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Hi Guys,

This weekend we got stuck into the latest project, Scorpius Wireless start lights and RMS interface.

This new product will work with both Scorpius Wireless using Scorpius RMS and analogue systems using Race Coordinator.

John designed the PCB yesterday and wrote the BOM/CAM today. I already sent it off to the assembly house for 6 prototypes. Meanwhile Ive been thinking about RMS and App connectivity and screen artwork.

What is it? Its a custom wireless PCB with latest Nordic nRF52810 chip. It will run mostly on Scorpius propriety protocols but will be used in BLE (Bluetooth) mode to connect to the proposed new app. The app will also allow wireless updates.

Mounted to the new board will be a state of the art Nextion 4.3" HMI Intelligent Smart USART UART Serial Touch TFT Colour LCD module.

Use this to see the Start Lights. Click on screen once to activate/deactivate manual yellow flag. Click on screen twice to control RMS remotely, start, pause and stop races. Click on screen three times to configure screen choices for start lights.

The unit will store various images. Use any of the factory light settings, F1, DTM, Nascar, BTCC, Aussie V8s, Le Mans. Or design and upload your own.

The two units bolt together and will be mounted in your own creation or any number of screen enclosures online.

It will run on 8-16V track power or your own power supply.

Heres some pics of this big weekends effort including pre graphics layout.

Next is firmware...….We have 6 weeks until prototypes arrive maybe 7.

Rick
 

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This looks very interesting Injectorman - and using Bluetooth will make it compatible across a range of digital platforms... maybe SSD too?

Just one question... are you thinking as an over-track start-finish gantry or more as an off track display/control panel? or users buy one for each? I am wondering where to place the display to benefit from the touch screen?

C
 

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Hi Dr C,
It will be primarily used as a start light display.
Not lap times or fuel etc, only light/flag, and to start, pause or stop races in a perhaps more convenient spot. Thats for both the PC RMS and the App. The light page is always on during a race. You just tap the screen to activate start, pause, yellow flag or end race.

It will have a countdown to start display at the top too.

Rick
 
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Bob Chapman
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A very nice touch Rick.
The analogue part got my attention straight off. Great new piece for all racers.
Kudos
Bob
 

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Prof I T
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Rick, any further news on "the" wireless start light gantry project
question.gif
, couple of clubs local to me running Race Co-ordinator
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ade,
It just needs firmware and its right to go.
But at the moment we are concentrating (or trying to) on one project at a time, ie car decoder Gen II
 
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Interesting experiment to see whether the Nextion 4.3 uart LCD displays give a bright enough output, with a wide enough viewing angle, to make a good start light gantry. But unless we try it we will never know - looks interesting. BTW, is the display back-lit or side-lit? Also I guess OLED displays might be a brighter alternative if required?

C
 

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Interesting to see the use of a full custom pcb - not sure the merit of adding a separate USB driver chip when there is already a USB port on the nRF52840? It would be interesting to learn more? two USBs maybe? and some of us are wondering what additional functions may be added onto the remaining space on the pcb as shared in the image?

C
 

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this might sound silly , but what the hec . for the home track man who may want to try his hand at some comp. race on a scorpius powered comercial track . BUT only has say either a carrera or scaly dig track .AND doesnt feel capable or want to install scorpius at home .what about scorpius making a scorpius cu that the home user could plub into his track , chip his cars and away he goes , all he needs to do then is pack his controller and cars up and hit the road to the comp I know its abit incomplete as far as scorpius would like ,but after all he is targeting the larger tracks .whick is fine but what if the home track man likes scorpius but doesnt want to change everything just for his set up .2 cu,s 1 made for scaly and 1 for carrera ,made so as their existing lanechanges still work and have also their lap count and timing ,in other words exactly like carrera cu funtions only with scorpius chipping
 

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I think that is the thinking at Team Scorpius behind their Nitrous-SSD announcement last year and the logic in moving to a multi-protocol decoder. Once Scorpius have their new decoder running in SSD and D132 native modes they will be well on the way. Also worth noting that Scorpius throttle controllers already run with the C7042 powerbase via pc based rms using their off-the-shelf usb dongle. So some new compatibility between their throttle controllers and the ARC PRO, as well as with the Carrera CU, would complete this picture.

I believe all of above is correct, but happy to be corrected and/or challenged...

C
 

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Another option for cross-compatibility of course - could be for third parties to develop independent firmware which enables the Scorpius generation 2 decoder to function directly with ARC Wireless throttle controllers or D132 controllers. This would reduce the cost in making the transition from SSD or D132 to Scorpius market leading technology. This would be analogous to the approach taken by MIH a decade ago when ICP firmware was introduced as an upgrade path - in that case it was for enthusiasts wishing to get more out of their SSD systems.

C
 

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Sure its possible. The only issue is with the Scorpius controller having 3 buttons, 3 knobs and an LCD screen versus just 2 buttons a lot of available functions will not useable. But still a good crossover path.

Rick
 
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