Start box Traffic Light

MattFranzek

Member
322
139
Buffalo, NY
Has anyone built a start box that has a horn and is connected to a traffic light/three or four lights in a row? We are looking at running some low key races and being able to flip a switch to start the sequence would be mean more people sailing and less running races.

I also am looking to connect it to a traffic light type thing with a spinning red light on top. I dont really have any electrical engineering knowledge, but have time to learn.
 
Yep. We run it remotely with a phone so the RO can start the sequence from his own boat
Begins with a red light indicating we're about to get going
Red flashes with 10 secs before 5 minute
Yellow comes on at 5 with horn
Blue comes on along side with horn at 4
Blue goes out at 1 to go......can't remember if there's a horn...... I'll tell you on Sunday..
Yellow goes out with horn at start

Don't ask me how it works. It's electrickery

I'll ask the guy who installed it. He sails with the RO
 

gptyk

Anarchist
862
508
California
You'll need:
A microcontroller (I'd use an ESP32 because they're cheap and have WIFI and bluetooth)
Some FET drivers (or relays) to turn on the lights/horn
Lights (LED) and horn.
Powersupply for the lowvolt stuff.
Enclosure and battery.

Add a bit of time to write the software, and bob's yer uncle.
 

MattFranzek

Member
322
139
Buffalo, NY
You'll need:
A microcontroller (I'd use an ESP32 because they're cheap and have WIFI and bluetooth)
Some FET drivers (or relays) to turn on the lights/horn
Lights (LED) and horn.
Powersupply for the lowvolt stuff.
Enclosure and battery.

Add a bit of time to write the software, and bob's yer uncle.
I can order all that and figure out how to put part A into part B, and C into D, but the software is like understanding a drunk Aussie to me. Is their pre-existing script I can copy/paste, or somewhere I could reach out to bribe them to write the code for me?


OR I can keep Googling and find this:

 
Last edited:

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,380
3,051
I can order all that and figure out how to put part A into part B, and C into D, but the software is like understanding a drunk Aussie to me. Is their pre-existing script I can copy/paste, or somewhere I could reach out to bribe them to write the code for me?


OR I can keep Googling and find this:

If you want to run it off a simple PLC, I’d happily write the code for you and send you a wiring diagram for what you want. I hate arduinos.
 

MattFranzek

Member
322
139
Buffalo, NY
Sailbot operates from your phone so anyone with a cellphone can start a sequence and sail at the same time.


We found Sailbot but I would like a visual aspect to this, hence wanting to add a traffic light set up to it. The lights are for the people upstairs in the dinning room to see the start sequence on a Friday evening when we are doing short races off the end of the dock.
If you want to run it off a simple PLC, I’d happily write the code for you and send you a wiring diagram for what you want. I hate arduinos.
I found Arduinos and I was lost, slowly was getting it but if you would be willing to help that would be awesome. Ill send you a PM.
 

gptyk

Anarchist
862
508
California
Shower thoughts: I was thinking about this this AM (instead of working) and drew up a quickie schematic (12v lights and horn are left as an exercise for the student):

Screenshot 2023-03-24 092049.png


Easy enough to whip up. Relay module because they're cheap, isolated, suitable for the speed, and can be driven with 3v3. A 'real' (not hobby) design would be solid state but that's a lot more parts.

If timing is hardwired into the code and starting is with a button, that'd be ~30 lines of code. Less than a 1 beer job. But the XIAO esp32 module has a external antenna connector so a hi-gain antenna could be added for WIFI connectivity. Likely have a few hundred yards/meters of range on open ocean. Setup the esp32 as a server, code up a web page, and it could be easily be run from a phone. (This would be a bottle of wine and some crackers job to code up. ~200 LOC + simple HTML stuff + copying from some other opensource project)

If anybody in SoCal wants something like this, it'd be a fun quickie project to work on.
 


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