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neil

Laptop / Usb Compatible Track Timing,,,,,Where Do I Start???

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I've been reading as much as I can find here but I get lost to easy with the dawings ,,terminoligy,, & the unsystimatic replies that are woven through threads of the topics,,,i'm slowly getting there..

 

So I guess what I'm trying to acheive here is a thread that'll move along with me & at my pace...

 

What I'm asking is has anyone here had the sucsess of running a racing program such as Race coordinator through the laptop???,,,, but more importantly via the USB???

 

 

So I've contacted 2 sources so far,,,,

Racemate,,, sells pakages,, which I feel is not wasted money,, though a part(the light bridge) is not to my liking,, looking to comercial & not part of the sceenery. but maybe I could model over/around it

 

the other

Race Coordinator writes a program that I'm keen on runing which includes the fuel stops,,, they have mentioned the phidget http://www.phidgets.com/products.php?category=0&product_id=1018_2t as means of conecting to the usb............... Has anyone had experiance with this/

 

for the final result..

I did want a program that ran,,,,,,,,, the power,,,,, the lights(Red, Amber,Green),,,Track call buttons,, although these could be wired in for manual opperations...... & the wired into system later.............oh,,,,,, and hopefully included the Fuel stop strategies!!!!

 

or with my skill levell should I stick to the tried & proven pakage deal....Racemate

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Neil Using USB Serial adapters seems to be hit and miss. I have tried two types of adapters to run Trakmate from two lap tops. One adapter would not allow the computer to see the interface.

The second adapter worked fine last year for the final race of the OZ Rally, no problems at all. I have used it a few times since with no problems. But this week the adapter is giving problems and locks up the timing program. I know that Slo1quick and Stubbo have been having the same problems. I simply reverted back to an old PC and all is fine.

SlotsNZ is using the same adapters over there with no problems BUT I don,t know if that is on PC or Lap tops. If you buy a timing Program BUY the USB adapter from the same supplier and ensure that the driver comes with it.

I have two other adapters in transit to test.

As for Phidgets Just check the cost, about the same as buying a Trakmate interface that many of us are using with both RC and Trakmate.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

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Did you actually read the pinned topic though.

 

Pretty much everything is one place. http://www.auslot.co...and-setting-up/

 

trackmate and orthers, were designed to use older types of port, then with the absence of such ports on modern PCs, there has grown a need to utilise general purpose adaptors out there in marketplace which adapt DB25 or serial ports, so that a USB port on a PC "sees them" as a USB device.

 

Thus fhe "issue" with USB is really nothing to do with laptop v desktop, it is to do with the finer points of driver software in USB to serial adaptors in most cases, as I don't know of any hardware package built for pure USB.

 

The other issue is of course operator expertise level to deal with oddball things like this.

What might get set up, and any bugs sorted easily for a computer geek, may be a bit more hit and miss for us mere mortals.

 

You mentioned not liking the light bridge in one package, I do have a raw "circuit board" with LEDs mounted in it, around which you build your own structure to hide the board, but Trackmate also sell a dead strip sensor harness, which has a serial plug on the other end, wich plugs straight into the trackmate hardware and is bullet proof once installed.

They have "one direction" and bi-directional versions (because dead-strips are polarity sensitive)

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Seeing serial port is almost obselete and that most laptops dont even have them I wonder why theyre still used widely in slots?

I see a few guys are using Trakmate with deadstrips, with serial to USB convertor.

Might be time for a wireless option......

Edited by aussieslotter

www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system with GRUNT.

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Neil, if you are coming to the rally at my place on Saturday, i can show you the setup i use for the laptop on the rally track, come early


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

http://www.facebook.com/Rallyproxy2017

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the adapter that trackmate suply. my laptop is an acer but i have also used it on a toshiba. running both windows xp and 7


Phil

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hey cheers for all replies,,, I have read the pinned topic several times,, but nothing there to give me confidence in pursuing what I'm asking,,,,

 

Thanks to PhilA9X with your answer,,, I have been told many times that the USB option is hit & miss,,, But as you have written & what Kalbfellp has sugested,,, I'll now pursue in buying the compleete pakage from Racemate with more confidence...

 

& Gazza,,, I'll take you up on the offer with the walk through on systems your opperating,,, how early is early,, is breaky suplied :)..

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Neil what ever system you buy check what others are using That you race with, experience and local back up can be a big help.

Trying to sort any problems via email and phone can be difficult!

Also make a list of what you really need from the program.

 

Thanks for the reply PhilA9X , yes adapters seem to vary from chip set to chip set.

I found that out when trying to get my Alps to run from USB.

Edited by kalbfellp

Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

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So hears the story so far,,,,,,, had another search for a tower with serial port late Sat, night & ,,, "wham"!!! ,,,, A whole pakage 2nd hand, ,monitor,, K/board,, mouse,, tower &,,,, the "serial port"... $60 starting & the Auction ends 7.30am,,,,,.. Woke up Sun. morn. Turn on the ketle,, P/stn.,, I look at the time & Oh yeah the pakage!!! I did 1 of those last min. bids not knowing what these could be worth,,, & it's mine,, no other interest..

 

So after pick up I'm off to Gazza's,, (pre aranged) ,, Gazza/Gary had assured me this would be fairly simple in seting up & getting to run,,, Me/I'm thinking this is going to take hours & buckets of loose change in parts,,,

 

In the end...once the program was installed by Garry,, a trip to jaycar to grab/buy a,,, serial plug,, 6mtrs of doubled wire & 4 off infared sensors(just incase),, back home to wire up for a litle dry run before installing to the track,,,, another phone call to Gazza,,,& "BINGO". I'm now confident to drill holes in to my track to install..

 

A big THANKS to GAZZA,, for the walk through the R/C program & his time,, & also the Rally meet on Sat. night....Monies saved on computer set up will go to a more competitve rally car hopefully.

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Neil using the serial port will save you a lot of headaches.

Glad it is all sorted for a small outlay.

 

"AMEN" to that

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got my trackmate, and the cable , unfortunately , the cable that goes from the module to the track( dead strip timing) was not included .

does anyone know where could i get them made?

 

and .... has anyone have the wiring diagarm to wire the dead strips?

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Daniel puts a bit more than just protective resistors into the circuit for his dead-strip loom.

There is quite a circuit board included in the plug with other components to form protrection for the Trackmate board in the event of a powered short.

I make up photo-transistors based cables okay, but I don't touch those due to the potential damage issues. I but them in with the boards from Daniel.

 

If he accidentally left it out, just ask him to send one, but if you forgot to order it, get one, as you may spend a fair bit of time getting a cable made, and still come unstuck.

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you should be able to knock one off up easily enough

:)


Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

 

My poor Krell!

After a million years of shining sanity...

they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them.

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Hey Neil,

Why aren't you talking to Tony and Phil about this?

Gazza should sort you out though!

 

Hey Gazza give you $5.00 if you give him the wrong info. :)

Edited by Bulsara

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

 

My poor Krell!

After a million years of shining sanity...

they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them.

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I have a Phidget surplus to my requirements .

All in working order, never used it, it came with a track I just bought. all cables with it.

Send me a PM if anyone wants it.

Open to trade or make an offer.

Edited by mondeoman

If it doesn`t have wheels and an engine it`s not sport!

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I have been playing with USB Adapters for a long time with varying results But finally have one here that seems to wok very well with no problems at all. I am using it on a Asus netbook, Acer travelmate both running XP and on a Dell using Windws 7 all with no problems.

This adapter is marketed by iogear in the US. It is most likely sold under other names here, so when I find any local brands I will post the info. In the mean time I will still keep testing the Ebsy cheapies to see if one of them will provide the same reliability.

Edited by kalbfellp

Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USB is wierd. When the Sydney guys had trouble with ones I sent over, I think I swapped a whole batch out for them, with ones I had tested here.

I didn't hear if those worked from them. But I got the old ones back, and after having them sit on my office floor for several months, this week I decided to plug them into a Traclmate system I had jsut assembled with a custom timing loom.

 

Every one of them worked perfectly - of two types, except ONE. . . . . Then I plugged in the offending one again after taking the other 8 or 10 out to the warehouse . . . . and IT worked perfectly, I couldn't fault it.

 

What makes it even more confusing is that I thought these particular ones needed that the PC have a specific driver installed - which I didn't have on the standard software disc I had sent off with the tested system.

So I emailed a copy of the cable driver to the guy with insutrction and apology, only to be told all he installed was the trackmate timing software, plugged everything in, and it worked perfectly from the first instant and a WIN7 machine..........

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Mark As you know I have been playing with these things for some time. Ones that seem O/K in PC,s often are unreliable in a laptop.I have been very persistent because I want to also run my Alps from a USB port.

So far I have only had two boxes of adapters, those that won,t work at all, and those that work some of the time,or some machines. I had one adapter working on one laptop and one track for about 8 months, went to use it again and suddenly would loose communication.

I replaced it with another from the same batch,but that would not work. That is why I started trying to find out who had them working well on laptops, and the logear one does.

It is expensive compared to others from Ebay around $17.00 plus postage.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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