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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.
 

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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.
 
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