The purpose of this project is to provide an easy to build, cheap and open system for time measurements in f3f racing. The project has reached the concept demonstration stage, and is available for testing.
The idea is to have a PC or an Android device process digital signals transmitted through the USB port. The PC application is run by the Contest Director, with signals emitted by two devices located at base A & B.
The timing itself is not done by the PC, but by an external Arduino microntroller directly connected to the judges pushbuttons. The reason for this is that the USB connection is asynchronous and cannot be relied upon to provide the required timing precision. The microcontroller transmits both the state of the pushbutton, and the time at which the state has been changed.
There are two options to create the signals : wired and wireless.
The wired option is cheap and fast to build, with the drawback of the lengthy wires.
The wireless option is a little more expensive, and only slightly more difficult to assemble.
That being said, the author is not an electronic specialist, hence there are most probably better or cheaper ways to build the devices. All suggestions are welcome.
Although the current programs are still in the beta-testing phase, they are functionnal.
The programs will be improved in 2013 based on personal usage and user feedback. Updates will be provided in the download section for Android and on the Sourceforge project page for Linux and Windows.
Feedback, bug reports, comments, feature requests, and suggestions are welcome. The preferred method is to post the comments on the sourceforge discussion forum. Feel free also to contact me at the email address mentioned in the "?" menu of the f3ftime application.
Updated April 2013