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View Full Version : What Lap Counters are out there?


95_civic_gsr
2003.08.01, 09:08 PM
I just wanted to know what lap counters are out there?

How are the Lap Counters that use laser lights that trigger when an antenna flag?

Slonik
2003.08.02, 03:07 AM
There are really two sets of lap counters, you can use them both one after the other.

Each set can keep up with up to 5 laps. It uses the patented "thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky" technology.


Available at the local hand near you.

95_civic_gsr
2003.08.02, 04:47 AM
Originally posted by Slonik
There are really two sets of lap counters, you can use them both one after the other.
Each set can keep up with up to 5 laps. It uses the patented "thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky" technology.
Available at the local hand near you.

I tried that, but I guess mine were broken because only the "middle" ones worked, and they were pointed in your general direction.

Well, I thought it was funny.

When you race 6 or more racers and you race 30-40 laps at a time with everyone yelling out their current lap to make sure everyone is being honest, It gets kind of difficult to keep track of your laps.

I did a search on the forum, and the internet and I come across quite a few
that do not have the features that I would like, nor are they cost effective.
I was wondering if any new ones have developed.

If this is the kind of answer that I get, I guess I will just build one myself.
Anyone have experience with Circuit Logic?
I have my schematic already designed and working. Except I don't know
how to power it without blowing the circuits, nor do I know where a good
place to buy ICs from. Radio Shack no longer sells them. Oh well.

PTRacer
2003.08.02, 06:23 AM
Well beside the those with the lasers and flags there are more two type of lapcounters.
You have the AMB wich uses a relatively small transponder. This is expensive but its the most acurate. It's also used in all other scales(from1/8off road to 1/5).

The other one wich is the simplest one is made by KO and uses the frequency of the crystal on the car to count the laps. The best is that it doesn't need any transponder.

Links: http://www.kopropo.com/
http://www.amb-it.com/

mini-z racing
2003.08.03, 07:39 PM
Illl check and see what the owner uses at the track. i think it is the KOPROPO.

BoyWonder
2003.08.03, 08:51 PM
if your building your own, i would check out this site. its very detailed and would help you alot

http://www.latencyproject.com/miniz/timer/timer.html

BoyWonder
2003.08.03, 09:22 PM
btw, theres alot of pictures, so it might take a while to load. well, for me it did.;)

pianoman
2003.08.04, 12:24 AM
I looked at this ko propo system ARC System Type I...has anyone used it and how much does it cost? I can find out the price, but am looking for testimonials:)

Thanks in advance,

Pianoman

95_civic_gsr
2003.08.04, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by BoyWonder
if your building your own, i would check out this site. its very detailed and would help you alot

Thanks for the link. It does help me out quite a bit. I am actually trying
to design one that doesn't use a computer. It is all done with circuit
logic. So one little board will compute the lap times and places.

Originally posted by pianoman
ko propo system ARC System Type I... how much does it cost?
I can find out the price, but am looking for testimonials

I can't find the price either. I thought it was ~$1500 but I can't find
it to verify it anywhere. Does it require a computer?

A computer jacks up the price even more. That is why I'm looking into
building one by itself. I like the LapDragon set up. The only problem with
it is you can't display your current lap. And most lap counters that I have
come accross start counting at 1, or require you to start after the start/finish
line. I have a working modle I just need to clear the cobwebs out of my
brain to finish it. I would also like it to keep track of the fastest lap time.

Draconious
2003.08.04, 06:34 AM
of course it requires a computer... but you can get one that will run it for 5$ ;) all you need is very very basic speed computer...

lightfighter
2003.08.21, 03:37 PM
1800 bucks holy shizzle!!!!!! I wish I had 1800 to blow maybe someday when I get a perm location for the track or a very nice sponsor

lightfighter
2003.08.21, 03:48 PM
I can build you a laser timer gate and supply the software for a nice price

pianoman
2003.08.22, 06:30 PM
I can build you a laser timer gate and supply the software for a nice price

I could build one too, but if you do it for the right price, let's talk. I'm not too good yet with solder...some stuff just wont 'stick' for me yet.

PIanoman

Pro-Z Racing
2003.08.22, 07:23 PM
www.MinizLapCounter.com Sells the lazer gates and offers free lap counting software. Between $300-$600 for the gates. Depends what you want. I like your idea for a standalone system hope it works out.

Thomas
2003.08.24, 03:51 PM
There is a new timing system developed in Norway, and distributed through Kyosho in Skandinavia. This is a IR transponder system, and the transponder is realy tiny. AMB personal transponder are BIG compared to the this new IR type. The software also looks very good. The Kyosho part number is:01.80240 We used the prototype of the system for a national cup last winter without any problems.

The store-price in Norway is about $400 + tax. Transponders are about $30/piece. (Sweden is $370 and $25)


Home page for the system: (before kyosho got involved)
http://www.lapz.com
The pictures are from an earlier proto system. The retail system looks realy nice. (just recived it) I will try to take some pictures tomorrow.

Thomas

pchan0
2003.08.24, 07:45 PM
WOW, that is a very nice system...

Diego
2003.08.24, 08:42 PM
What about the Lap Dragon system? It's good or not?

I'm lookin for a cheap lap counter for my modular track. I just need some kind of lap counting for myself because I run alone most of the time.

Thomas
2003.08.25, 05:03 PM
Here are the picktures of the system.

First whats in the box.

Thomas
2003.08.25, 05:05 PM
The transponder

Thomas
2003.08.25, 05:07 PM
Transponder on mini-z racer.

Thomas
2003.08.25, 05:11 PM
And the last one.
Transponder on mini-z F1.

Yes, it is posible to mount the transponder under the body. Just make a small hole for the IR sensor. :p

Draconious
2003.08.25, 06:08 PM
yea but how much, and ive been waiting for detailed info on how it works... ;) If i had one, and it worked as well as it should/could/i expect... i would be supporting it as much as my Mini-zs ;)

Thomas
2003.08.25, 08:11 PM
We start our "indoor" in at the beginning of September. I will then be able to give a more detailed report of the software. Last season I competed in 7 races that used the system. The 4 different tracks borrowed the prototype system from Kyosho.

Hardware:
The system uses personal, tiny, IR transponders. Each transponders has a id number from 1-255. The id number can be read by passing the car under the bridge. A different id can also easy be written to the transponder, by placeing the car under the bridge. We never had any problems with ambient light, and the ir transponders.
- The early hardware had some minor faults.:
Passing under the"Bridge" could give radio interferens. This was solved when the "bridge" was made of plastic insted of aluminium. Other problems was placeing the transponder inside a racer. You have to place it in the middel of the window, so it is beeming up. Some people got problems because they placed the transponder to far back under the roof.

Software:
First glimpse of the software looks wery promising. The software include full race management, from qualification to finals. But not free practice. The maximun cars in one heat is limited to 8. The number of participants in an event is unlimited. The software package do include a small program that enter fully programmeble "keystrokes" as the transponders/cars pass the bridge. This is included so that people can use any "keystroke" activated program.
Last seasons experience was that the program needed an update computer, better than 500mhz. I hope this version of the software can run om my old 230mhz.

System without transponders is less than $400.
Transponders is about $25-$30 a piece.
Home page of the prototype system http://www.lapz.com

For us running about 20 races, with 6 to 30 participants in each event. This system is perfect. And the price is acceptable. We need an good system, and AMB is to expensive.
(PS. I do not have any involvement with the manufacturer, kyosho or any shop. )

Draconious
2003.08.26, 08:09 AM
Wonder how the extra-tinted windows effect it, every other Mini-Power body is either very tintned or hardly tinted at all (they have 2 colors they released I think blue and black). I guess it would not have much effect since most IR windows on lap tops etc, are tinted.... this was my basic idea for the PalmPilot lap counter... to use the IR port on the palm to read cars as they go buy, but this takes it far enough were it will actualy work ;).

Might be a good thing for the Z, too, those with fake mini-z bodies would have to cut holes in the window, cuz most of the fakes have opaque bodies... no clear windows.... all one piece of plastic.

It sounds like a good system as long as the IR concept is reliable... 255 IDs and quick change on the track is a must... should be no need to go past 255 IDs.. :)

The price is still a bit much for me ;) If I had a track I would have in-house transponders to rent out for the cost of the transponder, then when they return it to the shop, they get their money back, sort of a deposit I guess. I would also then sell the transponders.. so they could rent or buy them if they plan to do a lot of racing.

Realy wish I could get my hands on one before buying one though, so I could test it out... even review it.

And if kyosho is in on it now good, I was gona say someting about the kyosho logo being on the box/packaging...

And the package on that transponder, looks like the windows wallpaper I was gona try to make... reason i was collecting all the take out bodies... hopefuly kyosho will release a big image like that for desktop wall paper ;).


They do NEED to make it work in windows 95 or at least 98 though... so it can be installed on a slower PC with out windows gobbling up all the processor... the computer I am on now was supose to be my future lap counter PC... but its obviously too slow to even use for that! ;). Maybe they should include a proprietary unix/linix type thing to turn a pc into a lap counter, with no other use, a custom os... then u can use a small HD, small case, small mother board.. and boom lap counter hidden unde rthe track ;).

Christian
2003.08.26, 01:48 PM
So will it be officially sold by Kyosho. When?
The price would be the upper limit of what I would spend on a lap counting system. But it would be great to be able to track your time, even if you're running alone.
Hmm...struggling to improve your own record time... :) That would add alot of real race feeling!

Thomas
2003.08.26, 02:12 PM
The LapZ system is officially sold by Kyosho in Norway, Sweden and Findland.
The first prototype was made two years ago. And it was released as a commercial product just one week ago. I guess Scandinavia is picked as a test marked.

The price of about $400 is the retail price in Norway. But remember the prices in norway is a lot higher than in USA. As an exsample a mini-z readyset cost $211+tax (tax in norway is 24%, total price $262):eek:
If kyosho have the same calculation for all there products, the price should be a lot less in USA.

Thomas

pianoman
2003.08.26, 07:33 PM
24 percent TAX in Norway????

Ok, kewl.

Sm0lders
2003.08.30, 08:15 PM
Simulair prices in The Netherlands :(

Sm0lders
2003.08.30, 08:17 PM
I ment "comparable prices", but I can't edit my posts of course, ooh yippie...

danielg
2004.02.06, 05:27 AM
$299 Lap counter does R/C 6 cars with good windows software

Race Up to 6 Cars

Timed or Lap Races

Displays Best Lap Times, Average Lap Times, Number of Laps

Change Display column from Lag behind, lag first, median on the fly

view/print all lap times

view/print race summary

computes crash percentage (percentage of laps you crashed on)

Sound, Get Ready, Go, Vroom as car goes by counter, race over etc.

Formula one style count down to start


www.infoserve.net/oss/slotcar

Capt. Oversteer
2004.02.12, 08:52 PM
i just did a currency conversion from the Norway $400.00 to US and it comes out to about $58.00, and the $30 comes out to about $5.00. That's something I can afford. Now I wonder what the shipping would cost. For that kind of money I would save up and get a laptop. We have been kicking around the idea of trying to get more interested in racing mini-z's here in Grand Rapids. This system could even be used on a crawling OL course.

Thomas can you e-mail me what info i will need to order this system?

terraz
2004.02.12, 10:58 PM
Any new info on availability of Lap-Z counter system, or where or who we could get it from in the U.S.

Thanks

Terraz

Thomas
2004.02.13, 03:49 PM
The LapZ web site has been updated, and now you can find a list of distributors.

In Norway the price is now adjusted to Nok. 2400,- (~usd 345,-)
It is also possible to order from a norwegian shop.
Just send a mail to "oslo@hobbyland.no"

At our track we use LapZ hardware and software for races, and Z-Timer software for practice. We have two lapz systems, one on the Overland track og one on the Racer track.

terraz
2004.02.13, 04:04 PM
Can it be used outside?? very important to me.

Thanks Terraz

staltus
2004.02.26, 12:08 PM
I would be curious as well. Since it is an IR system, my guess would be that it won't work in bright light, but that is an offhand guess.

terraz
2004.02.26, 01:22 PM
I tried contacting them direct,and through norway and got no responce form them, Been trying for a month. I quess they are not familar with the term Global economy LOL


Terraz

pukkita
2004.03.02, 08:38 PM
Here in Spain most clubs are moving or intending to get a Lapz. AMB almost ruined the last National qualifying race, the transponders are way too big and there were issues with false laps due to proximity.

The cost here is about 350EUR, and it's already being distributed by the usual import channels.

The LapZ system is explained in detail in their site, with far more detail (including the one on the pictures) I'm used to from most manufacturers, check it out...

What I think most of you have missed is that a PC could be easily taken out of the equation. (LapZ confirmed this) The system is composed of:

- transponders
- Goal sensors bridge (each would cover 10cm)
- Controller <- key point
- PC or any terminal device to capture the data from the controller via serial port.

The controller manages the bridge sensors, then output "cooked" data (I presume) on a serial port, i.e. "car ID 125 passed at time XXX".

So if you plug a PDA on the serial port and program it to fetch the data, store and process it, you're done. And a $80 palm pilot has more than enough power for this...

They are open to release the protocol details, and when contacted they even considered about releasing their own PDA program (the company behind LapZ has tons of expertise on this area).

They even provide an ActiveX control for those who want to develop their own windows based PC program.

But for serial data capture and management, be sure even a 486 will do, provided you program it accordingly.

On the rest of lap counting systems: the LapDragon author is missing, and that was the most suitable system for personal practice I'm aware of.

I'm developing a very simple one, also based on IR transponder (maybe even compatible with a Lapz transponder if they provide the protocol as promised) and using a small receiver dongle for a PDA (or the own PDA IR port if it shows to be capable). It will be intended for personal practice, I'm still waiting for some components to arrive to do some tests.

But the underlying logic is simple: the same used by remotes. Analogy: each remote button beams a n specific signal; the same will apply to each car ID.

The set top box receives each signal and act accordingly; the same will happen with the PDA controller or small receiver dongle.

staltus
2004.03.04, 11:58 AM
Pukkita have you or anyone you know tried it outside in the sunshine? Many of the IR based systems specifically say they only work indoors. LapZ doesn't say indoor only, so at least two of us are wondering if it will work in the sunshine.

pukkita
2004.03.04, 12:04 PM
I'd bet they will, as long as there aren't reflective objects near the sensor bridge.

The sensors are facing the floor, inside the black plastic bidge, so the sun won't theoretically disturb the IR receivers inside. You can aid it by placing a shade over the bridge, or by making the floor under it black or dark (never white).

This is in theory only, until someone tries it nobody knows.

Draconious
2004.03.04, 04:17 PM
the problem with the sun is its IR is so strong it bounces off anything... the track surface white cars.. anything... and its random obviously... so it could just happen to count a lap, or prevent a lap from being counted or whatever else t does.. :)

terraz
2004.03.04, 06:35 PM
I could not wait any longer for Lap -Z to contact me so I purchased a Flag system from a SLot car company. It comes with the electric boards mounted on plastic. SO you just have ot build something to inclose them. I have not tried it yet. I will be testing it outside as well as inside, I will post follow up, once I get it going.

The system I have does not point down but across and uses flags.

Terraz

KennyD
2004.03.04, 09:00 PM
If I get people interested in xmods/minizs around here, I might build that home made one. I'm just curious, I know that it sends a signal back to the computer whenever the signal is broken.. But how would it know which car is which? Do you have to cut the antennas to a certain length so that only each car can break a certain IR beam? Just doesn't make sense to me...

Donut
2004.03.04, 10:29 PM
Please forgive me if this is a stupid question but, what if two cars pass underneath the IR sensors at exactly the same time? Wouldn't two IR transmitters sending signals at the same time screw up the system? I know this happens to my television when I operate another IR transmitting device together with the TV remote -- the TV doesn't respond to the remote.

davkin
2004.03.05, 01:03 AM
Do you have to cut the antennas to a certain length so that only each car can break a certain IR beam? Just doesn't make sense to me...

Exactly. You have to attach flags to the end as well. Using broad type sensors they won't pick up the antannae but will pick up the flag.

what if two cars pass underneath the IR sensors at exactly the same time? Wouldn't two IR transmitters sending signals at the same time screw up the system?

I'm not expert on the subject, but the TV wasn't designed to receive more than one signal at a time. The I/R timing systems have six transmitters and six receivers and each is wired to it's own pin on the parallel port and the software takes it from there.

David

Donut
2004.03.05, 01:37 AM
I'm not expert on the subject, but the TV wasn't designed to receive more than one signal at a time. The I/R timing systems have six transmitters and six receivers and each is wired to it's own pin on the parallel port and the software takes it from there.

Yes, but it's possible that two IR transmitters (transponders) will "shower" the same IR receiver with an IR beam?

terraz
2004.03.05, 04:44 PM
I think there are two diff systems being spoken abought here.
The flag one and the transponder one. the transponder I belive is considered and IR system. The Flag one does not use a transponder, only a optical beam that is crosed by the flag and records the lap via the software.

Terraz

KennyD
2004.03.05, 04:55 PM
That explains alot... *Knocks head*

staltus
2004.03.05, 05:22 PM
I built a flag system. It works fine indoors, as long as no one opens the door outside once the sun goes down far enough to shine in. No prayer of it working outside with the lasers I am using. But for portable timing, it takes a long time to setup and it is a pain to deal with on the flags.

terraz
2004.03.05, 05:38 PM
have you tried to shield it from the sun, and did it work? I am hoping this will work as I need mine to work outside also.

Terraz

davkin
2004.03.05, 08:35 PM
the transponder I belive is considered and IR system.

I beleive that is incorrect. Unless IR means something else as well as related to this discussion it means Infra Red. This is the system that uses the optical "transmitters", (basically just red LED's.) and photo receivers. The beam between the two is broken by the flags to count laps. Transponder systems have nothing to do with IR. IR is a line of sight system, the transponders are a radio transmission type system.

The IR systems are somewhat unreliable and a pain to set up, so until an affordable transponder system that a small club could afford becomes available we'll just keep counting laps in our heads. :)

David

KennyD
2004.03.05, 11:10 PM
Yeah, that works. I also found a lap counter program that I think kyosho made that you can just press keys 1-8 whenever the corresponding car makes a lap then after a pre-determined amount of laps is up, it will tell you the results. It works fine for us, I'm not sure where I got it but I'll attach it anyway.
Later

herman
2004.03.06, 10:55 AM
Transponder systems have nothing to do with IR.

here's a transponder that uses an ir format...
http://www.lapz.com/description.htm

and how it works...
http://www.lapz.com/technical.htm

from www.lapz.com

kinda interesting concept...

davkin
2004.03.06, 11:05 AM
Okay, I stand corrected. I wonder how accurate and reliable such a system could be though. I know sometimes I have to press a button a couple times on my remote to get my TV to respond. :) I'm still not sure "transponder" is a correct term for that, don't have my electronics dictionary handy. :)

David

pukkita
2004.03.08, 06:56 AM
I wonder how accurate and reliable such a system could be though

Actually, it is as precise and way less prone to problems than the AMB, KO or RF based ones.

I may have oversimplified the concept with my Remote analogy. Think about mobile phones, laptops and PDAs, they use IrDA systems to communicate at very high speeds. The LapZ system uses IrDA. Mine will too.

davkin
2004.03.08, 08:29 PM
Actually, it is as precise and way less prone to problems than the AMB, KO or RF based ones.

I'm not sure that comparison would be analagous either. Your PDA doesn't fly by the IR receiver at 10+ mph. :)

David

pukkita
2004.03.10, 06:24 AM
I meant LapZ, not mine :)

RF based systems have several drawbacks: you're transmitting RF on a device which relies on RF to be commanded. Not a very good idea AFAIK. Another one is being a non-directional system, the sensing arch can give false laps due a lot of factors, like other track path proximity, etc.

IR doesn't interfere with RF, is way directional and while I agree with you at high speeds it may not detect the passing IR beam (I'm not sure where's the limit) you can always put the sensing bridge/dongle on a slow place like a 180 corner exit without worrying by the proximity of the entry path (which will activate an RF system otherwise, once at the corner entry, and again at the exit).

davkin
2004.03.10, 09:17 PM
Another issue with the RF though, you can't use it outside right? Or even in a garage with the door open as bright light will fool with it.

David

davkin
2004.03.10, 09:18 PM
Hmm...won't let me edit for some reason, always has before. Anyways, I meant IR, not RF having a problem with bright light.

David

pukkita
2004.03.11, 02:35 AM
Here 95% of the tracks are indoors... regarding the IR in bright light, it remains to be seen if LapZ addressed that. A couple solutions come to mind, dunno if they will be valid use filters for the receivers. An unshot, processed negative film would be a cheap one. It seems also LapZ choosed sensors that are very directional (10) maybe that's the reason...

techno
2004.04.20, 02:46 PM
anyone in the states get one of these lapz counters? I am very curious to see how much the total cost and how they like it or even a review over time

olivmanz
2004.05.04, 12:55 PM
[QUOTE=Thomas]The LapZ web site has been updated, and now you can find a list of distributors.

In France the system is sold at 320 € without the software, i've been told that the soft is in sweddish and extremly bad. a french guy made a good one, wich is sold 180€ :mad: !!!

is the soft really bad ? where can i find a soft good enough in english, for example ? ( if i'm supposed to buy the harware) ?