I am trying to build a circuit that will tell me which person hits a piezoeletric disc first. Imagine that I have two competitors (A and B) running from 10
feet away, and they are trying to hit a piezo disc that is placed on their own individual table at their finish line as soon as possible. And whoever comes to
their table and hits their piezo disc first wins the game. So, for the competition, I plan to put out two tables and two piezo discs, one for each competitor. Also,
I would like to connect the output of the two piezo discs to a
"central" circuit, which contains two LEDs (and other components,
which is what I am trying to figure out). For simplicity, let’s say that on the central circuit I put in a red LED to indicate if competitor A hits his piezo disc first, and another LED (say green) if competitor B hits his disc first. I want to design a circuit that will light the red LED and make it stays on for a few seconds (e.g., 3 seconds) if competitor A hits his disc first. And during the 3 seconds, the green LED will remain dark, even if the competitor B hits his disc within the 3 seconds time interval. The same logic applies if the competitor B hits his disc first. In this case, the green LED will light up and stay on for 3 seconds. And during the 3 seconds, the red LED will not light.
My problem #1 is that the electric output of a piezo disc is likely a transient biphasic pulse. How am I going to use it to light up an LED for 3 seconds? So, my thinking now is to use a simple peak-detector circuit (with a
fast attack time-constant and a very slow decay time-constant) to detect and hold the maximum voltage value for 3 seconds. Apparently, I will need to provide some DC voltage in this circuit to boost the power in order to light up the LED for 3 seconds. But, does this make sense and will this work?
My problem #2 is that I don’t know what circuit I shall use to keep
the “loser’s” LED dark when the “winner’s” LED stays on for 3 seconds. That is, the winner can be the competitor A or B, depending on who hits his disc first. There is no "tie" condition.
I want to do this totally analog, i.e., using only physical electronic parts and no computer nor software on the competition field.
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.
This is probably not the best place for such a question.. The Mixed Signal Design forum is mainly for IC mixed-signal design (i.e. design of mixed signal integrated circuits), and even then tends to have more of a tool and methodology focus rather than design.
You'd probably be better off using one of the other forums on the internet (maybe on the "Designer's Guide"?). But in the meantime, I'll move this to the PCB Design forum, as it's probably more appropriate.