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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me take you back, back to simpler times, when digital meant watches and the Scalextric art department were at the top of their game. In the catalogue there was a set called Track Busters with modified Datsun (yes, this was before they were Nissan) pickup trucks. They had a sprung lever under the car, activated by pressing the rear bumper. This lever would then flick the truck over in the same unconvincing way as Jeeps in the A-Team would turn over when they drove over a ramp hidden by a bush. For those readers who are so old they can barely read this
the Scalextric James Bond set in the '60s used a similar trick with a white Mercedes I think?

Onto the catalogue! Thoughtfully provided from another forum I frequent about obscure full size cars.








Look at the special transformer - it says that with the transformer connected as illustrated, both cars can race on the same track. What electrical trickery is going on inside there? Did it really work? Did anyone have this set?
 

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Transformer was AC, each truck had a diode, one one way around, the other the inverse. The throttles controlled the trucks by one setting the positive part of the AC wave level, the other setting the negative part of the AC wave. The lane change was a bit rubbish though.

Interesting that they advertise the XR4s as an "add on" as they wouldn't work with this set in single track mode...
 

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I believe it's done with diodes, one car wired one way and the other wired the other way IYSWIM, but it might use AC rather than DC.
 

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This was actually an old technology by then: both Eldon in the US and Miniamil in France were using the AC/diode system back in 63-64, but with different lane-change tracks. The Eldon was a mechanical switch, but the Miniamil was simpler and actually very clever: there was a slight ramp, so if the car went fast it jumped a bit over the lane switching part and continued on the same lane, but if you slowed down, it dropped into the lane change slot...

Wrenn in England was also doing this earlier with a non-electronic system: two electrical strips on each side of the slot and adjustable pickups on the car - that was from 1960 or so. And in 1962 AMT released their Turnpike system in the US, with an under-track trolley, allowing the cars to steer and giving them independent control on either lane.

I've never seen this Scalextric system, so thanks for posting!

Don
 

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Alfie Noakes
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Thanks for starting this thread Choc-ice, I've been meaning to ask the very same question. I struggle to understand electricity/electronics so I'm not sure that I'm any the wiser though!

It's amazing when you look back over old Scalextric catalogues just how many of these novelty type sets they brought out only to discontinue a year or so later. Flying Leap and Blow out are the only other ones I can think of off the top of my head. I'm surprised that this one didn't catch on though. Anyone got one that still works?
Cheers,
Richard
 

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Likewise Don , not seen this before either !!!! With the criss/cross track system , and that pump --- wow , lucky to last a week at my place !!!! Can you imagine the damage to those poor cars and trucks !!! Zig
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone. You guys must be old


QUOTE (distantkiwi @ 1 Jun 2011, 11:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You thinking of adding the flipper to your police car choc-ice?
Close - I considered having the trunk lid popping open, but it's more complication than I need for the moment.

Interesting system though, and one that I'd forgotten all about until I saw the catalogue again yesterday
 

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Jim Moyes
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QUOTE (RikoRocket @ 1 Jun 2011, 09:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Interesting that they advertise the XR4s as an "add on" as they wouldn't work with this set in single track mode...

Unless they were going to fit the diodes in them too! The Sierra XR4s were never produced, so I guess we'll never know.

Do the trucks with diodes work on normal analogue circuits?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Mr.M @ 1 Jun 2011, 12:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Unless they were going to fit the diodes in them too! The Sierra XR4s were never produced, so I guess we'll never know.

Do the trucks with diodes work on normal analogue circuits?
Good question! The trucks they offered as accessories were different - they didn't have the sprung lever so I assume the trucks with diodes were never sold except with that set.

The plot, as it tends to, thickens.....
 

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I think the trucks with diodes would still work on a standard DC analogue track, though each truck would have to be on a seperate lane, but it's over twenty years since I did my Electronics ONC so I may be wrong, diodes only allow electricity to flow one way but they still work with DC (capacitors block DC) so actually I suspect on truck would work one way and one the other, but neither would go backwards, if you use a car with LED lights, the lights don't work if the motor runs in reverse.
 

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Diode with a switch seems a lot cheaper than a digital chip, but of course you don't get the full digital features.

Other than the power supply being different, would the hand controllers be different too?

Anyone have pictures showing the alternative lane-change systems?
 

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I think the controllers would just need a diode as well, I'm sure you could rig up a digital lane changer to work manually with a switch, all the photo diode does is send electricity to the lane changer, though I would have thought a conversion to digital could be done quite cheaply with 2nd parts, you'd need a powerbase, power supply, lane changer and controllers.
 

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Pretty sure the controllers were standard, but... the power supply was a bit special so I think the controller diodes were integrated into that. Trucks should drive normally on normal track, but I think one of the track connecting plugs would have to be fittedvthe other way round.

To my memory there was nothing in the car section of the catalogue about the XR4s having a diode fitted or being single lane compliant. But then they were never produced as Mr M says
 

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Alfie Noakes
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QUOTE (choc-ice @ 1 Jun 2011, 08:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Onto the catalogue! Thoughtfully provided from another forum I frequent about obscure full size cars.

Choc-ice, please elaborate on this...

Cheers
Richard
 

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I had this - still got it up in the loft, actually, albeit with a lot of yellowing sellotape on the box. I had a lot of fun with it.

The weak link was the crossover track. The pump-activated lane change had a tendency to stick in the middle, so the crossover was always in the "closed" position.

I always liked the way the flipover mechanism was integrated into the trucks - the lever arm was shaped at one end to look like a mud flap, so that the rear of the truck was symmetrical.

The hand controllers were the standard ones, and the transformer had (I think - have to go up in the loft to check...) four terminals so that it could be wired for either the 2-on-1 operation, or standard analogue racing. For the latter, you had to connect some electrical component (supplied with the set) across two of the terminals.

I was really looking forward to those XR4s, too - and there was another picture of them in a recent Scalextric club magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
QUOTE (Stephen Wood @ 1 Jun 2011, 19:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I had this - still got it up in the loft, actually, albeit with a lot of yellowing sellotape on the box. I had a lot of fun with it.

The weak link was the crossover track. The pump-activated lane change had a tendency to stick in the middle, so the crossover was always in the "closed" position.

I always liked the way the flipover mechanism was integrated into the trucks - the lever arm was shaped at one end to look like a mud flap, so that the rear of the truck was symmetrical.

The hand controllers were the standard ones, and the transformer had (I think - have to go up in the loft to check...) four terminals so that it could be wired for either the 2-on-1 operation, or standard analogue racing. For the latter, you had to connect some electrical component (supplied with the set) across two of the terminals.

I was really looking forward to those XR4s, too - and there was another picture of them in a recent Scalextric club magazine.
Fantastic - thank you!
 

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QUOTE (dgersh @ 1 Jun 2011, 01:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>And in 1962 AMT released their Turnpike system in the US, with an under-track trolley, allowing the cars to steer and giving them independent control on either lane.

Don
There was a picture of one of these AMT systems somewhere on this forum (I think).

Does anyone understand how it worked so that the cars could be "steered"? I cannot recall if they changed slots or were slot--less.

It is interesting that these systems were developed before digital and allowed steerable cars WITHOUT radio controlled systems.

This is a fascinating discussion topic.

Cheers!
 
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