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novice jazz player &
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Background:

1/ I have six Fly Ferrari 250 GTOs which I want to modify for digital use. The motor is in a nice place but exactly where I want to drill a 3mm hole for either an SSD LED or a Scorpius-type IR sensor.

2/ And to add to that, Riko got me thinking that drilling holes maybe devalues my lovely classic investments - so drilling a down-stream-of-motor 3mm hole is not a great idea - thanks Riko!

So is there a solution involving adaptation of the guide blade assembly? yes of course i.e. the SureGuide option!

Any other possibilities?

How about an adaptation of the ingenious SCX approach where signalling is achieved through the axis of the guide blade assembly. In their case it is a mechanical push-rod. What if it was a beam of IR light?

Photos below show a modified SCX-A blade where the push-rod has been removed and replaced with an IR-phototransistor. The pre-manufacturer slot in the guide is used to transmit IR light between LED and sensor.

It should work nicely for both SSD-type LED/sensor configurations and Scorpius-type sensor/LED configurations (as shown here).

Some testing required... however I suspect this solution is for classic cars at moderate speed rather than ultrafast F1 cars. So ideal for the lovely GTOs... hopefully...

Trials will be reported here and elsewhere :) meanwhile all are welcome to try this too!

c

Hood Table Wood Tableware Motor vehicle


Product Hood Material property Wood Tableware
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks Nonfractal... I did mean to reference SureChange in my original post - but clearly got the spelling wrong (sorry Mr Modifier) - so thanks for the kind reference which very much helps to correct matters.

This raises another interesting question... has anyone tried SureChange with the Scorpius format i.e. phototransistor in car and LED in track?

c
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perhaps some will say the concept here is identical to that used in the ingenious SureChange guide - and on that point I would whole heartedly agree - so credit/acknowledgment where is is due to the inventor MrModifier.

Where this is going next...?

1/ Can the reverse approach be made to work? i.e. sensor in blade rather than LED in blade?

2/ Can both sensor-in blade and SureChange be combined to enable two-way comms as a car traverses a track beacon?

3/ does the in-blade solution offer any performance benefits over the in-front-of-blade approach used in SureChange?

4/ with either the LED or sensor mounted on the axis of the guide assembly could a nano-sized decoder be mounted directly above the guide assembly using the two lead wires for rigid attachment? This starts to build on another great suggestion from Riko a few days back. If it could be made to work this would be a super neat digitisation solution... pickup and LED/sensor directly connected to the decoder without long flexing flying leads. The only leads required would be from decoder to motor... a super neat digital installation.

c

c
 

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Circuit Owner
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A couple of things - SureChange was an evolution of seeing others superglue an LED onto the front of a guide that had a groove filed on the front - not so much an invention as an evolution to make life easier.

Secondly - I like the idea of the guide assembly as chip BUT there are space/clearance issues with LMPs and the power handling components would bulk it up. With large saloons, trucks etc. then it's a neat idea. You could take a look at Carrera's current guide assembly - a decent sized disk above the guide blade - enough space for chip components. A replaceable guide blade with hole for lighthouse LED would give options for deeper slots on custom routed digital tracks.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Just the idea that an entire chip could be part of the guide arrangement, with the only wires being from the chip sitting on top of the guide, to the motor, blows my mind. Even if it doesn't work in some cars, that's just cool.

As for which is the better arrangement, sensor in track and emitter in car, or vice versa, I don't think it makes much difference. If only from a compatibility point of view, emitter in car would at least work with Scalextric and oXigen track hardware. Offset it to work with Carrera. Scorpius is the only one that I know of with emitter in the track, and he's added emitters on the chip for compatibility reasons. I'm sure there were reasons for that decision, though I don't recall what they were.
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The idea came from our forum's own techno-guru-mod Riko a few days ago ;)

c
 

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Banned
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Just the idea that an entire chip could be part of the guide arrangement, with the only wires being from the chip sitting on top of the guide, to the motor, blows my mind.
@DR-C: based on the chip miniaturisation you have been working on here's a question for you, how small do you think it's possible to make a 'dummy chip' that would sit in the guide as per your description above?

This 'dummy chip' would have one sole purpose in life - to constantly emit the IR 'straight' command for LCs for analogue cars. It would have a tiny battery for power and no wires to connect anywhere so the complete package would be in the guide. The guide package is as easy to change as standard Scalextric guides, either they pop-out or a simple screw. Is this a pipe-dream?
 

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novice jazz player &
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I think there are possibilities... a small PCB with something like a PIC10F220 which is 2mm x 3mm and could drive IR LED via a series resistor. So thats part is easy.

Then, assuming it needs to run at somewhere in the region 2-10mA it will obvious need a reasonable amount of power. Perhaps a small 3.7V lipo or perhaps a 0.1F supercap... but the latter would need a regulator circuit for recharging...

so then it starts to get a bit more complicated.

But definitely do-able :)

c
 

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Greg Gaub
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Supercap would be the way to go. Also, if you're willing to make it a complete unit that screws into the standard Sclextric guide post, then there's a lot of room to work with, since they waste a lot of space on the quick change braid plate stuff. As a result, the actual guide holder is pretty high off the track, so plenty of room for an IC below the post and still have room for braids and a guide blade below the IC. Heck, with your miniaturization skillz, you could probably make an IC with big solder pads for braid to be soldered directly to it, that takes the place of the quick change plate, and even have contacts for the standard braid contacts to touch, and do it all in the space of the braid plate. ;-)
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Let me think... the area around the guide plate will take a lot of knocks... I was thinking of a very small PCB that sits at the top of the stem.

Meanwhile, a while back I programmed up some PICs to instruct digitised challenger cars to stay straight - that worked a treat.

c
 

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ParrotGod
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9,270 Posts
Dr_C please do not forget that for some of us an aerial is essential!

Maybe the antenna could come up through the guide post?

Imagine chipping a car for oxigen being as easy as installing a guide on a car!

And of course, if you want a more challenging spec, how about lights? ;-)
 

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Lots of possibilities, a supercap that could charge it'self via the braids when in use would be cool for an analogue lane straightener.

Imagine being able to chip, for example, any Scalextric car regardless of space inside by just replacing the guide blade, that would be super cool...
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I like the way this is evolving and I have never tried programmig a Microchip microcontroller with a 2mm x 3mm footprint (8pin). Technically this is just enoughnpins for an SSD decoder:

Vdd, Vss, track1, track2, LED, motor, brake and... something else?

However, the best answer to the lane changers saying straight during Analog racing (IMHO) is to power all the flippers by DC and to add in a simple blade detect sensor to trigger a stay straight signal.

Analog cars then required no modification, other than black or blackened guide blades.

But I will buy some 8 pin SMD microcontrollers... they need to be tried :)

c
 

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novice jazz player &
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This has to be tried...

Either an IR LED (SSD-mode) or IR phototransistor (for track beacons) is fitted into the stem of an IR-transmissive white guide blade.

The blade is hollowed out along the axis to reduce IR absorption but the bottom edge of the guide is retained for strength.

The two wires could be attached to the decoder via silicone ultra flexible wires or an 8x5 nano-decoder could be solder attached directly to the two parallel rigid leads.

Just when we thought white guide blades were a nuisance because they are transparent at IR wavelengths ;)

I will try this configuration on my test track in the coming weeks...

c

Automotive wheel system Plastic Cable Auto part Wood
 

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ParrotGod
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This is very interesting DrC. Is the LED fitted through the guide post? If so, how is the guide fixed to the chassis?
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Gio, its a standard NSR guide with a circular ridge to hold it in place. I drilled down the centre line using a 2mm drill. The LED is a lighthouse type with 2mm diameter. For the prototype I will glue it in place. If it works well, I can then address more sophisticated attachment/removal options.

c
 

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Mhh. White plastic is IR transparent... but I "feel" this house housing and blade shaping will interfere, expecialy on high car speed (and ID-6).
Hope I'm wrong.
 

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novice jazz player &
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes maybe... so thats why this is going to be interesting... I am open minded... it might be perfect or it might simply be terrible ;)

c
 
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