It goes like this...
The problem with most ALL PC's is that the parallel port used to drive the track interface is a lousy partner for supplying enough voltage to run a relay. They weren't exactly designed with that purpose in mind but operating bi-directional printers - which they are very good at. It's all about voltage levels.
So what most solutions offer is a separate board that has circuitry on it that will satisfactorily drive a relay. This is what TrakMate does.
And this is where our Digital Racing Solutions Simple Start Board comes into play.
A useful element - it allows for a parallel port to drive relays by using low voltage detection and amplification in the simplest terms. However it's not really set up for higher current applications.
As an example, we use it here and at Rico's track where the cars are mostly 1:32. I have never seen these issues here or at Rico's of the power dropout.
On tracks where higher current motors are being used - Al's track - we are seeing the same issues. And we saw the same thing at Howie's.
And now that we understand it here's the easy fix...
1. Operate the SSB with an external power supply rather than connecting to the track power system. This helps more than you would imagine since voltage on a typical track application is varying as power is applied and can play havoc with relays.
2. One start board per lane if needed. Boards are rated at 15A. Not many cars will pull more than 15A each but a group of them will.
And there you have it.
I dropped off an external power supply and some resistors for Al's track yesterday afternoon. If the problem still persists, we'll move Al's track to a board per lane and the issue should be gone.
Advances in technology, ah the excitement.