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  #1  
Old 03-09-2014, 09:52 PM
Scottsguitarexchange Scottsguitarexchange is offline
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Default Problem with lap times

I'm running a 4 lane tomy afx slot car track. I have had problems with lap times. I spoke to viasue great customer service by the way. All my hardware is working correct. The issue I'm haveing is lt2k software is not reading laps right. Say it takes 7.893 seconds to go around the track. The next lap may say 3.231 seconds. With the car going the same speed. Also it skips a counting laps sometimes. Say I'm on lap 5 the car goes around the track twice before lap 6 registers on the computer screen. Was wondering if any members had this problem and what they did to fix the software.
Scott
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2014, 01:20 AM
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tanware tanware is offline
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The hardware can not possibly alter the time, it is is registering laps with time faster than actuality at the instant a lap is made then it has to be software. LT2K beyond Windows ME with the LPT port is well known to have issues. The problem is since XP M$ has been trying to prevent direct hardware access. With each Service pack and new version the security has been tightening on this.

I think with Race coordinator, or even some other paid for software, designed to use the dot net hardware libraries you would have had better success.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2014, 04:00 AM
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Rhondale Rhondale is offline
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First, make sure your sensor track section is clean. Clean rails and pickup shoes using an ink eraser if a dead strip, or blow out photo cell sensors using a compressed air can. Since your times appear to be off by a factor of 2 it appears sensor failure to detect the car at each pass could be part of the problem.

In my opinion the Best and cheapest way to count laps and lap times is to use an old computer running DOS and SRM (Slot Race Manager) software (available for FREE on the internet). You can easily find an old DOS, Windows 95, or 98 computer and install DOS on it for FREE. It works great. I have used it with both photo cells and dead strips. Computer connection is via the parallel port and an old printer cable (a dollar or less at any flea market) is ideal for making the connection. The manual is a little hard to understand at first and you'll have to download the software on a internet capable computer and then transfer to the DOS computer. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file on the DOS computer can easily be setup to boot directly to SRM

The time measurement in DOS is somehow better than Windows and you avoid all the M$ update issues discussed above.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:16 AM
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VIASUE VIASUE is offline
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Default timing issue

We find tanwares statement / reply to be informative and correct depending on the PC and windows...lap errors can happen...but he is dead on the senors could not alter times or lap count both lap timing and count is a reponcibility of the software not the sensor....if it gets covered or a heavy shadow falls on the sensors they are going to activate the sesnor just like night and day...I do not know of any eclipses generated by the hardware.

IT COULD ALSO BE AS SIMPLE AS THE USER IS STARTING THE RACE IN FRONT OF THE SENSORS AND NOT FROM BEHIND THEM...

The user stated the first lap is not counted only the second one and it shows an odd time but all the laps are counted without time issue after that....IF he did not set how long his track is that could cause drop laps issues as well.

Thank y'all for trying to help out .....BUT for the most part ( excluding our comment:>) tanware is closest to pinning the tall on the donkey.

The sensors are inclosed in clear plastic. blowing air on them will not harm them, Just Do Not Freeze Them via Canned Air. The sensors should only be cleaned with a damp cloth dipped in hot water., NOT WET, with a very soft cloth like an old T shirt / 100% smooth cotton and never use sandpaper and where near the sensors. and never ever use any solvents....

THE VIASUE SETUP PIT CREW

Last edited by VIASUE; 03-13-2014 at 10:47 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2014, 10:15 AM
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VIASUE VIASUE is offline
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Default timming issue

As well Rhondale has given good advice about the older boxes and we would like to add ONLY the oldest boxes like running win1.0 and prior to 95 came with true DOS installed on them. From 95 and up windows has had a windows version of DOS but it is not the pure form like the Original DOS PC's. Here is a link to slot race manager http://www.cenobyte.nl/slotracemanager/hoofdframe.html. including how to use info :>) In DOS it is also possible to create a "HOT KEY" meaning after booting up to the c:\> simply press the key you built as the hot key ...say the "R" key one time, and it will bring up the .exe or any file the hot key is associated with...a novice pc tech could not do these things without help or old geeks like us.....but we are hardware guys and not software...

Back in the day when I was responsible to build, maintain, trouble shoot and using security software, wipe hard drives of ALL data and use physical methods to destroy NASA PC's. At NASA We had things set up and split down the middle. There was the PC hardware department and the PC software department....it was quite often the software guys blamed issues on hardware or the hardware tech's and &/or the hardware techs would blame the software &/or software techs, of not getting it right...It may seem that an icon company like NASA would have guys that do hardware and software in one department but actually it was best to have the 2 individual departments..the truth is the best way to keep up with all of the rapidly changing things in the world of PC's....it must be split up because it is just to much for one individual to keep up with and still have a true understanding and handle on those changes by splitting them up via tech departments...

Sorry to stray or toot my own horn BUT the point is hardware needs software and software needs hardware....but as Tanware correctly brings up hardware can only do so much and usually only in specific predictable ways, most PC hardware is actually stupid / simplistic when compared to software...board level hardware engineers would strongly disagree....BUT...when you are getting....random results or weird results and or hardware is not performing correcly it is almost 99% of the time, software related, and this includes using complicated race software via a very complicated program called Windows of any version.....

Simply put the sensors in the track are like a wall switch and the light bridge is like your hand...with the light on the switch is in the on position with the light off the switch is in the off possition....the thing that understands that difference is the race software via windows permission to do so....just like your brain gives you hand permission / orders to turn the wall switch on or to turn the switch ...if your brain is not working your hand correctly there is little hope of getting the switch on or off...and most of all this does not mean the wall switch is broken, this is to say the hardware is not the brain or in control..the software and windows is. So if there is an issue with lets say how a hourse eats I would not blame the rear or *** end for not eating the food....I would be looking up the wrong tree &/or end so to speak ....lol

Just like with our our hardware it does not think or understand it can only see light or not causing it to switch or not...it can not decide too or not decide to time laps or counting them....ONLY the software does...To say the sensor is not keeping accurate time or lap count is not only saying the wrong thing the wrong way but it is looking at the wrong end as the source of issue...only the software allowed by windows can count laps or keep time.

About DOS, the developer of LT2K says they have a version of lt2k that will work with DOS ....and there are other race programs that have been around a very long time and are worth trying as Rhondale kindly points out.As well his information about the autoexec.bat file is very true and accurate you can have a tech friend unless that is you :>) to build you the autoexec.bat file or build a .bat file that is placed with the autoexect.bat to go right into any .exe file and bring up the program and run it directly after booting up....For example, and for kicks, back in the old days, we would configure the autoexect.bat file to state at the cursor line the below direction :>).

C:\TO USE THIS PC PLEASE INSERT QUARTER > ....and laugh our butts off when a user would look for a quarter slot!!.....sorry I regress to "Geek Humor"

We thank Rhondale for the input and directions...keep in mind never ever use solvents on your track or track sensors....use hot water onto a dampened cotton cloth, like a T shirt is best....any scratch on the sensor "could" deviate light and therefore adversely effect the sensor reaction to light or the lack of it as it should. For a list of "never evers" please contact us via [email protected] support.

THE VIASUE SETUP PIT CREW
Sorry this post is so long...but it is informative :>) ...lol

Last edited by VIASUE; 03-13-2014 at 12:19 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2014, 04:50 PM
Scottsguitarexchange Scottsguitarexchange is offline
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Thanks you guys
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2014, 07:09 AM
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Rhondale Rhondale is offline
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One clarification to my previous post. When I recommended using a DOS, Windows 95 or 98 computer to install DOS on to run SRM (or any other DOS lap counting software), I apparently was unclear as to the intent.

The recommendation to use a "DOS, Windows 95 or 98 computer" pertains only to the "Hardware". This era of computers have compatible processor speed, hard drive capacity, and usually has a 3-1/2" floppy disk installed, all of which makes them suitable as "DOS" machines.

My process for these machines is to start by wiping the hard drive using "Format C". This removes any files or existing operating system. I then turn off the computer, install a DOS boot disk, and turn the computer back on. Then proceed with the DOS installation. This results in a "pure DOS machine" fully compatible with SRM, regardless of the original computers operating sysem.

By wiping the hard drive you may also give the donor of the computer piece of mind that you're not trying to steel his files.

More than likely the true "DOS" operating system disk you'll find will be on 3-1/2" floppy disk, so you'll need a maching with one installed. Also when to download the SRM software use a computer with a floppy disk so you can save the file for transfer to your DOS machine. If your computer doesn't have a floppy disk you probably have a friend with a Windows ME or XP machine that still has a 3-1/2" floppy disk installed so you can download the software from the internet.

This works for me and the others I have provided the system to. There are certainly other ways to accomplish the desired result. "TRY EVERYTHING" until you find what you like, especially if it's free.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2014, 06:51 AM
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tanware tanware is offline
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Actually up to Windows 98, windows itself ran on top of DOS. Windows ME was the non NT core that actually had DOS shell under it. They all were, up to using the NT core, a true DOS environment.

Now the reason for the old system is multifold.

1.) runs a true 8 bit OS, no shell to try and run the app or having it within a sandbox.
2.) there was no direct hardware access protection. important for these devices to maintain as accurate time as possible considering the slower systems.
3.) true legacy LPT support. Proper address for the LPT range along with true ISA bus and non remapped IRQ or other resources.
4.) the machines had little to no hardware deviations or iterations. They were what they were from one OEM to the next.
5.) no true multitasking. This becomes especially true of those older and slower CPU's.

Even LT2K prefers the older OS's.......

Edit, I'll agree if it is free to try, then do it. The only thing you loose is some time but in the end you gain an education as well.

Edit 2; I just got a new white light Gantry from Viasue. While I do not think it would have helped the OP I can tell you I can now run the gantry at stock height. This means it looks like the White over blue LEDs provide about 1/2" more reach to allow the lap sensors to trigger.

Last edited by tanware; 03-15-2014 at 11:31 AM.
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