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Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:14 am

I’m pretty new to raspberry pi’s but I am looking at making a lap timing system for a motorsport we race in with a low cost idea. The idea is that every lap the vehicle goes round the track and passes the start finish line it logs the lap time by uploading the data to a sql server so the data can be viewed live from the race control and pits teams. I’m not sure if a laser system or a gps module is the way to go big any idea you have be sure to tell me. Eventually I would like to add other modules such as speed and rpm but that’s something for the future. If someone could write me some code to do this job efficiently and tell me what hardware I need for the job it would be great.

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Re: Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:06 am

Big job.

Wireless would seem to be the bet bet for getting data off the cars/karts, but might suffer interference and problems with going in and out of range (depending on circuit) There is an issue with GPS accuracy, but that can be enhanced using accelerometers etc.

Not easy, and that usually means expensive.
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Re: Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:07 am

Such commercial timing systems normally use some sort of RF transponder passing over an inductive loop or similar.
See for example products (used to be called AMB Systems).

The software nowadays is mostly free, but that's because the hardware is expensive to get the required accuracy, especially for multiple fast moving vehicles.

There are several posts on this forum you might want to read before embarking on such a system... it may not be as low cost as you think.

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Re: Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am

I am in charge of running the timing for a local sporting car club and i have run the timing person a national level circuit before.

I can provide a little background on how professional systems work as the system we use is the same as used by the top level of motorsport in Australia. for example in the V8 supercar series.(

We have 60 transponders that for our local club that attach to the cars and continuously broadcast their serial number with a range of about 40cm. There are a series of antenna loops buried just under the surface of the track across the start/finish line which then run to a box that receives the transmissions from them and logs it against GPS time and makes the data available over Ethernet. A windows PC with software to plot that data is also used which then keeps track of competitors, circuit information, etc and logs it to a database to work out the leader board.

our system cost in the order of $25 thousand AUD but a lot of that was hardware for the 60 transmitters which are hundreds each but we have timing accuracy down to thousandths of a second

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Re: Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:12 am

Yeah, the motorsport I take part it is actually hovercraft racing which is land and water which makes it hard to bury areals around the track. Is it worth going through the hassle of coding and buying all the parts for a raspberry pi system for this job or is it just too much saving little money?

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Re: Lap timer for motorsport Racing

Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:05 pm

I know I'm bumping an older post, but I thought I would share this project with you: ... spberry_Pi

This is a low-cost motorsport lap timing a data acquisition system that can leverage a Raspberry Pi as the digital dash for the system. I personally use this system in my race car and it does a fantastic job. Lap times are within 0.05 seconds of the official timing. Although this is a commercial project, all the code is open source. So if you are looking to do something else with it, you can easily compile your own code to add functionality.


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