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Thread: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

  1. #1

    Default Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    Hey team! I'm looking for help designing/making lit objectives for professional tree climbing comps I manage.

    we used weighted bags as the objectives last year but this year we are hoping for lights. I'm hoping to buy 50-100 of these from someone. Please email me if interested. Nick@treestuff.com


    Here is a video that shows the even as we ran it with the weighted tokens/flags. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CYYhZ5kBkcc




    -One mode which is flashing
    -One button
    >>ON/OFF only
    -Timer
    >>Will automatically turn off after 15 minutes
    -Charging
    >>can run off small lipo or USB charging or triple a or whatever
    -Runtime
    >>Would need to be able to have at least 10 hours flashing
    -brightness and visibility
    >>ideally visible from 100' in daylight
    discernable as flashing and noticeable
    -weather resistant
    >> Im thinking we build them into water bottles or even gatorade bottles
    -no mounting needed
    So basically - A clear plastic container with a botton on it.
    You press the button and the LEDs start flashing until either A- you press the button again, or B 15 minutes elapses.
    They need to be somewhat weather proof but wont be submersed in water or anything.
    these are going to be used for an outdoor tree climbing competiton. close up appearance is secondary to function and reliability.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    okay, PVC pipe for the body, clear lexan for caps. A dual 18650 battery holder in parallel for long life. Use ToyKeepers' firmware with the 'goodnight' feature to turn off after a set period of time. I'm not sure if you can access that function with just one button click, but it's easier than having to pay somebody to create custom firmware for you.

    Some details start on post #28
    http://budgetlightforum.com/node/56105

    Any decent LED will be seen from 100', so maybe look for cheap XM-L2's at 5,000k
    This will get you going in the right direction, I hope
    Have torch, will travel.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    If you ran a 50 mS pulse once per second, at 3A, for 10 hours that would be 1500 mAH. This could be provided at much less cost by two CR123A cells. For something you will use once, or maybe once a year, it doesn't make sense to use rechargable cells.

    Average total power dissipation would be well under a watt, so thermal issues are of little concern.

    The software wouldn't take a whole evening to write, so that's not an issue for me.

    The entire electronics package could consist of a processor chip, a transistor, and one or two resistors, maybe a diode to drop the voltage into the processor's range. Oh, and the switch and LED.

    I guess they need to be pretty rugged to survive multiple drops from tall trees. That might be the hardest part. It would certainly be much easier if that wasn't a requirement.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    Quote Originally Posted by DIWdiver View Post

    I guess they need to be pretty rugged to survive multiple drops from tall trees. That might be the hardest part. It would certainly be much easier if that wasn't a requirement.

    These won't be dropped like the bags in the video. These will be hung in the trees ahead of time and then the competitors will activate them with the button. (If interested: the reason the bags had to be dropped was in case the opposing team could get to the objective on the branch, that enabled them to be reset by retrieving from the ground, this function is replaced by the auto shut off.)


    In the last event they only had about ~3 objectives each and could put them wherever they wanted. In this evolved format we (organizers) will place a bunch of these new objectives all over and they will decide which to activate in the limited time available.



  5. #5
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    Aha! I'm beginning to see the light!

    If they don't have to be super rugged, that makes them much easier to design. So the judges need to be able to see from the ground that they have been activated. And if nobody retrieves it quickly after the competition, it shuts itself off to save power.

    Maybe you'd like it to flash very rapidly for a few seconds after activation, then more slowly to save power. Timings and sequences like that are very easy to manipulate in a microprocessor.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    Hey, I wonder if red LEDs would be more visible than white up in the trees? A definite advantage is that they have lower Vf so can be run off a single CR123 cell, or parallel 2 or more for longer life.

    I'm not digging the idea of sticking it in a bottle, because the LED shines out the bottom, so the switch has to be either at the side or the top, and neither seems like what I want some guy in a race to have to activate. Anybody got a better idea?

    How about an off-the-shelf host? It looks like there are a lot available at reasonable prices. Anyone got a good suggestion for cr123, 2xcr123 or 18650 host?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    Quote Originally Posted by DIWdiver View Post
    Hey, I wonder if red LEDs would be more visible than white up in the trees? A definite advantage is that they have lower Vf so can be run off a single CR123 cell, or parallel 2 or more for longer life.

    I'm not digging the idea of sticking it in a bottle, because the LED shines out the bottom, so the switch has to be either at the side or the top, and neither seems like what I want some guy in a race to have to activate. Anybody got a better idea?

    How about an off-the-shelf host? It looks like there are a lot available at reasonable prices. Anyone got a good suggestion for cr123, 2xcr123 or 18650 host?
    so it is me versus you. I'm on side A and you are on side B. We start together and run around our sides and click as many on in 5 minutes as we can. Then we stop and switch sides. Then we try and shut em off (so you have to reach the ones I set and vice versa) whoever gets al of em off first wins (or the most k. The time limit) so they flash so we can find them to shut off as we climb the tree. But if you set two I can't get because I suck then they need to turn off to reset the game for the next rounds.

    Was hoping for seprate colors to identify the sides easily to spectators. As far as the vessel that this is all in as long as its visible and has an easy to reach and use button I am super flexible.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    So here's what I came up with as a suggestion:

    This host: https://www.fasttech.com/products/16...st-with-switch.

    This Emitter: http://www.dx.com/p/jrled-16mm-pcb-1...8#.W3olguhKi70.
    These are also available in amber and red for under $3, or blue for around $3.50. They are NOT Cree LEDs, but given their total life expectancy is probably not more than a few hours, that should be okay.

    Driver board built by me.

    Two CR123 cells.

    I build the driver board, you assemble the light.

    Here's what I see as the cost breakdown:
    Host: $6
    LED: $3
    Batteries: $2
    Driver: $12

    Total: $23 each x 60 = $1380

    Some comments about this design:
    It would be quite visible from below (when hanging). As you start climbing, you will exit the 'beam' of the light and it will be a lot less visible. Orange tape or something similar will be necessary to spot the target from nearby. Hopefully this isn't an issue as the lights are initially off and someone has to find them and turn them on.

    Maybe you want two different flashing modes to indicate 'ready to be set' and 'ready to be found'? This is easy to build.

    Making the light visibie from many angles would require some sort of diffuser. This would decrease the visibility from directly in front of the light (below, if it is hanging) but increase visibility from other angles.

    Thoughts?

    An option would be to use rechargeable batteries

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need help designing objectives for climbing competition

    They will be marked with tape when not lit. Can we build 20 prototypes?

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