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Random Power Loss Problems-Scalextric ARC Air and ARC Pro

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  • Random Power Loss Problems-Scalextric ARC Air and ARC Pro

    Hi Everyone...New member, first post...couldn't find any solution to my problem in my search, so here goes...

    I have a large permanent Scalextric layout that I run primarily with my ARC Air setup. Observations are all made in analog settings and without any racing app being used. Track is clean and vacuumed. I do not use any powertaps, and I do not have any drops in power. Track works smoothly when the problem listed doesn't present itself. I've been running this track for a few months now and have not encountered any problems previously.

    Yesterday my track and all my cars were running fine.

    Today while running cars I encountered a problem where I could run my cars a few laps, then my car would coast to a halt. If I waited a couple of seconds, I could squeeze the trigger, the car lights would flicker, then I'd lose power again. If I waited 15 seconds and repeated the step, the car would start and I could run it for 10-15 feet or so. If I waited 15 minutes, I could get a few laps out of it before it would repeat the same error. This happened in both lanes and in random locations. If I ran the car just on the power base section, I would eventually encounter the same issue. I tried this with all my cars. Same problem.

    It didnt matter how much throttle I gave any would just stall when it would stall.

    Thinking it was maybe a Bluetooth communication issue between the base and controllers, I changed batteries in my controllers. Same Problem.

    I changed and synced up different controllers. Same Issue.

    I swapped out my ARC Air powerbase with my ARC Pro powerbase (Analog mode). Same Issue.

    -With my ARC Air setup, I treated the situation like it was a short, resetting power, etc.
    -With my ARC Pro setup, the system would "click" and reset by itself.

    I tried moving the plug to a different outlet, as well as using a surge protector. Same issue. Not sure if its worth the same mention here, but when trying to troubleshoot, this is the first time I also encountered complete power loss when slowly getting close to full throttle with wheels lifted at the powerbase.

    So why would all of my cars run flawlessly for a few laps then just stall at any random point on the track, only to start again if given a few seconds? ? Fresh batteries in controllers, two separate powerbases, multiple cars. I've never seen DC behave like this, and everything in my garage has been in peaceful coexistence with my setup for years (including wifi extender.) Based on all my troubleshooting, I can tell you when my car is about to stall based on how much time I gave between the last stall and when I tried to run the car again. Just weird.

    So thats the short version of my issue...hoping someone sees something I missed here and can offer some advice. My next step will be to remove and inspect every. single. piece. and inspect it for signs of failure. If that doesnt work, I may add some power taps just to see if that would do anything. Just weird that I have to consider the last two steps since my track has been running fine.

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

  • #2
    Vacuum the entire track, both slots, and closely examine it for stray bits of metal, such as braid whiskers and body screws. What you describe is most likely a short that is just enough to let the car go a little before overloading, depending on where it is and what kind of power is going through the track.

    At least, that's my best guess. Sadly, you might have to completely dismantle the track if you can't find the culprit, as it might be a braid whisker trapped in a join somewhere, and it won't come up with vacuuming, and you might not see it easily.


    • #3
      MrFlippant...I inspected the track again before vacuuming...this time in better lighting conditions...and found a small piece of "Coarse Ballast" landscaping material from Woodland Scenics wedged in one of the slots (the vacuum would not dislodge it). Ran cars after that without a problem. That is the only thing I did.

      Sooooo...If it was only in one slot, it could still cause a slow overload in either lane like I described...probably because I have crossovers installed? Would that be your thought? And it created a slow overload because the ballast material was a poor conductor?

      Thanks for encouraging me to go back and look again. Glad I didn't have to take apart my track!


      • #4
        Makes sense to me, but I'm not an expert of electricalityness. ;-)
        It could also have been something else that fell out or was otherwise finally dislodged and you didn't happen to see it.
        Hopefully the problem does not return.


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