Perfect Staging Mechanism

General track discussions.
User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6856
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:04 pm

Whatever you do in "widening" the staging area needs to retract to normal width before the start gate opens. Ratraction could be into the guide rail or into the track, and could be linked to the gate release function.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
SlartyBartFast
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by SlartyBartFast » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:41 am

Not going to investigate the feasibility of implementing this, but here's my most recent thought on the subject:

It does limit design possibilities, but: either axle guards or some other standard plate with a center hole. The track would have two pins per lane. The cars would be put on the pins, the pins lowered, the heat run.

Consistent every time.

The design limitations would be:
- enough meat on the bottom to install the plates.
- placement of the plates to allow the least amount of rol forward when the staging pins are lowered.



User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6856
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:11 am

Clever idea. Such a "plate" could be a required component with location specs relative to the front of the car and the bottom of the wheels! Then, there are no traditional starting pins!

I'm not going to pursue the idea either since I feel that owner/driver staging of the cars "by eye" is preferred. But it would be very useful on the test track!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
SlartyBartFast
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by SlartyBartFast » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:18 am

Stan Pope wrote:Clever idea. Such a "plate" could be a required component with location specs relative to the front of the car and the bottom of the wheels! Then, there are no traditional starting pins!
Well, problem is that whatever determines the starting position of the car needs to determine the finishing position of the car. Hence I figured pins to stage and standard starting gate to control the race.

But here's a cool idea: Breakbeam starting line on each track. Then everyone is released at the same time and timed over the same distance. Possibility of interesting results...
Stan Pope wrote:I'm not going to pursue the idea either since I feel that owner/driver staging of the cars "by eye" is preferred. But it would be very useful on the test track!
That's my preference too.

But, I'm plodding along trying to design individual lane controls for the starting gate. Put the starting lights to real use. That and the .1 second difference between cars would probably eclipsed by the reaction times of the racers. Giving a "poor" car with a great racer a chance at the title!



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4812
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:26 am

Slarty,

The plates are an interesting idea.

I'd be more a fan of something that can be added to the track's starting zone to aid in staging. Something along the lines of Michael Lastufka's staging jig (darn site has exceeded its bandwidth again) mounted to the track. It would serve to space the wheels away from the track (and hopefully away from the axle heads). You would likely need a jig made available at check-in to ensure the cars will not have any fit issues.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6856
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:34 am

SlartyBartFast wrote:But, I'm plodding along trying to design individual lane controls for the starting gate. Put the starting lights to real use. That and the .1 second difference between cars would probably eclipsed by the reaction times of the racers. Giving a "poor" car with a great racer a chance at the title!
Ohhhh!!! Neat idea!

Each racer gets a start button for his own lane! :) Need to electronically avoid false starts and award a small time penalty for pushing the button before the "green light"! The penalty needs to slightly exceed most kid reaction times.

A new dimension in racing! Just gotta make sure that the controls match up to the boys correctly! Wouldn't want Johnny pushing the "GO" button for Bobby's car!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4812
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:42 am

Stan Pope wrote:Ohhhh!!! Neat idea!

Each racer gets a start button for his own lane! :) Need to electronically avoid false starts and award a small time penalty for pushing the button before the "green light"! The penalty needs to slightly exceed most kid reaction times.

A new dimension in racing! Just gotta make sure that the controls match up to the boys correctly! Wouldn't want Johnny pushing the "GO" button for Bobby's car!
I've heard of a few people building a similar system. The timing starts when the light tree hits green, and if someone trips too early, the red light comes on and the heat rerun. Though, you could interlock it so that an early button press by a racer will not trigger their lane, so they would have to press the button a second time in order to go. That would penalize those racers while not penalizing the others.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

User avatar
SlartyBartFast
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by SlartyBartFast » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:43 am

Stan Pope wrote:Ohhhh!!! Neat idea!
Thanks. It's my current obsession.

And with the current infatuation with video games and the development of electronics, I figure it’s the step to bring PWD into the 21st century.

And there are so many possible variables to play with to make the difficulty age and group appropriate.

Simply giving recognition to fast reaction times, giving advantages to being first, disadvantages to being last, register false starts or not, DQ racers after a number of false starts.

The last one I figure is perfect for Open and adult racing. How humiliating to have your car released before or after the hat is run and registering a time that could have otherwise won...

But the price so far is rediculously prohibitive.
Stan Pope wrote:Just gotta make sure that the controls match up to the boys correctly! Wouldn't want Johnny pushing the "GO" button for Bobby's car!
THAT would be concern number one!



User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6856
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:54 am

After a group spends over $1500 for a track and electronics, just how much is "rediculously expensive?" Since it replaces alternative controls, I bet you could get the incremental cost under $40 per lane.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4812
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:02 am

SlartyBartFast wrote:But the price so far is rediculously prohibitive.
I could see that having a start gate system with one solenoid per lane could be costly. If you use the green light signal to trigger the timer start, you can use an available timer. You, of course, would need a light tree that you can interface with. You'd be surprised at what people are willing to plunk out for a full "state of the art" setup.
SlartyBartFast wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Just gotta make sure that the controls match up to the boys correctly! Wouldn't want Johnny pushing the "GO" button for Bobby's car!
THAT would be concern number one!
Color coding the trigger switches and lanes would help.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

User avatar
MaxV
Merchant
Merchant
Posts: 526
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:45 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by MaxV » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:32 am

I think this is a neat idea. But it would need to have two modes:

1. Individual buttons for each lane.

2. Master button to trigger all lanes simultaneously - for younger kids, or for races in which individual triggering is not desired.



User avatar
SlartyBartFast
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by SlartyBartFast » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:40 am

MaxV wrote:I think this is a neat idea. But it would need to have two modes:

1. Individual buttons for each lane.

2. Master button to trigger all lanes simultaneously - for younger kids, or for races in which individual triggering is not desired.
Already ahead of you.

Actually, 3 modes:

3. One button for individual starts.

Each racer stages their car and proceeds to the launch button. That racer is given a starting countdown, reaction time is stored. Other racers are staging while this is going on.

All racers go to finish, heat is started with each car delayed by the recorded reaction time.

Thought of that because of the inordinate amount of time racer staging and execution of individual lane starting might take.



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4812
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:50 am

SlartyBartFast wrote:Actually, 3 modes:

3. One button for individual starts.

Each racer stages their car and proceeds to the launch button. That racer is given a starting countdown, reaction time is stored. Other racers are staging while this is going on.

All racers go to finish, heat is started with each car delayed by the recorded reaction time.
That would really seem to over complicate things and eliminate the excitement of triggering individually when the light hits green.

I can see having a master switch to trigger all lanes, like Randy D. recommended, because there are situations where individual triggering would not be desired.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4812
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by gpraceman » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:29 am

gpraceman wrote:I'd be more a fan of something that can be added to the track's starting zone to aid in staging. Something along the lines of Michael Lastufka's staging jig (darn site has exceeded its bandwidth again) mounted to the track. It would serve to space the wheels away from the track (and hopefully away from the axle heads). You would likely need a jig made available at check-in to ensure the cars will not have any fit issues.
Here's the picture of Michael's "Racer Spacer" jig that I mentioned. When his site is up, you can find the info on it at http://www.lastufka.net/lab/cars/html/fork.htm.

Image


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

pwdarchitect
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:13 pm
Location: pinewood, usa

Re: Perfect Staging Mechanism

Post by pwdarchitect » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:18 pm

They already have this kind of drag strip type track and start mechanism for Hot Wheels cars. Check out: http://www.dragmasters.net/



Post Reply