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Dr_C

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Dr_C

309 posts

Maybe I am misunderstanding the situation - if so please forgive me...

 

1/ the ARC PRO should automatically connect over Bluetooth as soon as the app is opened. This, of course, assumes the bluetooth function on the smart phone Has been enabled.

 

2/ if you use the usual bluetooth search and connect function inside the smartphone operating system then the ARC PRO will not show up. You cannot connect manually to it As you would when pairing other devices such as headphones etc.

 

3/ there is a useful app called BlueLight which you can use to scan for all bluetooth devices in the vicinity of the smartdevice including those which are normally hidden. Load this app and start scanning and then thevARC PRO should show up. Does this happen?

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

Yes, I too believe there are two unrelated issues here.

 

1/ I believe the voltage reading issue points to the need to upgrade PIC18 to firmware v2.4 which we know corrects an analog in-balance of power between the two lanes at full throttle. I believe this relates to how the internal drive electronics generates the required gate drive voltages for the high side output transistors. This drive electronics needs a pulsed waveform to generatr these voltages... hence the sydtem needs to be firmware controlled to never quite reach 100% duty ratio. Well thats my explanation, but the simpler answer... if you are in the habit of driving at 100%... then do the v2.4 firmware upgrade.

 

2/ I believe the effects observed while driving are more likely due to intermittent connections at track joints... IMO.

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

Just a few thoughts from me:

1/ the ARC PRO in analog mode uses a technique known as pulse width modulation to vary power to the motor. Hence, digital multimeters operating in dc have an impossible task - are we loooking for mean dc level, peak level or something else?

 

2/ earlier firmware version (PIC18 v2.1) had a very slight imbalance on max power levels so likely would record a difference on digital multimeters - though in fact the power level differences for cars on track appeared very small.

 

3/ I suspect the problem is not related to any of the above and may come down to poor connections. What happens if the car is held in position on track with the drive wheels lifted up? How consistent and smooth is the throttle control?

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

I did precisely as Woodcote describes and was happy with the result...

 

C

 

https://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=22159&p=2229175

 

Dr_C

309 posts

It appears that ARC PRO powerbases manufactured from week 14 of 2018 onwards should use an internal printed circuit board (labelled v0.4) that corrects track polarity reversal. These later powerbases allow 2-into-1 connection of lane rails and so do not require the modification to CLCs as described earlier in this thread. They may still require a simpler modification if analog operation is to be retained.

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

TGreat point Andy P, the improved lap counter performance will certainly make it easier to implement random lane changing for autonomous pacer cars for use with the ARC PRO... that nicely reminds me to get the SSD compatible multi pacer car project finished :)

 

Many thanks

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

The ARC app manual, written for all users and with insights from an experienced user perspective... is great! Big thanks to Woodcote, we are all benefitting from his superb drafting and editing skills.

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

And, the two ARC PRO Le Mans sets I have seen recently both have the new updated powerbase. This removes the track polarity concern of the earlier version of ARC PRO and it effectively sorts the LC button press issue when crossing the start finish line. This is a great development!

 

For home race circuits, at normal fast speeds, the lap counting is now fully reliable whether LC is pressed, or not, when crossing the S/F line. For very fast raceways and very fast drag strips there may still be some residual ID read issues when the LC button is pressed for the higher IDs e.g. IDs4-6... In these extreme circumstances a rule of not pressing the LC button while passing the S/F line would still make sense. For the rest of us, who race our cars at normal fast speeds, for the latest powerbase hardware solves the LC button issue.

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

Hi Hammertime,

Thanks for your patience on this one... looking at the design spec of the ARC PRO, and the sensor circuits in play I have concluded there are two ways forward.

 

1/ With some relatively simple additional hardware, an approach based on wiring sensors together will become possible. This solution will function with the Magic unofficial ARC app but not the Hornby official ARC app. This is the quickest and easiest route to getting four lane solutions functioning with the ARC PRO.

 

2/ I am also working on a more advanced four lane solution which adds compatibility with both the Hornby official ARC app and the Magic unofficial ARC app. To get this solution functioning requires some quite advanced firmware to be written and endurance tested. Also, this approach involves a lot more design effort... it will bring some added opportunities... e.g more advanced sensing of vehicles entering pit lanes etc.

 

I am working on both... clearly 1 will be ready first...

 

Hope this update helps...

 

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Dr_C

309 posts

Hi Zoopy, that is great news... so for some new ARC PRO powerbases the track power modifications are nolonger required. Great progress by Hornby in developing the performance and compatibility of the ARC PRO...

 

:) 

 

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