Grounding of Track

General track discussions.
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msurebel
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Grounding of Track

Post by msurebel » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:04 am

It has been recommended to ground your track to eliminate static charge and interference with the timer. Usually these tracks are set up in the middle of a large space, far from any pipe or something to ground too. What about using a plug with a ground, but only hook up the ground? You could then attached it to the track and find a receptacle to plug it in? Or, would there be other problems this would cause?



rpcarpe
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Re: Grounding of Track

Post by rpcarpe » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:43 pm

Never heard of this problem. If your plug has ground, you should be good to go.


My wife started a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.

dna1990
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Re: Grounding of Track

Post by dna1990 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:56 pm

If serial linked, very likely one of those leads is also a ground.

I too have never heard of any issue (unless a obvious frayed wire or short in the timer or cabling). But to some degree it makes sense. Our local is always in Jan, very dry air, heater on usually. Long track out in the middle, often a nice blanket at the stop section. And plenty of hands reaching around the timer to pick up their cars. Any one of them could carry some static.

But I think it is a long shot. And probably nothing that would go 'undetected'. Meaning the scores would fail to display or send to the PC. It is not like static charges are going to alter the 'timing' off by a few milliseconds or affect the light sensors....in my layman's way of thinking. EEs may have evidence to the contrary.


Reminds me of a favorite story about one of the first big super computers made along the east coast destined for Los Alamos. It gets built, ships out to this hillside facility in the desert, and almost right away starts having random memory parity errors. They run every engineer thru the thing, can't find it. They dismantle the monster and haul it back to development - no errors for like two weeks of testing. Haul it back to NM, bam, parity errors. They eventually realize the higher altitude and less ceiling structures above - gamma rays are getting thru to the old style memory cores and zapping one every so often. They installed a thicker lined ceiling and the computer operated fine for many years. So yea, sometimes it don't take much.



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ah8tk
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Re: Grounding of Track

Post by ah8tk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:43 pm

If you have a solenoid start gate on your track make sure it has a 3-wire cord attached to it. If one of the wires becomes bare and touches the aluminum track or the solenoid goes bad, the track will be energized. A cord grounded to the track will stop this by blowing the breaker.

This may also help this other trouble.



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