Search found 71 matches

by Jeff Piazza
Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:00 am
Forum: Electronics
Topic: A derby light tree, Raspberry Pi-based
Replies: 0
Views: 7239

A derby light tree, Raspberry Pi-based

I've been envious for a while of the "Christmas tree light" systems I've seen, that flash lights in sequence on a pole just before triggering a race. This summer I decided to build my own light tree. Here's the result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TunL0nyWpiI Physically, the tree starts...
by Jeff Piazza
Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: General Coordinator Topics
Topic: Automated Car Photo Capture
Replies: 4
Views: 9459

Re: Automated Car Photo Capture

Here's a representative sample. I find it's necessary to adjust the white balance for good results, and I should probably experiment more with the placement of the lights. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UNB9SS3n_XbKdsEZh778OzDdrY4IvWuybb3Ob59N9_H36X-Sz4e9Z1jHZ6vDg9KbvvyKt0c6OKmO4OeFuVwkdbCSfhqXwk...
by Jeff Piazza
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: General Coordinator Topics
Topic: Automated Car Photo Capture
Replies: 4
Views: 9459

Automated Car Photo Capture

As I'm sure many of you do, we like to try to capture a photo of each car as it's checked in. This year we made it a self-service affair by adding a bar code scanner and a Raspberry Pi to control the camera, upload the captured photo, and match the photo to the appropriate racer. As they arrive, rac...
by Jeff Piazza
Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:34 pm
Forum: Car & Semi-Truck Construction
Topic: Pledge Floor Care Finish?
Replies: 17
Views: 2155

Re: Pledge Floor Care Finish?

I've used Pledge floor wax a few times, and it's great stuff. A benefit you didn't mention is that it looks good even when applied by a kid using a paint brush. The material apparently "levels" itself as it dries, leaving no brush strokes visible. (I'll admit I've never had the chance to c...
by Jeff Piazza
Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:39 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Wifi enabled timer?
Replies: 4
Views: 961

Re: Wifi enabled timer?

For my Web Race Manager system (see http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7771 ), the timer connects to a host that runs a simple Java program to translate between the timer and HTTP requests back to the server. I've successfully used a Raspberry Pi as the host, but over ethernet rather ...
by Jeff Piazza
Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:09 am
Forum: Software
Topic: GPRM on Mac
Replies: 12
Views: 4988

Re: GPRM on Mac

I've had the same wish, and have been experimenting with a web-based system: http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7771
by Jeff Piazza
Mon May 19, 2014 8:44 am
Forum: Scheduling Methods
Topic: Accommodating late check-ins
Replies: 4
Views: 964

Accommodating late check-ins

If you've run more than a few derbies, you've almost certainly had the experience of having to deal with a late arrival (or, worse, an on-time racer whose presence wasn't immediately recorded) for a group (den) that's already started, but not completed, racing. There are cases where such a racer may...
by Jeff Piazza
Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:10 am
Forum: Software
Topic: 360 Photo of cars (idea)
Replies: 3
Views: 1020

Re: 360 Photo of cars (idea)

A full 3D model isn't necessary, just a collection of views on the car. Apple used to offer QuickTime VR, which let you integrate multiple images into a navigable 3D view. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickTime_VR#Objects . I understand HTML5 and CSS3 have some 3D/VR-oriented features, but I don't k...
by Jeff Piazza
Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:38 am
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Unattended browser kiosk with Android Mini-TV
Replies: 1
Views: 2184

Unattended browser kiosk with Android Mini-TV

I recently bought an "Android Mini-TV" device and used it to set up an information "kiosk" at our most recent derby event. The "mini TV" is a small device running Android that plugs into a (newer) TV via the HDMI interface. Android, of course, is Google's operating syst...
by Jeff Piazza
Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:02 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Electric start gate release
Replies: 1
Views: 2546

Electric start gate release

Recently I've been working on adding an electric release to the start gate of our pack's Piantedosi Freedom track. I have two motives in this: (1) more consistent race results, and (2) an opportunity to have a scout start each race. Plus, of course, the usual fun factor. The existing mechanical rele...
by Jeff Piazza
Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:14 am
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Latch for track start gate
Replies: 6
Views: 3074

Re: Latch for track start gate

Please post with results and if you don't care pictures of actual wiring and parts list. Well, OK, since you asked -- the schematic really pretty much tells the story. Somewhere along the way I realized that this could be a separate device or cable, placed in series with the existing track switch, ...
by Jeff Piazza
Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:22 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Latch for track start gate
Replies: 6
Views: 3074

Latch for track start gate

A couple of years ago, we converted our track from using a laser start gate to a mechanical switch with our Fast Track timer. (The reasons why are described here , here , and here , at least.) The downside of this conversion, at least in my view, is that closing the start gate prematurely can screw ...
by Jeff Piazza
Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:08 pm
Forum: Car & Semi-Truck Construction
Topic: RR Front wheel Camber help!!!
Replies: 11
Views: 1602

Re: RR Front wheel Camber help!!!

OS beat YS, and after the race we ran them on test track multiple times trying to figure out why one was superior to the other. If you don't mind my asking: by roughly how great a margin did Older Son beat Younger Son? Are we talking about 1/8" difference, or half a car length? Was victory det...
by Jeff Piazza
Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:58 am
Forum: Planning, Preps & Running the Race
Topic: A Wheel Sidewall Thickness Inspection Gage
Replies: 12
Views: 2284

Re: A Wheel Sidewall Thickness Inspection Gage

I asked Terry if he could think of a clever easy way to hold the screws while the threads were machined off. No response yet. I'll ask the same here. This is a job for a "clamp nut": take an ordinary hex nut that mates to the screw, and cut a slot through one side (by dremel or hacksaw). ...
by Jeff Piazza
Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:50 pm
Forum: Construction
Topic: Cubmobile Construction
Replies: 5
Views: 2133

Re: Cubmobile Construction

Speedy Metals has 1/2" rounds of 1045 steel for what appears a better price.
http://www.speedymetals.com/pc-1650-8230-12-rd-cold-finished-1045.aspx

/JEP

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