Start Gate Trigger Switch

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murphken
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Start Gate Trigger Switch

Post by murphken » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:33 pm

Just received a new metal start gate for our 35' Piantedosi 6 lane track. Also, I checked out the home-made timer and it works fine. Questions: Where is the optimal place for the start gate trigger switch? Are you guys using a special type of mechanical switch? The current switch is normally closed and is open (breaks continuity) when triggered by the start gate. The current switch is small and not very robust. I will probably have to rely on local sources, like Radio Shack, for the switch because pack race is a week away.
Thank you for your support!
Murph


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gpraceman
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Re: Start Gate Trigger Switch

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:10 pm

It is easiest to mount the switch on the side where the gate release is. I'm not sure if you got the mounting bracket from Micro Wizard, but if not you can see if they will send you one. You can see a bit how it looks from this photo from last years pack race.

On the switch itself, you should give the lever a bit of an up curl so the end doesn't dig into the metal of the lower start gate plate.

Sorry, I don't have a better angle to show.

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.

murphken
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Re: Start Gate Trigger Switch

Post by murphken » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:09 pm

Thanks GP,
Our new start gate uses a horizontal lever that is moved sideways to release the cars. Your configuration is a little different. I can break-up some sheet metal to fabricate a switch holder. I will try to mount switch so its finger will activate almost immediately after the start gate starts falling.

I want to make sure that the we can have scalable times on this track. We have never run on this track and the race should be interesting! By the way, what are good times for a track like this? The actual "usable" length of the 35 foot track is approximately 27.8 feet from start gate to finish line sensors.

We should have about 15 -18 cars to run during our pack race. We are a start-up pack and still trying to get our numbers up.

We will have to manually load the times into Excel which should not be a problem with such a small amount of cars. I was thinking of running each car six times in the different lanes and averaging times at the end.

I had trophys made for the top three fastest average track times, top three best of builds, and top three most creative car designs. No scout can get more than one trophy. I want to "spread the love around". I still need to get some active participant awards for the other Cubs who don't get a trophy.


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gpraceman
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Re: Start Gate Trigger Switch

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:18 pm

murphken wrote:Our new start gate uses a horizontal lever that is moved sideways to release the cars. Your configuration is a little different.
Only in how to trigger the gate. Our pack's track has a bit older gate. The one that I maintain for Awana races is the style like you have. The mounting location for the switch is exactly the same for both styles of gate triggering. They both use the same switch mounting bracket provided by Micro Wizard.
murphken wrote:I will try to mount switch so its finger will activate almost immediately after the start gate starts falling.
As long as the gate is snapping open crisply, you just need to worry about keeping the switch fully closed when the gate is up.


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.

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