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· Soren Winkler Rasmussen
355 Posts
Hi Tropi

QUOTE (Tropi @ 5 Dec 2004, 16:24)<snip>
Any good answers to this?
Is it too good to be true and, if so, what is the snag?
IMHO the short answers are quantities and profit margin

The toy market can sell much higher quantities than the more serious hobby market.

Furthermore, the slot car manufacturers doesn't necessarily see a big profit margin as a bad thing

They've got big marketing budgets, because they want to sell the same product continuously, whereas the toy manufacturers typically sell large quantities to a few large retailers, that do their own advertising.

I'm currently working on a do-it-yourself digital control system for slot cars, and as far as I can see, it should be possible to build both car controller and command center, with superior performance, for less than half the price of the commercially available solutions.

Best regards

· Soren Winkler Rasmussen
355 Posts
I have a feeling our resident gurus (who could probably clarify this issue in a couple of paragraphs) are sitting this thread out, so that we hoi polloi are kept busy
Well, I'm not a guru, but I'll give it my best shot anyway

The only contribution (?) I can make is : look at model trains. Their functional requirements are very similar to MCPL, and they've had plenty of time and qualified people to arrive at the optimum solution
AFAIK a few manufacturers developed RC and IR type controls, but DCC has been embraced by the near totality of users - so there's got to be a valid technical reason.
I agree that DCC has several things going for it:
1) It's simple ... my favorite motto
... keep it simple

2) It's cheap ... that'll get the attention of the manufacturers

3) It's got a very high signal to noise ratio, using very low impedance +/-12V power signals.
4) It's relatively immune to interference compared to the wireless alternatives.
5) It will support DC signals, eliminating the need for DC free scrambling or DC free encoding.
6) It's fast enough for this application to work without noticeable lag.

Besides, IR wouldn't work with my track !!
Well, that does it then ... IR is obviously not an alternative

IMHO IR would be very usefull for providing the link from car to track. This link must support two functions:
1) Identify the car at a precise location and time, to support lap timing.
2) Identify if the car want to change lane, to support lane switching.

... just my $0,02


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