News & Events

Implications of new Tracker Software


The tracker card has its own microprocessor that tracks the products on a line. The microprocessor, made by Siemens and SGS on Bosch designs, changed from the type 167 (ST 10F 167-06) to 168 (ST 10F 168 ).


Old tracker software versions (1AR) do not work on 168 microprocessors !!! You need to load TRACK2AB.H86 that works on both 167 and 168.


Controller version Tracker version Comment

3.51a 1AR on 167 OK

3.51a 1AR on 168 does not work. Do not try to load it (see below)

3.51a 2AB on 168 OK, but the encoder backlash must be set off

3.51b 1AR on 167 OK

3.51b 2AB on 168 OK




Of course, the manufacturers promised that the new microprocessor would not only be much better and faster, but it would be 100% compatible to the previous generation. This was true but for the Schmitt triggers of the inputs.


In short, a new software version is needed with the label TRACK2AB.H86 that not only takes care of the input shortcoming, but features new functions as:

· The time function is implemented. Remember that you can set an output for a number of encoder pulses (track), for a product (product), or now for a time (length is in milliseconds).

· The shingle function is implemented. This is used in newspapers where products come in shingle. Basically, it checks that the measured product to product distance is at least as long as the defined one.

· The same software works on 167 and 168 processors.


The 168 microprocessors have been delivered from serial number 215 and higher (DO-2001-0215) onwards.

You can download the software from the GT webpage ( with any web browser. Try also the parts catalog with ( For documents like this one (




As you all know, the controller hardware consists of 3 cards:

· Tracker card: it does the tracking of products by means of logical connections encoder-photocells. It determines the print-go to inkjets, the point a gate opens, the point an eject signal to a stacker is set, the checking that a product has reached a sync-point window.

Thus, for the inkjets, this card can only affect the print-begin of images.

· Encoder card: it takes in 2 encoder signals. They are divided on the very same encoder card by a Chip and distributed to the inkjets according to your GUI input. The encoder signals also goes to the tracker board but already divided (remember pulses per meter on the encoder icon).

The Encoder card also carries the RJ45 connectors for 4 inkjets. It contains the print-go and the divided encoder signal as outputs. It handles also the print confirmation input from the inkjets.

Thus, for the inkjets, this card can only affect the pitch of images.

· I/O card: each take 8 inputs and 8 outputs that are relayed to the tracker card. All I/O are optically isolated, resistances can be changed if signals are not 24 VDC.




Do not try to load former tracker software versions like TRACK1AR.H86 on the 168 cards. The tracker card will lose its program.


If you do anyway, you will have to follow Wayne Morel’s instructions:


When updating the tracker software through the EditorGT program, and it stops loading or locks up halfway through the procedure the only way of updating the software is to program it using a serial link from com port 2 on the back of the Controller or your laptop to the Tracker CPU card.


You will need to shut down the pc and ensure that the switch located on the Tracker CPU Card is in the BOOT position and also take note of the CPU number.



If the CPU on the Tracker Card is ST 10F 167 – Q6 you would need to use the MEMTOOL program to program the CPU.

( for the Memtool program you will need the Track2aa.H86 file which is version 2aa of the tracker software)


If the CPU on the Tracker Card is ST 10F 168 – Q6 you would need to use the Flash program to program the CPU.

( for the Flash program you will need the boot2aa.H86 file which is version 2aa of the tracker software)



Replace the Tracker CPU card and power up the controller, the tracker download programs are kept on the E:\ drive of the Controller, on some earlier models they were not saved on the controller, if so you are able to retrieve them from our ftp site.


Once you have completed the CPU download remember to power off the controller and set the Switch on the Tracker CPU card back to the RUN position.



You will need to have a cable made up about 1m in length with a 9 pin D-type female connector on both ends and the wiring as follows:



D-type female D-type female

9 pin 9 pin