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  • meledward23
    started a topic Timing HO

    Timing HO

    I run a Digital 124 Track. Timing is simple and built in.
    I have been tempted to play with an HO track for years. I think this year is the year.

    That said, I am curious timing systems.

    Whats the latest and greatest in HO timing? And by latest and greatest I mean simple, budget friendly, functional, most importantly, I like easy to use, tinkering with the cars, mastering the track, etc, that is relaxing, messing with computers not so much. I spend all day in front of screens.



  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    "Local" must be a pretty small area. East Coast Outlaws has most of their races in CT. I'd consider them local.

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    If you are using a computer based system you can install more than one type of software. It is probably a good idea to use, or at least be familiar with, whatever software is commonly used in your area. Using software that you are not familiar with can lead to disaster when you are having a big event. Some years ago we were using a new version of some software and that had not been tested in advance. During the race the software crashed. We tried rebooting the computer and restarting the race, but the software crashed again. I believe that we ended up changing to another computer with different software.
    When I load new software I always run several test races to see if there might be any glitches. Just lately I have been sharing information on different race management software with another club member that hosts races.
    There is no local HO club in my area, I host a couple of HOCOC races each season, right now the racers are coming from four different states. I want the races at my place to come off without a hitch.

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    Another thing to consider is if you plan to host races for local clubs. Getting a system they are familiar can be beneficial when looking for help running a race, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • meledward23
    replied
    Thanks for the responses.

    Visause is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.



    Leave a comment:


  • HObro
    replied
    Thanks for posting that Rich, great info. Appreciate it

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    You can download the Trackmate software for free and install it on your computer. If it does not see an interface unit you can run the software in trial mode.
    The instructions for the hardware installation are clear but there are some features that are not mentioned in the PDF that is included with the software. There are more things that can be found buried in the Trackmate website. Here is the article that I did: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzL...ew?usp=sharing
    When I get a chance I will update the article.

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    Trackmate hardware and software. They offer a turn-key system for HO. The documentation on hardware installations is clear. Software runs on Windows OS. The software is sufficient for my needs and simple to configure and use.

    Leave a comment:


  • NCSS
    replied
    I have been pleased with Viasue using Race Coordinator. As mentioned, an old Windoze computer running XP sp3 or better will do. You may have something like that, or odds are someone you know has something like that in the closet. Worst case that used computer shop by the railroad tracks (?) probably has one for you pretty cheap.

    The Viasue installation was clean and of good quality, and I've never had a lick of trouble. They will install in your choice of track brand and length, IIRC. While it's not exactly cheap, I felt it is a good value, as it makes race parties SO much more fun. Race Coordinator can export stats files to Excel, if that's your bag, baby. ;-)

    Race Coordinator does have some audio announcements, but they're more like "Driver 1 best time" and such. For people who like to tinker with computers, Race Coordinator is very flexible, which can make the initial learning curve steep for some folks. Before our first event using it I ran several simulated races to makes sure everything was ship-shape. There are some obscure (to me) settings like "minimum lap time" that need to be done correctly. (That feature is intended to help reduce the chances of false laps cause by riders, for example.) Best of luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • Maddman
    replied
    Personally I use Slottrak. It too needs a PC but its easy to use. It will work with most hardware systems including Trakmate.

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    Race Coordinator is just software, you would also need a computer and some hardware. For hardware at the very least you would need sensors of some sort, for HO cars dead strips, reed switches or IR phototransistors can be used. The IR sensors would also require an IR source. The sensors can't be connected directly to a computer that does not have serial or printer ports, if the computer only has USB ports something like an Arduino or Phidget board that has a USB output would also be needed.
    RC is a sophisticated program, some people might find it to be rather intimidating, however it does have a setup wizard that runs you through the process step by step. Trackmate software is much more simple. The instructions for Trackmate are adequate, but they need updating. I wrote an article on Trackmate that is available online.
    Another software program is Ultimate Racer, both that and Race Coordinator work with Trackmate hardware.
    There is no really easy and cheap way that I know of beyond the smart phone apps that will let you time laps. If you just wanted to count laps there are inexpensive digital counters available.

    Leave a comment:


  • Phil Kalbfell
    replied
    I use Race Coordinator on all our tracks now, changed after using Trakmate for years.
    For a turnkey System It looks like Viasue is very going and used RC as the software.

    Leave a comment:


  • galerdude
    replied
    I use Race Coordinator software on my track and like it. Simple and easy to use could be interpreted differently by different folks. I've found it easy to use and it's free.
    Here's a link: http://www.racecoordinator.net/index.html

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    I love it when people ask simple questions that need complicated answers. For a start simple is not always cheap and cheap is not always simple. If all you want to do is time laps you have three basic choices, computer based systems, freestanding systems and smartphone apps.
    Freestanding systems do not require a computer, DS and Slot Dragon are examples of those, they are not cheap. I still have a TrikTrax, which switches between counting and timing laps. Those have been out of production for a long time, but they do turn up on eBay.
    Computer based systems like Trackmate and Viasue are used for club style racing where lane rotations are used. You may never use the features that systems like that include, except possibly one or two. A computer based system can save your fastest lap, so you do not have to drive with one eye on a display. Trackmate can call out your lap times, I was too lazy to see if Viasue also had that feature. You do not need a great computer to use with either system, in fact if you have an old computer with serial and printer ports you could put together an inexpensive DIY system. Be aware that some people have never been able to get such a system to work properly. Another type of computer based system would use a webcam, one of those is Zone Trigger, which can do several lanes at once.
    Smartphone apps are the latest thing, some can only do one lane at a time, I have seen others that can do as many as four lanes. You point the phone at your track and the camera becomes a motion detector. The multilane apps let you define different zones for the individual lanes.

    Leave a comment:

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