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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone,
I have been reading the forums here for a while and recently signed up to post.

I built a banked oval track for 1/18th scale BRP cars and wanted a lap counter. I couldn't find anything affordable that didn't use flags on the antennas, so I built my own. During the months of work on it, my wife kept asking why I didn't just buy one. Now that it works, she says I should sell them.

Would there be enough interest in an 8 car lap counting system in the 600-650 dollar range? The current setup covers a 42" wide track using an infrared timing bridge over the track. I tested it over the weekend in my driveway for about 4 hours with 6 cars and it never missed a lap. I still need to tweak the code, but it is almost complete. I am using RClapdog software right now which works well enough and has enough features for me.

Does anyone know where I can find the data format use by other software packages to make my system more compatible?

I have attached photos of the first prototype controller, bridge and a transmitter. Obviously, any system for sale would be much more professionally constructed, eventually surface mount. For size reference, the transmitter is sitting on top of a standard Futaba servo in a BRP SC-18. It is powered by the receiver BEC. I have also considered putting the LED on a short harness to be mounted in the body.

I look forward to any comments,
Craig
 

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I'm more interested in seeing how you built your banked oval track... :)

I suspect there would be fairly low demand for your lap counting system. Mainly because there would likely be reatltively low demand for a track that's just 42" wide...

I would have some desire to build me a track just for personal use, but I don't think I could swing $600 for a lap
counting system for it...
 

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If you can make the bridge wider, say 60"-72" wide for 1/10 scale, I think the market would be there. Our local club rarely runs more than 5-6 (usually 3-4) in a heat due to the small size of our track, and due to the high cost of full AMB system we use the ol' Mark I eyeball and finger on the keyboard system. This could work well for small clubs and tracks. I'd encourage you to make it wide enough for 5'-6' wide tracks and then I think you'd have a market for it. Then again, maybe the 1/18th scale market is big enough to provide sufficient demand for the product ... nobody around here races strictly mini's so it's hard for me to judge.

NICE WORK! :wave: -John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Luckyman4:
A 75" bridge is no problem. The receivers are spaced about 1 car width apart. Spaceing by 18/10 for a wider car would give 75". I still have more testing to do to make sure it can keep up with faster cars. My track is for a rental business like at car shows and I'm only running 4 cells. It should be good for 4 simultaneous (within 3") readings at 30 MPH.

Tres:
I haven't worked out any solid pricing yet, I am not ready to start selling anything yet. I'm trying to see if the demand warrants it. The transmitters are hard coded 1 through 8 because thats all I need for my setup. I could make them programmable so that It's ID could be changed if needed.

I'll probably throw together a simple web page with more details on the track and lap counter over the weekend.
 

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I have a pin out for the older AMB20 some where.

All it did was ground a pin on the connector.....
They made it so you could use switches to hand count also..

Also have a BASIC & CPM/C-64 program :p :p
 

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i for one thank it is real nice and it is always great to see our community bring down the cost. i mean amb has a monopoly as far as i see it and thay can and do charge to much for there product
i just wish i had the mind to think of somthing like this lol

Rob
 

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The local hobby store just spent over 1000 in new transponders if I would of seen this before I would have had your first sale! He has a 70 run line track with 7.5ft lane. and never runs more then 6 cars.

Brooks
 

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I think it's a great idea!!!! I've been waiting for someone to come up with an affordable lap counting system for the smaller cars. There are BUNCHES of people running mini-z's, micro rs4's, etc in their garages that cannot afford high dollar systems. Personally, I think it's still a little overpriced for the "garage bashers". Something that would count 8 cars at a price of $300-$400 would sell like you have never seen. JMO
 

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Home Built Lap Counter

Please e-mail me if and when you test your system on 1/10 scale electric and gas cars. I am starting a lhs w/racetracks, and am looking for a counter system that will work with software. I want to use alycat, so i hope we can talk them into using your electronics somehow. 8 cars per heat is plenty, and who cares if we have 3-4 race nights right? :)
 
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