This drag race timer replicates many of the features of a professional drag race timing system including the following:
• A functional Christmas Tree
• Measurement/Display of race times
• Printout of Time Slips at conclusion of each race
The drag race timer design supports five sets of optical sensors positioned down the track as follows:
1. Pre-Stage Sensors: Positioned 7" behind the start line
2. Stage Sensors: Positioned at the start line
3. 60 Foot Sensors: Positioned 60 Ft down track from the start line
4. Trap Sensors: Positioned 66 feet prior to the finish line
5. Finish Line Sensors: Positioned at the finish line.
This design uses inexpensive laser LEDs and photo transistors for the lane sensor units. The software can accommodate any length track as long as the sensors are positioned as described above. Additionally, the Christmas tree timing sequence can be set to function as either a NHRA professional or NHRA sportsman (standard) class type tree. Sorry - Bracket racing is not supported in this design.
An Arduino MEGA micro-controller board is used in this design and provides the interfaces to the optical lane sensors, Christmas tree and hand-held race start switch and executes the software that drives the Christmas tree lights, monitors the track sensors, performs the timing and sends the race results and track status to the PC for display and post-race processing.
Race management software running on the PC provides display of the race start reaction time, 60 Foot marker time, trap speed (in MPH), elapsed time, overall time (elapsed time + reaction time) and racer’s status (win, draw, disqualified). A thermal receipt printer provides hardcopy Time Slips for the race participants. All race results are saved to a comma-delimited data file. The race management software also provides the ability to view and print prior race results and continue a race from a previously saved race event file. A hand-held pushbutton tethered on a long cord provides the ability to start the race or reset for the next race from a remote location such as the start line.
Race management software features:
* Customizable time slip header and footer text
* Automatic print of time slips at the end of each race
* “Standard” or “Professional” Christmas tree functionality
* Ability to enter racer ID numbers prior to each race
* User selectable timer timeout durations
* Ability to review & print prior ran races
Build of this system is recommended for someone with some electrical fabrication/assembly experience.
INTERESTED? -- Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: A wireless version were the 60 Ft, Trap and Finish line sensors communicate wirelessly with the main timer unit using the nRF24L01 transceiver module has just been developed to eliminate the need for long cable runs. As of 3/25/2020 bench testing is complete and Beta testing is about to start.