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The information on this site is overwhelming for a new guy.

I am looking to buy the kids a good digital slot car set for Christmas.

I would like to go digital, 1/32 cars, run more than 2 cars, have a pit box option and be able to expand. But wamore than a simple oval track. Looking for something reliable.

I have read a lot about all the different digital sets and brands. But it seems like a wash.

What would you recommend, the boys are 10 and 12? They have really got into model making and cars and they would love a racing track set.
 

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Greg Gaub
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For off-the-shelf sets with great features, pit box/lane functions with reliability and high quality, I would recommend Carrera digital. Pick a set that meets your budget and preferred type of cars, and add any needed accessories.

That said, Carrera track is fairly large. If your space is limited, it might not be a good option. With clever design, a decent track can be made to fit a small space, but when I say small, I mean 5x10' at least. You'll not be fitting a decent Carrera track in a 4x8 sheet of plywood. For that, you'll need a set with smaller track and tighter turns, such as Scalextric.

I love Scalextric, but it doesn't have a good off-the-shelf pit/fuel system. For the truly good pit lane stuff, you need a 3rd party hardware mod to the Pit Lane Game, and 3rd party software which itself required a computer and specialized cable to connect to the base, which also requires the advanced 6 car powerbase.

If you compare all the systems once fully accessorized and upgraded, and space is not an issue, then it really is a wash. It when other things are taken into consideration that things get narrowed down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thnaks, Greg!!

Those gt set look great.

If space becomes an issue. Scalextric is the next best or SCX or others?

Does everything fall off after Carrera? How much does a local dealer matter as well?

Thanks for the insight!!
 

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Greg Gaub
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If space is an issue, then the rest are more or less the same as each other as far as fitting into a smaller area.
They all have their own pros and cons, which is why it becomes a wash. The trick is to learn about the limitations and work around them.
"Best system" is a hot button debate, and will bring on the lovers of every system to speak on why they like it best, or like other brands less.
As I said, I love Scalextric. I have a lot invested in that system, and work within its limitations.

A local dealer can make a difference. So can local racing/clubs. If you have a dealer nearby, or on a regular travel route, then it's nice to have a brand that they sell. While you can get anything you need online, it's nice to be able to stop in a store, look through their stock, and come home with something unexpected. It's also nice to be able to pop over to the dealer to get a track piece you need in order to complete a new layout idea. Some people don't have the option of a local dealer, but if you do, definitely see what they sell and talk to them about those brands. If they have a track set up, you can even test it out.

As I mentioned, local racing clubs can make a difference as well. Ask your local dealer if he knows of any racing clubs and what kinds of track/cars they run. It might be a different kind of racing than you're interested in, or it might be exactly what you're looking for. You might also want to share your location in your profile so that people in your area can offer some help.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Hi,

I'm not disagreeing with Mr Flippant. What I would like to ADD is the consideration as to whether you are intending to grow your layout in the future. If you are then you don't often see Carrera track going cheap on ebay so any expansion will be at full price. However; ebay is awash with cheap Scalextric Sport track so if you keep your eye out for bargains and your nerve you can pick up tons of stuff new or in good nick for less than half price.

My view (and I'm a Scalextric user) is that the only set worth getting is one with the 6 car APB. However if that is too expensive then get the best value digital set you can find and budget for a future upgrade to APB.

If you have a PC or laptop already then the upgrade to SSDC software will cost you £30 for the cable and £30 for the software. You can do the fuel simulation thing without the Pit Lane Game conversion called PitPro (which costs about £60 on top of the pit lane game) - without PitPro you can simply refuel anywhere on the track but could discipline yourself to refuel only in the pits (coz you have to be stationary). PitPro can be added later when funds permit and enthusiasm demands it!

There we are - Christmas sorted and the next 2 boys birthdays and the following Christmas. Welcome to SlotForum. We will be seeing a lot of you methinks - you'll find that many of us spend our digital lives in here when we're not ion the real world playing with slot cars


EDIT: Wow it must have taken me over 15 minutes to fine tune this response because I was responding to Greg's first post and he slipped in another!

Must learn to type. Must learn to type. Must...
 

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Greg Gaub
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15 minutes well spent, I say.
I agree with everything you said.


It's hard to know who will get bitten by the bug. I still find it amusing that my slot-history really began when my younger son spent his own money on a set. He played for a while, but it wasn't long before he lost interest. My older son and I, however, haven't stopped racing since.
 

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APB is the new 6 car Advanced Powerbase(Digital). If I was starting out in slots again and was looking for a decent set I'd go with the Scalextric Digital Platinum set. Its the only set that comes with the new APB, 6 controllers, lane changers, 6 cars (Digitally chipped) and quite a bit more. I know the price is quite high but if you buy an analogue set and then add to as you go and then upgrade to the new APB later on, buy the 2 power units required for the APB,get some lane changers, buy the 6 controllers, 6 cars and the 6 digital chips to go in them then this is quite a lot more than buying the set with everything included (except the pit lanes which you will have to add on later). You can always buy more lane changers and upgrade to SSDC (Scalextric Sport Digital Console) at a later date and maybe Pitpro if you want to have pit lane speeds etc. The Digital Platinum set has all you need to start out in the digital world of Scalextric and you can (and will) have plenty of fun using whats in the box without buying anything else, just addd to it in the future. Your boys will love this and when their mates come round (and yours) theres nothing like having the 6 cars on the track at once, great fun. I'm pretty sure that the 6 cars that come in the set are what scaley call the high resistant types, blacked out windows, no interior but great for digital racing as there will always be a little crash and bang here and there and these cars cope well with digital racing, you don't have as many parts that can break compared to the higher detailed cars. Another bonus with the new APB is that it can run both types of cars, Analogue and Digital, as the APB has the 2 modes in which it can be used, great piece of equipment and you will definately love it. By the way I'm probably a little biased towards Scalextric as I've never used SCX Digital, Ninco Digital but have had a go at Carrera Digital, the thing that put me off Carrera was the size of the track, takes up a bit more room than the others and Scalextric seems to be available everywhere. Hope this helps out and most of all enjoy.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank for the help.

Would anyone consider moving because of space concerns to a 1/43 carrera setup instead of moving to scalextrics??
 

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Greg Gaub
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There are several people on this forum who have done just that. If digital, some of them have even refitted the Digital 132 electronics into 143 track and cars, which just fit with a little fiddling. This gives them all the features of the full size digital, but at the much smaller size of 1/43. The Carrera Go! system has a lot of fun track pieces as well. The Digital 143 system is a bit limited, though. As I understand it, it provides only car control and lane changing for up to 3 cars. There's no timing or lap counting provided, I don't think. It's a bit expensive to buy two systems in order to make one that has the "best of both worlds" but the end result is the smallest 6 car digital system I know of. That said, you could fit just about the same amount of track on a board with Scalextric as you can with Carrera 143/Go track.
 

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Carrera does make a lap counter for D143. Mr. F is right about only being able to race 3 cars and change lanes. You could add the new D132 CU and pit stop adapter and extra track pieces for pit entry/exit to enable 6 car racing and refueling. Then you would need controllers, power supply, driver displays and lap counter or a cable for race management software. Adding D132 features to D143 isn't cheap. You still won't be able to adjust speed/braking and use ghost/pace cars unless you squeeze a D132 chip into a 1/43 car.

D143 track with pit for refueling.


Bruce Yingling's free software.


D143 Go layout on an 8x6' rug. D132 BB for 6 drivers. No pit.



D132 layout on an 8x16' table.


 

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QUOTE (Michael363672 @ 14 Dec 2011, 10:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would go for that as well works straight out of box

Loads of cars and other cars are very easy to chip to work on scalextric but its not that easy the other way round

Michael

I would pick Scalextric if space is an issue, but the out of the box features for Carrera D132 are better than Scalextric's and the Carrera cars are cheaper. I do like that you can run analog cars with the Scalextric APB though. It's still pretty easy to chip most cars for Carrera D132.
 
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