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Alan Paterson
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835 Posts
6 or 7 years ago, I jumped on the Digital Highway after seeing video's of the first Davic Races from France. I think this was the way to go for the hobby, and although I had been racing Analogue at World Club Level for a few years, the Digitasl thing just looked awesome.

So in I went, thousands of Rands later, I had a track and could race 4 cars reasonably ok, but there was always this "power Surge" issue and the "controllers felt weird". I immediatelyt started spending MORE money to help "fix the Digital short-comings. The Power issue required a bigger transformer, and thicker wires, and more money. The throttles needed more resistors, the thumb plungers were terrible, and I started making hybrid controllers. Extending controller cables, making remote Track call kill buttons, and spending more money. Importing more chips from overseas because our local Carrera Agncy was so carp it was a joke. Ended up blowing up 3 "black Boxes" in my persuit of a DECENT, WORKING Digital system...

The D32 and D24 came out. Carrera admitted they made a mistake, but only offered their local German clients a swap-out system to upgrade all the Ndigital expenditure to D32 electronics. I blew my top, and took a hammer to my last working black box in horror and disgust with Carrera. (That's in another thread.) So I started again. Went and bought a Ndigital "Red Box", and electronics and controllers. Stripped out all the wiring, and started re-doing the fix-ups. Now I could run 6 cars (apparently), but in reality, it was just as sucky as Carrera's Prox was.

So once again, more R&D, getting help from RichG and others, and buying more electronics, wiring in additional Power Transistors to help get rid of this goddamn power problem. Yet another monster Transformer costing more money. More chips for cars, more controllers, still feeling shitty, and needing more resistors to work...



While all this has been going on, I've been chatting with other fanatics about other systems.. Scorpius has been in the "development" stages for like 5 years.. only recently have some items been getting out to "certain" people.. And if you thought Carrera or NDigital was expensive, shu, you ain't seen nothing yet.. Sure Scorpius offers everything as well as the kitchen sink, but it costs 10 times what the commercial Digital toys cost.. Good god.
Then my other best manufacturer Maurizio also get's into Digital with O2, but it's also 2 years down the line, and still in development stanges.. and the pieces required from him are even MORE money yest again..

Does anyobody reading this start to get my drift yet??? When did Digital Slots turn into such a money-making opportunity? And why the heck haven't we all smelt the tcoffee by now, cut our losses, and just gone RC racing if "all we wanted was the chance to overtake other cars"??? I mean, for Goodness Sake.. I've spent frikkin THOUSANDS trying to get Digital Slots to just WORK!!! A good Analogue racing friend of mine is aware of how much I've put into trying to get my small N-Digital set to work with 1/24 scale cars, and he's wanted to do the same.. Once I stopped explaining HOW MUCH was involved, he was already asking obvious questions like, why? And I caught myself trying to answer them.. WHY? Why can't these Companies make something WHICH WORKS? Spend the money, take it home, set it up, and it WORKS, first time?? Why all the fussing around, having to upgrade transformers, and controllers, and wiring, and PC lap Counters, and change car motors, and the list can go on...

Recently good old Nijn offered to sell me a second hand Simple H thingie to help with my power problems.. I had to politely say no, because yet again, I'm spending money I don't really have on this Black Hole of a hobby... It's pathetic.. Really.. I'm sorry to say, these guys haven't got an idea. If anyone is considering getting into digital, I URGE you to change your mind, stick with Analogue, or rather sell off your existing collection and go to RC.. It's MUCH cheaper, easier, and it works.

Big Al over an out.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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1,603 Posts
And if you'd just bought that analog figure 8 set for $149.00 6 years ago, you wouldn't have spent a penny more. What a shame we didn't warn you.

Cause those analog set controllers are so nice. All you'd ever need. No analog racer ever upgraded his controller. Well- two or three guys might have, but no analog slotter ever bought more than one aftermarket controller. And the power supplies that shoot the remaining car into oblivion when the first car deslots are really all you'd ever have needed. No reason for an analog guy to buy a Pyramid (which would have been the only aftermarket supply you would have ever needed). And that little tiny figure 8 plastic track with no borders. Plenty of room to race. And you would have never needed to spend any money on some kind of lap counting system. Or race management software. And the kill switches all come built in to analog tracks don't they? Integrated right along with the RMS and the computer right out of the box. I keep forgetting that. And of course you could easily race your 1/24 scale BRMs on your box stock Ninco analog figure 8 set. The analog magic lets you do anything you want, with no extra expense, even if the system wasn't designed for it. I keep forgetting that, too.

Or RC racing- shoot you could have popped into a gigantor store a few years ago and bought an RC car for 30 bucks or so. You'd have been set for life. As the previous poster suggested- why don't you go do that, like, right now.
 

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You're right Al , but Kev (Loosesalute) has the right idea .

It's a hobby and if you're not enjoying it ..it's time to do something else . I dabbled in the Digital myself , but I pretty soon realised I was burning money without getting near the experience I had imagined.
I'm still grateful though , as it got me back into the hobby...I found a local club (NERCS) that raced on a routed track , found I enjoyed the mag free racing and the relaxed atmosphere

I still keep an eye on digital and eventually it will turn into a full on racing experience that we can all afford .
In the mean time remember it's all about enjoyment
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,651 Posts
Nice one, Bruce.
Seriously... if you think digital is expensive, go race RC for a while. LOL!
If you think analog is cheap, go race wing cars for a while.


Al, I feel your pain. Dealing with shortcomings of ANY system can be annoying. It's unfortunate that you were "suckered" into ProX and switched to Ninco and now feel bad about that. If you hadn't figured it out yet, NO system, even analog, is perfect out of the box, and you WILL be spending more money on it. The same is true for RC, and ANY hobby, really. Trains? Planes? You name it. Start off cheap and if you actually like it, you'll be spending thousands all over again.

If you want a cheap pastime, get a library card, and start reading. Just don't start buying the books you like. I hear there are millions of good books out there. ;-)
 

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Alan Paterson
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835 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Mostly tongue in cheek, and no, I Don't enjoy RC, and I won't get into it, used to race it at National level years back, and even then it was expensive..
I've wired my system to run Digital and Analogue, and am well versed in Anologue racing, so make no mistake.. I'll continue to tinker with my 1/24 builds and Plafit chassis. I'm just venting that this Digital thing isn't really a GOOD working package.. YES it works, but it's poor to say the least...
Mr Flippant, agreed, all hobbies cost, but some WORK better than others you know..


I'll take out my Motorbike and go for a ride today.


Al
 

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Big Al,
Some may call you overer ambisious or just plane overe zealous. DIGITAL WORKS WELL! No, it does not work with 1/24 IT WAS NOT MEANT TO! The controllers (at least Scaley ones work reliaably with a bit of maintainance which is a real world requirement even for aero engines). All that bit about controllers and power bursts is rubbish analouge is at least as bad on commecial systems. Try SSDC and propper commecial cars with commecial chips. Faultless lap counting, faultless lane changing, cheap throttle tailoring. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES ;-). As for RC you have to be kidding. Recently flyng my hellicopter at a RC car track. Lovely 1/10 scale car. Mere £2500 to start. £30 for tyres that last maybe one or two races. Your somewhat profligate spending will still not even have come even reotely close to what RC raceing would have cost you. Wecome to the real world where real cars still need maintainace, can crash and cost money. ;-).
 

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QUOTE (Big Al @ 27 Dec 2011, 06:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While all this has been going on, I've been chatting with other fanatics about other systems.. Scorpius has been in the "development" stages for like 5 years.. only recently have some items been getting out to "certain" people.. And if you thought Carrera or NDigital was expensive, shu, you ain't seen nothing yet.. Sure Scorpius offers everything as well as the kitchen sink, but it costs 10 times what the .........

I feel for you and agree on most of your points. Sorry Al you came into digital in it's infancy stages. You like many others wanted a pro system for digital with analogue qualities. Hence the Scorpius project. It took just 3 years ( not 5 but admittedly seemed like 5 ) from go to release. The car chips cost just 33% ( not ten times, ) more and the controllers similar price to any decent analogue controllers. I can guarantee you it would have actually been much cheaper in the long term and no modifications needed. I and others have put a lot if hard work in so I just thought I'd clarify a few important points. Is the extra expense for digital worth it? Well if you want to race 8 cars at once in a home set up it is for sure.

Difference now its 2011, Hornby and Carrera have really got their act happening with SCX and Ninco also making changes. People getting into now will have few problems.
Also if you want to race 1/24 Plafit with digital you now can.

Rick
 

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DT
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5,195 Posts
I agree with Rick - Early adopter blues.

In 2001 I got into DCC for trains (Digital control). Even then, there was a standard and you could buy equipment from different manufacturers and get it all to work together. A controller from the best manufacturer of controllers, a train from my favourite train manufacturer and a decoder from the best manufacturer of decoders.

One of my biggest gripes about digital slotcars was that there was no standard. The manufacturers were just not interested in working together and each thought that if they rushed to market their goods, it would perhaps dominate and be crowned King. Well some systems are obviously better than others, but none by itself is overall King. And I for one am not interested in buying into the technology of one company hoping that it will endure. I've seen too many flops and failures over recent years.

We haven't seen the last of big systems being dumped - it will happen and perhaps sooner than you think. Just hope you have one of the ones which survives.
 

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If Digital works why is the forum full of people with problems with thier sets? I have tried it and can,t see me ever switching.
 

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State of the art, I can speak only of SSD/SSDC in my experience is now flawless. There appears to be an occational bug for some folk on SSDC. Most of the digital traffic is from new starters. Digital is a bit more un-forgiving than analouge. You can get some sort of run from an analouge car with near death braids etc. Not so digital. If you can see no reason for digital you certaily don't want it. Many analoge racers like clean car free tracks. Digital is about the "frustrations" of fuel burn, extended traffic jams and overall strategy. These to some extent degrade the concentration of running perfectly identical laps time after time. With digital is about making the best of having cars infront, cars behind and varying throttle responce as the car runs out of fuel. None of which help a perfect lap. Digital love it or hate it its here to stay but will not be for everybody.
 

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This appears to be a rant against several manufacturers and digital slot car systems in general. It is cluttering a technical forum where people try to help each other. It would nice if a moderator could move this to the general Digital forum. Thank-you.

_michael
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,651 Posts
No matter who says they are, none of the systems are flawless, and that INCLUDES analog systems. Analog cars, tracks, and lap counting are NOT flawless. Anyone who says they are flawless is ignoring the times it glitched by missing someone's lap, or adding a lap for no apparent reason, not to mention any number of track and car issues due to maintenance or plain old broke stuff.
All systems have issues to deal with. If you prefer digital, then you have digital issues to deal with.
You could say, "when it's all set up and working properly, then it's flawless" but that doesn't include the setup/installation and tweaking to GET it into that flawless state, and it ignores all the stuff that comes after when a component fails or something is not properly maintained.

Like I said... you want cheap and no problems? Get a library card.
 

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QUOTE (UshCha @ 27 Dec 2011, 20:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>State of the art, I can speak only of SSD/SSDC in my experience is now flawless. There appears to be an occational bug for some folk on SSDC. Most of the digital traffic is from new starters. Digital is a bit more un-forgiving than analouge. You can get some sort of run from an analouge car with near death braids etc. Not so digital. If you can see no reason for digital you certaily don't want it. Many analoge racers like clean car free tracks. Digital is about the "frustrations" of fuel burn, extended traffic jams and overall strategy. These to some extent degrade the concentration of running perfectly identical laps time after time. With digital is about making the best of having cars infront, cars behind and varying throttle responce as the car runs out of fuel. None of which help a perfect lap. Digital love it or hate it its here to stay but will not be for everybody.

I must say I've never seen fuel burn as a frustration and never seen an extended traffic jam ever in digital. You won't get a free run in analogue either if there's a bingle across your lane. With the right system and track digital slot car racing is mind-blowing.

if users have tried digital on a carp system or layout you probably had a bad experience and suggest you retry with a different system or club.
 

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I meant "frustration" in a fun way. Loads of traffic, well it seems like it, with 4 cars lined up to pass a pace car ;-).
 

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My new wood 3 lane Digital/Analogue track will be running hard body 1/24 cars 90% of the time (Plafit, Scaleauto, MJK) as well as Mini Z's. I have spent less on my entire Scorpius hardware than on 1, 1/8 scale nitro buggy...and that was 12 years ago
This included 4 of the best, most flexible controllers on the market (that can also be used for Analogue).

I love both forms of racing and I'm very happy with my Scorpius investment


- Cam
 

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I'm new to digital coming from a large analog 4-lane investment. And while I'm having my challenges, I cannot wait to get through them as this seems so cool. Yes, it costs money, but we are all willing to spend money on things we like, we're just wired that way. When the spend becomes a burden, then we've probably lost interest and should move to something that gets us more enjoyment. I for one, can't get enough chips fast enough and while I've run no more than a couple of cars at a time (with my son). I've enjoyed the lane switching as to get an optimal laptime you want to be on the inside lane for some corners, outside for others. When I make some friends (I'm new to my area) I think it will be just as fun as the analog was for me.

Regards,

-- Rakete --
 
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