Slot Cars Rule !!!

Electronic lap counter and power control

  • Lap Counting and Timing: Then I had to decide how I would work out the timing and lap counting.

  • I opted for Laptimer 2000 from Gregory Braun. Laptimer 2000 is a pretty nifty piece of Software and it is FREE.

  • In terms of Hardware, I also opted for Gregory’s hardware solution. It was easier than trying to figure it out by myself, probably more reliable as well, and since Gregory is offering the SW for free I felt like I was getting a good deal anyway for the overall package.

  • To make the photocells work, I wired a timing gantry using IR LEDS (Digikey part number LNA2801L-ND) each in series with 150 Ohm resistors and connected to the 5V supply. I hid these inside a track bridge where I reduced the span and height of that bridge to match the 1/43 scale (see this link)

  • Here is a link to an article that will show you how to make your own integrated track sensors: check it out. With these, you do not need any overhead lighting, but you do need to insert them in your track.

  • For a commercial turn key solution, you can try Trackmate. All kinds of timing and counting products for slots.

  • Track Power Control: In addition, I also wanted to be able to control the track power from the computer. Gregory’s Software offers that option. So I wired two power relays (Omron power relays, DigiKey part number Z712-ND).