Using Champ Timer, on a 4 lane Besttrack and GPRM 15 on Windows 10 computer
Last night I set up a derby using the Champ timer (had derbies on Tues & Weds as well without issue). Set things up as I always do to find the Champ giving the following code: "L L L L" followed by "1 2 3 4", followed by "_ _ _ _". The start gate, reset button and sensors were non-responsive at this point. I unplugged & replugged power to get the same code. Then when I unplug the start gate/switch cable, the timer was responsive. Plug the start switch cable back in and the code reappeared and the timer went non-responsive again. Switched the end-to-end connections of the start switch cable. No help. After 30 mins of futzing around I realized I was not going to win this one. The timer was still able to show sequence of finish but the times were wrong so I switched to points-mode in GPRM, and just wiggled through the race.
Steve, from Besttrack where I got the timer, did call me back and the consensus was to look for a short which I will be doing tonight (4/28). He said the timer is in "test mode". There are no visible cuts or abrasions in the cable and the start switch shows no sign of wire/connection mutilation. I'm going to test a different cable tonight.
I thought I'd throw this issue out to the derby crowd to see if anyone else has encountered this and successfully fixed it. I have two derbies tomorrow and I really don't want to run points-mode again.
I've run more than 300 derbies over the past 10 years and NEVER had an issue I can't get figured out. Last night was beyond frustrating.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Yes. Replaced the 50' "audio" cable and the problem was solved. On one level this makes some sense. When I used the Microwizard timer eventually my cable developed a short. But it was just your basic RJ11 phone cable. The cable that Besttrack supplies with the Champ always seemed sturdy and not prone to excessive wear. I've never kinked the cable either.Speedster wrote:I'm curious as to whether or not you were able to solve the problem. We have the same set-up and fortunately have not experienced any problems but anything could happen.
Anyway...no problems...for the time being.
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I did find this entry in the manual for the Champ timer from the Best Track website. So, you might have accidentally put the timer into the test mode or maybe the bad start switch cable caused that.
1.3 Champ Timer Finish Line Test Mode
The test mode is useful for testing the sensors. To enable the test mode, hold the reset button down until you see a capital L on the displays. You may then release the reset button. The L will display for a short time (approximately 2 seconds) and then the lane number will be displayed in the display above the respective lane for approximately 2 seconds. The display will then show either a lower case c or an underscore. The c indicates that the sensor is covered as if a car were sitting on the sensor. The underscore (lowest segment on the display) indicates that the sensor is open (nothing is on the track). To return to the normal racing mode simply tap the reset button.
I don't see any error codes in the manual, other than the mention of the "L", "c" and "_" characters. So, you should contact Best Track if you have a Champ timer or eTekGadget if you have a SmartLine timer.
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