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  #1  
Old 06-05-2010, 07:22 AM
guinner guinner is offline
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Default Carrera Digital Power Issues?

I've been running into possible power issues on 2 different Carrera digital tracks. The tracks are 60 to 70 feet long with power taps before each lane change (5). Whenever we run 3 to 4 dig 124 cars and start/restart a race from a dead stop the track shorts causing the black box to sound off and the cars to die. It happens regardless of where are position on the track is as well. It does not occur with dig 132 cars. The same issue also seems to be impacting the lane changes as they work sporadically with 3-4 dig 124 cars. If you run dig 132 or 1-2 dig 124 cars the lane changes/pit stop works perfectly. We run stock cars/motors so I'm not sure what the problem is. Maybe not enough amps? Does anyone know/think that this problem would go away with a dedicated power supply? Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:01 AM
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not enough amps. You need to run less cars or start slow rather than gunning it. AFAIK, there's no way around it. Be sure you're running the higher AMP power supplies, though. I forget which is which as I'm not a Carrera man, and Bruce will correct me, but D124 is higher volts and lower amps (I think) while D132 is higher amps and lower volts. You don't really need more volts, but more amps is good. Doesn't matter which type of car you're driving, always use the higher amps. A dedicated PSU couldn't hurt, but the BB is still limited to 5 amps, I believe.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:00 AM
guinner guinner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlippant View Post
not enough amps. You need to run less cars or start slow rather than gunning it. AFAIK, there's no way around it. Be sure you're running the higher AMP power supplies, though. I forget which is which as I'm not a Carrera man, and Bruce will correct me, but D124 is higher volts and lower amps (I think) while D132 is higher amps and lower volts. You don't really need more volts, but more amps is good. Doesn't matter which type of car you're driving, always use the higher amps. A dedicated PSU couldn't hurt, but the BB is still limited to 5 amps, I believe.
I def. have the newer 124 power supply. My father had one that came with a d124 set that needed the adapter plug and it produced much less power. When he upgraded to the newer d124 power supply he saw a big difference. What bugs me is that the d124 sets specifically say you can run up to 4 cars at a time. I find it tough to believe that they cant support starting a race from a dead stop with 4 cars. More fine German engineering I guess...
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:47 PM
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Carrera isn't the only one. Half the reason Simple-H has been added to other systems is overload issues. The other half is to have ample and stable power for lots of hot motored cars.
If some tech genius can figure out how to put Simple-H into a Carrera BB/control-unit, then I guarantee it will be the "mod to get" for Carrera, just like it is for SSD and even Ninco. All toys are going to be hobbled by the safety regulations, and so will have anemic power supplies. The power base will also need to prevent excessive power draw in case some toddler licks the rails, in case the PSU has been incorrectly replaced or damaged. As long as you're running stock gear, it will be limited.
The reason they advertise 4 or 6 cars even though it can't REALLY handle it is because they know that the overwhelming majority of users will only be playing with one or two at a time, never seeing the limitation. Such is life. Hopefully you guys can get Simple-H someday, too.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:54 PM
BSWAN72 BSWAN72 is offline
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If the cars have two traction magnets, you can lower the amp draw of each car by removing one the magnets. If the cars only have one traction magnet, try raising the magnet further away from the track rails.

Best regards,
Brian
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2010, 01:55 PM
guinner16 guinner16 is offline
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Would a 5 amp aftermarket power supply fix the problem while not frying the bb
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:23 AM
b.yingling b.yingling is offline
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You've gotten excellent advice above. Greg has described the D132 vs D124 power supplies exactly right, and BRS has given you good advice re: magnets.

A 5 amp power supply will be just fine for a Carrera digital BB. I don't know that there is an official amp rating on the BB, but from what I have read (badly translated) on freeslotter, the generally accepted number seems to be 5 amps.

If Chris (Carrera124) is reading, he can verify that.
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:28 AM
guinner guinner is offline
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BTW - My father purchased the Pyramid PS32LAB power supply and all power issues are gone. No more shorting the track during restarts or lane change issues.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:59 AM
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Awesome! I bet what's happening in the BB is more of a "brown out" detection issue, then. The cars are pulling more amps than the stock PSU can provide, and so the BB loses power to function properly, and goes into that protection mode, or whatever. Now that you have a PSU that can handle the load, it's not causing brown outs.
The next question is, how MUCH amperage can you pull before the BB goes into overload protection? Hopefully that never becomes an issue, but at that point you won't have a choice other than to run less cars or slower motors or less magnets.
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2010, 12:39 PM
guinner guinner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlippant View Post
Awesome! I bet what's happening in the BB is more of a "brown out" detection issue, then. The cars are pulling more amps than the stock PSU can provide, and so the BB loses power to function properly, and goes into that protection mode, or whatever. Now that you have a PSU that can handle the load, it's not causing brown outs.
The next question is, how MUCH amperage can you pull before the BB goes into overload protection? Hopefully that never becomes an issue, but at that point you won't have a choice other than to run less cars or slower motors or less magnets.
I beleive the BB can take 5 amps. We ran 4 dig 124 cars that all have center and rear mags with a couple of shims. Stock motors and we had no issues at all. We usually run 60-100 lap races and 3/4's thru the cars seem to lose power and the lap times really fall off. This was much lees noticeable with the Pyrmamid.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:59 PM
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We use the Pyramid power supply at 4 amp and 18 volts. Many jumpers, Only run 1/24 scale carrera digital with this setup. Runs 4 cars easy, 6 cars with rolling starts or delayed starting for PC timing

Use two magnets with the down force set the same on all cars





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  #12  
Old 07-22-2010, 02:47 PM
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HOLY CARP! 650+?? Jeebus!

I realize that it's a 1/24 and not 1/32, but that still seems like a tremendous amount of downforce for a digital car to be dragging around. Is that stock for D124 cars, or are you lowering the magnets or modifying them at all?
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2010, 03:49 PM
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The downforce for the 1/24 Carrera Cars I have, and I have many come in between 450 and 750, the lowest being the HotRods. It's nice they all have the same magnet location as it makes it easy to ajust the same. I have tryed without magnets, with one in the rear and with one up front. For our track the two magnets on the Corvette are even with the chassis and I ajust the others to match. We run a aftermarket powersupply at 4 amps and 18 volts.

Some older photos, changing from 4 lanes to 2 lane Digital





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  #14  
Old 08-15-2010, 02:47 PM
guinner guinner is offline
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I've had the Pyramid PS32LAB powering my 75ft Carrera digital track for a couple of months now and ran into my first issue last night. We were running 3 D124 cars and it was constantly resetting the power supply when everyone went to take off and even during racing at points. I never had this issue before. The track and cars we run haven't changed so I'm not sure what the issue it. Rewired my powertaps and still have the same issue. Anyone have any ideas? I'm starting to think it may be the power supply but I'm really not sure. My dad has the same supply so I'm going to test his on my track. Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 08-15-2010, 03:13 PM
b.yingling b.yingling is offline
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If you're resetting the Black Box, I'd bet you're drawing too many amps. You run lots of magnet on those 1/24s, right?

Over time the cars may develop more downforce. From tire wear, and/or a screw may loosen slightly on a magnet strap. Just a little bit makes a big difference. There could also be a spot or spots on the track where the rail has raised slightly and sits closer to the cars' magnets...

Another possibility- one of the cars is somehow shorting the track, but only under the right conditions. A braid frayed just right, or again, a loose magnet strap.

Last edited by b.yingling; 08-15-2010 at 04:04 PM.
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