Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Discussions on buying or building timers, solenoid start gates, light trees, weigh scales, and other race related electronics.
notmeiquit
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:12 am
Location: Burlington, nc

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by notmeiquit » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:34 am

Vitamin K wrote:
notmeiquit wrote:
gpraceman Ok good deal. My main question is how the Arduino sends the information to the computer. What output connects to the computer?

Thanks
The Arduino connects to the computer via the USB port.

OK I use the USB port on the computer. what connects the USB port?

Thanks



User avatar
Vitamin K
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:26 pm
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:45 am

I think I'm missing something here. One end of the USB cable goes into the computer. The other end goes into the Arduino.
notmeiquit wrote:
Vitamin K wrote:
The Arduino connects to the computer via the USB port.

OK I use the USB port on the computer. what connects the USB port?

Thanks



notmeiquit
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:12 am
Location: Burlington, nc

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by notmeiquit » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:49 am

Vitamin K--- That's what I'm looking for. the connection point to the Arduino.

I can not find it any place in the documentation that specifies the data out to the computer Input. :scratching:


If you can't explain it Simply,
you don't understand it well enough.
-Albert Einstein

User avatar
Vitamin K
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:26 pm
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:52 am

What model Arduino are you using?
notmeiquit wrote:Vitamin K--- That's what I'm looking for. the connection point to the Arduino.

I can not find it any place in the documentation that specifies the data out to the computer Input. :scratching:



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4607
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by gpraceman » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:57 am

notmeiquit wrote:I can not find it any place in the documentation that specifies the data out to the computer Input. :scratching:
The data sent to the computer is handled by the firmware sketch that you would load into the Arduino.


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.

notmeiquit
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:12 am
Location: Burlington, nc

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by notmeiquit » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:02 am

Vitamin K wrote:What model Arduino are you using?
notmeiquit wrote:Vitamin K--- That's what I'm looking for. the connection point to the Arduino.

I can not find it any place in the documentation that specifies the data out to the computer Input. :scratching:

I'm using an Arduino UNO


If you can't explain it Simply,
you don't understand it well enough.
-Albert Einstein

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4607
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by gpraceman » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:14 am

I'm not really understanding the difficulty. The USB port on the Arduino is the physical connection to the computer. The firmware that you load into the Arduino through that same USB connection is what will do all of the timing and reporting to the computer.


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.

notmeiquit
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:12 am
Location: Burlington, nc

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by notmeiquit » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:24 am

gpraceman wrote:I'm not really understanding the difficulty. The USB port on the Arduino is the physical connection to the computer. The firmware that you load into the Arduino through that same USB connection is what will do all of the timing and reporting to the computer.

Thank you. I wasn't positive that the Arduino UNO sent the data over the USB port on the UNO.


Thanks for the clarification.


If you can't explain it Simply,
you don't understand it well enough.
-Albert Einstein

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4607
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:35 pm

Indy,

I might make up one of these, as I already have a Arduino Uno board on hand. It might come in handy with testing any changes in GPRM.

Anyways, I am a bit confused on the display boards. If I am understanding things correctly, these displays are supposed to daisy chain off of each other. So, I am trying to think how to easily connect these together without a bunch of wire splicing.

It is not readily apparent how the Arduino will know which display goes to which lane. You mention jumpers in your documentation, but I don't see anything on the Adafruit site about them.


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.

Indy
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:27 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by Indy » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:53 am

gpraceman wrote:If I am understanding things correctly, these displays are supposed to daisy chain off of each other. So, I am trying to think how to easily connect these together without a bunch of wire splicing.
Yes they can be daisy chained together or since the displays are close to one another you could utilize an I2C splitter like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Crius-Pixhawk-i2c ... B00LAWOUE4

(A note to those using the shield PCB from me - the display pin order on the PCB does not match the pin order on the Adafruit displays - the SDA and SCL pins are swapped.)
gpraceman wrote:It is not readily apparent how the Arduino will know which display goes to which lane. You mention jumpers in your documentation, but I don't see anything on the Adafruit site about them.
I've added additional information on my website regarding the addressing:
http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/pg_pdt_info1.html

The Adafruit information on addressing can be found here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-led ... 2c-address


Let me know if you have any other questions.



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4607
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:05 am

Indy wrote:Yes they can be daisy chained together or since the displays are close to one another you could utilize an I2C splitter like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Crius-Pixhawk-i2c ... B00LAWOUE4
I like that idea instead of trying to splice a bunch of wires.
Indy wrote:(A note to those using the shield PCB from me - the display pin order on the PCB does not match the pin order on the Adafruit displays - the SDA and SCL pins are swapped.)
I would hope that it would not be too hard to swap the two wires on one end of the cable that connects to your shield.
Indy wrote:I've added additional information on my website regarding the addressing:
http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/pg_pdt_info1.html

The Adafruit information on addressing can be found here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-led ... 2c-address
Ah! Those pads are the jumpers. I hadn't see that implementation before for jumpers.

Is there an easy implementation for a single 7-digit display per lane? For my purposes, I don't really need the times displayed.

I'll have to order your shield once you get more in stock.


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.

Indy
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:27 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by Indy » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:24 pm

gpraceman wrote:Is there an easy implementation for a single 7-digit display per lane? For my purposes, I don't really need the times displayed.
I don't know of any single digit 7-segment LEDs pre-made with the controller board like the Adafruit displays.

Depending on how many lanes you have it would be pretty simple to alter the software to just display the finish order across one (<= 4 lanes) or two (5 or 6 lanes) Adafruit 4 digit displays. The numbers would not physically line up with the lanes but it would work for testing.



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4607
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:50 pm

That is an idea. All but one of the timers in my collection are 4 lanes, which makes testing GPRM changes easier (don't have to keep changing the number of lanes in GPRM). Anyways, I just need a test unit, not a real race timer setup, so that would work. Though, those backpack displays aren't too expensive, so I may still go that route.

I do like how those display modules come in red, blue, green, and yellow in addition to white. It would be cool to have the timer lane colors match a track with colored lanes.


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.

Indy
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:27 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by Indy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:21 pm

Hello all,

With local Radio Shacks getting fewer and farther between for most people I've been getting questions regarding alternate emitter/detector components for building the timer.

If anyone has built the timer using non-Radio Shack components for the lane emitters/detectors can you please reply with the source and part numbers (if possible)?

Thanks!
David



rcrit
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:49 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Yet another Arduino based track timer...

Post by rcrit » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:14 pm

I've built one of these and it works pretty well in my tests. In a few months I'll use it in our Derby.

My question is: how do you protect the IR receiver?

I just soldered wires directly onto the leads coming out of the receiver and basically bent that into a 90 for insertion beneath the track. I've already had a couple break on me. Is there some better way to do this?

It's fine for now since I'm ok twiddling with it but I'd like to make something bulletproof so it can live on in the pack well after my son has moved on.



Post Reply