Remote display at start line

Discussions on race preparation, race management, sound effects, and other race related software. This includes freeware, shareware and commercially available software.
Post Reply
Don Kern
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:15 pm
Location: Bristol RI

Remote display at start line

Post by Don Kern » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:23 pm

The Pack is upgrading its PWD set up from an old LaneBrain finish position indicator to a timer built from the Pack 471’s modified 4 lane design, interfaced to Compaq pentium4 laptop running GPRM 4.0 software. The computer is located close to the finish line and drives a projector so the results may be displayed to the pack. We do not use a printer thus the imbedded “next heat” display is used to stage the next set of cars. Has anyone developed a small display (hardware/software) that can be mounted at the starting line to help insure the correct lane and car placement? (Yes wrong car and wrong lane mix ups have occurred)



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4695
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by gpraceman » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:28 am

It would be cheaper to just get an inexpensive printer. That way the starters have a printed schedule to go by and it helps to get the on deck racers ready. If you have a good race crew, they can even prestage two or more heats ahead.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

DerbyAddict
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:18 pm

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by DerbyAddict » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:16 pm

Don Kern wrote:The computer is located close to the finish line and drives a projector so the results may be displayed to the pack. We do not use a printer thus the imbedded “next heat” display is used to stage the next set of cars.
Im not sure I understand this - is the display projected over the finish line in such a way that the starter sees the back of the screen? If so, why not turn it around so that the starter can see the screen?

We set up this way this year and the starter could see the On Deck and current heat at all times to ensure the boys were placing the cars in the correct lane. We would call the next heat to be On Deck and the starter would have the boys stage the cars. "Lane 1 place car, lane 2 place car, lane 3 place car", left to right on the track, top to bottom on the screen. After about the 5th race or so the boys became pretty darn proficient at it.


*****************************
Richard Sava
Cubmaster, Pack 241
Deltona, FL
*****************************
Any day racing PWD is a good day but winning makes a better good day!

Don Kern
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:15 pm
Location: Bristol RI

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by Don Kern » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:03 pm

Richard,

The computer is located just beyond the finish line end of the track with the projector and the screen further beyond the end. Thus the starter is looking the length of the track plus another 15 feet. The On Deck info is just too small for him to see at that distance.



DerbyAddict
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:18 pm

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by DerbyAddict » Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:25 am

Got it. Thats basically our set up also but the screen (wall) is only about 10 feet from the end of the track, a 42 ft. Our projection was pretty large though. The projector was about 15 feet away.
We use GPRM 5.0 so I don't know if 4.0 does this also but in 5.0 you can expand the On Deck to fill the whole screen and then put it back down in the corner when you're done with it.
Our system was - Race->Call finish order->click next race->explode On Deck and call On Deck->minimize On Deck->place cars and ensure proper placement->race. Repeat 162 times. We averaged 43 seconds a race, we were done in just over 2 hours.

Our projector also had a video out to connect an external monitor to. If yours also has this, you could pick up a 50ft VGA cable (here is one link)

http://www.touchscreens.com/vga-50.html

and pass the signal through to a monitor sitting by the starter. Of course this is another piece of equipment that can be bumped/gets in the way of the starting area.


*****************************
Richard Sava
Cubmaster, Pack 241
Deltona, FL
*****************************
Any day racing PWD is a good day but winning makes a better good day!

Don Kern
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:15 pm
Location: Bristol RI

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by Don Kern » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:43 pm

That is a thought. I borrowed a different projector from my work and notice it had a serial plug labeled display, so I could have run a second display. The pack averages about 40 cars and after they checked in only the adults + Boy Scouts handle the cars. The cars are kept in a side room and brought out by the adult runner to be put on the track by the starter,. We use an aluminum track that is placed on banquet tables (vice the floor) so every one can see the cars run. However, that raises the start area to about eight feet above the floor, hence the reason that the adult starter handles the cars. A working, used CRT display is basically given away now, so it would be practical to have it in the staging room.

Thanks for the idea.



User avatar
Darin McGrew
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1751
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:23 pm
Location: Mountain View, CA
Contact:

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:49 pm

We have one person who does nothing but place the cars on the track and operate the starting gate. We have a crew that arranges the cars into races and returns them to the storage racks when their owners bring them back from the finish line. The crew uses printouts of the schedules.



volzjr
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:29 am

Re: Remote display at start line

Post by volzjr » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:43 am

Our laptop is near the starting gate, so we run the signal from the PC out to a 1:2 Distribution amp. One output goes to the ceiling mounted projector. The other signal goes out to to a monitor that sits (screen up) on a padded chair, directly behind the gate. It makes it very easy for the two starters to each check the order, left to right, before each race. In your situation you should be careful if you order a longer VGA cable. There is not much standardization in the industry as to where to use a male/female cable end. Here's a link to a page that offers a wide variety of lengthes as well as cable end combinations. http://www.cablewholesale.com/catalog/s ... cables.htm



Post Reply