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Old 07-21-2017, 12:01 PM
Cliff96 Cliff96 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North York, ON
Posts: 301
Re: 2017 Regional Results

Originally Posted by buurin View Post
Maybe it's time we look at some fully open-source solutions as well?
Then there's this:
Runs on Python, Django, node.js, the first two I'm currently taking a course on.
However there is no code to talk to any timing gears as far as I can see.
There is also a guy out west - Dina pointed me to his setup when I was still running the series and looking after the timing gear - Murray Peterson who wrote a timing system, mjtiming - according to my emails from the time, but can't seem to find them on the web anymore - looks like shaw retired the hosting, and a search doesn't find anything current.

The problem, is really maintenance/updates/support.

Open source would be nice, but there needs to be enough of a community to support it - with all the different timing solutions over the years, they start out great and then the author looses interest (either in advancing the software to run on current hardware, or they don't have the time, or there are too many features added in without a re-write and things get buggy - see axware a year after was released.) I honestly think there isn't enough money to be made to make it someone's full time job (dev at the start, but support later once it's feature complete), which is what it needs to do it right. I'd think the best option for making a difference is to offer to help with someone's project that has already started or is in use already.

The big problem is testing, as evidenced by my axware experience - you can have the gear all setup in the basement, and it will be flawless, but once you start running cars, and errors happen - that are hard to reproduce, they can really hurt and take away from the event, and are the most important to avoid, so not an easy place to learn when you have 50-100 people standing around when a glitch happens.

But don't let all that discourage you, talking to the hardware isn't that complicated, I got some stuff running on an arduino a few moons ago. Look for the race america documentation, it's all there for their displays and timing units. I don't know if you can wireshark a serial connection, but the communication protocols aren't complicated, and shouldn't take much effort to reverse what isn't already documented. The wireless links use zigbee radio's which are open source, so if you wanted to see that side (but doubt it'd be needed) I think it'd be possible too.
99 328i
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