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Old Feb 10, 2013, 05:29 PM
hbi
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Sverige, Skåne Län, Helsingborg
Joined Jul 2010
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Timing system for F3B?

What are the options for getting a timing system for F3B?
Are there any commercial systems available, and if so what is the price range.
Are there schematics and code for building one your self?
Are there any second hand available?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 05:32 PM
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The Netherlands, GE, Winterswijk
Joined Mar 2009
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With todays prices of ucontrollers, i think you could build such a system for $50.
But you have to be creative about a code/program.

Look for something like Arduino, and you could built such a thing in a lunch-box...

Regards,
Nick

ps : i'm also trying something with Arduino, but it costs a lot of free (flying)time
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-NL View Post
With todays prices of ucontrollers, i think you could build such a system for $50.
:
It's not the processor. It's all the wire, connectors, buzzers or horns that add up. And if you want to see lap counts, that adds even more.

I designed a system I think in the 2000, 2001 timeframe.
http://www.eclipse.net/~mikel/f3b/signal.html

It used PIC microcontrollers, actually one controller per pilot so everyone had exactly the same code and timing. Then a separate one to manage the working time, talk to the display. It also worked with a PA system, so you could hear off course, etc in addition to buzzers/or lights and you get a count down on working time. It works nicely off 12V batteries on the field and you don't have to worry about a computer running out of power if it runs all day.

The audio chips are no longer available. They were made for digital answering machines.

For practice with just a single buzzer, I use a 2.4 RX and transmitter at base B.
http://f3busa.blogspot.com/2009/10/r...b-buzzers.html

There are five of them various places in the US. One went to NZ and one down to Chile.

Not exactly a large market for this stuff. I mostly did it to make it easier to find/train help for B contests and reduce the reflights from someone saying the laps weren't counted correctly or they still had time to finish that lap.. Definitely didn't make any money on these.

The added benefit is I have to drag the system down to Gator F3b at the end of this month.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:56 AM
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España, GA, Vigo
Joined Apr 2010
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I would like to create an open source project in the net, including schematics, source code, user manual, building instructions, etc related to the F3B panel shown in http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1709438
But before I must work a bit more on the software, hardware and documentation. May be in some months a first version can be published, little free time available.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:14 PM
Challenge is rewarding
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San Diego, CA
Joined Aug 2004
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It is worth every dollar. Thanks Mike. We love our system. It has worked so well for us.
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 07:51 AM
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The Netherlands, GE, Winterswijk
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Would it be possible to use a 16MHz processor (like Arduino Mega) for such a timing device. (max 5 signals in distance)
No fancy displays, only one or two LCD's at the CD desk.

You could use a second Arduino for making Base-B wireless.

I don't know if this would be fast enough, but this looks like a nice (open source) project.

Regards,
Nick

(ps this could be a winter project......)
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 08:33 AM
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Could be possible. When I did mine over 10 years ago, I used microchip stuff. Most of what I built later had a 16F873, but I had one processor per pilot and one master one plus a 4-line LCD that also had it's own processor all communicating over a I2C connection. If you wonder why I need all the I/O, it was because I used ISD1420 digital voice recorder chips to record the of f course, on course base b announcements and a ISD2560 to record the bits of my count downs for working time and end of working time. They were addressable so you could pick where they started playing back. Unfortunately those are no longer available.

I'd like to see someone come up with an affordable large outdoor LED display for the time and lap counts.


I don't like the idea of 2.4GHz to base B. We have enough noise on the fields and don't need extra stuff there close to the models. Sure it's all supposed to work except if you put yourself out at base B with a model making it's final lap turns real close to you.... Plus you have the problem of the base A end not getting the signal or having to retransmit because the TX's at base A interfered.

That is the one nice thing about my old design. Every pilot was running exactly the same program on their own dedicated processor. It also made it easy to expand to 5 or 6 pilot system.

I've taken good care of my 150M of 24-guage stranded ethernet cable and it's still working after all these years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-NL View Post
Would it be possible to use a 16MHz processor (like Arduino Mega) for such a timing device. (max 5 signals in distance)
No fancy displays, only one or two LCD's at the CD desk.

You could use a second Arduino for making Base-B wireless.

I don't know if this would be fast enough, but this looks like a nice (open source) project.

Regards,
Nick

(ps this could be a winter project......)
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