I have a Carrera GO!!! race track. There's a plastic mechanical lap counter that adjusts every time a car passes it.
What I would like to do is to have some sort of electrical connection that when the car passes through the lap counter, the counter creates a connection between two wires or something. When this happens, I would like to send that signal to a computer/laptop which records it into some sort of database. The time between each connection would be the lap time, and the amount of connections would be the lap count. When this is recorded, I would like to present it on a monitor real time.
There's more, but that would be after I figured out a way to detect a signal to work with...
Have anyone done anything like that? or similar stuff.
I'm aware of that there exists stuff like this on the market. But that would require buying new track set etc. (that would probably be cheaper as well :P, but hey, who doesn't like to have something to do on their spare time ;))
I'm adding a couple of pictures of the counter: Beneath the car you can se a whit plastic pin. And right in front of the car, you can see a pin sticking out of the track. This pin is pushed to either side, depending on which direction the car goes, and ajust the counter with one.
Here you can se how the counter works.
(1) the car passes by, and pushes the pin
(2) the pin is then pushing an arm of some sort to turn a gear (3) - which is the counter.
Now, at the very bottom, it looks like there could be placed some sort of metal, or wires, that could send a signal to a computer when they touch.. But it happens very fast.
Hope this helps for clarifications..