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Johno

Troubleshooting Laptimer 2000 / Ir Counter

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OK I am having major problems getting this to work before I look at installing it into my new track.

 

I just cant get the lap timer software to register that the IR circuit is opening and closing.

 

I have checked the IR LED is working by using the nightview on my video camera and can confirm that the light is on.

 

So the problem is either at the photo receiver / PC interface / something else.

 

I have purchased a receiver from jaycar ZD1950 and tried to get a single lane timer working.

I have tried using both a 9 bin serial and 25 pin printer port soldering the wires as per HO Slot car Racing website LPTPort.gif and DB-9.gif

I soldered the longer emitter leg to the black and the shorter leg to the correct pin.

 

But when I use the test port facility in Laptimer 2000 I shine the IR led at the phototransister but nothing happens during the port test when I remove/replace the IR source.

 

Im at the pulling hair out stage and thats not a good place to be when it falls out on its own anyway :)

so any help would be much appreciated

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I'm sure you haven't made the mistake I made, but thought I'd mention this anyway.

 

I used the 25 pin parallel port and didn't notice that the plug had the pin numbers moulded in. So I soldered the wires by counting off the pins. Trouble is I counted the pins while looking at the plug from the wrong side, so I basically wired it up backwards.

 

For the life of me I couldn't figure out why it didn't work. I felt like an idiot when I finally realised. :)


Russ

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Hi Johnno

 

I have to set one up the same in the next couple of days. I'll let you knoww how I go. Use the 25 pin parallel port, the serial port doesn't work in the software, depsite what Greg's site says. It has been documented before as an issue.

 

I have set up IR before with LT2000 and UR3.0, but using the Jaycar all in one unit in the slot, as opposed to separate emitters and photo-transistors. It worked fine.

 

One thing to check is just unsolder one leg of the photo transistors and short out the pins for each lane directly on the cable - that will check that the cable, the printer port and the software are working okay if they count laps. If that works, next try "making" and breaking the open circuit between the other photo transistor and the 2nd leg by touching it back onto the wire. That will then tell you if the photo transistor is permamantly closed circuit, or simply open circuit.

 

I am unsure if they are default open or default closed circuit without an IR beam aimed at them, maybe someone with electronics knowledge can inform us on that point.

 

Try shining the IR beam right onto the transistor at close range - they are very directional then rmeoving it and covering the transistor. By the end of THIS step, you should at least have isolated the fault.

 

Oh, what is the voltage of youe power supply to the emitters and what value resistor are you using? You may have too weak an IR beam . . .

Edited by SlotsNZ

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Hi Johnno

 

I have to set one up the same in the next couple of days. I'll let you knoww how I go. Use the 25 pin parallel port, the serial port doesn't work in the software, depsite what Greg's site says. It has been documented before as an issue.

 

I have set up IR before with LT2000 and UR3.0, but using the Jaycar all in one unit in the slot, as opposed to separate emitters and photo-transistors. It worked fine.

 

One thing to check is just unsolder one leg of the photo transistors and short out the pins for each lane directly on the cable - that will check that the cable, the printer port and the software are working okay if they count laps. If that works, next try "making" and breaking the open circuit between the other photo transistor and the 2nd leg by touching it back onto the wire. That will then tell you if the photo transistor is permamantly closed circuit, or simply open circuit.

 

I am unsure if they are default open or default closed circuit without an IR beam aimed at them, maybe someone with electronics knowledge can inform us on that point.

 

Try shining the IR beam right onto the transistor at close range - they are very directional then rmeoving it and covering the transistor. By the end of THIS step, you should at least have isolated the fault.

 

Oh, what is the voltage of youe power supply to the emitters and what value resistor are you using? You may have too weak an IR beam . . .

 

The Power supply and resistors is one thing that has tested my very limited electronics knowledge. I tried asking the guy at Jaycar but i'm not sure if he knew what he was talking about. As per his directions its running of a 1.5v battery as the LEDs are listed at 1.2V. I currently don't have any resistors attached to the circuit.

 

Im not too sure what you mean by shorting out the pins. Do you mean just touching the wires together to complete the circuit?

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Are you using High Sensitive Darlington Phototransistors Cat Z 1951 from Dick Smith electronic ?

Are you using Win XP or older ?

Have you checked if the port has been configured properly ?

Inside laptimer 2000 software, under "settings" , have you tried "inverting " the laptimer switch ?(little box to tick)

 

I am mostly using ""older computers" and prefer to use the 15pin port, which involves the use of 2 100kohm resistors inside the plug. my computer geek once explained to me why this should be the port of choice but i have now forgotten why.

 

I use the above mentioned darlingtons because any ornary light source will do and in a bright room during daytime they work even without artificial light .

 

Have done about half a dozen this way and they all work faultlessly.

grego

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I've had another play with the old PC out in the shed and Laptimer and I have deduced that it is a PC/printer port problem.

 

If I test the system straight away after it boots it up I can get the sensors to work and it counts laps. I use the Port tester and I can see the port open and then close when I remove the light source.

 

But then all of a sudden it just stops working. The Port tester suddenly shows lane 1,3,4 as closed and lane 2 as open but as far as I can tell it is then locked up. I have to reboot the PC to get the port working again before it does the same thing a short time later. Its got me beat.

 

The PC is an old P3 700 and Im running XP. Its a brand new install of windows so I dont think it is a problem there so I guess I may have to look at getting a PCI printer port or something to add to it and try that.

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Johno, i've just set up SRM using the z1950's from jaycar, and have found that they don't work with any of the IR LED's i tried, i had to use 30000 mcd ultrabright LED's.

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just use the 15pin Joystick port and you shall have : """Joy"""

 

Thats another option. I just need to get a cheap soundcard with joystick port as I didnt have an old one laying around when I put the old pc together out of old parts :D

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Success!!

 

I bought a PCI soundcard and plugged it into the old PC

 

Soldered up the 15 pin connector with the 2 resistors and voila it worked first pop with the IR LEDs and sensors.

 

So joystick is definitely the way to go

 

Thanks all

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