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A 2-lane Pinewood Derby Judge
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README.md

pxt-simple-2-lane-pwd-finish-line Build status badge

Description

This is a cheap and simple finish line judge for a two-lane pinewood derby track.

Photovoltaic sensors are installed into holes drilled into the center of each lane, and a light or LED is placed directly overhead of each sensor. Once a car's shadow passes over one of the sensors (causing the sensed light to dim by 50%), that car will be declared the winner. The pixel will repeatedly flash blue to indicate the winner ("blink, 2s pause, repeat" for lane 1; "blink, blink, 2s pause, repeat" for lane 2). Press the reset button to recalibrate and prepare for the next race.

This project was done using MakeCode to demonstrate to Cub Scouts that electronics can be useful and FUN!

Use this extension

This repository can be added as an extension in MakeCode.

  • open https://maker.makecode.com/
  • click on New Project
  • click on Extensions under the gearwheel menu
  • search for the URL of this repository and import

Edit this extension

To edit this repository in MakeCode.

Blocks preview

This section shows the blocks code from the last commit in master.

A rendered view of the blocks

Wiring Preview

A note on wiring: There is ample space in the prototyping area on the board to add the resistors for the photovoltaic sensors directly to the board. Once that is done, the photovoltaic sensors would only need three wires to be sent to the bottom of the track, and those would fit (with a wire to spare) in an RJ-11 plug. Taking such an approach could make assembly that much easier. How this is implemented specifically will depend on the plysical layout of the track and board placement, but it is something to consider when drawing up the build plans.

This section shows the generated wiring preview:

A rendered view of the wiring

Adding a Lane

A lane can be added by editing this function in the block editor:

function lightSensorRead
  set lightSensorCurrent to 
    (array of 
      (analog read pin A1)
      (analog read pin A2))

Change it to:

function lightSensorRead
  set lightSensorCurrent to 
    (array of 
      (analog read pin A1)
      (analog read pin A2)
      (analog read pin A3))

Supported targets

  • for PXT/maker
  • for PXT/codal (The metadata above is needed for package search.)
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