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Scorpius-wireless Digital Slot Car Project.

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Day 4 Friday 18th Dec 2020, paperwork and files, BOM etc sent to 3 different manufacturers for quoting. 
No hand assembling or cottage industry assembly here, only high end electronics assembly robots can do this job.

Rick

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Day 5 29th Dec 2020
Programming PCB.
The F1 car chip has 4 tiny pads for programming to save space. To quickly align the programming pins a custom set up is manufactured to not only make sure programming is fast and easy but also reliable.
Here’s the PCB that John designed. The files have been sent off to a company that specialises in rapid turn around PCBs only.
John will add a few components by hand here.
Day 6 onwards will be a waiting game. 

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Edited by aussieslotter
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The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Day 6 Sunday 20th off

Day 7 Monday 21st Redesign board 3 hours work to suit manufacturers directives. Resubmitted.

 

Day 8 Tuesday 22nd. Manufacturer confirms design is ok. The 3rd manufacturer notifies us they also cannot do a job this small so we have no choice but to go with the one who can. 
Turnaround time 4 weeks. 
Once received the program can be loaded on . The advantage of using the same chip as the Gen II chip is huge.
 

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Hi Rum Runner,

We’re on holiday anyway until end of January.

Edited by aussieslotter

www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Hi Guys,
So heres the first pass on the world first nano chip ie 10.0x5.0mm or less. 
Application: Scorpius Wireless only.
Photo of new F1 chip shown next to current generation of Scorpius car decoder for comparison. 

It features the Nordic nRF52832 wafer chip.
Dongle and app connect.
Full wireless telemetry 
Best line system ULTIMA
Anti collision 
3A power mosfets
DC only.
Size 9.4x5.0 of 47.0sq.mm
Thickness 2.9mm
Volume 136.3 cubic mm
Double sided.
Component count 28 on board.
Gold plated pins.

Is smaller possible? A 7.5x4.0mm is possible, dependent on current trials.

Progress: Programming and firmware stage.

Project name: Scorpius F1 Nano car decoder.
Date of F1 project commencement: Nov 15th 2020
Today Monday 25th Jan is day 42.
Specification documents: 1 day.
Design time: 2 days by John Huberts.
BOM documentation and schematics 1 day.
Manufacture time 28 days as promised by manufacturer.
Transport 4 days.
We are still on summer break back early February 2021.

Note board is 9.4mm long but snap off bits due to manufacturing requirements need to be filed. 
Verniers show 9.47 but board is actually 9.4 long.
Still a lot of work to go, sometimes a new PCB must be made. All part of the game.
Some of this development willl go into the Gen II chip. 

This project is not only a commercial project but also a FUN project for all concerned.


Another WORLD FIRST for Team Scorpius!
 

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The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Board programmed and testing begins.

DFU function completed.

Wiring completed.

And a Mock up pic of a typical 1:64 scale car with chip fitted. 
 

Rick

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Thought I’d update my Carrera system and spoil myself to a C7042 Advanced powerbase.

 

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Scorpius is only a decade ahead of the majors.

Top picture: Scorpius Wireless 2.4GHz throttle world first 2006 (Scorpius electronics in Scalextric throttle casing).

Bottom picture: Scalextric digital Wireless throttle 2.4GHz 2017

Hmmm I wonder where they got the idea from?

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

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This is the Scorpius digital multi protocol vertical test track which is currently being assembled Downunder.

It will test chip performance on motor drive performance and reliability as well as  lap counting and lane changing performance, k limits and reliability.

In the picture anti clockwise we have:

1. Carrera Control Unit.

2.Scorpius Lane Brain. This will drive the LEDs and receive lap count and lane change commands. A program we have puts a timestamp into an excel file and produces a bell tone on every successful command, so you can hear it while you multitask. Switch between lap count and lane change using a quick wireless reconfiguration.

3. Scalextric C7042 Advanced powerbase.

4. Scalextric Arc Pro powerbase.

5.Scalextric C7030 powerbase.

6.Ninco digital powerbase.

7. SCX Advance Bluetooth lapcounter. on its way from Spain.

8. Oxigen. Empty, Magnet to be installed under track for start finish line. 2 magnets to be installed for pit stops. Oxigen lane change chip to be installed for lane change testing.

This is in preparation for current and upcoming projects. 

The loop makes for efficient large scale testing, generally in runs of 1000 or 10,000   laps. 

All lane change testing will be done by routing solenoid driver wires to an LED or possibly a modified Scorpius car chip back to the rest program.

Testing of lapcounting on the various systems will use proprietary powerbase or dongle and accompanying 3rd software or app if chosen/applicable. 

Test loop hardware to be powered by a lab quality 20V, 30A or 15V, 30A regulated and variable power supply in order to test at various voltages/speeds. Connecting leads for each powerbase except SCX have been made up so far.

Simple banks of switches will be used to isolate each powerbase as required.

First test will be the F1 chip which arrives early next week. 
And very soon the Scalextric braid plate chip.

 

 

 

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Edited by aussieslotter
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Hi Guys,

 SCX Advance lapcounter arrived so time to add it to the worlds only digital multi protocol test track.

 

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

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SCX board using 16 year old Nordic 24L01 microprocessor. Still relevant but something I wouldn’t use on a new development.

Also funny to see a 3rd party development board tacked onto their main board just to get Bluetooth connrction. 
Engineering here not exactly impressive. 
However our task is to simply reproduce the LED ID codes to add to our state of the art Gen 2 chip development.

 

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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16 hours ago, C-Type said:

Hi Rick, I wonder if it is slightly misleading to call the nRF24L01+ a microprocessor? Technically it is a radio frequency transmit/receive module not a microprocessor/microcontroller.

 

It then starts to make more sense that SCX are using the nRF24L01+ alongside a reasonable spec microcontroller. Its an entirely valid partitioning of a low cost digital slot car system. And of course the nRF24L01+ remains a valid and current member of the Nordic product range.

 

Out of interest, how many Scorpius in-market products use the nRF24L01+ radio module alongside an 8bit microcontroller?

 

It just feels like you are perhaps being a little harsh on a fairly recently launched competitor product which builds on their many years of in-market expertise.

c

 

 

 

Hi Iain,

As a hobbyist with a long list of failures and over 100 unfinished projects you don’t have the experience to comment in these areas to be honest. It adds nothing to this SCORPIUS development only thread. 

Let me explain.

Firstly radio chip would be a better description true . However it is indeed a (radio) processor and it is your style to ignore the big picture and nit pick. Yes I know the Scorpius armour is bullet proof as you’ve found so I understand nit picking is the only avenue for you to try to get a rise. 

Next, you know very well 5 existing Scorpius Products use 24L01, so why ask? To try to score points? Fail. It works fine sure but is simply still available for manufacturers to use in repeat orders. No engineer ( or on your case a self proclaimed hobbyist) in their right mind would use it for new developments. Lol we were the first to use this in the slot car industry 15 years ago so really there’s nothing you can teach team Scorpius about the 24L01 chip. Ok?

The advantages are clear with the new range of chips where the main microprocessor and radio processor are combined into one small 6x6mm chip which had a better spec and very cost effective, and perfect for miniaturisation. But you know that. You also stated 52840 was a better choice for slot car applications over the 52832. Seems however you realised Johns choice is the best and you now show 52832 in your designs. But you knew that too. What’s this tell us?

No......it makes no sense to use 15 year old technology when much newer ones are available. It makes no sense to put 2 radio chips in a simple device. So how is wasting money cost saving? Are you serious?

 As disclosed on SlotForum it’s a 11 year old design by the previous owners that sat in the shelf for 9 years. That’s the only reason they used it. So no it makes no sense at all. It gets worse though....

Let me get this right....This unit simply reads a simple LED ID code and sends that ID to a BT device for lap counting. 

The plan originally was to use the 24L01, but obviously an afterthought so they added a Arduino BT board after they realised they messed up. Or maybe they planned to send it to a PC via a 24L01 dongle. Looks like an amateur job, admit it. Who the hell is stupid enough to tack a BT development board onto a custom made PCB when it could be designed into the board itself? Would Scorpius do this? 

So now it has a 24L01 chip onboard and accompanying circuitry that is not required, a waste of time and money and an embarrassment to Technitoys and anyone supporting this design.

As you can see in the pictures a badly designed 1500 sq.mm design versus a 338 sq.mm design.

That’s how you do it. A smaller, better, more future proofed board aka the Scorpius Multi Purpose Multi Protocol board.

So harsh? I don’t care about sensitivities. I’m here to tell the facts through the eyes of a developer who’s job it is to spot failures and build products are up to standard.

Pictures below.

SCX lapcount board 1500 so mm with error workarounds shown. 

And Scorpius MPD 338 sq. mm.

 

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www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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15 hours ago, C-Type said:

 

Launch of nRF24L01+: November 2008

 

I wonder if it makes better sense for manufacturers to exercise a degree of caution when expressing critical opinion of other manufacturers products. Clearly this is a Scorpius thread... but by making reference to the engineering aspects of competitor products... it opens up the thread somewhat. And it seems all too easy to make accidental mistakes when doing so.

 

c

Iain, 

So the + version is 13 years old not 16. Still the worst piece of slot car electronics engineering  (at least by a manufacturer) Ive seen to date. Anyone defending this abortion needs their heads read.

Are you wondering or just making a statement in disguise? 

In answer to your question I don't need to exercise any degree of caution when stating my opinion, are you that sensitive my opinions about products? Or do the products have feelings too?

Im about to invest time and money into real enhancements to the SCX system.  A cheaper, better product that connects to a proper PC driven RMS.  But I think you missed all of that.

I have every right to comment on abortions like this.....I don't pull punches to try to gain friends on the internet.

The question may better asked like this:

I wonder if it makes better sense for hobbyists to exercise a degree of caution when expressing critical opinion of other manufacturers research and development. Clearly this is a Scorpius thread... but by making reference to the engineering aspects of manufacturers statements..... it opens up the thread somewhat. And it seems all too easy to make accidental mistakes when doing so.

Rick


www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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13 hours ago, C-Type said:

I see you have fairly strong opinions on the SCX-A bluetooth module so I dont think I will go there responding to your various points.

That said it will be interesting to see how the system holds up in your test loop configuration. 

c

That’s nothing.....wait till you see the Arc Pro review. It’s a beauty.


www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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You must have a different version to me. My Advance BT lapcounter has one circuit for 2 lanes. Series.

We plan a car decoder and a lapcounter to go with our very own race management software for PC. The SCX race app is the poorest Ive encountered. 
 

 


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The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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If you carefully re-read my previous post the one aim is to offer a proper PC based RMS. The existing BT unit can’t achieve this.
They are powered parallel that’s obvious not that it matters. Lap series appear to be in series as they are joined, but I’d have to study the boards themselves (Johns job) but it’s all irrelevant as we don’t plan to modify it or work with it other than to make our decoder compatible to it. 

When you said 4 channels I assumed you meant 4 lapcounting channels. The 2 pit lane inputs are also in the care factor zero basket as they aren’t compatible to our RMS. Pit sensor is two wires so I can’t see how 4 channels is possible, as you state.. Again it’s irrelevant for our purposes.  We want up to 9 seperate pit sensors, one for each possible car, not just one. All wireless of course.

Lastly in response to your question we don’t plan to replace the car decoder AND the BT unit. We plan to replace the car decoder OR the BT unit. And losing the SCX app can only be a bonus. It’s very poor with almost zero functionality. 
So what’s left? Quite a bit, it’s up to the individual.

All very timely as I have guys in a SCX Advance club scenario in Mexico where they urgently want to upgrade to pure Scorpius because of this very reason.

So say 5 Scorpius MPDs along with the Scorpius RMS and can have 4 car pits and reliable lap counting for less than $300AUD. (150GBP). Or use the BT unit and SCX app and upgrade the car chip and controller to Scorpius for a better experience and all the benefits of our controller and MPD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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All our research is done in house but thanks anyway.

Our only requirement is to read and copy the cars LED code, then code our MPD to mimic it. Code out from the Locator Pro will be universally Scorpius. 


www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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Ok onto testing limits of the new chip ie destroy a few chips.

Here we have the car on minimum 10m/s using an NSR Mosler with Shark 25K motor. Voltage 20.0V.

10,000 laps were achieved in 92 minutes.

After each test we test for heat in the chip just using touch. I can report this chip was warm to the touch with no issues.

New 46K Shark on order.

Next stage implement telemetry and then Car ID Set Up.

In the meantime I’ll be able to install track comm LEDs into the loop.

Top marks to team engineer John.

To get such a complex chip running as hard and as reliably like this first attempt is a remarkable achievement.

 

https://youtube.com/shorts/rbttcKkL7Bo?feature=share

 

Rick

Edited by aussieslotter

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Hi Guys

Just got a message from team Scorpius 

Ryk and Dave have been working on simulations in the Scorpius RMS.

 

Hi Rick,

Step by step, always seems to take a little longer than it could.
 
We are just about finished with testing. No known issues at this time, I’ll be running thru all 3 dongle setups once more just to insure no new issues cropped up during the last few fixes. Recorded lap cars working again with 2 or 3 dongles.
 
A handy, easy to implement new feature was added- now you can remove a car from the pit lane without causing an on-track Yellow (to adjust braid, etc). Car will continue to refuel while off-track. Before, there was no way to remove a car from the track without causing a track-wide Yellow for the other drivers. Great for practice, endurance races, etc.
 
The new version will be ready for release soon.

Ryk

So as you can see up to 3 dongles can be used. 
Three is used this way....

1. Receives throttle data

2. Receives car data.

3. Sends throttle data.

Rick


www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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On 4/14/2021 at 11:46 PM, C-Type said:

All fine... as you learn more about the Advance BT unit in achieving your stated goals of extending the SCX system capabilities - it might be useful to refer back to my above posts for insights into how the SCX BT unit is wired and configured.

Good luck with the endeavour.

c

Hi Clive 

It’s all there if you actually read it :)

Again the BT unit doesn’t come into the equation and has nothing to do with our stated goals. The aim in regards the SCX BT lapcounter is to offer an alternative lap counting and pit system. Ie the Scorpius MPD embedded in the track.  detecting SCX cars and sending data direct to the Scorpius Race Management System. Not to upgrade the existing SCX offerings, Forget the SCX BT even exists. 

If you’ve studied the SCX app it’s very basic and underwhelming. And we want a pit lane and 9 pit bays. Wouldn’t that be nice for SCX-A users. We want 4 lane lapcounting and a PC based race management system. And we want sector timing. All possible. 
So a typical scenario you could use all SCX gear and just add the Scorpius MPD wireless lap counter, dongle and Scorpius race software. 

Another example use the SCX lap counter and track but use Scorpius car decoder and Scorpius controller. The car decoder will detect DC on rails and start producing SCX code from the SSD LED, the fly lead one. Just place it 10.5mm offset in the chassis and go. It’s that’s simple. 

Or just use your SCX track and upgrade everything else to 

When the product is finally released in its initial  format as the car decoder it’s going to a lot of fun slowly adding new products every couple of months until completed.

Think of the MPD as an Arduino for any type of digital slot application. With digital and analogue ins and outs, motor drivers, current sensors, back EMF detection, tachometer, hall sensor, accelerometer, propriety RF and phone connectivity. All on a board 27.5x13.3x1.7mm!  Aussie car decoder invention and innovation.


 

Rick


www.scorpiuswireless.com

The original wireless digital system that GRUNTZ! :)

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