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Everything posted by aussieslotter

  1. NEW NAME FOR MPD....MAXIMUS Hi Guys, MPD.... what is it? Multi Purpose Decoder, perhaps Multi Protocol Decoder. Definitely it is both of these. Scorpius had the worlds first multi protocol chip and also the first to multi purpose a car decoder into other products, ie Locator Pro. So it is definitely multi protocol, multi purpose. Im thinking it needs an identity. Something with a bit more grunt. Seeing this board can perform over 20 roles it deserves something BIG! Maximus MPD or Maximus for short will be the new name. From the Latin: the greatest maximus, maxumus, princeps, summus, ulterior, ultimus So there you have it, Maximus has arrived.
  2. So what colour the PCBs solder mask? I was thinking purple. The pic below is sort of similar to what the Multi Purpose Decoder will look like colourwise. Sexy huh?
  3. Digital opens up so many new possibilities for slot cars, especially wireless digital. The future is only beginning. There is so much to explore and learn. The future looks not only exciting it looks fun. 

    1. ade


      Keep on pushing the Digital Slot car boundaries Rick.. 

  4. Is Scorpius MPD the ultimate specialised slot car Arduino? Hi Guys, The Scorpius MPD is similar to an Arduino in that both have multiple available hardware for multi purpose development. Scorpius list: 2 motor drive circuits 2 photo sensor circuits 4 LED driver circuits 1 Hall Sensor circuit Accelerometer Bluetooth connection RF proprietary connection Microprocessor nRF 52840 CKAA 1MB memory So a handy dedicated development board for the slot car industry. Rick
  5. Hi Guys, Its time to start re-designing the hatch to suit the new smaller decoder. Here's some preliminary drawings
  6. Out of curiosity I wanted to know the limit on radio distance. I can confirm the limit when configured to full power is approximately 675m. However battery life dropped to 2.5 hrs only! .......so this will be reconfigured so we still maintain 100 hours of continuous use. Rick
  7. WIFI I had the question put to me the other day will I be adding WiFi. The answer is no. Simply it would add way too much size (critical) and of course expense to our upcoming products which already employ 2 existing radio protocols. Rick
  8. SAFETY CARS AND PACE CARS Hi Guys, Now simulations are completed (for now) it’s time to start our Autonomous Safety/Pace Car project. Rolling starts ala NASCAR and safety car function will soon be available for Scorpius users. Safety cars will automatically join the track using new anti collision software. The safety car can be called upon and sent back to pits via designated controllers or PC. The order of cars during safety car use will monitored using a register system which will be possible by monitoring Car Data. Cars that illegally overtake during yellow flags will be detected and penalised An exciting project and right now the team is working on hardware, firmware, software and appware simultaneously. Rick
  9. Hi Guys. Team Scorpius. We hear that term from time to time but what is it exactly? Lets look at the roles: Hardware Engineer John Huberts Australia Firmware Engineer John Huberts Australia Software engineer Dave Aufderheide USA App engineer Faruk Xi China Production consultant Brandon Li Taiwan Beta Tester Ryk Weiss USA Beta Tester Dieter Gugels Germany Graphic Artist Amanda Pank UK distributor Ade Judge UK USA distributor Professor Motor Project manager (me) Rick Field Australia Thanks to all above for a great effort over a long period. It’s not often we think about people behind the scenes. It’s been a pleasure. Rick
  10. Hi Mark, The new controller will have Bluetooth added and a new casing and be 100% backward compatible. No other changes.
  11. No plans for different colours. The plan is to make an entire new controller 2022. If you email Professor Motor they can probably make a few for you.
  12. Hi Guys, List of order of release of 27 new Scorpius products to be released over the next 18 months. 1. Scorpius car decoder 2. DPR hatch (Scalextric and Pioneer cars). 3. Scorpius app 4. Scorpius Lane Brain 5. Scorpius WAM 6. Scorpius Lapcounter 7. Scorpius Locator Pro 8. Scorpius Ultra Thin flipper assembly 9. Wireless Gantry (drive up to 4 LED outputs) (Use with Scorpius RMS) 10. Wireless track accessory driver. (Runs off AC or DC tracks) 11. Scalextric Sport Digital car decoder (Native) 12. Scalextric Sport Digital Lane Brain (Native) 13. Scalextric Sport Digital Lap Counter (Using Scorpius RMS) 14. Scalextric Sport Digital Locator Pro (Using Scorpius RMS or SSDC) 15. Scalextric Sport Digital 7042 dongle.(Using Scorpius controller) 16. Carrera Digital car decoder (Native) 17. Carrera Digital Lane Brain (Native) 18. Carrera Digital Lapcounter (Using Scorpius RMS) 19. Carrera Digital Locator Pro (Using Scorpius RMS) 20. Carrera Digital CU dongle (Using Scorpius controller) 21. Analogue light board (Using Scorpius controller and WAM) 22. SCX Advance Car decoder (Using Scorpius controller) 23. SCX Advance Lapcounter (Using Scorpius RMS) 24. SCX Advance Locator Pro (Using Scorpius RMS) 25. Ninco Digital car decoder (Using Scorpius controller) 26. Ninco lapcounter (Using Scorpius RMS) 27. Ninco Locator Pro (Using Scorpius RMS)
  13. So onward and upward with production. Our files have been double checked and lodged for production. So next stage a programming jig (which we can’t test until the new boards show up. A new DPR hatch to suit the smaller chip is also under way. Injection moulded should be a lot more professional than 3D printed, let’s see. In the mean time a Euro based slot car company has agreed to sell Scorpius chipped cars into the world market. Another leading timber track manufacturer has agreed to use Scorpius flipper assemblies, Scorpius MPD lane changer electronics, lap counters and race software. Our first production run is sold out in just 2 weeks. Numbers are impressive however we never disclose numbers. In the meantime a little bit of work can be done on the app, some UI issues and the possibility of duplicating the app for Android. Rick
  14. Question: Can anyone write code? And no I’m not talking about just turning lights on and off? If its so easy why are constant updates being released for bootloaders etc? There’s your proof right there. Answer: If you held a gun to their head maybe. Anyone can achieve anything if they put they’d minds to it ... errr hmmm no sorry that’s a fallacy. So answer in short .....no.0 Firmware and bug testing is much harder than hardware design. That’s why firmware engineers are rare. With labs Ade even a 750x750mm converted shelf in a pantry must be considered a lab even if it did take 4 years. Let’s face it it is white after all.
  15. SCORPIUS RACE SOFTWARE UPGRADE Hi Guys, Team Scorpius is in the final stages of a big upgrade to the Scorpius Race Management Software. After much exhaustive work it was decided the only way to successfully pull off simulations was to add a third dongle. We now have dedicated dongles, if required as follows: 1. Throttle to dongle. 2. Car telemetry to dongle. 3. Dongle to car. (Ghost cars and simulations). This allows each dongle to focus on high volume one way comms. This avoids lag. The 3 columns in the chart below show you what you can do with 1, 2 or 3 dongles. Now the base work is done other simulations like damage (using in car accelerometer telemetry) can be added. It also opens the way to a auto safety car as 75% of the code overlaps. In conjunction with car deslot data gathered a safety car could be pulled out after 1,2,3,4 (configurable) etc cars deslot in “X” amount of seconds. Or certain approved drivers can trigger the safety car from the controller. And just as easily restart the race the same way by recalling the safety car to the pits. A beta version should be online within weeks. * in column 1 means new function. Rick
  16. MPD TELEMETRY UPGRADE Hi Guys, The upcoming Multi Purpose Decoder will get a telemetry upgrade Telemetry will now include: Motor PWM Brake PWM Lane change status Lane number Sector Accelerometer (X,Y,Z axis) Hall sensor Current sensing The addition of accelerometer will give the system important data for rear end collisions, lane change collisions damage assessment on deslots. It will also give data for cunning ghost cars and even assist in putting car into Bluetooth mode. The hall sensor will be for the tacho at least. Some new cutting edge functionality will soon be achieved. Exciting times. Rick
  17. Why a multi protocol powerbase has no market potential. In 2007 we investigated the idea of a multi brand powerbase for digital. the iPhone had just come out and apps were looking good. Team Scorpius eliminated the power base with much more simpler and superior system. How a powerbase works: Simply square wave data either DC or AC can be incorporated into the PWM electrical pulses that power the motor. typically data rates are limited and power limited to what the manufacturer supplies. There is no easy way to add more power, or cars. A digital powerbase requires a specially moulded enclosure, screen, buttons, power output and cost around $150-$250 depending on model and brand. They typically allow for 6 car IDs, and ability to power 6 cars. Third party PC race programs are few or non existent for certain brands with the latest trend to use a phone app. Typically these app programs are very limited and more designed for the children's market. The alternative: In 2006 Scorpius invented a new method. Total separation of power and data. Use high speed WIRELESS data with 100 times more data transfer and a separate, simple, powerful power supply. Without naming companies 2 manufacturers have also "adopted" this technology since Scorpius released our system in 2011. This technology allows multiple data to be transferred from controller to car wirelessly. Functions for brands include (not every brand) motor speed, (of course), brake settings, lane change request, brake button and light operation. The soon to be released (this year, Covid permitting) Scorpius Multi Purpose Decoder) automatically senses different brands. Most of the work is done by the car chip. In 2014 two companies were now using Scorpius based technology, albeit with proprietary differences. The essence of pure DC power on rails and 2.4GHz wireless car control is the same however. In 2017 I predicted other companies would follow suit. In 2019 another Euro based company also started to use what I call "Wireless DC". An app is used to count laps and run races although no PC program has been released to date. Another Euro based company is 3/4 of the way there with wireless controllers as standard and an app to count laps. No PC based race program has been released with this particular system. Production wise a wireless car chip costs only $3 more to produce, if that. A wireless controller costs the same as a wired controller, the extra component costs cancelled out by the fact no lead or plug needs to be supplied and hand soldered. So in a typical box set for a manufacturer will cost around $20-50 to produce a powerbase in quantities. In today’s world the powerbase model is limited in car numbers, power and functionality due to poor data transfer rates. Now write all the firmware for the remaining 2 brands still using powerbases, and a menu/button/screen system that does both systems. Where as if a manufacturer can remove the powerbase they will save $50 plus extra packaging, warranty issues and stock keeping. Add in $6 for 2 wireless car chips and the manufacturer is $44 ahead. It will also be cheaper for the purchaser to buy. A win/win situation. Now add in the complexities of a multi brand powerbase. It will need to be straight DC, Pulsed DC and AC for the different brands. You would also need wireless controllers and a dongle so powerbases can accept wireless throttle commands. It would require 5 lots of hardware to count laps. Two lots controller inputs would be required. A wireless capability would need to be integrated. Data transfer would be limited to the proprietary systems current rates to be compatible. Power stages can be upgraded though. So to summarise a powerbase based system will give you around 1/2 to 1/4 of the possible cars on the track than a wireless system, have less available power, far less data transfer and cost more. They also don't look good in tracks where the owner is into the diorama look. On the other hand we can use a Wireless DC system, have unlimited power, almost unlimited data transfer, have more functionality and actually cost less. So there you have it. Dinosaur expensive technology from a century ago or a modern, powerful, robust wireless system for less. 3 on the market to choose from. On that basis I think we conclude we will never see another powerbase release either by a manufacturer or individual. Rick Edited: Totally rewritten. Some errors, some non descript parts.
  18. Hi Mark In stock now in Australia. Ill update the website. Edit: Webshop updated. Ready to go. Rick
  19. ....if you can find room among the 20m/s test track, the multi protocol powerbsse, the 14 car stand alone system, 100s of unloaded pcb’s, the wifi car decoder, blah, blah, blah. NÉW STANDARD FOR MINIATURISATION HI guys, So the Scorpius team has designed a standard to which micro and nano chips will be judged. A. For decoders that have bridge rectifiers B. For decoders without bridge rectifiers A component count (both sides) shall be divided into the total pcb area of one side. Of course functionality and specialised auxiliary components like accelerometers, car lights and halls sensors can be categorised. Another category can be wireless or wired if required. Currently the record for a fully completed prototype complete with firmware and bootloader is 1.62 by the Team Scorpius who only use robot assembly. Can a real engineer or manufacturer beat 1.62? LOL LOL LOL Rick
  20. Question: How to make a very small decoder. Answer: Leave half the parts off. Hi Guys, The Scorpius Nano Decoder is DC only with 47.00sq.mm with a component count of 29.gives 1 component per 1.62sq.mm. This is for DC only. Obviously being so small, smaller components, smaller vias and smaller tracks make the product more vulnerable to power issues than I say a typical larger chip. Example the MPD chip has 10A mosfet motor drive and 8.8A brake mosfets compared to 3A and 3A respectively on the Nano chip Adding diodes that are suitable for the task and not necessarily the smallest adds a huge 63sq.mm (or 32sq.mm per side) but gives not only AC but DC plus you can put car on track in either direction. Really AC is only for Scalextric as every other manufacturer uses one pure or coded DC. Based on that info a Nano chip with AC/DC functionality would come in at 79.0 sq.mm with 33 components or a ratio of 2.39, a big difference from 1.62. But it can run on AC or DC. The Scorpius F1 chip purposely built as a robust micro decoder is 12x8 and has 33 components. It had the 4 extra diodes required for Scalextric compatibility. The component to size ratio doubles to 2.90 but is more suitable for big motors and competitive events. And it has the bigger 10A motor drive mosfet and the bigger 8.8A brake mosfet. And an accelerometer. So there you have it......does making a chip small for the sake of small have consequences? It sure does. So don’t believe hype, what do you get for your size? One would assume (actually we can know) a decoder with 15 only components wouldn’t be in the same class of a better designed decoder with DOUBLE the component count. Rick
  21. SCORPIUS RADIO TEST Hi Guys, I did another radio test today on our nRF52840 powered Nano Decoder and was able to video it. Equipment used was a Scorpius Nano Chip powered by 8 x 1.5 AAA batteries putting out 12.3V. Alligator clips were use to connect battery pack to the fsr braids. Controller used is the Scorpius Wireless controller Car used NSR Lola with 21.5K motor. Body removed. Another test with body on planned. Test procedure tested outside. See video attached. Distance achieved during this test was over 500m with perfect reception and motor output. See attached video. Distance was estimated in a primitive but satisfactory fashion only counting house frontage lengths of 17.5m as a gauge. Note the system normally leans to minimal RF output determined in the firmware code in the quest for maximum battery life. Scorpius battery life is the industry benchmark. However the output is a house secret. Let’s see what can be achieved distance versus battery life. No no amplifiers are used or required. Scorpius....System with grunt inspiring hobbyists worldwide. In the slot car industry there are no leaders, just one leader.
  22. The new Scorpius app is underway. First up we show how easy it is to upgrade the latest car chips using our new sexy app.
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