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Lap Counter Project

3633 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  -Sy-
Hello all,

I am a Slot car racer, and I am building a lap counter for home use for my GCSE electronics project. To help me with researching this project, I would like some info on what the most important aspects are, so if any of you can spare a minute to help, I would appreciate it greatly.
Please number the following aspects 1-12 in order of importance:

1. Ease of portability
2. Ability to count up to set number of race laps and then switch over to count down mode for the race
3. Size/compactness
4. Sound at the end of the race to signal the race is finished
5. To be mains powered
6. To be battery powered
7. Should the counter be a box at the side of the track
8. Should the counter be a bridge type over the track
9. Should the counter be mechanical and then be fixed to the underside of the track
10. Should an Infra Red non-contact sensor be used
11. Should individual lap times be recorded
12. Should the best lap time only be recorded

Please answer and feel free to add any general comments as well.
1 - 1 of 11 Posts
Hi gjh1000
Do you just want to produce a lap counter, or do you aim to produce something the run races?

I'm don't know how much time you have to develop a system for a GCSE electronics project - maybe to attempt more than just counting laps is too ambitious?

If you want something to run races you should consider how to start and stop races.
Starting would normally be done by turning the power on (a dead start) OR
By telling the drivers when to start (either by lights or sound) and having some sort of jump start detector (a live start)

Stopping races is normally done by turning the power off when the race distance (normally a fixed number of laps or fixed length of time) is completed.

Looking quickly down the list
I agree with RichG - counting laps accurately is essential.

Type of detector - anything that works (dead section / split tape / light beam across the slot / light bridge over the slot / magnetic etc. are OK, don't care if the light beams are visible light or IR, but avoid mechanical detectors too much risk of interfering with the car)

Best of luck with the project

Mains power is fine.

It's not essential to record lap times. If you do only the fastest needs to be displayed but preferably all should be recorded and retrievable after the race.
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