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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SO HOW DOES THE ULTIMA SYSTEM (By Scorpius) WORK?

What is ULTIMA? Ultima is when both PEARL and Anti Collision functions on the Scorpius system are used simultaneously.
I have set it up this way because some will use both, some will use just Anti Collision (AC), some will use just PEARL. (Programmable Electronically Activated Race Line).
Everyone has different needs or likes here and we have that added flexibilty.

WHAT IS PEARL EXACTLY?

PEARL is as mentioned programmable and able to be customised to anyones liking.
Some notes on PEARL:

1) The "Race Line" is stored on the car decoder and is 100% a function of the car. The Lane Brain (Lane changer electronics) have no role. They just do what theyre told


2) You can choose to use or not use PEARL.

3) You can have certain drivers use PEARL and other drivers NOT use PEARL.

4) Everyone can have their own unique PEARL. ie race line.

5) Every driver who elects to use PEARL can escape the race line at any lane changer by pushing the LC button.

6) When using in conjunction with anti collision gives exactly the same result as BLST by my good friend David Caille. It is however achieved using a totally different method.
ULTIMA is like BLST, but on steroids.

7) ULTIMA has total flexibility in every conceivable way.

8) Can work on single LCs and XLCs (2 LBS required at XLCs)

9) XLCs are not required and not really recommended, but can be used.

10) Livened flippers are standard equipment. Exit flippers can be active (move) or passive (not move) but can be livened none the less.

11) Can be utilised on hybrid analogue/digital tracks

12) Can be used bi-directionally.

13) Can be used on 2, 3, 4 or more lane tracks.

14) Does your washing up, vaccuums and more




How is Anti Collision configured?

AC is totally a function of the Lane Brain relying off data from the cars. LEDs are placed in the track before the lane changer. The Lane Change LED is placed around 120-200mm (distance is relative to speed) before the flipper. The AC LED is in the adjacent lane (The lane the cars change into) a further 120-200 before the LC LED.
Using the Lane Brain set up page you can configure AC and lots of other adjustable parametrs.

ie, Put the LED a fraction too far from the flipper? Easy, use delay.
Wired solenoid back to front? Easy, tick "Swap Flippers"
Using a pit lane entry, the liven flipper polarity will be set up to change lanes the other way. Need to change liven flipper polarity? Easy, just change polarity.
Want anti collision? Easy just tick the box,. Dont want it just untick.
Exit flipper opens and closes before the car passes through? Just increase the delay time.



How does Anti Collision work?

Its ultra simple. If the AC LED is noticed by a car it deactivates the lane changer for 50 milliseconds. Works every time.

How to set up PEARL?

Go into controller menu and activate "PEARL learn"
Drive around the track on YOUR prefered race line.
Put controller in PEARL "on" mode.
Thats it.
Place car on track, it will now drive your race line without using the LC button.
Want to "eascape" the race line, Just press the LC button. It will change a "LC command" to non cjhange. Likewise if its default is straight you can change lanes by activationg LC button.

Neat trick for pits

Sick of missing your pit bay? Press too early or too late. Hop the car over the pit lane entry by lifting and replacing. Drive car down pit lane and teach you car to pull into your pit bay. Now back to PEARL "On". Now never miss a pit bay entry again


Of course a video is on the cards.
 

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Hi Stuz,
Use the delay already there. It works the same.
I have new software for the set up box ready to post soon.

Rick

PS I have another version which has the solenoid wires off the correct end. Keep it in mind in case it doesn't work with your existing wiring.
 

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Exit only. We will have to add entry delay back in later. John forgot this aspect.
Anyway LBV8.1 folder includes the new set up.

Solenoid wires.... See post 2 in the LBV8.0 thread, see how entry solenoid and exit are wired the long way.
V8.1 released today addresses this.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Stuz,
You only need one LC LED to operate both entry and exit. Of course for ULTIMA you must add the Anti Collision LED about 1.5 cars length before the LC LED in lane 2.

No you cannot run car V8.1 with LBV7.1 firmware sorry. What I would recommend is for now is to just convert one car to Car Decoder firmware V8.1 and say one LB to LB firmware LBV8.1 (coincidence only that both are 8.1) and try it. Just tape over the lane 1 AC LED and Lane 2 LC LED.
If happy Id convert the lot. It really is a simpler, better system.

Springs are cool and save wiring. And mandatory with ULTIMA. Because you need one LED code for LC and the other for AC. We didnt call it ULTIMA for nothing. Its also the ultimate in simplicity of install. Just 2 LEDs, power in, 2 solenoid driver pairs and 2 liven flipper wires does everything for not one but two flippers.

Ive tested LBV8.0 but still to bench test V8.1. Perhaps wait a few days until I get time. I need to test that the solenoid wiring locations are correct.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No. ULTIMA is purely one AC beacon to be used for AC only and one LC beacon to be used to change lanes.
BTW way LBV8.1 has a glitch. Stay with 8.0 or wait for for the glitch to be addressed.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Henk,
Ill get on to a drawing shortly.

And yes, you can just have a fixed pad. In MDF you could route it so the exit flipper is still from the main sheet of MDF, ie. flipper and surrounds are on the asame piece of MDF, and copper tape it. Or route a pocket where a flipper just sits in a pocket to gfet the aluminium look, then wire it to the relay.

Rick
 

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In post #3 of the more Scorpius goodies thread I have been a little skeptical about the presented changes. Although they are not high on my list I can in some way appreciate the functions and gimmicks, and I will probably test them when they are available. Time will tell if I am going to use it in the future.
In that same, mentioned, post I tried to explain which functions are important for me and why they should need more development to work well. In my opinion they are not finished yet and therefore should be finished first before any other functionality should be developed and implemented. I finally found some time and willingness to explain my wishes and how everything should be working; To Ultima or not to Ultima should that be the question?

Track configuration:
My track contains 32 LBs, the maximum number allowed (26 on the racing line, 4 pit bays, 1 start/finish line and 1 pit lane entry) and is designed to be raced with PEARL and anti-collision technology. All entry flippers are connected to solenoids and are held in the racing line position by small springs. This means when you go straight at a LC the solenoid pulls the entry flipper in the straight position. After the lane change the spring returns the flipper in the racing line position. All my exit flippers dont use solenoids and are held in the racing line positon by the same small springs as the entry flippers. With this configuration I am able to race 1 analogue car which follows the racing line. Another benefit of this configuration is that a car keeps following the racing line when it misses a LC led.
The picture below shows a curve with two SLSs (#24 en #25) with a typical racing line from left to right. Both entry flippers are livened by the LB and polarity changes when a car activates a lane change. The exit flippers are livened by the entry flipper of the previous LB. The exit flipper of SLS 24 is positively powered in this case. The LC and AC leds are for SLS 25 and as you can see there are 3 LC and 3 AC leds. The two LC leds in lane 1 at the exit flipper of SLS 24 are close to each other and are situated at a 12mm offset position for lane 1 and the racing line. Moving the LC led further to the right so lane 1 and the racing line could use 1 LC led for SLC25 resulted in a to close distance to the tip of the entry flipper. And moving them further to the left made the distance to large and would not solve the necessity of 2 leds.
540.jpg

I choose to place LC leds on every lane simply because it was possible and I wanted it to be possible to change lanes in whatever lane I approach a lane changer. Approaching SLC25 in Lane 1 and be able to change lanes and stay in Lane 1 needs the exit flipper of SLC24 to be in the correct polarity. The solution to activate live exit flippers provided before Ultima needs external relays and giving up AC cause the AC leds are used to activate the relays. That was not a solution for me and therefore I connected the exit flipper with the entry flipper of the previous LB in the same lane. Like mentioned before the exit flipper is livened with a constant power which makes it only possible to use SLS25 when you approach it on the racing line. When you approach it in lane 1 the car will be shortened at the exit flipper and a lane change will not be possible. When the exit flipper is not livened a lane change will also not be possible cause the car decoder needs power to operate. An example to illustrate this; at a bridge transition at my track, for example, there is a part where the power supply is not at its best. When there is no power at this part, a few centimeters before a LC Led, a car does not follow the race line (PEARL) due to this lack of power. My conclusion is that it takes the car decoder a few milliseconds to power up and search its LC register before it performs like it should be. With 26 LBs on the track, and some at very close distance from one another, any power interruption can and will result in glitches.

Ultima:
With Ultima LB version 8.0 was introduced or vice versa. With LB version 8.0 AC and PEARL should be working for the first time together and it is also a total solution to have fully functioning exit flippers for single lane changers. It really sounds like Ultima or heaven for me to finally configurate and operate my track like it was meant to be. I got really excited, but before I rewired all of the 26 racing line LBs I choose to run a test on two LBs.
The first LB I rewired (LB#1) gave me a few things to think about. The wiring diagram shows only one pair of wires to the solenoid cause with Ultima the flippers are sprung and considered to flip back in the straight position. In my case the flippers are kept in the change position for two reasons. 1 is for analogue racing on the racing line and 2 is for that occasion that a car misses an LC led, the car still keeps the racing line. I decided to install both solenoid wire pairs so I could simply tik the swap solenoids box in case I wired it the wrong way around. After rewiring I installed it under the track again and after rebooting two cars with the accompanied car decoder 8.1 version I made some test runs.
Lane changing worked like it should be. Liven entry flipper worked like it was supposed to. Liven exit flipper worked not exactly how it should be. The default setting for the flipper is in the straight position which is negative in this case. When a car changes lanes the polarity is changed according to positive and after a short time it will be changed in the default setting. The time it will be livened in the change polarity can be altered in the set up program. I noticed that the polarity is changed correctly when a car makes a lane change at the LC but it does not change back to its default polarity. When AC is active it works correctly and when AC takes in the LC changes in a straight position. A car entering the lane with the AC beacon without activating AC because there is no other car involved finds an entry exit flipper with the wrong polarity because it did not change back to its default configuration.

Conclusion:
Ultima does not work because of this polarity issue and, most important, only one LC beacon can be installed per LB instead of the initial configuration of more LC beacons per LB. With this initial configuration in mind I designed en built my track. Ultima changes this configuration drastically and therefore is not a solution to let PEARL and AC work together but just a workaround because some could not get the job done under the initial rules.
For the time being Not to Ultima is the answer to the question
Regards Marc
Hi Marc,

Firstly thankyou for taking the time to write a detailed description.
I can see you have decided to customise Ultima. I wasnt aware of this. I do not recommend your modification because you simply I think you do not need it.

On a seperate issue you say you have customised it case an LED is missed. If the LED is placed beside the guide a miss is not possible. Not sure if you were aware if this. Multiple track LEDs instead is the preferred option but seldom if ever required since that method was introduced.

I must say however I do think your conclusion is incorrect. For a few reasons. This is the first design of Ultima.
It IS designed that use one LC LED because the LB only had two LED output codes. One code is LC. There are two of these one for each lane on an XLC using standard KB firmware. The other code is the AC code. There are two of these LEDs on fly leads also. There is one LC and one AC at each end of the LB. Thats because originally it was based on XLC rather than SLC with exit flipper. Again I agree your best lane scenario where zones overlap is different.

Your comment about just a workaround is a bit harsh. Its sinpjy the ultimate easy to install solution. We dont do work arounds. Hence the name. Why would I install 4 or 5 LEDs to get the job done when I can use 2? The only other solution was to redesign the LB which would make all existing LBs redundant. The previous idea here 6 LED codes. Way too complex and confusing to install. Costly fur me and a more expensive LB. So I had a think.

Ultima allows every driver to customise their own race line. Or ignore it. It does everything. And yes it didnt hit me till 2016 how to achieve this with the LB using the existing hardware.

Ultima firmware upgrade achieves every function without making all your LBs redundant. Its simply the clever solution. it works take just a few minutes to move the LEDs assuming you havent shortened the wires.

And yes I use relays to polarise my flippers, hence the slow uptake on the glitch fix. I dont need it. My apologies however on the glitch fix time. Theres a new engineer and he has to learn how everything works. It takes time. It will be addressed and I will look at fast tracking it

I understand your point if a flipper has the wrong polarity an LED for another lane changer is not possible. This is not a common scenario in the type of tracks ive designed but I can see it is for you.

Also note the second AC beacon is for more than 2 lane AC. I see you have 5 LEDs installed. I use just 2. All those extra LEDs are going to confuse the system.

I vaguely remember a PM from you but if I did not answer a follow up PM would have worked. I do have a lot on. From memory you did not mention your custom install regarding the default position of flippers open.

Your idea might work if you follow my install guide lines.

Your LED placement is unconventional in several ways. I cannot see how it can work. You say you came close, maybe it can. Also if you require polarity on the exit flipper it must be centralised, not closed or open.

Also I hate gimmicks. And none have been proposed or will be included in any Scorpius release. Please use the system as intended.

The picture below is how Ultima is designed and tested. If you install it any other way it will not work. One LB can operate one entry and one exit flipper. You will only use one LC LED and one AC. The LEDs relate to the entry and exit flippers as I have marked. Do not confuse.

View media item 131970
From Shift in the LBV8.0 thread
QUOTE LB8.1 exit flipper (passive on my track) dose not change back to the default polarity after a car changes lanes. it dose however change back if the next car dose not change lanes. everything still seems to work. UNQUOTE

Marc on the next upgrade I will ensure you get to see and test it before release.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi Everyone,

Íve just spoken to John and he will fix any bug on the exit flipper polarity and add a configuration box for the exit flipper, ie gate time, delay, polarity swap etc. Might be a week or so.

Rick
 
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Shift I will also send you the beta version to test.
Please PM me your email.
Wiggie if you could also PM me your email.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi
long story short, what will I gain from running lb V6 and flashing to Ultima
question.gif
entry flippers only on my track and ac is still to be fitted, pearl still to be tried.

As John is about dare I say it............adjustable timeout
mellow.png
LB6 is not compatible. You could use Ultima on single flippers.
What do you get? Anti collision and a programmable race line. The difference is
a) each driver has a choice to use it or not
b) each driver can have their own unique race line
c) each driver can vary the race live as they go around.

Thats why its called Ultima😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hi
long story short, what will I gain from running lb V6 and flashing to Ultima
question.gif
entry flippers only on my track and ac is still to be fitted, pearl still to be tried.

As John is about dare I say it............adjustable timeout
mellow.png
LB6 is not compatible. You could use Ultima on single flippers.
What do you get? Anti collision and a programmable race line. The difference is
a) each driver has a choice to use it or not
b) each driver can have their own unique race line
c) each driver can vary the race live as they go around.

Thats why its called Ultima😊
 

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Hi Marc,

Sometimes also I may miss to reply to someone. If this has happened I apologise but I think most people who know me know I never ignore anyone.

All my diagrams include the LC and AC beacons before the entry flipper. Yours does not. Your diagram looks nothing like any diagram I have ever released.

I do not understand your method. Frankly I'm confused. And you say you haven't customised it but then say you have because it "doesn't work". Again I'm confused. Either way I'm sure I wouldn't have agreed to any custom ideas because I cannot personally see how it can work. Yes you are an early adaptor and invested well agreed, youir business is appreciated and I LOVE your track. but that has no bearing on this issue. I'm sorry you don't want KERS etc but some do.

Lets look at my point of view. Commonsense told me to develop and test both functions separately. Why? Because its logical, and because I wanted the user to be able to chose either or both functions. In the meantime I'm developing the RMS and lots of other changes. It doesn't happen overnight. Its hard for any project manager to know future issues or problems sometimes until you arrive there. No one has done this before, no one to copy, nothing to google.

So one day I ask John to look at the possibility of combining AC and PEARL. After some firmware versions it becomes obvious it cannot work and I need an extra LED code. John informs me to do that I need a bigger microprocessor, an additional LED driver and a total rebuild. Second issue all 32 of your LBs become REDUNDANT. Is that something you want, or anyone?

Lets look at Carrera, dumped their system around 2009? and made everyones system redundant (Pro-X).......unless you lived in Germany where they gave free upgrades. Ninco disappear. SCX I hear the same. Scalextrics first powerbase 5 firmware versions, second powerbase C7042 had glitches. Firmware upgrade needed. I think theyre up to version "I" with their car chip. The list goes on.

Lets look at Scorpius. Released July 1st 2011, 6 and 1/2 years ago. No hardware changes (We only added SSD and Ninco compatibility back in around 2013, doesnt affect anyone).

Every piece of hardware was so futureproof and well designed every investment made by any Scorpius user is still holds its value. Rare? You betya.

So back to the dilemma. How to combine AC and PEARL together using what we have. Was I a dead end? Either make a NEW LB or announce that AC and PEARL cannot be combined. How would you have felt? Either choice would not be acceptable.

One day it suddenly occurred to me how to achieve this. It took me years almost before it dawned on me.

The exit flipper firmware is being fixed. But now you need to change the LEDs to spec and its going to be time consuming. You want me to make new LB for your track only? I also explained that the LB only has 2 LED drivers, even though it has 4 LEDS. I explained that an extra LED was not possible without a total remanufacture and then redundancy. Maybe you missed those posts.

John has been overseas on some big contracts and simply was not available. He is now however.

Ultima does not work only in your rare situation. From what I understand it is because you are placing the LC beacon for the next LC beside the flipper. It works for me and as documented for Shift also. If a car passes a flipper of wrong polarity it simply restarts a few seconds later. The Lane Brain liven flipper driver simply cuts out and is reset the next time a car passes. The cars motor is stopped only in the milliseconds and momentum simply carries it through. Does this make sense?

If so you cannot say it does not work. By the time the car has reached the exit flipper AC and PEARL have both been successfully carried out. Of course if you place the LED beside the exit flipper (I never knew you were doing this and none of my diagrams were designed for such, sorry.

So here I offer a simple solution. just 2 LEDs, not 6. You would have simply needed to push the other 4 LEDs through the table, because lets face it the AC and LC LED placement (The LC LED before the flipper, and the AC LED adjacent the LC LED) has always been identical. Your diagram is not like this.

Can I make an extra LC LED as you request? Sorry I cant, if I could I would. If I could it would be spaghetti, too many wires, LEDs and install. You see I think you think its purely a firmware upgrade needed, but its a hardware rebuild you are asking for, wether you realise or not. Again I did announce this over 18 months ago about the amount of LED drivers etc.. So I'm not sure why you're requesting something I'' already stated cant be done. Your only issue now is you do not wish to move the LEDs. I can understand this. But that is the only solution. You must wire it exactly as Ultima is designed or I simply and sadly not help you.

Rick
 

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Hi Marc,

If you want a duplication of any LED you can certainly copy by using parallel OR series wiring. If that would make your idea work (once the exit flipper polarity is addressed you can certainly do that. If it doesn't work still I'm not surprised as the Ultima firmware clearly has a massively different set up to what you have used.

The situation as I see it and why you are threatening to sell your equipment if I can not customise a solution for you and mentioning "gimmicks" etc is the fact you need to do modify your existing nice install. (Please realise calling my system and any proposed ideas gimmicky is a concern to me and the team who spend months and years devoting their time to the project.)

You are aware a bug fix is coming but you still aren't happy. This is a concern to me because I strive to make my customers happy. I'm the sort of person I do not react to emotion while trying to fix a problem. Instead my focus is directly on fixing the problem. The main issue now is simply you do not wish to reconfigure the LEDs. Its not a huge job as explained.

Marc I have explained all you need to do is simply leave the other 3 or 4 LEDs in but push below the table so the car cannot detect. No soldering or rewiring should be necessary. Above however you debate this. You say you have the LC and AC beacons before the flipper. If this is true then leave them there and remove the others. I have already started the glitch will be fixed. If you want to sell your system we will be sad to see you go but Ive done my best. I have even offered to get you the first fix version. Not sure what else I can do. I look forward to the bug fix and you completing and showcasing your amazing (best perhaps?) track.

Rick
 

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I seriously confused 24 and 25 my fault, regardless it cannot work. And the LED set up is still based on old days prior to Ultimas actual release and diagrams released the same week.
Dieter your post is correct thanks. To answer your questions you just need the 2 LEDs

Lets get the new version out there and move forward

Wiggle you could have also moved the LED back 50 mm, near live braid. You could have used the delay configuration to compensate. You still could. Just an afterthought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Hi Guys
Just an update. My apologies to all especially Marc, on the glitch fix. Being the holiday silly season John has been unavailable.

Rick
 
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
The engineer is looking at it now.
 

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Simply guys i cant find any engineer who can get their head around the entire system. 3 so far got to 2nd base then had to quit as they simply didnt understand it. Even culture is a factor. Your typical indian or chinese engineer is not even familiar with slots.
Simple on the outside Scorpius is extremely deep and complex. Its hard to find any product with as much electrickery. This is not product but 5 working together to make one system.This makes it hard for engineers to hop on board quickly or at all.

John ( main engineer) is commuting from Brisbane to Melbourne each week (2000 km round trip) on contract and comes home exhausted.
Ive just hired an app guy for another project who happens to do firmware. So hopefully he can do it. If nit ill have to wait for John.Ive found firmware engineers the hardest to source.
In the meantime i suggest use a relay for livening the exit flipper.

Rick
 
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