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Dummies guide to sensing a single lane pitlane

Intro


This mod is to give an SSD discrete message to a PC that the pitlane has been entered and by whom.
This thread is for one sensor only, and is designed to be used with a second PB.
I have already covered in and out sensing, and using a single PB for registering laps if you have a
pitlane beside the start line.
This mod is specifically to get a unique output from a dedicated PB to a PC to advise a particular car is in the pits.
I won't cover 2 lane pitlane as that is simple, either do the MS mod with the second PB track in the pit,
or do the sector timing (no-power) mod to an older standard PB and use the aux port output.

In this mod we will cut the track in half, cut 2 PCBs remove 2 wires from the PB
and add a bridging wire on one of the sensing boards.

This rates at my difficulty rating 4/10.
The changes are simple, and you don't need as good an eye as was needed for the MS mod.
This is not beyond the capabilities of responsible teenagers.
You need
Either an MS modified 6PB slave or a sector timing modified PB
A modeling knife/scalpel
A fine tipped soldering iron

Disassembly

Turn the powerbase over and remove the 4 screws that hold the track to the base.
Prise the 2 sensor boards off the track, the 2 sensing PCBs were held in place on 2 little
spigots, easy to pull off.

Cutting Track

Scribe line at 77mm in from one side. Cut using your craft knife.



Cutting sensing boards

Study photos. I'm being lazy here reusing photos but we only need to make
the cut at the side which is nearest to where the wires connect. You could
make the cut centrally, I just wanted the boards to be smaller and more protected.
Cut board by scoring with a sharp knife to a depth of about half a mm.
Score the back in line (should be able to see the score mark through the board)
and then just bend the board. Snap - Bob's your uncle!




Cutting wires from PB

2 wires to cut from PB

Remove blue wire and white wire completely.
Blue wire went to one board, white went to the other.
If you don't want to open up PB itself cut the wires off flush with the box.
Actually this change is optional, as when you have cut the boards those
wires are doing nothing anyway.

Add wire to blade sensor board

This is essential, the power circuit to the LED does not work without adding this wire.
It runs from one soldered wire position to a soldered pin on the LED, so this is easy…
Add black wire from ground (0V) connection to lower terminal of LED (right side of photo)



Reassembly

Bond the sensor boards back to the half piece of track that was adjacent to the
PB (or the lugs won't fit!), I used "No-Nails" adhesive.
Make sure the blade sensor is well and truly in position as you get missed
lap counts if the sensor is too far away from the track surface.
Cut back the plastic on the PB that would have screwed to the missing
half of the track, then screw to track.





Tip

Keep your spares, you never know when you might need them,
both track and the other parts of the sensing boards are still good!
 

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I love it when you do these quick guides.

It really saves a lot of time looking through old posts trying to find the solution which is normally hidden amongst at leasts 100 posts.

I will be referring back to some of your dummies guides when i get to these mods.

Shaunbmx
 

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Hi Riko,

Here's a thought to try to use the Pit PB as BOTH a pitlane sensor and third (or fourth) lane Start/Finish sensor:

If the 2nd PB leads for both the blade and IR sensors were connected to the Main PB using diodes, could this sensing be forced to be one way? Therefore, you could have the pitlane sensors still trigger the main PB, but you could also have the pitlane PB sense ONLY when the cars are actually in the pit lane. As i see it, one would need 4 diodes to connect in between the sensor wires for the pitlane to the main PB...

Wouldn't this solve the issue that some have brought up about having software detect and count a lap when the car exits the pit lane? This also takes care of the PB clock issue which we know and love


i will try to diagram what i'm thinking...

Cheers
Ruben
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Ruben

I think I understand what you are saying, but there is one problem. The blade sensor circuit needs to go open circuit to clock a lap. We can't diode that out on one PB circuit and have it ineffective on the other. Sketch up what you were thinking and I'll try and put the schematics around it.

Cheers
Riko
 

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Ruben I cannot see the need for your proposal?

If we have a second PB with the pitlane detector, presumably connected to a second serial port on the PC to identify when a car pits. Then surely it is trivial for software to have an option to add a lap when a car is detected in the pitlane? No need for cross coupling to the main PB.

Rich
 

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QUOTE (RichG @ 20 Apr 2007, 10:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ruben I cannot see the need for your proposal?

If we have a second PB with the pitlane detector, presumably connected to a second serial port on the PC to identify when a car pits. Then surely it is trivial for software to have an option to add a lap when a car is detected in the pitlane? No need for cross coupling to the main PB.
Rich

Hi Rich,

The problem is the timing! We can certainly connect the 2nd PB to a serial port and have the software receive the lap data. unfortunately, the clock speeds of the PBs is different enough that a synchronization needs to be done - otherwise the lap times end up becoming unrealistic... Also, the lap times that the two PBs would send the PC will be different as racers can pass either one...

So, it isn't trivial to have the second PB truly coordinated with the first - both from clock speeds as well as keeping up with which PB was used last by the car..

if i recall, Riko and I posted a thread explaining the synchronization of two PBs... i'll have to look for that...

Cheers
Ruben
 

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OK Ruben I understand it's timing that is the main problem.

I suggest we solve it in software.


First as this is a time for a pitting car I think it is less critical anyway. So I suggest the following.

When each car crosses the Start Finish line, start a count of the number of Aux data packets that are received, if it crosses again reset the count. We know that they arrive at very close to 1/10 second intervals. Now when a car pits and and data arrives from the second Pit Powerbase instead of taking that time add the number of 1/10 counts to the previous lap time to establish a Last lap time. That way the only errors will be the 1/10 sec accuracy plus the latency of the second Powerbase in sending data. Worst case 2/10 second and usually better than that.

As I said, the car is pitting anyway, no lap records are going to be set, so a small inaccuracy is of no consequence. This way there is no error build up as the times are effectively coming from the first Powerbase.

Rich
 

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Hi Rich,

Well, as usual, you are absolutely right!!


Having more time to think about this it seems to me the best setup for a single lane PB is Riko's mod for the third lane with one PB in combination with the mod for a sinlge lane PB sensor.

third lane PB becomes the pit exit which is in line with the start/finish line
the pit lane PB and Slot-GP only needs to care about the entry into the pit.

Simple track config, simple adjustment in the software and NO timing issues!!

Cheers
Ruben
 

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Hi All

Instead of cuting the bord and track I build a new one and put it on a singel lane track.





Sorry for the poor quality of the image


/Mike
 

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Did this mod this morning. Guide was great and easy to follow - cheers Riko

Problem though. Ive triple checked all the wiring and can't get any response from lane 1 and 3. checked the yellow and white wires as suggested. everything looks honky dory - but no joy.

further thoughts?
 

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QUOTE (Tnemrap @ 16 Mar 2008, 14:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OPB610 is verified working
.

/Mike

Woah! How did I miss this one? Did you post a circuit diagram? Does this mean an end to bastardizing PBs as we can now make our own sensor tracks? What are the component costs?
 

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Rico - Your dummies guide to sensing a pit lane still stumps the super-dummy in me.
I have a completely stock PB v. 1.4. Can I use it to make this mod? Must it be sector timing (no-power) modified first? And is that as simple as it looks? (I'm also an electronics illiterate).

I'm also not clear how to reconnect the rewired track section to the PB.

My RichG cable is serial. Remaining open ports are USB. I guess that means I need a USB cable for this mod. Will the one work alongside the other without conflict?

BTW: I run Andrew's SSD Console on PB Pro v. 1.7h.

If not for this forum, and all of your GREAT work, I would still be trying to invent the wheel. Thanks guys - all of you out there who contribute so much to this hobby.
 

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bleny luke,

I completed Riko's Pit Lane Mod earlier this year.

You need to disconnect the Red and Black power leads to the track - I cut them and put some heat-shrink over the ends.

I wanted the PB to be mounted under the track out of sight - so I also provided a removable extension detailed below.

After the modification you will have 6 small diameter leads to connect.

Make sure that you mark them before you cut them so as you don't mix up the Red and Black leads

Black, Red and Green the Blue wire is removed - Black, Red and Yellow the White wire is removed.

I also wanted to be able to easily disconnect the track piece from the PB in case maintenance was required.

I had a PC keyboard extension cable at hand - I cut the cable in half and wired the Socket part to the 6 small PB leads and the Plug part to the 6 small track leads - this allows me to unplug the track piece if needed.

The PB will still require power as normal. I also have a RichG serial cable and I used a Serial to USB adaptor lead, this lead came with software which must be installed on WinXP for the lead to function.

A RichG USB cable connects to the Main PBPro

You will need to set the 2 appropriate comm port numbers in the SSDC preferences box.

It's really worth the effort - take your time and you'll be fine and it'll all make sense as you progress


Keith...
 

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I have a PB v.1.4 to make a pit lane sensor per Riko's guide. My start/finish line PB Pro is parallel to pit lane. It means the pit lane sensor will be "pit-in" only.
Does it also mean that "pit-out" will be sensed a lap later, after the car exits pit lane and completes the lap? (essentially making pit lane the same length as the lap?)

Any problems with this setup?
 

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Thanks to RicoRocket, K3ITH, and Rich, I have it up and running.
But there is a glitch...


I run SSD Console (or Slot-GP Pro) on Windows XP SP3, and have PB Pro v.1.7h w/Rich's serial cable at COMM1. Pit lane PB per Rico's guide and Rich's USB cable at the default COMM4, with drivers installed per his instructions; although not clear in which directory the drivers should reside.

The glitch:
Cars will NOT refuel in pit lane (or anywhere else) regardless of settings.
With pit lane PB disconnected, everything works fine, including refueling.

Any ideas what I am doing wrong?
 
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