz_go
sorry i ment how many lap tops at once

I dunno...my guess is as many as you want, or at least until you blow a breaker.

go_zz_go
10-20-2002, 02:00 AM
i think i confused ya iment it to be a joke refering to all the parts ones lying around here

Steve
10-20-2002, 02:13 AM
Originally posted by go_zz_go
i think i confused ya iment it to be a joke refering to all the parts ones lying around here

Well then take one that has a fan RPM header on it, and make a ZipZap Dyno so we can use motherboard monitoring software to chart our Zip's perfomance! Remember, you heard it here first!

Go0ty
10-20-2002, 02:15 AM
yeah i was just wondering cause in chemistry and physics classes we always do labs and crap and the school has a bunch of TI instruments used to measure and calculate god knows what, so i figured maybe, in their wide array of tools, TI made some sort of timer that could be used for a lap counter. just an idea.

go_zz_go
10-20-2002, 02:16 AM
ohh good idea we could find out our true rpms of the motors oh think of the possibilitys

Steve
10-20-2002, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by slugbugg
What if you had a fin mounted on the cars at various heights and had a lap counter set for each cars height.you could use the fin as a number plate also.I wonder if a small wire holding the fin up would trip the counter.

I've actually considered this, and the software allows for adjusting the amount of time an open switch takes before registering, so it might actually work.

lnx_author
10-20-2002, 11:26 AM
- i like the concept (and even have several laptops with i could use), but this looks like too much work, too many cables, and too expensive for many zz folks...

- it would be great for a dedicated setup/track (although i guess if you use a notebook, portable as well)...

- thanks for posting/sharing the info!

- (but i'm still looking for/working on a *really* cheap lap counter)...

marc515192
10-20-2002, 12:40 PM
I plan to mount photo cells in the bottom of the track just have to make sure I cross in my respected lane.
However working on some diffrent ideas.

Steve
10-20-2002, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by lnx_author
- i like the concept (and even have several laptops with i could use), but this looks like too much work, too many cables, and too expensive for many zz folks...

- it would be great for a dedicated setup/track (although i guess if you use a notebook, portable as well)...

- thanks for posting/sharing the info!

- (but i'm still looking for/working on a *really* cheap lap counter)...

Its easier to build than dual cell mod, costs the same as a Bit, and has one cable. I'm pretty sure I've seen cheaper laser pointers...like $8.00 someplace, and if you don't use AC power, just use the battery they come with. Now you're looking at a grand total of $10...it doesn't get much cheaper than that.

marc515192
10-20-2002, 04:58 PM
I was reading on a slot car site/RC and saw the flag idea bu they used IR with the photo cells.

Maybe I'll try that

Steve
10-20-2002, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by marc515192
I was reading on a slot car site/RC and saw the flag idea bu they used IR with the photo cells.

Maybe I'll try that

I tried using an infra-red emitter first, but the range to the receiver was pretty bad, only about 5 inches max. I still used the infra-red transistor receiver so apparently lasers put out some infra-red light.

marc515192
10-20-2002, 08:18 PM
I was thinking maybe recessing the recievers in a wood tower (scale of course) so there more sensitive

Steve
10-20-2002, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by marc515192
I was thinking maybe recessing the recievers in a wood tower (scale of course) so there more sensitive

My problem wasn't so much the receivers as it was the emitter. I don't think it was emitting a very concentrated beam...I couldn't see it so I don't know for sure, but I put the recommended voltage through it and then some, and still was only able to get about 5 inches from the receiver. I'd be interested in finding something infra-red, cause with a laser, it's gonna look a little like my Zip is being scanned at the grocery store every lap! LOL!

DOH!, what if we made little tags with bar codes on them and hit them with a scangun each lap..that would differentiate between cars...hahaha..I might have issues.

lowerdfool
10-21-2002, 10:05 AM
I like the dyno idea. . . lol good work on the lap counter as well.

wild03
11-07-2002, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by Steve
I tried using an infra-red emitter first, but the range to the receiver was pretty bad, only about 5 inches max. I still used the infra-red transistor receiver so apparently lasers put out some infra-red light.

After numerous phone calls and trips to different RS I found one with the 2 Phototransistor, I also picked up an emitter and got your same results 5 inches or so, I manage to make the Lap timer work with a 2AA MAG lite flashlight the light beam is adjustable so I tested it up to two feet with no problem. I wonder if one can focus the light of the IR emitter into a bean like you do on the MAG. All I need is about a foot ;)

Other than that it couldn't have been any easier, installed the software and I popped the phototransistor in a scanner parallel port cable between 10 and 25 and was up and running. I've seen cheap lasers pointers for $3 wharehouseforall or something like that. these look like a bullet and come with different heads..I'm sure they'll do!

thanks for the scoop!!!

Steve
11-08-2002, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by wild03
...I wonder if one can focus the light of the IR emitter into a bean like you do on the MAG. All I need is about a foot ;)...
thanks for the scoop!!!

Glad you tried it and had success, I couldn't believe how simple it was when I did it...kept thinking...sheeesh, what was so hard about that?

The focusing of the infrared emitter is a GREAT idea, but I don't know how you would see it to focus it...I've also seen infrared filters that you can put on regular lights that are supposed to block everything but infrared...find one of those for your mag and you're all set.

The laser isn't all that intrusive once it's installed, and inbetween races laser light shows are a hit!

wild03
11-08-2002, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by Steve
Glad you tried it and had success, I couldn't believe how simple it was when I did it...kept thinking...sheeesh, what was so hard about that?

The focusing of the infrared emitter is a GREAT idea, but I don't know how you would see it to focus it...I've also seen infrared filters that you can put on regular lights that are supposed to block everything but infrared...find one of those for your mag and you're all set.

The laser isn't all that intrusive once it's installed, and inbetween races laser light shows are a hit!

:rolleyes: Simple it was...The software makes it really easy! with the I/O testing feature.

As far as the Emitter it would've been nice to have it take power from the parallel port and have it all in one cable, but I'm with you, with the cheap lasers at $3 you can't go wrong and your Drag racing setup with the mirrors would be fairly easy with a laser....Hmm I was thinking of trying a fiveroptic cable instead of the mirrors, I'll have to see how good they do.

Legion
11-08-2002, 12:46 PM
Not sure if I've missed something on previous threads but you can get the TOMY TOMICA BIT CHAR-G DIGITAL LAP COUNTER from Toyeast for $9.90. If your just looking for a good cheap lap counter/timer these work great.

wild03
11-08-2002, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by Legion
Not sure if I've missed something on previous threads but you can get the TOMY TOMICA BIT CHAR-G DIGITAL LAP COUNTER from Toyeast for $9.90. If your just looking for a good cheap lap counter/timer these work great.

Hmm this would end up costing $20 with shipping and all, not a bad price, IT count laps but does it time them as well?? Also the beam seems to be 2" the most, so it'll require some mods...

I still think Steves' idea is cheaper and more customisable. so far I only invested $1.50 and I can setup the lap counter/timer.

PC- $0
Software- $0
cable- $0
MAGlite -$0
Phototransistor-$1.50
Being able to time your ZZ on your homemade track- PRICELESS

Steve
11-08-2002, 01:38 PM
Yeah, the software that I've been using keeps track of custom cars, driver names, hot laps, average speed, lap times, number of laps, has a starting tree, racing sounds...can print out race results, practice sessions, qualifying times...and probably more I just havn't seen.

Legion
11-08-2002, 01:38 PM
If you've already got the stuff to do that then Steve's is more customisable. The Tomy one has a longer range beam than you'd think, I've had it to about 8" without any trouble.
I'm all for coming up with new ways to do things, that's what makes this such a fun hobby.:D

wild03
11-08-2002, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Legion
If you've already got the stuff to do that then Steve's is more customisable. The Tomy one has a longer range beam than you'd think, I've had it to about 8" without any trouble.
I'm all for coming up with new ways to do things, that's what makes this such a fun hobby.:D

Sure I Agree 100% :)
Can you list the features that the Tomy counter has? IT could be a good alternative (small and portable) when you don't wanna carry a PC around!

Steve
11-08-2002, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by wild03
Sure I Agree 100% :)
Can you list the features that the Tomy counter has? IT could be a good alternative (small and portable) when you don't wanna carry a PC around!

The only reason I built the one I did is because there wasn't an alternative that I knew of. Is there a link or something to the Tomy one?

GTR
11-08-2002, 10:43 PM
maybe u can have something to track your speed?

if u have a lil sensor thing set up

when u run the car through it, it takes a certain amount of time for it to go back right?

like...the car will block it for a certain amount of time...then u measure the length of the car....then you divide the length of the car by the time the laser is blocked...and boom! radar gun!...call the cops! ur speeding!

hehe

dunno if u can get the software to do that though

Steve
11-08-2002, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by GTR
maybe u can have something to track your speed?

if u have a lil sensor thing set up

when u run the car through it, it takes a certain amount of time for it to go back right?

like...the car will block it for a certain amount of time...then u measure the length of the car....then you divide the length of the car by the time the laser is blocked...and boom! radar gun!...call the cops! ur speeding!

hehe

dunno if u can get the software to do that though

It already does.

wild03
11-09-2002, 02:03 AM
The only reason I built the one I did is because there wasn't an alternative that I knew of. Is there a link or something to the Tomy one?

You can find it pretty easy if you type "tomy lap counter" on google or something. I believe the price would be around $20 in the US, you can fing the same timer for $10 at toyeast under the bits accesories. I don't know what features it has I know is a counter but don't know if it times the laps as well...

BTW I tried the fiber optic cable idea to setup your drag racing timer, NO GOOD! the cable has a tiny little hole for light transmission, so right there you loose a good 99% of the beam!whatever light that travels scaters within a short distance of leaving the other side of the cable. the laser light leaving the other end wouldn't trigger the transistor even If i held it against it. SO back to mirrors it is!
I ordered a $4 laser pointer from wholesaleforeveryone, after shipping it comes out to $5.29 They also have $3 lasers but for an extra dollar they give you some more heads to put on the laser....just wanted to see if those heads really work!

laters

Legion
11-09-2002, 04:19 AM
The tomy lap counter will time laps, show best lap time, has 5 tone race starting signal, end of race signal and variable number of laps from 1 to 500(1 to 10 for lap time and 1,10,25,50,75,100,150,200,300,500 for lap race). The button for the start signal can be removed from the lap counter and is connected by a cable so that it can be positioned else where.

Hope that was understandable. :)

wild03
11-14-2002, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by Steve

...and probably more I just havn't seen.

Steve, looking around the software I noticed that it has a "Track Power" feature, (F10) It allows you to toggle pin2 +5V on and off
This will allow for a relay to toggle power to the track on and off...
I'm thinking I can power the laser with this pin, Then I can control the laser with the PC and everything ends up in one neat package...save you another $15 on the power supply.

It also has support for a "Track Call Switch" but I have no idea of what this is used on slot car racing.

wild03
11-14-2002, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by wild03
Steve, looking around the software I noticed that it has a "Track Power" feature, (F10) It allows you to toggle pin2 +5V on and off
This will allow for a relay to toggle power to the track on and off...
I'm thinking I can power the laser with this pin, Then I can control the laser with the PC and everything ends up in one neat package...save you another $15 on the power supply.

It also has support for a "Track Call Switch" but I have no idea of what this is used on slot car racing.

Damn! after some research it seems like the 5v on the signal line doesn't have enough amps to power the Laser diode....I'm gonna have to get power from somewhere else :(

The engineer I talked to also mentioned that there's not even enough juice to power a relay! Now I wonder if any of the SLot car people is using this, I'm gonna have to jump to that site to check it out!

I'll be BACK!

Steve
11-14-2002, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by wild03
Steve, looking around the software I noticed that it has a "Track Power" feature, (F10) It allows you to toggle pin2 +5V on and off
This will allow for a relay to toggle power to the track on and off...
I'm thinking I can power the laser with this pin, Then I can control the laser with the PC and everything ends up in one neat package...save you another $15 on the power supply.

It also has support for a "Track Call Switch" but I have no idea of what this is used on slot car racing.

Ooohhhh! be sure to tell us how you did it if it works. Careful though, wouldn't want to toast the I/O board in your PC.

wild03
11-14-2002, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Steve
Ooohhhh! be sure to tell us how you did it if it works. Careful though, wouldn't want to toast the I/O board in your PC.

Now I'm confused :confused:
I found a page on the net about parallel ports and they say the output is around 24 milliamps, I E-mailed the software author(gregory replies to my questions in a couple of hours, great guy, free custumer service for a free product doesn't get any better than this....) and he replied that the port produces a couple of hundred milliamps plenty to power a small 5VDC coil relay! If it can do the relay It should handle the laser with no problem.

What we need is an expert opinion here.. ;)

Anyways It's a good excuse to fire up one of those pentium 1s I have in the closet as a guinea pig...YOu are right steve one wrong move and there goes the paralel port!! Smoke it's kool

:D

Steve
11-17-2002, 12:15 AM
I'm assuming you are using this with a PC, so just run a lead out of your box...you should be able to find an extra 5v plug floating around in there.

wild03
11-17-2002, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by Steve
I'm assuming you are using this with a PC, so just run a lead out of your box...you should be able to find an extra 5v plug floating around in there.

I was thinking about that one, Even taking some the the Parallel cable wires that are not being used to carry the voltage to the rig. This will work nice with the old Pentium1 I'm planning to use because I can TAP into the parallel port wires inside the PC itself since they are in a ribbon cable, THis will be harder to do with the new ATX mobos that have the port comming out of the board.
I will have to put a big WARNING label on the port cuz if someone plugs anything else there! ZAAPPP!!! :D

Well I'm pretty much convinced that the port will only handdle less than 30mA maybe 24mA, I took an amp reading of the laser diode and it's 32mA, SO I build a relay driving circuit so I could control up to 4 lasers. The circuit I found here.

www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/parallel_output.html

The little 5V relay I found requires less than 10mA to activate so the port circuit should be happy. The relay will be controlling 4.5 volts and up to 130mA if I use all 4 lasers. I wired the lasers in parallel. I tested the circuit using external power and it switches just fine. The next step is to try it on the PC once I reinstall 98 on the pentium1.
I'll also build a adjustable voltage regulator to drop whatever outside power, ( PC or transformer) to the 4.5volts the lasers require.

I'll keep posting updates but it seems like it's gonna work!

Steve
11-17-2002, 08:28 AM
Nice work! What you gonna do with 4 lasers though?

wild03
11-17-2002, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Steve
Nice work! What you gonna do with 4 lasers though?

DAmn!! that's a good question! Since the software can handle 4 channels I didn't think about it and started building for 4 channels
Heheh!!!
Well since we don't have an easy way to run all 4 channels on circuit races, the most practical application will be for drag races, and setup one channel per lane using your mirror trick, or for performance testing by setting up all 4 channels on one lane one after the other, one channel from 0 to 3 feet, the other from 3 to 6...etc. that way the timing for each segment can be recorded in one run to provide info on acceleration and top speed at different segments of the track! Thats a lot of mirrors BTW :)

Anyways, I did the parallel port rig, Used pin 16 and 18 to carry 5 volts to the box. For the 5v I used the power cable that went to the CPU speed LEDs on the Case. (don' see those anymore :( )

I ran the rig on the Pentium1 PC, All is ok! IT turns the 4 channels on and off by pressing "F10".
The only thing left to do is a small voltage regulator circuit to fit inside the box to drop the 5v to 4.5v - 4v for the lasers.

I'll have pictures soon!

Steve
11-17-2002, 07:44 PM
I've seen packages of small 1" mirror pieces at craft stores...they're pretty cheap.

I've been wanting to build a drag strip with several speed traps. Let me know if you get that far.

Bit Char Bloke
11-18-2002, 04:40 PM
can i ask a stupid question please

well really its like stupid advice :-P wat i was gonna say is could u use a lazer pen for your beam thingy... radio active x gamma ray antidisestablishmentarionism HA! stick those words in your book of mega confusing stuff!!!

Steve
11-18-2002, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by Bit Char Bloke
can i ask a stupid question please

well really its like stupid advice :-P wat i was gonna say is could u use a lazer pen for your beam thingy... radio active x gamma ray antidisestablishmentarionism HA! stick those words in your book of mega confusing stuff!!!

um..what?

Bit Char Bloke
11-18-2002, 05:20 PM
dorry dont ask.. i just had sum ribena ( makes me hyper :) )


anyway....... wat i was saying was for your IR beam lazor thingy could you use something out of a lazor pen, if you could you wouldnt have a problem with range ;)

Bit Char Bloke
11-18-2002, 05:23 PM
also do you no when you go race 1/10 scale rc's they give u a little chip to put in your car for the laps, cant u get a tiny 1 of them for a bit?

and what has your exellent work i must say got that the tomy IR lap timer hasnt. im just curious thats all

thanx

wild03
11-18-2002, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by Bit Char Bloke
also do you no when you go race 1/10 scale rc's they give u a little chip to put in your car for the laps, cant u get a tiny 1 of them for a bit?

and what has your exellent work i must say got that the tomy IR lap timer hasnt. im just curious thats all

thanx

If you could get those little chips, you could used them but I imagine the complete system costing some serious money!

The tomy lap timer is $20 you can get the same results using a pc for $6 tops!!!

I'm just enhancing my timer to use all 4 channels and to do linear time so that puts me at about $20 in parts.

wat i was saying was for your IR beam lazor thingy could you use something out of a lazor pen,

Well yes, but laser pens are expensive compared to the $3 keychain laser pointers I have.

Steve
11-19-2002, 10:31 PM
Well, at the time, I didn't know about the Tomy Bit Lap Counter, so I built my own using a laser pointer and a laptop PC. Since then, I've learned of the Tomy unit, but with the PC you get a lot more power and flexability. For instance, because the PC has memory, you can store different car setups, testing sessions, fastest laps, practice results, race results, average lap speed, and so on. The home built unit also covers a lane anywhere from 1 inch to pretty much a mile in width.

As for transponders, they need batteries, which means weight, and there isn't much room in a bit for xtra anything, let alone a transponder. The smallest one's I've seen are about the size of a Bit anyway. I wish it were different as our problems would be solved.

Finally, building my own was fun, I've never done anything like that before.

wild03
11-20-2002, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by Steve
Finally, building my own was fun, I've never done anything like that before.

True THAT!!!;)
I finally finish my timer rig, here are some pictures, for a little more detail visit the page
http://www.geocities.com/wdiaz03/laptimeroutside.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/wdiaz03/board2.jpg

All works great!!! All left to do is to put this baby to work and finally get some times!

more details at:
http://www.geocities.com/wdiaz03/laptimer.html

Steve
11-20-2002, 07:42 AM
Nice instructions. That cassette tape project box is classic!

wild03
11-20-2002, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Steve
Nice instructions. That cassette tape project box is classic!

Thanks Steve, I wrote them in a rush yesterday and they might be a little hard to follow for someone not familiar with the project, I'll see If I can clean them up a little. If you noticed I ended up having to send 12V instead of 5V because the Voltage Regulator circuit I used has a initial 1.25v drop. So with 5 Vin I was getting 3.75Vout, and the lasers were a little dim. I used 12v and regulated down to 4.15 or so.
This simple circuit is really handy for projects because with a simgle power supply of 12V you can regulate all the way down to whatever you need by turning the variable resistor.

wothrottle
12-18-2002, 04:05 PM
Hi,
Im new to this forum and the bit scene,since I mostly drive alone,I really need a Lap timer,so this should be the right one-think its better than the TOMY one.
OK,I already downloaded the LAPTIMER software,but dont really understand what to do next-Im a little confused ,since someone posted that it only costs $6-I know that i need a keychain type laser pointer,but how to connect,...


Greets,
LUD

wild03
12-18-2002, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by wothrottle
Hi,
Im new to this forum and the bit scene,since I mostly drive alone,I really need a Lap timer,so this should be the right one-think its better than the TOMY one.
OK,I already downloaded the LAPTIMER software,but dont really understand what to do next-Im a little confused ,since someone posted that it only costs $6-I know that i need a keychain type laser pointer,but how to connect,...


Greets,
LUD

very simple really, The quick and dirty way is to use a 25 pin
male-to-female computer cable, similar to the ones used on parallel port scanners.
Plug the cable on your printer port and plug the phototransistor between pins 25 and say 10 on the other side (female)
aim the laser at the phototransistor and everytime you break the beam the software displays the time since the last beam interuption and a count.

There's pinout help on the software help menu.

You can get fancy once you understand the idea, see mine at:
www.geocities.com/wdiaz03/laptimer.html

wothrottle
12-18-2002, 06:44 PM
Thank you,
those laserpointers are really expensive here i germany,try to find a cheap one.
greets,
LUD

wild03
12-19-2002, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by wothrottle
Thank you,
those laserpointers are really expensive here i germany,try to find a cheap one.
greets,
LUD

I got mine from www.wholesaleforeveryone.com $3.00 each! Germany is in their list so they might ship there!!!

Lead Foot
12-23-2002, 07:46 PM
Is it possible to create a device that could detect a color LED?

For example, if I mount a different color LED on my bit is there a way to create a device that could see the color LED and then do some action. This way you could distinguish each bit

wild03
12-23-2002, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by Lead Foot
Is it possible to create a device that could detect a color LED?

For example, if I mount a different color LED on my bit is there a way to create a device that could see the color LED and then do some action. This way you could distinguish each bit

Very, very unlikely! I think the best thing you can do and this idea came up before is to use a small flag, say 1/4 inch tall and 1/2 inch long, and mount it at different heights on the roof of the cars.
Say one car will have it right on top of the roof, the other will have it 1/4 inch higher...etc. Then you can mount the lasers and detectors 1/4 inch apart one on top of the other. only the car with the right height flag will trigger a particular sensor. this will work because the laser pointers have a very narrow beam for a few feets. you'll need to use a thin wire to mount the flags so the other sensors wont trigger.

Good luck!

Lead Foot
12-23-2002, 11:22 PM
Optical Mice use different color LEDs and a grid pad to detect movement. Each differect colored LED is paired with a light detector that actually looks for a specific color. I was hoping to do something similar

I will keep hunting

wild03
12-24-2002, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by Lead Foot
Optical Mice use different color LEDs and a grid pad to detect movement. Each differect colored LED is paired with a light detector that actually looks for a specific color. I was hoping to do something similar

I will keep hunting

Just want to caution you that you might be wasting your time, If optical mice really work like you say they do, the enviroment is very different, the mice is enclosed and you will have the cars running around a track, were will you mount the leds and the detectors? The detectors will have to cover the width of the track...You might also need special circuit to clean up the signals...
Don't know but seems like a lot of work!
Good luck

tinyrc
12-28-2002, 05:16 PM
galway, sounds cool, can you post some pics? Thanks! :)

wild03
12-29-2002, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by galway
So i saw steves work and decided to create my own micro dragstrip.

Pines 1, 6, 8, and 9 will be are data pins (CD, DSR, CTS, and RI.) hook the red and green wires up to these 4 however you wish because it can all be sorted out in software.



Nice! The software we used only monitors one data line per lane, so Steve came up with the idea of using two mirrors to accomplish that same thing. you will have the laser pointer at the starting line, cross the lane to a mirror that will take the beam along the lane to another mirror that will take the beam cross the lane along the finish line to the detector. I tried this setup and it was VERY easy to setup and use. You break the beam when you are over the start line and this will trigger the counter, then you'll break the same beam on the finish line stopping the counter.

Good luck!

MadMicroDoc
01-12-2003, 10:13 PM
What about a Palm Pilot type deal thing or whatever mine has an Ir port, would that do anything ?? Or would anything work for a palm pilot ?

MadMicroDoc
01-12-2003, 10:14 PM
for a controller or timer i mean

Steve
01-12-2003, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by wild03
Nice! The software we used only monitors one data line per lane, so Steve came up with the idea of using two mirrors to accomplish that same thing. you will have the laser pointer at the starting line, cross the lane to a mirror that will take the beam along the lane to another mirror that will take the beam cross the lane along the finish line to the detector. I tried this setup and it was VERY easy to setup and use. You break the beam when you are over the start line and this will trigger the counter, then you'll break the same beam on the finish line stopping the counter.

Good luck!

I'm glad someone finally tried the mirror idea. I'm thinking one might even be able to split a single laser into two, so you could mount the laser in the center of the dragstrip, devide it imediately into two starting lines, then using other mirrors direct both the length of the strip and again reflect across the lanes for finish lines. Just a thought.

Steve
01-12-2003, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by MadMicroDoc
What about a Palm Pilot type deal thing or whatever mine has an Ir port, would that do anything ?? Or would anything work for a palm pilot ?

In theory yes...though you might try using two palms, one to send and the other to receive...though you'd have to know how to program in Palm OS language..whatever that is. Also, you're battery would probably drain pretty fast because the sender has to emmit a beam constantly in order for it to work.

wild03
01-13-2003, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Steve
I'm glad someone finally tried the mirror idea. I'm thinking one might even be able to split a single laser into two, so you could mount the laser in the center of the dragstrip, devide it imediately into two starting lines, then using other mirrors direct both the length of the strip and again reflect across the lanes for finish lines. Just a thought.

Works great, I used the wife's make-up mirrors (without her knowledge, BTW) these made it very easy because they have a hinge and you can pivot them up and down with ease! I was thinking of mounting the final mirrors on small door hinges to get the same effect.
AS far as splitting I got good results with a triangular glass, prims or something that came inside some binoculars. but with laser pointers at $3 don't know if it is worth the trouble. ;)