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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I run a childrens charity and we have a 4 lane Scalextric using their analog rms, all is well there. We have purchased PC Lap Counter and realised with phidgets we can control power to lanes and gantry/start lights.

I understand we can purchase a 0/0/4 and a 0/0/8 phidget giving us 12 relays. If we want external start light do we wire one of the 5 lights to each relay output?

The other question is how we connect to control power to lanes. We have the Scalextric sport unit where plug the PSU's and controllers in but how do we connect the phidgets to control power to lanes.

We cannot afford to go down more expensive roads, maybe in the future.

Any help really appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If no one can help us, maybe someone could recommend which system we go for, we wish to have external start lights (5) and control power to 4 lanes we do not require fuel management or anything else.

So do we buy Phidgets 0/0/4 + 0/0/8 or a Vellemann K800

Surely there must be someone who has experience or has already done this, we have scoured the net to no avail, hence our request.

Really hoping someone can help us.
 

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Not something I have any first hand experience of. Have you looked at the Hardware pages on the PClapcounter website? Info seems quite good there. If that does not answer your question I would ask on the PClapcounter Forum.

Rich

OK well here's a quick guess. Other people who have actually done this may have better ideas?

For the lane power you need the 0/0/4 because the relays are rated at 5 Amps. You will need to cut the power feed to each of the 4 lanes and then connect those two wires to the relay contacts. I do not know if PClapcounter expects you to use the normally open or closed contacts, however easy to change when you wire up?

For the 5 lights you can use the 0/0/8 with 3 spare. Relays are rated at 2 Amps so will be fine for most lights, but do not know what you have? Again the feed for each of the 5 lights will each have their own relay.

If you want to save money you can probably get away with the 0/0/8 for lane power, and then just have 4 start lights?

K8000 could be used but you would have to add your own relays.
 

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Thank you so much Rich, these are the LED lights we are considering http://www.maplin.co.uk/52mm-red-led-cluster-12696

To clarify, use a 0/0/4 to control power to lanes, do we insert this in inbetween the PSU cable? (it's how we wire it that is my concern). We are using the Scalextric powerbase where the PSU's plug in along with the controllers.

Re reading your post, does the phidget supply power to the scalextric powerbase, i.e the PSU are not required? Can the Phidget output 16V per lane? Or does the phidget sit in the middle of the PSU cable, this is the bit I need help on understanding.

and use the 0/0/8 to control start gantry lights like you say with 3 spare?

Is it simply a case of taking the positive and negative cables and connecting to the Phidget?

Really appreciate your help

PS I have posted on PCLC forum but no reponses also on the phidget forum.
 

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Power for the track will still come from the Scalextric PSU connected in the usual way. Controllers connected in the usual way.

You will need to cut the wires that go from the box that you plug the controllers into to the track. I do not have one here to look at, but if you turn the track piece over there will be wires to the tracks, there may be a piece of plastic to unscrew?

On the lights you will need a separate PSU, each lamp is 1/4 Amp so you need minimum of 1.25 Amps. Voltage is very unclear, I would guess 12v, however the spec of these lights does not say what voltage ther should run on or if they have a series resistor or if you need to add one??

You will need to connect the 5 -ve connections of the lamps together and connect to the -ve of the PSU. The +ve side of the lamps will each go to a relay, and the other pole on the 5 relays will go to the +ve of the PSU.

However must check out what the lights need in terms of voltage & if they need a series resistor before connecting up.

Rich
 

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This is really helpful Rich, thank you.

When you say cut the wires that go to the track, is that literally what you mean as if I cut the wires underneath the powerbase and take these to the phidget then there will be no power to the track, or do I just connect the phidget output directly to the track?

Sorry for being confused

thank you

PS LED power requirement is 9.6V (11.2V max)DC and they have a reverse voltage of 5VDC, they do have limiting reisitor.
 

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On the track connections, slight problem here is I do not have on to look at. If you could post up a picture of the underside with any cover removed this would be easy?

Anyway you need to break the feed to each track and then extend the cut wires and take them to a relay on the Phidget board. The Phidget board relay, under control from PClapcounter, will then join them to provide power and break them to remove power.

The relays will be changeover with 3 connections. I am not certain if PCLapcounter requires you to use the normally open or closed contacts, however if you get it wrong no harm will be done except that power will be on the track at the wrong time, so just swap one of the wires.

I have seen that spec on the LED but am still unhappy with the way it is written. Typical forward voltage: 9.6V (11.2V) usually means that this is the volt drop of the LED's, and you would expect to apply a higher voltage than this. However then there has to be a series resistor to ensure the current does not exceed the 250mA max, 200mA recommended. However for an assembly like this I would have expected it to just have a rated voltage and for there to be a built in series resistor. Hence my confusion. My best guess is that they are designed to run on 12V

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again, Maplin state the voltage as 9.6V DC, found that under the 'questions' section although open to other light suggestions.

Here is the underneath of a spare powerbase, ignore the black and red wire to the right, these allow me to hook up to another psu for sanding tyres etc.

The wires to the track are just black (top right) and the red on the opp rail, and the blue and pink on the other rails.



Hope this helps
 

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OK so what you need to do is cut into or unsolder the Red & the White wires (Could be the Black & Blue, does not matter)

Then make a join on the removed / cut Red & White Wires long enough to run to the Phidget board. Next solder / join two more wires onto the track side of where the Red & White wires were connected, again with wires long enough to run to the Phidget Board. Each pair of wires Red & White (assumes you have used to same colour wire to extend) then connects to a Phidget relay. Now when each relay is closed, as determined by PCLapcounter the track will be powered.

OK on the LED, 9.6V seems a strange voltage, but if that is what they say...

Rich
 

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hi
i made up and configured a start light gantry for a member last year who was running pc lapcounter.

Good thing with the phidget board is that there is no need for an external psu as it draws it's current from the usb it is plugged into and phidget say this is safe upto 500ma.

The velleman boards do work out cheaper to buy but you have to use an external psu to power them wich pushes the price up to that near a phidget..

Using a phidget powered from a usb means the light array i set up was running at 5v,for sake of ease i used led's with a built in resistor..
 
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