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Timing Systems Types And Setting Up

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Whoa confusing stuff.... been looking into getting a timing system for a while now but it looks so daunting.

I bought the illfated RMS on impulse and was pretty disappointed, now I've moved house and can't find the software CD no big loss I suppose but did notice there was a final update from Scalextric and am curious to know if it fixed anything?

Anyways I've recently discovered UltimateRacer 3.0 and like the look of it. I know nothing about electronics and my computer knowledge is limited but from what I gather the RMS base will only detect cars but will not detect lap times or pit stops or anything else for that matter. If this is the case I will have to wire a 36 pin printer plug or a serial port cable to sensors but my laptop doesn't support these cables, do USB adaptors work? if so do I need to download anything. I don't want to build a light tower so which sensor should I use? are the sensors wired directly to the cable or is there a resistor or something inbetween? (told ya I know nothing). My track is a two lane Scalextric with RMS base which comes with serial port cable so I prefer to work with what I got. Also is there a way to replace the sensors with digital lap timer??

please help me keep it simple and layman terms would be appreciated....

Edited by runnin' on rails

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Components for timing systems

 

Hi guys, well I grabbed some I.R. sensors from Syd the other day. I have already made up a lead using them, and they perform identically to the original Dick Smoth ones, so thanks Syd for making those available to us.

 

What I HAD been struggling to find was a mamtching I.R. LED which was focused on the right wavelength (not quite pure I.R. frequency), of these sensors.

 

I came across a Chinese maker with some they claimed were exactly the right wavelength, 5mm, and similar brightness to the old Dick Smith Z3235.

 

They looked crystal clear though, not dark blue like we're used to. I bought 20 as a sample, and they arrived last night.

 

Made up a light bridge this morning using them, grabbed the digital camera, took a look in the half dark of my garage ..... oh that lovely light purple/pink glow, wonderful. Put the digital camera down, then noticed... er . . red glow..... only visible looking straight onto them a red glow. turn 15 degrees, and they look like nothing happening, but look straight on, and you can see them glowing red with the naked eye in the half dark.... even better than the Dick Smith ones, you can see them going. They will still be invisible or near to it on the track, for night racing, but these will be easy to test and use, and they work.

 

So if anyone wants any, I have more coming a pile of the little blighters coming in a couple of weeks. $1.00 each, including 470 ohm resistors for use with a 12V supply. Minimum order 10, to make it worthwhile putting in an envelope and mailing overseas at the P.O.

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Components for timing systems

 

Hi guys, well I grabbed some I.R. sensors from Syd the other day. I have already made up a lead using them, and they perform identically to the original Dick Smoth ones, so thanks Syd for making those available to us.

Only to happy help Mark ;)

Edited by Syd

West Australian Slot Car Racing Group

web: www.waslotcarracinggroup.com

email: syd.miller@outlook.com scott.kendal@bigpond.com

mob: Syd 0413 020 421 or Chris 0435086304

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Updated the main document on page 1, to add what I have found out about dead strips recently, and about Trackmate wiring up to 8 lane.

Hi Mark just wondering why you kucking around with Leds for lighting when a micro flouro will do the same thing?


West Australian Slot Car Racing Group

web: www.waslotcarracinggroup.com

email: syd.miller@outlook.com scott.kendal@bigpond.com

mob: Syd 0413 020 421 or Chris 0435086304

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Updated the main document on page 1, to add what I have found out about dead strips recently, and about Trackmate wiring up to 8 lane.

Hi Mark just wondering why you kucking around with Leds for lighting when a micro flouro will do the same thing?

 

Do micro fluoros work on I.R. waveband?

 

if they are superior, maybe you should write something up on them, as most people here would never have heard of them.

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Micro Flouros still produce visible light and shine on the track,IR's cannot be seem and also work in the dark so are good for racing in the dark so no distracting light where the counters are located.Almost any light source work with those great Sharp (DSE) darlington sensors.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made some updates to this Timing Overview today. (first post)

If anyone reading it spots any errors or omissions, especially the in-house expoerts like Brett, Phil etc, please holler.

 

ALSO, since DS systems are now represented in Australia, if there is someone on forum using a DS200 or 300, with PC, or stand-alone, who would like to write something about these, I would dearly like to add information on this system to the overview.

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Thanks SlotsNZ for all this info here.

 

Just one question if you can excuse my ignorance. Building a timing system do I have to include a hardware board such as Trackmate between the photo-sensors and the PC or is Trackmate just giving additional functionality?

 

Can I simply set up the photo-sensors wired into the DB25 which then goes directly to a PC’s COM port (or interfaced to a USB port.) I’m assuming software on the PC such as Race Coordinator will then be able to pick up and manage the signals from the sensors.

 

I only putting together a small 3 lane track at home. Not intended for any serious racing but it would be good to setup something for the timings.

Thanks

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Hi Alloxylon,

 

sounds like you probbaly only need a software based system, and nothing too complicated to use.

In which case I suggest good old faithful, Laptimer 2000 connected to a DB25 printer port on an old PC.

and you won't be able to use a USB port for that, so you DO need an old PC with a DB25.

 

I undestand Race Coordinator can now be used in a software only mode, - in addition to it's original design purpose which was as alternateive software for use with the Trackmate board, - but I have no experience inthat regard. Someone ewlse may be able to advise better on that.

 

UR3.0 can be used via a USB port and adaptor lead, but I don't know anyone making up the exact l ead you would need for sale, and it is quite a complicated program to master, so I suggest you just go for Laptimer 2000. Quick, easy to learn, just lacks ability to accumulate laps from rotating heats racing.

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I see, all makes sense now, thanks fro the update. I've also loaded a copy of RC down last night and can see from the setup screens what's involved there too. I'll see what PC I can dig up and go on from there. Thanks again.

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They might work, but amber could be visually annoying. More than that, not knowing the power of those LEDs, and how sensitive your photo-transistors will be to that frequency of the light spectrum, I wouldn't consider it a safe option.

 

FIRST, you need to fix your source of timing loom, - THEN you can find out what light sources are suitable for the sensor transistors in the loom - you also have to ensure the light source will shine INTO the bottom slot where the sensors will be located.

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neeed help i bought the 4 lane starter kit that plugs into the printer port photo-sensors wired into the DB25 bought from armchair racer

cant get it to work at all on laptop or desktop pc running windows xp

what are the port settings????????????

getting really annoyed with it

Edited by jasonh

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What software are you trying to run with it?

 

Laptimer 2000 won't run on XP. You could run UR3.0

 

 

What instructions came with it, can you post a doc?

 

Do the instructions say which pin pairs are used for each lane?

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hi no instruction came in post just the cable and receipt. 4 x High Sensitivity Infrared Darlington Transistor Sensors with 2m ribbon cable terminated to 25w Male LTP connector.......................................................................................................LAP TIMER 2000 SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION:

The following settings are the settings that I have found to work on most notebook computers.

1.Select FILE / OPTIONS/ENTER

2.Select SETTINGS / TICK INVERT LAP SWITCHING LOGIC (Other settings depend on your computer) try the default settings first.

3.Select PORTS / TICK PRINTER Select LPT1 TICK TRACKMATE SENSOR CPMPATABILITY

HARDWARE TYPE: Any windows based PC or Notebook (Excluding WIN 7) -

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS: The computer must have a 25way parallel printer port (LPT) -

SOFTWARE TYPE: We recommend LAP TIMER 2000. -

An overhead light will minimise any false counts

found some instructions

still cant get it to work

Edited by jasonh

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Hi Jason

 

sorry, I was away a few days, and only just re-discovered the thread.

Did you get it sorted?

 

It appears it came with Laptimer 2000 software.

I siad above it won't work with Windows XP - I was remembering wrong, .........so many PCs, so many operating systems.. went back and checked, it should work okay

- Found my own instructions I wrote for others, as I sell a few timing cables myself.

So copied below for your assistance.

If you still can't get it going from there, I think you'll need a geek in the flesh.

 

Instructions for Using Lap Timing Software and timing loom

 

The timing loom supplied will have two, three or four sensors.

 

This computer software is designed to work with any MS Windows 95/98/ME/XP/NT/2000 computer system. Lap Timer 2000 includes interfaces for both serial and parallel printer ports as well as a PC keyboard and the standard joystick game port.

 

First, install Laptimer 2000 on your PC. I recommend that you place a shortcut on the task bar as well as the desktop space for easy access. The screen shot below illustrates the Lap Timer 2000 main window. The Lap Timer 2000 main window is actually 700x555 pixels in size.

laptimer1.jpg

Start Laptimer 2000 by double clicking the short-cut.

Select the “Setup” menu by clicking the 4th icon from left – the “gear”

Ensure that the option for “invert logic” is ticked, but if this appears to give false lap times, it will be timing laps 1 lap in arrears. Try it un-ticked to correct the lap time counting.

Ensure that the LPT1 parallel port is selected as the port for sensing laps, and the option 0x0378 shows.

Also ensure that the box which says “Trackmate compatibility” is ticked.

Now go to the track option, and select the correct number of lanes.

You can change the colour represented for each lane in the software, to match your track colours.

 

The current lap time is displayed using a large 90 point font to facilitate easy viewing from across a room. The current lap time displayed for each lane is updated each time a slot car passes over the lap counter track. The current Lap No. will also be updated when a slot car passes over the lap counter.

 

Up to four (4) lanes may be simultaneously monitored and displayed. The background colour of each lane's display can be configured by the user to reflect the actual lane colour coding used. The Best Lap region records the fastest lap time recorded during the current session. A single race or practice session can record up to 4096 laps per lane. An optional Average MPH/KPH speed can also be displayed. This information will appear in-between the Lap No. and Best Lap display regions for each lane.

 

For accurate average lap speed calculations you must specify the scale of your slot cars and the running lap length for each lane. Distances and speeds can be defined in either U.S. (Imperial) or Metric units of measure.

 

You may also view a detailed report listing all lap times recorded for each lane during the current session using the View | Lap Times... menu command.

 

Races can be run for a specified length of time or until a preset number of laps have been completed. A race summary file is created when a race is completed. This race summary file can be viewed or printed. The race summary includes the number of laps completed as well as individual lap times for each competitor.

 

LapTimer 2000 includes support for MS Windows XP, race pause and resume facilities and an extensive help file with interface cable building instructions and wiring diagrams.

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HI Guys

I just installed a timing set up on my 3 lane routed track, I user Ultimate Racer and an old laptop running XP, it needed service pack installed before all the options became available, but it works great.

I got a few sensors off here and some LEDs from Jaycar, and wired it up myself, I had to do a bit of fiddling to get it functional, but now it's all good.

I'm very happy with it, I even impressed myself with my handy work on building a light bridge, there's a first time for everything.

 

Cheers for all the info that made it easier for me.

Andrew


A man without a woman is like a neck without a pain.

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Many thanks for the help in this thread!

 

I now have my 2 lane track setup with IR sensors for the timing. This setup is way, way better than the webcam method I was using before. I was getting about 2sec of lag between the webcam motion detect software and the timing software, which made the first lap very long, false starts non-existent, and the lag wasn't always a constant amount, so the laptime was only ever an approximation.

 

Total cost of the IR timing gate was a huge $7.90 + shipping. 2x Jaycar ZD1950 Infra-red receivers, 2x Jaycar ZD1945 Infra-red LED transmitters, and the correct ohm resisters to supply the correct current from the dis-used mobile phone charger (6V 800mA) to the LED TXs.

 

I had an old printer cable (LPT1 to Centronics) laying around, snipped off just the Centronics plug and found which wires were for pin 10 (Lane1), pin11 (Lane2) and pin25 (Common). Insulated the ends the unused wires in the cable and bound them up out of the way. It did take me a while to find the correct wiring diagram for this as the image in the original post is missing.

 

Drilled 2x 5mm holes through the Scalextric start track and mounted the wiring and ZD1950 RX's in them, just below the track surface level.

 

The overhead start/finish gate (lightbar in disguise) took a little more effort. Constructed from scrap balsa (2mm thick). I will replace this after I've cut out a fancy scale start/finish gate with the CNC 4-axis router in plastic.

 

The IR sensing is instant, not the slightest bit of lag like the webcam. Timing is accurate and consistent. Connected straight up to Race Commander software with a few clicks in the settings.

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Copying Rusty's post from another thread as it deserves exposure here as well.

I've been thinking about this for some time, and a recently deleted thread finally made me to actually write it out...

Turns out that adding brakes on track call is actually very easy to implement...

 

If you are building brakes into your track, the following should help...

 

Brake%20Relay%20Hookup%20-%20Track%20Side.jpg

 

 

If your track doesn't have brakes, and neither does your controller on power cut, you can add this between the controller and the track... This circuit is dual polarity...

 

Brake%20Relay%20Hookup%20-%20Controller%20Side.jpg

 

 

Example of a suitable relays...

Single Pole Double Throw - http://www.jaycar.co...w.asp?ID=SY4046

Double Pole Double Throw - http://www.jaycar.co...w.asp?ID=SY4065

 

Any questions, or advice, please feel free to add to this post...

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I have successfully made a timing system for my track and it has performed without fault .I have used the sensors and a PC running winXP and it runs laptimer 2000 ,ultimate racer , and race coordinator all with out problems .

 

My friend asked me to make a system for him and I did same again and it all worked well until PC died

 

I have obtained five other Win XP pcs all with parallel ports and NONE of them will work with my sensors

 

no programs see the sensors

 

I have gone into the BIOS and ensured that the port is activated and set to standard config

 

WHAT IS WRONG ?????????.....................................help me please I am going insane

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Not all parallel ports have the same sensitivity. I assume you are not using an interface board, but just the sensors on the ports?

I assume you have tried configuring the port in the RC?

I have found that the old Dick Smith sensors seem to work with most ports, but some of the other sensors that I have tested only will work using an interface.

Ardunio boards are cheap and work thru a USB, better probably best to look at upgrading.

Edited by kalbfellp
  • Upvote 1

Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logos%2016_17.small_zpswkcwjf0q.jpg

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Googled Ardunio boards and found quite a few varieties and prices ................Phil could you recommend which one would work for a three lane track?

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