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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been pondering to change the drivers in the my Carrera LCs to oXigen.

Someone offered me 20+ oXigen drivers at a good price so I made the deal but I have had no time to do the install.

Today I got it started.

I have not seen other pics of similar installs so I thought of doing a small how to.

Let's start with a single lane changer. This is the lane changer with the original board.

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There is plenty of space. The only thing to do is to de-solder the solenoid cables from the Carrera board.

The other cables I removed are the ones taking power from the rails.

Then I did a try run to see how to install the oXigen boards. As you know there two boards: the one with the IR sensor that goes in the middle of the slot and the one driving the solenoid.

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To make the cover fit back the boards need to be installed as low as possible.

To this end, I removed some plastic from the bottom of the slot.

For the main board, I have to shave off some plastic on those two posts that rest on the corners of the boards.

Here you can see in a bit more details.

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You can see that I also have swapped the wires so that the positive is on the right-hand side rail.

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In the next pic you case that the deeps witches are below the edge of the LC.

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Next, it will be an XLC.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For the XLC I did not take a pic of the original assembly but the main thing is that there in only one board to drive the two solenoids.

An oXigen driver is capable of driving only one solenoid. Therefore you need to install two drivers.

At the beginning I was a bit worried that the internal layout would not fit the two boards but actually it is not a problem at all.

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For this install, I was more aggressive on the amount of material I removed from the bottom of the slot.

I decide to remove as much as to expose the whole part where the sensor board is sitting.

Still it is not enough to get the cover closed properly because of the IR sensor and the MOSFET.

So what I did was to remove some material from the cover.

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With this material removed on both sides, the cover closes without any issue.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The next item is the long pit lane entry.

Here the space is tighter.

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Installing the components is not that difficult.

But routing the wires takes a bit of extra effort.

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Now I have 20 more to go.
 

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Greg Gaub
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I don't envy installing 20 LC boards, but 1/24 oXigen racing, here you come! :)

Was the Carrera XLC board double the size of the single? It looks like there were mounting posts for a much larger board.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Greg

You read my mind ;-)

The XLC board was a bit bigger but not double the size. I have 2 more of this XLCs to do.

I will take a pic with the original bits in it.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One thing that I would like to figure out is how to setup the selective lane changing.

As you can see, there are deep switches in the main board.

Switch 1 and 2 are used to set the flipper activation time according to the the type of lane changers (Ninco or Carrera). In my case 1 on 2 off for Carrera.

Switch 3 and 4 are used for setting the behavior of the lane changer when the lc buttons are pressed on the controller.

With 3 on and 4 off, the lane changer will be activated when the down or both buttons are pressed.

With 3 off and 4 on, the lane changer will be activated when the up or both buttons are pressed.

With 3 and 4 on, the lane changer will be activated when any button is pressed (this is also called SSD compatible mode).

The theory is that on a large multi-lane layout, if you want to move to the external lanes you press the up buttons, and viceversa is you want to move towards the inside of the track.

This is particular useful when the pit entrance LC is preceded by a XLC: in SSD (or any other systems) if you press the LC button to early the XLC can move you from the inner lane (where the pit LC is) to the outside lane and you will miss the pit entry.

With oXigen as long as you press the down LC and the XLC and pit LC are configured properly (e.g., switch 3 off and 4 on for the board on the inner lane of the XLC, switch 3 on and 4 off for the board on the pit LC) then the XLC will not move you out of the inner lane.

The issue that I have is that in a oval track this is pretty straightforward. But on a track that has 180 degree corners with changes in direction, what was the external lane becomes the inner lane and viceversa.

This is the same when you have figure of 8 layouts.

Different story if we number the lanes: lane 1 will be always lane 1. If you want to move to lane 2 you press the up button. But after a 180 corner you will be moving towards the inner part of the track (lane 2) when pressing the up button.

Usually when I race abroad, I press both buttons and pray that the car moves in the right lane (I know Gary hates this!) but I have not spent time trying to figure this out because I have been concentrating on memorizing where the LCs are located.

The only exception is when I need to pit.

So what I am asking is what is the general standard for large tracks where we race DiSCA events because I would like to start introducing this to my guys.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Today I got some more lane changers done

One new piece for today was the short pit lane entrance.

Here a pic with the original Carrera bits:

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The interesting part is that the board control also the pitlane. I am not sure how this works but it is irrelevant for us.

The only important part is that power has to be carried on the pit lane from the main lane.

To do this I soldered the wires from the pitlane to the pickups of the main lane: I also swapped them around so that the positive is on the right-hand side.

There is plenty of room to install the main board. However the distance between the main board and sensor board requires longer wires (also because of the way they need to be routed in the provided channel).

Be aware that the oXigen drivers come with two wires: a 26 AWG and a 30 AWG. I have not used the 30 AWG in my install.

The 26AWG supplied is not enough for doing Carrera LCs. Usually you can get enough for soldering two of the three connections between the main and sensor boards.

For this short pitlane LC the wire supplied is enough for only one connection.

So get some good quality 26 AWG silicon wire if you want to convert Carrera LCs to oXigen.

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited by Moderator)
Built a temp track today to do some testing.

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The track has been sitting under my other track table for years.

It has accumulated plenty of sawdust and other rubbish.

So before installing the lcs, I decided to do some laps to get used to the track and put down some rubber.

First I cleaned the track with a cloth and alcohol.

Most of the sawdust was removed but after a couple of laps the car was skidding like on ice.

At close inspection, each rear tyre had a nice layer of dust on it. So out came the lint roller. Clean the tyres, add a bit of magic juice, do some laps, repeat.

I would say that I had to do 50 laps on each lane before the grip was up to scratch and no more sawdust was attached to the tyres.

For the conductivity, I have not used any power taps but it was pretty good except for the straight before the last corner (the one through the doorway).

This is composed mainly of old 4 prongs pieces and were sold to me second hand. They might have seen a lot of action.

So I used Inox on each of the joints and slowly but steadily the power got to a good level.

Of course I used Inox also on the car's braids to spread it across the rails while the cars went around.

This by the way was only on the inner lanes.

Tomorrow I will close the outer track and do some testing there as well before installing the LCs.

I might add some power taps just to be sure.

So far the two pit entrance LCs work with both 1/32 and 1/24 cars.
 

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Premium Member
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A tip to clean a temp track and get some grip: Get a wide roll of double sided tape (the type used to secure carpet) and apply 2 strips of 150mm length next to the slot in front of some the corners.
 

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Looks like a really fun test track.

The track I am sure will come good for grip. My own Carrera layout is in the garage, so accumulates dust if not used, and will take maybe 50 laps before it becomes good again, this is after wiping it down with a slightly damp cloth if unused for more than a few weeks.

The Oxigen conversion is beyond my product knowledge, having never used it. But you might find a buyer for the used Carrera LC electronics, depending on whether you plan to use them later or hold onto them just in case.

So most of this thread is beyond me but the photos are interesting especially that layout.

How do you find the geometry of Carrera compared to other track systems you have used? I find it very interesting to see a lot of new layouts built with the same quirks that the Carrera system lends itself towards but I can see that your test layout has been built with a bit of experience and thought. Do you think you will find yourself wanting to add borders?

Cheers,

Steve.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hi Tamar, good point about the tape. I will try to get some today.
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Steve

thanks for your post. Very interesting comments.

To start off, the oXigen mod is nothing complicated: I have zero skill in soldering and I would rate this conversion to a difficult level 1 out 10. It is really that simple. But tedious.

As for the boards, I am not planning to sell them. I usually never get rid of stuff that I buy (or get). You never know if in the future they might come handy again, This approach has served me well so I do not intend to change.

Having said that, if any of your electronic boards get damaged and you need a replacement let me know I will be more than happy to give you some.

So coming to the most interesting comments on your post.

One of the few things that I have learned here (especially from MrFlippant and others) is to avoid having corners with constant radii.

Another principle that I try to apply is to avoid to have too many parallel lines.

Now with a 2-laners that is not a big problem.

With a 4-laners, well things get more interesting....especially with a carrera track on such a limited space.

As you can see this simple test track is not fulfilling all the points above but it still a little interesting track to drive.

In terms of geometry, I wish carrera had introduced a half R3 curve to match their R4: this could help creating more interesting corners and angles.

But I am not sure that this is what you meant with "to see a lot of new layouts built with the same quirks that the Carrera system lends itself towards".

If I missed your point, let me know.

I have very limited experience with carrera track. I have bought over time plenty of track but never put together one that large.

I have also plenty of borders that still sitting in the original boxes...I will try to fit some but the idea of making a 4 laners was to avoid to use too many borders ;-)

Of course, if I had to build this track as a permanent track then I would make sure to have plenty of room for borders all around.
 

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Interesting thoughts Grunz.

In terms of geometry, I wish carrera had introduced a half R3 curve to match their R4: this could help creating more interesting corners and angles.

But I am not sure that this is what you meant with "to see a lot of new layouts built with the same quirks that the Carrera system lends itself towards".

If I missed your point, let me know.
Well that is an interesting thought, I do see some awkward transitions in Carrera layouts that I think an experienced designer will work around to avoid, I hadn't thought of the 1/2 R3 idea but that would certainly help.

I think you have done a great job to keep everything smooth and flowing, no real compromises quite an achievement since it is a 4 laner with the extra challenges that you mention.

I know it is just a test layout but it is quite impressive!
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Slotspeed. Too kind.

I have checked the difference with scalextric geometry and they have the 22.5 degree for all their radii which give more flexibility.

If Carrera had done the 15 degree for at least the R2 and R3 it sill be even better.

Today I have put in some LCs, added a power tap and extended the main and back straight in the other room.

Eventually I will test a 10 m long main straight before these holidays are over.
 

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ParrotGod
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I have completed the installation of the drivers in my LCs.

So far all have been successful except for one: when I test it with a car I can ear that the solenoid is trying to move the flipper but it seems that it does not have enough humph to move it.

The lane changer is attached to the main power source so it should be not an issue.

And I have tried with two different drivers.

The solenoid works - I have tested by attaching my power supply directly to it.

I have two more digital piece that still have the original carrera electronics (a pitlane and a left hand chicane) which I am not planning to convert but I will use as test beds to check that the oxigen drivers are sound.
 

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Sounds like an odd fault, will be interesting to hear what you find. There is no physical obstruction to the flipper movement?
 

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ParrotGod
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have powered directly the driver and it works. I think the issue is with the male prongs of the piece: it is an old LC and the prong looks quite dull.

Actually I have another LC that behaves a bit better but it is not as reliable as all the others. Also this one is an old LC.

The solution will be to power them directly bypassing the rails.
 

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ParrotGod
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Thanks Drifter. Hopefully someone will find it useful.

I have to say that carrera track is very nice and smooth but their digital system is a bit laggy.

With oXigen you get the best of the two worlds...and those long lane changers are a blast to take at full speed.
 
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