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I have decided to start a new topic so as not to get confused with the first Dummies Guide - A link to the original guide that proved to have an unreliable relay is HERE

Recently, during a visit to RichG he and I talked about the Powered Flipper. Our discussions sparked some ideas and Rich contributed three really important aspects on the detail explained here.

1 - The use of a dual coil latching relay.
2 - Employing the flipper signals to activate the relay.
3 - The electrical connection to the flipper.

My first attempt at using a relay proved to be unreliable because I used a 12V relay. We discovered that although the track may be at 13.5V the trigger voltage for the Lane Changer was only at a nominal 9V.

There are now 2 versions of the dual coil latching relay that can be used, a 9V relay or a 5V relay with a 42 Ohms resistor in the circuit.

The relay is essentially 2 switches that can be operated by a pulse of electricity. Latching means that once the relay has been pulsed and switched it will stay in that position until it is pulsed to switch in the other direction.

When a voltage is pulsed to pins 1 and 5, pin 2 and the common pin 3 are connected and also independently pin 9 and the common pin 8 are connected.
When a voltage is pulsed to pins 10 and 6, pin 4 and the common pin 3 are connected and also independently pin 7 and the common pin 8 are connected.


You need one Dual Coil Latching Relay for each flipper - some wire, I used 3 core flat servo extension wire and some servo mounting tape both commonly used for RC servos, some electrical insulation tape and tools to do the job!

OMRON G6HK-2100 5DC - LINK
This is a 5V relay that will need to be used with a 42 Ohms resistor in order to reduce the 9V trigger voltage to the relay.

G6HK-2-DC9 - Omron - LINK
TQ2-L2-9V - Panasonic - LINK
Both of these relays are 9V- I ordered 20 of the TQ2-L2-9V from Mouser in the USA and with shipping to the UK they worked out to just about £2.50 each (around $5.00) Ordered Monday from the USA delivered Wednesday in the UK!

All of the relays above are just 5mm tall (with the pins bent out sideways) and they sit under the track perfectly.

The animation below should help you understand the process - it updates every 5 seconds



The Dummies Guide - The Straight Lane Changer
This is not difficult to do - you need to use a solder iron - I would rate it with a difficulty level 3/10

The instructions below are based on wiring the Right-Hand Flipper (viewed from the top). In reality you would work on the Left-Hand flipper at the same time.

Cut one length of 3 core flat wire - 190mm. Separate the cores for a length of 50mm and cut the white core back by 30mm and the black core back by 35mm
Cut another length 190mm and separate the white lead. Cut the remaining red and black leads to 90mm


Solder a link wire across pins 5 and 6 and then solder the leads of the 190mm flat wire to the relay pins as per the diagram. Red lead to pin 1, white lead to pin 10 and black lead to pin 6


Solder the 90mm black lead to pin 7, the red lead to pin 9 use heat shrink material on both of these leads as insulation. Solder the 190mm white lead to pin 8.


Remove the Sensor cover (3 screws) cut a slot in the cover and the matching track piece to create an exit for the wire (see image). Solder the 3 leads to the trigger pads in the order below (also see image). Replace the cover and screws.


RIGHT FLIPPER - The trigger wires already under the sensor board are coloured black, yellow and blue. To keep the lead flat, I've soldered it to the sensor board pads in the order black, red and white.


Create notches in the track for the leads to sit in.


Solder the black and red leads from pins 7 and 9 to the rails as indicated in the diagram and image. Tin the Rail Tabs with solder first.


Remover the Flipper cover (5 screws) Note: Once the cover is removed try to avoid turning the track over because the flipper actuating arms and pins may fall out. They can be put back together but it's just a bit fiddly.

Create a notch in the track (see image below) to hold the flipper wire contact.


Carefully, strip the end of the white lead by 30mm and coil it into a ball to create a good contactor for the flipper. Place it on top of the flipper and into the notch. Tape the lead to hold it in place. Replace the cover and screws. If you have a multi-meter it's a good idea to check the continuity between the flipper and the pin on the relay.




Fix relay to underside of track with Servo Tape.


*** IMPORTANT ***
It is critical to insulate the end of the flipper with a small piece of electrical tape - if an un-insulated flipper hits the rail before the relay has switched then a direct short occurs between the relay contactors and they will fail. Make sure that the flipper still moves freely after you have applied the tape!


The process for the left-hand flipper is the same but for neatness I've wired to the opposite side of the relay.

LEFT FLIPPER - The trigger wires already under the sensor board are coloured red, white and black. To keep the lead flat, I've soldered it to the sensor board pads in the order white, red and black.

If you use a 5V relay then the trigger voltage must be reduced by fitting a 42 Ohms resistor in the black trigger lead as shown below. One will be required for each relay


I've tested the flippers with the 9V and 5V relays for over 500 switches and you can stop on any flipper and just drive away


Enjoy!

Keith.

Next job the Curved Lane Changer…
 

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Keith,
Ive never seen a technical post so clear and well thought out, neat work, wow Im impressed! Love the moving images showing flipper and relay action, really cool! Any "dummy" should be able to do this with such a good description.

Rick
 

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QUOTE (injectorman @ 17 Aug 2008, 01:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Keith,
Ive never seen a technical post so clear and well thought out, neat work, wow Im impressed! Love the moving images showing flipper and relay action, really cool! Any "dummy" should be able to do this with such a good description.

Rick

Even this dummy! 13 boxes to unpack and I'll have my layout space back, can't wait!

Great job, Keith, thanks!

Paul
Circuit TrustChrist
 

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Thanks for the kind comments guys


You know dead flippers were not really a problem for me because I had learned to drive without stopping on them.

The problem was when friends or youngsters had a go and then the dead flippers became flipping magnets. I seemed to spend a lot of time shouting - "Don't stop on the flippers"


Following a Track-Call even if they didn't stop on the flipper they would stop just in front of one and when the race started again they would drive slowly on to the flipper - Arghhhh!


Then Minardi posted about the "no braking zone" where his car was not receiving braking instructions into a turn because the position of the dead flipper was exactly where he wanted to brake.

Something had to be done and the timing of my visit with RichG was perfect to generate some ideas. Rich deserves much of the credit for this modification
and the support and advice by other forum members is outstanding


There are other solutions to help improve this issue using copper tape, matrix board, braids and magnets. These will be less expensive to do and may be worth a try. The powered flippers are just another option - to modify both left and right lane changers cost me a total of around £5 - £6 ($10 - $12)


It struck me that some of the images of the wiring would look daunting to some and particularly so to novices. It really is not difficult to do this modification and I wanted to present a "Dummies Guide" with the novice in mind. If you need to learn how to solder this VIDEO is great!

I hope at least some of you try it and I look forward to your feedback.

Keith&#8230;
 

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I have lane changers powered by a separate power supply. My question is are we using the changer circuit to switch the relay and the rail power to the flipper as a separate circuit. My two power supplies are not the same voltage.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lang1,

I assume that you have wired your separate power supplies directly to the sensor board in the straight lane changer.

My sensor board power is supplied from the track and I have tested the modification between 10V to 13.5V as long as your power supplies are in this range it will work as per the guide.

Your separate power supply will power the sensor board and that in-turn will pulse the relay - You would still connect the rails to the relay to get the track voltage to the flippers.

What is the voltage of your power supply to the lane changer?

Keith...
 

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Keith,

I will have a go with an XLC soon. 1 guess which XLC that will be... Thank you very much for this great guide, and sorry for giving you all this trouble, although I am sure the SSD community isvery glad with It !

Before I replaced that particular XLC it wasn't much of an issue for me too, except when having some novices over, like you say, the dead strip seems like a magnet, unbelievable. I think I have the magnets for the magnet mod for over a year now, unused. In a way I dont like the idea the flipper has to do extra work to move when held back by the magnet. Glad that is sorted out with the relay. I will let you know how I get on, starting to look for the relay first at the local electronics store.

Regards, Marcel
 

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Keith

Great tutorial on how to do this mod....excellent work!
Very clear and precise...

Heh isnt it ironic that we have spent most of the time trying to improve connectivity between the flipper and the rail....now the ideal way is to isolate it best you can


Cheers
Phil
 

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GREAT tutorial, Keith! Thanks much.

And I thought all my wiring and soldering on the track was finished...
Now, I know I have to have "no dead spot flippers" everywhere.

Hmmm... it IS the only SSD irritation left. And now, you have provided the answer.
Great, just great. Off hats and all that.
 

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I'm looking to buy about 10 of the TQ2-L2-9V relays from Mouser (can't find anywhere in Oz that supplies anything similar - mind you I'm a bit lazy at searching) - but I'm baulking at the delivery costs $30USD (the $AUD has dropped 40% in the last few weeks against the USD.

Is there anyone else in Oz that might be interested in combining an order and splitting the postage cost?

Great tutorial BTW (can't wait to try it out).

Thanks

Mark
 

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Has anyone done the powered flipper change to the curved lane change and taken pictures? It looks like the red, white and black leads are at the solenoids, but there sems to be better access for soldering back on the sensor board - just neeed to know which solder spots near the plug-in are which.

Thanks for the help!
 

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I have converted all my curved changeovers, and have taken all the leads to the small solenoid boards rather than back to the sensor board, which is much easier to do on the straight crossover.

The only issue with taking the leads to the solenoid boards is that the points for soldering to are a bit smaller than they are on the sensor board, and also they are covered in some sort of glue or protective material that needs to be removed before you can do any soldering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wraith said,
QUOTE Looks good, I had a 12.5m straight with 5 straight crossovers and you could hear the cars loose power on them, a rather large project as I have 20 bits of digital track, any idea of the rough cost per section in the UK, I guess I should be able to source the components from Mapins or somewhere alike?
I could only find the 12V versions at Maplin (which is no good) - The 9V relays were cheaper (including shipping) when I ordered 20 of them directly from mouser.com in the USA - Of course back last year the exchange rate was more in my favour.

Please let us know if you find a local supplier in the UK. I would expect cost to be about £5-£6 per track piece.

Keith...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
*UPDATE*

My original post explained the importance of insulating the flippers with tape.

The flippers must be insulated from the rail but I have removed the insulation tape from the flipper part - I now use 3/16th wide adhesive tape (used for car pin-stipping) and apply it to the inside of the main rails each side of the flipper.

On one side the tape starts just after the little guide-rail bump-out and on the other side it's on the curve so the blade guide never hits the tape edges


Keith...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Colin,

Yes, that's the correct part, but price £3.04 and shipping £15.95 - ouch!

Mouser are about £2.20 each and shipping probably wouldn't be much different to the UK. Shipping took 2 days!

Mouser Relay Link

Ignor the image on the Mouser page the actual relay shape is (2 Form C) there's a PDF near the top of the Mouser page detailling the different package shapes that the relay is available in.

Keith..
 
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