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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys, I didn't die, just been busy with other things for most of the APB era.

Got an Arc Pro set and was disappointed to discover the problem with pit in lcs opening in analog mode when a throttle is depressed. It happened with both the pit in lc that came with the set and a ten year old pit in pulled from my layout.

I don't remember this problem with the c7030, Simple-H, or the APB and I don't have it with the APB in my layout. Do I understand correctly that it is new to the ARC Pro and will require recoding of the firmware to fix?

Riko, wish I'd seen your post about waiting till the problems are fixed!
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Thanks, good to be back.
 

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I get the same thing occur. From what I gather, it's more to do with the solenoid getting a charge as the lane suddenly gets voltage. (In analogues, 0 volts at the lane until the trigger is pulled).
Don't think a firmware can fix that.

Options - tape it into the straight on position, live with it, or... Maybe some kind of capacitor that will keep a charge at the solenoid for x amount of time?
 

· Greg Gaub
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It has nothing to do with the power base in use. My Pit in switches to the change position whenever I turn my track on. All my lane changers are directly powered from a second PSU, not the power base. This will happen any time that lane has had zero voltage for a number of seconds (or even milliseconds), and then gets power again. Why this happens in analog mode from some bases and not others, I can only guess, but it's certainly not as simple as "only with ARC" or something.

I put tape on mine to keep it from moving around, but I also do this with a few other LCs on my track when having an analog race, because it's not uncommon for cars to manage to move the flipper enough with the guide passing through, or sliding over it in a turn (CLC) to make it switch them to the other lane on the next lap. Nothing ruins a heated battle faster than that.
 

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Hi Guys, I didn't die, just been busy with other things for most of the APB era.
Talk about a blast from the past, I had wondered what you were up to, welcome back Paul good to see you involved again :).
 

· ParrotGod
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Greg

when you tape your lane changers to race in analog, you do not power them, right?

I am asking this because I wonder what is going to happen to the pit lane changer if one blocks it (with tape) to leave it closed while racing in analog.

Could the solenoid get damaged?
 

· Greg Gaub
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No, because once it has been set in position, an analog car will never send the signal to set it or move it. The only reason to tape it is to keep it from moving when cars pass. Then again, with tracks where the LCs are not directly powered like mine, this might be an issue when the LCs keep getting fresh power. Still, I don't think it will cause any real damage. But, I'm no expert on solenoids. :)
 

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Is there an easy way to wire in a "reset" switch to initialize all the LCs with a single button?

I know Riko had abandoned rewriting the LC firmware to do this as well add anti-collision and other goodies so was wondering if an electrical pulse could be applied to the lane straight solenoids using a pulse timer.

Alternately, add a light tension spring to keep the straight ahead as default for analogue or digital?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Phil,

Thanks so much, what an awesome track you have!
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Looks like you're already wireless.

Paul
 

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Think I better get this thread back on track.

This is the problem I observe, only with ARC Pro and never before with any other PB. In analog mode, when you squeeze the hand controller for the lane in which the flipper for the pit-in LC is located the flipper opens, such that a car in that lane would be directed into the pit.

The pit-in flipper does not move when you power up the ARC Pro. No other LC flippers move when you power up the ARC Pro.

The pit-in flipper will only move if there has been no power to the pit-in lane for about 8 seconds, I.e. if you have not squeezed the hand controller for the lane which has the pit-in flipper for about 8 seconds. If you lift off the hand controller for less than 8 seconds the pit-in flipper does not move when you press the hand controller again. But if 8 seconds or more go by and you squeeze the hand controller the pit-in flipper will open. You have to squeeze the controller almost to max throttle, just squeezing the trigger slightly does not cause the flipper to move. I observed the problem with both the new pit-in LC that came with my set and a 10 year old LC I pulled from my permanent layout and installed in the ARC Pro set layout.

The other LCs in the set layout - which are XLCs - do not change position when the hand controller is squeezed, the problem only shows up with the pit-in LC. How long have we had pit-in LCs, about 12 years? I have never seen this problem on my track or anybody else's track with any other PB. Mr.F, I agree, an analog car will never signal to open the pit-in, but squeezing the controller on my ARC Pro track will operate the pit-in all by itself, even if there is no car on the track.

Does anybody else see a pit-in LC flipper moving when you squeeze the hand controller for the lane that has the flipper in analog mode with any other PBs other than the ARC Pro? If it is only ARC Pro, where is the problem located? Is there a fix?

Thanks, sorry if I was not clear.

Paul
 
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Yes - I had this problem with two pit lanes - one of each type i.e. one pitting to left and one pitting to right. Problem occurs in analog mod whereby the first press of throttle for the respective lane causes a 'soft' flip towards pitting. All is then fine until about eight seconds after powering down the throttle (the time it takes for the on-board regulator circuit to discharge). The fix is simple... solder in one component. I'll share a post once I have established the most user-friendly way of achieing the mod. Once modified the changer works perfectly in digital mode (with ARC PRO) and in analog mode (i.e. no movements).

Dr_C
 

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Nice one Dr_C ......... what I do not understand is that given the length of the gestation period for this wunder-hardware, why there are so many fundamental flaws with it. It really makes you wonder what on earth the testing regime was ........... :unsure:
 

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I Think it could be because the analog power from arc Pro is not pure analog. On my track i have desoldered the powerwires from arc Pro, because I am not able to use the track in analog mode, as I have bridged the two lanes together.
I Can apply power to the track from an APB, arc Pro, Ac2car and Classic analog via an adjustable powersupply. In analog mode i am only able to run one car at the time because of the bridging.
I have never seen this issue, when i fire up the track in analog mode.
 

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I may be mistaken, and if so I apologise, but my reading of the situation is that a feature intended to prevent flippers triggering during the boot up cycle of the pit lane change processor was not fully implemented in the circuits of the pit lane changer itself. In short I believe it is the lane changer which is a fault... and hence my fix focuses on the flipper pcb.

From dcurzon we learn this analog power-up flip problem occurs with ARC ONE and I can confirm same effect occurs with ARC AIR too.

Would be interesting to know whether the analog power-up flip problem occurs with the C7042 in analog mode in a standard configuration?

C
 

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I tested an APB in analogue mode, neither pit lane flipper nor the XLC flippers move with 100% throttle.

At startup, the RH pit flipper moves.

With ARC Pro in analogue mode, with 100% throttle after 8 secs, the RH pit lane flipper moves, as does the right flipper on one of the XLC..

The LH pit flipper doesn't move, nor does the left XLC flipper
 

· Greg Gaub
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I wonder if on the APB, the base is allowing just enough power to trickle through to keep the lane changers from going all the way to sleep, but the ARC products in analog mode really do go completely dead when the throttle is not pulled.
 

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Interestingly (although i am absolutely not an expert on the APB as mine has not been out of the box for a while)... I did get it out of the box today for some quick testing... all below is for analog mode only...

I concurr with what Chris99 reports re APB...

1/ application of full throttle with no car on the track... flipper does not move.
2/ application of full throttle with car on track and guess what... flipper flips for entering pit!!!

So why the difference between 1 and 2...?

My oscilloscope tells me that full throttle with no car on the track generates a circa 6.5V dc signal on the rails. Full throttle with a car on track generates the full voltage PWM signal we would expect to see as motor drive waveform.

I suspect the 6.5V is not sufficient to power up the microcontroller in the pit lane changer (remember there are two diode voltage drops and the voltage loss of the regulator too). Hence, I believe it is the arrival of the full voltage PWM signal that triggers the boot up of the microcontroller which in turn triggers the unwanted flipper action.

To conclude... the pit lane changer problem also seems to occur with my APB when in analog mode - but only when powering up with a car on the track.

Hope to post, tomorrow, the photos of the mod to the pit lane changer which should be effective whatever analog power source is driving the track... be it true analog, PWM analog or AC2car (hopefully!).

Dr_C
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Dr_C and thanks all who tested!

GregK asks the question that bothers me, given how long this product was in development why are there so many glaring flaws? Here's a video from early Feb 2014 demonstrating what was then called RCS Pro.
 

· Greg Gaub
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If there's a flaw, it's not in the ARC products, it's in the LC that is defaulting to a change position on power up rather than straight.

I have a test track up and as soon as I give power to my ARC Pro, the single XLC in the track tries to set both flippers to the change position. I say try, because it doesn't always do a strong enough flip to make the flipper go all the way over, but I checked this multiple times by setting them to straight and putting power to the base. I further tested by putting the base in analog mode, and leaving the power disconnected. When I reconnected the power, although the cars both did a little jump like for digital, the flipper didn't move until I gave full power to the lane that the LC gets its power from. As soon as I did that, the flippers tried to move to the change position.

Based on my own observations, if anything, the ARC bases are just better at "going to zero" than other bases are, but firmly believe this will/can happen with any track where the lane changers are completely un-powered for a period of time, and then get power enough to activate.

The ideal solution would be for all lane changers to have an easy, in the field upgrade so that all flippers default to the straight position on power up, and even reset occasionally just to be safe. I don't see that happening, though.
 
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