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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

This is my first post and I am somewhat new to the serious side of the HO racing world. Anyways I have just recently built a 4 lane banked oval roughly 46' long (20' x 4'). I used Greg Braun's site to pick up everything I needed, including the lap timer components. I bought the whole lap timer kit for the joystick port. I am running Laptimer 2000 on a 2009 Toshiba laptop that lacks a joystick port so I also bought the Joystick to usb adapter on his site (Lap timer uses photocells).

The lap timer works, however, it frequently misses laps regardless of how many cars are running. I have tinkered with the timer resolution and debounce delay but can't seem to find a solution there.

Also, I have downloaded the "race coordinator" software, which has some awesome features, but still running into the same issue of missing laps.

This doesn't happen every lap, but every ten laps or so, it is very inconsistent.

Has anyone had similar issues with this before?
1) Is there some settings within the software I can fix?
2) does it have anything to do with the joystick to usb adapter?
3) Is there any settings within the computer I can change or is this device not suitable (laptop, only usb, windows 7, 4 gb ram)

Thanks in advance, let me know if theres any more information I can provide.

-Kyle
 

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ChiBH Welcome, Let me say I have seen the same issues with the Lap Timer 2K software, I have 3 timing setups using photocells & infra red light bridges, most of the time the issues come from outside lighting affecting it, If you have the light bridge, placement is critical, you just have to play with it to get it right, the other thing I have seen is ghost laps, most generally caused by what I think to be RF mainly from pancake / T-jet style cars. you can add some capacitors to help but my experience is it will not eliminate it. My best track timing setup is ran through the printer port, it hardly ever has a problem, that might be another option for you to change ports, If you search on here I have another thread where I was having problems as well. I will look for that thread later tonight for you & post a link, little short on time now.

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Kyle, please describe your light source set up. Also, what are your typical lap times? What types of cars are you running? With banked turns, I'm guessing that your times are at or below 3 seconds. You mentioned that you "have tinkered with the timer resolution and debounce delay"... What are your current settings for both?
 

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I have issues also but only when I run extremely fast cars. And I don't use my track that often with those cars.
 

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I found this in the LT2K help...

Run Lap Timer 2000 at High Process Priority
Check this item to run Lap Timer 2000 at a high process priority. If this setting is not checked Lap Timer 2000 will run at the normal priority of all other desktop applications. Normally this setting can be left unchecked, but if you find that Lap Timer 2000 misses laps from time to time increasing the process priority may help.
 

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Mine was running at high priority. I raised it to real time, then lowered the debounce time to 200 and milliseconds to 1. It's a bit better but with a poly mod Tyco or anything that runs around 3.0 or faster it will occasionally miss a lap. Also there is no body on the car, so the light may be shining through to the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the helpful responses everyone!

My sensor lightbridge set up: The 4 photocells are obviously pointed up through a hole between the slot and rail for each lane (i believe they're 3/16" wide...). The gantry uses 4 incandescent flashlight bulbs that are about 2" above each lane.

Cars/lap times: we typically run Tomy SG+, Mega G's, occasionally Life-like for the little guys, and Tyco 440s. The lap times at 18 volts of power are between 2.3 -3.3 depending on the car. We were running at 20.5 volts and getting just under 2 seconds but decided on 18v for our racing series.

Laptimer 2K software settings: High priority has been checked, invert switch logic is checked, Debounce: 350 ms, timer resolution 1ms. This has resulted in the least amount of skipped laps but its still between 10-15% of laps.

Computer: unfortunately I only have a laptop with usb ports, but do have a spare that is about two years old with a port that has 15 pins and is three rows tall (not a big computer hardware guy). However the timing hardware supplied by greg does not fit that port.

I have a feeling it is missing laps due to the usb adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was going to post some pictures of the timing gantry but I have to wait until i have 5 posts or more, :freak:
 

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You may find that your incandescent bulbs are not strong enough, I have used the high output infra-red LED's from radio shack and they work very well & are not a visable light source.

Here is some info on Laptimer 2K and problems / solutions I had.
http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=314690&highlight=Boosted-Z71

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=332637&highlight=Boosted-Z71

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=339366&highlight=Boosted-Z71

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=333228&highlight=Boosted-Z71

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=333074&highlight=Boosted-Z71

This thread has part numbers for LED's & Photo Sensor's from Radio Shack

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=329750&highlight=Boosted-Z71


http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=146561&highlight=Boosted-Z71

Good luck & if you find any other tricks to getting this software to work rock solid, be sure to post the results

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the links, I'll take a look at them tonight.

Side note, anyone have any experience using a phidget board to connect sensors?
 

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I too had serious issues with this.Turns out you cannot use LT2000 with the joy/usb adaptor.i ended up using my old desktop that had a joystick port and it made a night & day difference in the reliability of the timer.Still misses some laps though.(sucks)
 
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