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PICList Thread
'Identifying cars'
2004\03\16@212148 by John Ferrell

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Railway cars & turnpike toll booths use bar codes in the US.
John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Liam O'Hagan" <spam_OUTliamTakeThisOuTspamGLI.COM.AU>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 8:04 PM
Subject: [EE]: Identifying cars


> Howdy everyone, a question on the best solution to this particular
> challenge.
>
> I'm a member of a car club, and we often have track days where we're timed
> around a racetrack. Currently the timing consists of people with
stopwatches
> clicking the button when they see a car go past.
>
> Needless to say this is pretty inaccurate and not very reliable.
>
> Recently someone asked me if I could make a timing system, using a
> transmitter on each car (as cheap as possible) and a "beacon" that would
> detect the passing of the car, ans also identify the car.
>
> I've thought of 2 possible solutions and would appreciate feedback on what
> which is the most suitable, and reliable, and whether anyone has any
better
> ideas...
>
> The first solution would consist of an IR led on each car, flashing at a
> discrete frequency, or even flashing a predetermined "ID" code. A beacon
> would sit by the side of the track at the timing marker and count pulses,
> identifying each car in turn. In this case the beacon sees the car pass. I
> thought initially of using a discrete micro on each car, but it would be
> overkill. A 555 based timer would be easier and cheaper...
>
> This has the advantage of being reasonably cheap to implement, and it's
easy
> to have a different frequency or code for all of the different cars (about
> 50 different cars per event, but only 8 on the track at any one time)
>
> Another option is to have an IR transmitter on the beacon, and an IR
> receiver on the car. The car would also have a RF transmitter, so when the
> car sees the beacon pass, it identifies itself via RF. This would be more
> expensive, but I think more reliable.
>
> The range from the beacon to the car would be 5 - 20 metres (15-60 feet),
> depending on what line they take through the corner. Speeds at this point
of
> the track are generally 70 - 120km/hr (45-75 MPH)
>
> The angle between the beacon's line of sight and the path of the car would
> ideally be 90 degrees, but knowing some of the drivers this could vary
> considerably!
>
> The software and timing will be handled by a PC attached to the beacon (or
> communicating to the beacon through RF again) and displaying the times.
I've
> done that part, just need to handle the detection and identification of
the
> cars now...
>
> Any ideas anyone?
>
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2004\03\16@213212 by Liam O'Hagan

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I think the problems with a system like that would be first of all the speed
of the passing cars, do people buzz through toll booths at 75MPH?

Secondly, unlike toll booths and railway tracks, these cars could be coming
through the timing point at a number of different angles relative to the
beacon, which would make the reading of barcodes very difficult.



{Original Message removed}

2004\03\17@082042 by Anthony Toft

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> I think the problems with a system like that would be first of all the speed
> of the passing cars, do people buzz through toll booths at 75MPH?
>
> Secondly, unlike toll booths and railway tracks, these cars could be coming
> through the timing point at a number of different angles relative to the
> beacon, which would make the reading of barcodes very difficult.

Don't know what the device is but the local expressway has 'open road'
lanes where you can blast through at highway speeds, these things are
characterised by a couple of wires hanging over the road with the reader
device on it.

On a smaller scale the local rc car club runs it's races with some
similar method with a windshield mounted 'transponder' and they drive
under a wire mounted on a PVC pipe to count laps.
--
Anthony Toft <EraseMEtoftatspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcowshed.8m.com>

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