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Ghost cars - is it possible to make them change lanes every time

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  • Ghost cars - is it possible to make them change lanes every time

    Edit: Seems my post was too confusing. Aim is to add two more driver cars to the 6 car system. I can do wireless throttle control directly to the car similar to and other brands. Lap timing and counting is already possible for ID 7 & 8. I am looking at further details wondering if there are any undocumented features, but its probably unlikely, regarding the LC command issued to the lanechangers for car ID 7 & 8. If there is an undocumented feature to make the ghost cars change lanes every time they cross the LC sensor then I can simply strobe the ID by remote wireless control as they cross the LC sensor.

    Then that leaves the issue of lap counting because now I am strobing the car ID instead of it being constant per factory. So this could be worked around style with magnets under the track and a hall effect sensor on board the chip to also strobe the car ID as it crosses the start/finish line and the timing sectors. Its as simple as that and I know it works because type B chip already does most of what I am talking about.

    Back to the original post:

    Does anyone know of a hack to make the ghost cars change lanes every time they pass over the LC sensor? I am talking about the standard D1xx lane changers and not talking about Pro-X lane changers.

    Reason I ask is that my curious brain is trying to think of a way to do something a bit different. Will detail this further if I find an answer to this question. It is a bit complex but might be possible to enable 8 cars with some trickery and custom decoders similar to what do for their wireless enabled decoders. But don't get too excited as it would be quite a bit of work and take a while to prove the concept. Fuel load functions would also not be possible. It may be beyond my capabilities too but exploring the concept to satisfy my curiosity. (reality is that it will just create a rabbit hole )

    Thanks for any interest.

    Last edited by Slotspeed; January 29, 2020, 08:37 AM.

  • #2
    think you would need to add sector timing to the track so the computer would know were the car was on the track. thinking 4 timing sectors would work
    THE other Vancouver aka Vancouver Washington across the river from keep Portland weird....
    Member NASTE (Northwest Association of Slot Track Enthusiasts)


    • #3
      I believe it's the Control unit that causes the car to randomly change lanes.
      You might ask Bruce Yingling if his software can handle it



      • Slotspeed
        Slotspeed commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, the CU issues the LC command to the lane changer. I am wondering if there is a way to induce a lane change every time it passes the sensor. I should probably have another look at the protocol. I am thinking it would involve tricking the CU or lanechanger somehow since it was never intended for ID 7 or 8 to be able to manually change lanes, unless there is a hidden feature. I guess that is what I am hoping for. Having said that, yes, you are right, if anybody knows, it would be Bruce.

    • #4
      SSD does this. Electronics is not my thing, but there may be some learnings there.


      • #5
        Do it old school ghost car.... two rubber bands, one to hold the throttle plunger to speed and one to hold the lane change switch down.


        • #6
          No way to do this other than to write your own CU firmware. The data words can't be changed, and the CU looks for no external information when forming the data word for the ghost and pace car. You *could* do this for controller operated cars (although that does you no good whatsoever for this project), since the CU looks for external information when encoding those data words. But that won't work for ID7 and ID8, as the CU doesn't look for any input before deciding what it wants to send. Of course when the pace car button is pressed a second time, the lane change bit is *always* set for the pace car, and it takes every lane change it comes to- until it enters an unmodified pit lane and stops.

          You could remove your pit lane circuit board, and use a regular lane change board for entering the pit. This would mean the ghost and the pace car would randomly enter the pit, but the pace car would no longer stop in the pit. So it would continue to run. If you pressed the pace button twice (once to activate, once to tell it to return), the pace car would continue to take every lane changer and never stop if the track had no pit lane circuit board.

          So you could *sort of* do it for ID 8. Just remove any pit lane circuit board from your track, and you'd have to press (or simulate the press) of the pace car button twice. That last bit would be the clunky part. But every lane changer would then want to open whenever it sees ID8. And your ID 8 would be able to enter and leave the pits.

          You would also have to deal with the issue of fuel. ID7 and ID8 use none. You'd need appropriate software to simulate fuel use.
          Last edited by b.yingling; January 29, 2020, 07:24 PM.


          • #7
            Hi Bruce,

            Thank you for your detailed input. I appreciate it very much. You are right, in that it would be clunky, and for the effort involved, it would be too clunky. But you never know if you never try or ask. And for your knowledgeable reply I thank you.

            Kind regards,


            • #8
              For fun if you already had a direct to car wireless throttle controller system (, scorpius, or others) you could easily build a small circuit to simulate car ID 7 and 8 (a small micro or a 555 timer and IR LED, very simple) and just run them with the other cars, without the fuel features, its just that the lane changers would change at random, could be a fun thing to try if you wanted to handicap a faster driver amongst beginners or something like that.

              System limitations always get my brain trying to think of ways around them. Can't help it. Its my day job really in electronics. I love it when I show a manufacturer how I improved their system, if they later claim the idea as their own, I take it as a compliment. I try to escape it by playing with slot cars but it keeps coming back!


              • b.yingling
                b.yingling commented
                Editing a comment
                The thing is- if you want more than 6 drivers on the track at once, you probably want to include fuel, and penalties, and etc. to simulate a racing experience.

              • b.yingling
                b.yingling commented
                Editing a comment
                I get that about system limitations. I really wish someone would take on a new CU firmware. (Despite my limited programming ability it is not in my bailiwick to start from scratch on that!). So we could add things like weather/tire wear along the same lines as the 'Real' fuel mode (which I think does a great job- one of the few things I will actually compliment Carrera on as far as firmware and software goes!) You can attempt to simulate that by sending max fuel/max brake commands to the CU- but every time you do, you run the risk of causing a moving car to lose it's controller ID. That's why in my software I limit those commands to when a car is stationary (in the pit, or on the starting grid), or for things like tire failure, out of fuel, penalty conditions, etc.- where the loss of ID could just be interpreted as a more severe form of the event.
                Last edited by b.yingling; January 30, 2020, 12:37 PM.