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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I understand the mechanics of HOW to run the Pace Car on a Carrera D132 layout, but I don't get how to EMPLOY it.

I've searched for an answer in this site, but almost all I find are answers to the tired question of how to use the pace car while using the refueling feature (need two pit lanes).

What I don't get is, what does the Pace Car do for you during the race? Press the pace car button and it will leave the pits, do a lap or two and go back into the pits. OK, I'm missing something. Why do I want that capability? How is that capability employed? When is the pace car button pressed and why?

I THINK I understand what the term "track call" means... for when a car goes off the track, right? Everyone stops or power is interrupted till all cars are set? Is the pace car used somehow in this scenario? If so, how?

I bought Carrera's F1 Safety Car for this feature... have a bad accident, bring out the safety car... sounds neat... looks neat... the kids "ooh and awe", but I'm left wondering what I'm missing after it does one lap then returns to the pits.

I'd appreciate any insight!

Thanks,
bgm1961
 

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Hi Barry
"Track call" means all the cars stop.
The term comes from club and above level racing where the drivers or marshals call out "TRACK" and the race controller turns the power off.
There are set rules for when a track call is permissible (car off in an unmarshalable position, track faults and cars in the wrong lane are common). Competitors can be penalised for calling track without good reason. Pace cars have no place in this sort of racing.

At less formal racing with no race controller, "Track calls" can mean a driver pressing a button to stop the race, or just shouting out when everybody is supposed to stop immediately.

I'll leave it to the home racers to explain how they use pace cars. Expect quite a few variations on the theme.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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QUOTE (Barry @ 27 Jul 2012, 02:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I understand the mechanics of HOW to run the Pace Car on a Carrera D132 layout, but I don't get how to EMPLOY it.

What I don't get is, what does the Pace Car do for you during the race? Press the pace car button and it will leave the pits, do a lap or two and go back into the pits. OK, I'm missing something. Why do I want that capability? How is that capability employed? When is the pace car button pressed and why?

I THINK I understand what the term "track call" means... for when a car goes off the track, right? Everyone stops or power is interrupted till all cars are set? Is the pace car used somehow in this scenario? If so, how?

Me either.

But I know one fellow who has modified his track such that the voltage is lowered when the pace car comes out, and returns to normal when the pace car returns to its pit. I even included hooks in my software so that he can do this with the press of a key. Since he runs a CU (not a BB) the pace car won't return to the pit until he presses the button a second time.

His scenario makes sense. The pace car has now become a real safety car/pace car. Leading the caution parade. For many of us without his electrical skill and daring, the pace car function seems a bit useless, or at least incomplete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
300SLR,

Thx for the confirmation wrt the use of the term, "Track Call". Your explanation helps a lot.

My family/friends are quick to press the "START" button on my Carrera D132 Black Box when a car goes off the track. Due to some of my racer's propensity to speed off the track every 30 seconds, and the BB's countdown beep to restart (which has become annoying due to excessive use), we established a disqualification rule for departing the track too many times. That's helped a lot with excessive "Track Calls"!

I haven't yet, but could experiment with changing the max speed setting on each car.

Bruce,

Also, thx for your opinion which helps to validate my "Huh?" when it comes to the pace car concept. I like the voltage idea... perhaps when I get a permamnet layout set-up, I'll take advantage of that idea in concert with your software. I'm using your RMS now and am enjoying it with only the BB. When I replace all my Carrera D132 "stuff" with the new "stuff", I look forward to using the advanced features that come with using the CU.

Thx,
bgm1961
 

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Tore
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Digital racing is much about bringing the strategy of real racing to the slotcar table, so the pace car has it's function. Looked at the last live broadcast of the endurance race at SPA, and I think they had 6 or 7 pace car periods during that race


We use the CU and program the pace car to run very slow, but it's crucial to educate the drivers to stay behind it until it pits. In the heat of the race it's often difficult to reach and find the pace car button on the CU in time though, so we often end up using the pace car for "rolling starts" only.

To make the pace car more usable we should have had a remote with one button for a track call (power cut) and another button to deploy the pace car. Then we could use the pace car when the deslotted car is out of harms way, otherwise make a track call. Nice to hear that this is possible to do through Bruce's software, will take a closer look at the power control option. Is this "Eight Channel Relay Interface Board" from robokitsworld usable, Bruce?

I think it could also be done directly on the CU by soldering extension wires to the pace car button, and re-wire the track connections with a track call switch.
 

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Tore
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QUOTE (Barry @ 1 Aug 2012, 01:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I haven't yet, but could experiment with changing the max speed setting on each car.

You should try it, with lower speed there is less deslots and closer racing = more fun


When we have inexperienced "racers" visiting we have found that they drive much better when we reduce the speed to 60% or 70% and braking to 50% - 60%, using stock Carrera GT cars.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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QUOTE (356speedster @ 31 Jul 2012, 22:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>To make the pace car more usable we should have had a remote with one button for a track call (power cut) and another button to deploy the pace car. Then we could use the pace car when the deslotted car is out of harms way, otherwise make a track call. Nice to hear that this is possible to do through Bruce's software, will take a closer look at the power control option. Is this "Eight Channel Relay Interface Board" from robokitsworld usable, Bruce?

I think it could also be done directly on the CU by soldering extension wires to the pace car button, and re-wire the track connections with a track call switch.

If your 'eight channel relay interface board' was intended to be a link- it wasn't. But any parallel port relay board will generally work. My documentation only includes a brief description of wiring the relays for power (track call from space bar, and power cut at the end of a heat) control. Back before the CU, it wasn't really feasible to use the 'Start' button as a track call switch, since retsarting the race would refill the fuel tank in every car on track. Running it through the software also means the clock is stopped during a track call. Much more fair for multiple heat racing. So the power control was added.

Sebastian (Rubirosa) had wired some additional relays and made some further modifications to his CU and his pit lane and asked me to include some software hooks for the pace car. He has wired a remote relay to the 'Start' button on his track and to the pace car switch. Both can be fired from software. He also has a relay which decreases the power to his track when the pace car is summoned, and restores full power when it returns to the pit. Again fired through software.

The pace car trick has some limitations. When it is summoned, it has to be from the keyboard in order for the reduced power to work. The software can't differentiate between a lap crossing that registers on a pit lane adapter and one that registers at the CU. So the software assumes that when the pace car keyboard button is pressed the second time (to return the pace car to the pit), the next time the pace car registers a lap crossing, it will be because it has crossed the pit lane adapter in its pit- not the start/finish line.
 
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