I’ve been racing for a year, and have decided it is time to build a track and host a race. I don’t have a lot of space, but that didn’t stop me from building an awesome model railroad.
- Portable with easy setup and take-down.
- Realistic drag racing action.
- Child friendly (grandkids, maker faires).
If you’ve been following my Quest for the Golden One series, you know I have an electronic timer. I used my Nerf Chronograph knowledge to do this, but wanted to build something a little more robust, and perhaps something that others could build. Using a combination of off-the-shelf electronics and custom circuit boards, I thought a modular approach would work well. My approach to projects is to break it into discrete, testable steps:
- Two IR-gates per lane to calculate speed as well as elapsed time (custom PCB).
- I2C bus displays to show speed and elapsed time (off-the-shelf).
- Two IR-gates to show staging and trigger start of race (custom PCB).
- I2C bus display Christmas Tree (custom)
- 9g hobby servo to start the race (off-the-shelf).
You will notice how similar the gates are. Can I do it with one circuit board?
- Bluetooth wireless starting and time reporting.
- MP3 sound effects (for local events).
- Burnout smoke from vape pen hack?
So, here is what I know how to do:
Here is what I need to learn:
- How drag racing works.
- Bluetooth communications.
- Logistics of running a mail-in race.
- How to make a compelling race video.
- How to build a community around a track.
I love learning, and sharing what I learn. One of my first steps was to go to a local drag race. Like die-cast racing, I found it a welcoming sport, filled with passionate people willing to share what they know. And so, the journey begins . . .