EasyRaceLapTimer - open source and open hardware FPV racing lap time tracking system - RC Groups
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Nov 09, 2015, 06:28 AM
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TheBino's Avatar
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EasyRaceLapTimer - open source and open hardware FPV racing lap time tracking system




Hello guys,

I wanted to introduce you our open source and open hardware project called EasyRaceLapTimer. It's a FPV racing lap time tracking system all-in-one solution.

The system consists of a host station (basicly a Raspberry PI with 3 sensors) and the IR transponders which your quad will carry around.

Current version: v0.4RC1

Current features are:
  • host system for tracking the laps
  • IR transponders (code & schematic files for building them) with a transmitting range of 2 to 4 meters
  • 63 available transponder IDs when using the project transponders
  • update transponders with new code (Arduino hardware needed)
  • setup guide for building your Raspberry PI host station
  • the host station is also a WiFi access point to change configs etc on the fly
  • monitoring mode, you can watch the stats with your mobile phones
  • add your own team logo to the monitoring mode
  • detailed stats about pilots and races
  • sound effects for various events in a race
  • TCP/IP and serial connections support for receiving lap times and commands from other time tracking systems
  • and much more comming soon


One more nice feature is, that the system is able to support other IR transponders as well. You / we just have to implement the decoding of the IR signal.

It would be great to read some thoughts of you.

The project can be found at: https://github.com/polyvision/EasyRaceLapTimer

The first development log of the system can be found here:http://www.airbirds.de/2015/11/09/ea...lopment-log-1/


Regards, Alex
Last edited by TheBino; Jan 07, 2016 at 06:18 AM.
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Nov 14, 2015, 08:20 AM
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alex_007's Avatar
Bravo! Thanks for you work and your share!

I've already read a similar project, also open source. I can't remind if it was this one, but I think you already made a benchmark

Bravo again.
Nov 15, 2015, 02:39 PM
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TheBino's Avatar
Hello and thanx for the kind words!

Today, we had a small practice session with our team and we used EasyRaceLapTimer for tracking the times. I made a few photos to show the system in action. Please keep in mind that the system on the photos is completly DIY, as you could do it when using the documentation.

Screenshots and more details will be written down tomorrow. I'm preparing the first stable version at present.
Last edited by TheBino; Nov 15, 2015 at 02:48 PM.
Nov 18, 2015, 06:43 AM
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TheBino's Avatar
We just released the first stable version of the system.

A detailed blog post can be found here: http://www.airbirds.de/2015/11/18/ea...acking-system/

There's also an introduction video for the complete system:
EasyRaceLapTimer introduction - open source FPV race lap tracking system (21 min 14 sec)
Nov 20, 2015, 10:11 AM
Registered User
So psyched when I found this yesterday!



I hit my local electronics store and got most of the parts I didn't already have on hand. Spent last night getting the RPI updated and ready to build the bade station software.



I wasn't able to get the image file to work and posted an issue to the github site.



Thanks for this. Perfect timing!



I'll post updates as I make progress.
Nov 20, 2015, 11:47 AM
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Hey, would you mind posting some close up photos of the connections on the RPI? I want to be sure I don't mess it up hooking up the IR detectors.
Nov 20, 2015, 02:31 PM
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TheBino's Avatar
Hello and thanx for the feedback. I've added an image of the GPIO wirings.

There's also a new image file now online. You can find it on

http://www.easyracelaptimer.com

I didn't thought, I would get so much feedback from all around the world via email, facebook etc.

Thank you very much!
Nov 20, 2015, 06:34 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the photo, that helps.

One comment about the new v0.2 image file: Because many 8GB SD cards are actually smaller than 8GB, it won't fit on them all at that size (e.g. it didn't fit on my new 8GB).

I would recommend shrinking it down as small as possible for redistribution (I'd be surprised it it was more than 3-4 GB) and let people expand it to fit their SD card. (well documented in the RPi docs.)
Nov 21, 2015, 06:28 AM
Registered User
This is a very cool project. I like how simple and cheap the transponders will be to make. I'll take a stab at drawing up some PCBs.
Last edited by TimJC; Nov 21, 2015 at 12:30 PM.
Nov 21, 2015, 12:36 PM
Registered User

Transponder PCBs


Please see my OSHPark profile or EasyRaceLapTimer Github Repo for the latest version of the PCBs.

I just finished some PCB designs for the IR transponders using TheBino's schematic.

The SMD version is tiny but should be easily hand solderable. When ordered through OSHpark, should only run 37 cents each. The my only concern is that the reference LED draws almost 500mw, which would exceed the transistor and resistor ratings. My hope is that since the LED flickers, it might work. Won't know until I get some parts.

- Through hole transponder ($2.70/3)


- SMD transponder ($1.10/3)
Last edited by TimJC; Mar 18, 2016 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Files are deprecated
Nov 21, 2015, 03:58 PM
Registered User
I'm thinking of trying these IR LEDs:

http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...210-ND/1681345

Reason being the one spec'd seems to be discontinued.

http://www.digikey.com/product-searc...=%20LD%20274-3
Nov 21, 2015, 04:18 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmenard
I'm thinking of trying these IR LEDs:

http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...210-ND/1681345

Reason being the one spec'd seems to be discontinued.

http://www.digikey.com/product-searc...=%20LD%20274-3
I'm using an NTE 30047 and it seems to be working so far. Was able to source them from my local Microcenter, three for a buck.

Also, I'm using a TSOP38238 instead of the specced 31238 and also seems to be working.
Nov 21, 2015, 06:02 PM
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Are either of you running the host on an older Raspi?
Nov 21, 2015, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimJC
Are either of you running the host on an older Raspi?
No, Pi2... I have a B+ as well though haven't tried it yet.
Nov 22, 2015, 04:25 AM
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TheBino's Avatar
Hey there!

I'm glad that it works for soo much people out there. Got already some pictures of working systems and hardware mods

You can alter the IR receivers & transmitters as you want, as long as they match each other regarding the datasheet (wavelength etc).

Quote:
. The my only concern is that the reference LED draws almost 500mw, which would exceed the transistor and resistor ratings
The IR led has a hardtime with the current transponder layout But yes, it works cause of the flickering for sending the data. Although, I dunno how long the IR will hold that. But I'm still using the same IR leds which I bought in the beginning. So, they lastest about > 24 hours for me at present.

I'm also experimenting with other IR leds and TSOPs with short burst ratings at present.

There's now also an "on the field footage" video:
AirBirds - Diary #1 - EasyRaceLapTimer - On the field footage (23 min 9 sec)


It's in german but translations are incomming.


Quote:
I would recommend shrinking it down as small as possible for redistribution (I'd be surprised it it was more than 3-4 GB) and let people expand it to fit their SD card. (well documented in the RPi docs.)
Regarding the image size. Even if I would shrink the partition, the image would still take 8GB. So in my view, this would not fix the problem that some SD cards don't have the actual 8GB. If I'm missing something, just tell me. I would be glad to get the image working on every SD card of 8GB size.


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