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PostPosted: Sat 22. Apr 2017 09:14 
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Thank you for the great ideas.

The control boards in the cars are microcontroller based (Atmega328P) which is easily programmed and has a large development community. Currently we have got them just recieving from a hand controller, but there is no reason why they cannot transmit also to a base station or to each car. This will just be a case of firmware updates which can be done from a PC directly onto the chip. Rather than DIP switches to change the frequency we are going for a bind/rebind system so there are a virtual unlimited number of frequencies. This is all complete and ready to go in our cars. We just need to work on the chassis design a bit more and decide the best way to make them.

Any base station wouldn't be raspberry Pi, but atmega based. I am not a fan of the raspberry Pi as I think they are difficult to program and relatively slow. I believe a laptop and a small plug in device is the way to go.

Our new design has a different steering system whereby the steering is centralised even when unpowered so virtually eliminated steering wobble on the straights. We are very pleased with how it works. As for the batteries we will use the standard magracing ones for the time being fastened in with magnets as the first generation cars. The new steering design means that the battery run time is much longer. We have investigated using super capacitors, but we annot seem to find one which has the correct dimensions or capacity. These would be great to use, so once we have something on sale and get a better handle on run times, we will look into this. We may not need the capacity we need if the recharge time is very short.

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PostPosted: Sat 22. Apr 2017 17:53 
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HeliumFrog wrote:
Thank you for the great ideas.
Any base station wouldn't be raspberry Pi, but atmega based. I am not a fan of the raspberry Pi as I think they are difficult to program and relatively slow. I believe a laptop and a small plug in device is the way to go.

I have to disagree here. Not regarding the difficulty and speed but regarding cost; it is an important issue and a RMS is a must. If you put it on a RPI3 you can just plug it into an existing TV or monitor and have it all full flash. It saves a lot of money so people can actually buy the system or buy more cars or whatever. I don't have a laptop laying around and for me it would be a deciding factor not to use it.

Even though I prefer linux as an OS you could consider using android and even make it so they can also use it for other stuff. Then you can probably with some minor changes use openlap which would save a lot of time ( https://github.com/tkem/openlap )


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PostPosted: Sun 23. Apr 2017 16:09 
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HeliumFrog wrote:
Quote:
Rather than DIP switches to change the frequency we are going for a bind/rebind system so there are a virtual unlimited number of frequencies.


Still curious what would the frequency range be ?

Have you implemented a slave led output for the frequency chosen ?
I guess else we are all back at start with regards to RMS - that would be a shame.

Assuming there are no led output I can only see one way of getting a RMS to work.

- using printet labelsticker with barcode for numbering on either bodytop or on chassisbottom and making a simple barcode reader over or intrack.
A small Arduino would probably do the trick and then we are back ( or at least I ) on track with RaceCoordinater as RSM.

Please elaborate on RMS.

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PostPosted: Sun 23. Apr 2017 19:30 
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We are going for a 2.4ghz system with frequency scanning. The system is well proven for RC models. Our first cars will not have any track sensors or LEDs in the cars, so a race management system won't be included for the first batch. We will try to implement something later on which will be much more involved. We want to get to a stage where the cars can sense and talk to each other and also measure their own lap times and report back. It would also be nice if they could detect track turns and junctions, but this for the future. We just want to get a basic car up and running and hope that the community gets involved somewhere along the line. If we don't focus on the basic car first this we will get nothing completed.

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PostPosted: Sun 23. Apr 2017 19:49 
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Location: Sedona, AZ USA
kiklo wrote:
HeliumFrog wrote:
Quote:


Assuming there are no led output I can only see one way of getting a RMS to work.

- using printet labelsticker with barcode for numbering on either bodytop or on chassisbottom and making a simple barcode reader over or intrack.
A small Arduino would probably do the trick and then we are back ( or at least I ) on track with RaceCoordinater as RSM.

Could Radio-frequency identification (RFID) be used with RaceCoordinator or some other Race Management System (RMS)?


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PostPosted: Mon 24. Apr 2017 07:08 
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RaceCoordinator has an open interface : using an Arduino to feed the PC based system.

Drawbacks for RFID as I can see :
- label cost,
- useful size
- will a rfid scanner be quick enough ? (same consideration apply for bar-code scanners)

Pros: No battery drain on car.

With regards to RCsystem and 'unlimited' RF frequencies there is a big consideration :
Todays Arduino board code scan through all frequencies(16) to find the one passed -> takes time.
So there will a certain a amount of redesign to take one the new way.
I guess somehow we will have to do a roll in/register each car/frequency to be used.

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PostPosted: Mon 24. Apr 2017 10:56 
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Yes I think this is the sort of system we might end up using rather than the car based flashing LED. A unique code under the car and some sort of bar reader. The reasons for this are as follows.

1) In its basic form one sensor could be used on the start finish line for simple lap timing. All cars have a unique ID regardless of what controls them (user or computer)
2) Adding further sensors for example just before the pits and at lane changes could be used to control ghost cars. A central PC could monitor the positions of ghost cars and it would know which car was where on the track. It could choose to change lanes or pit by sending a steering signal to the car. In addition by some simple logic it could make the ghost cars avoid / pass each other or make sure they are spaced out around the track and never "train" in a group.


Because of the flexibility of this sort of system it is the one I believe we should head towards.

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PostPosted: Tue 25. Apr 2017 10:44 
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I think you are right about this, then we should be able to make more authentic race with several ghost cars driving, changing lanes and pitting.

and a sensor in start and end of the long straight so the ghost car can speed up there, otherwise ghost car look stupid going down the straight.

I think that a safety car is possible too.

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PostPosted: Tue 25. Apr 2017 20:06 
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I have been having a look around for sensors for the cars for lap timing. Has anyone had experience of using RFID as the kit is very cheap.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-10-20-50-100-500-125Khz-RFID-Proximity-ID-Card-Token-Tags-Key-fobs-Keyfobs-/262148593243?var=&hash=item3d0946165b:m:mp7UoE5Pwg3TPSBGrcwRy6A

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/125KHz-EM4100-ID-Card-Reader-RFID-Module-Arduino-compatible-keychain-CHIP-210B-/371609409885?hash=item5685a5995d:g:kNQAAOSw~oFXHlPp

I am wondering whether this stuff is fast enough for a passing car. If so this kit is chap enough for use in many places on the circuit.

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PostPosted: Sun 2. Jul 2017 22:55 
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Any updates information, or pictures of the new chassis yet?


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