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I will try to answer this based on my understanding of the system and my experiments with it so far. However, given that I have already demonstrated an outstanding level of stupidity in at least one of my posts on PRO X, please treat with caution until confirmed by others.

The answers to all of your questions are dependent on understanding the two constraints on the number of cars that PRO X can support. These are power and number of control channels.

Taking the simplest one first, power: Carrera states that the standard power supply will support a maximum of 4 cars and that the black box will trip out if you try to run more. As you would expect, they are being conservative here. My own experiments with a standard power supply have shown that you can run 5 cars without too bad a drop off in performance. I have also run 6, but there was then a noticeable slow down by the ghost cars. darainbow has experimented with aftermarket power supplies, which potentially could raise the number supported. However sooner or later a point will be reached where the current either trips out or fries the black box, if you are really lucky, setting fire to the house as well! It is a question of who will be brave enough to push the limits far enough to find out just how over-engineered the black box is (and of course there could be substantial variation between units).

Moving on to control channels. The initial product supports eight control channels, four for driver controllers, 3 speeds of ghost car and a pace car. Perhaps in time, someone will find a way to reprogram the onboard chips and/or the black box to support additional control channels, or Carrera may release a new version of the product with additional control channels. For now however this limit of eight channels is absolute, no matter how many cars or black boxes you have.

Subject to power constraints, you can have as many cars running on one control channel as you like, so if the black box could take the current, you could have 10 or 20 ghost cars all running on the same channel.

So for practical purposes, the present product limits you to 4 driven cars, a pace car, plus as many ghost cars as you have the power for.

I will now sit back and wait for my horrendous mistakes to be corrected!
 

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Like most other people, I'm still waiting for my Pit Lane to arrive, but from what I've read so far it has two main functions.

1. You can chose to simulate fuel usage and pit stops are need to "fill up", driving style determines how long between pit stops and length of time stopped in the pits determines how much fuel you take on board.

2. The Pace Car will pull out at random intervals for "Safety Car" periods when it will circulate slowly for a random number of laps before pulling in again.

Until we actually get out hands on it, the details won't be clear, but I find it hard to see how you could use both features in the same race, as the pit lane would be blocked by the pace car.

To clarify some earlier points, although I've got 6 cars running, 2 of them will not work in ghost mode (faulty chips?) and until my next parcel arrives I've only got two hand controllers. So my experiments are limited to 4 ghost cars and 2 driver controlled ones.

Steve
 

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QUOTE (astro @ 8 Jan 2005, 01:45)I know the theory, but sometimes theory and practice are different. As I asked (out of genuine interest), I wondered when we will hear the first actual proof that it works. Like you darainbow, I think it will, but confirmation is always good in these uncertain times!
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Purely in the interest of science (and as a potential cure for insomnia) I gave it a try.

I found it works fine with 3 or 4 ghost cars on 3 speed settings, plus 2 driver controlled cars.

However, it was forced to be a very short trial, as the car on the slowest ghost car mode doesn't have enough oomph to make it around the R2 banked curves on my test oval.

Once my next pair of lane changes arrives, I'll be rebuilding with my R4 banked curves (you may gather this is not intended as a serious racing layout) and I'll give it another go.

Steve
 
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