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Woooah! ........ I just had a go with Display-Pro in Mode 1, that's the mode the little screen shows.


That is seriously scary to see a screen which, in my case is 17" instead of 17mm, is absolutely stunning yet eerily attractive. I have to say that I am really loving this. My eyes are just starting to go and I get quite hacked off having to wear glasses to try and see buttons and screens then taking them off to race.

I feel another bunch coming on
 

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And to think when this got started, all I intended to do was Mode 1.


Thanks to the alpha testers, plenty of problems, but we are knocking them off, one by one.

Back to the red wineeeeeeeee

Back to work Tomorrowwwwwwwww

Rich
 

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Don't you dare stop now ...... I have got to have my wireless throttles
. Doing the testing on this means that I am getting wound up in [email protected]@dy wires again ........
 

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OK time for the next installment: today it is Race Mode.
The left of the screen says Race ... there are 5 red race lights to count down .... the laps to go are there on the right.

I could not find any real problems .... well in all honesty - none at all. I'm sure that is not supposed to happen so early in testing. There were no missed laps, the screen was so clear even Mr Magoo couldn't miss it. After each lap the leader bubbled to the top and the guys underneath had an arrow to indicate either a faster or slower lap than the leader. The cars counted the laps up and the screen counted them down.

Hit the Start button again and you get a track call which kills the power, hit Start again when you are ready and the 5 amber lights count you down again and away you go.

Ready to race again? Hit the Race Mode button ► and off you go again with the same parameters ....... childs' play!

Simply brilliant and brilliantly simple!
 

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..... what are you like?
 

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Greg thanks for the update, I will take the liberty of moving your email comments and my answers here.

QUOTE Hi Rich,
Today's report is simple really ....... great fun. Simultaneous sensor
crossing gave 20 equal and correctly counted laps for 2 cars on a 20 lap
race x 5.

The few observations might be how it is designed .. you decide.

a) Cars can jump the start and have laps counted with no penalty.

Countdown sequence too predictable.

c) Set n laps and the red lights pop up after n+1 laps.

d) If you press start after finishing a race the screen is not reset,
that only happens when you press ►.

e) You can't see what your lap time is if you are not the leader.

Regards - Greg

I will take that as all good, my objective with the first release was delierately. As simple as possible for a minimilist usable system. Reliability and ease of use first, functionality later.

So we are getting closer on reliability, but I think a little way to go yet. The Practice missing laps on simultaneous crossing problem I understand, and just need to come up with a fix. Switch on reliabilty is not 100%, and may never be. Improvement would be good, but we can probably live with what we have.

I am concerned about Brians problem, that with Pit-Pro in circuit Display-Pro does not work? Have put Pit-Pro in here and everything seems fine. Also cannot make sense in my mind why it would be a problem, unless it is something to do with current taken at start up?

So next thing is more feedback from Brian & Chris when he gets back home in France & can have a play.

Although boring I want to ensure the base platform is reliable before adding too much additional functionality, as all added function makes problems more difficult to find. This way if I add a function and there is a problem will will know what caused it and where to look.

That said very happy to discuss where we go from here, with the caveat that, much as I like it, I do not want this to end up like SSDC, which I think is far to complicated & difficult to drive, particularily if you only use it ocassionally. Even though I am relatively familiar, I still spend more time setting things up and scratching my head on how to do something than racing.

So to your observations, and an issue to put on the table straight away.

Everyone has different requirements for options, and the obvious solution to that is a setup screen of some sort, so that everyone can get what they want. However if it gets too complicated then we have failed. I suspect that every one of your sugestions could have several options?

So my outline plan is that there will be a setup screen, I plan on getting to it with the UP arrow. Possibly just a single setup screen?

So looking at your observations, all of which I "agree" with.

a) So the first one is actually tricky, with several options, simplest, in programming & understanding terms I can think of are..
1) No power until Start = no jump Start.
2) If Jump Start first lap is not counted.

Countdown Options.
1) If 1 above it might as well be predictable.
2) As is but make the delay on the last beep random between 1 & 5 seconds. Doees SSDC have this?

c) Is a bug I introduced when correcting the first Lap being counted, will be fixed.

d) Could be done, not sure if this is important or better?

e)Lap Times. I think everyone can see their lap time? There is a bug that leader lap time does not show after the first lap, will be fixed.

Final thought, while I go twiddle my thumbs...

Let's come up with a list, anyone can play. Of functions that we would be happy to put in, that there are NO options for.

So for instance can we "agree" that a random delay on the last beep would be preferable to a fixed time?


Rich
 

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I only have 2 suggestions:

a) Having to loose a whole lap for a jump start might be a bit harsh if you run short races. Would it be possible to kill or reduce the power for the offender(s) for 5s if a jump start is detected?

Have a variable last beep so that it adds a little bit more tension to the start especially if the jump-jockeys can win a penalty.
 

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OK ...... just tested Pit-Pro with Display-Pro and every thing worked just fine. The lights went green and red whilst the leds flickered on and off. I tried Pit-Pro in both Practice and Race modes and everything seemed to be just as before.


The next thing that I will test is how easy it is to set up the APB using Display-Pro in Mode 1.
 

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Ok lets see if we can narrow down on a few things? Nothing final but let's get the discussion going. The spirit of this for the moment is that you can only have one option... and remember this system is trying very hard to be easy to setup, understand and use.


These will not be going in straight away, but good to have in mind when I am codeing other things. Some like the start penalty are actually quite a lot of code..

Quite like the random Long beep, have a feeling most people would like it, anyway I like it.


So beep is random between 1 & 4 seconds, start and lights turn Green is at the end of the beep?

Penalty is more difficult for me to be happy with / decide on. Trouble with killing or reducing power is that with > 2 on the grid there will be a crash.

So other options.

1) Drop the idea and have power off until the end off the beep - Jump Start not possible.
2) Loose a Lap, yes harsh, but perhaps adds to the tension because of the penalty, so gives those who get it right an additional edge?
3) I Suppose reduced power might work if it was say 8/10ths for a lap? Enough to penalise, not enough to cause a crash?
4) Don't want any sort of Stop Go, as I want this to work without a pitlane.
5) Other?

So Race end needs something added, at the moment just the Red Lights come on.

So again this one is a can of worms in terms of peoples preferences for Race End...

Here are some options I can think off.

1) Finish immediatly leader crosses line, Long Beep & Reds, Cut power. You can then see the final finishing positions, by positions on track.
2) Beep & Reds when leader finishes. Let everyone complete the lap. Final positions are then on the leader board. Reduce power when you cross the line, cut power when everyone has crossed the line?
3) I don't like letting everyone complete as that can take too long.
4) Other?

We have track call on the Powerbase & Fob. At the moment it cuts Drive & applies Brakes.

Do we want track call on the throttle Brake button. Remember you can only have one option, so this would mean loosing it as a brake?

OK that's enough for now. Thoughts, comments, questions, suggestions???

Rich
 

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Here are my thoughts guys.

Random start sequence is a must.


Penalty for false starts is not an easy one.
A drive through would be fantastic however not every one has pit lanes.
Limited power for part of the first lap may impede other drivers if more than 2 so would not be fair.
Extra lap could be harsh on large tracks, but could be an option.
My preference would be to signal a false start and stop the race sequence, user could then be manually reprimanded and the offending car put back a few spaces if so desired that keeps it simple.
Option to not have false starts would be useful for when the kids are playing.

Race End
I recon cut power after user defined number of seconds following the leader crossing the line. Races stopping dead instantly a driver has won can cheat the honour of comming second or third when a few of you are racing in a close race. If it is done in this way it can be tailored to large and small tracks and can still be set at zero seconds if the user so wishes.

Track Call
I find it very handy for racers to have the ability to start a track call, stops the carnage. Can you also display who pressed the button so any manual penalty can be dished out? Sorry guys my vote is to loose the brake for track call.

Regards

Brian
 

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OK here goes...

Track call - I assume by no 'options' that includes on/off? So if there must be a track call, and I believe there must, otherwise you end up with people crashing and running to get cars (so much more relaxing when you know that if you crash you will lose a few seconds, and there's no getting away from it. Besides, we don't all race with extras to Marshall) then which button. I would be happy to use the brake for track calls, as I use dynamic braking only, but is it possible to use a combined brake and lane change?

Starts - I like the random idea (presumably with a final beep for those who aren't watching the screen), but what penalty? I can see the dilemma ...is it possible to introduce the penalty a few seconds after the start? That way, say ten seconds later, you might get a 'stutter' with 80% power to let you know you done bad, but with enough time passed of rother to have got a good start and, if they know you jumped the (which could be signaled some how) they can make sure they are in the other lane when you slow for your penalty.

Finish - I like the 'everyone finishes there current lap' version - it just feels like a nice way to finish, but I wouldn't die in a ditch over it.

Cheers

Andrew
 

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Hi Guys

Thanks for the inputs. Yes, for the moment to concentrate the mind and so that I do not have to do an option setup screen
I want to try and come up with a single option for these and probably some other items. (In the long run there will almost certainly be an option setup and save screen, these choices will then probably be the defaults)

So there is coded a Track Call, so ON is the chosen option, all that remains is the detail of what a track call does. At the moment the following describes it.

Track call during a Race can be initiated by pressing the Start or Enter key on the Powerbase or the Enter Key on the Wireless Fob.
Question. Do we want to also make the Brake button initiate a Track call?

Track call zeros the throttles on the cars and applies brakes, 5 Yellow lights on the display.
Question. Do we want a beep?

Pressing Start or Enter on the Powerbase / Fob then initiates a countdow (Like the Start) with beeps.
Question. Do we want a random time on the last Beep, like Race start (Codeing would be easier if it was the same as Start
)
or fixed time?

My prefered answer in all cases is Yes...

So now looking at Race Finish, my prefered solution is Everyone finishes current lap. Detail as I have proposed above.

Beep & Reds when leader finishes. Let everyone complete the lap. Final positions are then on the leader board. Reduce power when you cross the line, cut power when everyone has crossed the line?

Penalty for false Start, probably the trickiest without options to keep everyone, including me, happy. As with different groups, different approaches are best.

Kids. I think best to just have the Power off until the start.
Quick Race with new people. As above or no penalty.
More experienced users. I would like a choice of.

First Lap not counted. Harsh but I bet you don't get may false Starts & the fact that people might hesitate slighty, gives those that judge it right an edge.

Also quite Like Brians. Stop the Countdown, flag the offender. Then up to the Starter to either warn or move the offender back down the grid?

Not sure about slowing or stuttering, does not seem real relative to the real World.

If there is a Pitlane, then quite like Stop & Go / Drive through penalty.

So for the moment, and because I want to keep things simple and have a lot of other stuff to do, I will probably leave it with no penalty.
However let the debate continue.

Rich
 

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Hi folks,

It's really exciting seeing how much digital slot racing has evolved since I last had a go at it. I have been away from slots for 3 years (even more regarding digital) and now I want to get back into it the options seem quite daunting with different PBs, pit lanes, SSDC's, Display Pro etc.

I have an original 6 car PB but I have a new C7042 on the way arriving this week hopefully. My idea is to set up the track to be used either analogue or digital and I had thought of grabbing the SSDC to go with it... until now.

I guess that regarding digital slotting I am a total novice, I would be amongst those that value simplicity of use over truckloads of options and details that maybe only the hardcore racer would appreciate. I will be running digital with my kids and friends so I'm looking for something fast to setup and simple.

So, judging from RichG's comments.. is SSDC too complicated? Should I wait for Display-Pro as it seems (at least at this current stage) that user friendliness is high on the list?

Now my 2 cents on some of the topics discussed and bearing my noobishness on these matters:

1) Start. I guess in an ideal world it would be nice to have two options, one for the more seasoned racers with a random countdown as suggested by a few of you and another option for when playing with kids who tend to be very trigger happy and which would only run power to track when GO. No false starts or penalties in this case which kids are not going to understand.. it just makes life easier.

2) Stop. I think letting all cars complete the course is nicer (and more realistic) than just having cars stop dead on the track. Power off after the race has a winner and the rest of the field have completed their current lap (reduced throttle for the frontrunners once they have crossed the finish line).

3) Track calls. I have no issue with it being on the brake, never used it!
 

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QUOTE (Nytelotus @ 16 Apr 2012, 10:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So, judging from RichG's comments.. is SSDC too complicated? Should I wait for Display-Pro as it seems (at least at this current stage) that user friendliness is high on the list?

Thanks for the inputs. I am probably going to get into trouble over this comment.
Please don't wait, it could be a long one, and Display-Pro is quite expensive. Just go download SSDC, it has a free trial, and make up your own mind.

Rich
 

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I would like add my thoughts to this one.

If running complex races for experienced/competent racers I will probably use SSDC.

I want display pro for it's simplicity to use with kids/non competent racers.

Therefore I would like the defaults to be:

Power off until start.

Power off when all cars finish curent lap once race won.

Track call only initiated by race controller ie. Not on brake button
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
All very sensible, and just proving the point that one setup is not going to keep everyone happy.


Rich
 

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Mode 1 ie Scalextric Tower is much easier to use than the little screen where you had to keep tilting it back and forth to glimpse the LCD display. It doesn't make anything any easier to comprehend but it does look good in colour and it is now becoming a bit of a game with my wife and I trying to decipher what on earth some of the abbreviations mean .......... the looser usually has to brew up.
 

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At least now you has see the Hieroglyphics, but you will have to find your own Rosetta Stone


Rich
 

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It's taken me a couple of Days to come up with a fix for the missed laps on simultaneous crossing in Practice, but hopefully it's ok? I have just emailed 1.3b with the fix, so we will see what the alpha testers have to say?

Because I am finding this programming lark a bit wearing. I have decided to keep the start finish options as simple as possibe, so for the moment, this is what I have put into the code.


Power is On at the Start untill the Start button is pressed and the countdown begins. This enables you to drive round to the grid, but prevents a False Start. So no point in a random delay... Red lights go out is sequence, 5 Greens come on and Power is turned ON.

Track call immediatly cuts drive and applies Brakes, can only be initiated by the Powerbase Start or Enter key, or the Wireless Fob Enter key. Displays Yellow Lights. Same keys end the Track call, 5 Yellows go out in sequence and Power is turned ON again.

Race is ended when the lead car completes the Laps. Red Lights come on. Power is left on untill all cars cross the Start Finish Line and is then cut and Brakes applied. Display then shows finish order. If a car is on the same lap as the Winner it shows time to Winner. If a lap or more behind it shows number of laps behind. Display also shows Fastest Lap for each car.

So this will probably not keep anyone happy, but I consider it to be a good easy to use & understand minimum configuration. So I am sure there will be a couple of problems to find. But..... my other motivation is that I want to get back onto the Wireless Throttles.
Having used a RichG & a Scorpius throttle over Easter I never wat to go back to wired throttles agian...

Rich
 
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