Getting your Car to Count Laps

Scalextric BTCC car

For ARC Pro to count laps, there are two considerations - a number of hardware-based issues and one important software step when you set up the race in the ARC app software. In the ARC Powerbase, there are two sensors, the first that is triggered by a black guide breaking the IR beam in the slot, prompting the second to pick up the ID of the car via the chips IR emitter. The guide must pass before the IR LED and the car must travel from right to left, with the 'ARC PRO' text on the track facing you. So that's three hardware issues - a black guide, LED behind the guide and right to left.

The Rule of Three Colours

Scalextric ARC Pro race screen

The rule of three colours is the software issue - and has tripped up many people.

The three colours are:

  1. Connect Controllers (p8 & p9 of the Quick Start Guide)
  2. Connect Cars (p10 of the Quick Start Guide)
  3. Car/Driver set-up in the ARC app.

The first two colours are set using the Quick Start Guide - a controller connected to red on the powerbase will control a car also connected to red. To function with the app, that car/driver needs to be set up with the red tile in the app. By default, the cars are listed in colour order in the app. If you have set up a two-car race, you'll have red and green. A four-car race will have red, green, blue and yellow. And so on... The car connected to red on the powerbase must be set up in the first tile - which also has a red border. On the right you'll see how it looks as the race is running, with the coloured border of each tile:

Keep it Simple

Of course it is possible to customise the colours in the set-up menu - to choose, say, white, yellow and green - but you have to be careful and the app can, sometimes, get glitchy. I tend to treat the app nicely and run with the default order.

To save time, I often use the coloured helmet icons in the app rather than car pictures. So red always has the red helmet in the set-up tile, green has the green helmet etc. To keep things simple, you could also attach a small coloured dot to each of the cars when they are connected to the powerbase - or keep a list on a piece of paper. The ARC controllers have coloured lanyards that should - of course - always correspond to the colour they are attached to on the powerbase. A full set of six coloured lanyards comes with a boxed ARC Pro controller and with the ARC Pro upgrade kit.