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Scorpius Wireless revolutionary quick change braid plate decoder
#1

Hi Guys,
Most analogue and digital racers would be familiar with the quick change braid disc that cones standard with Scalextric cars for around a decade now. 
Always the issues of soldering chips into cars to make them digital, or relying on the DPR hatch, that’s if the car has that feature. 

After reading an idea by Riko about putting the chip into the actual guide I was inspired to go one step further. Is it possible for a child or adult to install a digital with no soldering required? Without dismantling the car?
Announcing the revolutionary design for upgrading your Scalextric car to Scalextric digital.
Pic 2: Standard quick change braid disc by Scalextric.
Pic 1:Scorpius Wireless digital conversion chip for standard Scalextric cars to run on standard Scalextric Sports Digital Systems.
The board thickness is 0.7mm and the highest component 1.5mm or 2.2 mm total. This fits PERFECTLY into the available space! 
It has wireless and app connection for configuring the car decoder and upgrading firmware. Also features an accelerometer and wireless telemetry.
 
More info shortly.

Rick Field 


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#2

Wow! 
Bravo
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#3

Interesting concept. However, it won’t be compatible with ARC Pro - which is the only digital system Scalextric currently produces and what the target audience is likely to be using. The LED needs to be 6-14mm behind the trailing edge of the guide for the two-sensor lap counting protocol to work.
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#4

Yes it’s a shame they changed something that worked fine.
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#5

I believe it was similar on the C7042 Advanced Powerbase with the factory firmware, where lap counting is functional in analogue mode. So nothing has changed on the Hornby side of things...

The third-party firmware upgrades on the APB - and Dr_C's hardware mod on ARC Pro - does away with the guide sensor. That's fine for digital-only, but removes lap-counting from analogue mode. For me - and most other home hobbyists - that dual function is a very big plus point about the system.

More hardcore digital enthusiasts may well be changing out the Scalextric guide for a better one - and they certainly won't be afraid of wielding a soldering iron... so however ingenious Riko's concept, I don't see it having commercial legs.
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#6

Here’s some progress pics shown exactly to scale.
Firstly a side view of the guide with new decoder attached, the oath of the braid and 2 raised conductive bars each side of the guide to press braid firmly onto board contact area and also to push shoe into contact with PCB for motor power.

Cavity allowed for the plate by existing guide is 15mm height wise. So my entire assembly can not exceeed 15mm.

Assuming I use a 4 mm board and a 0.5mm nylon insulator washer, custom cut to suit the Scalextric guide that allows 10.5mm highest component. All doable. Just.

The nRF52832 radio chip also just fits. It’s the largest component in terms of area so if that fits everything else will fit in the 135 or so available sq.mm. Assuming room is wasted with a circular PCB we can probably net around 80 sq mm of that 135 sq.mm. 

Now the current F1 nano chip by Scorpius uses 47 sq.mm so I’m adding an accelerometer and more powerful mosfets and still have room to spare.

PCB shape layout also shown with dimensions. I’ve only shown the radio chip, nRF52832. This shows the engineer the shape, position of slots and conductive pads for power in and out fir both polarities.

And finally a pic of the special nylon insulating washer that will be custom cut to suit the guide exactly. This is the crucial part of the design and without it the project cannot proceed. The pic shows how the power that normally goes to motor for analogue cars is diverted to the PCB using a frictional fit.
I’ve tested this configuration where it only wraps around the plate once, not twice as per factory. Pulling on the braid extremeAly hard seen the braid stay in place perfectly. 
The cut out on the nylon insulting washer allied power from decoder to motor via the factory stainless shoes supplied.

The entire idea is the decoder can be fitted in seconds without removing the shell or the guide itself with only a small pair of side cutters required.

Rick


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#7

(14th-Feb-21, 07:13 AM)woodcote Wrote:  Interesting concept. However, it won’t be compatible with ARC Pro - which is the only digital system Scalextric currently produces and what the target audience is likely to be using. The LED needs to be 6-14mm behind the trailing edge of the guide for the two-sensor lap counting protocol to work.

C7042 is still readily available which is still the preferred system by most.
That said the Arc Pro mod had been done by a fair amount of users. And I can offer that service for those who can’t. The advantages of this new chip are too good to ignore.
And we all know the LED 6-14 mm back is poor design for sliding cars in LCs and lap counters. And we’ve all read the praises for the Sure Change LED in guide product. 
Now add in other functionality like accelerometers for the ultimate competitor, wireless telemetry for future apps as well as app connection for car chip configuration and wireless upgrades and it looks very different.


Rick
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#8

(14th-Feb-21, 11:46 AM)woodcote Wrote:  I believe it was similar on the C7042 Advanced Powerbase with the factory firmware, where lap counting is functional in analogue mode. So nothing has changed on the Hornby side of things...

The third-party firmware upgrades on the APB - and Dr_C's hardware mod on ARC Pro - does away with the guide sensor. That's fine for digital-only, but removes lap-counting from analogue mode. For me - and most other home hobbyists - that dual function is a very big plus point about the system.

More hardcore digital enthusiasts may well be changing out the Scalextric guide for a better one - and they certainly won't be afraid of wielding a soldering iron... so however ingenious Riko's concept, I don't see it having commercial legs.

Hi Woodcote,

Lets understand first Rikos idea and mine are totally different animals. How is this Rikos concept?

Rikos idea is a nano PCB moulded into a guide. Shell and guide must be both removed and replaced then motor wires soldered.

This is a guide plate not a guide most importantly.

Shell doesn’t need to be removed nor guide swapped. No soldering required. 
Takes seconds to fit and even quicker and easier than the famous DPR.

Starting to make sense yet?

As far as analogue concerned it doesn’t even have brakes, so can’t be a serious contender and digital PWM noise is more prevalent than traditional analogue. Personally I would not race any slot car without brakes now that I’m used to them.

I find some, not most, use analogue to test cars but not actually race. So lapcounting for analogue is probably not important for most. 

The C7042 Riko (the man himself) says 1.009 uses LED only so even C7042 is not an issue. So there WAS a change as I said.

I think the commercial potential is there based on the info I just supplied. Of course time will tell. Even though the SSD system is toy level it has a lot of good features and even more potential. 

Rick
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#9

Typo. I meant V1.004
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#10

Rick - let’s not get into some undignified argument about who’s right and who’s wrong. Although you might want to check Andy Wallace’s C7042 firmware timeline on his SSDC / jackaments website.

As I said, great blue sky thinking with the chip on the guide. I was just offering some friendly, but realistic advice on how the application of the concept may or may not fit with SSD users in 2021-22 - that’s all. I think you’ll find the SSD market has been transformed here in the UK over the past 9-10 months. Loads of new and returning home enthusiasts buying ARC Pro and happily using it unmodified. You might get a very small echo of it on the forums, but it has probably passed the SSD ‘old guard’ by.
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