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Scorpius-wireless Digital Slot Car Project.

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PROPOSED SCORPIUS RANGE 2022-23

Hi Guys,

Here’s the list we plan to have completed by mid 2023, Covid permitting.

1. Maximus decoder (25 products, one piece of hardware). Prototypes currently being manufactured. 

2. Scorpius 12x8 F1 decoder

3. Scorpius 9.4x5mm Nano decoder

4. SSD decoder native with lights, accelerometer and wireless comms.

5. SSD native braid plate decoder with wireless comms.

6. Carrera decoder native with lights, accelerometer and wireless comms

7. Controller. As is but upgrade 52840_CKAA chip by Nordic.

8. Dongle. Completed.

9. WAM 50A. Completed.

10. Light Gantry with colour touchscreen. 
Hardware completed.

11. Ultra thin flipper assembly for routed tracks. Hardware completed.

12. App. Shell and bootloader complete. 

13. Scorpius RMS. Completed.
 

14. Routed lane change track kits to suit 90mm and 100mm track centres. Completed.
 

There you have it, a 38 piece product range that will take us through to 2032-33

Within 6 weeks ALL hardware for the above will be completed except the controller chip upgrade.

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter
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Hi Guys,

The USA guys on the team have not only nailed the worlds first sims for wireless digital comms they have really detailed yellow and black flag functions so as to add flexibility and practicality.

While the same 3 jealous hobbyists continue cheap talk and produce nil the Scorpius multi pronged hard/firm/soft/app machine moves along at a steady pace.

Heres part 1 of a 2 part article.

       
          NEW SCORPIUS RMS FEATURES

There are also a number of new features and enhancements in this release which make it worthwhile for everyone to download and use. The features below are applicable to any setup, regardless of how many dongles are used. Defaults for new parameters are set to maintain the current behavior of your race setups.
————
Missed lap detection has been enhanced.

Sector timing now displays current, last, and (new) best lap time sectors. Much more useful.

You can now remove a car from the track while in the pits without causing a Yellow flag. Car will continue to refuel, etc. Great for adjusting braid etc without interrupting track action. 

A pit delay time minimum and maximum has been added. This lets you set a range of time for the pit delay, introducing a bit of random luck into pit stop times. Min - Max set the same by default.

Running Yellow Flag: Now when a Yellow Flag is called drivers have X seconds to slow to the Yellow flag speed limit. Failure to do so will result in a Speeding penalty flag. They then have an additional separate Black flag delay time to get under the limit, failure will result in a 2nd flag. If the Yellow speed limit is set to 0, all cars must be stopped before the delay time expires or they will receive a penalty. When you don’t have corner marshals, this will prevent anyone from gaining an advantage over the driver who has to re-slot the crashed car(s). During a Running Yellow Flag (with speed limit > 0), cars may change lanes and enter the pits to refuel, serve penalties, etc. Pitting under Yellow you will lose less track position than pitting under racing Green conditions.

There are now separate penalty types forSpeeding and False (jumped) Starts/ReStarts, as well as separate # of laps to serve the penalty and separate time parameters. Penalty types are Drive Through, Stop & Go, and Timed Stop.

Drive Through has remained the same- drive through pits (not exceeding Pit speed limit). Penalty is served when pit exit is reached.
Stop & Go now has a time parameter for length of stop . No car service is allowed during the stop. Default time is 0.
Timed Stop now allows refueling etc to begin after time is served. If there are more laps to serve this penalty than laps left in the race, the driver is not required to serve the penalty and instead will have the time added to his total race time at race end. (Note: To use the time penalty, the Heat Tiebreaker needs to be set to Total Time in race setup.)

DQ Penalty: Instead of instant disqualification you can choose to penalize a lap(s) or an adjustable amount of time, or both. If any penalty isunserved before the # of laps expires, or if a DriveThrough or Stop&Go penalty is unserved at the end of race, the DQ penalty will be applied. If a driver receives two concurrent Black flags, they will also incur a DQ penalty. This permanent penalty will be reflected in the displayed positions during the race. (Note: To use the time penalty, the Heat Tiebreaker needs to be set to Total Time in race setup.)
————

A separate post with details on using the enhanced Yellow Flag and penalties coming soon.

 

Rick

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So that's another world first Rick, meanwhile the hobbyists are busy nursing a buffer face.. LOL. 


Spaghetti Mess = More Stress. .

Projects of Clown is a great laugh. 

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Heres another Ade,

It does show how much productivity can be achieved by substituting forum time for actual development.;)

Worlds first colour LCD screen gantry.

Worlds first time a colour screen has been used in the industry

Worlds first touch screen to be used in the industry.

Worlds first wireless gantry.

Worlds first external RMS interface (Control basic functionality of RMS from a source other than PC).



John designed the PCB around 18 months ago.  Covid ruined the progress but now its time for firmware!

What is it? Its a custom wireless PCB using the well proven Nordic nRF52810 chip. It will run mostly on Scorpius propriety protocols but will be used in BLE (Bluetooth) mode to connect to the proposed new app. The app will also allow wireless updates. It will also integrate into Race Coordinator race software for analogue racing.;)

Mounted to our new board will be a state of the art Nextion 4.3" HMI Intelligent Smart USART UART Serial Touch TFT Colour LCD module.

Use this to see the Start Lights. Click on screen once to activate/deactivate manual yellow flag. Click on screen twice to control RMS remotely, start, pause and stop races. Click on screen three times to configure screen choices for start lights.

The unit will store various images. Use any of the factory light settings, F1, DTM, Nascar, BTCC, Aussie V8s, Le Mans. Or design and upload your own.

The two units bolt together and will be mounted in your own creation or any number of screen enclosures online.

It will run on 8-16V track power or your own power supply.

 

 

0078 Nextion screen shot.JPG

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ACCURATE PCB DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE

Hi Guys,

   While Im on the gantry project Id thought Id share a few pics of our UNLOADED PCB, and the associated benefits concerning cost, time and quality of a factory robotics system compared to pantry jobs.

Note the accurate position of vias, clean and defined silkscreen layer.

 

Rick

 

 

FAE9BAE7-74AD-4192-AE7C-E87800F9D7A6.jpeg

 

Edited by aussieslotter
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GANTRY FIRMWARE

Hi Guys and hobbyists,

      As I mentioned sometime this week John will start the firmware process for the light gantry. First and foremost the FIRMWARE engineer must know exactly the schematics inside out. Here's a pic of our gantry schematics. Note key parts have been removed for copyright purpose.

Note: Scorpius ALWAYS allows our pictures to be re-posted anywhere online. Why? we have nothing to hide and unlike some we are proud of our work ;)

First task is the supposedly difficult RF and BT bootloader.:lol:

Once the bootloader is installed the next task is to import, store and display multiple pictures.

Wow this is fun B)

 

Rick

 

 

gantry 1.JPG

gantry 2.JPG

Edited by aussieslotter
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AUSLOT. 

Is Auslot the new go to place online for the worlds most interesting digital read? I’ll let readers decide that for themselves.
Real projects by real people.

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter
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SCORPIUS ULTRATHIN FLIPPER  MODULE

 

Hi Guys

The assembly needs some minor tweaking of the solenoid holder. Modified files off my 3D print guy here in Oz.

flipper 1.JPG

flipper 2.JPG

Flipper 3.JPG

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THANKYOU JOHN HUBERTS.

Hi Guys,

   I’ve given credit to all the team here at Scorpius, but I must mention John in particular. 
I’ll never forget trying to source an engineer in 2006. I approached 17 engineers. All of them said they weren’t capable of the project with one saying it wasn’t even possible!

One engineer said he couldn’t do it but he knew someone who could, John Huberts. I contacted John and he said the project is right up his alley and that he was flying from Brisbane to Melbourne the next day and he detour via Sydney if I could pick him up. He entered my games room and seen the track and was immediately interested. I gave him the brief in words, no specification. He flew onto Melbourne. 

A week later he contacted me and said he was on the way to Melbourne again and if I could pick him him up at Sydney airport. We drove to my place where he immediately put the car on the track and starting doing laps.I was blown away. The first 2.4GHz slot car was born.

The rest is history. What I like about John is his skill set and speed. He had no lab and humbly works out of his garage where he has a desk, storage facilities, scopes, soldering station, IR oven and his laptop. That’s it.

A story. I received the professor motor handle and forwarded the handle to John. The spec was basic. 2.4GHZ, wirelessly upgradeable firmware, hall sensor, an LCD screen with menu, 3 buttons, 3 knobs and ran on 3V. John designed the board shape and hardware in 48 hours and ordered the boards. While we waited for rapid prototypes he wrote all the firmware in a week. On day 18 the boards arrived. On day 19 he uploaded the firmware, day 20 he tested it and in day 21 he sent via express mail. On day 22 I tested it. It was perfect in every way. Not a single glitch. I’m still gobsmacked a decade later.

Proficient in hardware and firmware it saves having 2 seperate engineers. He also dabbles in software programs for diagnostics etc. I look around now and see University trained engineers who supposedly lecture and consult, have labs and make huge claims, with not a single completed project trying who wish to critique others work and commercialise their ideas yet lack basic 2nd year uni skills like soldering and hide under the banner of hobbyist to suit their agenda. How an electronic engineer (or are they?) can claim to be a electronic hobbyist is extremely fascinating. An engineer can sure have hobbies but to hide behind the hobbyist facade is concerning. So hobbyist it is.

So again all this makes me realise how invaluable John is. Can the project survive without him? Probably but it will be multiple times harder this multiple times more expensive and take multiple times longer. Firmware is the key. Hardware engineers are a dime a dozen, firmware engineers as rare as hens teeth.

So John thanks champion and thanks for the latest round of amazing work ie the light gantry, Nano decoder and Scalextric braid plate decoder design, all unique products and world first. 

Rick

 

Pic: Second generation Scorpius controller and Scorpius chipped Slot.it car.

 

 

FA78D7FB-13A7-4980-9875-5E59E9140E09.jpeg

Edited by aussieslotter
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We're not in Kansas anymore are we DoRothy??.. 


Spaghetti Mess = More Stress. .

Projects of Clown is a great laugh. 

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Hi Guys,

Ade has 15 lightly used Scorpius chips and  a couple of controllers he is trying to sell for someone if interested PM me please.

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Let me be clear, (pun intended) no microscope required, just a mobile phone camera, 

I asked John does it take weeks to set up a microscope and take pictures. His response, “Why the hell would I need a microscope?” I just laughed.


 

 

861405C4-122B-4476-8BD3-812C145BB147.jpeg

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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And you don't need to stock fuzzy felt solder in your pantry ..LOL


Spaghetti Mess = More Stress. .

Projects of Clown is a great laugh. 

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INSIDE THE SCORPIUS MACHINE

HOW SOFTWARE IS DEVELOPED 

Hi Guys,

I thought I’d give you an insight into how Team Scorpius is currently developing a specification before proceeding with coding for an exciting new addition to our race management software, a safety car and pace car (NASCAR) function, fully automated with smarts.

The function basically imitates 1:1 safety cars for NASCAR, BTTC, F1, Le Mans, V8 Supercars etc.

The pace car function will imitate a NASCAR pace car.

There are lots of variables. How does the system detect cars illegally overtaking during yellow flag?  .....what happens if cars pit during yellow flag? How will the safety or pace car pull out into the track without colliding? Etc etc etc

Here’s a snippet of a discussion Team Scorpius is currently having:

QUOTE:

  1. How do black flags work.  Specifically, if A passes B, after N lbs we black flag A.  Does the N lbs reset and A must be re-passed by B or they get flagged again?  Or after A is black flagged is A now considered ahead of B in the precession.
    • It's assumed here that if A or B pit/deslot before A is black flagged, the fact that A passed be is wiped out because one car or the other is no longer in the precession.
    • If A is considered ahead of B after the blackflag, the display would update to reflect the fact that A is now ahead of B
      •  
  2. When a car exits the precession (pitting or deslot) how do they rejoin?  I assume they rejoin at whatever point in the line they're at when they hit the first segment LB or S/F line.  They'll never be allowed to be the new leader of the precession.  If they come out just in front of the leader, they're considered at the end of the procession and have the opportunity to catch up to the car in front of them.  
    • When a car exists/enters the precession the display will be updated to reflect the new order, drivers not in the precession will always be at the bottom of the list.
  3. If A passes B, and then A also passes C (before N lbs) A will still only get 1 black flag after the N lbs are reached.   Once N lbs are reached, the answer to #1 above applies to both B and C regardless of when B and C were passed relative to each other? 
  1. How do black flags work.  Specifically, if A passes B, after N lbs we black flag A.  Does the N lbs reset and A must be re-passed by B or they get flagged again?  Or after A is black flagged is A now considered ahead of B in the precession.
    • It's assumed here that if A or B pit/deslot before A is black flagged, the fact that A passed be is wiped out because one car or the other is no longer in the precession.
    • If A is considered ahead of B after the blackflag, the display would update to reflect the fact that A is now ahead of B
  2. When a car exits the precession (pitting or deslot) how do they rejoin?  I assume they rejoin at whatever point in the line they're at when they hit the first segment LB or S/F line.  They'll never be allowed to be the new leader of the precession.  If they come out just in front of the leader, they're considered at the end of the procession and have the opportunity to catch up to the car in front of them.  
    • When a car exists/enters the precession the display will be updated to reflect the new order, drivers not in the precession will always be at the bottom of the list.
  3. If A passes B, and then A also passes C (before N lbs) A will still only get 1 black flag after the N lbs are reached.   Once N lbs are reached, the answer to #1 above applies to both B and C regardless of when B and C were passed relative to each other.

UNQUOTE 

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Reply from team member:

QUOTE

1. My opinion. If car B passes car A at 2 consecutive LBs the car is black flagged. It has one opportunity plus one additional lap in case the car can’t get into the correct lane to see pit entry, to serve the penalty. If not the system takes over control of car and brings it back to pits and turns engine off.

A will naturally be ahead of B.
 
2. They can re-join anywhere. Dont forget if they pit they are losing time and position whilst the procession finishes naturally as per 1:1.
 
As far as anti collision is concerned human driven cars will rely on the human to enter naturally. However if a pace or safety car tries to re-enter track it can only do so when there is no traffic detected in Lane X, LB N. N will be the LB between pit entry and pit exit. Lane X will be the the lane that can lead into pits if selected to do so. If no Lane changer is there a LB can be installed so as to just use the LB LED as a marker. The marker is just an LB without the actual lane change bits. If a car is approaching in lane X on the main track the safety or pace car must stop and wait, again in another designated zone C, again defined using the LEDS on an LB to create a stop zone D. Basically it should be as per 1:1 racing. When a safety car joins the track the race positions of the cars will not alter unless by mistake by a human. A car that drove past just before the safety car got  a chance to get in front can race at full speed until he eventually “catches up” as per 1:1.
If you know anything about safety cars it’s not always fair and there  is an element of luck involved.
Races can be won or lost on the luck of safety cars.
 
3. Sounds reasonable.
 
Track call can be:
Automated using car telemetry.
Activated by nominated drivers acting as track officials. Ticking a box next to drivers mane determines who is a track marshal.
The same driver become Marshall who instigated the track call can be the only one (configurable) who restarts the race by directing safety car back to pits.
 
UNQUOTE
Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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iOS VERSUS ANDROID FOR SCORPIUS APPS

Hi Guys,

iOS versus Android, the age old debate. Which is better? Especially for digital slot cars?

The answer is they both work perfectly. They are equally as easy to use for wireless upgrades to products using Bluetooth.

Personally I use Apple products? Why? They were first to market and I was an early adapter. They led the way simply because they were more innovative and simply better than MicroSoft (Unfortunate name if you think about it :lol:). Jokes aside  Android out sells Apple 5 to 1 worldwide. But there is a reason for this. Only Apple uses iOS but 1,300 companies use Android.

What’s the big difference for me is the user experience, for me I find iOS far more self intuitive than Android. Just an observation. As I said I use both.

Ive had another full on wireless device app written for a non slot related product I built using first in iOS then Android. Both worked 100% immediately with no bug fixing required. The tech is reasonably easy with most 2nd year uni students bri f able to nail it.

Currently Scorpius uses Android to load firmware updates into our Gen II decoder , our Nano decoder and soon our new Maximus decoder. 
Only yesterday I spoke to Team Scorpius app guru Faruk and commissioned him to duplicate our new app in iOS in preparation for the release of Maximus decoder in late November/early December 2021. I already know it will work as we are lifting the code straight off the other non slot related app I had built recently which works 100%. 
 

At Scorpius we won’t discriminate Apple or Android users or tell you to change devices due to poor firmware. That’s our promise. 
A hobby should be fun and not stressful. Modern technology is daunting for some of us and the addition of bugs can make the experience tiring and time consuming. The last thing you want to hear is when people spend more time attempting loading firmware than racing, and then give up after investing a substantial amount of money, often selling it back into market at a substantial financial loss. That’s bad for the hobby many are trying to build up. A hobby must be relaxing and fun, not stressful. 

So in a week or 3 we will see our iOS app for Scorpius along side our Android app. Both will work perfectly or your money cheerfully and immediately refunded. That’s our promise, like all our products. Interestingly enough no one had ever exercised that option, ever. You work hard for your coin, not headaches.

Heres a re-run of our recently developed Scorpius app powered by Android.

Enjoy guys. I’m loving’ it. ;)

 

 

https://youtu.be/g3cQ9jpB-7s

 

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It's quite right that the product should work as advertised across both platforms and not expect users to go and swap  there device just to get firmwares loaded ..

AndyW of ssdc fame made one release of his bootloader for updating C7042 apb and it has worked faultlessly since release,  I used it just the other day,nailed it first time..it can be done ..


Spaghetti Mess = More Stress. .

Projects of Clown is a great laugh. 

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Yello flag

Pit road closed (pit entry lanebrane locked) cars on pit road can finish fueling and Tires.

Lane brane forces all traffic to a lane outside of pit exit. so safety car may enter track without being hit

Safety car enters track from pit exit 

position of all cars frozen

no cars should  pass safety car.

All cars must maintain position (drivers will have to allow room to change lanes being courteous and maintain position) no laps are counted until are cars are in proper position 

when all cars are in proper position  Pit road opens

X= number of laps Safety car returns to pits

x= number of laps green flag at start finish line no speeding before green flag

 

this is just how I would do it if I could automate this...  im positive its not perfect, but this is the most basic Yellow flag I have experienced over the years.

i know there are people who would love Prototypical rules for all of the major Race Divisions, but this seems to work with oval and road course type racing 

Edited by Shift
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3D PRINT SCORPIUS FLIPPER ASSEMBLY 

Hi Guys,

   I just received the tweaked files Steve our 3D CAD guy. I’ve just emailed them off to my 3D print guy in Melbourne. They should arrive in 2 weeks.

Pics below showing a double unit to suit tracks with 90mm centres ie Ninco and Policar. Simply snap in 2 to get a single left and a single right flipper assembly.

 

Rick

 

FEFE0970-DF35-4C47-951A-4E9EC23BBF32.jpeg

DDC3E24C-8DEF-42C6-AC5B-0D917F39A47B.jpeg


The best form of satisfaction is success.

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15 hours ago, Shift said:

Yello flag

Pit road closed (pit entry lanebrane locked) cars on pit road can finish fueling and Tires.

Lane brane forces all traffic to a lane outside of pit exit. so safety car may enter track without being hit

Safety car enters track from pit exit 

position of all cars frozen

no cars should  pass safety car.

All cars must maintain position (drivers will have to allow room to change lanes being courteous and maintain position) no laps are counted until are cars are in proper position 

when all cars are in proper position  Pit road opens

X= number of laps Safety car returns to pits

x= number of laps green flag at start finish line no speeding before green flag

 

this is just how I would do it if I could automate this...  im positive its not perfect, but this is the most basic Yellow flag I have experienced over the years.

i know there are people who would love Prototypical rules for all of the major Race Divisions, but this seems to work with oval and road course type racing 

Just to add that it might be an idea to freeze fuel burn once the pitlane is closed by rms  as it will be possible to deliberately run other drivers out of fuel..


Spaghetti Mess = More Stress. .

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The only concern is in certain motorsports you can pit during yellow flag. Scorpius philosophy is that all functions should be able to imitate various 1:1 motor sports as much as possible where practical.


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RMS specification chat continues:

How to guide safety car back to pits?

 

.....Don’t forget we have PEARL. Programmable Electronically Activated Raceline in which lane change preferences are stored in the cars decoder which can be over ridden by the driver or PC just by pressing the LC button on controller. The car can be easily programmed to come back to pit lane, then pit bay, I’ve done it. 
 
To keep car out of pits until called is easy. Let’s say we have pit mode and non pit mode. In pit mode PEARL is the default most of the time. To recall car to ANY PRECISE LOCATION is done by car not RMS and we have that NOW.
To keep the car on the track simply activate the LC button when ever it sees LB X. If you need to switch lanes more than once you simply activate the LC button at LB X and Y. You can go one step further abs activate it at X,Y and Z. You could do this at every LB actually to guarantee success on the first lap around after a request to do so.
 
So we simply need to trigger cars LC function. That’s it. How difficult would that be Dave?
So 2 modes:
Stay on track: do nothing, the car does it all.
Return to pits: Activate LC button (for pace, safety  cars) 
For humans it’s up to the. In real life if a driver decides to go rogue and not return to pits there’s nothing can be done. 

Rick


 


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7 hours ago, aussieslotter said:

The only concern is in certain motorsports you can pit during yellow flag. Scorpius philosophy is that all functions should be able to imitate various 1:1 motor sports as much as possible where practical.

Pit road closes at the beginning of the caution.this happens for two reasons. 1  get all the cars lined up in the proper order so when the race restarts every one is in order. 2 it prevent competitors from going into the pits early while everyone is lining up for the restart.

The while still under cation pit road then opens and competitors may then drop out of line and enter the pits.  Hopefully you can fuel take tires repair damage without going a laps down. 

After exiting pits you rejoin at the field at the tail end of the line.  

Then the pace car re enters pit road. And the race goes green at the as the cars aproach the start finish line

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