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· DT
8,026 Posts
Looking at model railway digital decoders, we may gain some insight into the functionality of Digital Slot Car circuitry.

Here are 3 models from Lenz:

These things are really small! They have the ability to control speed and braking together with other switchable functions like lights and horns. On the slot car, we would have lane switching technology and perhaps one or two AUX functions like lights.

These are priced at £8.50 for the standard unit and £24.51 for the small one. You can buy the decoders separately and add them to your existing stock. I don't see why slot car decoders should be much different.

Note, the One Pound coin is 22.5 mm (0.89") in diameter.

· Registered
778 Posts
The main problem with digital technology in slotcars is response time. I'm running digital trains in my garden and the reaction of ALL available systems for trains is weak and can't be used for slotcars.

The Carrera-prototypes showed in Nuernberg last year still had experimental boards on board (stupid sentence) but whilst discussing these cars, I got the information that the whole thing will not be much bigger than a goldcap and would fit into any car.
There might be a possibility to switch the lights on and off - but I don't think, that this feauture will be included into the chips as it will reduce the general data transmission capability of the whole system. If there is light necessary in the car it might be simply added because there is a constant voltage on the track available. No further need for goldcaps as long as the cars remain on the track.

Problem areas identified up to today with my limited experinece with Carrera and SCX:
limitation of current to 1A
response time
long guide blades to ensure lapcounting (encoded via guide blade) for Carrera
to short lane changing track pieces for SCX

· Matt Tucker
3,739 Posts
Dust and slot cars - they never meet. No such thing as carpet fibres or tyre residue. I get a constant load of pink stuff in my cars and have yet to find a pink source of it.

I suspect the larger variety will be fitted (suitably protected) as I think a £20 premium is a bit much, unless the increase in demand drives the price down substanitally and quickly. From the size of them I can see why it would be difficult to fit in to some cars.

I also got the trilogy (how shallow are we being so easily influenced by TV top 20's!!) and 3/4 of the way thru Northern Lights - excellent read.

Dust seems to be the bain of all our lives!

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