PCSlotMouse Slot car lap/timer

     I like many others purchased a Scalextric racing car set many years ago as a present for my son, he played with it a few times then it ended up in the loft (like many others!) , I think it is fair to say that he got bored with it, he could not play with it on his own. I was thinking that a PC lap counter/timer would be the answer and indeed make it much more interesting.

I decided to look around at what was available and at what cost, well that was a bit of a joke! You either made it yourself or you spent a lot of money, in some cases the accuracy left a lot to be desired and all the connecting up to the track and extra power supplies, overhead light gantry’s etc  equals a nightmare and not worth it!

I decided to construct my own 2 lane timer/counter for home use, looking around it seemed the printer port, game port , RS232 port were commonly used, I came to the conclusion this was a bit outdated and my netbook has none of these inputs, I then had a thought and decided to investigate using the mouse as my input.

I was able to buy a "smart price" USB wheel mouse at £4 from Asda , I took it to bits and connected wires to the left and right click buttons, I then made 2 dead strip sensors (3inch) on the track, I then wrote a Visual Basic 6 program (with my limited programming ability!) to time and countdown the laps to 100/ sec, this worked very well on the left click button but not so good on the right click button, the right click button I presume was being monitored too much by Windows? However the thumbwheel down click was fine so I used that, the good thing is the mouse could still be used normally. 5000 laps or more later with no problems and heaps of fun!

So the total cost for me to provide a  good home use 2 lane PC track/lap timer was £4!! And what it can do will depend on what is added to the program, better timer res etc

       Below is a screenshot of the user interface       

Below is a picture of how I worked the dead slot sensor length out without butchering the track                                        

         

   Below is a picture of the PCSlotmouse interface in use, the dog ("Patch") liked to help! Notice the different interface graphics in this version of software

                                                

If anybody would like the VB6 executable file or has anything they want to ask  or idea's, comments to add then email me at bsac12ver@hotmail.com

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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