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Now that I have Pace Cars running extremely well in RCS64 I have been enjoying a lot of close racing by myself plus adding pace cars to race nights to add more traffic (that was the plan but they actually win some races
).

Firstly let me say just how good these pace cars work
, they are lapping our 30 metre track at average 12.5 seconds, with minimal crashing (sometimes none) over 30 lap races on a complex circuit with a hair pin bend.

They also pit by themselves and I have our middle straight sector (with 2 XLC's) set for random lane changing so racers have to plan their travel if they are near a pace car in this sector (simply awesome stuff
).

Now a lot of our racing has been with either many drivers and 1 pace car, or 1 driver (me) against a couple of pace cars.

The other night I was just racing against 1 pace car and when I pitted at the same time as the pace car, the race ended on that lap and the race summary page came up and it was all over.

I have since tested this with 1 driver + 2 pace cars and 2 drivers + 1 pace car and there are no issues, a pace car and driver car can Pit together and the race continues.

However every time I have a race with only 1 pace car and 1 driver car the race will end if we are in the Pit Lane at the same time (I.e. driver car enters pit lane before the pace car exits).

This is no big issue as I now just avoid pitting together, or set up a race with 2 pace cars and only run with 1 on track.

However I thought I would post this here as I couldn't find anything when I searched the Forum and was wondering if it is a known issue or if it needs to be added to the future upgrade list (not a high priority I don't think).

PS. I have recently installed Smart Sensor to our track (all running well) if this assists with understanding the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have been asked if I have any tips for setting up more reliable RCS64 pace cars.

TIP 1 - READ THE MANUAL
My best tip is to read the RCS64 manual from their web site, it still relates to an earlier version of the software but the basics for Pace Cars is still the same and the section for setting up sectors is the main one that helped me set up my cars.

TIP 2 - USE SECTORS
For our track I have used up to 16 different sectors, the beauty of this is you can easily adjust the speed for each sector by selecting the required sector and pressing the up or down buttons which reduces the need to click on the chart line and move individual plot points up or down.

The other great thing with sectors is you can add functions to them so at high crash points on the track I will add a sector and apply the brake, by adding another sector only a fraction of a second after the braking point the braking will end and the car has wiped just enough speed off to negotiate the turn.

EXAMPLE: In the picture below you will see I have a sector at 9200 ms (9.2 sec) which has the brake button activated, but only for 250 ms until the car crosses the 9250 ms sector. With the 9200 sector selected the line on the chart is green.

TIP 3 - SET CORRECT DEFAULT SPEED AND TARGET LAP TIME
I also set a default speed at a level that the car can usually get around the whole track without crashing, also if it does deslot or I crash and trigger a Track Call, I usually wait for the pace car to end its lap cycle (the moving line on the chart stops)before I reslot it so it will continue at the default speed until it crosses the S/F line.

TIP 4 - DO PLENTY OF TESTING AND TWEAKING
To get the car to around 90% reliability I spend plenty of time using the test feature in the pace car setup and adding and adjusting sectors as the car is driving

TIP 5 - SEE TIP 1
Seriously there is so much information in the manual to help with understanding how the pace cars work it is worth the investment in time to read, I have it printed and handy for each time I start tweaking.

OH and yes once you get into all of this at some stage you will have to stop, sometimes you can tweak the car over the edge in the chase for perfection - I only strive for excellence now as the chase for perfection will drive you mad


I am happy if a pace car only deslots a few times in a 30 lap race and extactic if it doesn't, the worst thing on our track is the intersection and crossover where 2 pace cars can easily crash
but hey "thats racing".

Anyway a picture can speak 1,000 words so I thought I would put up a screen shot for my best pace car setup. By the way every car is different so one size definitely wont fit all and each car needs its own setup.

I hope this maybe useful to others, as it is really good fun when you can setup a pace car and a race result is not guaranteed, I sometimes can win against them but if I crash too often pushing too hard I can just as easily lose not to mention mis judging the tyre wear for the weather conditions and having to pit with only 2 laps to go for a tyre change and get overtaken in pits
but I guess I'll get over that one ......... eventually


 

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Great stuff Phil. Glad to see you getting use from all the elements of pace car tuning.


One thing for users to watch out for is that tweaking a particular sector too dramatically will have an impact on all the following sectors as it can put the timing out of sync and it's a pain to have to adjust all of them.
I haven't found an easy way round this other than to keep the tweaks small rather than ones which causes a big change in average speed for a particular sector. When it gets too far out, I often just record a new lap to start afresh. All good fun though


QUOTE (Billy_Cart @ 7 Oct 2016, 08:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... However every time I have a race with only 1 pace car and 1 driver car the race will end if we are in the Pit Lane at the same time (I.e. driver car enters pit lane before the pace car exits). ...
If you don't get a response here, it might be worth also posting this question in Martin's own RCS64 forum
 

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Thanks Phil for the PM. This is great info! Im close with mine and this info will help me a lot.
You are right Chris, sometimes it works best to reset and start over. Ive learned to do that, its actually faster!
Great info guys!!
 

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Hi Phil, From your advice above I have this evening printed out the RCS64 V3.8 manual (96 pages). I am trying out the RCS 64 V4 which I downloaded 2 days ago and realised I was going nowhere using pure guesswork to run the programs. I share your interest in pace cars and I like the track sector option. I managed in the past 48 hours to finally get pace cars operating in the program but have now lost it all again today. No problem. I will now read the manual for a few days. I was interested to note that this 30 day trial V4 seems seems to be a fully operating Full version and not the rather basic trial version I looked at last year.

I believe Chris posted a poll thread last year for comparisons of RC programs in which another program seemed to have equal followers, and wondered if that other one should be trial tested before making a buying decision? Having briefly looked through the printed manual I would comment that its quality and attention to detail is outstanding and could be a deciding factor for which program I should buy. Congratulations on your grasp of the track sectoring.
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Hello Bryan,

Correct, we now have the 30 day trial period for RCS64.

The manual is not updated in a while but the basics have not changed, especially not for Pace cars. With a bit of attention and the excellent guide of Billy Cart I am sure you will get great competition from the pace cars.
 

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Hi Martin, (Minardi), Based on following factors I just bought your RCS64 (nice 5 seconds checkout and payment) Factor 1. your superb manual. 2. your instant response to my previous post. 3. the fact that Phil (BillyCart) has proved in his post that all I have tried to do with robot slot cars for the past 40 years I can now do. Ok it might take me a year of learning curve, but I will get there. Many Thanks to each and all.
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Bryan B.

Hello Bryan,

Correct, we now have the 30 day trial period for RCS64.

The manual is not updated in a while but the basics have not changed, especially not for Pace cars. With a bit of attention and the excellent guide of Billy Cart I am sure you will get great competition from the pace cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good stuff Brian, good luck with your pace car setup, I hope you get it all sorted. It takes a bit of time and trial & error but its worth it.

As for your question regarding RMS selection, my answer probably isn't needed now as you have puchased RCS64, it probably won't help that much either as I use them all (well trying to learn them all). Each one has elements I prefer to the others and I use them each differently.

RCS64- Competition race nights (monthly) and pace cars (great simulations).
SSDC- Just running laps and pushing for lap records (I like the leaderboard and easy setup, easy for me anyway as this was the first SSD digital RMS).
ESRM- Xbox gamepad racing and Team racing function (still trialling at present but very promising, I can't wait to have a race night with younger Xbox generation drivers with a BYO controller).
Race Co-ordinator- trying to learn at present, I bought a couple of Scorpius throttles for Christmas (and loving them) and I am interested in this RMS development of digital because of the Scorpius link.

My experience is the cost of the RMS systems (i.e. less than a car) is well worth it based on how they add to the digital slot racing experience and I am happy to pay to support ongoing development, especially when it is all done part time on the side.

Anyway the above summarises my experience, I hope your experience is just as enjoyable.
 

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Hi Phil, Thanks for your kind and informative reply. I think your posts regarding your use of RCS64 with pace cars justifies splitting out into a new topic ie:- separate from Post "RCS 64 Race Finishing early" I visualise your new topic "SSD Pace cars using RCS 64". Bearing in mind that I am now slightly Bias. Thanks.

Anyway I have a question. Have you placed a sensor of some kind in your track at the point where you have the green segment on the graph in your screen shot?

I ask because my track which is corkscrew right hand is 21.47mtr inside and 22.43mtr outside with 5 XLCs so my quick mental arithmetic tells me that I need to modify my layout or else use pacers always change lanes or never change lanes with some cars dedicated to inside start and others dedicated to outside starts. Because working in milliseconds there will be major braking discrepancies at certain naughty bends or chicanes. Its not important as I will be doing a new layout this year but it highlights a certain aspect that I will be looking at in coming weeks.

Also to identify your chosen braking points did you put insulating tape over a rail at those points? I am assuming that those points would show on the graph when a test without controller is used, or am I talking complete nonsense? Anyway Thanks again I will now go back to reading my lovely 96 page printed manual (all mounted in its 2 volume plastic sleeve folders) "smartie". Best regards Bryan B.
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Hi Phil, You did say earlier "read the manual". Well I have just now reached page 59 !!. So as I now cant edit or delete my last post and remove my stupid question. Please ignore my questions. I should have read ALL of the manual first. A bit like opening the mouth before putting the brain into gear as they say.

This manual is a wonderful piece of literature. Best regards Bryan B.
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No worries Brian, as you have no doubt figured out there are no sensors or tape on track.

The green line is simply the selected sector (9,200 ms) which is only 50ms long with brake applied for this time frame (as per the green light on the brake button option) and speed dramatically reduced.

This allows the pace car to go flat out down the middle straight in our layout but slow down enough to negotiate the R2 roundabout on the dreaded cross road intersection.

I have found the use of full brake on short sectors just before tight turns wipes off enough speed to allow for successful negotiation of the turn most of the time.
 

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Hi Phil, Doing well with the manual and feeling ready to try again but just switched on the set and the computer and spent 1/2 hour trying to get Pace car running and failed but then got screen flashing red message APB disconnected went to opening page and message No APB No controller found. Bummer Bummer. I think the USB cable has cooked for some reason. We had a power cut a couple of days ago and I think the track in the loft was all switched on. The computer bios are set at reboot at power restore! I wonder what effect that would have on the USB cable. Now about to order a new cable from Riko Rocket. Big chunk of weeks pension. Ho Hum. Back to the bible bashing as in (read some more manual). Best Regards Bryan B.
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Hi
Might not be the cable but if you are ordering one spend a few pounds more to get the version with the red and blue leds in.

Have you ever adjusted the latency in rcs ?
 

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Hi Ade, Yes to both. I set the latency to 1 which was at 5 as I read somewhere on the forum I think that the cable needs a latency of 1. I have ordered the new cable from Colin which I believe is the limited edition version with the LEDs. Still wondering if my problems from the start with all the race management systems I tried could have been related to the USB cable I was using as I seem to remember that it had that bulging little lump just under the Riko lable when I tried it with the other programs that did not seem to work for me. Perhaps I am just getting old in my old age. Eyewear Sunglasses Bumper Gas Hood
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Hi again, I have just reconnected every thing and because I have spent 5 days reading the RCS64 manual I now know why I could not get any of the race control systems to work. The usb cable is a dud and has been from the first time I connected it to the track computer in the loft. I thought the RCS64 was working because I can run a pace car and a controlled car on the track but was still baffled when I tried to carry out all the set ups for cars and race parameters.Reason being, The cars have been running around the track using the APB just as they would if I had simply removed the APB screen connection. The RCS64 was accepting my screen changes flicking buttons and switches etc but was or is in no way controlling the cars or track. Page 10 of the manual says it all. Thanks to Phil and Martin I have spent time reading the manual so I now know why I was misled into believing I was in the first stages of senility. I am Not. The only function the cable has performed was to initially update the firmware to 9.1 when I used it on my bedroom computer.I don't think I have done anything to cause the cable to fail and have adhered to the instructions on the installation guide from day one.

So here once again I have to say to the RCS64 team well done for producing an operating manual that is concise and readable. When I receive my replacement USB cable I am confident I will be able to operate this RCS64, and probably other race control systems which I failed to do in the past.
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