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O/T Need Electronic Gurus to help design Caution Light.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BRENT in 10-uh-C, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    I race with an antique oval track association where we run on 1/2 mile horse racing tracks in and around Ohio. Everything works out really well with this but the B.O.D. and I have discussed making a couple of caution lights on stands to replace corner workers.

    What I am envisioning :rolleyes: ...errr thinking :eek: is making a portable stand that we would set up with 2 or 3 L.E.D. amber lamps powered by a 12volt car battery. Basically the lamps would use a turn-signal flasher to allow them to flash.

    Now here is the dilimia. These tracks that we run on are just a temporary event where we are on the track for about 4 hours a day --one weekend a year, so permenantly mounting something is not a good option for us. I realize that from the flag stand (inside of track between turn 4 and turn 1) to turn 2 and turn 3 is likely in the 200 yard range, and I know that DC voltage does not like that distance to run on stranded wire, so I am thinking we need some type of switch that can be operated remotely.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet
    Member

    Best remotes I've seen only good for maybe 150 feet, if that. Have used in gates, fountains and garage doors. But might be something better out there.......OLDBEET
     
  3. Back home we drag raced on a naval base test landing strip each month. Since this was a monthly event, and only temporary the timing lights were set up the day before the races. They ran wire from the tree to the 60', 660', win/red lights at the end of the 1/4 mile track, announcers box etc.

    Just run wire, easier to set that up than it would be to research and pay for some fancy wireless remote setup.
     
  4. Reprisal
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 118

    Reprisal
    Member

    i'd agree that a wireless remote would be expensive and probably unreliable.

    you might consider using regular household AC. mount an outlet box on each light with a male cord end coming out the bottom and daisy-chain them together with extension cords. a 'flasher' might be as simple as a geared down motor with a cam and a momentary pushbutton. I think I have motor/switch setup like this in the basement, the switches have nice little rollers on them. If you decided to go this route i could probaly get you a part number or even send you the whole works. There's probably some kind of commercially available flasher unit too, but i can't think of one off the top of my head.

    the biggest problem i can imagine would be water tripping breaker or GFI. also people tripping over the cords and unplugging them, but it would be a pretty easy and cheap solution...depending on how many extension cords you can round up :p
     

  5. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,325

    mustangsix
    Member

    You can power the lights with a DC source, but run a low voltage 12-24 VAC line to control a relay to set it off.

    In tru HAMB fashion, You can try a used doorbell or HVAC transformer or even a plug in 12 VAC brick from Radio shack. You'll need one that delivers a couple of amps, but they're easy to find. Then just add wire, a switch, some relays and you should be good for a lot of distance.
     
  6. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    Is 1000 - 1200 foot of 12 VAC line do-able to trip the relays then? Remember, there is no 120V electricity at the inside of the track so we must have a source of power to pull this off. Maybe a 12 volt battery with a transformer or invertor?

    If someone could get a little more technical either here or off-line, I sure would be appreciative.

    TIA
     
  7. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,325

    mustangsix
    Member

    What I would do is to get a cheap inverter to provide 120V then plug in a 24VAC transformer from an old AC air handler. Stuff the works into an ammo can. Put lights switches and connections on the can. Use old 24VAC relays to trigger the lights (which are on 12 VDC).

    My company is in the middle of building a few hundred devices for the Army that do pretty much the same thing, except we're not turning on lights....:eek: And we make things happen at distances of over 1000 meters (nearly a mile).
     
  8. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member



    Cool ...is dynomite on the other end of that 1000 meters? :D
     
  9. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,325

    mustangsix
    Member

    Or something like it........ and sometimes even 1000 meters just seems too close!
     

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