Picking a derby timer

General timing system discussions.
Post Reply
GILLS
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Picking a derby timer

Post by GILLS » Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:54 pm

Hi! I have just completed constructing a nice 3 lane derby track to be used with my son's boyscout troop and with my church "Royal Ambassadors" group. The track design is from the Bosworth website. I would like to add an electronic finish line to it. After endless searching I have narrowed my field to three: "Micro Wizzard P1", Computer Products 4 Education Basic 99, and the PIC MICRO system. I would like to be able to use the finish line independent of a software mgnt. system, and have it made with light up lane winner indicators. I like basic 99 and pic micro for having pre-built circut boards. Open for sugestions.



brownboy
Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Sunny Florida

Re: Picking a derby timer

Post by brownboy » Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:25 am

Never built those, I imagine if you have electronics skills a kit would be rather easy to throw together. For my money (about $25) the simple printer port timer that interfaces to a computer is the cheapest, fastest to build, and easiest to trouble shoot. Because the system is software driven upgrades are easier than reflashing your pic, and with pentium I laptops laying around like magazines at a dentist office, the whole system is easy to set up and tear down.



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4850
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Picking a derby timer

Post by gpraceman » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:46 pm

GILLS wrote:After endless searching I have narrowed my field to three: "Micro Wizzard P1", Computer Products 4 Education Basic 99, and the PIC MICRO system. I would like to be able to use the finish line independent of a software mgnt. system, and have it made with light up lane winner indicators. I like basic 99 and pic micro for having pre-built circut boards. Open for sugestions.
Of these, the Basic 99 does not appear to work as a stand-alone timer. From their website, it does look like you have to use their software (Excel Spreadsheet) to get the results. The other two would work as stand-alone units.

If you may later want to use software with the timer, then you may want to remain flexible and go with the MicroWizard timer kit, since it is supported by a variety of software.


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.

Paul Curtis
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:21 pm
Location: Sudbury, Ma

Re: Picking a derby timer

Post by Paul Curtis » Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:51 pm

I built the micro wizrd p1 kit with serial interface. Aside from one bad solder joint it worked. Building a box to house it in took longer than I had anticipated. I wound up making it out of plexiglass, this lets people see my solder work :D and does not obscur the finish line from the sides. After buying the connectors the battery case etc. I am not sure that I saved all that much over buying the partially assembled kit.

I figure that it was $40 dollars for the kit, $20 dollars in connectors and stuff.



GILLS
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Nashville, Tn.

Re: Picking a derby timer

Post by GILLS » Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:05 pm

Hey Paul, thanks for the encouragement. I called microwizrd and they
agreed to go ahead and solder the circut boards and wire the led's for me for only $70. All I need to do is build the tower stand and install the
led's in place. The tower is no problem, a good piece of oak or birch hardwoodand router out a few grooves for some plexiglass and you are done. Microwizrd are top notch people!



Post Reply