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Prof I T
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

As users will know the problem usually manifests itself on passing the start/finish line and in my case I've seen dead stop on a lain brain with flipper but it's entirely random which makes the problem a tricky one to find, some of the things I tried would show promise one night and then the next play up within laps
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Running the car with no lane brain sensors will see the car run without issue forever so why ? well when the car crosses the start/finish line it has to receive and send a signal as Scorpius uses two way car coms but due to interference from somewhere ? during the receive/send phase the chip is getting corrupted and goes into an effect called "mosfet latching" you will recognise this by the car running away, the run away speed is the same throttle setting that was transmitted as it hit the sensor in the track for the s/f area and if you are running the latest version of srms and have checked your lane brains for sector timing use then you will see the run away issue now moving to these new areas as they have now also been turned into recieve/send areas, a flipper area used to be recieve only until recently, if you have srms running you also get no lap count if the chip gets corrupted , as you know lifting the car and cutting power and replacing cures the issue until the next time.

So it's interference but where from, air born or through the various cables and wires, first round of tests were based around WiFi and blutooth from mobile phone and spent quite a few days on this one and even switched the router off as well but the results were negative, the next thing to look at was mains born radio interference, ask any Audiophile about this so I purchased a mains conditioner and testing resumed and it ran perfect for the whole night so thought might be onto something at last
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well the next nights testing wiped the smile
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as back to square one.

The next step was after visiting another forum was to try different value Varistors these cancel out something called emf (electric motive force ) and on trying these out things seemed a little better initially but not perfect so more research needed , at this point I should mention that my first batch of cars chipped for Scorpius use were all anglewinder and all worked perfectly from the word go,the ones I was having issues with were all inline format so to prove the chip was ok and thinking all anglewinder cars were ok I converted one car and it ran perfectly so chip ok maybe it was the configuration ? after converting another car from inline to anglewinder I got my first anglewinder failure
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however looking at the braid matarial the that was now good had copper braids and the failed conversion had tinned braids.

So I now have 3 different matarials in contact with each other round the track these being tinned braids, coppertape and aluminium on the flippers, researching these effects on another forum (physics this time) I came across an effect referred to as the "triboelectric effect" different matarials rubbed against each other produce different amounts of static electricity and in some cases can produce either a positive or negative effect and discharge or charge as it comes into contact with a different matarial, so easy option was to coppertape the flippers and change the braid matarial to match, the result was not entirely negative there was an improvement in the amount of laps completed it has merit but not conclusive and it was not perfection so moved on.

Next up was chip orientation and aerial at this point I should disclose that all test have been carried out "Without" the earth wire
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so moving the chip aroaroud 90° and bending thethe aerial at 90° at mid point did absolutely nothing so the next step to look at was air born motor noise, the inline orange end bell motor has a long length of motor shaft protruding from the can end and it' directly in line with the chip could it be firing noise directly into the chip ? I removed the motor and ground down the excess on the bench grinder and while the motor was out I also wrapped it in silver foil , on replacing it it proved negative result
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So moving forward time to start looking at motor noise transmitted by wires, obviously we run with ferrite man and twisted wires from the motor to the chip
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, well after visiting another forum (robotics this time ) I started reading on low volt dc noise, it turns out they are really noisy little critters so might be onto something (been here before though
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) then spotted how Carrera supply some of there motors , one cap across both terminals and then one from each terminal onto the motor case so three in total, the robotics forum also made mention of a Varistor (remember them) if your application features rapid acceleration and deacccleration so back on with one of them, results were getting better but after further research on how to apply more rfi (radio frequency interference ) hardening I purchased some ferrite core rings these simply clip onto the motor wires and filter rfi and emi, back on track and now it' starting to look promising
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tested all day on Tuesday no errors and most of yesterday no errors
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There is more info to come and pics but I need to stop typing now and have a cold one, later
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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi

The anglewinder which failed I tried the ferrite core ring straight on without the tri cap setup and it still would not run, it just depends on how noisy your motor is as to what level of suppression you will need to fit, the price for everything if you need it is under a £1 per car and also fitting it has no impact on the lovely smooth instant throttle response Scorpius users enjoy
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A note on the 103 caps, just found out they are lettered to identify there accuracy in % terms, the higher the letter the worse they are so 103z is the worst.

Testing of motor noise was crudely checked by using an old Radio tuned into MW, you can here the difference between one with suppression and one without and now things have moved on again and testing is being carried out with an oscilloscope, so far anglewinder motors look very different to the inline ones, no wonder these have proven to be the hardest to sort.

Ferrite core rings need to be smaller still trying to find them , however after I ground down the motor shaft on one inline car there will be room for the current ones in front of the motor now
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but I'm sure we can find smaller ones
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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Hi

these pics show the various forms of suppression, the ferrite core ring is shown not fitted and I've since started to remove them from the plastic shell to make them smaller.

Forgive all the crud on the car, it's had a hard life this week and has completed many laps all in race mode
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you can see in the one shot the ground down armature shaft to test for air born spikes...

View attachment 102098

View attachment 102106

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The testing continues, still not convinced the varistor is doing anything, it' the blue cap, I have another car to test with, it only has the tri cap set up and maybe a ferrite core ring, more testing tomorrow
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Hi Ade
Nice work. I just worked out a 6 hour race with 10 drivers sees the PC receive a staggering 21,600,000 packets. Thats a lot that can go wrong if data is corrupted. I look forward to your next round of findings.

Rick
 
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What a lot of work Ade! Respect. You're onto something and i learn from this there's a lot we don't know for sure when it comes to electrical noise.
Blonde question maybe but what about other factors, for instance have you ever changed track voltage in all these tests? I can be totally wrong here but i have noticed once that i got multiple erratic cars and after checking things, found out voltage on my adjustable (switched) transformer was at 11 volts. When i turned it up to my usual 12v things went smoothly and error free again.
I also tend to place the LB0 in a quiet zone track wise, so not directly after a spot with flippers and other dead zones but preferrably after a longer uninterrupted patch of track so the carchip is getting its juice properly without power cuts just before lapcounting.

Merc
 

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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Hi

No Clive,research did not throw that up
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Merc, track voltage does play a part but to make sure the fix I'm testing with works 100% I've deliberately set mine high 15v and low 10v and I have a flipper just before start finish line in one lane, the worst scenrio as the car receives from the lb flipper and then milli seconds later a recieve and send command as it passes start finish line, now works 100%
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Wanted to be sure that this thread will let users have a 100% reliable system so it's been tested in the hardest of conditions to ensure what' been posted is accurate and correct, during testing only one change made at a time and logged and then tested and results recorded, all in all about 4 months worth of work on and off but the results have worth the effort
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Also nice to be able to confirm again that car decoder firmware and lb firmware are rock solid , nice work Rick/John
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, just need to get exit flipper polarity sorted now on Ultima and next round of srms then wireless start light gantry and wireless light chip
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How about using a ferrit and condensator on the guide end, like scalextric cars come from the factory ? This has an effect in ssd.
 

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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Hi

the car has one already, I'm hoping after more testing that this can also be removed , makes install a lot easier
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I have tried ferrite core ring on the pick up wires to no effect it only has benefit on the motor wires, so will be removing ferrite man from pick up wires on the car that has been used in testing and is now a success.
 

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Ah understood Ade, brilliant work.

Gysse: indeed, that's Rick's standard advice when installing a car chip: ferrite + cap on the guide side and on the motor side, indeed just like modern scalextric cars are equipped with. I reckon Ade has checked that as well.
 

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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi

all testing done with "earth wire" removed and ferrite on pick ups, I'm going to remove the ferrite off the pick up wires and retest as I don't think it will be needed, the pick ups have never been twisted in testing on the motor wires.

Onto another car, this time my first anglewinder failure, this has has two caps placed from either terminal onto the case so no third one across both terminals and the ferrite core ring has been ditched and replaced with braiding on the motor wires , result negative, it' going to need the third cap and ferrite core.

View attachment 102178
 

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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi

The car posted in post #11 is now working , adding the third cap across the motor terminals had a positive effect but it was still not perfect, with only 2 caps in place it was running like a V8 but with somebody messing around with all the plug leads at the same time adding the third cap and it feels like there only messing with two of them.

So placed a ferrite ring core over the braid and it now runs perfect ,no misses at all
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it's great to have finally nailed this and to be able to kill it at will
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Prof I T
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11,172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi

and from the Mongrel that would only complete two laps into the finished product, Nissan R390 GT1 Test car, now in Vitaphone relivery
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fitted with urethane rear tyres and ready for race action
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View attachment 102282

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Living the Life!
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FM mate, absolutely FM .........
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I had to do a double take on the car ...... I would have sworn that it was a Maserrati MC12 on first glance. Big UPS to Graham superb re-spray ....
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Prof I T
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi

It's still early days in testing Merc and we learn each day
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but I can say with confidence that the earth wire can be removed and there is no need to bend the aerial, you can even just leaving lying flat in the car if you wish
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I'm not fussed about drilling the body so like mine to sit outside the car as that's how aerials are supposed to look but no issue in leaving them flat, it's all been tested
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Ferrite man on the pick ups is still to be tested but I'm pretty sure this can be canned as well and just wire direct from the chip but let me test with a known proven and tested car before we all get the scissors out.

If you have just purchased a new car then just follow the normal procedure and chip it, if it runs perfect you have a car with a low noise motor, however if you get issues then the first port of call is to fit the 3 extra 103 caps to the motor and retest, if that still does not get the desired result then fit a ferrite core
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More testing over the weekend on ferrite cores as I want to start reducing the size of the ones I have to see what the minimum size I can get away with
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if you have a lot of the ferrite beads about like the ones that come in Scalextric cars you could experiment with these, just strip the motor wires back and piggyback them on, but caps first
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Prof I T
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Hi

Here is a link to the ferrite core rings I used,the inside diameter is perfect but at 15mm long they could ideally be a little shorter, tomorrow I'm going to cut some down and test
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click me
 

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Hi Guys
After Ade has completed testing I will rewrite the Installation Manual.

Rick
 
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