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Pace Cars

5901 Views 68 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Mark Lebish

A while ago I posted in the SSDCv5 topic and related a problem I was having with pace cars. The issue I had was that I couldn't get a pace car to run at ID 1 after updating to SSDC v5.4.1.0 with firmware 1.09. At the time I changed the car at ID 1 to ID 4 and the car ran as a pace car. The other pace car at ID 2 had no issues and contined to run.

This week I bought some more track to extend my layout. As I am currently restricted for space I had to change the layout design and start from scratch. I now have a great layout with an approximate lap time of 9 seconds.

However, my pace car issue has returned. The pace car at ID 4 refused to run. The pace car at ID 2 runs no problem. I have left the car at ID 2 well alone as it runs. The have tested car (originally at ID 4) with different ID's and the results are: it will now only run as a pace car at ID's 5 and 6. It will not run as a pace car at any other ID's but if I plug in a controller to the corresponding ID port I can run it at any ID (I have stayed away from ID 2 though as that still works as a pace car).

This is messing with my head as I have to change ID's for racers in all my saved races around what the pace car wants to do. I have tried using different cars with the same results. Why this phenomena should have changed when I reshaped my layout I don't know.

Hardware is the 6 car APB with v1.09 firmware using SSDC v5.4.1.0 on the laptop. I know it's not me as I can get the cars to run as pace cars just not with the ID's I want them to have (ideally ID 1 and ID 2).

Is anyone else seeing anything like this.
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I to am having the same problem with pace cars losing ID's. but mine only happens when I am running 4 pace cars and 2 cars are racing . I have change cars, changed ID's and still 2 cars will fail before 20 laps in the race. it will happen even faster if a pace car is rear ended or falls off the track once the race is restarted it will lose ID, Everyone tells me I have the old rev chip I don't I have rev "G" chips with the orange capacitor. I have checked the wiring in the cars and all is well. I too am running the latest software and firmware. this did not happen with the previous rev's I thing it's either a problem with the firmware or software don't know which yet. I am sure other people are having the same issue, if your are. let us know how you fixed it or when the problem happens. It was much better when I could run 4 pace cars !!!!
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Hey Lance try reverting back to software ver 5.3.o I did it and my pace cars are not losing ID at all. Have a full night of racing tonight will let you know how it goes. GOOD LUCK !
The cars aren't losing their ID's, they just don't run unless they have ID2, ID 5 or ID 6. If I set the car ID to 1, 3 or 4 they don't run. They just sit there at the start line. If I uncheck pace driver and I plug a controller in to the corresponding APB port, I can run them so I know the cars ID is OK they just won't run when I set them as pace cars.
Stupid question do you how the start speed set the same as the cars that will run? if so try putting in ver. 5.3.0 see if it makes a difference, it's an easy change
Been doing a lot of testing. The issue appears to be related to the Pace Car check box in the driver tab. When checked the program doesn't always apply the setting, in fact very rarely does it activate straight off. After checking Pace Driver I had to restart both the APB and the SSDC program to get it to activate.

In testing I checked the box, the car that was working as a pace car could not be run when a controller was plugged into the corresponding APB port (because it's a pace driver). The pace car that wasn't working could be run using a controller plugged in to the corresponding APB port (the pace driver check hadn't activated). I tested this a number of times with different firmware in the APB and different SSDC versions. The results were always the same. If the Pace Driver check box had activated and the car ran as a pace car, I couldn't run it with a controller plugged in. If the pace driver check hadn't activated. I could run the car with a controller plugged in.

The other thing I found was that even though the function had activated after restarting the APB and SSDC, the problem pace car wouldn't run unless I started a race. The Run Pace Car in Freeplay didn't activate the car. Only by setting up a race and starting it could I get it to run. After I had started a race and stopped it, both cars would run as pace cars by activating Run Pace Cars in Freeplay. ODD!!

So, I believe there is some issue with the Pace Driver check box in that it doesn't activate Pace Driver in the program consistantly. By restarting the APB and SSDC a couple of times after the check box is ticked the Pace Driver function usually activates but only by starting a race.
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Forgot to mention that I also changed from a laptop to a much faster PC during the testing but it didn't affect the results.
Hi lance I am experiencing the same kind of problems. I did not test enough like you did but most of the times the pace car just remain still on the startline when starting a race. My pacer was on id3 so I will try if switching to I'd 5 or 6 helps. Restarting ssdc does not always help. And in my case the car cannot be run manually when the checkbox is checked and can be run when unchecked. SEO that checkbox seems to be fine on my system. But you should try to clickother control after changing the checkbox. Maybe this helps. I am a software developer and know some controls out there needs to lose focus first before the new value is active. Just try it.
I have created pacecar drivers their own driver profiles. Just place them to the race, click the free practice button off/on and way they go. Some rare occasions I have had problems but usually no.
QUOTE (Nanook @ 21 Mar 2012, 09:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have created pacecar drivers their own driver profiles. Just place them to the race, click the free practice button off/on and way they go. Some rare occasions I have had problems but usually no.

I have done the same as Nanook but still having problems with some cars on some id's
regards ade.

PS all worked with older SSDC.
I'm having the same problems. I've tried the same solutions - restart ssdc, create special pacer drivers, click, unclick - with the same lack of resolution. T pace cars have worked on occasion, but I can't see what the differentiating factors might be between go and no go.


I'm having the same problem as above and tried all the actions as described. It really seems to be hit-and-miss as to when they will work.
Ok. Now I have a different and/or additional problem...

I started off again tonight with a fresh race and the pace car was working... Kind of.

The car would do a lap or two quite nicely (variable throttle) before appearing to randomly speed up on some of the corners ...or maybe fail to slow down.
I had the target lap time set a half second slower than the recorded lap time to avoid it trying to speed up. I've also tried having the target lap speed at the same or faster... Same problem.

I cleared the data and rerecorded a few laps going very conservatively, and that worked great for a few laps but then it got (apparently) randomly faster and spun off in corners that I had deliberately slowed down a lot for in the recorded laps.

I can't work out how to make it stick to what I actually recorded. Which is really annoying because of rthe first few laps i can get it to do quite fast laps... And if it would just do what it was told, it would be brilliant.

Am I missing something?


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Andrew is the laptime of the first lap when running a race ok if you compare it with the target laptime? I had the same problem and found this to be very important. You have to puzzle with the start speed until the first lap is almost the same as target laptime. For me it is working ok now, and I have a layout with some r1 turns so not easy for variable pacers. What I did when recording the laps was to keep constant throttle as much as possible and only adjust in the most extreme parts like r1 turns and a very long straight. That way I sort of simplified the recording. After recording click 'normalize' and alway start your pace cars far before the power base so that the car is not accelerating anymore when it passes it.
The lap time was almost exactly the same as the target time, but I tried varying the target time to see if it solved the problem. I will try fiddling with it some more.

I don't know why the target time should be relevant for recorded laps - it can only serve to cause problems.

I am assuming it does actually have an effect in variable throttle mode. Awallace - can you advise on this?


After getting the pace cars to work (now on ID 1 and 4), I have left well alone and they run OK. As long as I don't change anything they will run (fingers crossed each time I run a race with pace cars).

It does seem odd that sometimes they run sometimes they don't and people are seeing different symptoms in testing.

Will keep monitoring the formum to see if anyone solves this as I would prefer to have the pace cars on ID 1 and 2 as these are the ports used for analogue. If I'm in anaologue mode I am using ports 1 and 2. If I'm in digital I would avoid ports 1 and 2 and keep the ID's reserved for pace cars. Just makes life easier for me rather than trying to figure out what ID's and ports I can use and where to put guest racers.

At the moment though I'm not going to change anything and leave the pace cars at 1 and 4.
I had all these problems - I dropped to using SSDC 5.4.1 and 1.07Fw on the APB and my pace cars started working as expected.
Had to take my track down as we had visitors. When I put it back up I did a different layout and so the story begins.

I had SSDC v 5.4.2 and firmware v 1.09. I tried to re-record pace car data for the new track layout. After clearing the old data I could not record any new data. Tried numerous times with different cars, ID's and controllers, you name it. Read some more threads and went back to SSDC v 5.4.1 firmware v 1.07. I recorded pace car data successfully at this point but could not get the cars to run consistently. I did have to check and uncheck the boxes a number of times for dynamic and progressive braking and pace driver and variable throttle to get them to run at all.

The next issue was that one of the pace cars would do 4 or 5 laps then slow down to a crawl. After passing the track sensor for the end of the lap it would then go ballistic and deslot within a couple of seconds. This was not consistent to one car, it did it for both at different times.

I am now back to SSDC v 5.4.2 and firmware v 1.09 using the pace car data I recorded in SSDC v 5.4.1 with firmware v 1.07. I am not game to try re-recording the data. At first only one car ran, did 4 laps, slowed for a lap then went crazy. I concentrated on this car only and unchecked and re-checked all the flags in the driver window a number of times. Ran it in a race on it's own then ran it in free practice mode. It nows seems to run OK with variable throttle consistently.

Did the same with the second car, Check and un-check the flags in the driver window repeatedly. Ran it in a race on it's own. Then ran it in free practice.

Both cars ran OK with variable throttle with just the two pace cars on the track. Don't know what will happen when I next go to use the track (it's all powered down now).

The upshot is, the pace cars are really twitchy no matter what version of software/firmware I use. I can get them to settle down by repeatedly checking and un-checking boxes and running them in both race and free practice modes.

It seems that something is not registering properly within the software unless boxes are repeatedly checked and different modes are used to run the pace cars. After doing all this they seen to settle down.

Any thoughts????

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Just powered up again and it seems I was wasting my time. Started a race with just the two pace cars. Pace 2 ran, pace 1 just sat there. Checked and un-checked the pace driver box and pace 1 started. After 4 laps pace 1 slowed to a crawl and then went to ridiculous speed after crossing the lap sensor.

Stopped the race and deleted the race results. Selected run in freeplay. Pace 1 ran pace 2 didn't. Checked and un-checked the boxes for the pace 2 driver. Nothing. Started a race - both cars ran but pace 1 slowed again after 4 laps.

Ran each pace car on it's own on the track in freeplay. Both ran fine individually. Tried a race again and got the stupid slowing down and speeding up but this time for pace 2.

I give up.

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