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Scalextric Incar Firmware

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I've been in some discussions about whether the 'ferrite men' are required, and if so, where they should be placed. There are a number of correspondents who argue they're not necessary, and they've removed them and it all runs just fine.

 

To which I say, you may well be right. I see it a little like running your motorcar engine without an air or fuel filter - it'll go just fine, but almost all engines do have them. Question is, would you still run your car without one, considering its not needed to get the engine to run...?

 

So lets look at what the ferrite man actually does... the wee bloke is constructed of a ferrite bead and a capacitor - fairly standard items. The ferrite bead exists to remove high frequency signals off the wires - it does so by presenting a number of ohms impedence to those higher frequencies while allowing the low frequency stuff through without restriction. The power to the motor is low frequency (DC actually). The capacitor does a similar thing, but in a slightly different way. The capacitor works by 'filling in the holes and spikes' in the signal, thereby taking away undesirable content. (Interestingly, you'll actually find a similar concept within the speakers on your stereo to get rid of the high frequency sound going down to your woofers.)

 

In effect, the ferrite man provides a means of getting rid of all the nasties which come off the electrics as your car charges around the track. As a test, if you have a F1 racer, turn off the lights at night and watch the car as it runs around the track in darkness. You'll likely see small braid sparks, especially around LCs and cross-overs as the braids run over the 'disconnection points'. Thing is, it gets worse as the braids wear and become a bit more frayed. Take the lid off your car and watch the motor - those same sparks exist in the can, and also get worse as the motors wear.

 

By putting the ferrite man at the braids end, you provide a better quality of digital signal into the chip and better power onwards to the motor. Leaving it out because it consumes power is incorrect, as the ferrite doesn't take power at DC levels. Putting a ferrite man at the motor end prevents 'back EMF' and brush noise from the motor going back into the chip electronics, and either stressing the parts or confusing the CPU.

 

I'd suggest that, like your motorcar, in a perfect environment you don't need those filters. Perfect air or fuel; perfect track or motor. But the real world is not perfect, and if what you desire is the best possible outcome, then filters are par for the course.

 

I recommend putting the ferrite men on both sides of the chip. If you have only one, then put it at the braids end, with the legs going towards the pickup. If the motor has nothing installed across it, then spend a few cents and get a suitable capacitor and install it onto the motor tag point. 100nF or slightly bigger is quite adequate.

 

So, don't remove your filters just because someone says you can. They are right, but also wrong.

 

Ian

Edited by MIH

Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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Hi there

 

Just wanted to check if there is likely to be any new version InCarPro in the pipeline for the next couple of the months? Not pushing, as the current version works fine, but just wondering whether I should hold fire for the moment before upgrading the rest of my chips to v3.3, being an incompetent solderer.

 

Cheers

Chris

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Definite maybe... :)

 

I'm wanting to 'put back' the analog mode, but have it configurable like they do in the Rail Game. But I do want to get the PB4 stuff into a stable state first.

 

I have had some early discussions with others who want to add some improvements, which, if they come through in time I'd like to roll into the next public release.

 

Ian


Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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:) Thanks. I'll hold off for the moment then as most of my chips are the latest version DPR chips which seem pretty reliable and they don't (I think) have the "easy" brake lights option like the saloon car chip.

Looking forward to the PB4 mod as well.

 

Cheers,

Chris

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Just to let you know that the Incar-Pro enabled wireless modules from Andy Wallace (Throttle-Pro) have started shipping to rave reviews. The "with knobs on" version has a control knob that directly adjusts brakes and a switch that turns lights on and off directly in the Incar-Pro chip. SSDC and the C7042 firmware have both been updated to support the functionality.

 

Big up for MIH

Edited by RikoRocket

gallery_4291_493_4007.jpg

.............................PM me for C7042 Aux to PC cables............or Pit-Pro...

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IMPORTANT UPDATE

 

After a great deal of testing, we have now discovered that some of the investigations and assumptions on what happens with the SSD track data were imcomplete. Therefore, one of the commands used with the standard process can reset the InCar-Pro chip during operation (v3.3 and earlier).

 

There will be some changes to the InCar-Pro code, to properly reflect how Scalextric drive their chips and make backwards compatibility even better.

 

This will take a few weeks to come to fruition, and version 4 will be released as soon as possible to limited testers, then public release.

 

Ian


Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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one of the commands used with the standard process can reset the InCar-Pro chip during operation (v3.3 and earlier).

 

Ian,

 

This is not right, the InCarPro chips work fine with the standard system and no commands from the C7042 powerbase are resetting the inCarPro chips.

 

The issue is that with Aux packets on the rails to enable the great new features these additional packets can confuse standard chips causing them to momentarily switch off their LEDS.

 

Your software works perfectly and is a huge step up, not only enabling cool features but also giving a better feel to driving and overcoming ID loss and runaways.

 

Andy Wallace has addressed this by putting in a simple switch to SSDC, when you have all MIH chips then you turn on InCarPro, if not then you dont and they all run normally, and without any missed laps for the standard chips.

 

Thanks again for your brilliant software upgrade, your code is perfect, what was lacking was our understanding of conventional chips and we will address that.

 

Cheers

Riko


gallery_4291_493_4007.jpg

.............................PM me for C7042 Aux to PC cables............or Pit-Pro...

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Quite right... In my haste to bring the community up to speed I misworded what i wanted to say. Apologies.

 

It should be clearly stated that the issue which has been discovered occurs only when:

  • The InCar-Pro AUX packet extension is enabled in SSDC/APB6

AND

  • the track runs standard Scalextric chips.

In this case, the standard chips do not function appropriately. (Their ID Led will not work properly, briefly, when the AUX packet is sent)

 

Using extended facilities with unenhanced chips is an unusual (and arguably pointless) combination - however its fair to say that there is a correction which we believe will remove any contention.

 

Using InCar-Pro chips with extended APB facilities does not raise any issues.

Using InCar-Pro chips with standard APB facilities does not raise any issues.

Using Standard chips with standard APB facilities does not raise any issues.

but

Using Standard chips with enhanced APB facilities causes issues.

 

Ian

 

(edited: to detail the exact combinations which work together)

Edited by MIH

Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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Please forgive me for a dumb question, but just how do you turn the car lights on and off via the upgraded pb? Do you have an extra button on the controller or is it on the pb?

Can a standard pb6 be flashed to operate cars with incar pro?

"Just trying to get my head around it"

 

Drifter


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Control of additiona features is either in SSDC in options windows/cars windows etc or if you have enhanced wireless throttles then they are controlled by buttons and knobs on the bluetooth units or on Scorpius controls (Rick please confirm?)

 

An old C7030 cannot be flashed to operate the new features, but any C7042 can be flashed to do so. A C7030 converted to PB-Pro could theoretically be upgraded, but that would be a lot of work and I'm not sure that the PB-Pro team would entertain such a large change (the memory in the PIC was full with all the added features)


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.............................PM me for C7042 Aux to PC cables............or Pit-Pro...

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Riko, lights still to be configured, just putting the question to Andy of SF, ICP thread.


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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After a small amount of discussion with Scalextric and Slot-It, I can now announce that the Slot-It chips are now included in the License to Use of the InCar-Pro firmware upgrade.

 

To make it absolutely clear to all: I HAVE NOT tested the code on a Slot-It chip, and I CANNOT undertake at this time that it will work. However, I am led to believe that it should as the original code on the Slot-It chip is the same as that placed on the Scalextric chip. Therefore the assumption is that it should be ok. BUT I have not tried it, and I don't have a chip to try it with, so I cannot confirm.

 

For those who are brave and want to give it a go, try it on Slot-It and tell us how it performs. I wish you well.

 

Ian


Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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Hi there

 

Just wanted to check if there is likely to be any new version InCarPro in the pipeline for the next couple of the months? Not pushing, as the current version works fine, but just wondering whether I should hold fire for the moment before upgrading the rest of my chips to v3.3, being an incompetent solderer.

 

Cheers

Chris

Definite maybe... :)

 

I'm wanting to 'put back' the analog mode, but have it configurable like they do in the Rail Game. But I do want to get the PB4 stuff into a stable state first.

 

I have had some early discussions with others who want to add some improvements, which, if they come through in time I'd like to roll into the next public release.

 

Ian

 

Is this still on the "maybe" list Ian?

 

Chris

Edited by chris99

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Definite maybe.

 

But the success of v3.3 for the vast majority of users means that whatever goes in has to be pretty jolly good.

 

Ian


Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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Any news on the PB4 front?

I have an old (non vented) and a newer (vented) PB4 here that I would love to have upgraded...

 

I'm not pushing, but just curious...

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I started getting too clever on the PB4 and moved scope on the ideas too far (trying to get it talking to the outside world too). I'm paring back, but its not reliable enough as yet.

 

Ian


Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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Cool... At least it's not a forgotten project... THanks for the update...

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re InCar Pro, With the brake lights, do they only come on under braking , or always lit? Just curious

 

What is 'SP?' on the circuit diag near the ID IR diode?

 

Drifter


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Only when you brake :)

SP is special, and it is controllable with the system. In fact Ian enabled another spare output so that in principle you could have a police car with separately switchable lights, flashing blue lights and siren, all independent.


gallery_4291_493_4007.jpg

.............................PM me for C7042 Aux to PC cables............or Pit-Pro...

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re InCar Pro, With the brake lights, do they only come on under braking , or always lit? Just curious

 

What is 'SP?' on the circuit diag near the ID IR diode?

 

Drifter

 

Depends!!!

 

The tail light work the same as those on your motorcar...

 

When the headlights are off, only the brakelights come on (brightly)

When the headlights are ON, the taillights are running (dimly) and under braking they come on brightly.

 

Turning on/off the headlights is a co-operative feature of InCar Pro, and the APB6-Pro coupled with SSDC. Its commanded from a function-key somewhere.

 

Ian

Edited by MIH

Linux: A '90s reincarnation of a '80s Operating System based on a '70s design philosophy

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

InCar-PRO: Chip Main Page

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If you put a car with incar pro on an analog track with say 12v on the rails, what happens?

The car stays still, the car sends out its id via led . Is this correct?


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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