Electronics and Robotics – Drag Racing time checking system

Laser time checking system for Drag Racing competitions

I developed and created this system in 2011 for Midnight Racing Club that holds drag racing competitions and championships in Belarus and Russia.

All works I started from blank sheet and designed every part by myself.

The system have 8 laser probes (4 on each lane for each car), the “christmas tree” traffic light and main computer with special software.

All laser transmitters based on 5mW red lasers with pulse power supply from 12v batteries. Every transmitter has build-in fan for cooling and (not funny) getting rid of bugs (because bugs very like bright red lights in evenings :) )

Probes on start line have 2 lasers and receivers for each car. This allows to place car precisely on the START line and gives high accuracy of timings (see photo).

All recievers built on photodiodes FD-263 with pulse amplifiers and monostable teriggers on output, have sun protectors and testing LEDs. They connected by wire to the main 1C reciever.

Speed probes is located exactly 10 meters (about 20 feet) from Finish probes. Thia allows system to calculate speed of each car at the end of track.

1C double recievers combined in one unit with pulse amplifiers and power switches (MOSFET based) for driving “Christmas Ligts”.

PC Linking unit has 8MHz controller for checking time intervals from laser probes and USB convertor (FT232 IC) to connect to laptop with my special Drag Racing software application. Laptop connects via WiFi or 3G/4G modem to the Drag.By website during competition and uplods current rece’s results on it in real-time.

Whole system is autonomous and is powered by 12 volts battery.

Time checking accuracy is about 0.001 sec.

Here is a nice video clip about Midnight Racing Club where you can take a look at my time checking system in action:


For those who want to download this video in HD, here you are – LINK MP4, 61 Mb.

The system perfectly works in any weather conditions (sun, heat, cold, rain) and was used on many Drag Racing competitions and championships in Belarus and Russia.

Lots of photos and information about Belorussian Drag Racing and my system you can find here (sorry, just Russian language):


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