The Camp Sweeney Car Game was a tough project. It was a game like the state fair, where you squirt water to make the horse move to win the race. This game however, has the theme of squirting the burglar while he's in the act of breaking in & make your police car reach the top first to win.
We modified 4 toy store bought soaker style squirt guns. They shot out the water better than any other method we tried. We built a manifold to feed each gun equally with a regular garden hose. We removed the guns existing pumping unit and plumbed it to the manifold.
The burglar section was 100% Home Depot parts. There is a target inside that is rigged to a lever that acts as a contact switch to trigger the car. It has a built-in screw adjuster so the cars can be made equal and fair.
The cars came from a toy store. We installed weights and magnets in them to trigger the lights and signal the winner. They also run on a hidden track so they run smoothly up and down.
We also installed 4 dimmer switches so we could adjust the speed of each car to keep the game fair. This allowed the cars to return down at double speed as well by cutting the dimmer out of the circuit during the down stage.
The best part about the project is the control logic involved.
1) The cars each must go thru 4 stages of progress each triggering a florescent lights along the way.
2) When the first car wins, a win light lights and a bell sounds. All other cars halt after one wins.
3) After a win, the reset button is pushed. The cars all return (at double speed) to the start position.
4) The bell resets, the lights all go off.
5) Push Start button and your off again !
35 relays, 12 timers, 4 granger motors, 12 florescent fixtures, 4 dimmer switches later we did it !
It all tested OK and shipped out. Yea!
WHAT DID WE LEARN ?
We can do unusual projects.
We can include modified toys in projects.
We can include motorized movements.
We can plumb and water pumping is no problem.
We can use commonly found parts.
We can make extreme logical sequences with relays.
Now we can use programmable micro controllers for logical controls.