How do you install a Computer Lap Counter/Timer system??? - HobbyTalk
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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How do you install a Computer Lap Counter/Timer system???

Hey guys i need some help on installing a lap counter/timer system on my 4-lane Tomy layout.I've been reading Greg Brauns website on this and still scratching my head a little.I understand the part on how to install the harness with the photo-cells into the track.But what about the light source.Do i need regular LED's or infrared LED's.I see his red led light bar is out of stock.Also what is needed to hook this up to my HP laptop.This laptop was purchased new last year and does not have a joystick or printer port.It does have several USB ports and a RJ-45 network jack and an RJ-11 modem jack.Can i plug Gregs interface cable with the photo-cells right into the RJ-45 network jack on my laptop?If someone with some experiance on Greg Brauns LapTimer 2000 system could chime in here to get me on the path to counting laps i would greatly appreciate it!!! Photos would be a plus.Thanks By the way i would prefer the photo-cell set-up over the reed switch set-up.

Last edited by RiderZ; 12-02-2007 at 06:59 PM.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 07:59 PM
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Contact, SwamperGene. He will help
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Counter/Timer!

Thanks wheelszk-I PM'ed SwamperGene to see if he can help.Hopefully he'll post his knowledge on this.I'm trying to get a winter series going this winter for about 8 drivers and i really need this lap timer/counter to make things simple in the scoring department!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 10:44 PM
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Dude -- easiest thing I ever used:

http://www.trackmateracing.com/

So easy a caveman could do it.

'doba
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-02-2007, 10:48 PM
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In regards to your light source, people often prefer an infrared light source so that you do not have a visible light shining down on the track under your light bridge. The cars break an 'invisible beam' of light to register a lap. If that is the look you want, then go with infrared LED's, as long as your sensors under the track are rated to receive infrared signals.

As for connecting to your computer, I can't help on the USB interface cable, as I found an older computer that had a LPT port, and wired it that way. If you have access to an old computer with LPT, it's a good way to go for a computer that can be dedicated to your slot track. You don't 'need' a newer technology computer to run your track timing software.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1976Cordoba
Dude -- easiest thing I ever used:

http://www.trackmateracing.com/

So easy a caveman could do it.

I've looked at the TrakMate package-but at $198 its a little more than i want to spend on a system.I've also been looking at used laptops on ebay and have'nt found anything at a real reasonable price.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 10:12 AM
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You can use an overhead incandescent light source or use LED's in a bridge. The LED's can be visible or infra red. TrakMate gives you a tuning program to test the sensors and make sure they are reading the light source.

For your laptop you need a parallel port to USB adapter cable:

http://www.cwol.com/usb/usb-parallel...le-adapter.htm

-Scott
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderZ
I've also been looking at used laptops on ebay and have'nt found anything at a real reasonable price.
I went with an older laptop on my set-up, but after some time, I realized that a separate monitor wall-mounted flat-panel would be much better then using the laptop monitor. A 17" non-widescreen is the largest you really need for Tracker 2000 based on it's resolution, and if you can find one of these, they should be fairly reasonable. I will probably go with a 19" non-widescreen, and these can be found new for about $100.00

Once I get that monitor, I will probably change out the laptop for an old tower PC, because the laptop would then just need to be accessed for the keyboard, it becomes fairly bulky for just that purpose.

Last edited by Scafremon; 12-03-2007 at 04:07 PM.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 06:34 PM
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If you have a Salvation Army outlet near you I scored a computer with monitor for 15 bucks.I use Lap Timer 2000 with 10 watt/12 volt desk lamp bulbs from Menards for like 3 dollars each,on a light bridge.I power the bulbs with a 12 volt trickle charger from walmart.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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???

Thanks for all the tips guys but i think your missing my point.I already have a $1000 laptop to use i need to know what has to be done to hook the LapTimer2000 system up to my laptop.C'mon guys i know several of you have the computer systems on your tracks-how did you hook them up.My laptop has an RJ-45 network port on it.Can i just plug the RJ-45 connector off of the photocell harness into this port.Does it have to go to a printer or joystick port????????????
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if Greg Braun is still alive? He does'nt reply to my emails.I guess he does'nt want to sell his product!!!
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:43 PM
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I think we get your point, and have offered some good suggestions.

And no, you cannot use your RJ-45 port.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scafremon
I think we get your point, and have offered some good suggestions.

And no, you cannot use your RJ-45 port.
Hey Scaf-thanks for your help.I search for answers elsewhere!
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderZ
Does anyone know if Greg Braun is still alive? He does'nt reply to my emails.I guess he does'nt want to sell his product!!!
Besides the fact that he's a one man operation, I think to be fair, we have to also realize that he is probably in the midst of filling holiday shopping orders. I would hope those are getting priority over tech issues right now.........I have stuff on order to give as Christmas presents

All joking aside, I'm sure you will hear from him at some point.

PS I agree with Scaf........there have been some good ideas thrown out there. I particularly like the printer cable converter to USB.

Stay cool, dude.

Last edited by rudykizuty; 12-03-2007 at 08:28 PM.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderZ
Hey Scaf-thanks for your help.I search for answers elsewhere!
You're welcome!

There are talented slotters at SCI also, and I'm sure somehow, someway, you will find the answers you are looking for.

Just keep in mind that we do 'get it'. We have been there, and done that. We have computers that are without joystick and parallel ports, and we had to make decisions on what to do. Slott V linked you to a cable that will help(there will be still be some wiring mods you will have to do to get your sensors connected to the adaptor cable), Cordoba offered a complete solution, and I and others have have mentioned that a 'lesser' computer might also be an option.

We aren't going to let a fellow slotter not get his computer timing set-up working.
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