The DS range of lap counters is one of the best after market upgrade systems available for use with Scalextric, Ninco, SCX, Carrera and club tracks. It provides all the race information, various race type setups and pin point accuracy you need while being very simple to use.
(Rear of the DS300 including USB to Serial Adaptor)
While the DS lap counting system does all the vital race timings and positions really well, the one thing that we have found when using it for more than two lanes is that the data at the end of a race is a little limited.
This is where a program called Race Coordinator steps in.
What is Race Coordinator?
Race Coordinator is a free alternative slot car lap counting software package for the PC. It contains a wide range of racing options from the most basic Round Robin races to the most complicated multi-race events that include Practice time, one or more Qualifying races, and Finals.
The analogue software is a free download, but Dave who is the developer behind the program does accept donations which in turn are donated to his chosen Charity.
This is a basic guide to get you started but please refer to the RC website for more in depth information and tutorials.
Step 1: What you need to get started
Step 2: Setting up your DS Box
Setting the correct mode
Before powering up your DS lap counting boxes you need to set it so that it is programmed for individual mode. We do this by the following method.
- Press and hold the Yellow memory/Pause button on the right and side while powering up the box.
- There will have two modes to chose from
1. Ctrl Indi = Individual control
2. Ctrl Ttal = Total Control
- You can choose the option by pressing the Mode button left centre.
- You will want to save it so that Ctrl Indi is our default setting and to do this you press the Yellow memory/pause button on the option displayed and that will store as a default setting for future use.
Setting the Minimum Lap time
Scroll through the modes until you find the setting option Pt as shown below. Then using the 2 programming buttons you can set your minimum lap time. Here we have set ours to 7 seconds.
To set your minimum lap time you need to work out what the lap record is on your circuit and then take anything from 0.5 to 1 second off that time.
Setting the minimum lap time stops lanes from clocking up dubious laps if more than one car crosses that lanes sensor.
To save this as your default lap time you press the memory/pause button to confirm. This applies for the next two settings.
Setting the race length in time mode
Scroll through the modes until you find the setting option P-ti as shown below. Then using the 2 programming buttons you can set your race time. Here we have set ours to 1 minute and 20 seconds.
When using with RC you will need to set this higher than the race time in RC.
i.e. RC set for 1 minute race = DS 1.20 minutes
RC set for 2 minute race = DS 2.20 minutes
Setting the race length in Lap mode
Scroll through the modes until you find the setting option P-LA as shown below. Then using the 2 programming buttons you can set your race lengh in laps. Here we have set ours to 10 laps.
When using with RC you will need to set this 1 lap higher than the number of laps in RC.
i.e. RC set for 10 lap race = DS 11 laps
RC set for 15 lap race = DS 16 laps
RC set for 20 lap race = DS 21 laps
Step 3: Setting up Race Coordinator
The following photos will give you what settings I used while testing out the software with the DS300.
RC Race day Screen
RC Track setup General Screen
RC Track setup Confiure Screen
RC Track setup lane Screen
RC Race Management Setup Screen (Main)
RC Race Management Setup Screen (Heats)
RC Race Management Setup Screen (Scoring)
RC Race Management Setup Screen (Points)
Race Coordinator comes with a default database that has setup within it a few drivers and cars, a four lane track, and a few races to try out including a basic Round Robin race and a Practice race. For most users, these races may be exactly what you're looking for.
At the time of writing this blog, Race Coordinator requires operating system Windows XP with SP3 or higher.
Race Coordinator Features
Race Coordinator also provides an impressive list of features that will accommodate the smallest basement races and the largest club races.
- Skinnable race screens.
- Several built in heat rotation formats including round robin, solo racing, and single lane heats.
- Custom heat editor. Any rotation you want to use you can, all you have to do is create it.
- Analogue fuel support.
- Per lane relay support.
- F1 style scoring support including bonus points for things like fastest lap in the race.
- Step-up race support.
- Driver grouping.
- Team racing.
- False start detection and handling.
- Permanent storage of race stats and the ability to export them to Microsoft Excel anytime after the race has finished.
- Save/Load races including auto saves in the event of a power outage or other issue during a race.
- Season/Championship mode in which race points accumulate across the entire season.
....and lots more.
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