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Whitewater Kayak Slalom Race Timer. Engineers: Kevin Lockwood Chris Munshaw Ashley Penna John So. Project Funded By:. Mike Neckar Founder, Necky Kayaks www.necky.com. Background on Whitewater Kayaking. Whitewater kayak slalom racing began shortly before World War II

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whitewater kayak slalom race timer

Whitewater Kayak Slalom Race Timer

Engineers:

Kevin Lockwood

Chris Munshaw

Ashley Penna

John So

project funded by
Project Funded By:

Mike NeckarFounder, Necky Kayakswww.necky.com

background on whitewater kayaking
Background on Whitewater Kayaking
  • Whitewater kayak slalom racing began shortly before World War II
  • This Olympic sport involves racers paddling down a natural or man-made rive
  • Kayakers must maneuver through hanging pairs of gates.
  • Judges at shoreline determine correct maneuvering through gates.
background on whitewater kayaking1
Background on Whitewater Kayaking

C1 (Canoe) on a man-made course

background on whitewater kayaking2
Background on Whitewater Kayaking

K1 (Kayak) on a natural river course

kayak rules
Kayak Rules
  • The racer must proceed through green gates in the down-river direction
  • Red gates in the up-river direction
  • 2sec penalty for touch gates but going through
  • 50sec penalty for touch and not gone through
present situation
Present Situation
  • Judge watching at each gate to make sure the kayaker goes though
  • Judge determining if each gate has been touched
  • Stop-watches used in training for timing
  • Obvious problems: Human error, biases, judges not omniscient
our solution
OurSolution
  • Create a automated system which tracks a kayaker’s progress through a race course and determines if gates are touched.
  • Focus on creating a reliable and low cost product. Offset the cost of using humans to judge gates.
  • Secondary goal is timing accuracy.
marketing
Marketing
  • Mr. Neckar- use for training by olympic athletes- introduced in races such as national team trials (Vedder River, Chilliwack)
  • Scott Shipley, US national team member- promotion in the United States
timeline
Timeline
  • Overall, we are behind the proposed schedule by about two weeks.

Our Proposed Timeline

delays are caused by
Delays are caused by…
  • Waiting for sensors, microcontrollers, and RF modules to arrive.
  • Testing other design options.
  • Errors and bugs
  • Underestimated Integration Time
  • Earlier than expected deadline
timeline1
Timeline

The Actual Timeline

how to detect a kayaker
How to detect a Kayaker?
  • Ultrasonic beam across the gates
  • RF tag triangulation
  • IR beam across the gates
ultrasonic beam
Ultrasonic Beam

Advantages

  • not affected by environment
  • low noise
  • low power consumption

Disadvantages

  • wide beam
  • difficult to integrate multiple ultrasonic sensors due to coupled interference
rf tag
RF Tag

Advantages

  • Very hard to cheat the technology
  • Low power

Disadvantages

  • Difficult technology to use
  • Requires a high computational load to calculate location
  • Can be expensive
optical beam our solution
Optical Beam (Our Solution)

Advantages

  • Narrow beam
  • Easy to implement
  • Unaffected by environment
  • Lower costs

Disadvantages

  • Consumes higher power the ultrasonic
  • Sensitive to alignment
ir led vs laser
IR LED vs. Laser
  • Laser (Visible Spectrum) 650nm- coupled with a photodetector + amplifier- very high signal strength at large distances (5m +)- very narrow viewing angle- low power consumption (~20mA)- class III and above can cause retinal damage
ir led vs laser1
IR LED vs. Laser
  • IR LED 950nm- coupled with an NPN phototransistor - very low signal strength at distances over 2m (required amplification)- wide viewing angle (35°) minimizing problem of gate flexibility- high power consumption (~100mA)- cannot cause retinal damage
ir led improving signal quality
IR LED: Improving Signal Quality
  • Ambient light shielding- used a non-reflective black paint to coat a drinking straw (this also formed a water-tight seal over the phototransistor)
  • Modulation- modulated the IR emitter with a 2kHz square wave- demodulating at the receiving side would filter out noise cause by reflections of sunlight off water, etc
ir led improving signal quality1
IR LED: Improving Signal Quality
  • Ambient light shielding- used a non-reflective black paint to coat a drinking straw (this also formed a water-tight seal over the phototransistor)
  • Modulation- modulated the IR emitter with a 2kHz square wave- demodulating at the receiving side would filter out noise cause by reflections of sunlight off water, etc
ir led overall system
IR LED: Overall System
  • Amplification -> Filtering -> Thresholding- Amplification boosts the output signal strength- Filtering creates a steady signal representing the amount of IR light detected- Thresholding creates a digital signal representing whether or not the line of sight is considered “broken”
ir led modulation
IR LED: Modulation
  • Decreased average current consumption from 180mA overall to 110mA overall.
  • Waveform created using an astable 555 timer

Simulation on

breadboard

ir led demodulation
IR LED: Demodulation
  • Filtered using an LRC circuit, tuned to 2kHz
accelerometer
Accelerometer
  • Used to detect any contact with the gate
  • 3 axis, ±5g output range
  • Mounted 1 accelerometer per gate, in the lower region of the gate (added sensitivity)
accelerometer signal conditioning
Accelerometer: Signal Conditioning
  • Low Pass Filter: allows us to “dull” the signal and remove unwanted noise
  • Comparator: gives a digital signal representing whether or not the acceleration of the gate is beyond an acceptable level-> this allows us to have the system ignore low acceleration conditions such as gates swaying in the wind
accelerometer performance tests
Accelerometer Performance Tests
  • Comparator Threshold = 1.665V(red line in graph)
future improvements on signal conditioning
Future Improvements on Signal Conditioning
  • Have circuits printed on PCB
  • Use only variable resistors reference voltages in comparators
  • Improve demodulation circuit, possibly using an active filter
final sensor signals
Final Sensor Signals
  • Two digital signals representing the clearance of a gate, and contact with a gate (both fully adjustable)
  • However, current consumption is becoming high (approx. 180mA)
  • This leads us to attempt ‘Presence Detection’
presence detection
Presence Detection
  • Used to detect the presence of an approaching kayaker.
  • Used to trigger the turn on high power consuming subsystem.
  • Used Ultrasonic sensors
      • Accuracy
      • Immunity
      • Ease
presence detection1
Presence Detection
  • The sensors have an analog output proportional to the distance of an object.
  • Used thresholding to detect object presence
  • Used timing circuit to filter noise.
presense detection future upgrades
Presense Detection Future Upgrades
  • Currently we do not have a way to detect which direction the kayaker came from.
  • Gates are direction dependant according to whitewater kayak Rules.
  • We will switch to IR presence detection, due to better immunity to environment.
  • Will use one facing each direction in gate to determine direction of approach.
data communication
Data Communication

Requirements

  • Reliable
  • Long Range
  • Low Power
  • Fast Transmission
data communication solution
Data Communication Solution
  • ZigBee Xbee Module from Maxstream
  • 30m range (upgrade 1mile)
  • Current Consumption during Transmission 45mA
  • UART Communication Format easy to integrate with our Micro Controller
data communication future updates
Data Communication FutureUpdates
  • We can upgrade to Xbee Pro modules for an increased range.
      • Requires more power.
  • Allow software to communication back to gates.
      • Remote reconfiguration
      • Remote turn on/off
microcontroller firmware
MicroController Firmware
  • Requirements
    • Very little memory needed – Simple program
    • USART Register for RF Modules
    • A/D Conversion capabilities
    • At least 3 inputs (IR Sensors, Ultrasonic, Accelerometer)
microcontroller firmware1
MicroController Firmware
  • Main Jobs
    • Get a development environment running
    • Integration with ultrasonic to turn on power board
    • Integration with IR sensors
    • Integration with RF modules
microcontroller firmware2
MicroController Firmware
  • Multiple Development Environments
  • 1) PICDEM
    • 1st to work
microcontroller firmware3
MicroController Firmware
  • Good Features
    • Easy viewing of ports
    • Attached LEDs to eliminate the need to probe
    • Multiple ways to power
    • MPLab compatibility
  • Problematic Features
    • Had to replace 40-pin socket
    • Initial running of programs
    • Quantity
microcontroller firmware4
MicroController Firmware
  • Multiple Development Environments
  • 2) OUMEX
    • 2nd to work
microcontroller firmware5
MicroController Firmware
  • Good Features
    • One LED to map outputs of interest to
    • Programming capabilities using MPLab
    • Less reliance on development board
  • Problematic Features
    • Building a cable from MPLab to ICSP
    • Initial running of programs
    • Quantity – shipping time
microcontroller firmware6
MicroController Firmware
  • Multiple Development Environments
  • 3) Prototype
    • Last and finally!!!
microcontroller firmware7
MicroController Firmware
  • Good Features
    • Cheap
    • Space saving
    • Easy connection to other circuits
  • Problematic Features
    • Must move to another development board to program
    • Determining which components were necessary
microcontroller firmware8
MicroController Firmware
  • IR Flag gets set in an interrupt
  • Accelerometer Flag gets set in an interrupt
microcontroller firmware9
MicroController Firmware
  • Ultrasonic Powering Sensor Circuit
    • Creates an interrupt which sets a flag
    • Main program deals with this
    • Output will be high when ultrasonic is high
  • IR sensors Circuit
    • Creates an interrupt which sets a flag
    • In main program, transmission showing the gate number and IR occurs
microcontroller firmware10
MicroController Firmware
  • Future Improvements
    • Automatic Gate Addressing
    • Sleep pins on the RF module
    • Polling gates for possible battery voltage
the power
The Power
  • IR sensors consume around 150mA.
  • Portable/Inexpensive power source in a 9v battery
  • Provide clean power at 3v and 5v for all subsystems.
  • Supply should last for 8hrs of use
power so l ution
Power Solution
  • Isolated control directly from Micro Controller.
  • Micro Controller uses the low power Ultra Sonic sensors to trigger IR sensor circuit.
  • Circuit Board contains controlled outputs at 3v and 5v for high power, and continuous outputs of 3v and 5v.
power solution
Power Solution
  • We want our portable power supplies to last 8 hours of continuous usage
  • System Power Consumption Before Power Control
      • Total Power Required = 1.21Ahr
  • System Power Consumption After Power Control
      • Total Power Required = 0.511Ahr
power solution1
Power Solution
  • Without a controlled power supply for 8hrs of continuous use requires 1.21Ahr
  • With a controlled power supply for 8hrs
  • Of continuous use requires 0.511Ahr
  • Saves nearly 250% of our AmpHours required.
  • Improves portable power supply options.
power solution2
Power Solution
  • We use two Rayovac 9v Alkaline batteries in parallel for each gate
  • Batteries spec at -30C to 55C
  • Each Battery has approx. 0.5Ahr
graphical user interface1
Graphical User Interface
  • Purpose:
    • Allows user to set up a race quickly.
    • Communicates with the RF module and collects data from gates.
    • Displays data in table form.
    • Automatically times the race and applies penalties.
graphical user interface2
Graphical User Interface
  • Functions:
    • Kayaker list management. Add and remove kayakers.
    • Modify number of gates.
    • File I/O
    • Display data:
      • Names
      • Race Time
      • Penalties applied to each gate
graphical user interface3
Graphical User Interface
  • Program flow

1. User adds the names of kayakers in order.

2. User determines the number of gates.

3. User modifies the serial port settings.

    • Step 1, 2 and 3 are interchangeable.

4. User presses ‘Begin’ button to begin the race. Name list and gate number cannot be modified from this point onwards.

graphical user interface4
Graphical User Interface
  • Program flow (continued)

5. Program reads and displays data automatically.

- Decodes gate messages sent through RF module

- Applies 2 sec time penalty if gate touched.

- Applies 50 sec time penalty if gate missed.

6. Calculate race time and add penalties to it.

7. Table may be exported in .txt format and uploaded to MS Excel.

graphical user interface5
Graphical User Interface
  • Problems encountered:
    • Exception handling
    • Symbol error due to baud rate mismatch
    • Repeated messages from gates
    • Timing delay
graphical user interface6
Graphical User Interface
  • Future Improvements:
    • Time delay calculation
    • Support multiple kayakers on the course
    • Name list sorting
    • Automatic available port detection
summary
Summary
  • Created a automated system which tracks a kayaker’s progress through a race course and determines if gates are touched.
  • Focus on creating a reliable and low cost product. Offset the cost of using humans to judge gates.
  • Increased timing accuracy
the end
The End
  • Questions?
appendix modulation
Appendix: Modulation
  • Emitter: (Breadboard)
appendix modulation1
Appendix: Modulation
  • Receiver, modulated: (Breadboard)
appendix demodulation
Appendix: Demodulation
  • RLC Bandpass Filter
  • H(s)=
  • Using R=1, C=6.33uF, L=1mH
appendix demodulation2
Appendix: Demodulation
  • Receiver, de-modulated: (Breadboard)
appendix ultrasonic circuit
Appendix: UltraSonic Circuit
  • Used a simple LM324 OpAmp with a threshold voltage. Threshold set to approx. 5.5ft.
  • 555 Monostable Timing circuit holds detection high for 5sec. This filters the natural circuit noise from the ultrasonic sensor.
appendix power requirments
Appendix: Power Requirments

Before Power Control

  • Continuous Power Consumption
  • 110mA (IR circuit) + 15mA (Ultrasonic) + 25mA (Micro) = 150mA
  • RF Consumption
  • (150 trans. [email protected] 0.5 sec/trans) = 0.9mA
  • Total Power Required = 1.21Ahr

After Power Control

  • Continuous Consumption

15mA (Ultrasonic) + 25mA (Micro) = 40mA

  • IR Consumption

110mA (150 passes. [email protected] 5 sec/pass) =23mA

  • RF Consumption

45mA (150 trans. [email protected] 0.5 sec/trans) =0.9mA

  • Total Power Required = 0.511Ahr
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