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Discussion Starter #2
Scorpius

Hi Guys,
Im new here, I thought you might like this:
www.scorpiuswireless.com
Its a revolutionary new system being released in 2010 online.
We make ONLY electronics for slot car systems, we do not manufacture track pieces or cars. Its suitable for 1/32 and 1/24.
It has 2.4GHz wireless controllers, wireless lane changer electronics, wireless car decoder and USB wireless dongle for PC control.
A PC is used in conjunction with the system, interestingly enough there is NO powerbase whatsover.
It has been tested in USA and Europe and has the thumbs up from the slot car fratenity.
Hope you like it.

Hers a sample, the controller, features vibrator for pitstop alerts, an LCD screen, huge menu and functionality, can work with analogue too. We use the Parma casing.







PC programs to set controller curve etc.



Car decoder 31mm x 13mm



Lane Changer electronics mounted in an enclosure.



Wireless USB dongle



Cheers
Injectorman
 

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LED Burner Outer
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This is wireless for digital cars (based on the lane changing capabilities). I remember we did discuss the concept of wireless controllers in chat before, but it was based on RC servos and using radio frequency via RC controllers, but the verdict was there was too much lag time for speed adjustments. There are a couple ancient threads on the topic too.

However, this does mean is that a responsive digital wireless basic controller is very feasible!! I'm not sure if adjustment pots could be utilized to make adjustments for braking, or ohms adjustments for the racing types, For me, just not being tethered to the track by an umbilical cord would be cool!! My wish would be for simplicity with minor ohms changing capabilities. A simple 3 way switch to adjust ohms from 90 to 60 to 45 would be all I would need. I don't do brakes..
 

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A digital HO would be the greatest thing ever created! I'd go deep in hock for one! Maybe I'll have one at the old folks home.
 

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How would this work for Analog? Do you have something that would hook up to the controller socket/Posts or would each car have to have a reciever in the car? I am not planning on going digital, but would like the wireless feature of the controller. The infrared controllers of the past just not good enough. Nice controller if it can put 24 digital cars on a digital track. That would be something to see that many cars of a 2-4 lane track, strategy would really come into play! Thanks Gene
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks guys for taking the time to read about the project. Heres a bit more dribble on how it works etc.

This is wireless for digital cars (based on the lane changing capabilities). I remember we did discuss the concept of wireless controllers in chat before, but it was based on RC servos and using radio frequency via RC controllers, but the verdict was there was too much lag time for speed adjustments. There are a couple ancient threads on the topic too.

However, this does mean is that a responsive digital wireless basic controller is very feasible!! I'm not sure if adjustment pots could be utilized to make adjustments for braking, or ohms adjustments for the racing types, For me, just not being tethered to the track by an umbilical cord would be cool!! My wish would be for simplicity with minor ohms changing capabilities. A simple 3 way switch to adjust ohms from 90 to 60 to 45 would be all I would need. I don't do brakes..
Yes that discussion came up in a google search I did once. :) Yes the servo is too slow to respond. And yes its really cool walking over to reslot and just taking off rather than walk all the way back to the driver station. Its a blow out racing from various points around the track. With this you can race the track in reverse too, its like a whole new track!
Someone asked me to put together a list of functions and capabilities not long ago, heres a cut'n'paste.....note the bits about throttle curve adjustment. In a sense the gren trim pot gives you 20 preset throttle curves or you can set up any curve on the laptop and reconfigure the controller wirelessly.
• Rapid 2.4GHz data transmission.
• 2 way wireless communication
• Fully upgradeable firmware (wirelessly using the Scorpius Dongle)
• LCD screen for various information and reconfiguring.
• Vibrator for alerts, etc fuel.
• 256 step resolution Hall effect (magnetic) frictionless controller
• Infinite amount of possible throttle curves
• Throttle diagnostic programs
• No maintenance
• Extemely low power consumption using 2 x AAA batteries.
• Fully adjustable brakes with 0-100% setting shown on screen
• Throttle curve adjustable by trim pot or PC or controller menu!
• 20 preset parabolic throttle curves via Green trim pot.
• Simple no clutter look.
• Lane change button, brake button, brake and curve trim pots only
• Famous Parma handle. Colour in clear only.
• Kiddies mode, adjust % PWM to suit experience.
• Reconfigurable via PC or Controller!
• PIN protected channel, no hacking.
• Future upgradeable
• Proposed traction control firmware for 2010.


A digital HO would be the greatest thing ever created! I'd go deep in hock for one! Maybe I'll have one at the old folks home.
Carrera make a 1/43 but its very toy like. How many amps do the HO motors use on load (take off). Im sure I could make a 0.5 amp double sided chip, probably get the size down to 15x10mm, any good?

Looks like RC cloning set-up. Most who prefer RC are already doing it???????
RC used WiFi earlier, and congratulations for them waking up first on this great technology, but this is a complete system, not just a car/throttle relationship. Actually I never knew RC guys used Wi-Fi till I was half way through the project. I believe they use transponders for lap counting. The model train guys have a controller that is WiFi but it doesnt talk directly to loco decoder like Scorpius. Basically we have a total LAN (Local area network) where any component can talk to any other component. All components can receive and send data.

How would this work for Analog? Do you have something that would hook up to the controller socket/Posts or would each car have to have a reciever in the car? I am not planning on going digital, but would like the wireless feature of the controller. The infrared controllers of the past just not good enough.
We recently prototyped a module that simply plugs into your driver station. So simple. Use your analogue car with your WiFi controller (throttle).
I want to bring out a 10 amp version. I call it "chipping the track, not chipping the car".



Typical Aussie analogue driver station




Just plug in and race. It gets powered from the driver station


Nice controller if it can put 24 digital cars on a digital track. That would be something to see that many cars of a 2-4 lane track, strategy would really come into play! Thanks Gene

Strategy and timing. We've held test races with 3,6, 12 even 16 cars and its great even with just 2 or 3, fighting for the best line, your opponent(s) must work hard to overtake you and get back in the best line, just like 1:1 motorsport. We have pitstops, virtual fuel (soon virtual tyre wear and simulated tank weight), penalties and a proposed function where each lane changer remembers every cars preferred lane and automatically switches for you. It has an optional on/off anti-collision function so no one can change lanes and collide with you. We have hardware in place on the car decoder for REAL traction control, just need to write the firmware.

Rick
 

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Rick,

Does Scorpius have a ghost car mode where you can set the speed of the car and the car will randomly changes lanes?

Best regards,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Brian.
We have planned a record, playback system, with auto calibration at every lane changer. The hardware is in place, and we will probably release the software about 6 months after release.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Heres from Video by Alan Smith at Nurnberg 2009, some Italian made 1/32 NSR Moslers running Scorpius wireless digital. Nurnberg is the worlds biggest toy trade fair. The Ninco lane changers have Scorpius wireless electronics.
 

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It's about time someone figured out how to put all the pieces together.

I would classify this as evolutionary considering the fact that you can get a wireless or bluetooth gaming mouse for under $50 USD. All the bits and pieces needed to enable this type of technology in the slot car hobby has been sitting on the shelf waiting for someone with the motivation to package it all up into a compelling product.

Kudos for whomever is taking the plunge and doing the design and mashup to productize this. Great ideas and cool concepts are worthless without motivation, innovation, and a business model that makes it rewarding for the manufacturer.

A couple of points:

- 2.4 Mhz is the same band used by numerous other wireless devices, including wireless phones, computer mice, and your microwave oven. Hopefully someone is going to run this through FCC compliance and validation testing and do some level of compatibility testing. I would hate to see the outcome of a race decided by Bubba deciding to reheat his leftover burritos.

- The quality and effectiveness of any slot car controller is more dependent on its construction quality and serviceability than technology. It takes a lot of application knowledge and understanding of the demands of racers to build a world class controller. This fact does not change one iota with wireless or digital. If you want a world class controller, you'd better have a world class slot car racer in the development and testing loop.

- Even though I'm a technologist, I am very wary of technology encroachment into the slot car hobby. You have to weigh the costs versus benefits, not just in dollars, but in terms of what it means to new adopters and increasing appeal and enjoyment of the hobby.

- Does the technology solve a problem that cannot otherwise be solved, or is it simply replacement technology, a new way to do something that is currently done in another way?

- I can buy a Parma Econo for $25. I pull the trigger and the car goes faster, let off and the car slows down. Does wireless change this? The Econo keeps me tethered to the drivers station. With the wireless I can walk around and marshall my own car when I'm practicing alone. How much is the ability to walk around worth to me?

- Digital allows me to run multiple cars on one lane. If one of these cars is a robot car then I can pretend that I am racing someone when I am racing alone. That has some appeal. I can also try to make some racing friends so I have someone to race against.

- There's something pure about being able to work on every aspect of classic slot cars. A haven for the miniature shade tree mechanic. Simple, pure, and easy. I'm deluged with technology all day long, so simplicity is a welcome relief. Once my car gets "chipped" there's now a mysterious part that I can't tweak or fix. I routinely popped the hood on my '69 Charger because I knew exactly how all the parts worked together. My new car, they may as well have sealed the hood. Letting too much technology in may let all the real magic leak out. Technology does not always make things better.

In summary, I think digital and wireless are way cool. Will I jump in? No. I've taken the Amish approach with slot cars. I know the technology exists, but its mere existence does not compel me to use it. I control the rate of change and adoption of technology in my miniature world. There are simply some parts of the hobby that are off limits for now, the cars, the track, the simple control philosophy. Maybe in 5 ... 10 ... or 20 years? Nothing is for sure except change, so I will maintain awareness and move if and when I am ready.

In the mean time, where are the technology breakthroughs that will solve the most fundamental problems face by the slot car hobby, including how to bring more people together and build greater interest in the sporting aspects of the hobby, like racing? Those are the grand challenges.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
It's about time someone figured out how to put all the pieces together.



- Does the technology solve a problem that cannot otherwise be solved, or is it simply replacement technology, a new way to do something that is currently done in another way?
Yes, thats what its all about, all the systems have many issues, the main one being lack of power for more than 4 or 6 cars, and limitations to 8 cars. Scorpius architecture allows massive power, with 24 cars, 3 amp car decoders and more. Simply now world championships, commercial centres and clubs can enjoy digital racing without the well documented issues.


In the mean time, where are the technology breakthroughs that will solve the most fundamental problems face by the slot car hobby, including how to bring more people together and build greater interest in the sporting aspects of the hobby, like racing? Those are the grand challenges.
This will liven the scene up. Imagine a 20 car Nascar, or F1 or LeMans race? If this doesnt raise interest in slots nothing will.

Dude, I just put longer leads on my controllers.
Having the ability to have a wireless controller is probably only 1% of the overall package and advantages. The future is soon here, enjoy. There will be no more major advances in slot car achitecture for decades or more.
 

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This set up does sound like a winner, and I'm sure the ability to have 20 cars running on the same track would be a blast!! I think what Rich was humorously getting at is that in the HO world, the only usable feature at this time for us would be the wireless capability. Until someone figures out a way to integrate the likes of an N or Z scale train DCC set up to control the speed of individual cars on a shared lane, and create the lane changing capabilities on HO scale track, us HO scale guys will feel left out. I'm happy people are hard at work improving stuff and making great strides in new technology for us slot heads, because any improvements make the hobby more appealing for the new generation. Eventually, I hope the advances will make their way to us smaller scale folk.

There are a few major hurdles that will need to be addressed though. Less space to pack the technology into, and where it would best fit will create high mounted weight issues, and the fact that HO cars cruise at higher speed, which means cross overs will need to be spread out over a longer space to be negotiable. I'm not saying the advantages of digital are impossible for HO, it's just going to be an uphill battle to get the whole package together.. I'd love to see it happen!!:thumbsup:
 
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