SlotForum banner

1 - 20 of 70 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why no love for Carrera digital? Is this a home-market bias? Does this date back to anti-German sentiments from WW2? Or does carrera not sell in the UK? Can you get German products in the UK?



Here are my thoughts on some of the complaints I have seen against Carrera digital.

*** COMPATIBILTY w/ EXISTING CARS ***
I have been looking at the pics for the carrera digital and I dont think the major complaint about carrera is well founded. In fact, I believe it should be EASIER to convert cars to carrera digital than to scalectric.

The scalectric digital requires drilling and fitting with a LED for the track sensor.

The carrera digital requires fitting a special guide flag for the track sensor.

They BOTH need a proprietary decode chip.

Would you rather fit your cars with a special guide flag or drill a hole for a LED? Which is likely to take more room inside the car? Which is likely to cost more? Which can be most easily reversed?

Close examination of the carrera pics shows that the floating magnet design has nothing to do with the digital function. Its purpose is to keep the magnet over the rails at all times, which should really aid tail-out handling (which BTW, carrera is great for!) There are also two springs that return the guide flag to the center which should speed reslotting.

It will come down to whether or not carrera sells conversion kits.

*** MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CARS ***
Another complaints about the carrera is that it is limited to 4 cars while the scalectric can accept six. Thats a valid concern but what makes anyone believe the carrera system cant be upgraded to accept 8? 12? 16? cars? From the pics we can see that the decode chip has four toggle switches which should allow 16 combinations. If THE INTENT WAS TO ONLY HAVE FOUR CARS, WHY DIDNT CARRERA USE 2 SWITCHES??? The guide flag has four holes which arrayed in differnt combination can also yeild 16 combinations. I think the greater limitations are aviable power and real estate. It is likely that carrera will allow you to add additional head units, but can there be enough power to run 8 cars??? Maybe just stick to 4 cars for now.


***TRACK LIMITATIONS***
Carrera track allows crossover on the straights. Hornby in the turns. WIth carrera offset construction, we already can forsee the ability to create digital tracks of 4-6-8 lanes!!! Hornby would have to provide a differnt kind of crossover to be anything more than two lanes. This seems like a big plus for carrera.

***POWER CONCERNS***
I have heard complaints about having to use the digital power supply and that it does not have enough power for multiple cars. I cant see any reason why alternate power supplies cannot be used, unless higher amperage will damage the decode chip??? Hopefully both manufacturers have designed for this possibilty.

I think both systems will be great. I own a carrera track so obviously I am looking forward to the Carrera Pro-x. 100% of posts on this board are about the hornby digital -- which is fine -- I just wanted to provide an alternate viewpoint.

Thank You.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
It`s nothing to do with politics. Carrera offer another option. It`s a matter of choice. I used all three systems at Toyfair and made my own personal choice based on my ability and my perception of the quality of each system. I`m a Brit who has lived in Germany for 18 years of my life, (back in England now) whilst we may choose sides for the football based on Nationality, I think we are all clever enough to buy what works well for us no matter who makes it/where it`s made. By the way Scalextric made in China now,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Carrera track is not really marketed in the UK and it is not broadly available. I have no idea what Nikko (Carrera distributor in the UK) is doing to change that - but they certainly seem to have a very low profile on Carrera products (to put it politely). The cars you might get in many shops (but who knows about the 1/24 cars for the closest future), accessories will be more difficult and separate trackpieces - well VERY few UK shops can even get them, never mind having them available... OK - there are SOME shops that will get you most (not all) accesories and track for Carrera. (I know I where I can get most everything Carrera but that is not the point here).

But Nikkos reliability with deliveries on anything except for the most common cars leaves a LOT to wish for. And as opposed to Germany where the Carrera Digital system has been hyped up whereas in the UK it has been more of a total silence. Actually when I last year asked about it Nikko responded more with a questionmark and did not seem to have a clue of its existens. It is one of those unfortunate experiences when customers ends up informing the distributor about the products they supposedly are distributing... Now I am not suggesting that Nikko are sabotaging Carreras market in the UK on purpose - but on the other hand...



Personally I would really like to get a digital system - but the impression I got so far is that the technology proposed would have been of interest ten years ago but currently the suggested functionality is more than a little dated. The whole digital slot issue is still a not-all-to-well thought through experiment - or at least that is my impression of the information so far. But I will certainly follow the development with great interest - with great hopes for the future.



//peter
 

·
Beppe Giannini
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
darainbow,
I find the points you raise valid but then the analysis is biased towards Carrera - and that humongous guide is horrible !
BTW, you don't list Carrera's really major plus : lane spacing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Remember that Hornby said at the show that the Scalextric system is continuing to be developed and that there will be a software package linked to it similar to the SPORT World package.

I like the idea of the Carrera jam car but Hornby have already said that SPORT World will have a "Pacer" type of function and it would not surprise me if Scalextric Digital incorporates similar functionality.

Also have not Hornby said that a straight lane switching track is also being developed, in addition to the curve switching track.

And there may well be other track developments that Hornby have yet to reveal.

My one lasting impression of Carrera was how noisy the lane switching is. That big loud clunk is offputting but I suppose in time you will get used to it.

Whilst this is a European board its primary language is English and Scalextric is to the English speaking world in Europe what Carrera is to the German speaking world.

[Edited by Wankel - deleted a sentence, then edited his own edit for a typo! Sheesh!]

Carrera track products are of little interest to the great majority of the English speaking world in Europe, and Nikko as an importer into the UK did slot car retailers no favours at all with the way they permitted Carrera sets to be dumped into the UK market.

So the Nikko sales team can expect a cool welcome in most slot car retailers that they visit around the UK in 2004 I suspect.

Aside from the Jam car it is difficult to see how somebody can advocate that Carrera digital is any different from a strategy and race point of view to the other digital systems. Ultimately it may proove to be the least entertaining of the three systems.


Moped
 

·
John Roche
Joined
·
4,158 Posts
I have a routed track so I've got no real interest in any of these digital systems at the moment.

It's interesting from the pictures on SCI that Carrera appear to have a pit stop section, something people have been asking Scaley to re-introduce for years.



John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
darainbow, for your information this board is, I believe hosted in France, not the UK where Carrera track is VERY hard to get hold of.

If you are prepared to offer a counter to the large volume of Hornby digital posts here then I think most of us, well those interested in digital, would welcome the input.

Just be warned that if you were to cut our Moped in half I think you would find he has Hornby Hobbies Ltd written through his core like a stick of Blackpool rock!
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
We have a very extensive Carrera article in preparation right now from the Nürnberg Toy Fair with photos and all.

Hang on a bit and I'm sure that you'll be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
I don't suppose you have similarly elucidatory shots of the peculiar plumbing of a Mop interior, Wankel?
It really is quite eccentric to describe the little ol' UK as
QUOTE the English speaking world in Europe
It's a tiny bunch of islands off the coast of a whole CONTINENT!
However, I do tend to agree with the opinion of Nikko's apparent ineffectiveness in marketing Carrera there.

I also have doubts that the Carrera mechanisms will lend themselves to easy transplant. I would like it to be so, but I really can't see it, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
..a quick pre-information before the article is released:
The limitation to 4 cars is due to necessary power-supply for more cars - there is no necessity from teh technique used! For 4 cars and the switches you need app 5Amps as a power supply - you'll see if you try the SCX digital - even on teh toy fair with a stronger after-market power sipply used they suffered power with using 5 cars - remarkable suffer!
To construct multi-lane digital tracks is possible with carrera - even as they offer singel lane straigth rails for teh pro-X system! And they offer a pit-stop!!! You might use the pit-stop for refuelling (planned feauture) or to park teh later available pace-car there which will enter the track after a programmed time or number of laps to increase necessity to overtake and change lanes as the pace-car is slower than the othre cars.
The possibility to rebuild cars just with the guide - without moveable mag - ist there - but! you've also to drill a hole in the chassis as teh switches are released by a small led in the underpan of the car. Please wait for the details - I'm a little too busy to finalize the report soon - need some support from Swiss - even as English is not my native language
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
QUOTE (Mecoprop @ 10 Feb 2004, 11:14 AM)It really is quite eccentric to describe the little ol' UK as
QUOTE the English speaking world in Europe
It's a tiny bunch of islands off the coast of a whole CONTINENT!
This tiny bunch of islands used to rule half the known world at one time, and we had the best Navy (ROYAL in fact)!

But no longer can we stick our noses where they're not wanted....
If it wasn't for the Mayflower and white man speaking with forked tongue then the world's largest superpower would in fact have its original people in charge - Native American Indians. Much downtrodden they were.

RULE BRITANNIA!!

Ahem... Whilst I'm not a total convert to digital, it's an interesting development regardless and I too follow the product's progress. As for wanting to convert a slot car back to it's former state then IMHO a small hole in the chassis isn't a problem. It's not as if the hole is in full view on top of the body


Mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
I have used the expression....

QUOTE the English speaking world in Europe

to distinguish the English speaking world of Europe from the English speaking world of the USA, where homes and space for clubs is somewhat larger and as a result a higher proportion of English speaking folk run Carrera in those parts.

Maybe a discussion of Carrera digital would be of more interest to English speaking folk from the USA as clearly one of the big benefits is that it can be intergrated into current Carrera track and circuits.

For the population of the UK broadly speaking it is an irrelevance but for folk from Northern European parts then it is relevant. And I would agree with Thomas that the pit lane and single straight will be an important aspect of digital as it solves all sorts of marshalling problems that I witnessed whilst watching folk have fun on the SCX circuit at the London Toy Fair.

On a small circuit a pit lane is almost essential to enable reslotting of cars without interferring with the race.

On a larger circuit it is not so important as there is more space between cars.

The single grooved pit lane can of course be reversed so that you can pit on the outside or the inside of the circuit. And with digital you only need one groove in the pit lane.

Any number of switching points are possible on a digital circuit so you could have several pit areas dotted at various key locations around the circuit to enable cars to be resloted.


Moped
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
QUOTE (moped rider @ 10 Feb 2004, 12:33 PM)Any number of switching points are possible on a digital circuit so you could have several pit areas dotted at various key locations around the circuit to enable cars to be resloted.
Taking that to its extreme, perhaps you could have one specific lane where cars are re-slotted. By all means use the lane for racing, but at your own risk.

Mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
Didn't Michael Schumacher use the pit lane for racing?


It clearly is a Northern European race strategy!


Maybe David C. should have used it as it as a strategy to help him win the world championship. However, the F1 bosses have wised up to this and now levy an appropriate penalty. Maybe this could be built into any digital algorithm for realism to prevent pite lanes used for racing on the slot car circuit.

An automatic 2 second power cut for any car entering the pit lane or being re-slotted in it would certainly make folk think.

Changing the subject slightly as it has been raised in a round about way here and on another thread by Guagemaster.

Think of model railways in the UK. OO gauge is by far the most popular in the UK but then you do have a very small fringe who advocate and run HO gauge. Carrera in the UK is the slot car equivalent of HO gauge railway modelling in that its OO gauge that draws the crowd but you will always have one or two folk who like to be different.

Hornby have a roadshow that tours the country. SCX had one last year aswell. This costs money but brings slot car racing to the public in very public places.

Do Carrera do anything like this in the UK to promote slot cars?

Answer - no

They do however in Germany and Austria.

In Spain how are Carrera viewed?


We do occasionally have to get practical and most slot car companies know where their bread is buttered and the marketing budget no doubt gets apportioned accordingly.

There is the question of brand awareness aswell.


Moped
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thomas- Im looking forward to your review of the Carrera system. Its nice to hear confirmation that regular cars can be converted. Hopefully Carrera will sell kits.

As far as the rest of this thread goes, It confirmed that Carrera does not have a marketing presence in the UK -- which explains their lack of coverage there. In the USA, Carrera is a prevalent brand although you can get everything except SCX. With ebay however, you can get anything anywhere.


Its also nice to hear about the Carrera pit lane and single lane tracks. It sounds like carrera is serious about digital.

I wonder if big 20Amp power supplies can be used with digital systems to resolve the power drain problems? They would never be sold explicitly for this purpose because that much power could be dangerous to kids. Hopefully the higher amperage will not damage the electronics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
CArrera is very serious about digital! And teh limit of 4 cars is because of the necessary power supply! The system itself is able to handle more cars! After market power supplies might work, have to get in contact with the developpers of the system to get the datas about limitation of input. I'm running a G-gauge garden railway - and the biggest available power supply there is 5A - from manufacturer! Had to add an aftermarket 20A power supply tu run all of my trains - and it works even when the original manufacturer has not specified that it will do

If the Carrera digital system becomes the expected success, they plan further track pieces - like lane changes in curves....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Oh my goodness! QUOTE to distinguish the English speaking world of Europe from the English speaking world of the USA, where homes and space for clubs is somewhat larger and as a result a higher proportion of English speaking folk run Carrera in those parts.
Apologies for off-topic but this is just so funny!
Is this classical Civil Service speak or pure Mopedry?
Most normal humans can actually distinguish between USA and UK and some of them can even go so far as to distinguish UK from the rest of Continental Europe too!


The characteristic HO/OO analogy is similarlyly convoluted, but OO is a mongrel amalgam of standards that is almost exclusively confined to its eccentric British island roots.

Nevertheless, lurking among the labyrinthine moplumbing can be found much that I agree with - principally that Carrera representation, at all levels, in UK is very poor indeed and, sadly, I see no signs of improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
It is also worth noting that the normal cars have been available for some time and are considered by many to be poor.

Mark, at peak the British Empire covered two thirds of the planet. My favourite Royal navy story? Admiral of American fleet sends a welcome to British Admiral upon arrival for a visit ...

Yank. "On behalf of the biggest navy in the world, Welcome".
Brit. "On behalf of the best navy in the world, thank you".

P.S. That bit is just for Mark if you feel offended by it then I am very sorry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,883 Posts
It is also worth noting that many of the 'many' who consider the 'normal' Carrera cars to be poor are well out of date. The performance of the revised chassis models was hilariously eye-popping to the unclued up members of my club at the weekend!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I really look forward to more information regarding all digital including Carrera.

some comments:

1) I do not know about others but personally I find that it is very seldom that there are more than four people available (at once) for racing at home tracks I know of (me and my friends) and certainly six would cover most of the exceptions as well. Even when we are more than that not everyone wish to race at the same time. So if the digital systems would run well with four and with aftermarket parts also with six this is not for me a problem.

2) Track - what I find interesting is the possibility for pit-lanes, Le Mans start etc. Also how about being able to have a variable track? For example that you could share one start / finish and pit lane section and then several interconnected race tracks (e.g. one for racing and another for rally)?

3) Lanes - for me it would is not currently of interest to have a full four lane track - but I do think it would be interesting if some parts of the track could be two lane and some parts four lane. The start and finish straight could for example be four lane (and maybe some other smaller sections) but most of the rest I would like to have two lane. No matter if I would run up to six cars (I am happy with six as a maximum for now).

4) I know that in the UK (I live here) the dominant actor is Scalextric. But strangely enough the home tracks that I have raced at (in the UK) have all been based on Carrera... The cars however come from most any manufacturer and not only from Carrera. I do have track from most manufacturer (Scalextric new and old, SCX, Ninco and Carrera) and even though I live in a small english house I tend to prefer the wider (and less magnetic) Carrera track to race on. And yes I would certainly like to have a cellar or attic available for a setup with landscape etc - maybe in a future...

5) I hope that the digital systems will allow older cars to be easily converted. Some option for 'backward' compatibility would be prefered as well (e.g. to be able to easy 'switch of' the digital system maybe?



//peter
 
1 - 20 of 70 Posts
Top