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WOS interface for PC Lap Counter

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  • WOS interface for PC Lap Counter

    It's taken me much longer than I expected to get this out, but here goes.

    This project is an interface to connect WOS to a PC for use with PC Lap Counter software. It is modular in nature meaning there are many features and you can connect only the inputs and outputs that you desire. Currently it is capable of:

    Outputting start/finish line crossings and pit lane entry and exits for scoring
    Track data intercept which we use to
    Limit the speed of the cars (great for kids)
    Enforce a reduced speed when out of fuel
    Automate throttle enable/disable, useful for events
    Will eventually do blinking headlights for leader
    Drive RGB LEDs (APA102) for start light grid and fuel gauge for each car
    Small LCD screen, currently just displays the reduced speed level
    Optional key fob remote for starting, pausing and resuming races without having to reach for PC

    Here is my quickly rigged up start lights with fuel gauges:

    Some of this is geared towards running events for unskilled or young racers. I was originally aproached by Draconious on this forum who does events and I had the track set up to race with my kids and their kids.

    These are the parts required.
    These is not the only sources, all these can be found on eBay or even Amazon for a few bucks more.

    These first three are the minimum hardware required.

    USB-Serial adapter:

    Main CPU board, commonly know as a "Blue Pill" board:

    Chip programmer:

    Display for speed setting:
    Displays the max speed setting if you use this feature

    Key Fob remotes and receivers:
    Allows starting and pausing(caution) race and altering max speed without setting up buttons.
    If you prefer, simple pushbuttons can be used or just use the PC Lap Counter screen controls.

    The start light grid and the fuel gauges are RGB LEDs, APA102 which can be found all over online.

    Here is one base I modified that puts everything on the base track piece. It has also been done in a separate enclosure.

    This is the connections to get the lap data.

    This is the connections for the track data intercept, the trickiest of all the soldering, followed by another pic to show the location.

    The resistor gets moved over or turned around, then small wires are attached to the two new points.

    The letters on the above pics correspond to the letters on this diagram:

    Ground pins for all components must be connected together and 5 volts from the base.

    You will need the ST-Link utility and the firmware file.
    Scroll all the way down, it's the blue button.

    The programmer connects to the board with 4 jumper wires, supplied with the programmer.
    Programmer pin to Board pin:
    SWDIO to DIO
    GND to GND
    3.3V to 3.3

    The two yellow jumpers on the cpu board should be on the "0" side.

    In the ST-Link utility,
    1 Click File - Open , then select the downloaded firmware
    2 Click the 3rd icon or "Target - Connect" Wait a few seconds and it should show its connected
    3 Click the 6th icon or "Target - Program & Verify"

    Your total status window text at the end should include all this-
    12:04:40 : [SCX_WOS_BP_1.0.bin] opened successfully.
    12:04:40 : [SCX_WOS_BP_1.0.bin] checksum : 0x0030F68B
    12:04:52 : ST-LINK SN : 48FF73066578555548392067
    12:04:52 : ST-LINK Firmware version : V2J29S7
    12:04:52 : Connected via SWD.
    12:04:52 : SWD Frequency = 4,0 MHz.
    12:04:52 : Connection mode : Normal.
    12:04:52 : Debug in Low Power mode enabled.
    12:04:52 : Device ID:0x410
    12:04:52 : Device flash Size : 64KBytes
    12:04:52 : Device family :STM32F10xx Medium-density
    12:05:30 : Memory programmed in 5s and 601ms.
    12:05:30 : Verification...OK
    12:05:30 : Programmed memory Checksum: 0x0030F68B
    Last edited by CraigAVRC; 03-05-2018, 09:16 AM.

  • #2
    Reserved for additional instructions


    • #3
      I think I can actually do this. So to used just PCLC lap times and car positions I just solder a blue wire at C and a green wire at grd on the WOS board chip.

      I only ordered the 3 minimum parts. So then I just solder up the blue pill board to the usb adapter as shown. And from the WOS PB the blue wire/C to the blue pill board at pt shown by the reset button. And the green wire/grd soldered to the grounds on the 2 new components.

      Where is the ground on the blue pill board? Any hole with a G on it?

      Then solder the power terminals together from the blue pill board 5v hole and usb adapter 5v hole. Then solder a red wire from the WOS board to the blue pill board.

      Where on the WOS board do I tap/solder the red wire? It looks like a red power wire/tap is available in the 1st photo of the modified PB piece and I think it reads "Rail +".


      • #4
        I'm not home to take pics, but that sounds right except for the 5 volts. DO NOT ATTACH ANYTHING TO RAIL+.

        I took the 5 volts from the bottom of the USB-A Jack where you would charge the controllers from.

        Now that I think about it, the green wire can go on any ground and doesn't need to be on the chip leg. I did that when I was first exploring and just left it there.


        • #5
          So I ordered the 3 minimum parts from the alibay links provided. Coming from China. Under $10. I rand my track one last time so I know everything works and any problems after this project are due to my modifications. I took the covers off my power base. Removed the screws holding the chip boards in. Found the chip and chip leg where I'm supposed to solder a green wire at C for lap data. The leg is labeled R77. It is incredibly small so I might ask someone at work to solder on there.


          • #6
            The best method is to add a tiny bit of solder to the leg of the chip and tin the end of the wire.
            Then hold the wire with the tinned end laying on the chip leg and gently apply the iron.
            Remove the iron as soon as the solder melts and hold the wire still until the solder hardens. It should only take a second and you'll see the solder get dull.


            • #7
              I got 2 of the 3 parts yesterday in the mail from Alibay. Just missing the chip programmer.


              • #8
                I got the 3rd envelope from Vietnam alibay. It was the programmer. Pretty impressed with the speed and fact all 3 pieces made it to MN USA. I've bought rc batteries from china before. Really can't beat the price for this WOS PCLC upgrade. Hopefully have time next week to solder as instructed. My kids friends still use our track time to time. They love it. Nothing breaks except wheels fly off the front axle pins of cars some times. I love the wireless controllers. Everything still works good. Just vacuum and inox. The PCLC will be really awesome.
                Last edited by csprute; 03-28-2018, 05:27 PM.


                • #9
                  Has anyone attempted to assembled one of these yet?
                  Or... is everyone waiting for someone else to post that they did? lol


                  • #10
                    I've been too busy and hurt my arm really bad. So I have been waiting. Maybe this week I can do the soldering at work.

                    The kids use the track on practice mode so I haven't been super motivated.


                    • #11
                      I thought of doing this mod but will probably wait until I have a chance to run my track again someday (still working on getting a house situation resolved that is still quite a long way from fruition).

                      In the meantime, I'm back to my home theater hobby for now and actually working on a custom circuit board project so I'm at least ready to get on the WOS project when that time comes.

                      Last edited by LDFan; 05-28-2018, 11:55 PM.


                      • #12
                        I have not even purchased parts to make one, or even touched my slot track stuff in a few months.
                        I need to clean it up and get it ready for an event in a couple weeks, so I will be back at it soon.

                        I need to re-paint all my WOS controllers, the kids at the last event had toxic corrosive hands or something all the paint from the remotes is melted and smeared looks horrible. This happened a lot with the old SCXD remotes too. I am going to try painting them with plasti-dip spray paint, maybe find a NEW set and paint them with clear, and paint the smeared set all black.

                        I have been spending most of my time getting my 8-Player Race Simulator in a Trailer up and running again.


                        • #13
                          Finally soldered a wire to the chip

                          Found someone to do it. Now I have to solder the components together.


                          • #14
                            Got the power base back w wire soldered to chip. It is buried under glue. Now I got to solder the other stuff

                            Last edited by csprute; 06-04-2018, 01:48 PM. Reason: add pic


                            • #15
                              Looking good. Thanks for the update! And best wishes in completing the final steps.


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