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Dr_C

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Dr_C

273 posts

I still believe it would be useful to try the slot.it SICH10 guide blade as a potential interim solution... I agree that Scalextric should offer a solution if ultimately it is proven to be a design issue... but the SICH10 is little more than the cost of a good cup of coffee... so worth a try?

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

Hi MichaelDrago,

What you have found may be significant... perhaps along the lines of a defect during manufacturing whereby the copper material has not been fully etched away between the tracks on the circuit board. Given these narrow tracks connect with the gate drive of the power MOSFETs... might be the problem... please leave as is for the present and I will get back to you with a test procedure to establish if these are indeed short circuits between the copper tracks... looks promising progress...

 

C

 

Dr_C

273 posts

The small switch on the side of the power base is moved towards the track for ANALOG and away from the track for DIGITAL.

C

Dr_C

273 posts

So we are looking at the possibility of a short somewhere between the pcb copper tracks or a failed Q3. This is the transistor which applies the brake function to one of the lanes when activated, i.e. when its gate electrode is driven positive by a signal from the main microcontroller. The transistor should normally be open circuit. This is a surface mount transistor so a little bit of a challenge to remove. Lets look at the photographs before considering next steps. How are your soldering skills and/or dremel skills?

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

OK, I suggest the following next steps...

 

1/ please visually inspect the area where you removed the flek... is there any chance the copper track is visibly bridging between pin 3 and pin 4? Another photo would help ifpossible please?

 

2/ with the 15V power supply completed disconnected, and with the four pin track power plug also removed please take five measurements with the meter set to the lowest resistance measurement setting. Please measure resistance between pins 1 and 2 - then again with the probes reversed. The please measure resistance between pins 4 and 3 - then again with the probe pins reversed. Finally measure the resistance of the probe leads by touching the two probe tips together directly.

 

This data should help with final pin-pointing ofthe problem...

 

I still suspect the site of the flek of debris I am sure together we can get this powerbase back into full working order... which continent do you live in?

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

Just to add clarity... the flek of debris is located precisely where, if the solder mask was missing... an electrical short would result between ground and the PWM track output.  This would lead to a current overload whenever the corresponding throttle controller is pressed... sound familar?

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

Interesting... the photos do appear to show a small flek of shiney metallic debris between pins 3 and 4 of the track power socket. I am using the convention that the square pad is pin 1. Pin 3 is ground and pin 4 is PWM power for one of the lanes. This could be the problem... although normally the green solder mask would prevent a short circuit for this type of debris... but then perhaps the problem was caused by a pin hole in the masking material... maybe...

 

Would be useful to see if the flek can be removed using something insulating and soft such as a wooden cocktail stick. But dont press too hard as you could damage the electronic tracks underneath.

Two questions...

1/ do you have a digital test meter.

2/ if you trace the faulty lane back to this socket, does this lane correspond to pins 3 and 4?

 

C

 

Dr_C

273 posts

Looking forward to reviewing the pcb photos - hoping we can find a solution for you,

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

the lane changers need to be perfectly flat... I would keep then away from bridges, fly-over ramps and steps in carpet etc. If there is any additional friction resistance at their flipper pivot points they are likely to become unreliable...

 

C

Dr_C

273 posts

Yes, I suspect you have done as woodcote suggests... probably you loaded the wrong firmware onto the ARC PRO powerbase when yo were using nRF tools. I believe the version you need to use is now BLE v2.6 and please make sure it is for ARC PRO and not ARC AIR.

 

I suspect the firmware you used was from the slot.it website where there are two versions of firmware intended for the  ARC wireless throttle controllers... one to switch the controller to the oxigen system (not compatible with Scalextric powerbases) and the other (labelled Hornby) which switches the firmware back to compatibility with ARC PRO and ARC AIR.

 

Next step should be to getthe ARC PRO system functioning again... i.e. controllers functionng with the powerbase...

 

Hope this helps... good luck... and please let us know how you get on...

 

C

 

https://www.scalextric.com/uk-en/arc-firmware-update

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