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capone
2002.02.17, 11:37 PM
I was thinking on getting a lap counter for my track and was wondering if anyone can give me any suggestions. Thanks

akaKillroy
2002.05.08, 08:43 AM
This seems to be a DEAD subject arround here, there are a couple of guys making and selling these things and it seems that its such a plentifull market and people are making LOTS of money making them they do not want to share much information :D

mini-z
2002.05.08, 10:00 AM
Interestingly, Squat just announced a lap counter, but I haven't been able to find any more info on it (such as what technology it uses: freq, transponder, laser etc.).

W-tone
2002.05.08, 11:38 AM
Somebody get me a bunch of cheap lasers and I'll share all my experiences. Besides I think McIne posted a schematic for the switching part of the lap counter a while ago.

akaKillroy
2002.05.08, 01:37 PM
W-tone:

Does this count!

http://www.bhwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/bh/shop/shop?action=showproduct&code=9537&cartid=20020408164858

wcrotty
2002.05.08, 01:53 PM
or if you email klean@mindspring.com
at K.L. Enterprises. You can get them cheap.

his rates are

2.02 + 0..99 = $3.01 for quantity 1
3.92 + 1.98 = $5.90 for quantity 2
5.82 + 2.97 = $8.73 for quantity 3
7.72 + 3.96 = $11.59 for quantity 4
9.62 + 4.95 = $14.57 for quantity 5
11.52 + 5.94 = $17.48 for quantity 6
15.70 + 9.90 = $25.60 for quantity 10
30.90 + 19.80 = $50.70 for quantity 20
32.10 + 29.70 = $61.80 for quantity 30

I order from him all the time.

Bill

akaKillroy
2002.05.08, 11:53 PM
Well I have been doing some experimenting with IR Photo Transistors (The kind you can find at Radio Shack 276-145) and I have found that Laser Pointers will trigger them (Must have some IR freq in the beam) so I am going to use the simple circuit that connects 4 photo transistors to the joystick port (Buttons) and I can make a real cheep 4 car lap counter. If anyone is interested I will post some pics of it and what parts you need. And the software I am using.

mini-z
2002.05.09, 09:16 PM
Cool - do share!

McIne
2002.05.10, 03:52 AM
I am interesteg about the software, you are using. I have told everything I use in my specs some time ago (sorry, about the pictures, haven't got camera). Now I am working in microcontroller based counter for 6 cars. I did a plugin for the free slotcar timing sotfware. It is fun project, but if you just want to race, it is not worth it. The parallel port solution works too and really cheap and quite good.

W-tone
2002.05.10, 06:29 AM
McIne:
Any idea where to get cheap lasers in Finland?

akaKillroy
2002.05.10, 08:32 AM
I am using LAPTIMER, its for up to 4 cars but it works fine. I have a couple others I will post them when I get a chance:

LAPTIMER.ZIP (http://webpages.charter.net/carls64/LAPTIMER.ZIP)

akaKillroy
2002.05.11, 05:50 PM
Well using a couple of laser pointers and a couple of Radio Shack Photo Transistors (276-145) and using the above program, hooking the lasers to the 5V source of the joystick port, I was able to make a working lap counter for about $50. It very simple I will post instructions shortly. You can see it on my webcam at:

WEBCAM (http://webpages.charter.net/carls64/stream_ip.html)

Draconious
2002.05.11, 07:25 PM
Laser pointers can be obtained VERY cheap on ebay, like free, with shipping, but you gota look for those auctions... typicaly they are only 2.50... ... sometimes have to buy 5 or more.. but in this case you need 5 or more ;)

McIne
2002.05.13, 01:13 AM
W-Tone:

Sorry, no .. In electronic stores laser modules cost about 20/pcs but I managed to get few from spain for about 4 a piece .. those look exactly like the ones in the akaKilroy's link. Those are easy to disasseble to a quite small laser-module.

I wonder how cheap laserpointers can you get from here, have you tried to find those ?

I tried that laptimer program and it was quite good. In my twisted mind I have liked the GLSFR (http://download.com.com/3000-2130-6999075.html?legacy=cnet) software. It is for slotcars but I could do my own plugin to it (sadly www.glsfr.com doesn't work anymore) to support my timing system. I could use my parallel port photodiode/photoresistor circuit without any plugin.

akaKillroy
2002.05.13, 08:42 AM
I am running Windows XP and the parallel port version I am told do not work since they talk directly to the ports (Parallel and serial) and XP does not like that and does not allow that. That's why I am using the Joystick port. It can supply the 5V I need for the laser pointers as well. My track is wide enough for 4 cars, so 4 lanes is enough for me, same goes with the software. Its a very nice program and has a good set of features but I agree they need to add a couple more lanes to it.

I will have my web cam up again tonight (USA Central Standard Time) about 6:30PM IF anyone want to take a peek of my progress.

I will take some pictures as well and post them along with some instructions.

akaKillroy
2002.05.13, 08:46 AM
By the way, does anyone have any suggestions on what I can use to cover up those void areas on my track to make it look a bit nicer? I though about some green or brown poster board cut out to fit in between the track barriers, but I don't know.

W-tone
2002.05.13, 09:50 AM
McIne:
Yep... 20-25e has been the pricerange I've seen around here too...
I wonder if anyone I know is going on a holiday in the near future.. :)

akakillroy:
How about model railroad grass, the sheet kind?

McIne
2002.05.13, 02:37 PM
akaKilroy
The glsfr software does not use parallel ports directly .. I'm quite sure, since it works on windows 2000. There is no harm using joystic port tho. But I think joystic port wont give you enough current for using the lasers. I didn't try to use lasers from parallel port eather. I don't know what happens if you try. but I would be happy to know if it works or not.

Draconious
2002.05.13, 02:55 PM
The lasers do not need to be turned on or off, so I see little point in using the Computers power supply to power the lasers... just more power drained from the PS that some computers dont have enough to supply, doubt thats realy an issue though.. instead just get a multi volt AC adapter and plug them all into it.

also you can try this: http://www.pcgadgets.com