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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to open a can of "analog vs digital" worms, but I'm curious about the driving experience of digital (mostly oXigen) vs that of analog. I'd guess that we all have analog cars, and I'd guess that almost all of us have electronic controllers. When you pull the trigger, the car goes. Now. No waiting. No delay. A very direct connection from the trigger to the car. My only experience with digital to date is with a D132 system, with Carrera cars. I recently acquired a digital cart for my SCP1 controller to go along with my analog cart. With the analog cart, cars are very responsive. On the D132 system I've tried, the cars are MUCH less responsive. It doesn't matter where I use the set controllers or my SCP, so I don't think it's the controllers. My SCP works great in analog mode, but on the D132 system, it works about the same as the D132 set controllers. The min speed of the car is too high, and I can't fix it with the Min Speed knob. At full throttle, cars seem very slow to respond.

It's entirely possible that the D132 cars I've given access to are just poorly responding, and would be so even if they were analog. Maybe they're geared way too high, like some Carrera cars are. Maybe the track wiring is inadequate, and is allowing the track voltage to dip. I don't know.

So I've been looking around for reviews of digital systems, looking for comments related to things not on the press releases. I'm not looking for things like, max # of cars, range, timing & scoring, features like pitstops, max speed settings, etc. I'm interested in how the cars respond. How well the system controls the cars. How good is the connection between the trigger and the response of the car. None of the reviews I've found mention this. I've skimmed through the whole "Slot.it Oxigen Digital System" discussion, and it's all about release dates, features, LC compatibility, software, etc. I'm mostly interested in oXigen, so I'd be most interested in the driving/racing experience with an oXigen setup compared to an analog setup. The ideal comparison, IMO, would be an analog car controlled with an SCP, and an identical car with an oXigen chip, controlled with an SCP.

If an O2 chipped car responds virtually identically to an SCP/analog cart controlled car... I might start converting my cars over to O2. If adding a digital link to the control system degrades the experience... I'll likely stick with analog.
 

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ParrotGod
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I have raced in analog (wood and plastic) and digital only on plastic with SSD, D132 and oXigen.

I do not feel a difference between analog and oXigen.

There is a bit of lag with SSD but barely noticeable (using both standard SSD and Truspeed controllers).

But D132 (on carrera track with truspeed controllers) it has a very noticeable lag. I think I could get used to it but the lag is there.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Nobody has the same cars in analog. I would love to be able to do that comparison.
D132 cars have an analog mode. Flip the polarity switch on the bottom (or put the car on the track pointing the wrong way, 'cus it really is just a polarity switch), then pull the trigger three times. The chip will revert to analog control and let you drive it on an analog track. Then you can compare the "feel" of the same car on both kinds of tracks and controls.

If you want to make sure that "feel" is not effected by the chip at all, just pop the hood and disconnect the leads that go to the chip, and connect them directly from pickup to motor, bypassing the chip. Then it's regular old, plain jane analog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have raced in analog (wood and plastic) and digital only on plastic with SSD, D132 and oXigen.

I do not feel a difference between analog and oXigen.
Great! I was hoping that was the case.

There is a bit of lag with SSD but barely noticeable (using both standard SSD and Truspeed controllers).

But D132 (on carrera track with truspeed controllers) it has a very noticeable lag. I think I could get used to it but the lag is there.
Is the lag on D132 due to the D132 system, or the Truspeed controllers? If the lag is in the D132 system, that is a deal breaker to me. Not that I wanted D132 anyway. If I DO go digital, it will most likely be oXigen.
 

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In a direct compare between analog and Oxigen digital, running a slotcar @ the same track voltage with the same motor, you'll have 0,5 v less on your motor wires in digital than in direct analog.
That's just consequence of the darlington transistors used the Oxigen digital chips.
So you have a bit less power, but since you're never going to run head to head with an analog car its negligible. The 0,5v drop should not influence the response or feel of the car when using the same SCP controller.

With kind regards

Tamar
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So you have a bit less power, but since you're never going to run head to head with an analog car its negligible.

With kind regards

Tamar
This is not a given. The weekly club meetings are very informal. Often, it's a case of, "Hey, what do you have tonight? ... I see a GT40. Wanna race those?". If that GT40 happened to be setup for digital, but could be raced analog, I'd still run it. Of course, being an informal weekly meeting, there are no points or club championship at stake, so a 0.5V loss still wouldn't be a problem. In fact, since I'd have a wireless controller, and could stand wherever I wanted, I might even have an advantage. IMO, the driver's stations on this track are not optimally located for hitting your marks on the technical sections. Of course, the downside would be, since I'd be standing near the technical section, everyone would want me to marshal their car when they crashed.
 

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Alan Wilkinson
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I do not feel a difference between analog and oXigen.
I would agree with this.
However:

I've done car testing of oxigen cars on analogue tracks as part of the "new oxigen car setup process" because I don't have access to an oxigen track.

Oxigen cars have disadvantages when raced against analogue cars on analogue track.

- the o2 chips drop voltage
- the 02 chips have a power limit so cars with high power motors can never be oxigen
- the chip (plus ferrite man ) weighs something so is at a disadvantage against analogue.
- on analogue track, a lane has to be wired to the supply voltage to support oxigen. Sometimes this is done by taping the trigger on an analogue controller full throttle. If an analogue car deslots into that lane, a huge full throttle impact is guaranteed. You're going to be unpopular when this happens.
- oxigen cars have to run with a higher ride height to avoid short circuit with can damage the chip.

I enjoy both styles of racing but would always set a car up for the track and class I want to race.
Even in pure analogue racing, I have one racing pair for each race class for each track I race.

- LSC Wood Green. Painted scalextrix. urethane tyres
- Nascot wood. Ninco track. Rubber tyres
And as a new project:
- RaceWars MK. Wood tracks. Rubber tyres, deep wood guides for recessed braided rails.

When I want to run DiSCA (oxigen) I set up cars specifically for that.

AlanW
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like you're overly worried about things that don't matter one whit.
Well, I disagree. This particular worry is about the link between the controller and car. The lag I experienced with D132 is unacceptable. If that's a typical characteristic of digital racing, I'll stick with analog. From all the responses I've received, that's not the case. I was also pretty sure that a digital car would be at a bit of a disadvantage to an identical analog car. How much? Not enough to worry about on informal races, but not something to ignore on important races.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
- the chip (plus ferrite man ) weighs something so is at a disadvantage against analogue.
- on analogue track, a lane has to be wired to the supply voltage to support oxigen. Sometimes this is done by taping the trigger on an analogue controller full throttle. If an analogue car deslots into that lane, a huge full throttle impact is guaranteed. You're going to be unpopular when this happens.
- oxigen cars have to run with a higher ride height to avoid short circuit with can damage the chip.
I figured on the weight penalty, but I hadn't considered the consequences of my lane being at full power in the event of riders. Thanks. I also didn't realize that oXigen cars need a higher ride height.

Thanks, all, for the responses. As as a result, I'm still interested in continuing my foray into digital (oXigen, NOT D132).
 

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Greg Gaub
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Well, I disagree. This particular worry is about the link between the controller and car. The lag I experienced with D132 is unacceptable. If that's a typical characteristic of digital racing, I'll stick with analog. From all the responses I've received, that's not the case. I was also pretty sure that a digital car would be at a bit of a disadvantage to an identical analog car. How much? Not enough to worry about on informal races, but not something to ignore on important races.
That's my point. For the informal races, it doesn't matter. The difference is negligible, and will only effect competition between two equally skilled drivers, and only when both of those skill levels are VERY high. Until the finger matters less than the car, none of it matters. It takes a long time of competitive racing and practice for the finger to be THAT reliable.

And then, for the races where it does matter... it doesn't, because you'd never race those cars against each other. As Alan points out, you don't plop a D132 car down on an analog track to race against an NSR in any kind of serious race, nor would you pit that D132 car against another Carrera car of the same model, but without the chip inside, if the racing mattered to anyone involved. You'd take the chip out, at the very least.

I agree that lag in slot car control is absolutely unacceptable. I'd say that Carrera digital is on the extreme end of digital control lag, barring setups with technical glitches going on. What you're feeling on that Carrera Digital track is not something you would feel on an SSD track, let alone an oXigen one.

I'm not saying that there are no differences. I'm saying that the differences would never be put against one another in the same race when there's any level of real competition going on. When you're racing with Carrera Digital, is there someone else on the same track racing analog? That's rhetorical, of course, because that would be patently ridiculous, never mind technically difficult to do, and no one in their right mind would bother with the work needed to make that happen. So long as everyone is racing on the same track (aka level playing field), then everyone is subject to the same limitations, such as the lag you're feeling, ergo, it doesn't matter.

So, we go back to your original post, which was basically asking "are all digital systems the same as Carrera Digital as far as car control?" The answer is No. It's ok to like the idea of digital slot car racing, but not like the way Carrera Digital feels. I wouldn't bother saying anything about it to the track owner, though. He'll defend his choice of that system to his grave, which is natural when a personal decision is questioned by someone else. Hopefully you'll be able to partake in some other digital experiences soon, so that you can confirm what we're saying.
 

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Great! I was hoping that was the case.

Is the lag on D132 due to the D132 system, or the Truspeed controllers? If the lag is in the D132 system, that is a deal breaker to me. Not that I wanted D132 anyway. If I DO go digital, it will most likely be oXigen.
It's all about the D132 protocol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the info, Greg.

Hopefully you'll be able to partake in some other digital experiences soon, so that you can confirm what we're saying.
Probably won't happen, at least locally, until I build my own. I may travel to a digital race, but I'm pretty sure the local club is going to stick to D132. Although... given this info, I may get an O2 module for my SCP, build up at least one O2 car, and try it out on the big analog track. That would show me exactly how well an O2 car responds without having to take a long trip.
 
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