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Ian
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Jake,
I think Mike is talking sector times, which as far as I know hasn't been done yet in digital. I guess it would be possible using a PC based timing system, with light gantries for the guys on this forum that has to be possible.


Ian
 

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I was thinking about this the other day, and wondered if the lane change sensors could be used as sector markers. It would mean splitting their signal from the LC, and then decoding the car ID from their output (assuming those sensors can detect car ID just as well as the start sensors), and then doing a clever program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (bleep @ 18 Jul 2006, 08:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Jake,
I think Mike is talking sector times, which as far as I know hasn't been done yet in digital.


Ian

That's right, sector times. Even on a smaller track, it would be helpful not to mention just plain cool.
 

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Hi Guys

Just to let you know. This is next on the list.
Problem at the moment is I have a backlog of Lap Tower & Lap Display items which need attention.


Plan is a Pic Processor with perhaps as many as 8 inputs. The number depends on how many can be successfully polled and decoded without loss of data.

Data to be picked up either from the LC opto's or from separate opto's installed in the track. I see the same module as also being the solution to pit lane entry and exit detection and additional lanes at the SF line.

There are then two possibilities for outputting the data.

1) Just a set of outputs from the Pic which can be attached to a parallel port on a PC.

2) Add data to the existing Aux data stream. Data from additional SF line sensors would just be added in with no changes to the protocol. Sector / Pit lane data will need a small addition to the protocol. This will also require a second processor as the tasks of monitoring multiple sensors and listening for and then adding to the Aux data stream cannot be done by one processor.

Will make a proposal for review by the various software writers to see if they are happy / have any better ideas, when I get started.

Rich
 

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QUOTE (RichG @ 18 Jul 2006, 08:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>1) Just a set of outputs from the Pic which can be attached to a parallel port on a PC.

2) Add data to the existing Aux data stream. Data from additional SF line sensors would just be added in with no changes to the protocol. Sector / Pit lane data will need a small addition to the protocol. This will also require a second processor as the tasks of monitoring multiple sensors and listening for and then adding to the Aux data stream cannot be done by one processor.

Hi Rich & All,

Is #2 really a possibility? If i understand you correctly, with a 2nd processor (i'm assuming in the PB?), you can add the info from the lane switch sensors to the data stream coming from the PB to the aux port... this would be REALLY cool


I posted a question about this about a week ago but there were no answers... do the LC sensors get info on which car is going by? I can envision that the LC function can be enabled with or without this data.

Please let me know how you're doing with this when you get to play with it. I would love to add this feature to the Slot-GP program. I was hoping to detect cars at the LC sensors to have intermediate times, and also to 'sense' which cars enter the pitlane to fully enable a realistic fuel consumption in the program.

I can certainly envision either possibility working, but if #2 is really feasible, then that would be really fabulous!!

cheers
Ruben
 

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Hi Ruben

The lane change processors do receive the data on which car is passing, however they do nothing with it. They only look at the mark space ratio of the signal to work out weather the approaching car is requesting a lane change or not.

All we would do is pick off the raw signal from the IR-Detectors in the LC's and then process it to extract the car number. This will require a separate connection to each LC.

#2 is possible. It would all be done external to the Powerbase. I would do this by receiving the Aux data stream as I do now for the Lap Tower. I would then add any additional data that hes been decoded in the last 1/10 second from the additional sensors and then transmit the modified data stream. This would become the Aux data that would be fed to the PC. This would impose a short delay, but that would not be a problem as all the data is time stamped.

#2 is my favoured solution as it means no additional interface on the PC is needed. Will let you and the other developers know when I am ready to get started. We can the discuss the minor extensions needed to the protocol to accomodate the additional data.

Rich
 

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Wow! This all looks brilliant, complex but brilliant


For a mere simpleton, if I had a 2nd PB (which I have - thanks RichG!) could I not position it half way around the track, no throttles, and just use the aux out to get the car data as they pass? Feed that to the same PC different port? I guess there are few people out there that already have a 2nd PB - if it would work then this could be a quick solution....

Riko
 

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Riko. Yes what you suggest would work. It is effectively what is being done in SlotTrak to enable 4 lanes.
You would need to disconnect the track drive wires on the second PB and then persuade
the developers to put in support for sector timing from the second Aux data stream.
 

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Agreed. Syncronisation once per lap is sort of doomed to failure. Have never understood why the don't use the data from the current break tracks in Sportworld for the pace car function.

Challenger is fine because of its distance and slot guide position sensors.

A tempting project would be the full mod of a Challenger, including reprogramming of an SSD chip to take inputs from the two sensors.


It is probably possible to add to the functionality of the Lane Change Detector Box to add Pace car functionality, which could then of course benefit from the additional position data.

We are of course back now to the original Aux Box.
Just need to find the time to get started. Are there any bored Pic programmers out there?
 

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PIC programmers...?
Well I seem to have a spare chip... and damned interested to try my hand at some, given some examples...

Apart from that, I guess the main problem is that Challenger is no longer available, so any clever solution would have a shelf life.

Im (as u know) fascinated with the concept of recording any car and being able to playback the stream.

We can already record and play with incoming data, in my head I'd toyed with various control concepts, PC port to 16 step controller --
but this an inelegant and rough solution compared to Aux box functionality.

I guess what Im asking is 'what can we achieve without Challenger in the mix'?
 

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I'm fascinated with controlling the cars through the PC as well - that's actually what got me started thinking about an RMS software in the first place. i've also played a bit with pbasic programming ICs this way. With a digital potentiometer (10kOhm & 64-position), I think that one could do a really great job of controlling the cars...

The way this might be possible is connecting a seperate card - with a pbasic chip and digital potentiometer to one of the inputs on the PB... i've been wondering how feasible that actually is...

Then to run the car, you can collect various streams of manual controllers and figure out a profile to program into the digital potentiometer... i think that segment timing would be crucial for making that work efficiently... of course that lead me to start dreaiming that one could then program this setup to start learning how to go even faster...

Has anyone considered controlling a car using such a digital potentiometer approach? or even attempted doing so?

Ruben
 

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Guys,

I've spent all weekend going round the track, trialling sector timing

Just had to share that with you all 'cos I've got such a big smile on my face I'm afraid the top half of my head is likely to just topple off!
Pictures later....

This is going to be such a buzz!
Thanks Rubenio!


RikoRocket
 

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Broke my USB stick trying to transfer pictures from my dedicated slot racing PC.
Here's the only piccie I transferred - it was before we got the 2nd sector timing on there:


Sector times are under the last lap times.
This was a small test track witha second PB half way round. A second RichG cable fed the data to the PC. Only mod to the PB was to cut the black and red wires that feed power to the rails (at the rails). Picture to come.
Hands up all those that have a second PB! You are about to get sector timing!



RikoRocket
 
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