Slot Car Lap Timer/counter

For his first project using the TI Launchpad [VOJT4] built a lap timer and counter for slot cars. For us it’s always hardest to come up with the idea of what to build and we think he found a great one here.

Each time a car passes the finish line of the track it trips a reed switch that was hot glued to the underside of the track segment. Both reed switches have a capacitor to smooth out the inputs (is this acting as a hardware debounce?). The time and lap number are then pushed to a graphic LCD by the MSP430G2553.

You must be logged into the forum where [VOJT4] posted the project in order to see the images. Because of this, we’ve embedded them (including the schematic) after the break along with a demo video. But do take a look at his project thread to hear his thoughts and peruse the code he wrote.

[Thanks Opcode via 43oh]

4 thoughts on “Slot Car Lap Timer/counter

  1. Thanks for embedding the images here. That whole “You must log in to see how awesome we are” thing went out in the 90’s. I have no idea why anyone would “share” a project that way.

  2. I had a slot car set in the late 70’s or early 80’s that did this.. It was kinda cool, but my interest in slot cars was definitely waning. I still have it.

    How about a hack that determines the car’s position on track? Then you could measure acceleration. Maybe via a wire that interacts with the magnets in the car?

  3. A friend was showing off an old slot car set to me when he handed me the controller.

    I was actually dumbfounded for a moment looking for the steering knob then proceeded to drive the car straight off the track by over accelerating the thing.

    I had forgotten completely about how different an experience it is. (I’m also glad I didn’t break the car!)

    Cool project for an absolutely charming hobby.

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