Archive for the 'Screenshots' Category

Sketches: Experiments

Here are some screenshots of ongoing sketches / concepts for visualizing data off of the track.

The first concept was to mimic the relationship of the car’s relative position on the track (in this case by drawing a continuous oval/spiral) and tie that in with the car’s current throttle. In this way we can get a sort of “histogram” of the entire race.

Oval concept using random data:

Using throttle input (changing colors per lap)

I tried something a bit different using strips of color, almost like a line graph. In this way it might be easier to visually distinguish a faster laptime based on the length of the color strip:






Data Time.

After being sick for no explainable reason, I finally got around to posting some pictures of the progress I’ve made in getting information from the powerbase.

Testing Area, and pretty much the smallest track circuit you can set up with this kit

Testing Area, and pretty much the smallest track circuit you can set up with this kit

I set up a testing area in my room so that I could run some cars and still be close to my desk. A piece of plywood is pretty high-tech, I know..

PowerBase is powered-up and ready to unleash its magic

PowerBase is powered-up and ready to unleash its magic

I found a power supply in my basement that works great for the time being. The Aux Port is really just a typical phone jack outlet, so I wired a phone cable up to this:

Don\'t mind the shoddy looking tape... It\'s a Prototype!

Don't mind the shoddy looking tape... It's a Prototype!

Underneath the electric tape is a small fuse which should prevent me from blowing up our precious powerbase if there is any accidental mishaps/crossed wires. This is a 9-pin serial adapter that is typically found on PC’s. However, Mac computers don’t have these kind of connections (only USB/Firewire) and need this Serial-USB adapter:

This plugs into laptop USB port

This plugs into laptop USB port


I got this a while back from Amazon, and it works great!

Basic sketch that retrieves and plots data in real-time.

Basic sketch that retrieves and plots data in real-time.


I wrote a quick sketch that plots the data coming from the powerbase. This shows the input from the hand throttle and you can also see the strings of numbers on the bottom which is the data in its raw form. Now just have to figure out the interesting things we can do with this data!

Computer Controlled Slot Cars Anyone?

Computer Controlled Slot Cars Anyone?


I also finally received some electronic samples I ordered a while back. The black chip is called a “digital potentiometer” and acts as a digital version of a hand throttle. I hooked this up on a Basic Stamp II Development board I had lying around (Similar to Arduino). It receives data from processing and sends a signal through the plug I’ve wired up. Sweet.

Also got the beginnings of a network/internet controlled car basically running (still buggy). Things are finally moving along!


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