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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to this forum, I am building a routed digital track. (more track in a smaller footprint with single lane options and flexibility) I have all but settled on the oxigen system having reviewed what are essentially my only two options with it and the scorpius system.

I have completed the mdf design and cut the track sections and am almost at the "routing" stage. Clearly I need to finalise my lane change designs prior to any routing. As such I have a few questions for the gurus out there in this field regarding lane change and flipper options:
Note: I only intend to have straight section lane changes.

(1) Does oxigen slot.it have their own lange change mechanisms yet? (it would appear not from the web site and trawling this forum) How far away are they?

(2) What are my options for buying lane change flippers for my track? (I note scorpius has lange change pieces but I assume there are others)

(3) I want to power the flipper to avoid dead track sections. Does the oxigen system support this? I note oxigen compatibility with SSD changers and they appear to get the "live" flipper power from the rail the tip of the flipper touches? What method does the SSD system use to reverse the polarity of the flipper? I assume two solenoids reverse wired?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Tony
 

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QUOTE (still-a-kid @ 14 May 2012, 06:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>New to this forum, I am building a routed digital track. (more track in a smaller footprint with single lane options and flexibility) I have all but settled on the oxigen system having reviewed what are essentially my only two options with it and the scorpius system.

I have completed the mdf design and cut the track sections and am almost at the "routing" stage. Clearly I need to finalise my lane change designs prior to any routing. As such I have a few questions for the gurus out there in this field regarding lane change and flipper options:
Note: I only intend to have straight section lane changes.

(1) Does oxigen slot.it have their own lange change mechanisms yet? (it would appear not from the web site and trawling this forum) How far away are they?

(2) What are my options for buying lane change flippers for my track? (I note scorpius has lange change pieces but I assume there are others)

(3) I want to power the flipper to avoid dead track sections. Does the oxigen system support this? I note oxigen compatibility with SSD changers and they appear to get the "live" flipper power from the rail the tip of the flipper touches? What method does the SSD system use to reverse the polarity of the flipper? I assume two solenoids reverse wired?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Tony

Hi Tony.
1 - Not yet, but there will be developments in this field. As of today we've only made the electronics. However, parts for routed tracks are something we are currently seriously looking into and we are in the prototyping stage. We understand that even for plastic tracks, having very long LCs is a good thing, and routed is probably the most cost effective option in this case.
2 - We may be able to source some, soon - see above
3 - no, currently we do not provide live flippers. But, again, these points are being considered in the light of some really recent developments on routed tracks.

Regards
Maurizio
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maurizio,

Thanks for the prompt and honest update. I hope the wait is not too long. I guess in the meantime I will have to source alternative flippers and hope I can modify to be backwardly compatible with oxigen. The fact your system and RMS is supported by PCLC and the prospect of SLOT.IT backing is pushing me towards your system over the competitor.

Lasp,

I dont quite understand your feedback if you could elaborate that would be great. I thought the O203a was to make a NINCO/CARRERA LC track piece work with the oxigen system? Noting Maurizio indicates (if I understand correctly) oxigen does not yet support live flippers how would the O203a work in your example? I get using the circuit to feed a relay to move the flipper, but where does the live flipper voltage come from, and how does it reverse to assure the correct polarity to the car depending which way it turns in the change (ie. straight it should be positive on the flipper, right turn negative on the flipper)? Or am I missing the theory of this somewhat?

Cheers
Tony
 

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Live flipper... Ah. We had an idea, we've tested it now and logic and tests show it works. At zero cost. I'll explain the details in the afternoon as I have no time now.
For now - so that someone can think about it and explain in detail: it's so simple that I wonder how come nobody thought about it any earlier.
Keep the flipper isolated and at, say, 6V with either a separated power supply (needs a ballast resistor), or, simply, some batteries...
 

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A nice simple idea.
Reason it has not been found before is that we have always been looking for a solution for digital which also has data on the rails, so the polarity has to be switched dependant on which direction you are going in.

Intrigued to see the details as presumably the other side of your isolated (half rail) 6V will have to be connected in some way to both the left & right rails?

Rich
 

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QUOTE (Slot.it @ 15 May 2012, 09:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For now - so that someone can think about it and explain in detail: it's so simple that I wonder how come nobody thought about it any earlier.
Keep the flipper isolated and at, say, 6V with either a separated power supply (needs a ballast resistor), or, simply, some batteries...

Cough, cough....

See this link to put DC 12V on the flipper taken by constructing half of a bridge rectifier from the rails.

Riko bows and exits....
 

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Maurizio, you will be facing a similar problem of needing to ensure the car braids do not cause a short from the flipper to any rail.
The digital signal still gets through to the car from the one rail, but the signal is attenuated. So Rev G chips are OK, but Rev F ones that are susceptible to noise are not

As a meercat on UK TV would say: simples!
 

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Don't try this at home.

Ah! I had not come across that thread before, Riko, really!
Good point about the short caused by braids - I did not think about it.
Like Richard said, we don't have to deal with data, which makes things easier for us. This idea comes from Maurizio G., the other half of Slot.it.

In any case, to recap for the readers, consider two facts:
1 - the purpose of livening the flipper is to avoid getting trapped in a dead spot. It does not really matter having full voltage: 6V is more than sufficient to move the car quickly to a 'normal' area. The difference is unnoticeable.
2 - if the flipper is kept at 6V, then:
case 1: it works as +, when the right braid is on the flipper and the left braid is grounded, OR
case 2: it works as ground, when the left braid is on the flipper and the right braid is at +12. 12V-6V=6V
hence the voltage across the motor is always 6V.

Most power supplies however can only 'source' current, not 'sink'. In other words: suppose you have a 12V power supply, and a 6V one. In case 1, everything is OK, in case 2, in general the 6V on the flipper jumps to 12V as soon as the car goes across: a normal power supply is a generator, and cannot work as a load, sinking current.. How to solve? Actually, we'd need a 'ideal' voltage generator, capable of sourcing and sinking. So, two options:

A ) in principle, use a 6V battery, connected to the flipper. Ground must be the same as the track of course. I've tried briefly tried with 4 AAA rechargeable cells and it seems to work ... Anyone thinking about using a lead acid battery, or a LiPo, please don't: Riko pointed out the fact that braids can cause a short. You don't want to short a battery, do you?
AAA NiMh rechargeables seem safe enough to do some testing. We haven't researched into this extensively yet, but we may.

B ) use a 6V power supply, with a load resistor (for example, 10 Ohm, 4W) across + and - of said supply. This way, the 6V tap will 'sink' up to 600mA (with the example value of 10 Ohm resistor) without trouble. More than that, and it will drift again towards 12V, getting closer to 12V the higher the current request on the 12V side, up to a maximum of 1.2A. In our lab, we have a beefy dual power supply with current limiting, so we can experiment safely. In case of short across the 12V and 6V rails, the worst case is that the 12V output gets to source 1.2A continuously (0.600 mA from the ballast resistor * 2). So, when the braid shorts the two 'live' rails, a 1.2A current will flow though it. On the other hand, the 6V power supply can be shorted straight to ground - hence the power supply's max current output will be given out - hence it is advisable to use a power supply with good current limiting.

I hope this makes sense it the limited time that I have today. Now, all of this is of course not intended to set you in motion and start experimenting and blowing your house up, but I think the principle should be clear enough to be debated.

Regards
Maurizio
 

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would it be possible in the future to have the LC board or an additional board connected to it to supply power to a flipper depending on if its open of closed?

Thanks.
 

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In my opinion, when properly done and tested, the above makes it possible to power the flipper so that the car moves on, without using any extra boards.

Regards
Maurizio
 

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Is this what you did / your post above is suggesting?



I think that under testing conditions it seems like a good solution but I would think that if you have several LC sections which could amount easily to 10+ flippers not sure how easy it would be to turn off all the batteries, let alone change them every few days.

What would happen if we just power the flipper from the pos track rail.. it wouldn't work would it?

Additionally besides the live flipper challenge, another thing to consider is that O2 may not be able to pick up LC commands while the car is on a turn or sliding a bit..
Sensor 1 (bottom of drawing on L1) may not have an issue, but sensor 2 may... Maurizio what do you think?



Sorry for the sketches..
 

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Hi
1 - Yes, exactly like your 1st drawing. Ground from the 6V circuit musty be the same as the track's ground, but I think this is in your drawing already.
I'd use one single wire from one single power supply, feeding all flippers. Like I wrote - don't try this at home - the flipper's sides must be isolated, plus whatever you put in must be designed to withstand the short circuits (between +6 and +12, and +6 and ground), that the braid will cause.
If you just powered the flipper with 12V, then the flipper will give no power to any cars going straight, while it will work on LC entry. Short circuit conditions may happen as before when the braid of the passing car makes contact between the +12 flipper and ground

2 - Yes, sensor 2 will have problems. However, with a LED on wires, it maybe workable. But in general, it won't work well.
 

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Thanks Maurizio, we will wait to see if in the future another solution (from slot.it) arises that integrates more seamlessly with the current electronics. - or let us know.
Another idea is to limit the size of the flipper to something that will allow the cars to just drive normally such as what currently happens across an SSD flipper or Ninco. I think LF (live Flipper) would be nice, but not absolutely necessary... what do you guys think?
 

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QUOTE (Profoxcg @ 18 May 2012, 18:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think LF (live Flipper) would be nice, but not absolutely necessary... what do you guys think?

For home use...maybe not....but for competition purposes...I would say yes.

As for now you still lose time while using a LC, even if its a very small amount.In other words, in general you only change lanes if you get stuck behind an other car.
A live flipper would minimise this loss, which would open the possibility to create an ideal line on a track which would necessitate changing lanes to keep to the ideal line.

with kind regards
Tamar
 

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QUOTE (tamar.nelwan @ 19 May 2012, 16:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For home use...maybe not....but for competition purposes...I would say yes.

As for now you still lose time while using a LC, even if its a very small amount.In other words, in general you only change lanes if you get stuck behind an other car.
A live flipper would minimise this loss, which would open the possibility to create an ideal line on a track which would necessitate changing lanes to keep to the ideal line.

with kind regards
Tamar

Well on a routed track.. what is the solenoids are someone configured / installed to allow cars to run behind each other in a racing line fashion however, if you press the LC button, then you switch into the passing lane and attempt a pass ? As long are you hold down the LC button you remain in the "passing lane" ? not sure how this would work in real life..
 

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At that point, why not just install BLST? The control system doesn't matter, and if you want specially controlled flippers, like for pit lanes and such, you can do that, too.
The problem with holding the LC to stay in the passing lane is that the person BEING passed would have to also do something similar in order to not have their car move through both lanes while following the racing line. Forcing other racers to actively stay out of your way is counter to how every other system works. Last I read, even Scorpius can't use PEARL and AC at the same time. You choose one or the other, but not both.
I love to see a nice racing line track like the BLST guy makes, and I've seen a few other examples. But without BLST technology controlling passing and anti-collision, I think it's best to require drivers to actively stay on the racing line, and simply drive (do nothing else) when passing or being passed.
IMHO, of course.
 
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