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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just finished interfacing our track with Arduino & RC and I'm having a few problems with the dead strip counters, with the settings at default the laps only count if cars cross the deadstrip (very) slowly, I guessed that the Debounce value might be partly the cause, changed it to 100 and the counters worked lovely on the 2 lanes that were being used, I then noticed I was getting phantom counts on the other 2 lanes, changed Debounce to 150 and it reverted to the 'slowly only' count. I ran out of time to try other values.

I have 2 questions:

1. Is Debounce the correct value to change? and what IS Debounce?

2. What is 'Trigger laps on low' toggle used for? (could it also be useful to me)

I suppose that's really 3 questions but hey... I dont mind if you dont.

I have checked the pos & negs and they are definitely the correct orientation

I have used the following diagram from elsewhere on here, one problem could be that my deadstrip may be too short (dont ask how long it is, I'm 20 miles away at the moment) but I guess around six inches

I've also been told to put a diode in the positive line, and somewhere I've read of using resistors and/or capacitors but this diagram doesn't show any.

Any answers from the RC Gods?

post-5458-0-29158900-1545170345.jpg
 

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You most likely want trigger laps on low unchecked. That setting tells RC to look for an open or closed circuit when a car triggers the sensor. For things like IR/photo sensors when you go over the sensor the ciricuit opens because the light/ir is blocked by the car. This transitions the signal RC sees to low. It's the opposite behavior for a dead strip which is why you likely don't want it checked.

Debounce is a way of filtering noise from your circuit. Technically RC ignores any signal change that goes from high to low and back again faster than the debounce time. In these cases RC assumes noise/interference caused the transition. You may have to tune this value, but you definitely don't need to tune it for cars not counting if they go too fast over the sensor.

As I recall, usually if you have to go over a dead strip super slow to get it to count a lap it means you have the polarity in your circuit backwards. If it's easy, try racing around the track in the other direction and see how that works. If it does that's your problem. And I'm no Slot Car god. I defer all my answers to somebody smrtr than me, which is just about everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You most likely want trigger laps on low unchecked. That setting tells RC to look for an open or closed circuit when a car triggers the sensor. For things like IR/photo sensors when you go over the sensor the ciricuit opens because the light/ir is blocked by the car. This transitions the signal RC sees to low. It's the opposite behavior for a dead strip which is why you likely don't want it checked.

Debounce is a way of filtering noise from your circuit. Technically RC ignores any signal change that goes from high to low and back again faster than the debounce time. In these cases RC assumes noise/interference caused the transition. You may have to tune this value, but you definitely don't need to tune it for cars not counting if they go too fast over the sensor.

As I recall, usually if you have to go over a dead strip super slow to get it to count a lap it means you have the polarity in your circuit backwards. If it's easy, try racing around the track in the other direction and see how that works. If it does that's your problem. And I'm no Slot Car god. I defer all my answers to somebody smrtr than me, which is just about everybody.
I worship the sight of the laptop display interacting with Arduino, and it's all because of your RC, I'm in awe of your creation.

When I wired it up I checked & double checked the polarity against the above diagram, I'm sure it matches.

With Debounce set at 100 it counts every valid lap, trouble is it also counts sporadic laps on unused lanes so it cant be trusted, what are your thoughts on diodes, resistors or capacitors in circuit?
 

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Rich Dumas
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There is a common problem with dead strips that many people are not aware of. I encountered the problem myself years ago when I bought a TrikTrax lap counter/timer to use with the dead strips on my HO track. I soon found that laps would be missed unless the cars were going slowly. I was advised to switch the connections to the dead strips, that fixed the problem and I did not give it any more thought for some time. The issue of missed laps does come up from time to time and I finally worked out an explanation that seems to fit the facts. See this article for more information: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1axriebUWKkrUmpHSQsP8U1MTsd0fb65F
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a common problem with dead strips that many people are not aware of. I encountered the problem myself years ago when I bought a TrikTrax lap counter/timer to use with the dead strips on my HO track. I soon found that laps would be missed unless the cars were going slowly. I was advised to switch the connections to the dead strips, that fixed the problem and I did not give it any more thought for some time. The issue of missed laps does come up from time to time and I finally worked out an explanation that seems to fit the facts. See this article for more information: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1axriebUWKkrUmpHSQsP8U1MTsd0fb65F
Article isn't there:

"404. That's an error.

The requested URL was not found on this server. That's all we know."
 

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I had similar issues when connecting dead strips to Arduino for use with a home-made lap counter. My solution is shown in post 30 in my track build thread 'Club Racing at Home'.

You may also be interested in post 16 in that thread where I detail a failsafe way to wire up the track power relays.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thought I'd better do an update on this.

After buying 3 Arduino from different sources (including a legit one) and STILL having massive counting problems our dilema was solved by the loan of a trackmate module, this was setup by Rob Lees using Trackmate software and then RC (I much prefer the RC format), everything was working fine (we thought), then the following week we started racing using the RC software and partway through the evening 2 lanes transposed and we had some very odd fastest laps and race times, loaded up Trackmate software and everything works fine, and has done ever since.

I dont know what the problem was and I probably never will but at least we can now run a meeting without counting our own laps.

Many thanks to Rob, our lifesaver yet again.

Oh and if anyone wants the odd Arduino (or 3) let me know
innocent.gif
 
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