FABcount - Race Management and Lapcounting Software



Version 4 is the current version and is a Windows based application. It was developed in the period 1998 to 2000 and was run for the first time at the 2000 Tamiya Eurocup round held at Castle Combe. It was recently used to run the Tamiya European Finals. Currently in use by a number of clubs and has run Nation meetings in accordance with BRCA regulations.

It incorporates many of the features of Version 3, and takes advantage of the Windows environment to provide additional functionality. For the technically minded it is written in C++ using Object Orientated techniques. It incorporates all the features of its predecessors and has the main additional functionality of automated speech utilising the Windows multi media capabilities. The AMBrc Personal Transponder system has also been added which brings even greater information available to the racer and control and monitoring to the race director. The application is constantly being updated with new features and as the user base expands will continue to evolve. Recent additions include the ability to run a speed loop and sector times.

Version 3 was a natural evolution of version 2 and came along in 1991 and incorporated the AMB20 transponder system. This also enabled the automatic run facilities to be further developed which enabled unattended operation plus the ability to follow defined timetables. The software was enhanced with a number of features over the subsequent years. However the limitations of the DOS environment were providing somewhat of a hindrance to progress.

Version 2 was developed in 1990 and was a migration of Version 1 onto the IBM PC DOS environment. The extra processing power which became available and the ability to store data on a hard disk greatly improved the systems response times, with sorts now being performed in under 1 second. Lapcounting was accomplished by manual input using the keyboard.

Version 1 of FABcount was developed in 1989 to run on a Commodore 128 Computer. The program provided a simple drivers database and heat setup including automatic crystal checking. The main feature was the automatic final sorting. Storage media was a cassette tape which although secure did not provide rapid access.

1987 after being involved in Model Car racing for a short while it was apparent that the manual Lapcounting methods being used lent themselves to some form of 'computerisation'. Existing computer systems replicated the basic lap counting system, but the sorting and information was still manually performed. Some analysis of the requirements and some 'modelling' on a DEC PDP-11 computer indicated that it would be possible to achieve 'computerisation'. Hence the development of FABcount.

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