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ZeGas

New To Digital - Need Help

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Hi all,

 

I am new to digital and have just got a Scalextric 4 car powerbase.

Knowing that the odds are I will stuff it up or blow something up in the process, thought it best to ask a few questions along the way.

 

First off I haven't got a power supply for it and not being electrically minded need some advice.

The standard power supply is going to set me back around $77 +pp.

 

I do have a 15v power supply that is 5amps. The recommended is 15v 4amp.

It fits in the unit and the green light shows.

I haven't run a car yet as I haven't got one but before I do...

Will the extra amp make a difference.

Will it damage the unit.

Also I read that the original supply is 60W dunno what this one is, do the watts matter.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by ZeGas

Cheers Grant

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Should be fine, my 4 car base goes into fault mode (green light flashes) very easily, preventing it from damage. I haven't managed to break mine yet and I do some very interesting experiments with mine :-).

I'd use your $77 +postage to buy car/s

 

re original is 60watts ............watts=amps x volts so your 15v 5amp is 15x5=75watts

 

Drifter


www.sydneyslotcars.com

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The PB4 is pretty good in looking after itself. You'll be fine with that PSU. Just note that some PSUs start to 'sag' under heavy load - ie, the volts start to drop when the current gets high. This will present to you as surges in other cars when one car comes off the track. But overall, Drifter is spot on - use you money elsewhere...

 

Ian


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

Website: www.electricimages.co.nz

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Thanks guys that's great news.

 

So amps mean diddly squat then.

It is more important that the voltage is correct is that right?

I have read various things on the net.

 

One saying that too many amps will burn the electrical unit out.

 

Another saying it will not have any affect as the electrical unit will only use the amps it needs.

Some analogy about having a lake full of water and putting a bucket in.

That the bucket will only collect all the water it can handle not the whole lake.

 

Confusing stuff.

Edited by ZeGas

Cheers Grant

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Thanks guys that's great news.

 

So amps mean diddly squat then.

It is more important that the voltage is correct is that right?

I have read various things on the net.

 

1) One saying that too many amps will burn the electrical unit out.

 

2) Another saying it will not have any affect as the electrical unit will only use the amps it needs.

Some analogy about having a lake full of water and putting a bucket in.

That the bucket will only collect all the water it can handle not the whole lake.

 

Confusing stuff.

 

1) is incorrect

2) is correct within the limits of the circuitary

 

Reality is the system is current limited by the circuitary, so you could fit a 100A (1500W) power supply and it would still only trickle about 3.5 Amps through to the track. So don't worry.


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It is more important that the voltage is correct is that right?

 

Now voltage IS the thing you need to be wary of. Aussieslotter on this forum was running up to 18V on the old 6 car powerbase which was essentially the same component in the power section as yours, but that had better cooling than the 4 car powerbase (and he didn't care about blowing stuff up). Anything over 15V will start to stress the unit so to be safe don't increase the voltage.


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RikoRocket is correct in his advice, the voltage is the killer if it gets too high. Is the power supply you are planning to use regulated 15V (ie remains constant 15V from no-load to full load)? There was a fellow in another forum who used a non regulated power supply on his Ninco Digital system, and he had heaps of problems. I'm not familiar with the Scalextric Digital system so I'm not sure if it will be an issue, maybe someone else might be able to clarify. Better safe than sorry.

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Thanks RikoRocket & Bilby for confirming. That certainly puts my mind at ease.

 

The next question relates to Digitalising cars.

 

I have a Ninco Porsche that I want to be Scaley digital. All good I have the digi chip and all but I need to know if I really need that capacitor the goes between the + - on the engine.

If so is there a certain type or size I need to get or will any do.

There is one on my old SCX car that I could bring across and use.

Is the ferrite choke half way down purely to keep the wires apart or does it serve another purpose cause the capacitor off the SCX car does not have one.


Cheers Grant

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It is all there for noise suppression. You need both the ferrite and the capacitor, ideal two lots one at the braids and one at the motor. Some chips will work without these, but you are opening the door to the car running away or abruptly stopping, so the rule is fit them whenever possible.


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Thanks Riko

Next Q

The capacitors say 103 (0.01uF) on the digi chip and 104 (0.1uf) on the SCX car that I am taking the capacitor from for the motor connection.

This is a power of 10 difference

I also notice that my analogue Scalextric cars have 103 capacitors as well.

Does it matter if this value is higher than the chip capacitor value?

What are the repercussions?

I have looked at some of the calcs on the net to size the capacitors ... and ... well .... uh huh.

 

Guess all I need to know is can you have a capacitor that is too big or what is the tolerance and will my 104 cap do..


Cheers Grant

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Had a thought last night, one of those 3am lightbulbs.

An oversized capacitor will hold more energy and therefore take longer to drain so the motor will run on when the current is removed.

A smaller of no capacitor will not store enough energy and could cause the car to jerk due to pulsating energy.

 

Is this the sum of it or am I blown hot air.

 

Still would like to know what sort of tolerance as per above post if I am correct, can I use the 104 cap or should I find a 103 cap.

If I am way off base could someone please let me know.


Cheers Grant

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In principle you are right, but the amount of energy they hold is tiny so reality is it makes no difference. The capacitor acts as a short circuit to high frequency noise. Smaller in this case is better, as larger will take the edges off the digital signal. If you have a 103 fit it, if you only have 104 then they are better than nothing!


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Thanks very much for the info RicoRocket.

Thats all I need to know for now.

Thanks again for your help


Cheers Grant

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OK, I've looked and looked and have found these on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/150518048068?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_780wt_1163

 

The capacitors I'm OK with thanks to RikoRocket.

But the Ferrite beads/chokes/suppressors whatever are a bloody pain to find and I'm not sure if size matters..

Is this what I am supposed to be looking for

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/230787960532?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1597wt_1396

or

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/300693876535?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1597wt_1396

 

If not could someone point me in the right direction, maybe a known supplier.

 

I am using ebay as a catalogue as it is easy to search.

 

Is there an Australian source for these, would prefer to get from OZ if possible.


Cheers Grant

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There is a company i used to work for Called Element14 formerly Farnell Electronics in Sydney check out their website

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Has anyone connected the Scalextric PB4 to a routed track that has been copper taped.

I'm getting one car running jerky and the other was running all by itself then is stop start.

 

One car is a scalextric digital, which I am using as the control car, this is the one running jerky, no consistent places where it is jerking.

The other one is a Ninco that I have converted to digital. It was running by itself but is now running then stopping.

It tends to stop in the same place so that is leading me to the copper hence my original question.

Although the tape is in very good condition with no breaks.

 

Should I be looking at something else as well.


Cheers Grant

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I'd check the braids on the cars 1st.

Digital needs a very good and consistent connection to work well.

Re-program the car id's as well.

Edited by Drifter

www.sydneyslotcars.com

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Thanks Drifter,

 

The braids on both cars are brand new and I have tried reprogramming the cars still the same issues.

 

Here are some bullet points of queries and what I am experiencing.

  1. Can any tell me what the LED is for, I've done a web search but can't find anything clear.
    My guess is that it is for the lane change and timing only but does it play any other role in signal transmission.
  2. The reason for this is question that I am a dickhead.
    I glued the LED in place but some glue got over the LED, didn't notice this till it was dry and tried to scrap it off.
    Made a botch up of it and am now wondering if this might have something to do with the car running all by itself.
  3. I can lift the rear wheels up off the track and the car will run (Start Stop using the controller) but if I put the car down the controller will start it off but then it has a mind of its own.
  4. The Scalextric car that was bought digital, works fine after testing but is very jerky around the track.
  5. This leads me to think that it is definitely a loss in signal transmission through the copper for the scalextric car anyway
  6. For the Ninco I just.need confirmation re the LED and if that can affect performance or just lane/timing.
    I am seriously considering Magnatech Braid or similar.

Thanks to every one for their patience I can almost see the eyes rolling back in the heads.


Cheers Grant

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For Scalextric:::

 

1. The LED reports the Car's ID and also the Lane Change Request state to the detectors in the track

2. Unlikely. Doing this to the LED would prevent proper reporting of the car ID. However as its InfraRed, its highly probable that the signal 'passes through' the gluse - assuming its somewhat clear. You'd have to find out if the LED is destroyed only when you pass it over a Lap Counter where the ID is made use of.

3. It sounds like you have little of no electronic noise suppression on the motor or braids. The 'Ferrite Man' is needed at the pickups, and a suitable capacitor is needed at the motor. The motor, when under load, may be inducing noise back into the digital chip.

4. Hmmm. Copper taping improves the track by 'smoothing' the braid surface and carrying power over the joins. However, the adhesive backing is an insulator - so do you have really good electrical connection of the copper where it joins the powerbase?

5. Signal distortion sounds like the culprit. And/or too much load on the PB4. How many lane changers? Have you/can you ascertain if the PB itself has not gone faulty during the installation? (Can you remove and try it on its own, maybe with a small ovan track?)

6. Ninco, if upgraded from analogue may not have the motor capacitor...

 

INOX is good, no, Great - get it from Jaycar.

 

Ian

 

ps, see my website

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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MIH,

  1. The LED bulb is chipped. Does the LED read signals from the Copper tape / braid / rails or just from detectors. Just wondering if it is getting confused somehow.
  2. There are no lane changes or timing or lap counter or anything at the moment it is a simple one lane ROC style track. The intention of the digital is to allow a catch and chase race.
  3. Both cars have 103 capacitor and ferrite at the braid end and capacitor at the motor end. (Scaley has 103 cap + ferrite, Ninco has 104 Cap only).
  4. My track is routed and I have slotted in the PB4 to be part of the track.
    I don't have any track to test the PB 4 as I just got rid of it all to pay for this exercise.
    I did however plaster the second rail of the PB 4 but don't think plaster would cause a short and if it did the green light would flash.
  5. Will try a better connection with the copper tape and see if that helps.
  6. Ninco Motor - NC-5 20,000, 14.4v, 140mA

The INOX is that braid? Jaycar website only shows lubricant.

 

Can't get on to your website today for some reason will try again tomorrow.

Edited by ZeGas

Cheers Grant

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1. LEDs are only lights. They cannot read anything. They send the Car ID and Lane Change request

2. Ok

3. Good

4. Green light only flashes if more than 3Amps is drawn, or the input drops below a certain voltage. You can unwire the PB from half-track its connected to. The capacitor you see on the PB track IS important. While its very unlikely, the plaster could cause issues with the Digital signal.

5. ok

6. SSD digital chips are only rated for SSD cars at 18k RPM. A slot-it chip is better for higher RPM motors.

 

INOX is a lubricant that cleans the track and braids. Only use a drop or two. In fact, the most significant thing is to be running your cars, then lightly dampen a tissue with INOX and wipe a small portion (about 300mm) with the tissue after car goes past and then WATCH as the cars speed up on next loop. Its MIND BLOWING.

 

(Site looks OK for me...)


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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That's good to know about the higher RPM engines.

I'll try a slot it chip and the connection with the copper tape.

 

 

Re your site I have had problems with all sorts of connections today so I am not saying it is your site.

Can't get on to any OZ govt sites either.

My wife can get on to your site no prob so it definitely is me.

 

Not complaining can still get on here and that's the main thing.

Edited by ZeGas

Cheers Grant

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It is more important that the voltage is correct is that right?

 

Now voltage IS the thing you need to be wary of. Aussieslotter on this forum was running up to 18V on the old 6 car powerbase which was essentially the same component in the power section as yours, but that had better cooling than the 4 car powerbase (and he didn't care about blowing stuff up). Anything over 15V will start to stress the unit so to be safe don't increase the voltage.

 

Yup I love melting stuff, its a passion of mine.

And yup I once ran 30V through that old PB (and chip). And it survived.

Ah memories :)


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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