Low cost lapcounting

before a track could be used for serius racing and not only for practice, there must be a lapcounting system.
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WesR
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri 21. Dec 2012 17:37

Low cost lapcounting

Post by WesR » Mon 5. Mar 2018 19:25

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I did spend considerable time some years ago working on lap counting. As my electronics knowledge[attachment is very limited, I looked at more basic ideas using electronic counters and various switches in the track and finished up using reed switches. The control tower on my Nascar Oval track was originally designed for this system. (Martin could easily make this!)
Whilst tidying my workshop this morning I found the coil winder which I made for the steering coils. This had a decent looking timer, batteries, switches etc. so I dug out the reed switches I bought recently for the speed controller and fitted them into the track and it worked first time. My previous attempts worked but this time it seems better. Perhaps because the switches are flush with the track surface and not below it.
I am pretty confident that up to four cars could be counted, with the switches 12mm (1/2") apart. The car magnets could easily be made adjustable to suit.
This system could not of course time laps but, for racing, the most important thing is to get reliable winning results and so far I have been unable to beat the counter, even with overfast passes resulting in disaster at the end of the straight!
Started today also on a new larger track and this will prove if 4 cars can be counted..
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kiklo
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Location: Norway

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by kiklo » Mon 5. Mar 2018 19:53

Hi Wes.

Is there a secret I don't get? How would you distinguish the different cars ?
Racing Regards

Kim K.

kiklo
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Location: Norway

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by kiklo » Mon 5. Mar 2018 22:01

And an other q.
Is the steereing magnet too week to trigger the Reed switch?
If not why not put the Reed at a cutout in the magwire ?
Racing Regards

Kim K.

WesR
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri 21. Dec 2012 17:37

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by WesR » Mon 5. Mar 2018 23:44

Hi Kim, The magnet would be removable and attached in 4 different positions across the car, say 10mm apart which would be enough to separate the magnetic force. The guide magnet, being 10mm off line from the switch, does not trigger it.
There would be 2 magnets each side of the guide wire. And you need to do this for both wires of course.
The key is small magnets close to the switches so the mag force does not spread far.

kiklo
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Location: Norway

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by kiklo » Tue 6. Mar 2018 11:04

So you plan on having one reedswitch-position for each car for each wire.

As long as the car passes straight over the it could work and probably for a max of 4 cars giving 8 reed switches for 2 lanes.
When you get it to perform steady we could possible to get RaceCommander to work on the setup as well.
Racing Regards

Kim K.

WesR
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri 21. Dec 2012 17:37

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by WesR » Sat 28. Apr 2018 19:46

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Progress with lap counting. All 8 reed switches installed. I was not aware that there are different sensitivities of switch and the first new ones I bought (I had a couple to hand which seemed to work ok) were very sensitive and picked up from all cars.
I now have some from RS which are looking good and counting both cars on one side of the wire ok. (I only have 2 counters at present. I don't have the part number to hand but I would be pleased to provide this if needed.
This system will only count laps, which is the most important for racing, but I suspect that timing could be added.

kiklo
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Location: Norway

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by kiklo » Sat 28. Apr 2018 19:56

You should be able to use the http://racecoordinator.net/index.html
it handles 'read' switches.

You will have all bells and whistles.
and it is free.
Racing Regards

Kim K.

WesR
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri 21. Dec 2012 17:37

Re: Low cost lapcounting

Post by WesR » Tue 1. May 2018 19:30

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Thanks Kim, If the system works ok with laps for 4 cars, then anything is possible.
Pic shows the magnet locator I am testing. You can see one 4mm x 1mm magnet in position.. The plastic locator strip is on top of a thin steel plate so easy to change.

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