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rambler1

Is this possible

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For next year I would like to hook up a speed radar device to a segment of lights. I would then like the lights to sequence at the same interval.

Example:

If a car drives by at 20 mph. I would like the lights to follow at the same speed. So if I had 10 strands spaced equally apart it would chase at 29 ft/sec

Example 2

--- 0 0 0 0

car -> 20 mph

---

--- X 0 0 0

car -> 20 mph

---

--- 0 X 0 0

car -> 20 mph

---

--- 0 0 X 0

car -> 20 mph

---

--- 0 0 0 x

car -> 20 mph

---

Hope it makes sense

If you understand and can help it would be apreciated

Andy

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So you're trying to have the lights follow cars down the street?

Would it be easier to have motion sensors or triggers so that each strand of lights goes on when something is in front of, or on it? I have no idea how to incorporate speed detection, but the sensors seem doable.

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That's a neat idea Andy!

I think the easiest way is not to worry about the speed of the car, but to just know where it is in relationship to the lights, like Steve said.

A cheap low resolution CMOS camera 90 degrees from the street and with a full view of the path of the cars might do the trick. The video could be processed and distance scaled to match the light spacing and the appropriate light then turned on.

Craig

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It could be done without the processing if you could get a good, high contrast B/W image from the camera. A phototransistor could be mounted (even taped) to the front of the CRT controlling a relay (solid state or mechanical) for every strand, and with a little experimentation on camera and phototransistor placement, this arrangement could probably track headlights fairly well.

Craig

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How about some kind of proximity sensor by the road? Like a tripwire but from one side of the road. No idea of what the correct name for that type of sensor is but I'm sure someone makes them.

Any help

Andy

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Just to add my 2 cents.

What about a sonic detector. We got one of those ultra-sound garage parking things, the ones that give you an indicator light when you are close enough to the wall. You could wire the indicator lights to SSR's or something to trigger your strings.

Jeff

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Just to add my 2 cents.

What about a sonic detector. We got one of those ultra-sound garage parking things, the ones that give you an indicator light when you are close enough to the wall. You could wire the indicator lights to SSR's or something to trigger your strings.

Jeff

They would work but their range is very limited and you would need multiple units, placed at the street above ground level to properly detect moving vehicles. If you had an old monitor, a CMOS camera can be bought for $5-$10 and the phototransistor/SSR combination for each string would be of minimal cost. It would all be hands off and away from the street. Astronomists use something like this (fiberoptic cables are mounted in a plate and attached to photodetectors and the plate is mounted to the telescope) to chart light output from stars.

However, I believe that a camera and a video processing program would work best for this application and end up being less costly than other alternatives.

Craig

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So let me get this straight.

Place the photo transistor right on the monitor and use that to trigger the ssr?

Andy

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Yes, or mount them on a thick piece of cardboard equally spaced on a horizontal plane and attach that to the face of the monitor.

This technique has been used effectively in security surveillance systems to detect movement and also in automated home theatre systems.

Craig

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Craig Marshall, aka Steven Jobs

Are you some sort of rocket surgeon?

No, but I used to be a Rocket Scientist ;)

Believe me, there are many things that I am NOT good at doing. :)

Craig

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In NZ we have a word for doing things this way, its Hori. I think the equivalent over there would be ghetto?

Anyway, if you get the video into your PC with a cheap capture card or USB device, then you can use the excellent processing environment to do it, but unfortunately it uses the less wonderful, infact almost totally crap quick time for acquisition.

A friend used it to identify when people walked into a certain area of an installation to play sounds from different locations, and it was quite reliable on the cheap night vision cam he was using.

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And that is why I made this comment in a previous post in this thread:

"However, I believe that a camera and a video processing program would work best for this application and end up being less costly than other alternatives."

The suggestion may have been a little 'Hori' as you say, but a way for someone with no computer experience and very little electronics skill to accomplish the task at hand, and it does work - very well in fact. I think the Astronomists and Physicists at Mount Graham that use this technique would be a little taken back by their process being called 'ghetto'.

In fact, I'm not sure if that defininition of someone's suggestion to another even falls within the 3 rules that are to be strictly adhered to at PC.

In NZ we have a word for doing things this way, its Hori. I think the equivalent over there would be ghetto?

Anyway, if you get the video into your PC with a cheap capture card or USB device, then you can use the excellent processing environment to do it, but unfortunately it uses the less wonderful, infact almost totally crap quick time for acquisition.

A friend used it to identify when people walked into a certain area of an installation to play sounds from different locations, and it was quite reliable on the cheap night vision cam he was using.

Craig

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