TRACK CONTROLLER FOR AWANA® GRAND PRIX using PIC16F628




Introduction

This project is for the hobbiest who wants to build a measurement and display unit for an Awana Grand Prix® track (also known as a Pinewood Derby track.)

TRACK CONTROLLER

The racetrack for which I designed this unit is a 4-car track. A car is approximately seven inches long, is released by a gate at the starting line, rolls down the ramp by gravity, and crosses the finish line in approximately five seconds. This was designed for Christ Memorial Church, Williston, Vermont, USA.

This circuit is contained in three places: in the controller/display box, in the finish line “bridge” unit, and at the start gate. The power supply, the controller/display box, and the start gate switch/servo each connect to the track finish line “bridge.”

The controller box also has a 9-pin serial jack for connection to a computer with appropriate software. For computers lacking a serial jack, RS232-to-USB adapters may provide connectivity. Recommended and tested race management software is “GrandPrix Race Manager” from GrandPrix Software Central. This software is well-written by Randy Lisano, highly configurable (easily customized to work with this track controller) and produces a full-screen image that is very suitable for use with a video projector.

C code
Schematic
My other projects
Questions? Please email me.     Jon Fick

TRACK CONTROLLER Schematic




Features

Timing is initiated either by pressing the push button or by computer control. The controller waits for one or more cars to cross the finish line and displays the order of finish as well as elapsed timing information.

 Code:

// RACE START CHECKS.  These are defined at compile time.
// 0 = no checks,    1 = finish line check only,    2 = start gate and finish line check
#define START_CHECKS     1

/***************************************************************************
AGPV030709.C

This program controls an Awana Grad Prix racetrack.
Times out at 9.999 seconds.
Uses a start switch (local N.O. pushbutton)
and a remote gate switch (N.C.)
and a remote gate actuator.
This version can mask lanes.
With serial communication.
With First Place LED atop each lane.

Elapsed time is 1mS interrupt driven.
Serial communication is interrupt driven, 9600-8-E-1.

WORKING CODE, RACE VERSION!!!

                         +5                             +5
                          |                              |
                         14                              2
                      ----------                     ----------
 -Start---ProgM----4-|          |-10-------------11-|DB4 Vdd   |
 -StopR-----------17-|          |-11-------------12-|DB5       |
 -StopB-----------18-|          |-12----ProgC----13-|DB6       |
 -StopG------------1-|  16F648  |-13----ProgD----14-|DB7     Vo| 3----20K pot
 -StopY------------2-|          |-9---------------6-|EN  LCD   |
 -RemSw------------3-|          |-6---------------4-|RS        |
        6MHz XTAL-16-|          |-7--Rx             |          |
              TAL-15-|          |-8--Tx             | RW   Vss |
                      ----------                     ----------
                           5                           1   5
                           |------------ProgG          |   |
                          Gnd                         Gnd Gnd

**************************************************************************/

 

For more detail: TRACK CONTROLLER FOR AWANA® GRAND PRIX using PIC16F628




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