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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - got a box from Amazon yesterday (finally spending all those gift cards!) with the Pitlane Game. Plopped it and the single lane half straight into my layout, "set" light is green, can change number of pitstops required, lights cycle between red (closed) and green (open), but for the life of me I cannot get the pitstop lights to go out when I pass the box (green light). What am I missing here?!!! I don't see how the pitlane game would register a car anyway - there are no sensors...how does it do it?

I reprogrammed the car ID (number 1), tested in practice mode and race mode on the APB. I'm recording laps and lap times as before, but not pits. I'm wondering if the pitlane is "incorrectly plumbed"....my entry is a little convoluted with pit entry pieces, or perhaps its too far from the APB? Help!

Thanks!

Steve
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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11,085 Posts
hi
there is definately a senser in the track section yhat is how it detects cars and figures out wich car id has pitted..

Are you running slot-it cars.??? If so there deeper guides wipe out the senser in the pitlane game,it only seems to effect the plg and no other sensers...

If yours has no senser then it's a dud or fake so send it back but have a good look in the track piece with a torch and you should see it....
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,663 Posts
Also, the APB and PLG don't talk to each other, so there won't be any interaction between them. That kind of stuff comes from computer control and hardware upgrades to Pit-Pro.
Right now you have a "lights out" game while having a race. If the lights aren't going out while passing over the sensor in Green/open, or being added in red/closed, then there's something wrong with the sensor on the PLG. Could be defective out of the box. I'd get it replaced through amazon asap. If you do run slot.it's as Ade mentioned, shave a ramp at the leading edge of the guides, or when you get the new PLG, open it up and shim the sensor board so that it's not sticking up into the slot.

Also, just to be clear, the spare track has no sensors, so make sure you're passing over the PLG track piece itself, the one with the printed white box on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Ade and Greg.....yah, that's what's baffling me. I was expecting the same kind of sensors from the APB, lane changers or pit entry pieces (the little round holes), but nothing. I'll have to take a look tonight, but it's pretty weird. I've only tested running one Scaley car w/digital chip....will retry with other cars (Scaley and Fly) once I get home (stupid work, where are life's priorities?)

I am running through the white boxed lane


PitPro is in the future when all of this becomes permanent and SSDC-controlled.

Looks like this will be a return if closer inspection with a torch (flashlight for us on the left side of the world) reveals no sensors....

Thanks guys!

Steve
 

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Greg Gaub
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There's no BIG hole, just the slot itself, but there is a sensor under there (unless it's missing from the factory, that is). If you shine a light in there (torch, as Ade said), you can see something strange in the slot near the center. That's all there is.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Steve,

Your layout (which is pretty impressive by the way) means that it is possible to enter the pit lane but choose the oethr lane and not trigger the PLG.

Whilst you are using the PLG in native mode I would move it to one end of the pit lane so that all cars entering/exiting the pits pass over the sensor.

When you do upgrade to PitPro you have the option of two sensors - one for pit in and one, on a separate single lane track piece, for pit exit. When you order it you can asking Riko or Richard to separate the sensor from the PLG base and put it into another single lane track piece. This way you can place one at the pit entry, one at the pit exit and position your PLG anywhere you please in your pits. This would probably be the best option for you (in my humble opinion).

The single lane pieces are connected to the PLG base using fly leads in case you are wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Mr. Modifier - the intent will be to have an XLC in the pitlane for those time when there are battles to pit at the same time, OR someone exits the main track right when the pit lights close (and therefore can avoid the penalty by changing lanes). I'd like to mandate a 5 second pitstop pause for racing realism too, at some point. I have a couple of XLCs on their way as we speak

With PitPro, I plan to split the pit in and pit out to each end of the pitlane, so entries from the main track are counted. At least that's how I imagine it!

Fly leads? Not in my vocabulary...can you explain?

Thanks!

Steve
 

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Circuit Owner
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Fly leads - a lead that will need to be connected from the single lane track piece to the PLG base. I'm not sure where the term came from although it is in common use. The term probably came from the old telephone exchanges where the operator literally made a connection between two telephones using a flying lead (you might call it a patch lead - "I'll patch you through").

The single lane track piece will come with the cable permanently wired and coming out of the side of the track. The other end will have a 2.5mm or 3.5mm audio jack plug which will need to be connected into a socket which will be in the back of the PLG base. This connects the sensor to the PLG base and from there the signal goes from the PLG base along the cable that connects the PLG base to the computer.

Cable management becomes a bit of an issue when you go with race management software - especially if your track is portable like mine!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah, ok....thanks.

So update, there is a sensor, it responds to direct light (turns off/limits functions on the tower). But no car (Scaley, Fly) will decrease the pit lights. I did notice that one of the pin receivers/sockets in the base didn't have good metal contact (the female part was pushed way down inside the base), but even unscrewing and pushing that out didn't help. Returning to Amazon and replacement ordered....

Steve
 

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Circuit Owner
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Hi Steve,

Are you running with or without magnets?

The reason I ask is that I have been mentally driving your track and with magnets I would favour the left hand lane - your 3 lane straight next to the pit lane is great because it forces a lane change or you end up in the right hand lane which is not what I would guess to be the fastest lane for mag racing.

Without magnets I would favour the right hand lane but would be looking for a lane change to left at the beginning of the start/finish straight and back to right about 32/33 track pieces past the power base. Without mags your 3 lane straight parallel to the pit lane wouldn't force a lane change and would actually help me so I guess I am suggesting it might be good to reverse the effect (could you put the pit lane in the middle and the 3 lane straight on the right hand edge thus avoiding the need to buy more track pieces?) I believe it is possible to change a right hand pit lane changer to a left hand and vice versa by swapping the innards because the sensor hole is there on both pieces.

In summary - with magnets the track looks fantastic. Without magnets it looks very nearly fantastic but may need some tweaking.

This isn't a criticism, just a question really as I have not driven the track and could have it all wrong!
 

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Thanks for the comments Guam slot racer....yes, my mag 911s are excellent!! Mr. Modifier - mostly magless.....there are now two more XLCs....I'll give an update tomorrow on the track and driving impressions. It is definitely "digital"...i.e., favors a particular lane.

Update, however.....the new pitlane game worked for precisely 2 laps, now (in its location as shown - testing was installed where the furthest start straight is shown) it no longer registers passage over the sensor. I'm wondering if there are power limitations (not enough juice reaching the sensor circuit?) or the fact that my track is effectively not a 2 laner (the back straight with lane shift makes analog impossible due to no discrete 2 lanes).....

Anyway, frustrated. I haven't yet pulled the PLG out of the current position and retested....the kids wanted to run some laps before bed...

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update again. Pulled the PLG from position in pit lane, and placed it back in the "test" position down the start/finish straight. No joy. I then created a very small oval circuit (4 R2s on each side with a single straight and a half straight for PLG and PB). Still no luck. I'm using APB with two 15V scaley wall warts. I don't have issues with car IDs as they all register on the PB. INOX'd the inside pins on the tower (per this thread)......still no joy.

It's like I've blown the sensor in the PLG, but quite how that's possible I don't know. I have great connectivity all around the track (rebuild in the past week and crimped all connections)....no power taps, not needed. I do have a lot of XLCs
 

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Circuit Owner
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The wall warts might be part of your problem.

My Hornby wall warts put out 800mA. Your may be different as there were a few models produced.

I use the recommended transformers for my APB and they push out 4A EACH so a pair of wall warts put out only 1/5 of the output of a pair of the recommended transformers.

I don't know how much power the PLG needs but I would expect it to run OK on 800mA if it is on an oval with no LCs BUT it depends on how much power your cars draw.

Does the PLG work OK in your oval without a car running? Running the car may draw too much current so you could try pushing the car over the PLG sensor (the LED will work without the motor running). If the PLG works this way but not when the cars drive over the sensor under their own power then it is a power issue.

It is unlikely but not impossible that you have a second faulty PLG (did Amazon send your original one back to you?!?).

It's a bit of a conundrum. You could try sending a PM to RikoRocket on this forum - he is the PLG guru.

I take it your cars are Scalextric with the standard guide? Deep guides from the likes of Slot.It and any wood guide (a deep guide for wooden tracks, no magnets) will foul on the PLG sensor and damage it.

For your size of circuit I would suggest getting the proper transformers for the APB and consider using your wall warts to independently power a couple of straight lane changers each (how to do this is on this forum and it involves a little wire cutting and soldering). You could also consider a power tap from the APB straight out to the mid-point (distance-wise) around your track.

Don't give up on the PLG - when you get the circuit working, equipped with SSDC and get the PLG converted to PitPro it raises the game exponentially.
 

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Hi Steve,
I have spent the last week or so digging around inside the PLG and found that the sensor circuit used on it is MUCH less sensitive that the PB or the LC sensors, I have 2 or 3 cars that don't register on the PLG but do everywhere else. These are cars I have digified myself and been a little generous with the glue on the LED. So just check it with all cars. My thoughts on the reason behind the sensitivity to reduce false pit detects which would ruin your game. LC pick up false detects in bright sunlight which can be a nuisance but doesn't ruin a race. The PB use 2 sensors 1 for the blade and one for the LED so both need to be triggered to register a lap so no false detects. Push the cars over the PLG slowly and see if it detects, and I mean very slowly.
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the comments guys.

The Scaley wall warts are the APB approved transformers (#P9303 Digital 15 Volt 4amp Power Supply (old #C7033). I just have two of them. I did have the power on all cars set to 75% on the APB, but putting that to 100% this morning didn't fix anything. I have an old analog wall wart that I plan to use for independent lane change (and PLG?) power.....however my experience thus far has been this isn't necessary.

I still have the original PLG from Amazon that I've not returned yet, and I tested the tower of that one in the replacement PLG base. No dice.

PLG "functions" the same in the circuit shown and in the small oval - lights are on, red and green alternate, beeping sounds, "Set" button green light is on and I can change the number of pit lights between zero and three. Works that way with a car on the track or not. In neither set up (layout or oval) will the passage of a car cause the lights to go off.

Cars are all Scalextric with the exception of one Carrera Police Mustang (not tested) and a Fly Renault 5 (tested). Some cars are DPR and have Easyfit chips, others one's I've done. No cars of any type will now trigger the PLG lights to go off, whether under power, pushed across slowly (very slowly!). All cars will trigger lane changes and register laps. Some cars I've chipped have the LED a little close to the braids, but still no issues except with the PLG. All cars have standard Scaley guides.....so fouling the sensor in the PLG should not be an issue.

I really don't want to give up....the attraction of PLG w/PitPro is huge, but only if it works!
 

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Circuit Owner
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Very weird.

Sounds like you have done everything right.

Have you PM'd RikoRocket for advice? He is one of two that do the PitPro conversion.
 
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