Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Discussions on buying or building timers, solenoid start gates, light trees, weigh scales, and other race related electronics.
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gpraceman
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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by gpraceman » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:11 am

Either you will need to control the timer on one COM port and the solenoid on the other or build a port splitter (1 DB9F and 2 DB9M) and wire it up accordingly.

Personally, I favor not activating the solenoid with the computer. I have a remote switch that I plug into my solenoid unit and I call up the racer in the first lane of each heat to start it. They like it, as it gets them more involved in the race.


Randy Lisano
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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.

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race#67
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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by race#67 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:42 am

Ok, thanks Randy.
I do plan on having race lane #1 start the race. I thought ti might be nice to have computer control, but based on you advice I am going to forgo the effort.
Thanks. The Software has been a real joy to use, well though out.



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race#67
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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by race#67 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:04 am

If I am using a 12V DC 1.5 amp wall wart for power, and NOT using GPRM to trigger the solenoid do I need to do anything other than wire the solenoid to power with a N.O. Switch?



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race#67
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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by race#67 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:23 am

An update on my start solenoid.
I used the car door lock style actuator, and found it easy to mount with just a plate of 1/8 aluminum attached to the track wit the standard captive nuts and bolts, and then tapped the plate for #6-32 bolts that fit through the mounting holes.
I have this powered by a 12 volt 1.5 amp wall wart. I am running no circuit beyond that and just using it as a manual start gate. Hundreds of activations and it works great. I did make my own start lever out of 3/16" aluminum for a better bearing surface with a bronze flange bearing and shoulder bolt at the main pivot. I did add the roller bearing to the catch as well which really makes it run smooth. The solenoid has plenty of power to pull the lever. I need to clean up the wiring with some connectorized multiconductor and add a second toggle switch in series and place it at the staging area of the track. The second switch will allow the person staging cars to have the track in either 'SAFETY' or "ARMED' mode to prevent accidental scout activation before the race is ready to start.

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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by quadad » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:56 pm

gpraceman wrote:Either you will need to control the timer on one COM port and the solenoid on the other or build a port splitter (1 DB9F and 2 DB9M) and wire it up accordingly.

Personally, I favor not activating the solenoid with the computer. I have a remote switch that I plug into my solenoid unit and I call up the racer in the first lane of each heat to start it. They like it, as it gets them more involved in the race.
Randy, I agree with your comment above as far as the Cub Scout racers go, but some people just want to have everything. 8)
Are some (brand/model) timers using the Serial port Pin 4 (DTR) pin, such that it is not available for solenoid control ? Or can a given COM port 'only have one job' ... I am trying to understand.



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gpraceman
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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:58 pm

Timers use pins 2, 3 and 5 (ground). You can use one port for the timer and a solenoid, since the only shared pin would be the ground pin. You would need to make a Y splitter and wire it appropriately to do so.

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Randy Lisano
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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.

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Re: Solenoid Start Gate Circuit

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:13 pm

I guess you can find ready made Y splitters.

http://www.amazon.com/SF-Cable-Female-S ... al+Y-Cable


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.

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