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Hi all - Sam here, I'm looking after the campaign for RS Components

Some quality comments and emails, plenty of suggestions of things we didn't even think existed/were possible!

Things like:

QUOTE (RichG @ 19 Jul 2012, 22:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You could also propose they produce an extension to the API to allow feedback from the lap counting / timing ability of C7042 to then generate Tweets giving a running commentry. Plus finally a random lap / speed generator to keep things going for when their API fails.


...all over it!

In terms of the API Sy, seeing as it's still currently in a private state we need to register you with the correct usage permissions. So I guess for anyone else who's looking into it, I'm more than happy to send a link to the API but will need a couple of other details too, just so it knows who you are.

In terms of "the point", it's about demonstrating what we can achieve when using a platform such a Twitter; an example of an online medium controlling an offline action (things like the Arduino chip exist to bring these ideas to life, and it's a pretty hot space to be in right now). We believed it could happen, so we're now just trying to prove it!

I saw a question earlier about the actual prize, it's £150 of RS voucher on top of the cost for the parts (so if your solution is to use a piece of hardware that already exists, then so be it!!)

I hope those answers clarify any questions - please to let me know of any more you may have, I'm happy to spend more time explaining!

Thank you! Sam
 

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QUOTE (ss67 @ 24 Jul 2012, 17:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What track will this run on?

Where?

Will it be digital or analogue?

Currently it's looking like a Scalextric track (we're just ironing out some details that should hopefully see them provide it + some prizes)

Location is still TBD - likely London

A digital track
 

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QUOTE (-Sy- @ 24 Jul 2012, 17:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Sam, what about marhalling?

It's going to be done by some members of our team

QUOTE (RichG @ 24 Jul 2012, 18:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sam forgot to say that if you plan on deslotting then you are required to control a small robot arm to replace the car on the track. I suggest keeping them on the black stuff.


Sam, will there be a webcam or some means of seeing what is going on?

Well I hope we don't de-slot, one proposal so far has considered a solution for this which is quite ingenious!

Yes, the race will be streamed live from the RS Components Facebook page...the stream will also be embedded directly into Tweets so people can view it there too
 

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QUOTE (Merc_A @ 21 Jul 2012, 10:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm trying to get a picture of it.
suppose it's possible to power / direct a car by sending a tweet, it can only be a thrill when it's live - so you can have a direct effect on the car and / or the outcome of the race.
So I imagine there has to be a site where you have a visual on the track and cars - say a few webcams, broadcasting live.
Then it's great to see things develop, and do tactical moves like choosing an inner lane, an overtake, etc.
So the system should be able to respond to multiple commands, like for instance: #redcarbrake, #bluecarthrottle, redcarLC, etc.

Merc

Hi Merc - sorry I missed this first time round

We considered having other controllers, but in the name of reducing the barrier of entry for everyone we opted to have one command only (for either car). However a system that considers the rate of input (tweets) and normalises the speed accordingly would be pretty smart (ie so the cars just don't speed up to the point that they just deslot each time they're returned to the track)

Hope that makes sense!
 

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Hi all - again, apologies Rich, could you check your spam folder as (possibly as with Sy) it may have ended up there as I did reply. Either that or the webmail service I'm using is causing some troubles!

In regards to the the timeline, race day is on the 31st August so as long as the winning track can be built and tested by then all will be well. However the deadline for concept submissions is the 13th August

It is not a digital track (so far as I'm aware) - could someone explain to me the difference as, being new to slot car racing, I'm not really clear on the impact it will have!

Thanks guys
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 7 Aug 2012, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Why on earth don't they do something more creative with a strategy element rather than a moronic small movement per tweet if I understand correctly.

We tried to tackle the problem of having a trickle of tweets resulting in a very fractured, stop-start race. To try and combat it, we're tallying up tweets for a lead-up week prior to the live race, so we can calculate how far each tweet will actually move the car (based on the amount of tweets we've received). It was certainly a problem we wanted to try and avoid!

QUOTE (chris99 @ 7 Aug 2012, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would add that hardly any of my students (18 to 22 years old) use Twitter apart from the odd one who uses it for job searches. So who is a typical user - must be more than just geeks but I haven't found one yet

We tend to find that short, engaging competitions like this generate interest from a wide range of Twitter users...and frankly if they want to be part of the race we're happy to welcome them, it's a bit of fun after all!

QUOTE (chris99 @ 7 Aug 2012, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Anyway I have my bot network ready to send a million tweets in the first second of the competition, so put your money on the blue car (only joking)


Ha! Nice try
Obviously if we had a bot doing that, it would be great for the race...but none of the Tweets would enter you in the draw to win a Scalextric kit as you need to be register on Facebook for your tweets to count. You'll end up just getting a million tweets back saying thanks for your tweet, register on Facebook to be in the draw!

QUOTE (chris99 @ 7 Aug 2012, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>PS Whilst I'm here, maybe RS might deign to divert some of their work experience people to deliver my Raspberry Pi for which they relieved me of my pennies 7 weeks ago

(yes I know the order said despatch might take 9 weeks but why take my money if you knew that?)

As a lowly work experience boy (
), I'm not sure if there's anything I can do. However, I'll put a word in with the head of e-commerce and see what I can do. Hope that's ok!

QUOTE (Erik M @ 7 Aug 2012, 18:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Chrisalmostfull ~ Bots are cheating...


Thanks Erik!

QUOTE (RichG @ 7 Aug 2012, 20:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK nothing new here, at least two other Tweet based Scalextric races have been run.

Capespeed

BBC

Both of these came to our attention after we'd done a lot of work - the Capespeed one was only recent from memory and it does differ from the competition we're running

As for the Radio 1 bit, as I'm not an avid R1 fan I unfortunately had missed it. Again though, it does differ to ours.

By recommendation of Doug I did actually get in touch with my contact at Guinness World Records to see whether ours will qualify as the largest race of scalextric (in terms of participants). Hopefully it would qualify and I'll be sure to drop by to let you all know if it does

QUOTE (RichG @ 7 Aug 2012, 20:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was told it was digital which at least would make it different, open up some slightly more interesting options and raise the bar on the code needed to compete.

I suggest a technical time out and restart with Digital being mandatory and move it on from a Red and Blue car Analog race to a Gold, Silver & Bronze Digital Race.


I have to confess, until I started chatting with some of you guys I didn't quite realise the huge range of different ways Slot Cars can be controlled - not least the difference between digital and analogue.

I'm actually hugely grateful for everyone's help/advice/tips etc, it's been an eye opener to the world of slot car racing. I'm really kinda getting into it now!

Just as a quite note, Scalextric have been kind enough to provide 10 kits to us to supplement the competition...I'll speak with Doug and see if we can spare one to be won on this forum

Again guys, thank you!

Sam
 

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Oh, and as for the Gold/Silver/Bronze theme, it's most unfortunate that the strict Olympic branding policies and rules surrounding 'ambush marketing' firmly put paid to hooking in any sort of Olympic Theme
 

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QUOTE (-Sy- @ 8 Aug 2012, 12:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just out of curiousity, how would you suggest controlling the lane switching on digital with multiple people tweeting for one car, surely it would be uncontrollable or voting would have to be in advance of the lane change and the highest vote for switching wins?

Still you would need good monitoring facilities so that those monitoring the race could vote in advance of a lane change.

Is this in reference to making sure that one car isn't having a larger distance to travel? Is it a solution that's better solved using a digital track?
 

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QUOTE (-Sy- @ 8 Aug 2012, 13:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>@Sam, What I mean is on a digital track you can change lanes in addition to controlling the speed. So I assume that you would also allow tweeters to be able to choose when to change lane in addition to tweeting for speed, if not then you might just as well use analogue.

Ah, understood! I didn't even realise this was a possibility from the outset, so had never considered incorporating it

I know the analogue/digital issue has come up a few times in this thread, I'd probably add that my misunderstanding of the difference is largely the problem - I was answering the 'digital' questions thinking that yes, it would be digital because it's powered by the on/off nature of receiving a tweet. However thanks to your insight I've come to learn the difference, so apologies for the confusion!
 

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QUOTE (Erik M @ 13 Aug 2012, 21:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I made an U-table U-turn (submarine roundabout), U-tsling my previous experiences and the ones I am working with today.
With it I could stable the turnf (where you grow... green things) (for horses) for poor Sam and present something that might work... out for all in the end.
To be honest, we have been a bit harsh on the poor so... st... ehm... work experience trundling Sam.
Ok, I can't send this, it look as I am totally out of dried frog pills, and have been for a while...
...I just have to strike it, sad really, it looked quite good, in a not to serious way.


It looked as if Sam could use some suggestions etc. But first I stampeded with the rest of you...

...and then I put together a suggestion for him...


Brought a smile to my face, thanks Eric!

May I ask a quick track related question? I've done a lot of reading up at to what the correct track layout may be. Scalextric are providing the track and have afforded us the opportunity to pick the pieces we need to make it happen - so what, in your collective experience, do you believe would make the best track layout for this? (analogue, not digital!)

Again all, apologies for any confusion caused, I am extremely grateful for your help/suggestions!
 

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QUOTE (RichG @ 14 Aug 2012, 10:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would suggest this as a centerpiece.




Make the track using the largest radius curves available to avoid delsots and design the track to have equal lane lengths / include a crossover.

I am sure someone who likes playing with the track layout programs will come up with a design.

Rich

Actually love that idea! To incorporate large curves we may need to make the logo slightly less 'blocky' but I'm gonna try and make it using their track selector

Brilliant!
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 14 Aug 2012, 12:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Click on track to download Racer track plan (.scc). Feel free to modify/improve.

46*Radius 4 curves (C8235). 6*Half Straights (C8207); 4*Quarter straights (C8200); 35*Straights (C8205)
4.18m*4.17m. Track1 = 24.82m; Track 2= 24.33m

(NB these figures have not been checked & may be wrong.)

That is superb! Thank you!

Which track designer was that built in?
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 14 Aug 2012, 13:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Sam,

The above was done in Ultimate Racer 3.0: http://www.uracer.org/ur30/UR30.htm

If you are actually going to buy one though I think Track Power is easier to use and prettier http://www.trackpower.net/eng.htm
Nb they are not compatible with each other. Both have limited demo versions.

Scalextric own track designer is free but has bugs and I have never managed to complete a track plan: http://www.scalextric.com/track-designer/.
However, there's a new Scalextric iPhone app which I haven't tried: http://www.scalextric.com/scalextric-app-f...touch-and-ipad/

Cheers
Chris

I thought it may have been UR3 although I had some problems once it was installed

I've not come across Track Power before, and the official app is definitely very buggy - gonna try and see if I can find someone with and iPad to try the app version on

Cheers Chris

QUOTE (Erik M @ 14 Aug 2012, 13:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The offer from Scalextric is grand indeed.
This would however go out as a webshow, right?

So there could be cameras around the track, showing the lead car etc.
Perhaps 1:24 would be better for that?

It is going to be streamed online, yeh, so the bigger cars was always the plan. As for camera feed, the current plan is just to have an aerial view with the full track in view...although one of the submissions has considered taking stills automatically, which we quite liked
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 14 Aug 2012, 12:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Click on track to download Racer track plan (.scc). Feel free to modify/improve.

46*Radius 4 curves (C8235). 6*Half Straights (C8207); 4*Quarter straights (C8200); 35*Straights (C8205)
4.18m*4.17m. Track1 = 24.82m; Track 2= 24.33m

(NB these figures have not been checked & may be wrong.)

Chris - quick question for you

Do you think it will be easy enough to get this close to 50' of track length? I'm trying to do it myself although it's taking me a long while!
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 15 Aug 2012, 08:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Another few feet shaved off:



Some Rad 3 curves substituted for Rad 4s. I've tried to at least keep the piece at the entry to curves as a Rad 4 to reduce deslots, assuming you're racing clockwise.
15.98/15.49m
Your corporate logo police probably won't be happy though.

I can deal with the corporate guys at another time!

I need to place my order with Scalextric fairly soon and as I'm still having troubles with the track designers I'm trying (SlotMan is so far been the most reliable) could you list the pieces required and I'll get the order in!

Cheers Chris
 

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QUOTE (chris99 @ 15 Aug 2012, 10:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Sam,

I've swapped a couple of half pieces for a straight:


From the original idea by RichG

According to UR3 (unverified!):
16*Radius 4 curves (C8235). 30*Radius 3 curves (C8204); 6*Half Straights (C8207); 1*Quarter Straight (C8200); 16*Straights (C8205)
2,79m*2,80m. Track1 = 15,58m; Track 2= 16,07m

There are always trolls who will moan about the lanes being unequal. Maybe a handicap can be built into the program on the shorter lane?

Chris

Thanks very much Chris - the issue of unequal track lengths is manageable. Just about


There are ways that we can combat it - for example, the cars are being judged on amounts of laps completed, however seeing as we know the distance of each track we could retrospectively how many laps each car has completed by dividing the full distance by the shortest track length. Not ideal, of course, and a little messy - however it's certainly fair!

The track I've been trying to build in slot man is a very basic figure of 8, with a bridge at the junction - I'm sure this is a staple ingredient of slot car racing, but to me it's quite pleasing to know that this method has exactly the same track lengths! Little things eh?!
 
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