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Dusty Weasle
2005.11.08, 03:01 AM
Our Core system has to-date performed flawlessly and trouble free, but Sundayís event saw random and catastrophic signal loss.

We set the loop on the carpet (RCP on top) in a clubhouse we rent. The starting line is always arranged in roughly the same spot for convenient setup of the loop-to-laptop. The system runs on a Dell plugged into the wall. The Core box/loop is stored in bubble wrap and always handled with the most delicate of care.

All the cars scanned in normally, but during the 30min timed race we noticed it didnít always beep. The stats afterward showed large blocks of laps randomly missing from all but one car (showed 3min laps when 10-12sec was average, with 6sec Min setting).

Sitting the car over the loop in Test Mode showed a wildly fluctuating signal strength, running 0 to 90 to 10, etc. All transponders showed this behavior. A couple minutes later and there was zero reception, though the boxís green light was on.

We tried rebooting, plugging and unplugging, to no avail. The laptop saw the USB no problem. I also tried plugging in the red power cord. After awhile it suddenly ran normal again, but after scanning two of the cars back in it gradually died as described above.

A few minutes later we tried again and it worked solid. Proceeding on the theory it may be a loose connection, we took care to not bump that part of the track or even look cross-eyed at the Core box, and ran a 30 lap sprint race with no problems.

Tonight I tested the system carefully and could not produce an error. Worked perfectly. I wiggled the Core box but saw not even a hiccup in signal.

So, ideas anyone?
Loose connection
Failing components
Super powerful HAM radio in the area
Alien Death Ray

The clubhouse is at least a few hundred feet from the nearest apartment, and there was no one else in the clubhouse at the time. The signal failure happened with the transponders in the cars or just laying on the track. These are the same transponders, cars, and RCP track we use every week in the same location.

When everything is working and I set it to ĎTestí, the transponders show Strength=100%, Response=80%.

When I test the system (under ĎSetupí) it shows Strength=0%, Response=100%. But when I put a transponder on the track it cycles around to Strength=100%, Response=80%. Is this normal?

Except for this hiccup the system has been fantastic, allowing us to run longer races and have a lot of fun doing it.

byebye
2005.11.08, 03:30 AM
Maybe a computer glitch? Is it a heavily used computer? Possibly too many programs running in the background? I couldn't seem to get arch2b's to work in my laptop. Would get the green but the software hated my toshiba sattelite. It did work on the desktop though. Seems odd.

DW I would go with alien death ray barely missed you but the loop of the core system took the grunt of the hit. I suggest recharging your flux capacitors and test for radiation levels in the club house. ;)

-Byebye

briankstan
2005.11.08, 09:33 AM
I have only had one problem, I beleive mine was I had to many programs running in the background and then the screen saver came on. I make sure that the only thing running now is the core software and haven't had any other issues.

I hope it was some thing simple like a loose connection. Keep us updated if you find out that something else was the problem.

briankstan
2005.11.08, 09:36 AM
DW I would go with alien death ray barely missed you but the loop of the core system took the grunt of the hit. I suggest recharging your flux capacitors and test for radiation levels in the club house. ;)

-Byebye

it's quite possible that the cars were going through a worm hole and bi-passing the Timing Loop and come out on the other side, how fast are you guys running? warp 10... :D

saiyan
2005.11.08, 11:22 AM
Well when i thought back on previous events i know that my car (MR02) always seemed to glitch in the steering when going over the LOOP at the finish line. However it was only through the center, if i went along the rails on either side it seemed okay, though i would most of the time be rubbing the rail. This last time it didn't seem to matter where i crossed over it, it glitched everytime causing me to loose steering controle. It was very annoying, but when we ran the 30 lap sprint race in reverse direction i didn't have a problem, although i was using my MR01 Focus and not my usuall MR02 Modena so it's not really a good comparison. But i wonder if it's connected in some way to the signal loss. Also the huge brick fireplace with the metal hood being right there could of been funnelling the alien death ray. ;)

Dusty Weasle
2005.11.09, 02:18 AM
I donít think itís a laptop problem. Nothing has changed on it since its last use, and it is only used for the Core system. Itís got the otherwise standard Windows stuff on it. Norton Anti-Virus running in the background.

Iíll have to check the next time itís on to be sure nothing else is going on, but its pretty bare bones. No wireless card installed (but has one for when I need it). I also set the screen and hard drive power-off to 2 hours.

The Core box didnít feel at all hot, so I canít imagine itíd be a heat issue. I also unplugged the extension USB and went directly into the laptop, but that didnít help.

At home I gave it a few short 10 Ďlapí tests sitting on the kitchen table and it worked fine. Iíll have to fire it up for a couple hours and see if it acts up again. Iím working excessively long hours right now so havenít had time to do a proper stress test.

Core, anything to look for? Are there any other diagnostics I could run so I donít need to ship it all the way back to you?

CoreAnalog
2005.11.19, 09:09 PM
We found that some people who run reversed xtals can cause interference. Have them
run the normal standard frequencies and things will be fine. Also, keep racers with Tx's
away from the system, ie, keep a clear zone (10ft). That's it...

I donít think itís a laptop problem. Nothing has changed on it since its last use, and it is only used for the Core system. Itís got the otherwise standard Windows stuff on it. Norton Anti-Virus running in the background.

Iíll have to check the next time itís on to be sure nothing else is going on, but its pretty bare bones. No wireless card installed (but has one for when I need it). I also set the screen and hard drive power-off to 2 hours.

The Core box didnít feel at all hot, so I canít imagine itíd be a heat issue. I also unplugged the extension USB and went directly into the laptop, but that didnít help.

At home I gave it a few short 10 Ďlapí tests sitting on the kitchen table and it worked fine. Iíll have to fire it up for a couple hours and see if it acts up again. Iím working excessively long hours right now so havenít had time to do a proper stress test.

Core, anything to look for? Are there any other diagnostics I could run so I donít need to ship it all the way back to you?

Mazda787b
2005.11.19, 09:35 PM
Core, you may want to talk to Mini-Z about this. Maybe what channels we were running last night was messing with the CORE system? It seems pretty much along the lines of what was happening to us.

Draconious
2005.11.20, 12:12 AM
It wasnt our channels... It was mentioned but I do not think any one was using reversed crystals...

However there was not enough space in that room for any one to be 10 foot away... let alone everyone.

saiyan
2005.11.20, 01:08 AM
Well we just finished up our GTG not too long ago and it went off pretty well. I did notice that no one was standing near the loop so that might be a factor at our previous event. I also taped my transponder to the underside of the roof of my body to keep it lifted off of the chassis and from touching the antennae. The first race i did not do this and noticed i still had a glitch everytime i crossed over the loop. The 2nd race after i taped it went off with out a glitch. So i know in the future i'll make sure no 1 stands by the loop and that i tape the transponder everytime. ;)

Mazda787b
2005.11.20, 10:57 PM
Hmm, sorry to run two issues together, but the problems were the same. If the loop was placed on the other side of the room, and we didnt just "throw" the transponders into the car, but taped them to the roof as saiyan said, maybe it will make a diffierence?

Dusty Weasle
2005.11.21, 01:21 AM
I donít know about the others, but my crystal has never been removed, so I assume itís not Ďreversedí (but what do you mean Ďreversedí?). My transponder tag has also remained taped under the hood since its first run and has not been moved.

Since we always use the same 30'x30' room, the tracks are designed to put the Loop in about the same place for convenient setup. We also stand in roughly the same spots, though I think there was one person standing closer to the Loop that week.

So for my McLaren at least, nothing changed, I stood in exactly the same place (by the laptop), but lost large blocks of laps.

But the good news: This week the Core system worked perfectly like it has a good dozen plus times now. So, itís looking more and more like the Alien Death Ray was to blame after all.

Only two things were arranged different this time:

-The Loop was placed about 3-4ft farther down the front stretch from its usual location.

-I adjusted the spacers I use to shape the Loop. I had cut three 1Ēx12Ē strips of cardboard and taped the Loop wire to them to hold even spacing along its length. Over time the wire had slipped a little under the tape, so maybe the Loop was just that tad uneven in spacing.

-Well, we were also sure to only think happy thoughts around it.

Anyway, works great again. Just a random scary event apparently. Weíll keep an eye on the things you suggested though and see what happens. Thanks for the responses.