Fixed race track with digital LED Bars

Do you like cars? Electric cars and Audi in particular? Although our latest project for Make Sense Creative was not solely about battery powered automobile, we enjoyed new Audi e-Tron GT in full. Seeing this beauty shred asphalt in total silence was incredible. Such a car, and two other high end models from Audi, deserves a nice race track. That is where we enter with our RGBW LED Bars.

Can we build race track with our LED strips for Audi e-tron?

Guys from agency working with Slovak Audi Club for years saw our LED bars on YouTube and a fruitful conversation started some month or so ago. We were just working on REACTIVO triggers. That poked their curiosity. A question arose – “Can we make a sensor that will trigger the animation on our bars?” Sure we can. “And can you make the track lets say 100+ meters long?” Sure we can! Little did we know that it will require some literal heavy lifting. But later about that.

Did we pack enough cables?

We ordered 85 reinforcing steel bars, each cut to 1.5m, with 16mm in diameter. The steel bars only weighted 250 kilos. The idea was to mount the LED bars with clamps on to stell bars. For extra safety, these will be 50 centimetres in ground. For the look, we had 100 pieces of insulating tubes with lard diameter. Next, we checked and packed 100 LED bars. To control this amount of pixels, we took 8 POWERED digital LED controllers. With these, you don’t need additional power sources, since you have one built-in. Add 400 meters of Ethernet cables, same amount for electricity, 200+meters of extension cables for the bars and various bits and pieces of other equipment.

External sensor trigger for animation

The animation that you can see in the video is triggered with Infrared Beam Detector. One video for thousand words they say, so check out our demonstration below.

Well before the project was confirmed, we had to test how the bars actually look like outside. After this, we were convinced it will look amazing!

Installation day

We arrived a day before the event and analysed the site. Soil? Frozen. Road? Mild slope. Weather? Snow. Great! The next day, we had to use electric drill and ridiculously oversized bit to drill holes for steel bars. With a hammer even more ridiculous than the drill bit, you had to talk some sense into it to go where you need it to be! In the end, the task of creating a straight-ish line with 42 bars was most time consuming one. Temperature at noon was little over 0°C ! Even with the gloves, the small clamps on the bars proved to be tough job. At around 5pm, we had all the bars and cabling in place. And two symmetrical lines on each side of the road. Each line with 42 LED bars.

THE Race

The sun was well behind the horizon when three magnificent cars arrived. Two, you can hear from afar. The third one, that was a totally different sound. The whole idea of the event was to present a brand new electric Audi to bunch of reporters. A fixed, 150 meters track with professional speed tracking team was ready for an hour or so test drives. Check out the beauty and let’s see if you can spot in the video which one of the cars is Audi e-Tron GT.

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