Fun with Electronics and Code

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Completed and tested – Ready for Testing on Saturday!

Friday:

Well it has been a long road, but I finally completed the build.  I had some delays in getting the mechanical assembly completed but thanks to Bob at HP I was able to get the last few parts I needed machined and the assembly completed.  I started with cleaning all the parts with denatured alcohol and then marking the center lines of each lane on the frame. Then using some steel wool, removed the oxide coating on the back of the “L” brackets, the top plate, and the inside of the C Channel. The H bracket on the bottom is only friction fitted in the channel but I did clean it with denatured alcohol. I then used hot glue to attach the Photo Transistors to the “H” mounting brackets on the bottom and for the IR LEDs on the “L” brackets on top. NOTE: I am told that the oxide coating on Aluminum will reform after about 40 minutes at room temperature, so I suggest gluing soon after cleaning.

Next, I used a section of track that Danny Rose (the track builder) gave me to test out the software and the finish line. It worked great! I was testing with a small stick and whipping it across the lanes to see if then could be triggered by small points (some people like to have pointed tips on their cars) those worked as well but it did not trigger as hard as when the width of the hole was blocked. it can’t be avoided with this design but at least it is close (much closer that any of the races will be). I then tested with the stick whipping it across as fast as I could. I was able to get the lanes to trigger within 0.0007 seconds of each other but never a tie. We will see if we get one on race day but I would be suppressed if we did.

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