Carrera 140 SERVO Section

 

       Before starting Let me address that I do not want to step on any ones Toes in regards to the Carrera Servo system and websites. Many websites are available on the Servo subject, part of the problem is 99% of the websites for fans of this system are in German.

      Outside of Germany the Carrera Servo system is basically unknown, my intention is to translate as much relevant information as possible into English, and add to it if i can.

History

The Carrera Servo system started life in 1978. two scales were introduced in 1978 132 and 160(HO) scale.

in 1979 140 Scale was added.

Servo 132 scale was made between 1978 and 1983

in 1983 Servo 132 was discontinued.

160 scale ran from 1978 till 1996 when it was discontinued.

140 scale ran from 1979 till 2000 when the entire servo line was discontinued.

in 140 scale there are 2 major revisions to the track system and 3 major revisions to the cars.

the first version of the track system ran from 1979 till 1981 these are called narrow conductor.

the narrow conductor used thin steel rails like HO scale and an older style connection between track segments. the tabs are the same for both versions. they made a old to new style converter so you could use the old track with the new track.

the wide conductor was used from 1981 till 2000 the wide system is the most robust and has the most track pieces and options.

the narrow track system was designed purely as slotless. the wide track system included the ability to setup the slotless cars as slotted with guide pins.

 

narrow and wide type track

wide_narrow.jpgwide.jpg

V1 cars were made from 1979 till 1985. there are several small re-visions to the chassis in that time. most notable is the modification to allow a guide pin in later cars to allow a slotted form of driving.

there are 6 known small re-visions to the V1 chassis. there are also 3 long chassis versions of the V1 chassis.

V2 was made from 1985 till 1988

in 1985 carrera went bankrupt and was bought out by a new owner that didn't like much of the carrera product line. he ordered that all the designs be made more cost effective. so V2 was designed to be a cheaper version of the V1 to produce, the quaility was a bit lower and the chassis has some problems with weak design.

there are 2 Version 2 type chassis.

in 1988 money was put into the servo design to retool for a much cheaper type of car and one that from a design standpoint is much worse then before.

the Version 3 or V3 ran from 1988 till 2000

the V3 is the worst design of the servo line it is more toylike.

there were 3 re-visions to the V3 chassis.

in addition the V1 track system had Jam cars these were phased out after 1985

the jammer requires a special convertor and all jam cars are V1 only they are a slightly modified version of the V1 chassis.

By comparison the V1/V2 chassis is very much like the IDEAL MK4 or the AFX Speedsteer chassis in design.

The V1/V2 has ackerman steering angles and a constant drive to the front tires allowing precise steering control

the V3 is exactly like a Tyco Command control chassis, it uses a pivot front axle and a slipper drive system this makes the steering less predicable and more susceptible to wear.

in a nut shell that is the basically history of servo 140

Chassis Versions

Version 1: This is a later version 1 chassis with the provision for the slotted guide, and the flat rear hubs. Early V1 cars use a conical rear hub which rides the tires up on the outside edge. it was suppose to make the car lane change easier but it didn't work and later carrera changed the design to a normal tire. the chassis had no front articulation. these older cars can drift around curves.

PCV1ObUnt.jpg

parts layout V1

140_komplett.JPG

Version 2 came along in 1985: the chassis included a pivot front suspension, the new front pivot suspension allowed for articulation on new track pieces, high bank turns and jumps the front steering is delicate the white plastic pinion gear can crack rendering the steering inoperative. these cars used a double retainer clip to hold the cars to inside lanes with more force they cannot drift around curves.

PCV2ObUnt.jpgPCV2SchlFlex.jpg

Version 3: 1988-2000 the last version of the servo 140 chassis. the front steering was changed to a friction type.

PCV3ObUnt.jpg

Version 1 jammer chassis. slightly different then the normal V1 cahssis

PCHind3DP.jpg

Very basic explanation of the 3 chassis versions.

 

for a deeper review please check out

http://www.oerk.net/chassisvarianten.htm

 

Power requirements

You have a couple of options here.

over the years the sets came with various transformers, you can safely run the sets from 9V to 18 Volts.

most common voltage is 12 or 14 Volts, a couple early sets came with 18 Volt transformers.

the early V1/V2 cars are heavier then the V3 cars so they like 14-18 volts.

the V3 cars are VERY light so they like 12-14 volts.

The system is designed to use separate  DC power for each car however as long as you do not use a jam car you can use a single power supply to run both cars, however there is a problem. if you tie both power cords for A and B together on a single power supply then the A car will short on the B car rails and Bounce left and right when you lane change from the inside to the outside lane(similar issue in HO scale with AC power)

this bouncing is Worse for some cars better for others but it can be a major problem. There is no fix for it, if it happens you need to use 2 transformers one for each car.

you will want at least 1 amp of power for each car. you can find cheap DC 12-18 volt 1amp power supplies at radio shack. then you will need to wire up one for each car the terminal tracks have 2 seperate power leads where the controllers are hooked up.

on average each car will draw .2 amps on continuous load with .6amp spikes if you stomp on it from a dead stop. running with one jam car takes the average power requirements to .4 amps for one car. so 1 amp is the minimum. the sets came with with power supplies rated at 1.1-1.2 amps.

Track

General Photo of the different track pieces.

1401.JPG

       There are 3 types of Curves, a 1/2 90 degree, a 1/4 90 degree and a wider 1/4 turn, there are a few different lengths of straight track and special pieces like bridges, cross overs, chicanes, jumps, loops etc. allowing for a robust track layout. Carrera also made analog lap counters. the counters worked with wire sticking up from the front bumper on either the left or right side which would count the lap for the A or B car the same system was used for IDEAL TCR in the 1970s.

Carrera Servo System: My History

I originally wrote the below about 4 years ago: I'll leave it for posterity. What happened was a Fan of the servo system contacted me and wanted to give me a better education of the slotless servo system that lead to an exchange of emails that led to me buying a servo system for my own experimentation and use.

so read the below first then the rebuttal after:


 

 

I've actaully been avoiding talking about the Carrera Servo System._c260831.3rvs9xukluio484w4gw440o00.ae6egtt2xvk0sowk84g4ock8k.th.jpeg

A few reasons why:

  • It is very rare
  • It is very expensive
  • There are 3 different scales
  • There are so many revisions made to it over the years it will make your head spin
  • It made no real progress in advancing slotless
  • the cars look strange because of the wall guides.

 

 

    That said the one thing different from other slotless systems was the use of a 4th Power rail. Carrera never fully explorered this 4th rail so it was used for the JAM cars as a seperate power source so the passing cars power was not dragged down, this is a common issue with TCR tracks.

through Hacking it is possible to re-purpose the 4th rail to allow 3 passing cars to be controlled independantly. so you could have A,B, and C cars in additon to Jam cars.

Additionally due to scale the larger sized Servo systems could be hacked into Digital control thus allowing up to 5 passing cars on the track at one time. This required some electronics skills and hacking the Carrera digital system for Slotted Lane changer cars onto the slottless cars.

Carrera made the system in 3 scales.

160 = 1:60

140 = 1:40

and

132 = 1:32

The system was produced on and off from the late 1970s until 2003.

the very early systems looked just like every other TCR system, it used AC power which turned the motor clockwise or counterclockwise and ran the steering system to allow the car to maintain the inside or outside lanes.

the original track looked very much like every other TCR system except they used a 4th rail for powering the jam cars. the same problem with the inside lane in curves existed.

as time marched on, Carrera designed a bumper system that used slots to help the cars maintain lanes.

later on they used a slotted pin plunger system to try and lock the cars into lanes. these cars had a rack and pinion steering system when a lane change was made the pin was lifted and the car would change lanes and the pin would lock back down again.

The pin system led to some interesting rare track pieces where you had 3 lanes of travel. The problem was the center lane was very hard to maintain compared to the left or right lanes were the car rested against a wall.

they tried various attempts at locking the cars into lanes. they even used a Ridge system at one time just like the matchbox RPS system except they extended this ridge to the straight track sections.

At one point they even walled off the center of curves just like the Tyco TCR system did in the 1990s

so almost every year Carrera would revise the system try something that either worked or didn't and then the next year remove a feature or add a different one.

This causes a serious issue with compatability and also trying to find the correct track sections for a layout you have. add to the problem of different scales and different car models.

it was never a good seller and was only really available in germany. eventually Carrera Gave up on the system to focus on the more popular Lane changer slotted car Digital systems.

Carrera never had any form of turbo charging the Servo cars and never came up with electronic boosting. they also never came up with obsticles for the tracks other then the jam cars.

If you have 2 cars that go exactly the same speed all the time, never need to change lanes and a lane change causes the cars to slow down with out a compensation then how would you be able to pass the leading car? in short you can't

for TCR to work you have to compensate for a lane change some how and you need to force all the passing cars to constantly change lanes this give each player the same disadvantage.

this made the Carrera system just boring, I find that the stock track layouts were also small and boring mostly ovals. So you had to go out and try to buy more tracks to enlarge your system.

for all the effort they put into the system trying to hold the cars into lanes like a slotted car Carrera seemed to have missed the point of TCR completely.

a typical Carrera go system used can be over 200$ today, nobody buys them and there are no parts available.

the system has a fan following and it is possible to hack the larger 132 system to use digital control but for the money i can go out and buy a broken Matchbox RPS 2000 set for 35$ repair it using 30$ worth of parts and Add a Turbo system to it and go out and start bashing and having fun.

after researching the Carrera Servo system for myself i found i had no interest in it i find the early HO scale sets to be cheaper and a lot more fun. Because you can easily get parts for the other systems that means you can experiment with them. you would not want to buy a 100$ carrera Servo car that you cannot get parts for and start hacking it apart.

So the Carrera Servo 160,140, and 132 remains a Very expensive and Rare collectable anomaly.

51GuuLOUbCL.jpg


Rebuttal:

Mr C wrote me:

Hi Dan, you have don a masterful job of digging into the particulars of slotless slot cars. I had an idea to do a site just like yours dedicated to slotless slot cars, but never found the time. Like you, I am a true lover of slotless slot cars. However over the last few years I've gotten more into Carrera Digital. But my introduction into Carrera Digital was through Carrera Servo, which is the reason I'm writing you. I played with Servo for around 5 years. I collected over 300 cars, and tons of track, sets, and accessories since the late 90's. I also have tons of Speed Steer and Tyco TCR stuff. I began at 12 years old in 1980 with a Speed Steer set.  Like you I experimented with lots of the different systems. I have to commend you on your write ups of the different systems, and you ability to rejuvenate them to a workable state. In an effort to provide people with as much real world experience as possible I'd like to address what you wrote about Servo. You did an admirable job on your write up about Servo, but there are some important perspectives and history that you might want to share with your readers. I'm including your write up with my responses in red so they are easy to see.
 

 

  • Rare in the USA, but it was one of the main systems sold in Germany for many years. There were dedicated Servo racing slubs who raced together in small local clubs and had an annual or bi-annual national event attended by people from several European countries. Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OjIrfs0C9E.
  • It is because Europeans have and still do spend a lot more of their relative money on slot cars, and this set originated and was made for the European Market. Also from 1996-2008 it was cheap to buy because of the exchange rate.
  • Here's a guide to the different systems: http://www.servo-140-servo.de/meine%20fahrzeuge.htm

The 4th rail was essential to the system. One car used the two middle lanes for power, the other car used the outer two rails for power. The advantage of this system is that the cars never accidentally got power from both controllers and did the little crawl back and forth thing like all the other slotless systems. In the smaller systems the car with the pick-up shoes close together would accidentally get it's signals crossed up and change lanes inadvertently or not complete a lane change. 

Two different things altogether:  You could use Carrer Pro-X digital boards to allow up to 8 cars on the track at once, although it was rarely done. It required procuring the digital encoders, control unit, and controllers from a Pro-X system and placing the chips in the cars, along with some additional electronic components. this was not expensive, but required some very intricate soldering skills.  You could also add guide pins and use it as a slotted system which opened the door to conventional racing.

The 4th rail was NOT for the Jam car. The Jam car used an ingenious system where it was powered with AC power and shared a pickup shoe with both cars so it got power from both instead of one. But the best part was where you had a seperate speed regulator for the jam car and it would run independent of the speed of the passing cars. It used a bridge rectifier to filter out the AC signal into a DC signal sent to the motor.


This was here from the beginning. It was basically an inverted "J" where the long end would ride inside a groove on the inside lane to "hook" the front of the car to the inside lane. From 1984-1996 they begin to make a ridge that you would place on top of the inside of the curve track to hold the cars in the groove better. At first they were red, then yellow. But the pin never retracted. What you saw was the lap counter system they used where each of the passing cars had an antenna looking pin attached to the fron of th car and struck an overhead lap counter as it drove under it. One car had its antenna on the right and the other car's was on the left; that's how it counted laps.

They had tons of obstacles; flippers, special single lanes, jumps, men with flags, etc, but the Jam cars system was BY FAR the best as you could run several ghost cars at the same time, so you didn't need obstacles.

They had two primary track systems, one from 1978-1984, the other from 1984-1996. They made and distributed an adapter track which was a widely distributed and used. The Servo Plus tracks had the center wall in the curve tracks and was made from 1996-2000. The original track was not directly compatible with the second generation as one had an HO style rail system consisting on a vertical strip. The second generation and "Plus" systems were completely compatible and both featured an inverted U shaped steel rail which was more smooth. Both the Servo160 and Servo 132 only used one type of track throughout the duration of its production.

Correct, but that's why they always had at least a figure eight from 1986 on. By having a figure eight variation there was alw3ays a passing zone. 

To me, the best slotless system period. I would only have that now, but they stopped supporting it altogether and no new bodies since 1999. And the older designs did not perform nearly as well as the older designs. They went after mass appeal as opposed to making the best slotless possible. Once they started adding loops the end was near. That pendulum chassis design was the beginning of the end.

Only on eBay Germany. People are molding tires, rims, steering parts, and sometimes adapting 1/38-1/43 bodies to use on Servo 140 cars. Servo 132 & 160 are both essentially dead. 140 was and is the biggest.


Partially true, but when you see what TCR sets are going for today Servo is priced competitively, except for the cost of shipping.

I hope you find this information helpful. I LOVE Servo, although I primarily drive my digital stuff. But if someone came out with a digital slotless HO system I'd go for it in a heartbeat.

 

Thanks for all the great work you've done!

Mr.C.


Well i promised i would publish his rebuttal. this very generous man, talked me into buying my own servo 140 system


Here is my history with the Carrera system.

In 2000 i became friends with a person that owned a Carrera Servo 132 system, i didn't know there was a 140 or a 160 scale at the time. he bought the system along with some cars back in 1982 when he was stationed in Germany. in 2000 he showed me the set and we messed around with it a couple of times we lacked parts and the system was so rare and collectable that he didn't want to play with it much. the tires were also very old and falling apart.

in 2004 he had gotten the plans for an early digital conversion to the set using carrera pro-x encoder chips.

he asked me to convert as many cars as we could to digital.

carrera parts are never easy to get in the united states and we managed to get 3 cars converted to digital. One car died within a month but 2 cars kept going. again we played with them for a couple of weeks. He broke one car on his own messing around and at that point he boxed everything up and didn't want to setup the track again.

now he just had a basic track, no frills or whistles. the track is so rare i had never seen another one. In fact today the stuff is so rare you can only find it on German Ebay in any quantity.

so once he put it away that was it. i wrote about my experience with the track system as i remembered it from 2004


So MR C. was kind enough to setup me up and let me work on my own Servo track and cars.

i intend to document my findings and draw from the current knowledge pool translating into english for more people to read about learn from and enjoy.

 

How the set works

The Cars themselves work just like any other TCR system(ultra 5 is a special case, Lionel power passers also special case) positive and negative power is sent to the main motor which drives the front steering left or right. The rear axle uses a rotating gearbox mounted to the motor that sends power in either motor rotation direction making the car go forward only, off power the car freewheels allowing a gliding lane changes just like smaller HO scale TCR systems.

 

The power system is quite different; Normal TCR uses a AC power system with diodes inside the hand controllers to filter positive or negative power down to the cars motor. Carrera used switched DC power this made the hand controllers more complex instead of 2 wires they require 4 wires.  A manual switch connected to the steering wheel flips the polarity of the voltage that goes to the car. The system uses 4 rails instead of 3. in normal TCR you have one common shared ground, Carrera used 2 grounds one for each car. This keeps the cars electrically separated and prevents cars from speeding up or slowing down when they other car lane changes. It also allows for the use of 2 transformers one for each car, separating power completely for each car.

electrical.jpg

 

Controller switching

 electrical_work.gif

 

This link has some information about the jammers.

http://www.oerk.net/h-fahrzeuge.htm

additional here.

http://www.carrera-servo-140.de/fahrzeugtechnik_variante_hw.htm

Circuit information is here for building a jammer or repairing one

http://www.carrera-servo-140.de/servissimo_hw.htm

The circuit layout of a jammer car: you need a 1N4001 switching diode a axial capacitor 47uf 35volts, and a 100nf capacitor across the motor for noise reduction

hw.gif

many people want to run more then 1 Jammer the problem is the jammer module can only handle about 4 cars before the transistor overloads or overheats in the jammer module. Additionally there is a extra amp load on the A channel when using a jammer. so you reach a point where the A channel is so loaded down that nothing can function on it. some people stack jammer modules like this:

hwadbank1.jpg

a nice feature of the jammer module is it has a built in speed controller so you can speed up or slow down the jammer's speed.

this shares the load over multiple transistors and increasing amp capacity. however the drain on the A channel will increase .1 amps for each module.

so people externally power the jammer modules that can lead to problems as well. there is also a distance issue more then 15 meters of track causes the jammers to stall out and lose power. but it is still possible to run more then 6 jammer cars. 

problem is unless you use the lane changer vans the jammers will bunch up on the track and it will not be much fun aftera couple of minutes, the best is 2 jammers 1 in the outside lane , 1 in the inside lane or use 1 lane changer jammer. the lane changer van is a power hog because it needs to go faster then a normal jammer when changing lanes or it will stall out and get stuck.

 

one notable feature is The cars can hold the inside lanes. Carrera used a similar method to the Matchbox RPS system, a lower retaining wall is built into the inside lanes on the curve sections. Hooks on the cars front bumper V1 and later side hooks on the V2 and V3 cars, catch this wall, and allow the car to hold the inside lane at a slower speed. There are even special Locking tabs that can be snapped into the inside lane curves to lock the cars into the inside lane so they can travel at an even higher speed. When the locks are not used you can change to the outside lane in curves and block another car. It works just like the matchbox RPS system. the difference is using V1 cars you can actually drift in curves and block the outside lane with the rear of your car instead of switching lanes.

First run

I just got the set running with the cars rebuilt. I did not finish prepping the track surface and the blue car is noisey because i fabricated a steering spring that had too much tension. but the car moved and steered.

Tips and Tricks

         The first tip for all cars is they must be perfectly Clean, no hairs or dirt or dust bunnies all Slotless cars are very sensitive to contamination. Any kind of dirt slows the cars down and effects gliding and lane changing.

         You want to check the chassis for warpage all the tires need to be in contact with the ground. The best is setting the car on a level table and rolling it by hand observing how all 4 tires make contact with the ground and making sure they rotate correctly. you may have to adjust contact shoes and bend the chassis by hand to make it straight again.

        Oil is important but you want to use it sparingly as too much oil will slow the cars down and contaminate areas that should not be oiled. too much oil will also attract dirt. i tiny drop goes a long way. I recommend a light slot car oil for all rotation points and use a Aurora T-jet lubricant for the rear gearbox and front steering gear on the V1/V2 cars. T-jet Lubricate does not fly off and leaves a lightly surface coating on gears. Some people use a Graphite Powder on these parts. point is they do need to be lubricated in a way that does not attract much dirt.

       I personally use dish soap and water with a toothbrush and a small paint brush to scrub the cars down of all dirt, use a micromesh cloth to dry, thus making the cars as clean as possible.

      I water dip the motors to clean them out and also break them in better. Water dipping with a little soap will also clean the commutators off of dirt and oil and carbon build up from years of use. a 9 volt battery works fine, put the motor under water and run it for about 10 seconds then flip the battery and run the motor the other way. it will completely clean the motors out and boost power. you do not want to do this all the time as it will wear out the brushes inside the motor but once every 20 years will get things moving again.

      For V1 cars carrera never really made spare parts. they did sell the front tires with axle and steering spring and the contact shoes but nothing else. so for restoration and parts you need a donor car making restoration very expensive. the V1 cars are the oldest and rarest and most collectable.

     For the V3 Cars carrera did make a maintenance kit which included a ton of parts for rebuild, front and rear tires a new motor and transmission, contact brush pickups. the problem is the tires are over 10 years old now and they fall apart from age. you can still find the rebuild kit but they are getting rarer and you may need to source aftermarket tires

Carrera PN: 79381

spare_parts.jpg

Basic slot-less tips and tricks

My page on Performance and Tips can be applied to Servo 140 cars as well

V1 Tips

 

Steering:

The first thing you run into with the V1 cars besides restoring 30 years of sitting around is the steering gear is usually worn down.

the steering gear controls the angle of the steering lock to lock so it wears out from use and you get a lot of play in the steering system which reduces the steering throw lock to lock. That wear reduces the speed of a lane change.

to fix it just cut a piece of plastic 1mm thick or less and glue it in the steering gear like this. do not wedge a thick piece of plastic to take all the play out, just 1mm or less the idler arm still has to float with the spring holding tension. if you lock up the steering getting too much steering angle the chassis will drag and not lane change correctly you may even break one of the gears.

steering_fix.jpg

that will restore the steering throw.

Tip to tune the steering.

make sure everything is clean and lightly oiled the steering should move freely with the motor removed. the crown gear should float smoothly and the spring not catch on anything. sometimes you need to clean up the chassis mold a little or lightly sand a few parts.

when you add the plastic to the steering gear above you need to adjust it to get max performance. the wear on the original gear is not uniform the left side wears more then the other because the outside left lane is used more often. when you install the plastic filler piece, listen to the car as it drives, clicking or lots of noise means you need to file that filler piece down a little and equalize it left to right. usually when sanding you find it becomes wedge shaped since the right side has less wear,, keep sanding and testing when the car sounds quite and smooth with the spacer still on the gear you have found the best tune, max steering throw and no binding. the ideal tune is slightly less then the full amount of possible steering but the car will handle very well.


The steering Pinion:

The pinion can crack the best fix is finding a broken motor and pulling the brass 8 tooth drive gear off you can then push that onto the front of the motor and repair the weak spot. this works on the V2 cars as well.

See below i found a replacement part for it you can buy. The ideal TCR chassis suffers from this same problem.

brass.JPG

here are all the parts of the front steering system

the most important is the spring, there is no good replacement for that spring DO NOT LOSE IT!.

v1_steering_pieces.jpg


Contact shoe:

The A car can cause a short circuit, sometimes the front Contact shoes can touch from having too much play and that can cause blown fuses and sparking.

the best fix is glue a piece of construction paper between the contacts to keep them separated.

you want something that will not interfere with the movement of the contacts but keep them apart.

thick paper works better then plastic or lexan.

schleifer-v1-bruecke.jpg


Contact shoe 2: making replacement pickup brushes

tips:

       The biggest issue with the contact shoes in the setup. On solid contact shoes like HO scale you adjust the spring ride height by chopping coils off the springs to lower the cars front end and keep tension on the track rails for power. it is a delicate balance. 

       Carrera took a different approach they suspended the contact shoes on springs but then added a replaceable pickup brush which contacts the track. the contact shoe does not actually touch the track surface when set up correctly.

        The problem is if you do not setup the contact shoes brushes correctly they either do not make contact with the rails and the car sputters along or they are too stiff and the front end cannot steer.

         The brushes have to have a certain softness to them. Now because Carrera doesn't make the brushes anymore (since 1985) and NOS is so rare and expensive you have to create your own from available parts.

         Most people fabricate them from Modern brushes from either the new digital line or use evolution brushes. the problem is the original ones have the consistency of steel wool and the new brushes are braided. the braid makes the new contact brushes too thick and they do not have the softness you need for slot-less. so you have to solder the new brush on then tease the wires of the new brush out of a braid and make them straight then you have to again tease them to look like steel wool. its a very time consuming process and the only way to make them right.

here are 2 links to how to fabricate your own brushes and i will give a recap.

Shows the process of making the brushes:

http://www.servospeedway.de/Die_Autos/Reparatur/reparatur.html

http://www.servo-140.de/c1288727.htm

Shows the process of teasing the brushes into the correct consistency

http://www.oerk.net/schleifer.htm

a fast look at the process: I disagree slightly with the method used above, the brushes suck in solder very fast, so what i prefer to do is use the brass sleeve side of the brush that is crimped into the wires. i grind that down and pre solder that sleeve, then pre solder the contact shoe and i fast tack both together. That prevents the solder from wicking into the Brush and keeps the wires soft.

Break off the old brush that is worn away.

shoe_1.JPG

This method uses the brush side to solder, i like to use the other side where the sleeve is

shoe_2.JPG

Fitted into the contact shoe

shoe_3.jpg

Tack soldered, Be fast if you do it this way, the solder will ruin the brush

shoe_4.jpg

Soldered and spread

shoe_5.jpg

From here you need to tease the brush strands.

I use a piece of thin plastic to hold the brush above the contact shoes and then using a razor blade i put he wires out of the braid slowly and start to comb the wires with the blade to get them to relax. A few times i needed to use my dremal to sand the wires and get them to relax. this is important because if the brushes are too stiff it will raise the front of the car and the front tires will not make enough contact with the track surface and the car will not change lanes or stall out during a lane change

here is a great method for working the brushes and teasing them

brushwork2.jpgbrush_work1.jpg

 


Front tires:

many sites list, 14mmX9mm by 2.5MM o-rings as replacement for the early V1 cars.

after messing around i found the 15X10x2.5mm o-rings work much better.

o-ring_front_tires.jpg


V1 rear axle:

i did not like the conical rear hub design

so i took an o-ring 8x12 mm and put it on the conial hub like this

V1_Axle_1.jpg

 that allows a flat tire installation


V1 rear tires:  For early chassis VERSION A:

I found a set of AFX 4 gear high profile rear silicon tires was a perfect fit for the V1 rear axle

high_profile.jpg

installed

V1_Axle_2.jpg

 


V1 rear tires:  For early chassis versions with conical rear and re-enforced rear bumper.

some later version of the V1 chassis Carrera moved the rear bumper guides forward and arced them to fit the conical tires and later a smaller flat tire. for these cars you need a different tire in the rear.

i'm researching a 14mmx7mmx7mm tire for these cars now

i'm happy to report the last generation of V1 cars carrera moved the motor and CG forward along with the rear axle so the AFX 4 gear tire fits those cars just fine. the problem is only on same middle of the road production cars.


 

contact shoe springs:

if you are missing a contact shoe spring under the car you can use AFX ultra 5 contact shoe springs they fit and have similar dimensions and spring rates.


replacement pinion gears

Later model V1 cars and V2 car came with a white gear set. the front pinion gear which drives the steering can crack making the steering inoperable. i'm happy to report i found a quick replacement at radio shack.

Buy this motor: 1.5-3VDC Metal Gear Motor

pRS1C-2265145w345.jpg

it comes with a 8 tooth brass gear that has the same pitch as the original white plastic gear and the motor armature is the same thickness so just pop it off , then cut the pinion to the length you like, and install in your V1 or V2 car and beef up your drive line.


 Front Weight:

       The older V1 cars have a front weight system. the older weights are smaller about 5 grams and the mid generation weights are much larger about 7-10 grams. The weight is designed to move left and right like a shuffle. the weight helps the car change lanes and lock into the left or right lane. the weight much move easy and smooth so it usually needs a little lubrication and go gentle on the holding screw so it does not catch the weight.

       Many people make the mistake of thinking the weight is lose and they lock down the top screw or machine the post shorter to keep the weight from shuffling, this is a big NO-NO.

        The weight also helps settle the front tires down and helps the contact shoe brushes stay on the track. The later generation cars had even larger front weights.

        In Last generation V1 cars Carrera removed the weight. They re-designed the chassis to bring the motor and transmission forward about 3mm to put more CG weight over the front tires and save manufacture costs. Also they needed to remove the weight to make room for the new Slot Pin which was designed into the system after 1982. that allowed the set to be used as a slot-less or slotted set. Basically they took a good slotless design and made it into a worse slotless car to make it a terrible slotted car to satisfy the public that wanted the set to do two things badly instead of one thing well.

       It is possible to retrofit the newer V1 car generation to use the older V1 generation front weight but the conversion is involved and you can no longer use the slot pin guide for slotted operation. The car will handle much better with the conversion.

[show picture of conversion]

 


converting a Jammer to a passing car:

        This is extremely difficult. The Jam car chassis has enough differences to a passing car chassis that you cannot drop in passing car parts and make it directly into either a jammer or a passing car.

        The rear gear box pod does not have the same recess for the gears as the passing car. The motor rear bulkhead support also sits about .5mm lower in the jammer then the passing car.

        You have to machine out the rear gear pod to allow for the clearance of the passing car transmission system, and raise the rear motor mount up. Additionally the jammer does not have the upper stops for the passing car gear transmission system, this keeps the rear transmission from jamming as it rotates left or right. the stoppers are easy to fabricate compared to the rest of the chassis issues. the conversion must be precise and is tedious and difficult it isn't impossible but i do not recommend it.

       Converting a passing car to a jammer is less involved but requires cutting the rear gear box if you want the car to have the same features as a jammer. if not the conversion is easier and electrically reversible. however if you want to use a jammer transmission then the rear gear box must be modified and the car can no longer be used as a passing car.

 


Body Problems:

         The Bodies made for the servo system have the worst tolerance, they are always warped and twisted and do not sit correctly on the chassis usually they bind on something inside the car as well. Take the time to carefully shave the body mounts to lower the bodies and get them to sit correctly around the rear wheels, front weights and make sure the mounts are not putting downward pressure against pieces of the chassis to eliminate binding. Some bodies will catch the front weight shuffle and prevent it from functioning. So take a few hours to really work out the body mounting issues and the performance of the car will increase.


 Chassis twist:

      The chassis can become warped. test the chassis by putting it on a level surface there should be equal weight on the front tires as you roll the car view how the front tires react. if a tire is not touching the surface of the track you must try and take the warp out of it and level the front tires again. check the brushes on the contact shoes first. to make sure they are not effecting the chassis stance. if you remove the contact shoes and springs and the chassis is still warped then you know the problem is with the chassis only.

     you can try bending a chassis by hand or using heat, maybe make a boiling block to unwarp the chassis. you might be able to tension the body on the mount points with washers to force the chassis to sit square.

     The point is if the front tires are not supporting weight correctly then the car will not steer well in one direction. a warped left tire will make a turn to the left not as response as going to the right.

     sometimes swapping a front tire or a front hub helps because of varying tolerance on parts. sometimes you need to cut the coil off a spring to lower one side of the car.

   do the best you can to get the chassis to run flat. push the car on the track in both lanes and view how the front tires turn against the surface.


Front Hubs:

    make sure the front hubs do not bind on the axles they must ride 100% free and easy. hairs clog them up and the axle might be too tight requiring disassemblyand sanding to get a perfect fit. Binding will cause the car to veer off a track lane or not lane change correctly.

 


 

things i learned setting up and repairing the chassis. more to come

Tire test

The squeaking noise is because i didn't finish prepping the track walls at this point

Adding a Dynamic Brake

      Carrera did something interesting in the last few revisions of the V1 chassis that carried into the V2.

V1-M8.jpg

      You will notice there is a resistor across the motor terminals. that is quite a change from the early cars which had a noise suppression capacitor where the resistor is located. gone are the inductor coils for the pickups as well. the inductor coils and capacitor were used for electrical noise suppression. the capacitor reduced voltage spikes and reduced the heat generated by the motor and gave it a smoother power curve.

     So why the sudden shift to a resistor? Dynamic braking. Dynamic braking uses the dynamo effect of the motor when it is spinning off power to slow down the motor faster. it Converts rotational energy into  heat.

    Any motor when spinning without applied power produces power as the coils move through the magnetic field. For a slot car dynamic brakes slows down and stops the motor faster. It was used in the brass wars era as you could adjust the effect and tailor a car to how you like to drive. It allowed you to enter a curve faster because off power the car would apply brakes and slow down faster, before you had to anticipate how far a car would glide off power before it stopped from friction.

     Now a slot-less car has no brakes off power the car freewheels in the forward direction making brakes pointless, so what good is dynamic brakes on a slot-less car? Simple it stops the motor faster and allows for a faster direction change. the motor must usually, Slow down, Stop then change direction for the steering and gearbox engagement. with the dynamic brake the time to slow down is reduced and thus steering response could increase.

    The closer you are to 0 ohms the faster the brakes come on. however 0 ohms is a dead short so usually 10 ohms is a starting point for slot cars. the problem is lower ohms generates tremendous heat and requires a larger Wattage resistor.

    Carrera spec'd a 882 Ohm .5 to .6 Watt resistor. for experimentation i retrofitted a 2 Watt 10 ohm resistor onto an old V1 car. the resistor dragged down the throttle of the car and within 2 minutes got the resistor so hot it smoked. I then changed to a 320 ohm 1/2 watt resistor which no longer dragged the power down but still generated some heat over a longer period of time. It is hard to gauge if Steering response did increase. I will need to devise a handling test to see if using or removing the resistor has a real benefit.

   But this answers why Carrera suddenly shifted to a resistor across the motor terminals.

    Also the reason the Ohms have to be so high is because the controllers do not have a brake circuit. in a normal slot car brake setup the braking effect only comes on when power is turned off, the controller has a special area of the resistor when the trigger is at rest that turns on the brake loop circuit. The slot-less controller does not have this so Carrera moved the brake resistor from the controller to the cars motor. Thus the resistor sees the power as on and off where normally it would just be off power. this is the same as driving a car with the hand brake on which is why a 10 Ohm resistor got so hot and dragged the speed of the car down during experimentation. A better design would move the brake circuit to the controller, but would require 2 additional circuits because you need a brake loop for the left and right lane function. So carrera put the brake on the car and increased the Ohms so the handbrake being on all the time was not so noticeable and the heat level was much much lower.  that is why there is a 800+ ohm resistor on the motor and not something smaller as in a normal slot car with dynamic braking.

 

Testing Update: I setup a test with the cars to see if the resistor makes any difference at all. lowering the ohms has a slowing effect that you can see. however over 100 ohms the effect was non-existent. The only reduction was heat with increased ohms. I setup control cars and test cars each had to take a slalom test to see if steering was more or less responsive. the cars were tuned to take the slalom first then resistors installed 390Ohm 1/2 watt resistors were used over the 882 ohm stock resistors to see if there was more of an effect.

The results: all cars could take the slalom coarse; removing or installing the resistor had no notice effect on the cars steering ability. there was no noticeable increase in steering response. there was a Small Amp uptick from the resistor cars as they run.

Conclusion: inconclusive possibly harmful. i could see no difference in handling characteristics but the power supply did show a .1 amp increase from .19 to .29-.34 on the meter. lowering the ohms towards zero increased the effect but all it did was require more throttle to move the cars forward.

I would recommend removing the resistors and if wanted install capacitors for noise suppression, but noise suppression has a down side as well.

Adding Lights to V1 cars and jammers

     You can see my led lighting ideas here: How to install LEDs in Passing Cars and How to install LEDs in JAM Cars.

The same wiring works for these larger scale cars as well.

[insert wiring photos here]

 

more information posted soon!

V3 tips

Steering:

using Tyco command control steering sleeve to upgrade the V3 latex version. The original Yellow latex tube for the carrera servo V3 falls apart very fast and doesn't last long. you can use the silicon Sleeve from the Tyco command control cars to replace it.

DSCN2615.JPGDSCN2616.JPGDSCN2617.JPG

remember to oil the black plastic spacer plate that the sleeve sits in front of. just oil the back side to prevent it from melting against the motor face.


Lighting:

V3 LED modification. My simple double LED setup works fine for Carrera servo.

you need 2 LEDs and a resistor 620ohm to 1K ohm i use 2x 1.8mm LEDS, solder as shown, with cathode to anode back to back. this will speed up the cars taking the resistance off the motor as the original bulbs are high load.

DSCN2618.JPGDSCN2619.JPG

flipping the battery shows pos and neg operation the package is the size of the original bulbs and fit right in place of the original type bulbs.

DSCN2620.JPGDSCN2621.JPG

installed in car

DSCN2622.JPG


Steering part 2:

V3: modifying the front steering arm so it works when worn out.

Heat up the steering arm with a soldering iron, holding the plastic slightly away from the iron to soften the plastic then bend the plastic as shown.

original

DSCN2623.JPGDSCN2624.JPG

modified with slight bend

DSCN2625.JPG

you can customize the tension with the amount of bend to allow you to adjust the arm for each car and get correct steering response. you just need a little tension you do not want to ram the arm up into the motor sleeve. experiment for yourself. V3 cars tune just like Tyco command control cars.


V3 rear tires:

       I have found an excellent rear tire for the V3 chassis it is made in france by Slotcartyres it is a custom made urethane tire, very high quality and excellent grip, they are round and i ordered a large set of them and all were free from defects. i recommend them.

V3_tires.JPG

 


Pivot suspension problems:

      the center pivot suspension on the V2 and V3 cars tends to wear out and sag the entire front end of the car which starts to drag on the track surface. you may need to fabricate a spacer to tighten up the pivot again to stop the car from sagging on the track surface. The steering control is also effected by this sagging. the sagging is caused by wear but is made worse with the last generation servo track and servo plus track that had loops, jumps and very high banked curves.

Track setup Tips

All the slotless setup tricks work on the Carrera Track system

  • The track must be as clean as possible as far as dust, Hair, dirt.
  • I use 409 cleaner as a pre-cleaner for the track. it removes some rust, almost all the dirt and dust along with hair and removes all oils.
  • The wide conductor track is so wide that you can use sand paper to clean off heavy rust, and oxidation. I used 2400 grit micro cloth to polish the rails and finished off with 4000,6000,8000,12000 grit to really polish the rails as much as possible.
  • Use AEROCAR rail cleaner and conductor on the rails and track surface. Aerocar can do wonders it will remove rust and carbon build up and leaves a non wax coating on the rails that reduces friction it is conductive but i found it works perfect as a track surface conditioner and surface prep. makes the track a little slick at first but it dries back after a half hour and really improves electrical signal for the car. you can even juice the contact shoes with it and it will help them stay clean and self lubricate for less wear, lane changes are easier as well. Apply Aerocar to the surface of the track using a micromesh cloth. Allow Aerocar to soak into the rails and surface for about 10-30 minutes, usually you do a batch of track so by the time you get to the last segment the first segment is ready to be wiped. using a clean micromesh cloth, wipe the surface off getting taking as much Areocar off the plastic as you can, the micromesh cloth will be covered in carbon, rust and dirt that the Aerocar removed, the surface of the conductor rails will also feel slick like there is wax on them but leave it alone, go drive the cars now and you will be amazed at the difference.
  • Take the time to align all the walls between segments, just like HO scale you need to bend the inside and outside walls so there is no catching on the sides of the track you want it as smooth as possible run your finger around the track inside and outside walls and adjust defects, sometimes you may need to cut an edge with a blade or sand an area smooth.
  • You can wax the walls of the track with Pledge furniture polish. many people like to use WD-40. I do not like using a liquid grease for a couple of reasons it attracts dirt, hair, dust, it gets into everything and over lubricates gums up the contact shoes and it can eat rubber over time. I have seen it attack some kinds of plastic as well. it can crazy some clear vivak plastics as well. pledge dries into a nice coating that is designed to repel dust and dirt. you can apply pledge easy with your finger tips you just want it on the walls of the track not the surface, use the AEROCAR for the surface prep. again over time the slickness will relax and you will have a nice fast track.
  • You may need to shave the rails between sections to make smooth transitions.
  • again all the HO scale tricks work in 140 scale.

Weight

it is possible to alter vehicle handling by adding weight.

The V1 cars weigh 78 grams on average

the V3 cars are around 40-50 grams.

all the chassis are non-magnatraction so you treat them with slotted car Brass car tuning rules.

if the car tips in curves add more weight over the center front bumper or on the left and right of the front end in front of the front axles.

if the car is drifting too much in curves add weight in front of the rear tires as low as possible.

a lot of V3 tuners add weight behind the rear tires on the rear bumper, all that does is offset the CG of the car to the rear and lifts the front tires reducing steering. it will increase traction if your tires are old and slipping but i do not recommend it.

 

Magnets

it is also possible to glue neo magnets under the chassis to stick the chassis to the track with more force, it helps a car go faster in the curves as well. you have to experiment with placement as everyone drives differently.

Repair the Jam controller

The jam controller is a special plug in device that takes power indirectly from the A Channel to feed power to the V1 jam car. a lot of people over load the controller by running more then 1 Jammer at a time. The transistor gets hot and eventually fails. the Jam control will then stop working. It is a very easy repair open up the cover and unsolder the transistor, you can then Replace it with a new NPN transistor rated for 1amp.

a NPN TIP 31 from radio shack works fine and is rated for 3 amps. you can also stack multiple NPN transistors to increase amp load.

just note the TIP 31 transistor has its heat sink on the opposite side as the original so you may need to fabricate a link to the heat sink shield you could use a screw to connect the heat sink to the shield.

the shield basically helps cool the transistor

jammer_controller.jpg

Jammer pinion Gear

 

      The jam cars use a reduction gearbox and as it turns out have a different pinion gear with a much finer pitch then the passing cars.

       You can replace this special pinion gear with a Tyco TCR or AFX Speedsteer or Ultra 5 plastic gear. You will need to drill out the center shaft hole for the motor but it a direct replacement for the brass gear if you need one.

 

Stacking the Jam controller

        Servo Jammer users quickly discover that the original jam controller can only really support one car. when you add a second car the controller starts to overload. So it was discovered if you stack multiple jam controllers you can support more cars.

       This is because the on-board AC Transformer has a very low Amp rating. when you stack the jam controllers you double amperage available to the Jammers.

        It might be possible to modify the original jam controller with a higher rated transformer and a better quality Transistor to support more amperage.

Future project.

electrical modifications

Due to the large scale of the cars and the ease of modifications there are tons of electrical modifications that can be made.

LED lighting systems.

Using Computer software for race management

Installing lap counters.

Even modifying the system to support 3 or 4 passing cars.

Digital Conversions using the old Carrera Pro-x system (supports up to 12 cars using 3 CUs, nobody has gone that far however)

sky is the limit along with your solder skills.

please check out the links section below to see the fine work other people have done in the past 36 years

Links to other websites

Wiki:

http://www.servowiki.de/index.php/Hauptseite

Private sites:

http://www.oerk.net/index.htm
http://www.carrera-servo-140.de/
http://www.servobaer.de/index.html
http://www.servo-140.de/
http://www.carrera140.de/
http://www.servo-140-servo.de/
http://www.servospeedway.de/
http://www.servofreunde.de/index2.htm
http://www.hixman.de/
http://s140.axelx.at/katalog-www.htm
http://members.ziggo.nl/jamcorput/
 
commerce sites:
http://www.mikis-garage.de/
http://www.rennbahnshop-krefeld.com/pflegetipps-universal/servo/

 

Great sites for 132 paper crafting.

http://www.carrera4fun.de/

Carrera Catalogs

Carrera Servo Catalogs

Servo 140 Manual

Servo 140 Translated Manual

Manual and Track Layouts

My tuning information and findings

setups i like for the cars. coming soon

Digital Lap Counter

 4.jpg3.jpg2.jpg1.jpg

How to Build a Slot-less Lap Counter

Parts List

 

  • Q1,Q2: Transistor PNP S9012 X 2
  • R1,R4: 10K ohm 1/4 watt resistor X 2
  • R2,R3: 3.3K ohm 1/4 watt resistor X 2
  • C1,C2: Capacitor 22uf 35V X 2
    You may be able to go smaller on the capacitor. The closer to Zero UF you get the more accurate the lap counter becomes.
  • L1,L2: LED X 2 any standard LED will work
  • O1,01: Light Sensor X2 RadioShack® 5mm Ambient Light Sensor (5-Pack) Model: 2760326 | Catalog #: 276-326
  • Breadboard to build circuit on.
  • CanaKit CK214 X2

Wiring Diagram

ZIG ZAG controller

double relay with a adjustable timer function so you can program the zig zag car.

 

coming soon

 

Digital Conversion information

original hosted website: http://www.carrera-servo-140.de/

English translation: Carrera Digital Servo Conversion Manual

Carrera Digital Servo 140

coming soon.

       Reconfigured PRO-X F1 digital chip modified for Servo 140 use. the original IR led was replaced with a bright white 1.8mm LED. The original Barrel capacitor was replaced with a 5x7mm capacitor of the same rating. Both replacements saved Vertical Space on the PCB. The LED replacement also serves as a diagnostic tool which shows recognition of the board when placed on the track and when a lane change function is accepted. The servo relay conversion was added to the original board as well.

The Chips

reconfigure_2.jpgreconfigure_1.jpg

 

The Cars

DSCN2668.JPG

 

Terminal track

4 player start lines painted on surface, pro-x Controllers converted to servo with steering wheels.

140 dig 1.jpg

 

Digital Servo 140 cars. V1 cars, #9 Porsche is a digital Jam car.

140 dig 2.jpg

 

 

Problem with older PRO-X chips

 

Pro-x had a few revisions chips on or before 2004 have a glitching issue: Part# UC01BL 05/2004.

if possible avoid using this early chip. Chips labeled Part# UC01BN 03/2005 and newer are fine.

 

Pro-X servo Conversion Circuit Mistake

       I discovered a very large mistake in the original documentation for converting the pro-X for Servo use.

A critical reverse voltage protection was omitted from the circuit.

in the event of 180 spin out, or placing the car reversed on the track, the BC548B transistor was left open to a short circuit that would blow the Relay conversion circuit, a fire could occur as the transistor direct shorted and the CPU in the pro-x terminal would have to go through a reset.

you will need one additional 1N5817 Diode to add to the circuit.

Here is the updated circuit diagram:

lenkung2revision1.jpg

the modification to the soldered additional circuit: Left is original, Right is revised circuit with addition diode protection.

servo revision 1.jpg

this fix will bomb proof the new additional circuit and avoid damage.

 

 all the diodes line up the same way you just add a second 1n5817 diode and connect the cathode of the new diode to the collector of the transistor and connect the anode of the new diode to the positive contact shoe input on the PRO-X pcb, everything else stays the same.

Additional Testing: After additional testing i found the original 1n5817 Diode was causing a problem holding the coil closed. there is a .3Volt drop across the shockley diode 1n5817, sometimes the coil on the relay would not fully close, it seems it was not getting enough voltage sometimes. I removed the 1n5817 from the led to the base on the transistor which was safe because of the diode placed from the main power to transistor collector in REVISION #1. The slight extra voltage getting to the relay control coil helped and the cars became less glitchy, one 2004 PRO-X PCB showed a huge improvement in function after the slight change. Now you can leave things as is with REVISION #1 so REVISION #2 is optional but i think it does work better.

lenkung2revision2.jpgAdditionally now you go back to the original number of components and the wiring is a very minor change.

[picture of updated relay]

Digital Jammer Car without a Pro-x Chip

 

       The PRO-X track system is powered at all times with DC power that carries signal to the on-board PCB for the cars. but for analog you can leech off this power to run lights or analog ghost cars. Controlling the speed of a analog ghost car on a digital track is a problem. however this is solved easily by using a diode Voltage drop pack. 8 diodes wired back to front gives a drop of between 2.4 volts and 5.6 volts depending on the type of diode used. you can use adding or subtracting diodes to control the speed of the jammer/ghost cars without need for a voltage regulator which will generate enormous amounts of heat. the diode drop pack is small enough to fit in a jammer chassis and you can add as many as your power supply and CU can tolerate. 6 amps is the load limit for most carrera digital systems. it is also possible to wire a micro switch and set the speed of the jammers faster or slower by adding or subtracting diodes in the circuit.

        8 Diodes are setup end to end to produce a voltage drop from the track power to the motor this slows the car down and can be adjusted by adding or removing diodes. a noise suppression capacitor is also used on the motor to reduce electrical noise. The jammer chassis is not modified at all, just the original AC power circuit has been replaced.

jammercar 1.jpgjammer car 2.jpg

[picture of circuit coming soon]

 

Digital Jammer Car with a Pro-x Chip

     You can wire up a Stock configuration Pro-X chip and set the dip switches to run as a Ghost car on the pro-X system, you have control over 3 speeds and the car is tied to the main computer where you can use the start button as a panic button to stop action when a crash occurs. Pace car mode is not supported due to use of a pro-x pit lane.  The F1 chips used for this conversion also Do not support a pitlane or fuel function, only the later generation Pro-x digital chips recognized the pit lane track and CU.

 

This Pro-x equipped jammer is set to medium speed. You can set ghost cars to slow, medium or fast and have CU control  there movement. they will stage to start when the the count down timer is used and pressing Start acts as a track call button for panic situations.

pro-x jammer.jpg

The servo relay conversion does not required Lane changing. The front locking steering mechanism sets travel in the left or right lane. It works just like a stock Pro-X ghost car that is locked into the left or right lane. no additional components are needed simply solder the stock pro-x chip to the contact shoe posts and the motor and the car will be treated as a stock pro-x chassis with locked steering no lane changing.

If you wish to make the Jammer omni-directional and keep the PRO-x chip function then you can install a double pull ON/ON micro switch on the chassis, that flips the pos and neg wires on the contact shoe pickups. That will allow the car to travel clockwise or counter clockwise around the track.

Servo 140 digital Zig zag Jam Car

It is possible to set a converted servo digital passing car to ghost car mode and it will automatically zig zag as the LED for the lane- changer flashes every second activating the lane changer set the ghost car to fast on the dip switch and let the car drive it will automatically Zig Zag left and right

See Video below:

Carrera Servo Digital 140 controllers

 

Here are the completed 4 hand controllers for Digital Servo.

digital servo controllers.jpg

Then i made a set of WIFI controllers using CARRERA #10100 wifi for Pro-x

wifi digital 140.jpg

 

Making the Standard wired hand controllers was quite easy.

I used the later Generation black servo hand controllers. The later controller version does not need modification to the steering switch or PCB to work. Older versions require additional cross patch wires so it can function as an ON / OFF switch.

{picture of PCB and switch]

[picture of pcb and switch]

The Wifi controllers were an issue, the electronics work differently then the wired pro-x hand controllers.

The standard Switch in the wired controller is on and off and the lane change function is normally turned off.

The Wifi switch has the logic reversed. the switch for the lane changer is constantly turned on, and when it is electronically turned off(the lane changer is depressed) then the lane changer is turned off and the car is allowed to change lanes. because of this inverted logic for the WIFI system you must disable the pcb switch and reverse the wiring logic on the the SERVO steering switch PCB, Thankfully to do this you only need to flip position of one wire on the PCB.

[picture of WIFI PCB setup].

other then this oddity with the electronics in the hand controllers the servo converted controls work perfectly.

 

 

 

Scaling up to 8 Digital Servo cars

Since the servo track system has 4 rails it is possible to run 2 seperate PRO-X CPUS.

B contact shoe configuration is the most stable.

A contact show configuration has a possible electrical shorting issue that can occur.

for 8 cars the most stable configuration is Staggered left or right. so you will have A and B cars with either a Left staggered or Right Staggered contact shoe configuration.

 

I tested all 4 possible contact shoe combinations and all will work well, but i feel for 8 cars staggered is safer.

additional building and configuration is underway...

 

Update:

Scaling to 8 cars was a success with the changes i made.

The diode change to the Servo Relay circuit bomb proofed the Chip against reverse voltage problems

and swapping to a staggered shoe setup prevented short circuits from occuring with the PRO-X Black box.

8 car servo 1.jpg

 

Next project Syncing two PRO-X Black boxes together.

 

Digital 140 Servo product of the future

8 car servo 3.jpg8 car servo 2.jpg

 

Multi Car stress Test

 

      I ran a couple of tests involving more then 4 cars and using both PRO-X Black Boxes at the same time.

      I setup 3 sets of cars, 2 jammers, 2 Pro-X 'A' configuration, and 2 Pro-X 'B' configuration, all in Ghost car mode and let them battle it out on the track without human control for about 7 minutes. 

     The results after numerous accidents and some body damage all the cars were still working by the end of the tests.

     So the system should stand up well to normal abuse of the cars.

here are some videos of the stress test.

PRO-X Synchronization button

Completed fabrication of button mount and electrical connections.

Just need to decal it.

Product Box

Fun little product to give Digital Servo 140 a real feel.

5.jpg4.jpg3.jpg2.jpg

22.jpg11.jpg

 

 

Major part of Digital conversion completed

 

      At this point i have a complete basic digital slotless set working, 8 player operation with additional jammers.
I have one more project to try for digital slotless involving the pit lane function. Lap counting has proved to be too expensive, to do properly, transponder systems cost over 300$ and each car requires between 80-100$ of additional electronics. Multi car player control works fine with access to wifi control if wanted. The cost is quite high getting access to correct parts that have been discontinued from 10 to 25 years years ago. The choice of chassis and track system is very important to making it work. not all generations of Servo make for a good digital platform. newer is not better in this case.

    Long term we shall see how the system holds up, since i modified the original circuit with my findings i've had no major issues.

Total project time approx 6 months so far.

Website disclaimer

This Website has no affiliation with Tyco, Ideal, or any other company that produced TCR play-sets over the years

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by a hobbyist and Tyco fan and while I endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.