|Operating voltage||4 - 6||V|
|Physical size||18 x 23 x 5
0.7 x 0.9 x 0.2
|Operating voltage||7 - 15||V|
|Interface to computer*||RS232 (or USB)||-|
|Number of bridge sensors**||6 (11 as option)||-|
* Fits a standard com-port on a computer. Can use USB
through a simple "USB to Serial" cable, see Support
for more information.
** Number of sensors depend on track width.
These are all typical values.
The LapZ system is based on light to register the cars, more precisely IrDA modules (infra-red light) known from portable computers, PDA's etc. Using IrDA, the bridge and the transponder communicates through a digital link, making it a very advanced piece of electronic equipment. Still, this also allows the transponders to be "micro-sized", perfect for 1:24 sized RC cars, like the Mini-Z racer. It also provides advanced features like programmable ID's.
Drawing power from the car batteries (only 10mA, not affecting the "punch" of the motor), the transponder works perfectly for as long as you still have power left in the car. When the batteries are almost empty, the registration might start to fail, indicating that you should change batteries. However, this will not happen until most of the "punch" is drained from the batteries, and you would want to change the batteries anyway. As an example, the system was used for 50 minutes (continous driving) on a set of 600mAH NiMH cells without fail.
Depending on how wide the race track is, several sensors can be connected together on the bridge to accommodate any track width that is desired. Here is a computer generated model of the bridge, showing four receiving modules mounted on a 60cm wide and 30cm high bridge. The colorized cones are indicating the infra-red light spread, illustrating the coverage of the four sensors:
Here is the same figure, showing the bridge directly from above:
This indicates that for a 60cm wide track with a 30cm high bridge, four sensors should be used, which will guarantee full coverage of the entire track.
Also, the transponder must be mounted 100% horizontal, otherwise you may experience drop-outs in the registration. This is due to the fact that the two IrDA transceivers (in the car and on the bridge) must "look" straight at eachother, and not with an angle, as this may severely dampen the light received.