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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been running ARC One for 3 years on my large 2 lane analogue Scaley track with no real issues until now it has decided to become controller lane non specific !!! In other words each controller can control either lane or they can both be used together when using one lane !!! I haven't taken the back off the ARC unit and can see any damage. Scaley App still works fine for lap times etc.... Anybody got any ideas??

This is what I've tried so far

  1. Remove ARC and replace with Powerbase...problem no longer there
  2. Keep ARC and install Powerbase ........problem remains
 

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novice jazz player &
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Inside the ARC ONE there are thick copper rails that connect the OV inputs from the PSU to the pcb and the +15V to both the pcb and via the throttle plugs to the pcb. From there the throttle analog signals should run side by side down the centreline of the pcb till they emerge as wires that run out onto the track rails. Would you mind please removing the powerbase cover and then taking a photo of the components along the centreline of the pcb - I expect one has failed or a visible short circuit has occurred.

c
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ARC One.jpg

Thanks for your help. Here is a picture which I hope will do. If you want a photo of the reverse side of the PCB no problems ...

Cheers
 

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novice jazz player &
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Thanks, I cant see anything obvious.
Do you have multimeter my chance, one which measures resistance? if so there are a couple of next steps to help pinpoint the problem. If not we could try something else.

c
 

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novice jazz player &
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Lets assume you dont have a multimeter...

Test 1. Disconnect the ARC ONE from any external raceway track... then connect the psu and controllers. Place a car on the powerbase track section. Do both controllers still show dual control problem?
If not then clearly the problem is a short in the raceway itself. If yes we need to delve further into the powerbase...

Would you mind giving it a try please?

c
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again for your help. Unfortunately I don't have a multimeter !!

I have done the ARC One disconnection test from the raceway track and the condition continues to exist. Another interesting fact is that when I use the wrong controller for the track it appears to run at 95% of the power .

Also when I ran the track with a standard PSU next to the unplugged ARC on the raceway track there was no problem. I then connected a second PSU to the ARC and the condition returned. The only test I have not properly conducted is both tracks operating at the same time although I have noticed when a stationary car is on the track while using the other track, it moves about 6 inches before stopping.

Wonder if the condition has something to do with the cold weather ??

Cheers
 

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novice jazz player &
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Let me think and then get back to you.

c
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi

Just a bit of additional information. A lap is 91 feet, and thinking back the track was extended by 12 feet recently.

I also ran 2 x Carrera Evolution cars ( polarity switched so in reverse direction ) using both lanes on one controller,

The only advantage of this situation is that if you derail and land in the other track you can carry on without having to change controllers !!!
 

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novice jazz player &
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I am getting a bit puzzled.

Not sure quite how you have things set up but want to share the following thoughts and questions:

1/ are you ensurin never to have more than one powerbase in the track at any one time whether powered or not? Reason being, powerbases can be damaged when you apply external power to their track outputs. Also, the can apply short circuits between various track rails.

2/ when you connect both rails together, where and how are you making the connection?

3/ driving for a few seconds then stopping suggests a component is getting overloaded and then shutting down. This could be overcurrent protection in the PSU or over-current through a resetting poly fuse as routinely used in slot car systems as a safety feature.

I am still thinking through what might be happening here. Were any modifications made to the wiring under the track piece that is attached to the powerbase?

c
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi

Yes... this is all getting very puzzling and I have tried all manner of substituting tests with no luck.

Lets just recap...

  • Only use 1 PSU either through the ARC or on a standard Scaley powerbase for the basic start controllers
  • With the standard Scaley Powerbase and no ARC there is no problem each car and each controller are lane specific
  • I did try the ARC unplugged with the PSU and controllers on the standard powerbase and there was not problem except without a PSU plugged into the ARC no lap data would be sent to the app.
  • The rails are connected as in the normal track connection system which is all Scaley . There an no additional Powerbases or booster cables being used under the track.
  • Only I Scaley PSU is being used as this is a 2 lane set up.
  • There is continuous power going to both tracks with each controller at all times. In a 2 car running situation with both controllers being operated, power surges makes 2 car operation impossible,

To conclude this 2 lane track can only be used as a 1 lane circuit with the ARC in place.

I guess the PSB has got a bug in it. I suppose nobody will be able to help at Hornby Hobbies. I tried them a few years ago when the wiring in the basic Start controllers kept shearing after a couple of weeks of use and they had a problem solving that small issue so this is completely different.

I guess the next action would be to try another ARC One on this track layout or possible shorten it ,

Thanks anyway for your time and trouble.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Another option would be to disconnect the lane power connectors in the ARC One, so that it serves only as a race management accessory, and use the standard power base. Since you mention power interaction between cars, you might see if you can find the Sport base that takes two power supplies and has a switch on top to choose between one or two power supplies. I'm not sure what your current base is, but you might have to get the base, and two power supplies for it, and maybe even two more controllers? In any case, there are a lot of analog racers out there who have done this, so that they can use the race management in the ARC One, but keep the power and controllers they prefer. Honestly... the ARC One controllers are carp.
 

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novice jazz player &
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If you follows Mr Flippants suggestion of retaining the ARC ONE for race management I would advise that you disconnect the power wires between the track piece and the pcb inside the ARC ONE. You could do this by chopping the four red and black wires then adding insulating tape or by unplugging on the underside of the pcb. Remember any 12V power coming into an unpowered ARC PRO from the trackside by-passes the polarity protection diodes.

Also remember with typical simple analog powerbases (and also the ARC PRO) the designated OV supply is parallel wired to both lanes. Therefore if two are connected in series, with the block part on opposite sides of the track... both lanes will always see identical voltages. I suspect something along these lines may be happening here... maybe?

c
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PROBLEM SOLVED !!!!!!

Yes..... by disconnecting the 4 power leads to the track rails in the ARC One (disconnect plug from PCB) and only using the ARC as a timing device so it still needs the Scalextric PSU. Inserting a standard Powerbase with Start Controllers (could be the worst in the world !!
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) the track is now working properly.

Thanks for all your help. Its a pity that the Scalextric ARC One has developed this fault but I guess... That's life
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi All

Well that solution worked perfectly for 12 days but alas ARC One has completely given up recording laps times etc....

ARC app shows message on my Android " You are not connected to ARC, please check Bluetooth is enabled on your device and your ARC powerbase is plugged in " . The ARC App setting page shows Model...... Not connected . Blue tooth is connected to ARC One and the green light is solid but no timing operations.

Could it be that by disconnecting track power supplies from the PCB and continuing to use ARC One for timings with the PSU connected, the whole thing has become overloaded ???

I did reconnect the track power to the PCB on ARC one and the original condition of 1 controller working both lanes returned but connection to Android still would not work.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Time to look on Ebay for another ARC One or will the same thing happen again ??
 

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novice jazz player &
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Sorry to hear that... very disappointing.

To answer your question, in general people seem to get good results when they completely decouple the track rails from the ARC ONE and once isolated they use a separate powerbase for track power.

With the ARC ONE completely decoupled from the track rails there should be no prospect of overload. That said, your ARC ONE seems to have some sort of internal fault which we were unable collectively to diagnose.

I suspect if you buy a new ARC ONE you will be far more lucky.

c
 
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