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 Lap Timing System

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paul
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:42 pm

Hey Guys

Just some blue sky thinking (or you may think I'm crazy), what about using an articulated ladder for the bridge....there will be absolutely zero issues with weight, sagging, strength etc....we can even have promo girls on top of it while racing! hehehehe



I know this will cost a lot more than the PVC bridge, but if someone is in the market for a ladder this could be a solution.....I have seen them at ACE before but i am not sure how much they cost.....I'm sure they would have cheaper ones at Dragon Mart....

Maybe worth investigating....let me know your thoughts
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cathurga
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:52 pm

Could be done, but a lot mor bulky to lug around and store. Just from initial look, I think it may be too high....I have no info on how high the bridge should be, need to check the site out.

BTW, the kit arrived yesterday, and my initial fears of not enough overhead sensors is true. Each cable between the sensors is only one foot (12") so the coverage is smaller than I though, but we need to build the bridge long enough to include one more sender at some stage.

The software that comes with it is cool, but some of it VERY complex. The other version is VERY simple,....so no middle ground....will be a struggle to learn some of it, but I was practising on the PC last night and I think we can get some heats going...soon.

It emits sounds during the race like start, lap count, 1 minute warning, end of race etc...

I need to get the laptop power sorted out now, and then configure everything....I think this coming weekend is going to be a mini-learning session, hopefully some of you are free to help. And if we can get a bridge sorted out for testing purposes....that would be FIRST PRIZE.....dancing girls come later Paul...and maybe we could use some of those ladders as drivers stands instead....although I reckon under my bulk they will collapse. :-)
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paul
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:17 pm

I agree that it is more bulky (although looking the bridge designs now with 1" diameter piping is still gonna end up pretty bulky when packed up)

I'm sure there are smaller ladders we could look at.

In the long run this could be a lot more durable and practical, if we could find a decent sized one. A little more investment upfront will probably save us a lot of hassles further down the road...and if anyone needs to paint their apartment we could rent it out on a daily rate! hahaha

From what i understand the articualted joints snap at 15 degree intervals so we could lower the height above ground as needed or pretty close to it.

Anyway, like is said it was some blue sky thinking, and I believe there is merit in investigating this before we build the PVC bridge.

If anyone lives or works near a hardware store or Dragon Mart and could investigate and get some pricing we could see if this is really an option or not?
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cathurga
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:38 pm

I work near the Dragon Mart......will go have a looksee...

Maybe there is a midget one for very small people...

Dragon Mart has a whole range of cheap crap, that no one needs, at ridiculous prices...
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paul
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:51 pm

Midget articulated ladder will be brilliant! just no midget dancing girls please! hahaha

Good luck!
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cathurga
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:44 pm

Right,

I was out at the Dragging Mart (hate going there) and it appears there are two viable options.

Option 1 was a smallish ladder that would work, but would not provide us with much scope for growth...it is about 1.8m across at the top, but the intervals of articulation are not at 15 degrees....so it sits pretty high, about a meter. It costs AED150

Option 2 was a bit over 2m at the top, but the legs could open a bit wider. It is about the same height. AED300

I took a pic of option 1, will post it a little later...

Here is the pick.



Last edited by cathurga on Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:54 pm

300!!! maybe we could just use ropes connected tightly at both ends on a RTA cones..
our cars wont stand a chance with those cones but it will secure the sensors clown
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paul
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Well done Andy! I hate going there too, so really appreciate you going to check things out!

I presume the 15 degree articulation comes on the more high end ladders then.....not the Dragon Mart specials then...

Have you had any luck in finding out the recommended height of the sensors?

Also realistically/ ideally how wide should the bridge be?

Option one sounds interesting (will wait for the pic) I'm happy to contribute towards the purchase if we decide to go this route
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cathurga
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:00 am

I never took a picture of the other one....but it looks the same...a little longer and the uprights can slant more....but not worth twice the price.

The one in the pic would be about right if it could just slant those legs out a little more.....that would make it lower and a tad wider....perfect...maybe we could do some backyard mods on it....
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LaNcE
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:12 am

how about if we use a steel pipe? a 3/4" would suffice i think..

we can just have them in halves and a coupling in the middle..
elbows and tees will be at a minimum..

just a thought.. very happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:53 am

why not trying to check two medium size traffic cone then lay or connect towing cable at both end.... same idea that i have mentioned before.. smile
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:13 am

Lance, valid idea, but I dunnno if the steel will affect the transponders.

I think I am just going to go into Satwa and check out some of the building supply shops....ideas come to me when I am on-site.

Martin, cones fall over, and when you see the pick up sensors, you will understand why I dont want them to get hit by anything....I just coughed up AED2K for this little escapade, would prefer to have something a little more stable.
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:52 am

To me it seems the ladder is still the best idea, I suggest we go for the 150 one and try some backyard mechanics on it to see if we can get it sitting a bit lower.

At the end of the day this will be the safest and sturdiest solution to protect Andy's 2K investment. We would just need to get some foam or something to place around the base of the ladder to protect the cars in case of accidents.

I will contribute half the 150 if we decide to go this route....
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cathurga
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:13 pm

Paul,

I am also leaning (ladder pun intended) towards the ladder in the pic. I am pretty sure we could get creative with an angle grinder and make it work. Or we could get some tie-down straps and tie between a rung on the leg, to a rung on the top, technically that should stop it from falling on itself. It has cross members on the base of the legs which will stop it from tipping and a mini-impact is not likely to push it over. ...the mini however, will probably suffer....

I will go and get the ladder later today.

Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:39 pm

Andy,

Thanks for all the effort man!

We can work out the backyard mechanics on Saturday, the ladder should be fine the way it is for the purpose of testing this weekend....

In case of impact the mini's will definately suffer, hence the need for some foam or something soft around the base of the ladder...

Enjoy the dragging mart for the second time this week..... very happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:48 pm

Cool,

I will go and pick one up....will try to get it done today. Now I need to secure a laptop to use, my one's battery is kaput, so I might bring the dry cell along....seriously, I am going to be carrying MEGA-bags and things just to go down and have some RC fun....fun becomes a chore like this....

I may have to start palming things off for others to carry...

Appreciate the donation to the bridge fund...
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paul
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:07 pm

I can bring my Macbook down if we need, would just need to install the software.....is there a mac version of the software?
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:15 pm

cant wait, got my kitt all fixed uo and ready for action along with some fresh new tires
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:33 pm

@paul,

Nah, this seems to be Windoze only...I could ask the software vendor, they dont make it available for download...I will make a plan with a laptop...
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:36 pm

sideslider wrote:
cant wait, got my kitt all fixed uo and ready for action along with some fresh new tires

what kind of tires you will be using ahmed? hope not those tires included on the kit. huhuhu try using Sorex and you will see the difference...Sorex 40R, with medium insert.
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:08 am

@Andy

okay cool!

Do you want to go through earlier on Saturday to do some testing with the bridge and all so we still get some racing time with the sun shining?
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:07 am

@andy, got your point man... no need to take the risk.. it should be stable..

with regard to impact protection that we need to install around the base of the ladder. i can provide a good quality foam used in the packaging of a glass showcase. this might serve as barrier to protect our mini's... I'll bring it on Saturday.....

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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:46 am

@ Nitram,

Nice work, that will definately soften the blow to mini's!
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:29 pm

martin, that is perfect!!!

Paul, i will check how time is tomorrow, if we are both able, lets get in there earlier, will let you know. Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Lap Timing System   Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:45 pm

Alright,

So we had our first 'timed' session.....sort of.

The ladder idea was perfect! Thanks to all for their ideas and suggestions. The ladder proved to be a good, stable platform, with the advantage of being able to support the timing gear as well as potential for banners. We will forgo the dancing girls for now, midgets or otherwise...
Martins crash barriers proved useful too and I think will probably save some cars from damage, so they will definately be a regular fitment.

The setting up of the system proved a little troublesome,but I think power for the laptop, initial setup and location will be a lot quicker in the future...allowing us more racing time.

The software proved a little cumbersome, but that has a lot to do with getting the races setup properly. I am going to try and use on of the other packages that came with this system, they all work in a different manner, but have a similar outcome. A lot of the problems come with how to setup the racing type, how to run qualifying and then get the final positions. We will undergo more problems as it evolves, but just from the options we have I think we can perfect a setup, and then work it to the max.
I am thinking to run a round-robin setup where everyone has a minimum of two heats, and then we have two finals ...this means a total of 4 races, where everybody gets to race 4 times....sound good?

The only area that complicates things is the transponders. I think we managed to get the M03's sorted out with a decent mounting position, but from looking at the effort yesterday, it seems the m05's had more 'misses' on the bridge. This may be because of going to far to the edges of the bridge, but we need to try and eliminate the probability that the transpoder is not mounted well enough to be seen. If the guys with M05's can get creative and fabricate a mounting plate, that would be really good. Remember the transpoders need to 'see' up though a clear window, or under an area that has minimal paint...see what you can do! Also make sure that the mounting is secure, the way we smash the things about, I would hate to lose a transponder through damage.

If anyone wants to buy tranponders, let me know, it would be nice to have personal ones that you can transfer between cars, for GT or mini-mayhem....or any racing for that matter. I know they are expensive, but if anyone wants to buy, let me know. I will get some more and of course they will be at actual cost plus shipping. On the site they are US$40 a piece.
No one HAS to buy them, but it will ensure no mixups and will make race planning easier.

I am creating driver databases in the software, and will create events in the order of running so that we can arrive, set up quickly, and get running...before the light goes on us.

All in all, I think it was really fun to be able to race like we did yesterday and streamlining the system will make it even better....

Lastly, if anyone has some small collapsable tables/trestles, bring em down so we have ample place to fix/tune/fark about with the cars.

Thanks again to everyone for making the effort.....
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