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Scorpius-wireless Digital Slot Car Project.

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DONGLE

 

The dongle is wireless, USB powered and is the PC interface for the entire system. Cars, throttles and track electronics all talk to the PC via the dongle, example lap counting.

 

Scorpiusdongle.jpg

 

Simple, small, cost effective, latest technology. Enjoy.

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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FLIPPER PROTOTYPE

 

Cameron from Auslot was kind enough to manufacture the first Scorpius flipper prototype. Here it is.

 

 

013.jpg

 

 

010.jpg

 

 

Few changes needed, then chrome plating?

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Rick

 

Thanks for taking the time to show me the bits n pieces the other night, and a chance to do a few laps on a great SSD track.

 

having seen the scorpius system first hand and having used the wireless controlers I will definately be using this system as soon as it is ready.

 

Take it from me, if anyone is thinking about it, just do it!

Ask Rick to put your name down, you will be more than impressed when you use it for the first time.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:


Paul NZ - Scale with Detail!

 

Narangba Club Local

 

Gold Coast Raceway 09

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Hi Paul,

Im glad you liked it. Thought you might like to see this:

 

LB2.jpg

 

The LANE BRAIN IS ALMOST READY TO TEST!

See the nice enclosure (without lid), it fits via velcro under your table =)

It will have the wires attached when manufactured.

 

Rick


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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We made 4, 3 for me, (and I need 20!!) 1 for John, Thanks Paul for asking though =)

Hand soldering is the issue. Slow and easy to make an error =(

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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We made 4, 3 for me, (and I need 20!!) 1 for John, Thanks Paul for asking though =)

Hand soldering is the issue. Slow and easy to made an error =(

 

No worries Rick I was only joking....but I will be wanting more than one once you get them underway :angry:


Paul NZ - Scale with Detail!

 

Narangba Club Local

 

Gold Coast Raceway 09

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Remember guys, all Scorpius components can be multi protocol with wirelessly re programmable chip. The chip has multiple analogue and digital in/outs AND can send/receive data via braid. It will never become redundant until 2.4GHz is outdated, perhaps 20 years.

Please support home grown products, especially the innovators with real working prototypes. Australian engineers are amongst the best in the world.

We challenge anyone to out perform Scorpius or even match it =)

Present any complete specification here for comparison =)

 

 

 

Cheers

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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All this coming from a bloody gardener! Just goes to show you can do anything if you put your mind to it. :D


Stu

 

Old racers race harder

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All this coming from a bloody gardener! Just goes to show you can do anything if you put your mind to it. <_<

 

Yip, but with the amount of work he has put in I'd say not much gardening has been done B):lol::lol:

Edited by Paul NZ

Paul NZ - Scale with Detail!

 

Narangba Club Local

 

Gold Coast Raceway 09

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Hi Rick,

 

Been reading the other Slotcar Forums and seen Slot-It's Oxygen Digital system.

Have you been working with Slot-It (you have mentioned things in the pipeline) or have they taken your ideas and made their own similar system?

I ask this as their system sounds very, very close to Scorpius but they seem to be pushing it towards the home market.

 

Regards

NimROD

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Hi Guys,

I suspect many systems will follow the same principal as Scorpius as it truly is heavy duty, reliable, sophisticated and flexible concept.

 

It is true the primary purpose of Maurizios recent visit to Sydney was primarily for talks on Scorpius but for reasons I cannot disclose we decided it was better to go our own ways. We still are in talks on various issues.

 

It was my decision to display the project openly on the internet, legally Maurizio is entitled to do what he wants to and I wish him all the best. Of course Maurizio must incorporate differences for obvious reasons.

The advantages for me on showing the Scorpius project on the web was I was able to see the enthusiasts perspective and adjust the specification accordingly. Interaction with the guys is invalueable.

 

I urge people to await Maurizios specification, function sheet and prices before making any comment either way. Speculation is just that. I know for a fact there a few differences, for what reason Im not sure.

Either way I'm not concerned, competition is good for the consumer, and the announcement of a 2.4 GHz system by a well respected player is confirmation my concept is in fact the future standard.

 

Either way I suspect it will be many years until a universal "standard" is achieved. We shouldnt have to hang around and wait, nor should analogue guys waiting to jump once they have confidence that there is a way to invest in digital without wasting their time and money. This is why I have dumped "the standard" concept as I suspect it may never happen. Therefore Scorpius has something better, that is the MULTI-PROTOCOL approach, we just burn protocols onto the car chip as required. This way you can hedge your bets with Scorpius. Any future open source standard that may come about will be made available on the website for downloading. For those who are not aware all Scorpius components are wirelessly upgradeable, no other hobby product in the world features this. Just download program off net and re flash your components.

 

Also I am considering opening up the Scorpius project as open source, more on that as it unfolds.

 

We are quitely confident we can beat any opposition on quality, functionality price and speed to market. Not a single member of the Scorpius buying club cancelled their order for membership, to me thats saying a lot. We have now 47 members and 4 commercial centres interested.

 

All is good.

Cheers

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Hi Rick, Its good to get the full story, and you are right we should support the local bloke. you have my full support and i eagerly await your product.

Good Luck and keep up the great work.

Cheers Bill

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Rick you have my full support as I know you will give us your full support once we start using your system.

 

Besides Scorpius is a cool name :D :bday: :lol::lol:


Paul NZ - Scale with Detail!

 

Narangba Club Local

 

Gold Coast Raceway 09

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Sebring meets Scorpius,or at least that is the plan.Still working on the pit lane section, I'm at 15 LC's now but with Pit Lane it could be 22 LC's.I'll update soon with the Pits. Joe sebing2.jpg

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Snakebit,

Welcome to Auslot =)

Nice track, I just imagined doing a lap and yer its pretty cool.

Should look good with the runways cut in and landscaped.

Keep us informed.

 

@Mondo....welcome also to Auslot =)

 

PS Snakebit, seen the latest pics on another forum, looking good so far.

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Hi Guys,

Looking at options on how to get Scorpius to market. One idea put to me was shareholders, which is too messy, time consuming and expensive. Another idea put to me was a buying group where members money is pooled to get a cheaper price at cost. So how to implement this idea........?

 

CLUB SCORPIUS

Simply buying a membership gives the project cash flow to finish the project. The last component the Lane Brain is 50% complete. The other 3 components are 100% complete and ready for manufacture tomorrow. Those 3 components have been beta tested by real slot car racers and have results are favourable. The more members the greater the order the cheaper the price. 100 members would be ideal and would be open to any slot forum member anywhere in the world or any club enthusiast. Savings would be initially 50% but after costs would roughly equate to a 40% saving. Hows a $40 Scorpius car chip for $24 sound? A Lane brain for around $30 not $50?, throttle chips $36 not $59, dongle for $60 not $100. How much is membership?, I estimate around $200AUD would be affordable and beneficial, would be for a limited time span, and would last say 3 years, after that a yearly subscription is possible. Basically the $200 goes towards development costs, if there is a shortfall I wear it, if there is an excess that will be a profit. If this is achieved then it will be a win/win situation for all concerned. The prices are approximate of course at this stage and will vary depending on numbers, example 100 car chips would cost around $33 each to make but in a batch of 1000 around $20, a massive difference. Parts would arrive around 6 weeks after payment to manufacturer. The parts can be robot tested too. Of course a final specification and terms and conditions would be defined and a website would have to be set up to handle all the orders to make it all above board and legal, FAQ, specs, pictures. Ownership would always remain with Australian Slotcar Technologies. Im thinking its best to go 100% Scorpius and to forget the Ninco and SSD compatibility for now until I talk to them, I mean we dont want any problems. Also with LBs so reasonably priced for the extra functions and wireless installation, why bother? The LB would still run the big 4s LCs so you can use your existing track =)

The membership is burnt into your dongle and encrypted. The special member number is used to place orders.

 

Definition of costs: all development costs, engineers fees, prototype costs, transport, fuel, accomodation, air fares, phone calls, parts, postage, development royalties (3% of the manufacturing cost), website costs, bank fees, paypal fees, bookeeping, data base, legal costs, graphic design costs, packaging, wrapping, addressing, sending, queries, troubleshooting, warranty claims, advertising costs. The order processing, packaging, answering queries etc would be around 7% of the component manufacturing cost. Postage, insurance and any government tax is applicable as like any retail internet sale and cant be avoided. Price of development depends on exact specification. Costs could be kept down by ommitting some fancier options. A hall effect sensor could be developed for the Parma economy, not a pretty controller but a Scorpius hall effect board and battery pack fit in in minutes=). We will forget the screen for now=)

 

 

 

Rick

 

 

Now 49 members in Club Scorpius from 15 countries.

Who's gonna be the lucky 50th? =)

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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Now 49 members in Club Scorpius from 15 countries.

Who's gonna be the lucky 50th? =)

 

 

 

I will be more then happy to be number 50 - will msg u soon

 

 

cheers

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Now 49 members in Club Scorpius from 15 countries.

Who's gonna be the lucky 50th? =)

 

 

 

I will be more then happy to be number 50 - will msg u soon

 

 

cheers

 

 

:)

And I'll be lucky number 51. I'll msg soon too.

Cheers,

Martin

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Hi Sonicracer,

Just PM me your details and email address. Too easy.

52 members now.

Welcome to the forum.

 

Cheers

Rick


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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SCORPUS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

Q: How did Scorpius come about and why?

 

A: It came about through wanting to simply have a better, more powerful, robust system for club, commercial and home use.

 

Q: How does Scorpius work in basic terms?

 

A: Unlike conventional digital systems, Scorpius does not use the slot rails to transfer digital information to cars or lane changers. Rather data is sent wirelessly at 2.4GHz. It also allows customising of your power requirements easy without being restricted. Powerwise the Scorpius system can cope with any demand that is ever likely to occur in any commercial club or home situation.

 

The system has 4 components:

 

1) Wireless car decoder

 

2) Wireless throttle

 

3) Wireless lane changer electronics

 

4) Wireless USB dongle.

 

These form a LAN (Local area network) where anything component can send or receive data to any other component(s) if and when required.

 

Q: How many cars can Scorpius race simultaneously?

 

A: Up to 24 cars may be raced simultaneously.

 

Q: Can you run multiple Scorpius systems in one room?

 

A: At least 3 seperate Scorpius systems can be run adjacent to each other.

 

Q: What is reflashing?

 

A: Reflashing is another name for reprogramming or upgrading the chip on any of the Scorpius components. See "Programming"

 

Q: How do I buy Scorpius?

 

A: Online.

 

Q: How do I pay for Scorpius?

 

A: Paypal, credit card or beer.

 

Q: What brands is Scorpius compatible with.

 

A: Scorpius chipped cars will go, stop, change lanes and trigger lap counting on SSD and Ninco N-Digital. SCX is planned at a later date. Scorpius cars cannot run on Carrera digital systems.

 

Q: What are the minimum components do you need to set up a totally Scorpius system?

 

A: 1 x Scorpius car chip, 1 x Scorpius throttle, 2 x Scorpius Lane Brain (one to count laps. One to change lane) , 1 x Scorpius dongle.

 

Q: Does the car decoder antenna show or must it protrude from car?

 

A: No

 

POWER SUPPLIES

 

Q: How do I wire the power supply?

 

A: Simply connect output of power supply directly to track rails. Positive to one rail, negative to the other. Observe polarity.

 

Q: How do I wire multiple power supplies?

 

A: Same as a single supply. The second and subsequent power supplies should be evenly spaced around track to get maximum benefit. The power supply should be current limited and of the same type. Set to the same voltage. It is not critical if the volts are not exactly identical between supplies.

 

Q: How does Scorpius use the available 80 channels in ISM 2.4GHz?

 

A: Each device uses a RF channel offset from a base channel. The base channel is configured by the PC and splits the 80 available channels into 3 groups. The system allows the channels to be moved away from any interfering band. The base channel can be set to 1, 27 (default) or 53. This gives essentially a maximum of 26 car/controller pairs unless reconfigured.

Each car/throttle pair will use a unique RF channel for communications to prevent on-air collision of throttle information. The RF channel is the sum of a base channel plus the car ID (1-16).

 

REPROGRAMMING

 

Q: How do I re program components?

 

A: Make sure all devices are not powered up as only one device at a time can be reprogrammed. Connect the wireless dongle to the PC and start the boot-loader software. Select the device type to be reprogrammed (car, throttle or Lane Brain) and then load the .hex and .eep files. Press ‘Start Download’ and then power up the device to be reprogrammed. This could be a bit of a nuisance for LCs (LB's) which may all power up together, so a on/off switch is recommended for each Lane Brain.

All devices when powered up will listen on the base channel (maybe alternatively with the assigned channel) for commands. When the device receives a ‘boot’ command it acknowledges the command and jumps into the bootloader section of the firmware. Re-programming then proceeds. Once completed the device reverts to the power on state.

 

Q: How do I change car ID and brake settings without the use of the PC.

 

A: To change the ID of a car/throttle, make sure all cars are removed from the track. After a period of at least 10 seconds of throttle inactivity replace the car whose ID is to be changed on the track. The LC button on the throttle is then pressed for at least 2 seconds. Subsequent short presses of the LC button count to the new ID. After 2 seconds of inactivity, the new ID is recorded. Any throttle triggering or other input (eg: brake) will abort the ID change process. It then transmits the new ID repeatedly on the base channel for 3 seconds and then reverts to normal throttle operation, transmitting throttle data on the assigned channel. A screen and 5 way navigation button will be available to simplify this procedure at a later date.

 

When a car is initially powered up (placed on track) it alternately listens firstly on its assigned channel (base + ID) for 0.5 second (to allow immediate response to throttle data) and then on the base channel for 0.5 second. If data (usually throttle) is received on the assigned channel it then continues listening only on this channel. If data is received on the base channel, it acts upon that data (ID change or other) and then continues listening alternately on the 2 channels. Note that if there has been no throttle activity for 10 seconds and a car is placed on the track that it could take up to 0.5 seconds to respond to the throttle.

 

CAR CHIP

 

Q: What does the Scorpius car decoder do?

 

A; It sends and receives data wirelessly. It operates the voltage regulator on the car chip allowing the car to go and stop. It enables car to change lanes by interacting with the lane changer electronics. It is wirelessly upgradeable. It has 6 function outputs for future functions. See specification for full desription.

 

Q: What size is the Scorpius car decoder?

 

A: 30mm x 12mm. Capacitor size varies.

 

Q: What size capacitor is used?

 

A: 25V 470uF. For tight situations a 16V 100uF may be substituted.

 

Q: Does the car decoder require batteries to operate?

 

A: No

 

Q: Do you use the Scorpius car decoder in conjunction with existing brand name decoder.

 

A: No

 

Q: What is the range of the Scorpius car decoder?

 

A: 20m to 100m depending on surrounding structures.

 

Q: What is the maximum amps the car motor can draw using the Scorpius car decoder?

 

A: 3 amps.

 

Q: How do I reflash or reprogram a Scorpius car chip? (Commonly called upgrading)

 

A: See reprogramming section.

 

CONTROLLER

 

Q: What frequency does the controller transmit at?

 

A: 2.4 GHz

 

Q: What does the controller include?

 

A: Complete with electronics, trigger, switches and battery case.

 

Q: What is the maximum number of cars that can be used?

 

A: 24

 

Q: How is it powered?

 

A: 2 x AAA batteries

 

Q: Where do the batteries go?

 

A: In the throttle handle.

 

Q: Is the controller prone to interference.

 

A: No. Interference is possible but the system detects this and hops to another available channel.

 

Q: Does the controller work by line of sight?

 

A: No Scorpius controllers do not rely on line of sight.

 

Q: How many function buttons are on the controller?

 

A: 2

 

Q: Does it have adjustable brakes?

 

A: Yes in increments of 5%, later to be 1%

 

Q: How are the brakes adjusted?

 

A: By using Scorpius throttle set up software or using a button sequence on throttle.

 

Q: Does each controller have its own ID?

 

A: Yes

 

Q: How do you change controller ID?

 

A: By using Scorpius throttle set up software.

 

Q: How is the throttle curve adjusted?

 

A: By using Scorpius throttle set up software.

 

Q: How do I tell what ID my controller is on?

 

A: By using Scorpius Throttle Snoop software.

 

Q: Can I test my throttle functions?

 

A: Yes by using Scorpius controller diagnostic software.

 

Q: How do I know what version firmware is being used in my controller?

 

A: By using Scorpius controller diagnostic software.

 

Q: How can I tell how much battery life is left in my controller?

 

A: By using Scorpius controller diagnostic software.

 

Q: Are the controller electronics available separately?

 

A: Yes.

 

Q: What do the separate electronics include?

 

A: The Scorpius controller circuit board comes with integrated wiper board, AAA battery holder and 2 x button.

 

Q: Can I convert my analogue controller?

 

A: No

 

Q: What casing does the Scorpius controller use?

 

A: Parma Economy

 

"LANE BRAIN" Lane Changer Electronics

 

Q: What is Lane Brain?

 

A: Lane Brain is the electronic circuitry used for operating each Lane Changer.

 

Q: What size is it?

 

A: The enclosure is around 90mm x 75mm x 20mm. The Lane Brain circuit board is 70x50mm

 

Q: How is it sold?

 

A: In packs of 1 with enclosure.

 

Q: How is it mounted?

 

A: Screw to underside of track table or use Velcro tabs for quick removal/replacement.

 

Q: How is the Lane Brain powered. If running in the normal 8-18V range the Lane Brain may be powered directly off rails. They may also be powered separately

 

Q: How does it connect to my lane changer?

 

A: A diagram will be provided. The wires that go to your flipper drivers (solenoids) are cut, the old electronics bypassed and the wires routed to the Lane Brain.

A wire to liven the flipper to correct polarity is also available.

 

Q: Do I have to modify my lane changer in any way?

 

A: No, only wiring is reconfigured.

 

Q: What lane changers does Lane Brain work with?

 

A: Any custom made lane changer. Also works with SSD (Hornby), Ninco and Carrera. It will not work with SCX lane changers..

 

Q: Is it upgradeable, if so how?

 

A: The Lane Brain is upgradeable in the same way as any Scorpius component, see “Programming†section.

 

Q: What is the role of the Lane Brain?

 

A: To enable cars to change lanes, to count laps, to recognise car IDs, to implement a driver preferred raceline and numerous other functions. See function sheet.

 

Q: How difficult is it to install a Lane Brain?

 

A: Scorpius is designed for club, commercial and top end home use. Anyone with any basic technical skill, able to read and interpret diagrams, ability to solder is recommended but not crucial. Not suitable for rap dancers, beginners or children to install.

 

Q: What tools or materials are required to install the Scorpius Lane Brain?

 

A: Screwdrivers, wire strippers, pliers, soldering iron, heat shrink, multimeter optional.

 

Q: How many lane changers can a Lane Brain operate?

 

A: Lane Brain can operate one lane changer set. A set includes one entry and one exit flipper

 

Q: Why does Lane Brain only do one set of lane changers at a time?

 

A: To reduce costs where a single LC is used.

 

Q: How does the bi-directional function work?

 

A: All track hardware for the entry flipper is duplicated for the exit flipper.

Using software the logic from the exit and entry flippers is reversed.

 

DONGLE

 

Q: What is a dongle?

 

A: A dongle is a small component 70mm long x 22 mm wide by 10mm thick that plugs into any PC.

 

Q: What does the dongle do?

 

A: the dongle is an interface that allows PC to send and receive data to and from any or all Scorpius components including car chip, controller and Lane Brain.

 

Q: Where does the dongle go?

 

A: Plugs into your USB port

 

Q: Does it need batteries?

 

A: No its USB powered.

 

SCORPIUS PC PROGRAMS

 

Q: What do the programs do?

 

A: Enable all adjustable parameters to be altered at the PC, example adjust settings, turn functions on/off, reprogramming components.

 

Q: Can I run a Scorpius chipped car from my PC without a throttle?

 

A: Yes via the “Driver†program

 

Q: How are the programs supplied?

 

A: Via internet.

 

Q: What computers can Scorpius programs run on?

 

A: PC only at present. Not MAC compatible yet.

 

RACE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

 

Q: Does Scorpius have a race management program?

 

A: A dedicated RMS program will be able to be purchased from PC Lapcounter suitable for use with Scorpius. Cost 50.00 EUR

 

Please post any questions I have missed. Please ask me to clarify if any answers are vague or do not make sense.

 

 

Cheers

 

Rick


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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