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Today, whilst waiting for my daughter to introduce her daughter to the world, my grandson (2.5yrs) insisted we got the scary-lectric out. We were running two Scalextric trucks on a small oval with an Arc-Air powerbase and .......... for the very first time he managed to do several laps without de-slotting. He was so excited that he couldn't sit still. Every time he came back, he achieved more and more laps .......... it seemed to get quite dusty in my lounge which made it hard to see at times ...
Truly beautiful. And a new generation of slot car enthusiast. Thanks for sharing that. 😊
 

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Some premature conclusions:

1. First step is to install the latest car chip firmware.
Almost all my cars run fine on V8.1
The latest cars I tested (NSR and Slot.it) received a newer firmware version which seems to cure the throttle freeze glitch
(However, the uncapped yet firmware upgraded Proteus Lambo did show throttle freeze on two instances).

2 standard way to chip a car and to have good comms is to install Scalextric style ferrite men track and motor side. Most cars (like without exception all my Scalextric and SCX cars) work fine and without any issues that way.

3 if after that install the car does show issues, the most probable culprit is the motor noise. To tackle that, I can confirm Ade his findings: install 3 extra caps on the motor, carrera style.

4 if after that install the car still has issues left, you can install the Wurth 6 hole ferrite on the motor side of the chip.

So far most of my cars run perfectly on treatment 2 (all my Scalextric and SCX cars for instance)

Some of my cars have received treatment 1, 2 and 3 and run error free now.

A few cars needed treatment 1, 2, 3 and 4 and run error free now.

Plans for testing:
My idea is to take a brand new NSR car and follow these steps one by one and test them on every step.
To do it wisely I should take identical cars and follow the steps in a different order. For car A step order 1, 2, 3, 4 and for car B step order 2, 3, 4, 1
The step order 2, 3, 1, 4 I have performed on my NSR Porsches (of which two only received step 2, 3, 1 and ran error free from then on)

Ok Im rambling, bedtime :)
Thankyou Merc for your effort and documentation. All this info is going into the think tank for our Gen II chip. John and I are discussing hardware and firmware possibilities as we speak.

Rick
 

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Very cool. That reminds me of a slot car dream I had in 2007. Im not sure if Ive told this story before.
Anyway during Scorpius development we had the car chip, throttle and dongle developed and next stage was the lane changer. First thought how? What protocol and hardware? Method? I didnt want to use another companies lane change system. I was in a hurry but until
I figured out the LC spec the project was essentially on hold or possibly even dead. Days went past then weeks. I was getting worried.

I woke up one night having dreamt the solution. I remember writing it down and going back to sleep. The answer was to put the LED in the LC not the car and emiting a code not MSRT and sensor would be in car not track. Car detects LC ID and sends wireless lane change command. All LCs receive this command and decode it. The relevant LC operates the lane changer. I couldnt think of a solution over two weeks yet dreamt it in one moment. From there the lap count protocol was developed also. True story.

Rick
 
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Bob Chapman
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Greg couldnt agree more with you. Theory is unproven thoughts or ideas. Nice to think about but leads to more theorizing. Time to get back to real testing and results. Way more fun to do the testing and see the results. Proven things.
 

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Hear hear Greg! It is a joy spending a whole weekend tinkering and testing, analyzing, and doing many laps!
Oh and that outcome, applying fixes and seeing that Ade was right, very satisfying:)
Here a short film of the unupgraded uncapped 6hole ferrite only Lambo, I was able to record one missed lap and one dead stop on a flipper.
Also we recommend the use of the live flipper function. This will improve things even more.
And dont forget to tick the Missed Lap Detection box on Scorpius RMS. Software smarts can figure out a missed lap and add it in .
You can never miss a lap with Scorpius.

Rick
 

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yes good advice, I have that box ticked in the RMS.
And true, less dead spots improve car comms. I tried to liven the Scalextric SLC I have but no matter how I tried, I failed to solder the wire properly to the flipper.
The metal Carrera LC flipper is actually very good as it is, and meh, the plastic Ninco flippers... I suppose I should wrap them in copper foil or something...
 

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yes good advice, I have that box ticked in the RMS.
And true, less dead spots improve car comms. I tried to liven the Scalextric SLC I have but no matter how I tried, I failed to solder the wire properly to the flipper.
The metal Carrera LC flipper is actually very good as it is, and meh, the plastic Ninco flippers... I suppose I should wrap them in copper foil or something...
You can chrome plate them.
 

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Prof I T
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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Hi

Nice work Merc
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and good to read that the work I started two years ago is still proving useful..

You can usually work out what needs to be fitted supression wise quite easily, place your newly chipped car on the track and run it, if you get issues within a few laps then your probably looking at caps and ferrite , if you get a car that can get into double digits laps wise then more than likely caps only...

Noisy motored cars also don't get on with dead flippers but on my track fitting caps stopped the car dead stopping after a dead flipper, I had one on my track as I left it dead for testing purposes, noisy motored cars do a run away on my track when crossing S/F line, car continues at what ever level throttle input you have on passing LB 0, again caps cured this..

Regards twisted pairs for pick up/motor wires, yes this is a proven method to stop interference but the recommended number of twists to achieve this from memory is 6 twists per foot, so with and inch or so of wire you won't achieve much imho, and during testing Gregk actually fitted one car out with a screened braid sheath over the motor wires to no effect, this highlights the fact that the noise is motor transmitted and sent through the wires into the chip and not air born RI.

The earth wire if you have them, I never used it , just desolder from the board..worst cars I had were anything with orange end bell, every car needed some sort of supression, but as you discovered Merc once the supression is fitted the throttle response is even more linear than before , it's like having your real world car remapped
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Greg Gaub
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Makes sense. When a car rolls across a dead spot, the motor is a generator and will feed back into the chip. I'm sure there's only so much that can be done about it, and it's what you guys are doing. "Noisy" motors seem to be the ones with a lot of torque, so I'm guessing they're also the ones that are generating higher/whatever current over those dead spots.
 

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Indeed and this is why you need stuff like this because your chip will much better off if you stop the crapola getting to it in the first place.
 
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Prof I T
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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Hi

as Merc has proved along with myself the Scalextric motors are the least troublesome and orange end bell are the worst, now without going down the well I've measured this motor at this rpm simply look at the specs as quoted for each of the above motors, I'm not convinced it's just a rev or torque thing, as pointed out the motor may turn into a dynamo when it's power is cut and dump the noise , well the orange end bell has a much stronger magnet so more of a dynamo effect....maybe ?

Good to read that Gen 2 chip has a few tricks up its sleeve regards built in supression and I have seen back emf mentioned, I still like the Carrera approach regards caps,zap it at source
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Dead flippers are a massive cause of disruption as I witnessed a few years back while running ssd, I had left over a 30 amp variable volt psu leftover from the pb pro days, this was being used to power the C7042 which was stock, no high power mod. ..so I decided to just power the trackside lights off the spare spring gates, as the lights were led current draw for two sets was of no concern, but on dimming the room lights everytime the car passed over a flipper it caused the lights to flicker, on turning the lights down fully the resulting shower spark as a car passes over a lc is something to be seen, it's a wonder how it ever works, one of the reasons it's important to have full ferrite man on the pickup feet when using ssd as the protocol is drawn from the rails. ..
 

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Heyyyy Ade! Great to read you again :)
I have to say we owe you, it was so interesting, not to say encouraging to experience all your findings and see them confirmed.
I think we have a solid approach now to noisy motors, but I will keep on using your step by step method of isolating an issue.

About dead spots in the track: yes I noticed some highly entertaining sparks under some cars on those spots.
What Rick said is true I think: livened flippers are good, the less dead spots the better.
When Im going to rebuild my track Ill have a go at it, all my LCs are as they have been now since 2013, time for some improvements before fitting them into a permanent layout!

Apart from dead spots: my track has LCs from different brands, and all LCs have their quirks. For instance if you look closely to a Carrera LC : the spot where the rails diverge and merge braids can touch the wrong rail and cause spikes, shorts and with that, potential problems. You might say thats a small design fault. For this reason I taped these spots, its a simple way to prevent issues, it really helps. See picture of a carrera LC.

The Slot.it car with orange endbell motor was initially (uncapped) the only ghost car that had so much braking on a carrera LC dead spot, that compared to a NSR ghost car I had to set the constant speed ghost car throttle to 38% to make it successfully pass the dead spot. The (capped/ferrited) NSR cars run fine and competitive as ghosts on 30 % throttle.
After installing the caps and 6hole ferrite I could turn the slot.it throttle % down to 32%, as a ghost car the slot.it cars behaviour had improved considerably after installing the extra caps and ferrite.
So that confirms what you guys say about strong / noisy motors braking / generating power through the wires when passing a dead spot.

I also learned that - besides a clean track rail - clean and tidy braids can calm down and improve the situation considerably. It really matters how they touch the rails and feed the car chip.

So we keep learning by reporting our findings here, Ill try to keep it up.
 

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Living the Life!
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The classic approach to aligning braids is to splay them out .......... however, with digital, this can cause excessive shorts .... have the braids straight or slightly pointing inwards.

Top tip: make sure that stray whiskers can not touch the opposite ones just rear of the guide blade.
 
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Greg Gaub
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That's one down side to Merc's mixed track layout. There's no single way to set up braids for all type. The few Scalextric pieces will need a different set up than the Carrera and Ninco pieces.

Merc, the tape trick you did with Carrera was one of the early things we did for SSD during the runaway DPR chip phase. It even lead to Scalextric redesigning the stralght LCs to create a larger gap between the rails at those points.
 

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And here is the original work by Rikorocket ......... not so much we as he .....
 
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Merc you have new firmware files to test regarding car stopping after dead spot.

Rick
 
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Oh thanks Rick! I will install and test them as soon as possible.

Regarding the dead stops on the modified Scalextric CLC: I think I overlooked one thing. My SLC has dead flippers allright, but the active front flipper solenoid pushes it in or out - its the one where the car meets the tip of the flipper first, and that flipper is always pushed to a side of a rail.
The exit flipper however is dead and loose. It just moves a bit, pushed away by the passing car guide flag. And, more importantly, the car meets the pivot part first and the tip as last.
So when the exit flipper is in the pushed out position because of a car that took the lane change, another car taking the right lane might meet that flipper still being pushed to the positive rail. Before the passing car pushes the flipper away from the rail, the left negative braid already makes contact with that exit flipper, and potentially theres still some positive current on that flipper.
So all I need to do is fixate the loose exit flipper in the middle position, where it touches no rail and both the slots around that exit flipper stay open.

Apart from my modified CLC I know nothing of Scalextric LCs but I would not be surprised if they fixed the loose flipper too in later versions.
 
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