SmartRace measures lap times of drivers/racers/vehicles that do not race
Basically, you have to keep in mind that SmartRace only displays data that the control unit provides. This is especially true for the information that a car has just crossed the finish line. The Control Unit receives this information from infrared sensors that are built into the track. If a car crosses this diode, the Control Unit reports a finish line crossing to SmartRace and SmartRace displays it.
If SmartRace suddenly displays lap times of controllers or cars that are not on the track at all, this can have the following causes:
- Sunlight. Infrared sensors are susceptible to sunlight. It is enough for sunlight to fall through a window onto the track, even if it is cloudy. To exclude this as a cause, you should completely darken the room once and see if the disturbances still occur then.
- Other infrared transmitters. These can be neon tubes above the track, energy-saving lamps or plasma televisions, where the emitted light also shifts into the infrared range with increasing operating time. Make sure that there are no such sources of interference near the web.
- Improper wiring of the track power supply. If you have installed auxiliary power supplies, make sure that the wiring (especially near tracks that have built-in sensors and near the control unit) has been done properly. If you have adapted the wiring of sensors yourself, make sure that you have used shielded cables for this.
- Improper wiring in cars. Read this quote from a user on freeslotter.de who had the same problem:
“The solution to the problems was finally found in the BRM Mini. The cable from the FT decoder to the left slider had come loose and was not properly attached in the guide keel. From the outside this was not to be seen and also at the driving behavior not really noticeable, since the interruptions were probably too short. It came only after the passage of the start/finish diode and the following curve to the error messages of the CU. However, this could also happen only after 10 laps, initially even after 20-30 laps.
Since the Mini was often parked in a driveway, it could also happen that the vibration of other vehicles triggered the false alarms. So it was also not immediately identifiable the Mini. Only when I had reduced the possible sources of error to a minimum and tried the cars one after the other, I found out about the Mini. First I moved the decoder, which was mounted directly on the motor (space reasons) to another place. This hindered the wobble, but at first I thought that errors were triggered by the motor (despite the capacitor).
The problems persisted and only when I moved the decoder to the front area and therefore had to shorten the cables, I found what seemed to be a little too loosely attached cable. After I shortened that and screwed it tight, everything ran as it should again. No more error messages.”
By the way, you can easily test if the false readings occur independently of SmartRace by downloading the free app Open Lap and testing with it.