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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are you likely to buy the next enhancement to SSD?
How much do you want it?
Yes I will get it regardless of cost12043.48%
I want it but I hope it is cheap12946.74%
Nah, not for me - its naff.279.78%
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Latest development, thanks to all the input from the NSCC weekend crowd

Start lights and fuel levels for all cars

And someone suggested a countdown on the LEDs

And track call flashing


Please let us know your interest level

Cheers
Riko
 

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Interest level on a scale of 1-100......I'd say about 500
.....probably will increase as it becomes available.......have recently upgraded to PB Pro (thanks Riko).....anything that could possibly add to it gets my vote,my money and all of my enthusiasm
 

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Can't wait!

Is this a mod we can do ourselves? If so, how would you rate the difficulty? Am I getting ahead of myself?

Perhaps I should wait on my farnell order (SHA parts) to add the bits for this as well...

Can't wait!

I'm getting a videos no longer available message - will try again from home...

Can't wait!
 

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That is incredibly cool!!! It would be amazing to route the audio cues to individual headsets, would really bring things to another level of realism... I'm certain there are hardware limitations at this point, and this is really much, much closer to the real thing than I ever would have expected. Nicely done....
 

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I like the pit pro, really like the count down on the LED's.

I too would like to know if this is something the end user would install in their own Pit lane game hardware or if we have to buy one pre-modified. I already have the pit lane game piece.
 

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Definitely interested, it just depends on whether it will work for me with my layout.

I have a pit lane with both entry and exit sensors connected to SSDC through a separate powerbase for pit lane detection and speed limiting and I don't have room to add another 1/2 straight at the start of my pit lane.

I would love to have the more visual indication that Pit Pro gives but it would probably almost have to be driven completely by SSDC i.e. existing powerbase tell SSDC the fuel level and whether a car is in Pit Lane and then SSDC tells Pit Pro what to display.

Regardless I am sure it will be a huge hit, especially for people without permanent layouts.

Great work.

Greg
 

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Greg Gaub
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GregR kind of touched on my questions. You show it being used with SSDC, but can it be used like that (without the sounds, of course) standalone? I plan to set up a computer with SSDC, but for a quick race or two with the kids, it would be cool to have these functions without booting up the computer. PB-Pro, a Lap Tower, and a Pit Pro would make for a pretty cool standalone combination.
 

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Hello Riko,

I exactly have the same question that MrFlippant, thinks that it is possible to have these new functionalities but without any PC intervention?
I would really want to have this option without also needing to connect and use all the PCs things, and obvious, to have the PC functionalities when we requires them, but it is this possible?

Regards,
KBetto
 

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Yeah, thinking about it a bit more, I can see 3 basic markets:

1. No computer at all - unit has to be self contained (maybe just as it now from Scaley).

2. Computer and either no existing pit lane sensor or only pit in sensing. i.e. Pit Pro replaces existing pit in sensor.

3. Computer and existing pit in/out sensing. i.e. Pit Pro supliments existing pit in/out sensors.

Greg
 

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WOW!!!!!



Great job, guys, this is MUCH MORE than I expected. I just thought we'd get pit lane sensing to make up for 6 car pbs being scarce, not all the visuals. Really super piece of engineering!

Obviously, to get the visual display you must be connected to the SSDC PC - I think some folks missed that.

My only question is can we get it with the LED tower detached and sensor wires extended so the display can be located somewhere else around the track? (Drivers stand on both sides of my track, so I'd need to put it an one end.) That would be something I could do if there were no electrical issues with extending the sensor wires.

Somewhere at Margate, someone is saying, "Now why didn't you guys think of that?"


Will we have a separate Pit Pro thread that will give a bit more technical detail? - It's obvious how it works if you already know SSD, but I'm sure some newbies are puzzled.

Great, great job, thank you for your hard work!


Paul
Circuit TrustChrist
 

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I'm with Paul ....EXCELLENT work.
Would like to be able to separate tower from track - and currently have no pit lane sensors - will wait for this as an alternative to sourcing another 6 car pb.
 

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I am at work now and can't see the video's and already know I WANT IT !!!! Thank you guys, following this with interest and more questions and suggestions will follow after I have seen the footage.
 

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This is what i have been waiting for
looks nice and i hope the price for the upgrade is far it it can not be done as a DIY
 

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Riko has kicked things off with the Poll. Here is a bit more information on what is involved in the upgrade.

It seemed a great pity to be using a rare and valuable commodity, the C7030 6 Car Powebase, for Pit Detection duties. It has a more important role in life, PB-Pro or PB-Pro + S-H Power.

Original intention was to use the C7039 Lap Counter as a Pit Detector. In some ways this would have been an easier choice. It has two sensors in the track piece, two processors with one dedicated to ID detection, like the 6 car Powerbase, and the main processor is a 16F914 which has free pins and a serial port.

However the C7041 Pit Lane game also had some desirable features. It's got a lower price than the Lap Counter, and it's got some nice lights that can be used to indicate fuel levels, and some big lights perfect for Race Start & Track Call. Against that it has a single 16F716 microcontroller, same as used just for ID detection in the Lap Counter and has no free pins and no serial port.

So what's involved?

Most of the pins on the microcontroller are tied up driving the matrix of lights, and the remaining three pins are used for the Car ID detection, the Beeper and the Set Switch.

I decided to try doubling up on the pins, so have used the Beeper pin for TX from Pit-Pro and the Set switch for RX from the PC.

I then wrote a software comms routine which actually works at 57K6 and would probably go higher, but we are currently running at 38K4 which is the same speed as the Aux Port.

Of course all of the Hornby code is lost when re-programming the microcontroller so there are then routines to strobe the matrix of lights and detect and decode the car ID's

So where are we?

Everything is basically working, car detection seems quite reliable on the bench, but is my biggest worry and needs fully testing on some tracks.

Pit-Pro sends a byte of data to the PC when a car crosses the sensor and listens for bytes of data from the PC to tell it which lights to turn on.

What changes are there to the hardware?

Actually very few and in some ways none.

There is a hole drilled in the back for the captive USB lead, did not seem worth having a socket. This has three wires soldered to the back of the board. That's it.

What about the PC Software?

AndyW has already put the code to support Pit-Pro into SSDC. I have not yet been in contact with any of the other software writers, but have a specification for the protocol and think they will have no trouble putting in support for Pit-Pro.

What happens next?

It's early days and now some intensive testing is needed before we embark on any upgrades. This development has one big snag and that is that the 16F716 does not support self programming, so there will be no bootloader and no upgrades in the field.

For that reason we must be very certain that the code is right before having too many out there. The only way it can be reprogrammed is by using the ICSP connections on the board needing a Microchip ICD2 or similar programmer.

Andy and Riko have them, as does Adam in the US as this is how we get the bootloader into PB-Pro.

What about Pit Out Detection.

My plan is to make up a second sensor track and connect it in parallel with the first sensor. If this works there will be an option for a jack socket on the bottom of the PLG and an optional track piece with sensor will then be made available with a lead with jack plug.

There will be a very small risk that if two cars cross the sensors at the same time that one or both cars will be missed. I consider that as this is the Pit Lane as opposed to the Start Track that the risk is acceptable, and could be considered a hazard of pitting.

What about the Pit Lane Game Functionality?

Plan at the moment but still in development is that when you press the Set button it will then function exactly like the Pit Lane Game.

There are all sorts of other possibilities but the more we put in the longer it will take to create and more importantly test.

How long before I can get one, and what's involved?


My best guess is a couple of Months, however I will have a lot more confidence when Riko, AndyS & AndyW have done some testing.

Upgrade will involve fitting the USB lead and re-programming the microcontroller, so like the Powerbase it will need to be sent to an upgrader.

We will however look into buying PLG's such that they can be sold ready converted. This may be a better option?

So that's it for an intro. Please ask any questions and more importantly make any suggestions for the functionality?

Rich
 

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Martin Kay
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I'd just say yes try and keep the original PLG functionality in there as well to give the best of both worlds. Most of the NSCC weekend sessions involved putting your lights out on multiple PLGs sited next to each other, which is a good training exercise for getting your entry speed right and pressing your buttons at the right time to make sure you drive into the pit that is green, not the one that is red. Something I hadn't really thought of previously and was quite a challenge. It would be good to let people continue to have that option, as well as doing fuel displays etc.
 

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Simply stunning!!

Really like the whole interactivity of it, a very nice addition (sticks PLG on the shopping list!!)

I suppose the nirvana would be to have sensors for each actual pit, and as Martin Kay has identified that they use more than one PLG on his club circuit... is that a possible consideration to add into the programming for being able to daisy chain more than one together? In effect having, for arguments sake, four PLG Converts hooked up for individual pits.. Obviously each pit would only be counting in 2 cars at most (with the PBPro mod)

I use this image for clarity..



Just a thought
 
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