starting gate

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by yavolt, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. yavolt

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    2
    0
    Hi I have taken on the project of building a starting gate for a local kid. I am a machinist not a electronics tech. I have been reading on similar timing circuits and thinking Im in way over my head, but it has sparked an interest. The basic plan is powered by a car batter, sequence of operation 30 second delay at 0sec turns off an LED and starts a random up to 10 second delay at which time it activates a soleniod for just a split second opening the gate. As I said this has sparked an interst so I would like to learn what Im doin and not just put pieces together. Thanks
     
  2. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    536
    26
    Let's see--
    You'll need to push a button to start the whole thing, and then 30" after that an LED turns OFF, and 0-10" after that the solenoid activates, right?

    Incidentally, the solenoid can not have a "split second" activation. If the signal is very short, the solenoid will not activate, if it's short, it will send the car flying through the air! In fact, you could probably leave the solenoid activated for several seconds to make sure the car clears the gate.

    Personally, I would go the microcontroller route -- easier for the random effect -- but I believe an RS latch and a couple of 555s could do it.

    I'm gonna think on it, but if anyone else wants to help, be my guest -- it's been literally decades since I did this type of thing.

    --Rich
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  3. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    Is this anything like what you are trying to do? F1 Staging Lights

    That is a free code download for a PIC based Staging Lights to start a slot car race, etc.

    What size is the gate, slot car, pinewood derby, horses, etc?
     
  4. yavolt

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    2
    0
    This is for motorcycle racing, one gate will be 24" wide, with 2 gates total(as it needs to be portable). Control mech mounting in the center. I cant get the image to a pdf. it will only open with paint shop pro, but one gate looks like a u inside of a u with the two open ends being the pivot point. As to my knowledge most of the real race gates are manually operated by foot. I been messing around with multisim and 555 timers, but I been reading and think the microcontroller would be the Ideal way to go but know nothing about them as of yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  5. RiJoRI

    Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    536
    26
    I would consider either the Arduino Duemilanove or the Parallax BASIC Stamp2. The Stamp is a little more expensive, and "some assembly is required," but the forums are very helpful. Also, the Stamp is programmed in BASIC, and the 2009 (Duemilanove) is in a C-type language. Having both the 2009 and the Stamp OEM board, and being fluent in both languages, I see no real difference between them for this application.

    --Rich
     
  6. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
    1,758
    98
    Far better than the ancient basic stamp would be a PIC programmer, 18Fxxxx and Swordfish basic.
     
  7. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    5,939
    1,222
    I Find the Basic stamp quite overpriced.
     
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