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Zot foul replacement components


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  • Zot foul replacement components

    One foul unit has odd side not functioning. Indicator LEDs all off for that side. Plugged emitter/receiver from other side, works fine. So either IR LED or receiver not working. Is there a good way to check which should be changed? Checked voltage for them, showing 4.54 vdc for receiver and 4.95 vdc for emitter on the unplugged posts. The operating side shows 1.22 vdc for the emitter and 4.24vdc for receiver. Looking up LEDs, finding 1.7vdc emitters all over. Not being an electronics mind, would those be compatible for replacement?

  • #2
    Some cameras, possibly including cell phone cameras, will show an IR beam if there is very little visible light present.
    Here's something from Sony on how to do this with a TV remote.


    • #3
      We can't recommend a replacement based on what you posted. These led's can have a forward voltage anywhere from 1.2 V to over 4 V. They can also have a max current of 20 ma to around 150 ma. The also have varying beam widths from narrow to wide and anywhere in between.

      First off, have you checked the connectors and wires to make sure nothing is broken. Also make sure someone didn't kick the reflector and broke it. As stated above you can use a cell phone camera to look at the infrared led. Just turn the camera on and point it at the emitter. You can try this out on a working remote control to make sure your phone doesn't have an infrared filter installed. Then check the foul light and see what you get.

      Fortunately you have some other working lights that you can test to narrow down the specifications once the item has been identified. Can you specify which ZOT foul unit you have. Maybe take some pictures so we can see where you took the voltage measurements from and overall layout of the unit.

      Zot it pretty protective of their schematics so no guarantees but we'll do what we can to get you going again.


      • #4
        Here are the photos showing the boards. The number 3000 stands out. The screwdriver is pointing to the contacts for voltage readings. Also took out the emitter/receiver to directly diode and ohm check those. The trouble lane started functioning when reassembled. Perhaps the ribbon conductor had trouble. They were left off most summer and not fiddled with until getting ready for leagues. Maybe contact corrosion? Would like to get the IR LED and Receiver components in stock for when they do fail. A 24 lane house I know replaced one about every three years.
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        This gallery has 2 photos.


        • #5
          Looking at your pictures, there are 5 wires going to the infrared units. When using a normal on/off led setup you would normally have 4 or less wires. Two for the led and two for the photo transistor (receiver). Sometimes power or ground will be shared which is where less than 4 wires would come in. But since you have five wires, I suspected they are using a pulsed signal to help filter out ambient light. So I looked at the sales literature for other foul lights they sell, and while not coming right out and saying it, this is what they are telling you.

          What does this mean. Well, think about throwing a ball to someone else in the dark. They have a flashlight so you can see where to throw the ball to. However, when they get into position and turn their light on there are 9 other lights on as well. Which of the 10 lights do you throw to. These other lights would be representative of ambient light in your center that would interfere with the detector determining which light it should look for. So you tell your friend to turn his light on and off continuously. Since his light is flashing and the others are solid, you now know where to throw the ball.

          While most photo transistors (receivers) have build in filters to filter out white light, most light sources also emit infrared light. This includes fluorescent lights, TV's, monitors, sunlight, etc. This infrared (IR) light can interfere with the receiver. However some companies use a simple solid IR light and simply detect it's absence. They usually work okay but can cause problems.

          So it appears ZOT has gone the extra mile to add this feature. A nice add on for generally no or little extra cost so a plus for them. This changes things slightly over a solid IR LED but not by much.

          They could encode an address onto the carrier to help reduce crosstalk between units but I don't see any switches on the board to set this address so I don't think the did this. I think, at least for now, that they are using a simple pulsed IR signal to help weed out ambient light.

          The IR LED isn't going to change. It will be pulsed at whatever desired frequency by an external circuit on the board or probably by the microcontroller (uC) itself.

          As far as the receiver goes, they are probably using an integrated unit that detects the desired frequency and simply puts out 5 V or 0 V depending on if the signal is present or not. This is what the 5th wire would be. These components are quite common and can be found in every TV, VCR, stereo, DVD player and on and on. If it uses an IF remote, it probably has one. You may have a spare lying around in and old VCR and never knew it.

          Now the problem is this. Up to this point, we have just been speculating as to what they are doing. Most remotes use an LED/receiver pair that are tuned to 37 to 38 Khz (38,000 flashes per second). I suspect this is what they are using. However, other frequencies can also be used. Not a big deal, they are readily available as well but less likely to find them in your junk room. They could also use their own frequency in an effort to make it harder for people to fix their own equipment, but again not a big deal.

          So, since I don't have any of these units, you or someone else here will have to do the legwork. If someone had an extra board, they could send it to me to analyze but shipping is on them. I'd throw the labor in for educational purposes. But this isn't really necessary unless you have a board you want fixed. And since I try to avoid public spaces, trips to the post office are limited.

          We need to determine the frequency which I can help you determine. To a point. That would depend on what test equipment you have but it's easy to do. Simplest way is to use an old receiver scrapped from and old VCR or something and see if it responds to the foul unit. If it does then they are likely 37 to 38 Khz and your in business. If it doesn't then their is more work needed. We can also test to see if it's a simple voltage change sent on the 5th wire as we could then change the pair so what's in there now won't matter.

          I would probably start by removing the circuit board on the IR unit so we can see what's on the back side. That would show us if it's a standard IC unit or something custom. I'm betting standard. Below is a picture of what a standard 38 Khz receiver looks like. Older ones may be in a large metal enclosure about 1/2 inch cubed but the function is the same. The three terminals are 5V, Gnd, and signal out (5V or 0V depending on if signal is present or not).

          Again, I am speculating here as I don't have experience with these units. I don't know for sure this is what's going on but my experience leads me in this direction. If someone else has additional information on these units or a schematic, feel free to chime in. Either way, we can likely determine what you may need but that depends on how much work you want to put into it.

          Hope this helps.

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