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Race Coordinator (Software)

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I have an Arduino board running on RC Beta version, But my UNO only has 4 inputs. So you would need a board with more inputs.

Check with Dave from RC. It is a much cheaper option and will run via a USB My board, header plugs and relay board was just under $20.00.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

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Next on my list Phil, I've test the Ardi setup and it works fine - the way forward seeing as USB is the only option on most laptops these days.

 

What relay board did you use? I haven't caught up with Kev of late, seeing as I moved house last weekend and have two different proxies to run rounds of this next two weeks!


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Hi will rc work on an 8 lane track ?

HI dazza

RC's parallel interface can be configured to control up to 10 lanes (ie, you can assign lane numbers to 10 pins in the parallel port interface screen). In case you are interested, I've had RC control up to 6 sensors on my 3 lane track - 3 for lap counting and 3 for pits.

RC's phidget interface can be assigned to as many digital inputs you have on your phidget board. I am currently using a phidget 8/8/8 board on my 3 lane track to receive input from 3 lap sensors and 3 pit sensors. With this board you could easily control an 8 lane track (ie, assign all 8 digital inputs to read lap sensors). Also, phidget make a 0/16/16 board which has 16 digital inputs and 16 digital outputs so you could control a 16 lane track with that board.

RC's arduino interface shows it can control up to 8 lanes but currently it is limited to the arduino sketch code bundled with the 1.7.1.13 beta version which programs the arduino uno to control up to a 4 lane track. The arduino uno has 14 digital inputs/outputs so if the sketch code existed it could control more lanes.

Cheers

John


Cheers

 

JohnV

Melbourne, Australia

 

www.132MotorSport.com

Slot Car Racing

 

My Track Ringwood North Raceway (previously Donvale Raceway)

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Looks like I need to more research on the Sketch code!

What relay board did you use?

I have been using a Cheap board off Ebay with a single relay 10 Amp.,But a 4 relay board arrived yesterday so will set that up.

Only using the board because I had it here. Should be able to just use a SS relay with suitable input voltage and current.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

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I've seen people have challenges getting the parallel port to work over 6 lanes. Every computer is different and sometimes you have to mess with the BIOS, sometimes its just not going to work. If your parallel port hardware supports it though, RC should as well.

 

Be careful using phidget for lap counting. Phiget is only going to give you 0.01 second timing accuracy. For fast cars or close heats that could be a problem.

 

RC also supports using multiple track interfaces at the same time. Typically people use one for lap counting and one for relays or an LED light bridge, but you could use two for lap counting if you set them up right. Any combination of interfaces works as well, this is why ultimately RC supports an unlimited number of track lanes.

 

Also, we've redone the arduino interface which will be released soon. The rework includes a new sketch that supports as many lanes as you have pins on the arduino. I forget if I've setup the arduino config screen for 8 or 16 lanes max, but that's an RC configuration limit, not a real limit. If anybody wanted to go over whatever the UI supports I'd happily work with them, but most people don't need to go beyond 8 lanes.

 

The new arduino interface is going to be the gold standard of track interfaces for RC. It's a virtual USB device which makes it future forward and it's going to support absolutely everything because it can. The new sketch/RC release already supports all the usual bells and whistles plus two different ways of doing LED light bridges. On top of that, it has customization support built into it. Awhile ago somebody on some forum asked me to support "flag man" or some hardware like that. You can now do this even if I don't support it directly (some help may be required and depending on time may be provided). Oh, and the arduino boasts the fastest sensor read times I've seen. Accuracy will not be a problem with the arduino...

 

The only downside is that the current arduino sketch available as a beta won't work with the next release of RC. But we will provide a new working sketch and RC will detect that the sketch isn't valid so it should only be a minor one time hassle.

 

More information on the arduino support will be provided as soon as its released.

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Has anyone given the arduino a try?

I have one running an 8 lane commercial track, and its great. Timing and power control.

 

I used to use a 16/16/ phidget board.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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I have a Arduino running on my rally track and have tested in on our 4 lane road course.

I am using timing, power control and start lights from it. Very cheap alternative to run RC from a USB Port.

All up cost around $20.00 from EBay.

We now have tracks running off: Trakmate interface, USB adapter, parallel port ( no interface) and Arduino board.

 


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

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Re:"All up cost around $20.00 from EBay"

You are not wrong about cost.

To replace my phidget board would be around $100 plus the postage and time, usually around $35 from Canada. ( Must be via a private jet :-) )

This is one of the many benefits of the Arduino.


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Must say thank you for this great little piece of software. It has transformed my home setup from just a track to a raceway. I'm using the combination of zone trigger and RC with a webcam mounted over the track. It was easy to setup and get working from the FAQ pages on your website.

 

I have found a few issues however.

 

1. When a race is not in progress, and a car travels under the cam, it fills the taskbar with errors. I can see the need for this if there was really an issue in the communication between the cam<->webcam.exe<->RC, but I don't think the absence of a race is really an error. Is there any way for you to suppress the errors if there is no race in progress?

 

2. The main window doesn't want to agree with my 16:10 and 16:9 screens. Part of the window is cut off just above the 'start race' button. It's fine on my 3:4 ratio screens. The fonts also seems to using the windows defaults, and this causes issues in the program layout if you're not using the windows default settings. A note in the FAQ or readme files about how to adjust font sizes (in windows) which affect the program would have saved me much searching through the program until I realised what was going on.

 

3. How do you remove a track? I see options to remove every other setting, but not the track. On my first time setting up I mistakenly made a new track instead of editing the existing default track. Now I can't seem to be able to get rid of the unwanted duplicate track.

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This sounds like you may have downloaded the multi track version and then updated to a later version. V 1.7.1.0 I do not think caters for several tracks, only. 1.7.0.0 allows for several tracks.

 

I have RC on several wide screens and never had any problem with it not showing correctly. I have it on XP, Win 7 and Win8!

 

I use practice mode when not racing so don't get any errors!

Edited by kalbfellp

Phil

 

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This sounds like you may have downloaded the multi track version and then updated to a later version. V 1.7.1.0 I do not think caters for several tracks, only. 1.7.0.0 allows for several tracks.

 

Somehow I do not think this is the case. I've downloaded one file (this version), and never updated. Have been using the software a total of 12 hours.

 

I have RC on several wide screens and never had any problem with it not showing correctly. I have it on XP, Win 7 and Win8!

Have you changed the windows default appearance (fonts etc in Display Properties) so old eyes can read the screen easier? Try putting the font size for windows on 'Large' in the 'Appearance' tab and see what it does to the layout of the app.

 

To further the issues with the camera sending a signal that a car has passed under it, but there is no race running which throws up a webcam.exe error. When a race IS running, but there is only 1 driver running (2 regions setup in the camera for the 2 lanes), if there is a signal sent for the unused lane, RC crashes completely.

Edited by Cortina_5Ltr

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In Race Day setup open "options"

The drop down menu has "Preferances"

When That drop down opens check "Multi track"

That then should give you the option in "Track setup" to delete the track you don't want.

 

Cannot help with the camera problem as I found that it was just not good enough for club racing. So went back to IR sensors.

 

I will try changing to the large font on a machine soon,


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you don't have the options/preference on the Race Day Setup it's because it was introduced in a newer version of the software then you have (possibly a beta release). Simply update to the latest/greatest and you'll see it. Then the instructions in the previous post are spot on. Just remember that when you delete the track, it will also delete all races and associated stats that go along with that track. So be careful. You may also want to turn the multi-track option off again once done. That option will change the track interface setup to a more complicated way of doing things and you probably don't want/need it.

 

Regarding the webcam... use the "-noerrordisplay" command line option. I made a note to add that to my FAQ.

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Thanks guys. Duplicate track removed (there was nothing set for this track so no problems there).

 

The "-noerrordisplay" switch fixed both the popup errors when a race was not running, and the RC crash when a race (practice) was running with only 1 driver on lane 1 and then lane 2 received a signal.

 

I would like to switch over to IR sensors instead of having the webcam mounted over the track. I've held off on anything permanent as yet as I'm toying with the idea of changing out from analog track to digital so instead of the 5 drivers taking turns two at a time, we can all race at the same time. With the ability to hold heats easily with this software, I might just stick with the analog setup. Will need to discuss this with the kids (4 boys) and see how they feel about it. Is there a step-by-step guide somewhere to help obtain the right components and with setting it up with IR (I do have a LPT1 port on the laptop I'm using for timing)?

 

**EDIT: The track length value in the track setup, what is it measured in (m,cm,mm,inches)? It doesn't say anywhere that I've found.

Edited by Cortina_5Ltr

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Don't forget, race coordinator has a digital version too...

Works great with scaley digital...

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Lane lengths is in feet. I think/hope the tool tip text says so. Most everything has tool tips if you hold the mouse over the options.

 

Can you explain the crash you're seeing. Either here or in an email to me? I don't like crashes and will fix it right away...

 

I try not to personally get involved with the actual track hardware. There are far more knowledgeable people out there than me. But there are plenty of opinions on the topic if you search around. Trakmate is a very good source, they sell ready made DIY setups, or parts for a full DIY experience. Viasue is an SCI advertiser. They sell full setups that work through the parallel port very well. The list goes on and on...

 

If you're hell bent on getting something from me then what I'll say is that Slingshot put together a PDF readme for my arduino support. It has a parts list in it that should work for the parallel port as well as the arduino (***Note, the relay portion probably wouldn't work straight up through the parallel port). You could use that PDF as a guide. It's in the data/arduino RC folder.

 

And yes, as separate downloads there's Race Coordinator Digital which currently only supports SSD and if you want to go crazy digital there's Scorpius. The Scorpius RMS is "powered by RC" which means I adapted RC specifically for the Scorpius wireless system. RCD is free like RC, but Scorpius is a for purchase RMS that only works with the Scorpius system. Both digital versions work very similar to RC with changes specific to digital racing.

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Don't forget, race coordinator has a digital version too...

Works great with scaley digital...

 

I did see the digital version there on the RC website. Does it support the 4 car as well as the new 6 car powerbase? If I changed to digital it would be to the new 6 car one so we can run 5 drivers at once. My track is currently all Scalextric, fixed to a table.

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Lane lengths is in feet. I think/hope the tool tip text says so. Most everything has tool tips if you hold the mouse over the options.

 

Yeap, I see it now. There's a popup. Didn't see the forest from the trees.

 

Can you explain the crash you're seeing. Either here or in an email to me? I don't like crashes and will fix it right away...

I sent a PM explaining exactly what I did and my setup to help you recreate the error.

Edited by Cortina_5Ltr

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The 4 car doesn't have pc capabalities (well MIH has one that does, but that's an exception), so that leaves either the original 6 car powerbase, or the vastly superior Advanced powerbase.

 

Note: Both will require an aftermarket cable to connect to the PC.

Note 2: Don't bother with the 4 car powerbase...

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FYI there's a new beta release up on my site. It's version 1.7.1.29. Here's the quick list of things in it:

  • Several minor bug fixes
  • RCLive client is now included with the release and has some bug fixes include. ***If you have modified the RCLive client, backup your changes. The RC Installer will slam its own files into the data/html directory overwritting anything that's there
  • Completely re-written Arduino interface. This is all behind the scenes stuff but now arduino supports absolutely everythign RC has to offer including serveral forms of LED start lights, per lane relays, and it even allows for user customization to unofficially support things like "flag man"

 

As always, never update if you're happy with what you have, and especially if you're in the middle of a race season. If there are issues with this beta they will be addressed quickly as I want this to be an officially release as soon as possible. With that said, if you use the arduino interface please let me know what you think and if you have any issues with it.

 

Thanks

Dave

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Phil,

 

If you let me know what you are trying to do with the finger waiving I might be able to do it for you in the sketch. I'm eager to see a few people customize the sketch for real as a proof of concept. Just shoot me an email with what you're doing and maybe I can help.

 

-Dave

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Dave my comments were a jest!

Rally starters used to use fingers to count down to the start of a stage. The would hold out 5 ,then 4 etc to indicate to the driver the seconds to the start.

These days it is all done using lights.

But I do have a starter that will drop a flag for the start.

I have used an old Scalex starter with a solenoid in the rostrum operating the starters arm. At present it is working off the last red count down light controlled off the Arduino board. I am using a SS relay to control the solenoid. It needs more work to operate correctly but is almost there.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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