Portable RaceBox

Many sailing clubs enjoy racing, but starting a race properly ( giving accurately timed sound signals with the correct lights/flags ) can be tricky for club volunteer members who are not too familiar with procedures.

The sailing ‘Race Control Box’ project demonstrates a low-cost, portable unit that will help even novice Race Officers run races with confidence. It provides an accurate timing and visible countdowns for the start of a race, with prompts on the LCD screen, and can have relay outputs to drive both sound and light signals automatically.
It handles multiple flights (rolling starts) and offers 12 different start sequences to suit most situations including, of course, ISAF 541Go. See Documentation for a full list

The design enables club use in a variety of situations. For example:

  1. On a Committee boat.
    • For larger boats it could be powered from the on-board 12V battery.
    • It can be powered from the laptop/pc USB port, if the committee boat uses a laptop for sailwave scoring, for example.
    • Or used completely self-contained, with it’s own 9V battery within the RaceBox.
    • The (optional) relays provide a feed to trigger and external Horn and lamp signals.
  2. On-shore in a Race Officer Control location.
    • With options as above, to interface with local Horn/Lights
    • Or self-contained, the Race Officer communicating time and actions by radio to the Committee boat on the start/finish line

FEATURES

  • – Battery or USB (printer cable) powered.
  • – Select from several start sequences. E.G. 541GO, 321GO etc.
  • – Accurate countdown and race elapsed times shown on LCD screen 
  • – Timed Horn signals
  • – LED indicators for lamps/flags
  • – Prompts on LCD screen for flags up/down
  • – Manual Horn button
  • – Can select multiple flight starts (1 – 6)
  • – Issue “Individual Recall” or “Flight Recall”  with sound/visual signals, and automatic restarts.
  • – Can signal “Shorten Course” once the race is underway
  • – Team Racing start sequences, with extra sound signals during the final minute.

Based on the popular Arduino/Genuino Uno microcomputer, the Race Control System is cheap to construct, so accessible to all clubs whether large or small.