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Race Car Headlight Flasher

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by mr2daj, Aug 15, 2016.

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  1. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
    Hi, I wonder if anyone can help. I need something to flash the headlights on a race car. Flash to pass.

    The lights would be on and when a momentary push button is pressed on the steering wheel the headlights need to turn off and back on repeatedly for maybe 5 or 6 times (from 1 button press). If possible i would also like it if when the button is pressed and the headlights are off the lights flash on then off 5 or 6 times.

    only video I could find to give an idea is from a game/sim called iracing but will give you the idea of what I am after:

    It would also be good if the headlights could continuously flash whilst the pit lane speed limiter is active but that is another project unless it can be combined.

    so..... how can i do this?

    BTW I don't have an electronics background. I am a mechanic/technician and consider myself competent in auto electrics. I have built full race car harnesses etc. but pretty basic stuff really.

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Dan
     
  2. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
  3. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    Microcontroller such as Arduino, push button as input, speed/movement input sensor for pits operation, sensor to detect whether lights are currently on or off also as an input. Output elements to control the switching of the lights and finally knowledge on how to connect everything together and also to program the micro.
     
  4. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
  5. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    If it's over your head now then any diagram would be a waste as there is also the programming.

    The circuit you posted above would give you a flash circuit but that's about all.

    If you went this way there would be many other logic requirements to give you what you need.

    For a start, the output is only a 10amp relay.
    Headlights alone at low beam would exceed the ability of this relay.

    Micro is the way.
     
  6. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Jun 10, 2015
    An old statistic is that 40% ov the lawyers in the *world* are in the US. A chunk of that large price is liability insurance.

    If you narrow the universe of possibilities that a programmable circuit allows down to a specific set of actions, then this can be done with random logic devices, and not very many. Binary numbers of flashes (2, 4, 8, 16) are easier, but anything can be decoded from a counter. A CD4060 is an oscillator and divider. That plus two diodes will stop after 6 output pulses. If the headlights are guaranteed to be always on, the output can drive a power MOSFET to pulse the headlight relay, or whatever.

    ak
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  7. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    It could be done with a couple logic chips and HIside automotive driver, but it will reduce your std high beam headlamp,life. But Ok for LED headlamp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  8. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Jun 10, 2015
    "We don't have to get the crew off the sub. He would have had to do that. We just have to figure out what he's going to do."
    - John Patrick Ryan, "The Hunt For Red October" (1990)

    The car already has headlight power switching designed and qualified for those lights in that car. Rather than replicate that, I think it's easier and more reliable to modify the existing headlight control system. This probably means a series or parallel connection to a relay coil, but only the TS knows for sure. Fortunately, he already knows his way around an automotive wiring diagram...

    TS - do you want to flash the low beam headlights, or the high beams?

    ak
     
  9. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    it would be easy to add a 50W 12V LED array with an LDO and blinker driver too. MUCH Faster response than halogen.
     
  10. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Jun 10, 2015
    Post #1 is pretty clear about using the headlights already on the car.

    Here is a first-pass at a single-chip solution. If this seems overly complex, it's because there are a few other things going on - input power transient protection, input power noise filter, input power-on LED, output operation LED, and relay coil inductive kick protection. Plus, off-board components are shown for clarity. U1 and Q1 do all the work. This circuit flashes the high beams 4 times.

    U1 is a combination oscillator and 14 stage frequency divider. With the components shown, Q10 is a 2 Hz square wave, flashing the lights twice per second through transistor Q1 and whatever is in the car. Q13 has a period of 4 seconds, but inhibits the oscillator half way through its period when it goes high, through D2. The circuit sits there until it is reset by the switch. Note that timing starts when the switch is released, so if you sit there with your thumb on the button the lights won't flash.

    This is a concept schematic, a platform for discussing what is really needed. The switch input can be changed to detect the button press, not its release. D5 can be replaced by a 24 V zener and a true voltage regulator. Also, I'm guessing the output stage will change as more details about the car become available, but this is a start.

    Note - For British cars, bring the schematic image into a graphics program and mirror-image.

    ak

    HeadlightFlasher-1-c.gif
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  11. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
    These reply's are brilliant! Thanks a lot guys!

    The systems I have seen in the past flash all lights. During a night race you already have your high and low beam on. the system needs to turn all lights of and back on several times in quick succession or some flash the high and low beam alternately so you still have lights all of the time but the flashes can be seen by the slower car in front. If it is during the day all lights will be off so the system needs to flash all lights, high and low beam for greatest effect.

    I will be honest some of the solutions that have been posted are brilliant but beyond my understanding of electronics. The solution needs to be either simple enough for me to understand or another possibility is that someone could build a system for me that I just have to wire in. I am in the process of getting a wiring diagram for the car so we can understand exactly how the system is configured.
     
  12. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    A 3 way switch is needed for your scenario; user selected; Flash ON and Flash OFF

    Considering your experience, I think adding custom LED's can be much brighter indicators than the headlamp. You don't need to light up his car, just make the led indicators much brighter than your headlamps. When these lamps come from a small LED, they can be as bright as ambulance or police flashing LEDS for very little power (10-20W). Also given that they are only flashed infrequently means you can drive them brighter than normal without getting too hot. I use these all the time and they are blinding bright at 1 car length and sure to get attention if the driver is checking his mirrors.

    Ultimately a better solution as an indicator and far simpler to make.

    I would mount these on your roof for even better visibility from the driver in front.
    https://www.amazon.ca/Safego-OffRoa...71377477&sr=1-15&keywords=led+lights+12v+auto
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  13. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
  14. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
    I would obviously be willing to pay a small price for someone to design and build me something or even design me something I could build myself or have someone here build.
     
  15. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    I see...

    Please note that the regulations for the G40 Junior Cup will be very closely controlled and we would strongly advise that you consult Ginetta before making any alterations to the car, no matter how small they may be. The regulations will focus primarily upon maintaining the original specification of the car and you should work on the assumption that any modifications will render the car ineligible

    ....

    The lapping car may flash his headlights twice when he is within 100 metres of the car he is lapping
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  16. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
    This is a g50 not a g40 and is not racing in a single make championship. All rules and regulations will be met.
     
  17. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Could you please make precise specifications?
    for all inputs and output response?

    This includes time durations, on, off , sequence etc., options?
    peak Current, etc. or spec headlight.
     
  18. mr2daj

    mr2daj

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    Aug 15, 2016
    it needs to be a momentary push button mounted to the steering wheel (which I already have). when the button is pressed the headlights need to flash at around 120 times per minute for around 6 pulses or 3 seconds.

    If the headlights are off, it needs to flash the headlights on/off/on/off/on
    if the headlights are on, it needs to flash the headlights off/on/off/on/off

    An added nice feature would be if the headlights (and possibly rain light) could flash for the entire duration that the pit lane speed limiter is activated on the steering wheel.

    This needs to be done with the least upset to the cars current system possible and utilise the current harness and components. Redundancy is also important If the system fails the headlights need to activate in their normal way but without flash. the bulbs fitted could be up to 100w
     
  19. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Are hi and low beam separate outputs?

    One possibility
    - interfaces at each lamp socket with same waterproof male female connectors , unless a common interface to both is available. ( need diagrams) otherwise duplication is required.
    - a bypas relay , normally closed for redundancy to interior control.
    - circuit detects if lamp power is applied and XOR's with sequencer function logic which drives additional lamp relay.
    - third input detects pit lane voltage and disables sequence "end" for continuous toggle.
    -
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
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