OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Discussions on buying or building timers, solenoid start gates, light trees, weigh scales, and other race related electronics.
rdeis
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OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by rdeis » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:40 am

Hey, all, I've got a real problem-- we have a Smartline timer, and the power cord was nowhere to be found during setup tonight.

The race is in the morning-- do any of you know the voltage/polarity/etc on the power adapter so I can grab one at Radio Shack?

This timer has served us well for many years, but it's always been plugged it!! :eek:



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pwrd by tungsten
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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:06 am

I emailed them to look on derbytalk for your question. You might want to email them your cell phone number.

http://www.etekgadget.com/" target="_blank

There are three critical things:

1) voltage (lilkey a number betwen 6v and 12v)...
2) Amps. 500ma is 0.5 amps. You need one with at least as many amps as they recomend.
3) polarity as well.

They also have a phone number on their website so if they do not call you you can call them...



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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:08 am

Argh!!!

The web site shows the timer being run from a common power drill battery! But they don't tell which voltage, and I know that drills use several different voltages. The ambiguity suggests that they regulate the voltage inside the timer. (Most of those "wall wart" power packs aren't well regulated. In fact, I don't think that they are regulated at all.) Anyway, that means that 12VDC from the power pack / wall wart is gonna do the trick.

In a plug, the "shell" is usually negative and the more protected "pin" positive. But not necessarily. :(

If the guys who designed this are as sharp as I think they are, they would have built in some simple, inexpensive protection against reversed voltage from the power supply... it only takes a diode. Being wrong can blow a few components, so...

They might even have printed the voltage/polarities on the timer beside the plug. But you looked and it wasn't there! :(

Good luck!


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:13 am

They are in NY on the eastcoast....


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by rdeis » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:28 am

You guys are awesome!

I tried the website, but didn't have much luck finding any specs in the docs. They do have the phone number, though.

If you think 12V is it, I may be in luck-- I have a 12V DC/500mA with the right style of plug in my collection! I'll try to call them and confirm in the morning. I'm in CO so they've got a 2 hour head start...



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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by rdeis » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:31 am

Stan Pope wrote:But you looked and it wasn't there! :(
I did indeed. Also, I tried a 5V that was with all of my pinewood gear, but no dice. (I'm fairly certain it belongs to my scale)

I didn't want to go above 5V without some more data...



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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:35 am

The Champ timer uses the same electronics over at best track. In a pinch BestTrack may be able to help you out as well....



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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:38 am

FWIW, the Fast Track timer (three large LED numerals and a bunch of other bits and pieces inside) uses a 9VDC 600mA wall wart and the shell is, indeed negative.


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:40 am

And 9VDC is a common power drill battery voltage!


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:56 am

You might PM me your cell number just in case I get a response from someone...


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by rdeis » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:00 am

Stan Pope wrote:FWIW, the Fast Track timer (three large LED numerals and a bunch of other bits and pieces inside) uses a 9VDC 600mA wall wart and the shell is, indeed negative.
OK. I've got a collection of 9V adapters 500mA and greater with both polarities. Hopefully one of them is the right size as well- I won't be able to check until morning.

(Who says that big rats nest can of cords isn't useful?) :)



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Stan Pope
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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:06 am

pwrd by tungsten wrote:You might PM me your cell number just in case I get a response from someone...
In years (long) passed, I worked a lot with TTL (5 V, very finicky and noise sensitive) and CMOS (5 to 9 V and pretty forgiving). Do you know what chip technology is being used now-a-days in this kind of hardware. (The fact that lots of 5V and 12V are heavily used in computers suggests that they may well be using TTL or one of its derivatives. And timer logic elements likely not too different.

Your rat's nest must be a lot better organized than mine! :)


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by gpraceman » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:58 am

rdeis wrote:If you think 12V is it, I may be in luck-- I have a 12V DC/500mA with the right style of plug in my collection!
The SmartLine timer that I have uses a 12VDC 500mA power supply, so that will fit the bill perfectly.

That does seem a bit strange, since other serial timers use 9V or less to power their timers.


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:34 am

I thought you might know :-)

I left a VM with your post for him....


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Re: OH NO! WHERE's my Power cord! Race tomorrow!

Post by gpraceman » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:44 am

pwrd by tungsten wrote:I thought you might know :-)
Yep, I've got to have each brand of timer that my software supports on hand, so I can test any software changes against. It also helps to learn first hand the quirks of each timer when customers run into issues.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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