SlotForum banner

Alternative to Current Digital Approach?

3301 Views 42 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  darainbow
Yesterday, while traipsing miserably around my local supermarket, my glazed eyes lit up slightly when I spied a counter filled with 1/32 scale cars!

So I abandoned food shopping and discovered a choice of Mini, Nissan Skyline, Viper and Audi TT.
Not bad looking little models for £9.99.
Electrically powered by two AA batteries (3 volts).
But a closer check revealed that these cars were remote controlled by an infra-red transmitter.
No speed control, but forwards and reverse, left, and right steering, working lights and a working horn! They even had opening doors - but not powered windows!

Just £9.99, remember, all-in.
THEN I discovered that this price also includes a fully functional digital wrist-watch with all the car controls built in to it.
Simply incredible pricing.

Then the little brain started working overtime.
If all of that can be sold at less than ten quid, is infra-red control a practical alternative to the current slew of digital slot cars? Hell, the whole caboodle was selling for the price of a single decoder chip or the price of a single throttle!

Is there a reason why infra red isn't used?
Eliminate ALL track wiring other than a nice hefty 12 volts feed?
I know some infra red devices are incredibly directional but I also have a TV that will work no matter where I point the transmitter, so I see no problem there.
Any good answers to this?
Is it too good to be true and, if so, what is the snag?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 43 Posts
2 issues here - the radio controlled side and the price issue.

Price - scalextric can sell very nicely detailed cars (cheaper indy open wheel ones) at £15. I haven't seen the supermarket cars, but is the finish, acuracy, livery etc up to that standard? Are the wheels as round, basically is it as well made as slot cars that we are used to? I can't answer that.

Radio control - it is another possible means of mcpl racing, I seem to remember that there was a solution like this at last years toy fair. Most of the people who don't like mcpl/digital dislike qualities other than the techno aspect, so I cannot see it helping those people. It would be a technically viable solution, although it brings its own particular engineering problems (if there are 6 RC channels used, how do you make sure you are not changing lanes of your next door neighbours slot set?) and costs etc.
I don't see why having 2 systems (the IR AND the rail power) is going to be simpler than having 1 system (either analogue, where control and power is the same, or digital, likewise)...
Hi David , welcome

real tracks spill out of bedrooms onto the hallways and around corners, mine wends under and beteen furniture, so light fittings won't solve all (plus not all kids can reach light fittings every time they want to set up their track)

But the main drawback is that either you have to supply an extra power line to every lane change piece, a pain for setting up, the wires and plugs will add to the cost etc etc - or you have to go for a passive track system like SCX, with the LC mechanism built into the car. If you take this course, then you have SCX's problem of lack of compatibility for other makes and existing slot cars...
1 - 3 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.