Friday, 20 April 2012

Digital Scalectrix Controller

For the up-coming Dublin Mini MakerFaire, the guys at BuildBrighton have come up with a brilliant idea - Scalexercise. It's a Scalectrix, hooked up to exercise equipment. The harder you exercise, the faster your car goes around the track!

To get the ball rolling, Mike has already invested in a Digital Scalectrix and we're already investigating how it works, so we can make our own, custom controllers for it.

One idea is to put a hall-effect sensor on a bicycle and use this to send throttle commands to the controller. Want to go faster? Then pedal harder!

The Digital Scalectrix looks like it's using some clever method of sending data over the power rails - a bit like the way home automation (X10?) uses your home electric wiring as a carrier to send data signals to different sockets and switches. Here's a website showing the basic principles: http://www.electricimages.co.nz/SSD_Control.ashx#tab9703

Here's a photo showing Mike's scalectrix up and running at the Brighton Hackspace. It doesn't do much except send cars around the track - which is more than enough to cause us to lose most of the evening, instead of discussing and working on the new controllers, we just wasted time making cars fly off the corners!

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