Aurora AFX Race Data control Center information

 

       A fan of the site was kind enough to send me enough parts to cobble together the Race Data control Center for the Speed steer racing system. I was given enough parts to build 1 1/2 data control centers. The units were in pieces and some parts were broken. I was also given 2 PCB boards which were not working correctly. Since the unit needed complete repair for operation it allowed me to look closer at its operation.

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Information on the Data center versions

Aurora made 2 versions of the data center, one was No.1422 this is the data control center for the slotted aurora track. the other came in the same box, but had label decals attached to the box indicating use for the Slotless Speedsteer system. The speed steer system is No.6304

both the slotted and slotless version of the data center used the same Sound tower as an option. No 1423. The sound tower was an optional upgrade for the data control center and provided racing sounds. The unit simply plugs into the Data control center on the right hand side of the base attaches to the main PCB board inside the data center and provides racing sounds. sounds like a gun shot for the start. Victory tune for the winner when race ends, count down noise, engine engine noise. the unit runs off the data center control 6 AA batteries. it is possible to hook up a 9 Volt adapter to the unit and not use batteries. however you will need to modify the unit at the battery terminal to hook up external power.

The access doors are usually missing from the case because they required you to snap them off the case to install the sound tower.

The other access door was also part of the case and many people snapped it off as well to see what was inside or trying to put the sound tower on the wrong side of the case. there was no way to reattach them to the case after being snapped off so many units are missing one or both access doors.

you can fabriacte a new one from a piece of plastic.

Scans of the Speedsteer box version

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Repairing a broken unit

 

      The main board consists of normal resistors and diodes both switching and zener some 104 capacitors and 3 ICs. 1 IC is the custom made Micro controller for the unit. this unit is pretty protected in the circuit but should this main larger IC become damaged then you cannot make repairs. the microcontroller was built for aurora and is not available for replacement. it houses the lap counter counter and memory storage for fastest lane and number of laps made. The 2 other smaller 14 pin IC are available for replacement.

Chip: SN75492N is a MOS to LED interface chip this allows the microcontroller to display information on the 4 digit LED packages.  this chip drives the 2 digit display for the A and B cars.

Chip: CD4085BE is a Cmos Dual 2 wide 2 input And-OR-invert Gate. This chip takes the input from from the track lap counter, the Pit track, and all the switches on the unit except for the Start button.

The Pit stop switches are a 3 pin momentary switch on/on it is spring loaded to stay in the up position all 3 connections are wired back to the pcb. the main reset/off switch is just a normal 2 or 3 pin on/off switch.

from left to right the track connections are Lap counter A, B, Pit A, B, Ground, Main A, B

If you have a unit that powers on but will not take button input or when pressing Start the display reads 0/0 or G0/0 or 0/G0 then CD4085BE is suspect and can be replaced. This chip seems to be the most common reason for failure. a short can occur on the track that will blow out this chip.

if the lap counter on one side interferes with the lap counter on the other then replace CD4085BE as well

a unit that turns on and responds to input but diplays errored information requires SN75492N replacement of the LED interface chip.

other problems with the PCB the board can be flexed due to the button placement and kids hammering on them this will crack the board and cause it to stop working. to fix this visually inspect the board for cracks and solder a new wire or jumper to complete the repair.

The onboard capacitors may need replacement. both boards i repaired had extensive heat damage to the capacitors on the right side of the PCB and required replacement.

The switches for the pit stop need to be cleaned and allowed to spring back they are spring loaded momentary switches that must be in the up position to allow the data center to work correctly

the switches can go bad and you can check them with a Continuity tester.

for the most part the unit is very simply constructed and easy to repair.

the main case can interchange between the slot and slotless track sets however the track section is completely different for both. exterior case parts such as the decals and signs and flags as well as card inserts can interchange between both versions as well.

The PCB is 100% identical between the slotted and slotless data center. you can interchange them no problem. the microcontroller and all the chips are the same as well.

 

you can unscrew the blue plastic base from the track section and swap between the speedsteer track or the aurora slotted track.

the microcontroller is: texas instraments TMS1100NLL MP3437A

Texas Instruments TMS1100

General

General Information

The TMS1100 is an expanded memory version of the TMS1000. The TMS1100 doubles the RAM and ROM available in the TMS1000. 

Production

Early 1975
Designers Unknown

Architecture

Type Data Word Address Space Clock Instructions Assists Reg's  GP Reg's Math Reg's Index IO Ports   Stack Interrupts Memory
PMOS, MCU  4-bit 1KB 300Khz 43 Standard Instructions & 1024 Micro- instructions NA 1 1 0  "K" Inputs 4 bits parallel, "R" Outputs 11 lines / bits, "O" Outputs 8 bits parallel  1x10bits None ROM 2KB

RAM 64B

Packages

Package

Package

On-Chip Identification

Picture

General Comments

TMS1100JLC

White/Gold CerDIP, 28-lead

TMS1100JLC   Suffix of C, L, P indicates temperature range (C=-12o5C to 85oC, L = -0oC to 70oC)
TMS1100NLC

Black Resin, 28-lead DIP

TMS1100NLC    
TMS1100NLL

Black Resin, 28-lead DIP

TMS1100NLL

   
TMS1100NLP

Black Resin, 28-lead DIP

TMS1100NLP

 

Data ports

The data center has 2 data ports: the right side data port is where the sound tower plugs into the base unit. The left side port was either for factory testing or diagnostics of the main board or for a future accessory that was never produced. the right side port is larger and has slightly more output functions from the main pcb, it would be possible to wire a second sound tower to the main board and have a stereo system or for external connection to a computer using computerized lap counting software. Or it could be used to trigger outside events such as winner lights or some track event to occur as the car pits or crosses the lap counter.

Update:  It appears that the left hand connector for the PCB board was used for diagnostics and to program the microcontrolller after assembly. most likely a PROM programmer was used at the factory to load the instruction set into the TMS1100 unit then the unit was tested to make sure all the buttons and leds worked. you can use this side to setup a second sound tower or to wire the unit to any external device. the unit does not appear to be setup for a second data center input or daisychained to be used in a 4 lane setup. There is a newer version of the data center from the 1990s that could be hacked and used in a 4 lane setup.

The unit i repaired from broken parts

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This display shows the And-Or-inverter chip is defective

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Operation

The Slotless track is split into 3 sections. The section to the left of center is a dead section used for the lap counter. this triggers the lap counter and lap time for the A or B car. both the inside and outside lane is used as a lap counter.

After the lap counter section, the outside lane is normal rail of the main track section. that connects to the next section. Because the lap counter is a dead power section you must have a continous sections of track back around to the terminal track the data center splits track power in half.

The inside lane after the lap counter is sectioned from the rest of the track system this is the pit lane area. you must be in the inside lane to use the pit function to refuel your car.

the fuel system is a countdown timer from 90 that is effected by throttle position. the faster you go the faster the counter ticks down. when the counter reaches 15 a LOW fuel warning is displayed. when the counter reads zero the lap counter and lap timer no longer work for the car out of fuel. the car does not suffer a speed penalty.

you must have a minimal clearance of one track section from where the race starts to the lap counter section of the data center to prevent the cars from stalling out.

Sound tower

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The sound tower is a plug in to the race data center. It only adds 6 sound effects.

1) count down to race start ticking

2) gun shot for the race start

3) continous engine noise, the noise does not speed up or get louder with throttle position it pulses up and down and makes an electronic engine sound effect.

Update: The sound of the Engine does go up and down with the throttle, My sound tower had a bad speaker from Age, after i replaced it i noted the engine sound did raise up and down depending on throttle position.

4) end of race victory chime.

5) low fuel alarm

6) refueling sound

there is no volume adjustments and it draws power from the 6 AA batteries in the main data center base.

The tyco pro super sound computer control center has similar function except the engine noise does change with throttle position.

to turn the unit on, you plug it into the data center left side port, to turn it off you remove it from the data center port.

Speaker Replacement: The sound tower uses a 2.25", 8 ohm 0.25Watt Speaker, if your speaker is old or damaged this will help.

Modification

    The sound tower has a rather elaborate PCB inside with a sound chip generator for the preprogrammed sounds. It is possible to splice in a external plug for the speaker so you could hook it up to an external Amp into a stereo system so you have more control over the sound level generated. you can just splice into the speaker line for the sound tower and drill a hole for an speaker wire plug.

     External buttons can be connected to the main PCB this might be good for play because if you hammer the buttons on the unit you can break the main board. The contact swtiches are also very cheap. using external buttons would be better for each player.

    you can hook up a second sound tower to the unit if you want but there is no benifit.

Instruction manual

Race Data Center Instructions

Video of Data Center Operation

Difference Between Data Race control Center and Data Race Computer Center

 

Part # 1430 and 6306 is Known as the Data Race Computer Center.

Part # 1422 and 6304 is Known as the Data Race Control Center.

part #1423 and 6305 is Known as the  Data Race Sound Tower.

 

14XX was the Slotted Car version of the Data Race system.

63XX was the Slotless Version of the Data Race system.

The Computer Center designation was used when The Data Race control Center was sold together with the Data Race Sound Tower. There is no difference nor any extra features.

The Data Race Sound Tower is 100% the same for 1423 and 6305.

So the Difference between the Control Center and the Computer Center is just the addition of the Sound Tower for the set.

#6305 was used for the Sound Tower to help customers feel they bought the correct sound tower for their Control Center. otherwise 1423 was the same just with a new label stuck on the box indictating it was for the slotless system

Decal restoration

Head over to the Decals Page and you can download a decal restoration package to refresh your Data Control Unit. for both slotted and slotless units.

Decals

Video of Race center in Action

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