Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

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Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

Postby Oldmate » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:01 pm

I am having difficulty determining if I have a cable problem, a timer problem or several sensor problems on a system put aside for the last year and a half. I have ohmed out the cables from end to end for shorts and do not find anything wrong.

Is there a way to use the hardware I have to check the track cables live connected to the timer?
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Re: Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

Postby raceamerica » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:00 am

Oldmate wrote:Is there a way to use the hardware I have to check the track cables live connected to the timer?

Yes, the track cable general wiring rule for 16-conductor connectors is pin 16 is GROUND and pin 1 is POWER. All other pins are sensor inputs to the timer. Place the timer in alignment mode and with a paper clip bend into a 'U' shape, short pin 16 to any other pin (except pin 1) to simulate a aligned sensor. Using the PC software or the timer to monitor sensor alignment, short a pin to ground and observe if the related sensor changes from not aligned to aligned. For 4-conductor connectors (like at the speed trap), pin 4 is GROUND and pin 1 is POWER. You will be able to build a table of which pin relates to which sensor on track.

NOTE: if shorting a pin to ground does not result in a simulated sensor alignment, either your system does not have that sensor available through the track cable or the track cable has a wiring issue.
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Re: Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

Postby Oldmate » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:09 pm

The connector at the timer end does not have all the pins installed. When I use the paper clip and short the pins installed to pin 16, The 60 foot on both lanes does go into alignment, same for the speed and finish lines on the right lane. The speed and finish on the left lane do not acknowledge the paper clip short. Sounds like I have two signals not working. Is this correct?
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Re: Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

Postby raceamerica » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:16 pm

The pins installed represent the sensors your system is capable of connecting. Not all systems have all the possible sensor locations.

Was the speed trap cable connected to the long track cable when both the left lane speed and finish did not align? If so, disconnect that cable from the long track cable in the event the speed trap cable has a short and is effecting both speed and finish. If disconnected and same result, then you have two issues with that track cable.
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Re: Troubleshooting track cables on a 2900 drag timer

Postby Oldmate » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:24 pm

I was testing one cable at a time. I have found damage on the cable and both the speed and the finish were shorted to the shield around the cable. Attempting to fix it or I will need to replace the cable. Time to think seriously about moving to the wireless system with a lot less cables ... this has been a pain to deal with on the morning of our last race event.
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