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MrFlippant

Slot.it SCP Controller (basics)

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I've been using Slot.it SCP controllers for more than 10 years of my slot racing history, starting with the SCP1. I won't claim to know, or be able to teach, everything there is to know about it, but I've helped a few people figure their controllers out over the years. After several recent requests, I threw together an uncut (I hate editing) instructional video to help new and prospective owners come to grips with the available settings on the controller. I hope those interested in the SCP(3) will find this video helpful.

 

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Don't know how these are being snapped up, again with today's racing one Slot.it controller caused issues requiring us to unplug the Slot.it controller, plug a resistor controller in, pull trigger, unplug the resistor controller and plug the Slot.it controller back in to get the Slot.it controller to work..

This had to be done 4 times, this situation has occurred on 4 different tracks and 4 different controllers, there is obviously something amiss with the Slot.it controllers, where? Who knows, but for the money they are not to be trusted nor relied upon, sad as I thought they would be a decent controller and was going to buy 4 of them for my track but after witnessing this bad behaviour on 4 different tracks and 4 different Slot.it controllers, nop not spending money on them.

edit:
to fix the ongoing issue with all Slot.it controllers, what we now do is unplug the Slot.it controller, plug in a Resistor controller, pull trigger, unplug resistor controller, plug Slot.it controller back in and away it goes until it decides to play up once again, guaranteed

Edited by Johnno
added a work around/fix

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Wow. I can understand why anyone would avoid them if they were involved, even as a witness, in that kind of problem. I've never seen anything like that happen, but I don't doubt your recounting of the event.

I don't work for any slot car company, let alone slot.it, and I can't speak for Maurizio, but I have met him a few times when he was in my area for one thing or another. If there's one thing I know about him, it's that he will want to know about that event so that he can get more information in order to find the problem, and fix it so that it doesn't happen again. Did anyone contact slot.it support after that happened? Do you recall the specific handle in use (SCP1/2/3?)? More importantly, do you recall what cartridge was being used? I've never even heard anything like that happening, and certainly have never seen it or had it happen to me, but I also have not used every possible handle and cartridge combination there is. I've never used their "Universal Analog" cartridge, or some of the home set cartridges. Did this happen when using the  Universal Analog cartridge?

If I were to relay this story to slot.it, is there someone I can put them into contact with that would be willing to provide more information, and maybe even do some testing? I understand if not, but I'll tell them about this either way. I guarantee that is  NOT the norm, and if the problem can be traced down, slot.it will do everything they can to prevent it happening in the future.

Thanks for posting about that issue. If there's another post on the forum, or elsewhere, with more information or discussion, please post or PM a link to me so that I can make sure slot.it see that thread.

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The previously mentioned problem sounds very much like over current / voltage protection activating, saving the equipment from damage.

It would not change my decision on what to buy.

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www.sydneyslotcars.com

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That's a reasonable explanation. Hopefully we can get clarification from Johnno. Along with knowing the specifics about the controller, it's clear that we'd also need to know about the track and cars being used.

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I did a review of the original SCP-1 in 2007 and there were comments about blowing fuses. I noted Mark mentioned at the time about loose braids causing shorts and this has happened to us. The SCP-1 was different to the latest and only had a low rated fuse. Possibly a minor short from errant braids are causing the over current issue?

Here is the review with some minor text issues I have no idea how they ended up there?

 

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I don't think a fuse rating was the issue - I blew a few fuses early on in our plastic track days, with big magnets, before I realised I was putting in "fast blow" instead of slow blow.
But yes, as Vinno says; the odd stray wire between the braids on the guide as the guide turned, is one thing that would be capable of triggering the internal protection circuitry, requiring something of the order which Johnno reports. [without a blown fuse]
But Johnno - to make a blanket statement like these are not to be trusted, or relied upon, when there are many thousands of all the iterations in daily use all over the biggest market of Europe seems a bit harsh.
They are probably just being "a bit smart for their own good" in whatever is causing them to shut down - then be fine again; is some situation of protecting the controller, but it is not damaged. You probably didn;t need to plug in a resistor controller at all. Just give the Slot.it a chance and time to re-set.
Things like a car jumping lanes could not just double draw- but cause momentary braid shorts on the track that caused the problem.
I still have an SCP-1 using standard analog cartridge, all original, and an SCP-2 with a high current cartridge - but that was chosen simply as I thought i might get into a bit of steel chassis racing with the "Falcon" motors.
Sometimes with non-slotters on my track, I give them an SCP to use, on strict instruction that they are not to fiddle with the switches and dials !!!

I normally use a DD304 Difalco with the full power and full brake relays on the cable, but recently I broke my sensitivity pot, so I used the SCP-2 for a club racing night quite happily - I just missed that last bit of stopping power, with the internal brake function.

I would echo what MrF says - Slot.it are not shy of listening to customers with a problem, their attitude is always that it is the customers who are their greatest resource for improving, and never want an unhappy customer. They are totally people-first as a team. 
Would you be okay with me alerting Maurizio or the guy in the office who is the controller guru on a daily basis, to read this thread to make contact with you? 

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Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
 My Track Oakland Raceway V2     Our Club  HMBRC     

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Doesn't your process above ( of plugging in a resistor controller to reset) prove that the source of the problem is not the SCP? 

The resistor controller can only be resetting something other than the SCP because the SCP is unplugged when you do this reset.

Maybe the SCP is shutting down because of  something off-spec in the track's power supply?

AlanW

 

 

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Good point Nonfractal,

on one of my braided tracks sometimes a single thread of the braid breaks away and shorts across the slot to the other braid. This effectively slows or stops that lane.

If it can't be located visually I reluctantly turn up the power to burn it off. Occasionally I see a small spark as the offending piece is vaporised. Then the lane is back to normal.

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www.sydneyslotcars.com

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I just thought I would add my comments as I am also part of the group which Johno was referring to in experiencing the occasional problem with the Slot It Controller

There are six guys in our little group and, 5 members use SCP2’s and one member has a Truspeed controller.

The member with a Truespeed controller has not experienced any issues with his controller, the issues are all related to the SCP2 controller. 

The issue we have experienced with the SCP2’s is that the controller once plugged into the track on very rare occasions will go into what I think is a self protection mode where the leds on the controller will all flash when the trigger is pressed and there is no power to the track. It does seem that the controller is reacting to a fault in the power and is protecting itself from further damage.

The issue has happened to everyone using the SCP2,s but it is nowhere near as frequent as you may think. It happens perhaps once per meet with one controller on one occasion.

It has happened on all four routed tracks that we use so it has occurred on tracks with different power supplies and different tracks.

Personally I am reluctant to say it is a short such as braid arcing across lanes as it is happening on different tracks.

I do not believe it is wiring as again it happens on multiple tracks.

Johno’s comment about plugging in a resistor controller on the lane when the fault occurs and then reconnecting SCP2’s I think is more to do with the time it takes to remove the SCPs connect and test a resistor controller and the plug back in the SCP2 which has allowed the SCP2 to reset and it then works again.

In summary the problem does exist it is quite rare maybe once per one or two meets can be any of the 5 controllers. It does not happen to Professor Motor, Pama, Truespeed controllers and seems to be the controller reacting to something and going it protection mode which is cleared when the controller is reset by unplugging and reconnecting the controller.

If anyone at SlotIt wants to  to contact me I would be happy to discuss 

 

Regards

Tsmsoccer

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Thanks for the additional information. 

Can you recall what CARTRIDGE is in the handle of all these controllers? SCP2 is just a handle, like SCP1 and SCP3. It's the cartridge that determines what kinds of tracks it can connect to, as well as how it responds to fault situations.

 

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24 minutes ago, MrFlippant said:

Thanks for the additional information. 

Can you recall what CARTRIDGE is in the handle of all these controllers? SCP2 is just a handle, like SCP1 and SCP3. It's the cartridge that determines what kinds of tracks it can connect to, as well as how it responds to fault situations.

 

If I read it right in the centre of the module towards the bottom GE112B I also have a GE112A but it is the second series being used

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I'm not familiar with those codes in reference to slot.it products.

This is the  Universal Analog cartridge. It goes into the SCP handle (the SCP1, SCP2, or SCP3). This is the thing that actually matters.

 

SCP201bc.jpg

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Yes I know the number is there on your picture just below the nut I can make out the GE1 but not the other letters from your picture.

I assume we are talking about the same thing.

The cartridge in the picture has the double fuse where the ones we are using is the single fuse version

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OK. I understand. I'm not sure what that code is for, but it's not the product code.

Single fuse indicates that it's not the universal analog cart shown above. 

Assuming this was at a club using 3 wire connectors, and the controllers had a single red-encased cable coming from the handle, it sounds like they were the original analog club cartridges. slot.it's new site doesn't show old product, so I can't easily find an example for you. It also has a self-resetting fuse in it, which is probably what was tripping.

I can see how that would be frustrating, and put people off of the controller. As mentioned earlier, it's protecting itself from damage from something. It's good that other controllers have not suffered from the source, but it's also good that the SCP didn't suffer actual damage, too. 

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53 minutes ago, MrFlippant said:

OK. I understand. I'm not sure what that code is for, but it's not the product code.

Single fuse indicates that it's not the universal analog cart shown above. 

Assuming this was at a club using 3 wire connectors, and the controllers had a single red-encased cable coming from the handle, it sounds like they were the original analog club cartridges. slot.it's new site doesn't show old product, so I can't easily find an example for you. It also has a self-resetting fuse in it, which is probably what was tripping.

I can see how that would be frustrating, and put people off of the controller. As mentioned earlier, it's protecting itself from damage from something. It's good that other controllers have not suffered from the source, but it's also good that the SCP didn't suffer actual damage, too. 

Its not a big deal really like most we enjoy the Slot It controllers that's why 5 out of 6 of us are using them. Would be nice to resolve the issue so we will take more notice when it occurs again,

I have attached a picture of the cartridge

http://SCP-controller.jpg

Thanks for the input

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Double post 

Edited by aussieslotter

www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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We have a couple of people using the Slot It controllers down here, on two occasions the controller self resetting fuse has worked and the controller stopped.

The second time it happened we believe it was caused by the cars braids shorting across both track braids when the car either de slotted or was marshaled.

As it only happens occasionally it is hard to pin point, but worth checking.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

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Good morning gentlemen.

GE112A and GE112B are the two first 'home racing', positive polarity cartridges that we made.

Stuttering can happen for two reasons

1 - self protection when the controller reads a current value which is greater than about 3A.

2 - broken power supply wire. Make sure that the three red/white/black wires are not broken - they may look OK on the outside but broken inside. In particular, we've seen this happen on the red (GND) cable and, oddly enough, the controller can work through the ground connection running through the car, albeit badly.

For point 1 above, if you accept the risk you may remove the protection. You will also notice an improvement in performance, but you run the risk of burning out the power MOSFETs in your cartridge.  If your power supply is at most 3A per lane, then you're running low or zero  risks - if you have 30A available, than things may be different.
So if you decide to give it a try, shunt the two resistors marked '050' in the back of the cartridge, near the cartridge's connector, one on each side, with a piece of wire... (the 'legs' of a capacitor, resistor, etc. will do nicely). I can't post pictures apparently, so I will give it to someone to post it for me.

 

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7 hours ago, Slot.it said:

Good morning gentlemen.

GE112A and GE112B are the two first 'home racing', positive polarity cartridges that we made.

Stuttering can happen for two reasons

1 - self protection when the controller reads a current value which is greater than about 3A.

2 - broken power supply wire. Make sure that the three red/white/black wires are not broken - they may look OK on the outside but broken inside. In particular, we've seen this happen on the red (GND) cable and, oddly enough, the controller can work through the ground connection running through the car, albeit badly.

For point 1 above, if you accept the risk you may remove the protection. You will also notice an improvement in performance, but you run the risk of burning out the power MOSFETs in your cartridge.  If your power supply is at most 3A per lane, then you're running low or zero  risks - if you have 30A available, than things may be different.
So if you decide to give it a try, shunt the two resistors marked '050' in the back of the cartridge, near the cartridge's connector, one on each side, with a piece of wire... (the 'legs' of a capacitor, resistor, etc. will do nicely). I can't post pictures apparently, so I will give it to someone to post it for me.

 

Here is the picture Maurizio from Slot It requested posted

http://PIc-of-Controller.png

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7 hours ago, Slot.it said:

Good morning gentlemen.

GE112A and GE112B are the two first 'home racing', positive polarity cartridges that we made.

Stuttering can happen for two reasons

1 - self protection when the controller reads a current value which is greater than about 3A.

2 - broken power supply wire. Make sure that the three red/white/black wires are not broken - they may look OK on the outside but broken inside. In particular, we've seen this happen on the red (GND) cable and, oddly enough, the controller can work through the ground connection running through the car, albeit badly.

For point 1 above, if you accept the risk you may remove the protection. You will also notice an improvement in performance, but you run the risk of burning out the power MOSFETs in your cartridge.  If your power supply is at most 3A per lane, then you're running low or zero  risks - if you have 30A available, than things may be different.
So if you decide to give it a try, shunt the two resistors marked '050' in the back of the cartridge, near the cartridge's connector, one on each side, with a piece of wire... (the 'legs' of a capacitor, resistor, etc. will do nicely). I can't post pictures apparently, so I will give it to someone to post it for me.

 

Would a refund be more appropriate rather than end user workarounds and compromises? 

Edited by aussieslotter
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www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Stop stirring Rick. 


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
 My Track Oakland Raceway V2     Our Club  HMBRC     

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@MrFlippantThanks for taking the time to put thisvideo together. As a new comer to more serious slot cars racing and knowing little about controllers it took away some of the confusion I had.

I have always just been an old school controller guy who ignored any of the bells and whistles as I always looked at controllers as something all racers should use the same. I guess this attitude gets back to the rich kid having the best bike and the poor kid having the best talent.

In saying all this I need to get on board and get a controller.

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Have to keep an eye out on the braids in case, as mentioned, it could be a braid wire shorting. I very rarely see a flash from the braids on random cars, this as I said is very rare, maybe something close to 1 in 30 (or more) odd races... hmm more ongoing investigation and closer watching of the car, the track and the controller is needed, which is hard when concentrating on racing as we all know.

 

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