I need a bit of help with some conceptual thinking and I'm pretty sure that Mayhem has such thinkers
(bull, bull bull .....
This is about an automatic lap counting system for use in OMRA races. I know the multi lads already use the BBK system but, to be honest, it seems incredibly expensive to me!
The BBK system works by having a receiver loop stretched out over the water with each boat having it's own transponder. When the boat passes under the loop, a unique signal is sent to the receiver and then to a laptop which adds and displays the number of laps (it also records times).
Now, I am not the world's best when it comes to electronics (I can just about work out a resistor value given long enough) but I was thinking -
1. Would we actually need a loop aerial or could we use a single point aerial, say on the bank next to the pits? If we did need a loop, it would have to be long enough (say 10-15 mtrs from the bank) and high enough for the boats to get under (say 800mm above the water). I accept that this probably could not be used in sea races as the height variation may be too great, but should be fine for lake races.
2. What sort of transmission device would be needed in the boat? (It should be small and light with a rechargable battery that would last at least an hour). Could the latest generation of 2.4GHz keyfob type transmitters be used? (they would have to be encapsulated for waterproofing).
3. The receiver would need to be operable on 12V.
4. A laptop could be made available with appropriate software to count/display the laps (commercial stuff is available and not TOO expensive).
Any thoughts guys, or do we have to go down the "commercial" route?