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Alternative software for connecting a computer to Carrera digital tracks

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  • Hi Bruce
    False alarm. I read page 33 of this sticky, and found the problem. I had it installed backwards. I flipped it, and all is well. Another problem, is after setting up some cars, when I go to browse for the sound file, it takes me to the last file location, that I used for car image, with no way to locate the sound files. What am I doing wrong?

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    • Mornin Bruce thought I would activate this thread after many moons of inactivity. Just a quick question that you might have an answer too without the need of firmware or version questions you are sure to ask. Lol. 32lbking and I were racing the other day and there was no sector timing showing. (previously worked) Could there be something I turned off going through the screens? I rebooted the system a couple of times but no change.
      Thx, Dave

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      • Very possible. You can turn sector timing off, or you can leave sector timing on but select not to display it on the main screen. This can be useful if you are using the Display Server and/or Team Radio- you can still hear or see your sector times on other devices, but leave more room on the race screen display for other information.

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        • A new version of HSSRMS is on the website.

          A few new enhancements for everyone, and one new feature for the tech tinkerers among us.

          The software now includes the option to flash a car's lights when it is in a penalty or event condition. So a tire down, or a stop-and-go penalty will cause the car's lights to flash until the condition is corrected.

          The old Black Box would flash a car's lights when it was *low* on fuel (the CU doesn't flash the lights until the car is empty). I have missed that, so flashing a car's lights when it's fuel level drops to the system-wide low fuel threshold is now an option. The lights will continue to flash in the pit until the tank is full, or until the software believes the car has enough fuel to finish the race.

          There is a new random rotation for those that run multi-heat races. The software also now displays all of the remaining races in a rotation on the 'Next Race' page, not just the next one up. You can also print out the full rotation. As before, the software saves the state of the rotation after every completed heat to protect against disaster. If an incomplete rotation is found at program startup, the software will ask if you want to complete the rotation or forget it.

          Pressing the 'P' key on the race screen will launch the pace car. Pressing a second time will instruct it to return to pit.

          Now on to what I think is the most interesting new bit:

          A very simple Arduino circuit (http://www.wasserstoffe.de/carrera-h...ode/index.html) designed by Peter Niehues and available at his 'Carrduino' site (http://www.wasserstoffe.de/carrera-hacks/) enables a few new features in the software. The software will have tighter synchronization with the CU start lights during a countdown, and it will be able to identify who is guilty of a false start during the countdown. But the big reason for building this very simple device: it will also turn every controller into a track call button! If your car is not in the pit lane, and you release the throttle and hold the lane change button down for >3/4 of a second, the software will send a command to the CU to raise the start lights. So zero throttle and squeezing the lane change button for >3/4 of a second will pop the start lights. This will work with any Carrera digital compatible controller. Because the state of the lane change button is not sent to the track while the start lights are raised, the controller can't be used to begin a countdown. You still need to press the space bar or the physical 'Start' button on the CU to do that.

          Even if you have never worked with an Arduino, this is a very simple project. The circuit consists of two resistors, a diode, and some wire. If you have any experience with electronic projects, this is a very simple circuit to solder. (The circuit has low current draw so while it is clumsy, inelegant and not recommended- you could use a breadboard as pictured in the docs even while connected to the track if you absolutely don't want to solder). I am using an Arduino Uno because I already had one, but any Arduino with a USB connection can be used as pictured.

          The required components are extremely cheap. You can probably easily find a genuine Arduino Nano for $15 or less, and clone boards are even cheaper. The resistors, diode and wire are negligible. So an easy, cheap, and fun project can net you the ability for every driver to pause the race right from their controller! The software now creates an 'Arduino' sub-folder that includes the pictures and documentation needed to make this work.
          Last edited by b.yingling; 04-02-2020, 01:02 PM.

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          • Game changer

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            • Those of you who have been using my software for any length of time are already familiar with this drill :-).

              v2.304 is on the website, as 2.303 did not properly update the state of the Arduino button when you clicked 'Search for devices' from the Easy mode screen.

              Also more information has been added to the Arduino documents.
              Last edited by b.yingling; 04-03-2020, 04:56 AM.

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              • Wow Bruce! That's definitely cool
                Randy

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                • I have a question... Will all of the features of your software work with a CU that has NOT been updated?
                  Mine has never been updated and I don't want to if I don't have to.
                  Dave [dw5555] told me that he had to update his in order to use sector timing,but I don't remember if that was because of your software, or if that was something to do with Carrera.
                  Randy

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                  • Depends what version of firmware your CU has. If it is older than 3.30, the start lights can't be controlled by the software.

                    Sector timing can work no matter the firmware version, but anything older than v3.30 you would need to use the old lap counters (#30342) as the sector devices. The checklanes won't work unless you have at least v3.30. Carrera's app (and likely Smartrace) will tell you you need to update your firmware to the newest version to make the checklanes work- but my software will work with the checklanes using any firmware from 3.30 onward.

                    The *best* firmware, in my mind, is 3.31. But it is extremely difficult to update to v3.31. The only method I am aware of is to use an old iphone with an old version of the Carrera app installed. But the shortcomings of the newer versions (fuel tanks counting as full at level 14 instead of 15; inability to send commands to the CU while the start lights are lit; empty tanks automatically jumping to fuel level two when entering the pit, etc.) are addressed as well as can be by my software.

                    IMO, despite the flaws in v3.36 and 3.37, if you have a version of the firmware older than 3.30, it is worth updating to take advantage of the things offered by 3.30 and above (control of the start lights from software, control of the pace car from software, ability to pause a race from a remote device).
                    Last edited by b.yingling; 04-03-2020, 12:32 PM.

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                    • Bruce, yesterday I downloaded your upgraded software, and today got chance to test it out. If you remember I had inquired about the visible rotation list for fixed cars with several drivers that you could print and that would also shuffle the drivers throughout the heats. THANK YOU, You have nailed it! That is exactly what I needed. The bonus is the flashing lights on low fuel which duplicates the black box feature which I too have missed. Once again you have delivered a program that enhances the Carrera Digital to another level of racing excitement. Much appreciated!

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                      • Yeah I think Randy's firmware version is 1.0.. Ed was/is in agreement with your 3.31 version. That's what he updated mine to as years ago as mine was almost as old as Randy's. I did it to run the sector timing.

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                        • Originally posted by dw5555 View Post
                          Yeah I think Randy's firmware version is 1.0..
                          Yeah, I am very resistant to change
                          Randy

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                          • Dear Bruce,

                            Thank you for bringing back the flashing lights when a car is low on fuel - I have been a big fan of this function!

                            Günther

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                            • Bruce will your software work with the dual digital analog box?

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                              • When you're running the digital side, yes.

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