Windows Program Environment
The program uses online help rather then a separate manual. The performance is very fast, it is possible to get 1/500th of second accuracy using only a 386 system, and 1/1000th of a second for anything better.
A Typical Screen View is shown below
This option allows the race to complete as in Formula 1. Therefore when the winner gets the chequered flag, the race completes when each of the remaining cars complete that lap. If some cars have timed out then it is decided on which car has traveled the greater distance.
False Start and Automatic Lap Penalty
This feature monitors the car's power during the red traffic light, and issues a penalty ( displayed in red on the screen) if any driver starts to early. This penalty is in the form of an extra number of laps defined by the user.
False Start and Automatic Time Penalty
This feature monitors the car's power during the red traffic light, and issues a penalty ( displayed in red on the screen) if any driver starts to early. This penalty is in the form of user defined time delay which cuts the power to the track. This method of detection is superior to most other systems that just use the crossing of the first sensor as a detection method. By monitoring the track power, detection is immediate preventing the cars from gaining even a small advantage by anticipating the start lights. This system also enables drivers to use a staggered start grid.
Traffic Light Start
External green and red traffic lights can be fitted. The red traffic light can be programmed to give a fixed 5 second wait period or a 2 to 6 second random time.
Lead Position Lights
External driver's lead position LED's can be fitted. These will instantly report which track has the lead car for a race or which car has the best time for timed practice. Normally the external Driver's leader board will have one LED lit indicating which driver is in the lead. However during the last lap or minute this display can be optionally inverted. Therefore the lead driver will be the only one without an LED lit. The respective track LED will also flash during a false start penalty or when the fuel level gets below a preset limit. The actual size of the display is 210mm * 300mm (A4 Paper).
The LED's can also be configured to construct a Formula 1 style Traffic Light Start. Below is a track bridge containing two sets of lights. On the top are five LED's that make up the Formula 1 traffic lights. Facing front are four separately coloured LED's, one above each lane providing the driver's leader display.
The pictures below show an alternative arrangement with traffic lights also facing forward. They also show underneath lights for when HO cars are used and the normal slotted optical sensors will not work.
A new unique feature has been included that adds two blue Penalty LED's either side of the normal five red F1 Lights. These blue LED's wil light if anyone jumps the lights at the start, triggered by the false start detection circuit. Also these LED's will be lit if a STOP GO penalty has been inforced by the race controller.
This is a small bridge designed for HO scale
Another new feature to the Slotmaster is the ablity to add strip lights to the side of the track. These lights come in a standard 5m lengths and any number can be added together, with the only limit being the size of the power supply required. Each 5m strip light consists of 150 multi coloured LED's that can glow red, green and blue. These LED's are controlled from the software, showing red at the start, green during the race and blue for a false start or stop /go penalty.
These strip lights can also be used as colour coded leader lights for up to six lanes. The colour will indicate the lead driver. The six colors possible are red, green, blue, yellow (green & red) pink (red & blue) and white (all on).
The strip comes in 5m rolls, the picture below shows a system recently delivered with three 5m rolls
This facility allows active power control during a race or timed practice. This is one of the few systems that allow power control on each individual lane. For a race of n laps, when each car completes its set number of laps, the power for that respective track will be turned off. For a timed race or practice session, when the running time has expired, the power for all tracks will be turned off and the session terminates. The windows software also contains additional options such as stop/go penalties during the race that can force a car back to the pits for a timed stop. The ability to start a race with the power on or off. Direct lane power control between races and heats
Organize your race sessions into heats and finals with this user friendly sequence control software. It is very flexible, whereas most systems allow for only one scheme to rotate the drivers between heats, the Slotmaster contains six different automatic sequence algorithms to rotate the drivers and marshalls at the end of each heat. It also contains a manual sequence editor so that the user can choose precisely which drivers are entered into each heat. An elimination sort is also provided. This is used to generate a sequence of heats that consist of groups. At the end of each group a number of the best drivers will move up into the next group and the drivers left behind will be eliminated. Heats can be paused or rerun and the operator can decide at the end of a sequence if results storage is required. Between heats an auto timer can be enabled to fix this time to a preset value. In this way, a whole sequence of heats can be run automatically with no operator intervention.
The Windows Software allows the system to run Handicap races. The handicap is in the form of a delayed start or extra laps depending on the hardware available. Two types of handicap are available, Track and Driver. These can be applied independently or both at the same time. The track handicap system is used to compensate for differences in lane lengths and difficulty, thereby allowing for a non rotation sequence to be used if desired. The driver's handicap is used to compensate between different driver skills to produce a more balanced race. The system also can be used to calculate the handicap values automatically from existing stored results files.
Microsoft Excel Export
The Windows Software allows the system to export league tables and sorted time results into the Microsoft Excel Package. This allows the operator to show the results as fancy 3D graphs and pie charts. Optionally every lap time for every lap can be stored. This file can then be exported into Excel to produce a 3D graph comparing lap times for each driver across the whole race.
Many features have been added to support this class of slot car racing. The system will support timed races with partial lap counts. When the power is turned off at the end of a fixed time race, the system will estimate where the car actually stops based on pervious lap times. Of course if necessary this figure can be manually adjusted. Powerful sort facilities have also been include to allow the operator to score previously stored races. For instance it is possible to select the best x scores or reject the worst y scores from any chosen sequence of races.
Slot Master now supports the full Nascar points system. Points can be awarded for overall race position, lead laps completed and maximum number of lead laps in any one race.
Crash and Burn
This feature caters for a race where no Marshalls are present.
When a car crashes or drops x laps behind the lead driver, the race for this car is terminated
STOP / GO Penalty
This feature allows the race controller to issue a penalty to any driver during the race. It is implemented by pressing a keybroad key and removes the power to one particular lane. The penalty can be applied and removed manually or applied manually and removed after a programmed time such as 5 seconds for example. Additionally the penalty can be impemented at the track sensor. When the penalty is requested a "Pending" message is output to the screen and the actual power removal begins when the car crosses the start track sensor. Fuel Management
The facility allows the user to simulate fuel usage during a race from the settings of the hand controller. The more power sent to the car, the more fuel is used. The driver is also able to make pit stops and take on fuel. When the fuel runs out the car is stopped and that driver's race is over. If the driver stops the car directly after the sensor then a pit stop will be implemented and the car will be refuelled. The pit stop can be aborted any time simply be re applying the power to the car. The Lead Position lights are used to indicate a low fuel warning. When a car reaches one of the preset fuel warning levels the associated lead position light will start to flash as quick visual indication to the driver that he should now consider a pit stop. Using the fuel management hardware allows the system to record and store all the captured throttle voltage readings for one lap. This data is stored in a format suitable for direct transfer into Microsoft Excel or equivalent. The data will consist of the time stamp in seconds plus the voltage read for each driver. In this way driver's can compare their throttle settings using graphs to understand how and where the best driver's achieve the most speed
Performance GraphsThe hardware used for the fuel management can also be used to provide performance graphs to compare one car or driver against another. These graphs can either be displayed immediately within the program or exported to an Excel spread sheet, where they can be manipulated further. See the pictures within the gallery. This feature can be used in a similar way to F1 to see which sections of track are responsible for gains or losses against other drivers.
The system supports an external emergency stop button(s) that can be placed on or adjacent to the track. Pressing this button during a race will cause the system to immediately pause and cut the power to all tracks. It can also be used to restart the race.