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Hi all,

I was running in analogue (see below for the illogical part) and the fan slowed as if it was about to go into safe mode and there was an burning smell. I unplugged it straight away and took it out of the circuit. There's no sign of burning inside the APB, but it just boots into safe mode now. You can hear the fan ticking slowly and then it stops as the APB finishes the boot process and goes directly into safe mode and all 6 red lights plus the small red light flash It does this regardless of whether the tower is plugged in or not.

I've tested the track with the old 4 car digital PB and the track is fine - no shorts. The APB hasn't been modded and I just use two stock Scalextric power blocks.

Here's the run up to the failure which might give a clue:
I'd just made a new simple oval track with no lane changers, crossovers or pits, just simple curves & straights and the APB with just one wired Scalextric controller in socket 1 and nothing else - no other controllers, no Scalextric tower or D-P box connected.

To test the track, I ran a couple of laps with a digital car. Then I switched to analogue using the 3 arrow buttons and the start button 5 times. I ran a couple of laps with an analogue car in lane 2 which seemed ok & then I noticed the controller was plugged into socket 1 so it shouldn't have responded to the controller
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So I put the car on lane 1 & it ran as normal. Then, I put it back on lane 2 & it still ran as normal still with the controller in socket 1. Then, the fan slowed and there was a burning smell and I unplugged it quickly.

I've gone through all the obvious things but is there anything I've missed?

Cheers
Chris
 

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Greg Gaub
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That sure sounds like there was a short somewhere. Did you happen to have a piece of track with bridging wires? A friend of mine did that to help distribute power more evenly, but he only had one lane analog on his PB-Pro, so it didn't matter.
Also, I recall at least one other person report a similar problem as you, and it turned out the base itself had a short. Have you EVER run more than one analog car before, to notice whether the lanes were really isolated?
In any case, I would think Scalextric should replace it.
 

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Hi again,

Tested the track with the SCX analogue PB adding the Sport/Classic adapter track and it runs fine, each controller just controls its own lane as normal. So I guess it's a short or a failed component in the APB?

Chris
 

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Greg Gaub
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Yeah, I was leaning that way, if only because of that other report I'd mentioned.
Assuming you're still under warranty, give Hornby a call. If not, crack it open and look around.
 

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I've emailed Hornby France to see whether they will repair it as it's 16 months old now but the EC rules say a 2 year guarantee (link) should apply to all products albeit just against manufacturing defects. Also, I wasn't sure if they would make a fuss with the 1.09 firmware so I thought I'd try flashing it. Starting with the up button pressed, the fan actually came on & it didn't go into safe mode & I actually managed to flash 0.85.

So it now shows 0.85 on start up but it still goes straight into safe mode after the boot message so there's maybe some hope of repairing it. As I said there's no sign of burnt components inside and no loose wires or bits of braid in the rails - is there anything else to check?

Also, has anyone had an APB repaired by Hornby beyond 12 months?

Chris

Edit: Hornby France say the guarantee is 12 months up to which date they would just replace it and they don't repair things. So I'm stuffed unless the shop where I bought it comes up with something
 

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Both analogue lanes run from one controller? The relay inside must be stuck. That shouldn't matter for digital mode as the relay is connected anyway, can you get the powerbase into digital mode and see if it goes into safe mode?

I suppose that if the relay was stuck and you were back-driving the other lane mosfets you could have cooked those as well.
The relay might not be at fault, there must be a drive circuit like we put together for PB-ProSHA as the PIC won't support the current needed for a relay.
 

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QUOTE (RikoRocket @ 24 Jul 2012, 11:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Both analogue lanes run from one controller? The relay inside must be stuck. That shouldn't matter for digital mode as the relay is connected anyway, can you get the powerbase into digital mode and see if it goes into safe mode?
Thanks Riko.
If the tower is not connected it should default into digital but it still goes into safe mode. I've also tried connecting the D-P box which defaults into digital but the APB still goes into safe mode.

Do fired mosfets look any different externally to unfried mosfets?
 

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If you have a meter then check resistance of each leg to each leg. If one has blown they tend to go short circuit so you will see a much lower (a couple of orders different) reading. They will get hot when powered, so you could feel them, normally they are not even warm.
 

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QUOTE (ss67 @ 24 Jul 2012, 11:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One question here/point to note.

Once the power mod has been done to the powerbase I take it that there is no "safe mode" if there was for example a short on the track?

wrong, it works exactly the same, the only difference is the trip point is set at a higher current.
 
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