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· Registered
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of getting back into this hobby.
I always had slot car sets when I was young but nothing like what is availble today.
The biggest my set could ever be is about 16 ft long and 6 ft wide just to give you a general ideal.
I though I would start with analog untill I saw this set on sale for $429 shipped free at SlotCarCity.
It is regurlay $499.
I have read some post in this forum that advises to wait to get new 2008 Range system.
Will the new system use the same sport digital controllers, car circuit boards, lane switchs. CARS ?
I want the ghost feature since most of my racing will be alone.
That was what I was really waiting on.

On the other hand this may be a mute point since the modifications mentioned in this forum that uses a PC to run the set
may be better than the 2008 Range system.
Can I send the 4 port power sport digital base to the developers of this and just go that route.
Or is that to big of a step for a beginner ?
I am in Claremont NC USA , has anyone from US shipped power base to UK ?
Thank You
Johnny Walker

· Banned
7,722 Posts
If I were you I wouldnt wait. For a start your missing an entire years fun, something you cant ever catch up. Life is too short, enjoy now.
Only the PB is getting updated so everything else will fit.
You could wait till Xmas, but who knows it may be delayed.
Sure its got a few "minor" features but still a toy + one suspects the power will FINALLY power 6 cars (Id bet it doesnt)
Get any SSD set.
Add a decent power supply.
Buy any 6 car PB. (4 doesnt cut it)
Do PB PRO and Simple H modifications (see threads) as you mentioned. You can have this done for you in the States if you arent confident
That will be ten times better, very functional, very powerful, and the best back up service you could possibly get.
Have fun.

· Registered
136 Posts
I agree with Injectorman here. Scalextric release dates are a moving target, stock always seem to be low stockists and they will cater for the mass market.

My advice, for whats its worth is try and get hold of a 6 car PB. I'll be honest, these are difficult to get hold off but there are some knocking about (I picked one up in London only last week) and build your circuit around this. I'd purchase a track designer (I use Trackpower which I think is a great product) and design some tracks within your available space. There are many inspirational circuits in the Members Tracks thread in the Tracks and Scenery section on SlotForum which will provide you with lots of ideas. 16 ft x 6 ft is a nice space and will cater for a very nice layout.

As Injectorman states, the PB-Power-Pro upgrade is a must for the 6 car pb and I'll be suprised if Scalextric deliver a product as good.

The really functional and fun elements of SSD are coming from the homebrew element of SlotForum. Some of the modding that goes on here is awesome.

Get planning and indulge yourself asap!


· Premium Member
1,157 Posts
Hi Johnny Walker!

That's a name with a great racing pedigree, BTW!

First, welcome to Slot Forum, we're glad you're here!

Don't wait - we're all using the current stuff and having a great time!

At 16 x 6, you have tremendous space for a great layout like this, for example:

When Scaley releases the new stuff for 2008 it will use the same cars, track, and controllers. Scaley is not changing their system, just (hopefully) making some small improvements to their digital powerbase. But it is very unlikely their improvements will come close to matching what the users here have already come up with.

The most important developments here are PB Pro, which is an upgrade to the firmware - the computer program - inside the PB. This is the modification that allows you to run ghost cars. You get this mod by sending a six car pb to our US upgrader, TXSlotRacer. You CANNOT apply this upgrade to a 4 car pb because the 4 car pb does not have the same features as the 6 car.

In the US, we're in luck. Scaley USA has the 6 car pb in stock. They also have the older conversion kit that also includes a 6 car pb. Be careful, there is a new conversion kit that retails for about $129 that only has the 4 car pb in it.

The other development you will probably want is called the Simple-H mod, which you can read about in this thread. You also get this by sending your PB off to TXSlotRacer and this upgrade is also only for the 6 car pb.

You don't need all these mods to enjoy SSD. SSD works great out of the box for 4 cars on layouts of 30 feet or less - what you'd get in a set. When you are ready to start building a larger layout, take some time and read the really useful technical links thread pinned at the top of this board.

Don't wait, get a set that appeals to you and give it a try. I don't know anyone who has tried SSD who does not think it is a lot more fun than analog racing.

Keep postin'!
Circuit TrustChrist

· Registered
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank all of you very much.
I went ahead and ordered 2 power supplys.
I would like to go ahead and send one to be modified and I think that would keep me happy for a
while by just having the abilty to run a ghost car or two.
Then hopefully I can add second power supply as you mentioned when track gets biggger.
How is the best way to get in touch with modifier in the US ?
Will the software for PC be used.
I hate to think of doing all the setting through the power base buttons.

Do most of you use a PC with this ?
I would like to keep within the scope of the way the mods are intended and
keep everything as simply as possible.
If I understand correctly the controllers in digital set are used ?
A PC is running and or is that another set of modifications?

Thanks again for the warm welcome.
I will try to read as much as possible and not ask redundent questions.
btw:besides the scalextric digital forum what other SlotForum's should I be keeping up with?

· Registered
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should have read more before I posted above.
So far I think I see two PC software packages ?

Slot-GP Pro and
SSD software.

Please briefly give me a ideal of what software is good for a beginer.
I already see that I should take this one step at a time!

And I read most of the thread about the Powerbase Pro mod.
Those guys put in some work !
Well I guess a lot of you have .

I still don't understand the H mod.
Is that the same as the MS mod ?

I am just trying to get a mental picture of all this, mental"
,LOL;" thats a good term for me.

Thanks again

· Premium Member
1,157 Posts
Hey Johnny,

Yes, I'm sure all this must be confusing encountering it for the first time!

Once you get your set and start racing things will fall into place.

Let's talk about powerbases (pbs) and power supplies first.

The powerbase is a half straight piece of track that has a box on the side containing the electronics that provide electrical power and car control to the track.

A power supply is a thing that provides electrical power to the pb. The power supply can be either a Scaley wallwart or a large, general purpose power supply like people buy for their work benches. These larger, generic or "third party" power supply units (PSUs) are better than the stock Scaley wallwarts because:

1. they typically allow you to vary the voltage the PSU puts out and

2. they can provide much more current (Amps) to the track.

Here is a good third party PSU from a good place to buy it.

The Scaley 6 car pb has two power supply jacks on it. The two jacks allow you to plug in two Scaley c7004 wallwarts into the pb. Scaley says one c7004 provides enough power for 3 cars, two for 6 cars. In reality, SSD is underpowered even with 2 Scaley wallwarts, but this problem is due to 2 factors, the low power (5A) provided by even 2 wallwarts and the design of the 6 car pb itself.

To overcome the low power problem, users here developed several work arounds. First they added 3rd party PSUs like the one I linked you to that can provide more than 5 amps. For more information, see the two threads under Power Supply in the really useful technical links thread.

Second, they wired the lane change track pieces so that they receive their own power separately from the track. See this thread under lane changers in the really useful technical links thread.

Third, they developed a way to use the signals from one pb that drive the power output section of that pb to drive the power output section on a second pb. This is called the Master/Slave (MS) mod. See the dummies guide also from the really useful technical links thread.

Fourth, they put a lot of effort into reducing the small voltage drops that occur at every track joint, either by running powertaps (see the text on "power distribution plan about 2/3 of the way down this page on building analog drivers stations) or by putting copper tape over the track rails

Here, let me say again that SSD works fine out of the box for 4 cars on a set-length track. You do not need all these mods to enjoy SSD. Many of us used the stock stuff on layouts up to 70 feet and were happy. Where the weaknesses of stock SSD show up is when you have a long track and 6 cars with magnets or powerful motors trying to race.

Recently, RichG - who is kind of the lead wizard on SSD - discovered a board called the Simple-H that we can wire into our 6 car pbs. That is described in the high power MOSFET output stage thread that you read.

Rich has developed other products for SSD, most importantly a lap display that takes the lap and timing info from the 6 car pb and displays it very nicely. Rich is about to make another batch of these, you should definitely pick one up by sending him a private message (PM). You can do that by clicking on his name in this post and then clicking on "send message".

Now lets talk about computer programs and then we'll talk about how you get all this neat stuff.

SSD does not need a computer program running on a regular PC to work. The 6 car pb is, itself, a small computer and comes with a computer porgram burned on a chip inside of it. Some of our guys (AndyS, Riko, and RichG) thought this program could be made to work better - like by supporting ghost cars - and so they came up with a new program that REPLACES the stock program in the pb. This new program is called Powerbase Pro (PB Pro)

It is possible to use SSD with a program running on a PC, but that is something completely different from the firmware code inside the PB. The third party programs that run on your PC are known generically as Race Management Software (RMS) and there are about 4 of them. These RMS programs display lap timing information and may also provide features like fuel or tire management and pit lane features - like forcing you to go into the pits to refuel.

Only the 6 car pb can take advantage of RMS software because only it has what is called an "AUX jack" - a data connector that sends data out of the pb. As it comes, the stock 6car pb can only send data out of the pb. But recently, the PB-Pro firmware that we use to replace the firmware that comes in the stock pb was modified to allow two way communications between the pb and a PC. This has opened up a wide range of possibilies for a RMS program running on a PC to interact with the pb, but these are just starting to be explored.

Most of us do not yet use a PC with SSD, but many do use a PC with an RMS for lap timing. To use a PC with SSD, you need a thing called an Aux Cable that runs from the aux jack to either a serial (RS232) or USB jack on your PC. RichG makes these, you can PM him to get one - it is the thing shown in the graphic below his signature on all of his posts.

Whew! Okay, I gave you the link at Scaley-USA where you can order a 6 car pb. You must buy this separately as all the sets now come with only a 4 car pb. To get the PB-Pro upgrade to the firmware in the 6 car pb and also to get the Simple-H mod improvement to the power out of the pb you need to send a PM to TXSlotRacer, a guy named Adam who lives in Dallas and is one of our tech guys. To find him, click on members at the top of the page and search for "txslotracer".

RichG is just now finalizing the details - and therefore the cost - of the Simple-H mod, but you can send Adam a 6 car pb and get PB-Pro now.

Hope this helps - once you get your set it will make more sense. I have to tell you, once you get racing SSD with some friends it is all worth it - tons of fun!

Circuit TrustChrist

· David Collins
2,560 Posts

I'm not into SSD but follow the threads out of interest sometimes. You post is extremely clear and I am sure very helpful to anyone like Johnny Walker who is trying to make good decisions in this area. It's another good example of why this whole forum is so great - thanks!


· Registered
254 Posts

An outstanding reply, I'm sure Johnny and many others will appreciate that


I would just add (as Paul says) many people have wired a separate supply to power the lane changers and also used a second powerbase for the MS mod (Master and Slave). The new PB Pro Power with the Simple-H board will not need an MS mod and will have ample power to operate all of the lane changers as well.

It is still worth providing Power-Taps to the circuit; this will get all of that new power evenly distributed around the track. Personally, I have Power-Taps after about every 10 or 12 pieces of track. Some other people have hard wired every piece and others have used Copper Tape which is applied on top of the existing rails.

Get hold of a 6 Car Powerbase C7030, if you can, and get it modified to the new PB-Pro-Power.

Go to and get a copy of the track design software and start playing and planning.

Good luck.


· Premium Member
1,157 Posts
Thanks guys, the real thanks belongs to the smart folks who have dreamt these improvements up.

Now David, what can we do to get you racing SSD? It really is a blast!

Circuit TrustChrist

· Registered
4 Posts
Thanks Paul

I have been scouring several sites trying to piece this info together in my head. I appreciate the effort to put this together. I have a muh clearer picture now.

Thanks again i think it should be a sticky as well


· Premium Member
1,157 Posts
Hi Guys,

Looks like we're victims of our own success - the smart guys here have developed so much information on SSD we probably do need a "start here" type of guide.

Here's a very basic introduction to SSD I posted on SCI over Christmas in response to a PM from a newbie. The SCI posting restrictions kept me from linking to all the good stuff here, unfortunately, and the thread needs to have lots of pictures added to be as helpful as it could be, but it's a start. It does have a video.

If you'd like us to have a well written and illustrated guide to understanding SSD and navigating through all the links here please say so in this thread and maybe we can approach the moderators about it. It would be a good project for us less technical guys while the really smart guys are busy in the lab.

Thanks, I'm glad this is helpful!

Circuit TrustChrist

· Premium Member
1,701 Posts
Hi Paul,

As a relatively newbie that has spent a months tracking down all this info I give you a big Thumbs up
for your summary post.

This should definitely be posted as a quick start guide for SSD newbie's.



· Administrator
10,974 Posts
Brilliant Paul, we could do with this being turned into a SF thread, and then you can legitimately link to the key threads.

Made me realise we are doing a poor show of marketing this stuff on your side of the pond. PB-Pro gets little press except for an argument between Rich and some twonk. People really think SCXD and ND are better!

· Registered
651 Posts
QUOTE I have to tell you, once you get racing SSD with some friends it is all worth it - tons of fun!
I agree 100% with Paul.
Now that I have copper taped my track (I'm finishing the last lane today) it is running great, no dead spots and the cars can fly around or crawl with no problems. It is pathetic the difference between the taped and untaped lanes.
QUOTE Made me realise we are doing a poor show of marketing this stuff on your side of the pond. PB-Pro gets little press except for an argument between Rich and some twonk. People really think SCXD and ND are better!
I would not call it a poor show of marketing Slot Cars stuff in the States, I'd call it a NO SHOW of marketing. I got rid of my cable TV 3 plus years ago so we don't watch TV in my home (just DVD's) but I can't remember ever seeing any Scalextric commercials on TV. The only slot car set I've seen in the stores is some really cheap looking sets. The only places you can get Scaly and the others is at the better hobby shops and their few and far between and they tend to specialize in one brand or another. Out of the 3 shop I go to 2 specialize in scaly and one has Ninco as far as cars they all have 3 or 4 Slot it, a dozen or so Ninco and alot of scaly cars and very few Carrera. The market here is ready for the taking, it will just be expensive at first.

· Registered
1,087 Posts
QUOTE Made me realise we are doing a poor show of marketing this stuff on your side of the pond. PB-Pro gets little press except for an argument between Rich and some twonk.

So ah Whats a Twonk RIKO & How do I Join??

And why didnt you chime in on the OTHER thread??

Great Overview Paul........(as always youve a great way to untangle the tangled and simplify the electronic wizardry that guys like Riko & Rich & Iman conjure)

Hope this doesnt get buried............Perhaps your write up could go into the resources area??

· Premium Member
4,847 Posts
Agreed it's a great and up to date overview.
However it also demonstrates a problem. Which is how know there is an overview, find it, and keep it up to date?

Everyone seems to have forgotten the, now out of date, overview that I did at the start of the Power Power Power pinned thread.

This thread, the one that in hindsite we now know led to the Master Slave Mod and the Simple-H upgrade.

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