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View Full Version : New Micro RC lap counter...


Lapdragon
2002.09.21, 07:13 PM
For anyone interested in a lap counting system for their mini/micro RC car, here's something that may interest you.

http://www.lapdragon.com

You can download the preliminary manual in PDF format from there. It will be updated throughout the next few weeks, but it should explain what it's all about.

take care,
Brian

Draconious
2002.09.21, 07:17 PM
And for those of us who refuse to install Acrobat?

(because it sucks so much and is so slow).

Lapdragon
2002.09.21, 07:23 PM
Draconious,

I will be publishing the document in HTML also. It's just not ready yet...needs formatting. I guess it was a bad assumption on my part that most people have Acrobat installed.

Thanks for the feedback,
Brian

ScottMcLeod
2002.09.21, 09:57 PM
MMMMmmmmmm.... *drool*

I'd say this is perfect for doing drag runs, or speed tests! :-) (as well as lap counting)

Lets hear some prices... *gets ready to cringe*

mini-z
2002.09.22, 12:06 AM
Lapdragon, it looks great, and if the $80 price tag you posted at TinyRC.com is accurate, it's a great deal too! Can't wait for them to be ready!

Lapdragon
2002.09.22, 09:06 AM
Thanks for the interest in the Lapdragon system. The system is in the final stages of testing and should be ready in small quantities in a couple of weeks. Please keep in mind that these units are hand assembled, soldered, and tested by myself alone. I'm not sure how many I will be able to make per week, but I will try my hardest to meet the demand. I am also trying hard to keep the price at $80.

I promised TinyRC that I would send them a review unit in a couple of weeks(would be sooner, but I'm moving this week). My email address should remain the same.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to use the forums, or contact me via email(support@lapdragon.com).

best regards,
Brian

ScottMcLeod
2002.09.22, 09:26 AM
Just so you know, I write good reviews also (so I'm told by my readers)

You can see my Mini-Z review at http://www.techbase.ca/reviews.php?review=mini-z

I've got contacts with the local R/C group and I already posted a note on their forum about your "up and coming" product.

Contact me @ the_mcleod@hotmail.com

W-tone
2002.09.22, 11:47 AM
Very interesting concept...
I'm curious though.
How much does the thing on the car weigh?
How about reversing the system?
The counter/display unit on the trackside and LED system on the car?
How about multiple cars?
The main thing I dislike about the system is the need to drill a bunch of holes to the body.

ScottMcLeod
2002.09.22, 04:34 PM
Hmm... can you differentiate between different IR signals though? that would be the challenge w/ mounting it trackside.

Lapdragon
2002.09.22, 06:56 PM
The concern about drilling holes in the body is a valid one. There are options though. You could always velcro or double-stick tape the lap counting unit to the outside of the body as a non-permanent solution. There would be the danger of breakage if the car rolled over and collided with another car. The unit is durable but I haven't tested any direct collisions with the unit. You could also mount the lap counting unit to the car's chassis but it might be a pain to take the body off after the race to see the lap times.

For me, I have an old beater body for racing that I didn't mind drilling holes in. The mounting job shown in the manual was sortof a hack job....I'd like to show a cleaner installation eventually.


As for the weight, I will get back to you on that. I don't have a gram scale at the moment, but I will get one. The unit is pretty darn light. It doesn't impact the performance of my stock mini-z to any noticable degree.

To answer your questions about mounting the receiver trackside, and having a transmitter on the car, it isn't possible with the way the system is currently designed. It could be done for one car, but to track several cars would require a substantial re-design.

take care,
Brian

ScottMcLeod
2002.09.22, 08:31 PM
I think the issue about weight is more a center of gravity issue. It doesn't take much weight mounted high up to affect a mini-z's performance.

ScottMcLeod
2002.10.01, 04:20 PM
From my first impressions, the LapDragon gets a thumbs up!

Simple, straightforward, and easy to use. Out of the box, I managed to get it wired to my Mini-Z without any soldering (this would change if I was keeping it in my Z), and the little power switch is a nice option.

If you do buy one, make sure you get enough power leads thrown into the box as you have cars. The fact that they(he)'s used a modular plug for power is perfect.

The LapDragon mounted perfectly onto my chassis just ahead of the antenna mounts. I've got the IR detector actually INSIDE the car, and the IR emitter box above my racing area which is perfect. No holes drilled, no problems whatsoever.

Of course you can always drill the holes to make your life easier, but right now it's more of a practice tool than anything else. You can take it anywhere and then compare race times after the race with your friends.

NOTE TO WIVES OF MINI-ZRACERS... if you think your hubby has it all.. think again.... he doesn't have the lapdragon!

Summing it all up, if you don't have a spare PC to run a Laser/flag based lap counter, this is a damn cool alternative. At least try one if you get the chance.

Jetta Racer
2002.10.05, 04:31 PM
This thing looks awsome. Just tell me where and when I can get one. I really don't have the skills to build a lazer counter so I want this to be the lap counting system for my track. The only thing that I found that is better than Lapdragon's system is the AMB personal transponder but the whole setup costs way to much money for a mini-z track.

Lapdragon
2002.10.23, 06:16 PM
Hello,

The Lapdragon system is available now in limited quantities. Feel free to email me for more details.

support@lapdragon.com

regards,
Brian

RickN
2002.12.19, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by Lapdragon
The concern about drilling holes in the body is a valid one. There are options though.

I'd be inclined to mount the unit just under the roof and drill very small holes above the buttons. Then use a pin with the point ground flat to press the buttons.

Rick

ps. Haven't heard about this lately, they still in production?

Lapdragon
2002.12.19, 07:07 PM
RickN,

That's a good idea about mounting the Lapdragon. Also, to answer your question, the systems are still in production. We also have a couple units on Ebay with low starting bids.

best regards,
Brian

mini-z
2002.12.21, 10:51 PM
Just wanted to post the LapDragon eBay item numbers:

3101100095
3101100179

This is a fantastic product, it's the ultimate tool for testing the results of different hop-ups, setups, lines etc. We'll be doing a full review shortly! :)

Lapdragon
2003.01.02, 09:11 PM
Racers,

I just wanted to give an update on the Lapdragon lap counter. The counter will now count up to 99 laps. Only the first 40 will be viewable, but the average, and fastest times still take into account the total number of laps(up to 99).

Also, an average speed mode has been added. By entering the length of your track(or dragstrip) up to 255 feet, the Lapdragon will display your average speed(MPH)! To use this in drag racing, you would need two transmitter beacons.

regards,
Brian

Draconious
2003.01.03, 12:22 AM
I say the buttons should be remote mounted... wires leading out to buttons on the bottom... that are attached to a custom bracket that replaces teh litle piece above the susp plate maybe.. :) so either ubtton is just either side of the susp plate.. should be enough room for a itty bitty button even with shocks.