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Old 07-14-09, 10:14 AM   #1
vladav
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Timing system for street sprints?

Looking for an affordable (< $200-300) timing system to measure E.T. of flying 200 meter street sprints...

It's just for fun, and it's just a club event, but our last session left a bit to be desired in the timing accuracy/repeatability department.

I have no idea where to begin looking?
DIY kits
Manufacturers
DAQ+laptop

Thanks for any suggestions,
Dave
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Old 07-14-09, 10:56 AM   #2
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a flag in the starter's hand and a stopwatch at the finish line?
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Old 07-14-09, 11:12 AM   #3
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Old 07-14-09, 11:52 AM   #4
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a flag in the starter's hand and a stopwatch at the finish line?
Definitely affordable (That was our setup, but distractions ravaged our guy with the stopwatch)
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Old 07-14-09, 11:54 AM   #5
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well get a different guy. it's not the system's fault.
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Old 07-14-09, 12:09 PM   #6
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Cool, thanks! I'll add that to the high zoot options (If the wire alone $200, then the box has got to be a lot more one would assume, right?)
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Old 07-14-09, 12:11 PM   #7
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well get a different guy. it's not the system's fault.
True enough - that's why we're looking for an "electronic guy"
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Old 07-14-09, 12:14 PM   #8
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Found a DAQ for $118 + a bit more in materials & free labor. That's kinda looking like the way so far...
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Old 07-14-09, 01:23 PM   #9
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You can get printing stopwatches.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:35 PM   #10
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You can get printing stopwatches.
Yeah I've seen those used on the track but not up close. Are they timestamps where you could use 2 (one at each end) and subtract the difference?
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Old 07-14-09, 05:13 PM   #11
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Please get impartial holders. You don't want a brooha like the one in Athens OH a few years ago.

In the women's heats, one rider's coach from the old EDS team stepped in at the last minute and held his rider. At the gun, he threw her ahead by three bike lengths. I saw the whole thing happen. And the whole argument that followed.
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Old 07-15-09, 07:25 AM   #12
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Yeah I've seen those used on the track but not up close. Are they timestamps where you could use 2 (one at each end) and subtract the difference?
I think what you do is decide on start times (every minute? 3 minutes? Whatever?) then you do the start based on the time. Synchronize a watch to the timer.

5:00:00.00 Go!

Then when the rider crosses you hit the button. The timer thing prints out the next "lap" time, which could be, say, 5:00:15.28

Then the time would be 15.28.

Subtraction, although it seems easy, gets tricky when amped up guys are asking for their times. I've screwed up basic math a few times under those situations.

cdr
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Old 07-15-09, 07:27 AM   #13
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I think what you do is decide on start times (every minute? 3 minutes? Whatever?) then you do the start based on the time. Synchronize a watch to the timer.

5:00:00.00 Go!

Then when the rider crosses you hit the button. The timer thing prints out the next "lap" time, which could be, say, 5:00:15.28

Then the time would be 15.28.

Subtraction, although it seems easy, gets tricky when amped up guys are asking for their times. I've screwed up basic math a few times under those situations.

cdr
If its a flying 200, then you can't just go by arbitrary start times, the clock begins as the rider passes the start line at full speed line and finishes as he crosses the finish line.
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Old 07-15-09, 07:39 AM   #14
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For formal races, to expand on CDRs method of synchronization, for our TTs we assign your race number with the time start, ie. if you're starting @ 8:05 then your [jersey] number is 805.

Last edited by Ex Pres; 07-15-09 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 07-15-09, 10:53 AM   #15
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find some old light sensors from the garage door safety systems, get a simple DAQ and a laptop. probably need to spend some time setting up the sensors, but i would bet it would be quite precise(though maybe not accurate due to lag time?) once set up.
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Old 07-15-09, 10:57 AM   #16
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If its a flying 200, then you can't just go by arbitrary start times, the clock begins as the rider passes the start line at full speed line and finishes as he crosses the finish line.
Ah. Didn't see "flying" in the OP. My bad.

If solo riders, have a big light and a mirror angled to the finish line guy. Have either a camera (video) or a quick reaction guy.

When the flying sprinter breaks the light, start the timer. Stop at finish. Mirror (could be a door mirror or even the side of a shiny car) acts to allow timer at finish line to see when rider passes "start".

If using video camera, import into something like Windows Movie Maker and see where the rider breaks the start "light" (in the mirror) and when the cross the line. Set up properly you could probably catch both the start and finish without moving the camera. Since it films based on time, movement is fine as long as the camera captures the start and finish.

cdr
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Old 07-20-09, 09:26 AM   #17
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light sensors from the garage door safety systems, get a simple DAQ and a laptop.
Ahhh! Yes! That was the last piece of the puzzle - cheap sensors. The DAQ is $114, Laptop is 'free', and the sensors are about $30-40ea.

The inductance lag time can be compensated pretty easily, and any sensor lag would be equal for start & finish.

Thanks all for the suggestions!
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Old 07-20-09, 10:39 AM   #18
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I didn't catch the "flying" in the OP, either. 200m FLYING street sprints?
You're mixing your metaphors. You can do a 200m TT with a flying start, or you can do a 200m straight line street sprint.

As long as the timing is consistent, that's all that matters, right? So don't waste a lot of money getting too sophisticated.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:32 AM   #19
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You're mixing your metaphors.
don't waste a lot of money getting too sophisticated.
Metaphor vs Description

You know this is a sport where folks spend $6k where $2k will do just fine, right?
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