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Dr_C

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Dr_C

293 posts

Isnt that verging on being a bit accusational...? can you be sure it was not working at the point of sale? Anyway... clearly its not functioning now and that must be very annoying... so... to sum up... you have two functionng ARC AIR single button wireless controllers and a powerbase which functions on only one lane... right?

 

From what you have said so far it is more than likely to be one of two orthree easil identifiable smd components That is at fault.. if you want to get it fixed... a photo of the top of the circuit board which shows all the components close to the track side of the printed circuit board would really help please. Also, confirmation as to which lane is giving the problem would also help please...

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

Ok, I now see that this thread is about alternatives to the ARC AIR while there is a separate thread on the subject of looking into possible diagnostics for repairing the powerbase... so I will contribute there... good luck!

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

So a few (two) thoughts from me...

 

1/ if all else fails you could use the powerbase as a lapcounter only. If so you would need to de-solder and isolate (or cut and isolate) the four wires that connect the powerbase to the track lanes. When using the app you would then need to disable all of the advanced features which over-ride manual throttle control. Pit-stops should still work fine.

 

2/ in terms of fixing the fault... I agree with woodcote... visual inspection and taking some images which you share with us would be useful. Also, do you have access to a digital test meter and know how to use it to measure resistance? If so there are some simple tests I would propose...

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

Hi MichaelDrag, I am a bit puzzled... I have several ARC AIR powerbases and they all work perfectly. Are you saying you bought a faulty second hand unit? If so, what problems are you experiencing with it? Also, you mention digital... but of course the ARC AIR is for analog two car systems... are you looking for a lap counter for an analog system, but wih a digital display read-out?

I am sure with a bit more information a number of enthusiasts on this forum will be able to help you... perhaps even we will be able to diagnose the problems you are experiencing with your current powerbase...

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Dr_C

293 posts

Hi all, yes, Andy Ps suggestion is the sensible next step... try adding the black pvc tape to extend the back of the blade so that it finshes 10mm in front of the IR LED... this should then enable digital lap counting! if this sorts the problem, as I expect it will, next step will be to permanently reposition the IR LED... I or others can then talk you through what would be required... but first it makes sense to carry out the test with black tape which would confirm we are on the right track with our diagnostic...

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

yes... good point...

 

1/ Is the lap counting problem digital only or both digital and analog.

2/ elsewhere (sf) I saw reference to pacer cars... is the counting problem occuring for driver controlled cars (as opposed to pacer cars)?

 

Many thanks and looking forward to your response,

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

Very puzzling that the gap between the guide blade assembly and the DPR hatch is so large... I can see that the front axle would coincide with the hatch if it was further forward... but a betterdesign solution for compatibiity with the ARC PRO would, in my opinion, have been a split axle approach as used in the BMC minis.

 

To confirm this diagnosis, you could run the car by hand across the start line (and remember you need to cross the exit sensor too).

 

Then, temporarily extend the length of the blade using black pvc tape... and try again. The test here is bringing the rear edge of the blade closer to the IR LED... thereby improving the dual triggering of the lap sensor configuration.

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

To function correctly with the standard lap sensors fitted into the ARC PRO there is a critical distance between blade and centre line of the IR LED that is important...

 

The distance between the back of the blade and the centre of the IR LED needs to be less than approx 19mm.

 

Also, this measurement assumes the IR LED is more rear-ward than the blade.

 

From the photos I suspect that the Monto Carlo does not meet, or is marginal, with respect to this distance requirement. This would explain why laps are being missed.

 

It would be helpful if Scalextric could check compatibily of the Monto Carlos with a DPR module fitted with the ARC PRO please? If not compatible using a DPR module then drilling 3mm hole and repositioning the IR LED may be necessary...

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

From images on the web it looks like the blade assembly is a long way forward of the DPR hatch which might mean that the IR LED is too far back to function correctly with the ARC PRO. I wonder if anyone can confirm correct functioning of these cars with the ARC PRO?

 

For the ARC PRO to count laps two events need to happen simultaneously... the blade detect sensor needs to be triggered while at the sametime the IR LED on the underside needs to be above the IR detector (which is at the bottom of the slot)... for this to work correctly the rear edge of the blade assembly is usually just a few mm in front of the front of the DPR hatch.

 

I wonder if these large cars meet the ARC PRO design requirements? If not it may be necessary to reposition the IR LED in the underpan rather than in the DPR module...

 

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Dr_C

293 posts

Just a few thoughts from me... apols if they are all too obvious or already considered and ruled in or ruled out...

 

1/ I cant see how doing the very straightforward Riko mod would be likely to cause any of the problems described... particularly if the mod was done by simply removing the six screws under the track piece and then reversing the two powerwires to one of the lanes. This does not require any access to the internal electronicswithin the powerbase... so no damage to the powerbase would be likely. I would envisage the worst kindof problem might be dislodging connectors to the sensor boards. I do however recognise that doing this mod is likely to invalidate the manufacturers warranty. In summary I dont see the carrying out ofthis mod as a likely cause of the problems experienced.

 

2/ I have found the use of the pace car feature can cause instabilities in the app from time to time... for example both a pace car and anon pace car registering laps under the same driver in the app. So if there are other issues you are seeking to addres I would recommend a fresh install of the app and then to avoid selecting the pace car function until you are confident that everything else is functioning correctly.

 

3/ with the clean app install I would then systematically look to see if cars perform identically both with and without the app running. i would ensure that profile C is used for all cars and thatthrottle is set to 100%. Remember, this driver nformation is only uploaded to the powerbase when you hit prepare to race... until that point old values remain in play. 

 

4/ I would look out for a rogue car with perhaps a failng motor, or intermittent pick-up, or poorly fitted decoder... as factors which might be creating a sense of overall inconsistency of the system.

 

just opinions/thoughts/observations...

 

Hope a solution comes into sight soon... this system is usually pure fun... so hopeyou get into that mode very soon... good luck!

 

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