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Alan Paterson
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835 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Maurizio,

I've had some chats with some friends in Amsterdam about the oxigen system and club environments, and I wanted enquire from you if you have planse for a N-Digital Replacement "Box", which can pass through DECENT Volts and Amps to the track Rails without having to do a Major Power Upgrade\Modification?

I moved across from Pro X to N-Digital but have a similar problem in that, I cannot get enough Amps to the Rails without having to build a "simple H" or other cntraption to get power to the rails properly.. Willyou make a Black box which can pass through the supplied current to the rails on the track without any regulators or limiting factors? I don't have the technical ability to build these after-market electronic gadgets, So what can Oxigen offer from a controller Box point of view?

Also, can I use the N_Digital Controlers, or my own controllers with a bush-button, or would I have to use the Slot.It Controllers? Or is your system only wireless?

Thanks for the input and your support Maurizio.

regards

Al
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,796 Posts
I'm not Maurizio, and as such am apt to have something mistaken, but I'm pretty confident in the following reply, which Maurizio can correct or verify when he finds the time...

Al, with oXigen, there IS NO "controller box" any more. Each car is directly controlled, wirelessly, from it's controller. The link is literally directly from the controller to the car, using wifi. It's kind of like RC, except using wifi, and rather than a big car with a big battery, it's a little car with powered rails.

You want to power a track for use with oXigen? All you need is the power supply itself (Pyramid PS26KX type thing), and wires. Solder the wires to the track. Now you're done. When the track is powered, so are the cars. The cars don't move until the controller tells it to. The chip inside receives the command to go, and then converts some of that rail power to the motor and the car goes.

Lap counting and lane changing are also completely independent. For lap counting, you just pop a few magnets under the track in the appropriate places, and the oXigen cars will detect that and send the information to the computer. For lane changing, the lane change track gets power from the rails, and when it sees a car that wants to change lanes, it moves the flipper. No black box required.

Another way to describe it is that rather than having a single box that does it all, you now have a few littler boxes that do specific things. One in the controller, one in the car (chip), one in each lane changer, and one in the computer (dongle). All the advanced functions like lap counting, fuel and refueling, etc, are handled by whatever oXigen compatible Race Management software you want to use on the track computer. I believe Slot.it is making their own, and PCLapCounter will also be compatible.

You will not be able to use any N-Digital components. No chips, controllers, box, or anything. Cars will need oXigen chips. Controllers will need to be Slot.it SCP1 controllers with oXigen cartridges. Lane changers will need to be augmented with the oXigen lane change adapter electronics. The system is ONLY wireless.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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1,603 Posts
My understanding: you can run a mixed mode environment, with Oxigen and N-Digital cars on the track at the same time.

The Ninco LCs need the Oxigen add-in board, and you have to use the N-Digital console to deliver power to the track. (So it doesn't really help with the OPs power issues.)

You can then race N-Digital cars and Oxigen cars on the same track at the same time. Each Oxigen car will still need a slot.it controller and wireless cartridge. You have to add trackside magnets for lap counting the Oxigen cars and a suitable RMS- e.g., PCLapcounter- to track both Oxigen and N-Digital cars.
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,796 Posts
Is that true for N-Digital? I knew it was for SSD. Maybe it's also true for Carrera, then? That would be excellent. Maurizio, can you clear that up for us?

If one were to install the oXigen lane changer add-on boards, and the smart add-on in the car for the power rectification, can O2 and Ninco/Carrera cars race together, as they could with SSD?
 

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Bruce Yingling
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1,603 Posts
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 4 Oct 2011, 11:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is that true for N-Digital? I knew it was for SSD. Maybe it's also true for Carrera, then? That would be excellent. Maurizio, can you clear that up for us?

If one were to install the oXigen lane changer add-on boards, and the smart add-on in the car for the power rectification, can O2 and Ninco/Carrera cars race together, as they could with SSD?

Fairly certain that's the case. On SSD, you can use the native lane changers, for Ninco and Carrera tracks you need the add-in boards. The oXigen cars wouldn't be fuel managed by the (various) digital bases, so that would have to be handed off to software. Somewhere in one of Maurizio's posts he describes this setup and calls it 'as close to the digital holy grail as we can get' or something to that effect.

You don't need the rectifier for Ninco and Carrera. They send DC to the rails, which is what the oXigen chip wants.

I keep thinking I must have misunderstood his post, because I would think this feature would be one of the biggest pieces of digital slot news (particularly among the entrenched no compatability complaining analog crowd) since, well, since ever.

But when I asked him about whether slot.it would be publishing the protocol to allow third parties to adapt software on Carrera and Ninco systems to count oXigen and native cars, I got a favorable response. So I think my understanding must be true.
 

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Vendor
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2,926 Posts
You are both (Mr.Flippant, and b.yingling) right.
Thanks for putting it down in English more clearly than I ever could.

There is only one point to clarify:
by design, to maximize performance when used as part of a oXigen system, the current in-car chip comes with one diode only - in other words, you can put it on Ninco-D and Carrera-D and drive it, but for SSD a small add-on rectifier bridge is necessary. This may change in the future (one chip with different options) but for the time being, it is like this.
On the other hand, if so desired, O2 cars can directly trigger SSD's lane changers, as Hornby kindly granted us the rights to their related patent, and be detected as cars 1-6 like ordinary SSD cars by Hornby's PB.

What Bruce says about mixed mode for Ninco and Carrera is also correct provided that each LC is driven by both the standard electronics and oXigen's. Then, a 'glue' sw may enable mixed races.
Note that we have only done limited testing on this aspect of the system and there still maybe problems to overcome. For example, the current recommended IR position for the Ninco LC in our LC driver is such that the Ninco's dead strip has to be powered rather than left dead - which prevents it from working with the original Ninco's LC. There is a workaround (move sensor) but as you can see more testing is necessary.

A box-stock LC for SSD which remains compatible with SSD, but adds selective lane changing when used for O2 cars is in the works. I hope to bring a working sample in Chicago but it's not likely as time is limited and a few of us are going to China in the meanwhile to push manufacturing of in-car ICs, which does not leave too much time for development these days.

Next shows:

This coming Saturday, Rome, Slot Club Carli 19 - 2nd race of the Italian Slot.it Digital championship (Ninco track)
Oct 20th-23 - Hobby Show, Chicago (SSD)

Regards
Maurizio
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,796 Posts
Ah! Ok, I get it now. I had forgotten that O2 cars will run on Ninco-D and Carrera-D tracks. I think I got mixed up because they can't count the O2 car laps, and there would need to be a software "combiner" for both types of digital to have an actual race with both at once. Also, it's good to be reminded that the O2 upgraded Ninco-D LC won't work for Ninco-D any more, unless the sensor is moved to an appropriate place so that the Ninco-D dead-strip method can still work.

While this might not be the perfect solution, and the digital-haters will likely point out the problems rather than admit the solutions, it's still a lot better than it was earlier when only SSD would work, or require all new hardware like other systems.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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1,603 Posts
I think it's fantastic, myself.

There are some digital racers in my analog club, but most of them are SSD users (one other D132, and one SCXD). I already have a slot.it controller, so I'd need the add-in boards for my lane changers, an oXigen cartridge for my controller, and some oXigen chips. Not inexpensive, but it would let me run a car on my track (I think I know someone who can deliver Carrera and oXigen aware software for D132 tracks
) and still take part in SSD races at other member's tracks. Likewise, if they want to oXigen chip a car or two, they can bring them to my place when I have a D132 race event while still being able to run them at home. At present, it will require removing/replacing the rectifier.

It's a huge step forward for interoperability of digital slot systems.
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,796 Posts
I agree. Those digital haters won't be happy until the chips are free, so that's never. Never mind Carrera Digital cars are cheaper than most analog cars.
Anyway, I agree that it's great. The part that I like best is that the O2 chip is so small and easy to install in pretty much any plastic lane changer (sans SCXD, that is), and since lap counting is just a magnet, converting a digital system to O2 will be a snap! Better still, the can all be dual use systems just like SSD will be.
 
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