Good News

Lets talk about some good news…

Today, I continued some work on the simulation sketch. Currently it simulates four “cars” (rectangles) that have specific attributes (location, speed, laps remaining, race standing.. etc). The rectangle travels across the screen, simulating a lap completion when it reaches the far edge, and then cycling back to the beginning again. These “cars” are fed their speed data via an on-screen slider control. This allows you to modify the speed of the car in real-time much like what the physical hand throttle does on the track. The next thing to do on this is figure out issues such as lap timing and race standing, as well as a simple way to interface this sketch with others that will use the data.

Now for the REALLY good news!…

After playing around with the physical track & powerbase for a while, I figured it was time to get this thing to spit out some data. Although, I was missing a couple of pieces of hardware that would make the data stream more reliable (MAX233 Serial Driver), I figured “what the hell,” and attempt to see what it would give me anyways. I wired everything up… checked all connections… opened up processing… crossed my fingers… and flipped the power on.

The research on this thing finally payed off. I was seeing the numbers I needed to see. And after staring at the data for awhile, I managed to code a parser to organize the information into a usable form. A couple of hours of programming later, I now have instantaneous feedback on the hand throttle’s current position as well as a simple plot of its value over time. And I also decoded the elapsed lap time data that is triggered every time the cars pass over the finish line.

I have to admit… this is extremely cool and absolutely amazing, and only reinforces all that is nerd within me.

Pictures, Screencaps, and possibly video to follow…

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