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Old 2008.04.09, 12:50 PM   #1
pinwc4
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Flip Side Racing Software feature requests and bugs, original thread

Warning, long post with large pictures.....

I just thought I would let people know we are nearing our first release of a new lap counting software package. This software will be compatible with the Core lap counter and the TI S6350 for the first release. The TI S6350 is not a end user product, it needs a computer interface and antenna to be complete.

The software is being programmed using Realbasic. This has allowed us to make a cross platform lap counting software package. It is being developed on a Mac but will also run on Windows and 32 bit Linux (have not tested binaries on 64 bit Linux).

Using this software with the Core lap counter will give you the ability to use generic TI ISO15963 tags like this one from Digikey:
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...=481-1066-1-ND

Eventually we will also add the ability to use it with slot car tracks, laser lap counters, and pine wood derby by using this USB digital I/O board:
http://www.dlpdesign.com/usb/io8.shtml

And we will add the ability to have start stop lights, a horn, or other external devices using a relay board:
http://www.dlpdesign.com/dlp-ior4v11.pdf

Both of these can be purchased from www.mouser.com

The current estimated release date for the Alpha version is May 18th. I am hoping people will test this version out and give us feedback. As it is an Alpha it will have bugs, maybe big ones. It will be a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux for anyone to try out. I expect a Beta release about a month after that and hopefully version 1 another month after that. Version 1 will be free.

When the Alpha is released I will open up a ticketing system so people can submit problem tickets.

Minimum requirements at this point are not known. You do need a screen capable of at least 1024x768.

Anway about the software. It is a lap counting software package. It does not manage point series just individual races. Some of the features I am excited about are:

Use generic RFID tags
Live graph (graph updates during race)
Add racers during race (great for just practices)
HFAY results export (export a race in the HFAY file format)
XML results export
Cross platform, Windows, Mac and Linux

Here are some screenshots of the program in action. Remember that this is pre Alpha so many things still need to be done. Right now I am using graphics from Brian's HFAY theme so some stuff does not line up right. Drinian is working on a new theme for this software. You can change the background image to whatever you want.

Here is the race settings screen. You can do either a lap based race or a timed race.


The select racers screen. This screen has a popup for selecting multiple racers at once. You do not need to scan them in. The usage of slots will help when the program is extended to slot cars and laser lap counters. The text color is configurable. Clicking the text results in a popup to change the color. This color is used on the race screen and the graph.


The select users popup. This allows multi selection.


Edit racers screen. Edit existing racers or create new ones. The drop downs for parameters like scale, motor, chassis etc. are controlled by an XML file. You can add new ones by editing the file.


Race screen. This is the main screen during a race. When a race is running you can still add racers or look at the graph.


Graph screen. From here you can see a live updated graph or bring up results from a previous race. Results are stored in a SQLite database if you want to do your own queries. A lag graph type is also available.


That is what I have so far. It still needs work before it is released but I welcome feedback.
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Old 2008.04.09, 01:32 PM   #2
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I'll get you the .psd files for the HFAY theme so you can size it to fit...

the lights were done by Dusty Weasle.

sign me up for a test copy...
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Old 2008.04.09, 02:23 PM   #3
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Incredible work... I look forward to the release!
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Old 2008.04.09, 02:30 PM   #4
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I emailed you links to the artwork.... sorry for the delay.
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Old 2008.04.09, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankstan View Post
I emailed you links to the artwork.... sorry for the delay.
Thanks, I have downloaded them.

Also thanks for pointing out Dusty Weasle did that work. I will need to contact him to make sure it is OK to use the graphics.

And thanks for the encouragement.
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Old 2008.04.10, 09:22 AM   #6
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Brilliant job.

May I add one suggestion? RACE FORMAT. Being such a complete soft, adding a configurable Race Format, with qualy and finals, would make it just perfect.

It wouldn't matter to have tournament management or point series, cause I guess that could be a plug in implemented later on. Or anybody can make that on his own, being the results saved in an SQL DB....

But having the ability to make different Race Formats is cool. One lap qualifiers, individual timed qualifiers, grouped timed qualifiers... Direct pass Finals and catch up heats. I don't know but there are many formats, and if you could just add this.... welll ...

Another thing I noticed watching at your screenshots, is something CORE soft has, and it's the possibility to make races end by laps or time, which ever comes first, and not only by one of those as you have.

Excellent and keep up that good work. We can offer to alpha/beta test in our club. just prvt msg me and send me details.
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Old 2008.04.10, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonen View Post
May I add one suggestion? RACE FORMAT. Being such a complete soft, adding a configurable Race Format, with qualy and finals, would make it just perfect.
So, if I understand you correctly, this would be a series of predefined race settings. Maybe have a drop down just below the Event name where you can select a race format, which would modify all the other values? This should be easy, the settings are already in an XML document so I just need a new element and move the already defined ones as a sub element.

This may not make it in the Alpha but it is a good idea that I think we will do.

Quote:
It wouldn't matter to have tournament management or point series, cause I guess that could be a plug in implemented later on. Or anybody can make that on his own, being the results saved in an SQL DB....
Just get an SQLite driver so you can communicate with the DB. There are a lot of utilities and libraries already available to use SQLite.

Quote:
Another thing I noticed watching at your screenshots, is something CORE soft has, and it's the possibility to make races end by laps or time, which ever comes first, and not only by one of those as you have.
Dusty Weasle pointed this out to me also. I did not realize that people race in that way. Just like your above suggestion I will make a ticket so it is not forgotten but it may not make the Alpha.

Thanks for the feedback. This will help use improve the program.
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Old 2008.04.10, 07:38 PM   #8
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Looks great so far, and kudos for releasing it as freeware!

I have one feature request, be able to take serial input for lap timers! I'm currently building my own IR based laptimer as a self-teaching project and it would be great to be able to plug into your software. I've been trying to emulate the amb system 20 serial protocol, but can't quite get it working with laps free. My current hack - while I continue work on the hardware/software of the timer itself - is a little serial listener that sends keystrokes to the software that is setup in manual count mode (ie. press 0-9 on keyboard to count a lap).

If some form of serial protocol doesn't make it into the alpha, will there be a manual count method so I could test it out?
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Old 2008.04.10, 08:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cdog4w View Post
I have one feature request, be able to take serial input for lap timers! I'm currently building my own IR based laptimer as a self-teaching project and it would be great to be able to plug into your software. I've been trying to emulate the amb system 20 serial protocol, but can't quite get it working with laps free.
Serial protocols are usually unique for each type of hardware. If you have info about a specific protocol I would like to take a look at it. You can send me an email through the forum to move the discussion off this thread as it will bore most people.

But for an IR based lap timer you should be able to use the USB Digital I/O board I mentioned above once we add support for it. But that will not be part of these early releases unless we get way ahead of schedule.

Quote:
My current hack - while I continue work on the hardware/software of the timer itself - is a little serial listener that sends keystrokes to the software that is setup in manual count mode (ie. press 0-9 on keyboard to count a lap).

If some form of serial protocol doesn't make it into the alpha, will there be a manual count method so I could test it out?
Interesting that you ask for this. In fact for debugging we already have it so that if you define the UID of a racer to a single number you can use that keyboard key during the race to increment their laps. This was just to help us for testing and we just planned on disabling it for the release. We can just leave it enabled instead.
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Old 2008.04.10, 08:54 PM   #10
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Thanks, email sent!
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Old 2008.04.12, 09:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinwc4 View Post
So, if I understand you correctly, this would be a series of predefined race settings. Maybe have a drop down just below the Event name where you can select a race format, which would modify all the other values? This should be easy, the settings are already in an XML document so I just need a new element and move the already defined ones as a sub element.
I can't get you quite right. But what I mean by configurable race format is:

Once all drivers are selected, separate them into races of a certain number of drivers at a time. Then according to their results, to have the possibility to re-sort them again, so that the fastest guys race again but with the other fastest guys, and slower drivers, with the other slowest guys. and so on in any amout of series.

This would be qualification time. But it's not the only way to have a qualy. F1 Style is another: 3 series of limited time and only the fastest guys advance to the next. Or old style F1, where 1 lap per driver setted his position on the grid.

This are too many options. A software can have them all. If you want I'd like to give you a hand on this. Just msg me or find me with msn messenger.

Then after qualy, you have the finals. Easier task. But you can have some special catch ups in the middle between Q and F. For example, we do two series of Q. The 4 fastest go directly to the Final. But the rest have an extra chance to enter the Final and fight for a win. They have what we call a Catch up. A piramidal series of very short races where first and second in each race advance to the next round. Starting with the 6 or 4 slowest guys in the field. This way someone that had any kind of trouble in the qualis, can make it into the Final.

But as I said before, Race Formats are various and there are so many as you can imagine. Anyway, they can be resumed into a few and packed into a software. CORE did it nicely. Check out CORE if you haven't.

Let me know if you need any help. I'l be glad to help you out.
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Old 2008.04.21, 02:24 PM   #12
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I'll be willing to try it out. I thought about this myself sometime back but I've been too lazy to do anything about it. I started something in Visual C and got partway there for single car tracking for HFAY purposes. In any case, where do you recommend to buy the reader? My initial search turned up no good sources for it.
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Old 2008.04.21, 02:28 PM   #13
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Hi PinWc.... any updates on this ?

We'd be glad to help you beta or alpha test.

Let us know....
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Old 2008.04.21, 02:29 PM   #14
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i sent you a pm about wanting to beta test this as well
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Old 2008.04.21, 05:48 PM   #15
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That's looks awesome! We're interested in BETA testing too! PM Sent.
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