Twister: 1, Race killing Gremlins: 0
As you may recall from this post our flat track “The Twister” recently underwent a small upgrade to its electrical system and lap counter, by small I mean a complete rewire including new control board, new lapmaster software, and even a new PC to run it all. We knew there would be bugs that would occur, with any new system as complex as this it was a near certainty. Well they reared their ugly heads on a few occasions since the rewire, the PC rebooted itself during a race, the lap counter suddenly stopped working in the 8th heat a few weeks ago. A little more than minor annoyances but we persevered and were able to reproduce the problems (The one with the lapcounter stopping was a doozy), it ended up being that when a speedshop controller was used it would somehow kill the lap counter for all lanes. This first occurred during a race a few weeks ago and became a big problem when it was discovered during practice that the speedshop controller was the culprit. Lots of ideas came to mind but the first step in fixing the problem was to replace the USB to Serial adapter/cabling with a direct DB9 style serial cable. This type of connection is what lapmaster uses natively. Its still a mystery why the USB adapter was the problem, possibly RF interference, but after the 100 ft cable arrived today and was installed we were able to run several hundred laps with zero issues. So for now we’re calling this bug squashed. The PC that rebooted during the race was replaced, although it likely could have been a driver issue related to the USB adapter, but the new PC allowed the installation of a serial port required for the new cable to work. As of now it seems all is once again well with the Twister.