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Phantom lap counting using Trackmate
#1
Wondering if anyone else has ever had a problem with phantom lap counts when using Trackmate software and components? My 4 lane track works fine most of the time but occasionally gives false lap counts to lanes that are not even being used. 

I'm pretty sure my problem is with the sensor hardware which are infrared sensors embedded into the track (sense heads level to the track surface) and an IR gantry (from HOslotcarracing.com). The outside red lane (red, white, blue, yellow) seems to get the most false counts. Sometimes the cars are at the far end of the track (61 foot lap length, so some distance away) on blue or white when the false counts trigger.
I suspect it is some sort of a reflection or background light issue, but thought I'd throw it out for all you techies out there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Randy


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#2
(06-07-2015, 10:50 PM)AptosC6 Wrote: Wondering if anyone else has ever had a problem with phantom lap counts when using Trackmate software and components? My 4 lane track works fine most of the time but occasionally gives false lap counts to lanes that are not even being used. 

I'm pretty sure my problem is with the sensor hardware which are infrared sensors embedded into the track (sense heads level to the track surface) and an IR gantry (from HOslotcarracing.com). The outside red lane (red, white, blue, yellow) seems to get the most false counts. Sometimes the cars are at the far end of the track (61 foot lap length, so some distance away) on blue or white when the false counts trigger.
I suspect it is some sort of a reflection or background light issue, but thought I'd throw it out for all you techies out there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Randy

Does this happen every time the cars are at the other end, Or only sometimes. Is always the same lane having the issues? Does this only happen with certain body styles?

Rob
Rob
AKA - Black Oxxpurple
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#3
(06-14-2015, 02:52 PM)Black Oxxpurple Wrote:
(06-07-2015, 10:50 PM)AptosC6 Wrote: Wondering if anyone else has ever had a problem with phantom lap counts when using Trackmate software and components? My 4 lane track works fine most of the time but occasionally gives false lap counts to lanes that are not even being used. 

I'm pretty sure my problem is with the sensor hardware which are infrared sensors embedded into the track (sense heads level to the track surface) and an IR gantry (from HOslotcarracing.com). The outside red lane (red, white, blue, yellow) seems to get the most false counts. Sometimes the cars are at the far end of the track (61 foot lap length, so some distance away) on blue or white when the false counts trigger.
I suspect it is some sort of a reflection or background light issue, but thought I'd throw it out for all you techies out there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Randy

Does this happen every time the cars are at the other end, Or only sometimes. Is always the same lane having the issues? Does this only happen with certain body styles?

Rob

I don't think it has anything to do with the body style (that I am aware of). We ran Super G+ F1, Mega G GT40's and some Tyco F40's.
It is always the red and white lanes that seems to jump (break out), never blue or yellow. And maybe yes, it does seem to happen on white when a car is at the opposite end of the track, while red shifts when a car is much closer to the timing gantry. Randy
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#4
Do you have crossover tracks in your layout if this is limited to just red and white lanes? It seems odd that this is just affecting the two lanes, or is it just the white.

So here is what I am thinking on your RC software, go to Track Setup / Expert Track Setup / verify you are using Serial Trackmate. Then select to configure. Are the Check boxes for IR Sensors and Invert Relays Checked? If not select both and see if this resolves your issues.

Rob
Rob
AKA - Black Oxxpurple
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#5
No cross overs. I'll check the config. I'm pretty sure that I have both of those boxes checked.
Thanks, Randy
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#6
for light based systems often it is an issue with  
1> brightness
2> alignment
3> power direction (also with dead sections and reeds)
4> Car bodies
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#7
(06-19-2015, 01:02 PM)slotking Wrote: for light based systems often it is an issue with  
1> brightness
2> alignment
3> power direction (also with dead sections and reeds)
4> Car bodies

Car bodies? It seems to me that it either blocks off the infra red signal or not. You do have my attention though : ) What have you seen?
PS: Raced last night and only had 2 issues neither of which affected the races best I can tell. In the process of getting it running again I discovered that one of the LEDs was not soldered correctly. Fixed it today (and ordered some replacement LEDs too). Fingers crossed that this turns out to be my problem.
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#8
mostly lexan bodies
some will reflect the light so that the car will not count.
I played with this for a long time on my original lap counting system.

no one would ever know that a lap was missing if i did not also have a dead section working at the same time
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#9
Interesting, lexan bodies. We run a lot of lexan bodies so I will be on the look out for that.
I think I fixed my problem. I soldered the loose LEDs yesterday. Today I had one of my slot-buddies over for some tuning and testing. We had absolutely no issues at all : ) Woohoo!
So now that that issue appears to be fixed I have a question....maybe I'll start a new post though.
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#10
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