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Offline tankme

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Heng Long IR compatability
« on: March 11, 2021, 12:38:16 AM »
So I verified everything is working on the IR side by shooting my Clark TK-40 based SU-152 with a Tamiya apple.  I'm using the Digikey IR LED that is recommended in the Wiki.  The Heng Long (TK6.0 version) is verified working by shooting and taking hits from my Haya Chieftain.  Problem is it won't take hit from either of my TCB equipped tanks.  It will take hits from a Tamiya electronics tank. 

Does the TCB have compatibility with the newer HL boards that come with the little mushroom?

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 03:02:41 AM »
Good question, this came up in another conversation I was having with someone else recently. I have not (yet) obtained one of the new HL 6.0 boards to test, but as I understand it, these boards accept and transmit only the Tamiya signal. The Tamiya signal is by definition the same no matter who uses it, so theoretically the TCB should be compatible.

Of course this is a very simple thing, but make sure you have the Tamiya IR signal selected in OP Config, and make sure you write those settings to the TCB.

If your Heng Long board is not taking hits from the TCB, try the TCB with other boards and see what happens. Are you able to send and receive Tamiya hits between the TCB and your Clark TK40? (Set both boards to Tamiya IR first). You mention a "Tamiya electronics tank," do you have a Tamiya MFU? If so, is it able to send and receive hits between the TCB?

I am curious since you have the new Heng Long board in hand. Does it only send and receive the Tamiya IR signal, or is there some option to switch it between Tamiya and Heng Long compatibility? I've tried to figure this out but the documentation I have seen says nothing about it. So far as I can tell, the HL 6+ boards only shoot Tamiya signals, but maybe you can tell me if that is correct.
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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 10:10:25 AM »
as I understand it[/i], these boards accept and transmit only the Tamiya signal. The Tamiya signal is by definition the same no matter who uses it, so theoretically the TCB should be compatible.

Of course this is a very simple thing, but make sure you have the Tamiya IR signal selected in OP Config, and make sure you write those settings to the TCB.

If your Heng Long board is not taking hits from the TCB, try the TCB with other boards and see what happens. Are you able to send and receive Tamiya hits between the TCB and your Clark TK40? (Set both boards to Tamiya IR first). You mention a "Tamiya electronics tank," do you have a Tamiya MFU? If so, is it able to send and receive hits between the TCB?

I am curious since you have the new Heng Long board in hand. Does it only send and receive the Tamiya IR signal, or is there some option to switch it between Tamiya and Heng Long compatibility? I've tried to figure this out but the documentation I have seen says nothing about it. So far as I can tell, the HL 6+ boards only shoot Tamiya signals, but maybe you can tell me if that is correct.

I do have the Cannon IR Protocol set to "Tamiya" the OP Config and have it written.  I even erased all the settings and started from scratch with only the bare minimum to get the board running and sending hits.  I saved the complete config off to a file for restoration later.

I thought as you do that the new HL boards used the Tamiya protocol for taking and giving hits.  I went to a local tank club meeting and the HL T-72 played with the Tamiya MFU based tanks just fine.

The test setup is only about a foot from each other with the emitters pointed directly at the apple (similar height).  I am not using a slip ring in any of these tanks.  As far as the Heng Long taking hits it is as follows (I only have one 6.0 board):

1. Takes hits from Haya Chieftain (Haya 6.1 board)
2. Takes hits from Tamiya (standard Tamiya MFU and IR emitter included with Tamiya kit)
3. Won't take hits from TCB #1 (Digikey IR emitter direct wired with no current limiting resistor)
4. Won't take hits from TCB #2 (Clark IR emitter direct wired with no current limiting resistor)
5. TCB #3 untested as of yet since it's not installed in anything
6. Takes hits from Clark TK-40

On TCB #1 I changed to 3 different emitters and reversed the polarity on each one during testing to ensure it wasn't wired backwards.  I used a Tamiya emitter (via the TCB adapter cable), the Digikey emitter recommended in the Wiki, and another IR emitter from Clark obtained from here: https://dakrctank.com/shop/ir-emitter/.  I built a JST female to JST female cable for testing.  The LEDs were plugged directly into the JST connector (except the Tamiya emitter which used the TCB adapter cable).  Cable was verified working with a visible white 5mm LED and it did light up when the cannon shoots.  None would give hits to the Heng Long. 

I repeated most of these steps using the Haya Chieftain as the target with similar results to the HL T-72 target.

The Haya Chieftain and the HL T-72 could give and take hits from each other all day long.  Both of them use the HL mushroom looking receiver (apple).

My Clark board based tank and both TCBs use the Tamiya apple, but none of them had any issues receiving hits.

It's puzzling to me...






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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 11:28:40 AM »
Forgot to answer a few of your questions.

Yes the TK40 and the TCB work well together.  Both take and send hits to each other just fine. 

I haven't been able to test one of my Tamiya MFU based tanks against the TCB since the plan was to replace my Tamiya MFU with the TCB since I hate the Tamiya MFU usability.  I have another Tamiya MFU based tank, but I need to set up a TX/RX for it before testing.  I bought it used and have never tested it out.  Either that or I can hook a battery up to my other MFU that has been taken out and test with it.

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2021, 05:07:24 PM »
Thanks for all this good information. It sounds to me like you don't have any hardware issues, since your TCB is working with the TK40. I suspect it would work just fine with the Tamiya MFU as well if you were to test that.

I mentioned before that the Tamiya signal is the "same by definition" no matter who uses it, this was slightly a stretch, and could possibly be the issue here.

The Tamiya signal is indeed a specific code, but the default method that Tamiya uses is to repeat this code many times (about 50 times) which means it shoots for a full second, making possible the infamous "fan shot." The Tamiya MFU will register a hit if it detects the signal even once, so it is not necessary to repeat it 50 times, and the Open Panzer implementation restricts the repetition so the total transmission time only amounts to about 1/5 of a second. Maybe the HL board wants to see the signal being repeated longer than that.

I've posted below a test hex file that increases the repetitions to a full second, the same as what Tamiya uses. Either way the IR code is the same, but maybe this will make a difference with the Heng Long board. Can you give it a try and see what happens? (Load this hex to your board using OP Config, on the Firmware tab select "Use your own Hex" and then select this file).

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HL6_IR_Test.hex
(308.19 kB ~ Downloads: 156)
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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 08:18:56 PM »
I will try it the new firmware.  I did notice with the visible LED test I did that the TCB firing duration was shorter than the Tamiya and even the Clark.  The duration of the pulse could also explain other behavior folks see when the Tamiyas shoot at HL tanks using the 6.0 and higher boards.  Typically when a HL tank shoots a Tamiya the hits are very reliable.  When a Tamiya shoots a HL, the results are not always consistent and it gets worse with distance.  Maybe the HL is expecting a longer duration of pulse to register a hit as you suggest.

I'll let you know how it goes.


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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2021, 08:42:33 PM »
SUCCESS!!!

First shot registered without issues on both the HL T-72 and the Haya Chieftain.  Thanks for the help.  I wish all vendors of hobby stuff were so responsive.  Now I'm guessing if it to be incorporated into the hex code a new version will need to be issued?

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2021, 09:53:37 PM »
Very interesting! To my knowledge HL is the first to fail to recognize the specific Tamiya code without lengthy repetition. But as I reflect upon it further I suppose it is just as well to make the TCB literally identical to the Tamiya process, whatever its strengths and weaknesses. So this was a productive experiment, and thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Yes, I will need to issue an "official" new release, which I will do before the weekend at the latest. But it will be the exact same thing I posted above so feel free to keep using that in the meantime. The only difference between that and an "official" release is that I haven't done all the boring stuff like documentation and updating GitHub, etc...  ;)

Since you have the HL 6 board, I wonder if you could address the earlier question about whether it also has some kind of HengLong IR (possibly backwards-compatible with earlier HL boards?) or have they ditched entirely their own IR and now only send and receive the Tamiya signal?
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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2021, 12:42:30 PM »
I believe I have an older 5.3 and possibly an RX-18 board laying around here I could do so testing with.  I don't believe they work with the newer stuff.  I'd have to remember or get the wiring diagrams for them since I probably de-installed and threw them in some box somewhere.  :)

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 02:04:09 PM »
It's not really necessary to do a test at this stage, I was just wondering if there was a switch or some documentation that came with your board that indicated it could be changed from Tamiya to HL IR. They can't really be sending both signals. We know it sends Tamiya, so if there is no option to change it, then we can infer that Tamiya is all it does.

I guess one final question - you have confirmed that the HL6 board can receive hits from the TCB. I presume the TCB has no problems accepting hits from the HL board?

Also just to let you know, I have posted a new TCB firmware release with this fix, version 0.93.71. As always, you can obtain it in OP Config on the Firmware tab by clicking the "Get Latest Release" button.
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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2021, 03:04:51 PM »
The TCB has never had an issue receiving hits using the Tamiya apple mated to a Clark base.  With the new firmware increasing the IR pulse duration, it doesn't have any issues giving them now. 

There wasn't much in the form of documentation of the original HL MFUs since there really wasn't anything that could be user configurable.  From what I know, the older 5.3 and RX-18 use the HL signaling.  The TK-6.0 and newer boards have all been reported to use the Tamiya signaling.  The Haya board is slightly different from the HL boards, but it also uses the Tamiya signaling.  The outside of the Haya MFU looks different than the HL MFU, but it might just have the same innards for all I know since they both use the same mushroom receiver.  They do have different transmitters and different functions from the transmitter.  I just looked through the TK6.0/6.1S manual and there is no way to toggle HL or Tamiya signaling.  It does mention right in the book that it is compatible with Tamiya IR tanks. 

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2021, 09:32:34 PM »
Perfect, thanks for your help! I think we can conclude now the HL6+ boards only use the Tamiya signal, which is what I expected and which makes the most sense anyway. I'm glad to see other manufacturers moving towards a single standard in this regard.
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Offline tankme

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2021, 05:06:11 AM »
So after getting the tank I was working on (KV-2) able to accept hits I started on the next one (ZTZ-99).  What a nightmare.  I spent the better part of yesterday and today updating firmware, swapping parts, backdating firmware, defaulting the board, and changing configs.  Nothing was working.  I tried three different Tamiya apples, two different apple mounts, and two entirely different TCB boards.  Nothing allowed this tank to take hits from a Tamiya, a fellow TCB, or a Heng Long tank.  I even returned to the Wiki multiple times to verify everything.

During the last look I took at the Wiki, I noticed that only the Tamiya apple mount was referenced.  Then I decided to take a closer look at the tank I had that was working. The tank that was working was a Tamiya and the tank that wasn't was a Heng Long.  Because of that the Tamiya tank had a Tamiya apple mount.  The Heng Long had a Clark apple mount.  What is the chance that something was different?  As it turned out...a very good chance.  I had already ohm'd the Clark mount to verify all wiring had continuity and verified it was just wired straight through (pin 1 on base to pin 1 on connector).  After disassembling a spare Tamiya mount I had I found that the wiring on the Clark didn't match.  As it turns out, the pins were reversed (pin 1 on base to pin 5 on connector).  I reordered the connector on the Clark apple mount and BAM...I was able to take IR hits.

I'll have to remember that for the future if I ever use a Clark apple mount on another TCB.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2021, 03:06:33 PM by tankme »

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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Heng Long IR compatability
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2021, 02:31:36 PM »
Thanks for posting your findings, maybe it will help someone else in the future! I'm glad you figured it out but I certainly know how frustrating this sort of troubleshooting can be...
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