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DT
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As promised, here are a few photos of the DCC adventure. I had played with this idea for a while and I had the kit lying about. I don't have any lane-changing gear and I don't plan on building any. I'll wait for Scalextric to bring one in to try that aspect of the system. Using a train controller for cars is not that cool. A rotary knob for acceleration is not naturally logical and the cars come off at high speed due to inability to slow down fast enough at the bends. The fault is the driver turning the knob, not the deceleration rate programmed into the chip. You can program the acceleration and deceleration, but that is almost useless. It is designed for trains that take a long time to get going, not for cars.

Here are the chips that I use. Top and bottom:


A close-up:


It fits very nicely behind the driver in the Scalextric C3 Corvette. When the body is on, you can't see it at all:


This is how you program the chip. I have an extra piece of track attached to the programming circuit of the DCC controller. You pop the car on, call up the CV addresses and write them to the chip in the car:


Here are the two Corvettes with chips in on the same lane. This is just an exercise in functionality and at the end of the day, they just go around the track on the same lane. It is fun to see them catch up with one another and it is fun to turn the lights on and off independently - only because it couldn't be done before:


Here is an animated GIF of the Lighting function. I don't have a digital video system unfortunately, so you'll have to accept this. The chip has 2 light circuits and and extra one for horn or whatever. This extra function could actuate the lane change on a Scalextric track. You would just need to rig it up to a LED under the car to switch the lane. Light are switched on and off via Function 0:


To get this working properly, you need a controller that can replace the train one. That is the most important thing. You'll need the function buttons on the controller too to actuate the lane change etc. This - I assume is what Scalextric have done, so I'm waiting for that before inventing anything.
 

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Julius Wilkko
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Hi!

Nice pics Nuro. Thanks! I have come to same conclusion, I will wait for Scalextric system and if it is affordable and works reasonably well, I will use it.

DCC decoder at the pictures seems to be the very basic decoder with Microchip PIC controller, ceramic resonator, power fets, external eeprom, couple of OpAmps and diodes. Easy to build, cost of components relatively low. Disadvantage of your decoder is that the program cannot be upgraded since PIC16C715 is OTP (one time programmable) device.

If Scalextric system is disappointment I'm prepared to develope improved CarDCC. If anyone has some blueprints for communication protocol and bi-directional DCC device, please step forward.


I think this could be a golden opportunity for DAVIC inventor. If we could have the same protocol that D. uses, we could establish standard using proven system. I'm not asking complete how to build instructions, just blueprint that describes electrical and communication specs. I am sure it wouldn't hurt DAVIC business, there are always people who will buy ready made components.

Just a thought


Julius
 

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DT
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As I've been playing with this - and I must insist that it's only just play, I'm no electrical guru - It is very tricky to control the cars at any speed similar to what was used to race normally. Even with Acceleration and deceleration set to no delay, the response of the car is not immediate. Light are immediate, so I assume that the acceleration and deceleration is a train thing and perhaps there is more programming somewhere. I'll look at the controller a bit more. I've had it for years, but never looked at the advanced programming.
 

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with trains, when the station master says 'go', the driver has to finish his tea before opening the steam valve and setting off, hence the delay.
 

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And class disruptor returns...


For what it is worth - the Digitrax UT1 controllers I am using actully fall in hand really well, and offer really good feedback, and feel more natural to me than trigger style controllers... they actually leand a very R/C model feel to the car's speed control.





But that's not to say that other folks may not want to have traditional pistol grip trigger controllers..
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting. What is that bottom controller designed to run?

I'm looking at the bus (XBUS) connection of the Controller that I have and will see if I can hook up another - more handy - controller to it.
 

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GREAT Discussion!! RC45, that hand controller looks like something from StarWars...in a VERY COOL way!

This is VERY interesting.

-Maltese
 

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With blue tooth technology you don't need to hardwire the hand controller to the digital command unit. It would mean that club racers could stand anywhere around the circuit and not necessarily at the start/finish line. It does always seem odd to me that clubs always have the car control positions next the easiest part of the circuit (ie the longest straight). At Phoenix for example I would much rather be positioned near the technical part of the circuit as that is the area where races are won or lost. It is absolutely pointless watching the car at close proximity hairing down the long straight as I learn nothing about how the car handles. But all clubs are the same!


I suspect that there is some algorithm in Nuro's DCC control unit that provides a braking effect that replicates the momentum of a train. I cannot think of any DCC control system that has an immediate power cut off aside from that for emergency purposes such as a derailment.

Now of course that momentum effect may well be built into the slot car digital control systems so that cars brake realistically and maybe Nuro is the first in the whole world to control slot cars with a control unit where anticipation is required to slow a car into a corner. So a world first for Nuro!


Whether this adds to the experiance is open to question of course but it gives club racers yet another excuse to have a massive control unit with a mega number of switches and buttons slung around their waistline.



Moped
 

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- i think drivers are placed at the easiest part of the circuit so that they don't get in the way of marshalls

- braking is most likely to be achieved by applying reverse power to the motor, as in the Fly professional (and other) controllers
 

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There is logic to Astro's observation but never the less the best position for a racer at a club is at the worst part of the circuit where human senses require to be at their most tactile.

In terms of braking what has the reverse power thing to do with DCC control? That appears to be a red herring as DCC control does does not permit this sudden reversal of power. Is this why the braking is so delayed on Nuro's circuit perhaps?


Moped
 

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all digital uses a digital servo-control to supply power to the motor - via i believe a power amplifier chip (those with more knowledge on the actual components. please correct my mistakes!)

I suspect it will be as easy to impliment active brakes (applying reverse polarity current) as it would to try to impliment the passive braking (letting the motors back emf apply the reverse current). The active method allows for a lot more programmability and racing conditions simulations, since the controlling software can then adjust the braking to simulate slippy/wet roads etc.
 

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QUOTE (moped rider @ 20 Jul 2004, 13:41)I cannot think of any DCC control system that has an immediate power cut off aside from that for emergency purposes such as a derailment.

Now of course that momentum effect may well be built into the slot car digital control systems so that cars brake realistically and maybe Nuro is the first in the whole world to control slot cars with a control unit where anticipation is required to slow a car into a corner. So a world first for Nuro!

And one wonders why tensions rise...
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Paul, I warned you and Randy about Moped


Moped, do a quick search on RC45's previous posts. Hopefully some of his photos are still there.
 

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QUOTE (Nuro @ 20 Jul 2004, 18:20)Paul, I warned you and Randy about Moped


Moped, do a quick search on RC45's previous posts. Hopefully some of his photos are still there.

no doubt...
 

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I've been sitting on the fence & not contributing to these threads but it's time for me to break my silence. The threads often seem to get extraordinarily heated about quite minor details where it seems to me to be a question of where you sit and what you want to do with your cars.

1. There are the analog racers who aren't interested in digital.

2. There are people interested in digital who just want something off the shelf that works with no drama (plug & play basically).

3. There are people that want to let their imaginations run wild & try to find a bigger more dramatic way to do things going forward.

(There's also the "Stirrers" but I think we can ignore that group.
)

Apart from this the only thing that is in question is the implementation of the whole thing. Given the arguments that occur between people on whether Ninco or Scaley is best, magnets or no magnets, smelly red or British Racing Green, I'm not surprised this thread gets vexed since it's about a lot of stuff that isn't in existence yet. Yes we have prototypes but there's a lot of issues that are in play that need some sort of resolution.

Things like "Standards" & that sort of guff. No one is going to do this stuff for us but we seem to be too busy squabbling over whether to paint the boxes smelly red or British Racing Green to actually have any chance of being anything but a market that is told what to like by the majors. (Sorry folks - just found myself on a pedestal having a rant which is exactly what I was complaining about - I won't do it again - promise
)

This DCC stuff has me absolutely intrigued but not having had anything to do with the model railroad stuff I'm totally confused half the time
So I'm going to put down what I think I've read so people can correct me if need be.

From what I've read in the postsyou can use this DCC stuff to run a gazillion cars at a time & entertain yourself making things like the car lights operable from a switch on your handles. (Actually this just made me think how funny my my two year old would be if I had operable flashing lights and a siren on a cop car but I digress
)

The acceleration and braking rates are progammably variable so you can simulate "wet" racing or fuel loads etc at whim.

This could give you a hell of a customisable system to play with & I'm pretty excited about the whole concept.

I actually have a half baked plan to put a 3-4 lane dig circuit in a double garage & want as many bells and whistles as I can (figuring on about a 90 foot circuit). I will want to have something that will let me run "Standard" digital cars (presumably Scaley based looking at the forums about the place but that will pan out in time) as well as my own stuff if it's at all possible.

Anyway - let's talk techno-turkey. Unfortunately I don't have a model railwaying, programming or engineering background so I'll have to do a bunch of homework before I feel I understand the detail of the concepts and terms you guys are bouncing about so freely (my fault not yours
) Fortunately I have a background in IT as a Business Analyst / Project Manager so I can normally translate stuff from "Geek Speak" to something I can understand given enough background info to read (and experts to annoy
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Does anyone have an address of a site that explains fairly clearly the current state of play with this DCC stuff so I can try to catch up with a bit of theory here.

I also have a few questions and comments that I'd like to bring up but I'm not sure if this is the thread to do it so I'll hold off until I get overexcited..
 

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DT
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You can look here: http://www.nmra.org/standards/consist.html#standards-DCC

I think that there are experiments going on for a few different reasons. Some want multi car control now; some want to see a system work that runs on an existing standard - I can take my DCC car and run it on you DCC track; some are just curious.

There is a fear that Scalextric, SCX, Carrera and Ninco will all bring out vastly different systems. Only Scalextric give us a hint that their system may be similar to DCC. But there is a chance that we could run a DCC 'chipped' car on a Scalextric Digital track as we have speed control and we have an AUX function that can activate the Lane Change (LC) via a LED under the car just behind the guide flag.

Playing with DCC now gives us power over any manufacturer who tries to force their proprietary system on the marketplace. If one system or another is not going to be flexible, it will not survive.

I challenge all the manufacturers to make their systems compatible with each other and to set up a CAR-DCC standard for the benefit of us all.

Happy experimentation
 
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