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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having received the N-Digital Master track set for a surprise Xmas present I set it up and here is my initial impressions. Firstly I was under the impression that it came with a sturdy plastic storage box, but all I got was the cardboard box it came in. Secondly, the instructions are terrible. Just setting the track up took a while as it does not come with a detailed piece by piece description of what goes where. I grabbed the small track map in the box only to discover after putting together about 5 pieces that it referred to the old Master Track design. Why was this even in the box? I eventually used the picture on the outside of the box. The instructions for using the different race modes and such is also terrible and I guess it will be a matter of working it out for yourself with trial and error. After throwing a chip in one of my cars ( Scalextric Porsche ) I tried out the track. The amatuer mode is OK and the proffesional mode is much faster but very uncontrollable I found. With a magnet in it would be better. I had to go around at quite a few track joins and bend out the rather flimsy plastic lining that the guide runs in. At many joins it bends in and will actually jam the car to a near stop. I am also having trouble with the double crossover bend section. The cars come into this piece and come to a dead stop as the guide again hits the inner plastic lining at the lane change section. Not very impressed so far. After about only 10 minutes of trying the lane change feature I looked at the button on the back of the contoller to find all the matt black paint on the controller was coming off onto my finger. Spanish quality at its best!!! Lastly is the dead spot system used to trigger lane changes. What a pain this is. If you happen to come around a corner a bit slow near a lane change the car just stops dead and requires a push to get going again. I guess the idea is to have lane change sections only on fast sections of track. I belive SCX doesnt have this system and Im not sure about Carrera or SSD. The track pieces are very soft and bumpy I find. It is not smooth going on Ninco track that is for sure. The family member obviously bought me Ninco as I have spoken about it mostly for the past 6 months or so but I think in hind sight that Carrera might have been the go, or possibly not even digital, as it seems it may not have all the bugs worked out yet. I will keep playing around with it and see if I can iron out the litle problems so far.
 

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Don't light the fuse just yet.


The good news is that you have experienced and identified just about every problem that N-Digital can present. So, if you can deal with what you have documented there is the possibility of a happy (or, at least not tragic) ending. Digital slot racing requires more tinkering and maintenance than analog slot racing. And all the major digital slot racing systems have their quirks. But if you are reasonably patient and don't mind a little fiddling to get things to work right, digital slot racing can be very rewarding.

Assuming that you can put the issue of the box behind you, there are a lot of resources on this forum that can help. Virtually every problem that you have mentioned has been discussed and dealt with in one way or another on this forum. So search the past threads in this forum and you will find many answers. There are also a number of N-Digital users who post here regularly who will take the time to answer your questions and help you with problems. So, my initial advice is to be a little tenacious and try not to get frustrated too easily. Keep playing with the toys and come back with more questions. In the mean time, here are a few N-Digital basics:

- Keep the rails and braids (pick-ups) -- and especially dead strips -- as clean as possible. Search for "cleaning" and you will find many methods and cleaning solutions. One in particular is INOX.

- Make sure that the braids are fanned (splayed) out at the ends. This is accomplished by gently pulling the braids apart at the edges and/or pushing the braids toward the front of the [upside-down] car with your thumbs. The braids should also be angled down by about thirty degrees from the front of the guide.

- Ninco track is very popular. It has excellent connectivity/conductivity and the surface and flexibility are generally highly regarded. The rail liner can be problematic. Use a popsicle stick to gently pry the tight spots apart. It may take several applications.

- The lane change track sections have a gap in the liner where the flipper operates. Guide flags can get hung up in these gaps. Put a strip of electrical or packing tape over the trailing edge of the gap (where the guide flag catches) to form a smoother transition.

- My experience has shown that amateur profile is good for motors with 18K rpm and medium to high torque and above. Professional profile works well with lower power, lower torque (< 18k rpm and < 150 gcm torque) motors. Of course these are not absolutes. IMO, professional profile cannot be used with the standard N-Digital controller. Look into the N-Digital Progressive controller and third-party controllers as a worthwhile enhancement.

- Experiment with the placement of your lane change sections. Remember that they are not just for overtaking but also to provide a choice of racing line. There are many opinions and theories as to where is the best place. Generally, I prefer at the beginning of a long straight section as opposed to the end. At the end of a straight is where you will be braking hard and, as you have discovered, it is easy to stop on a dead strip.

- I have found that the best braids for digital slot racing are the soft, flexible tinned (silver) kind, such as Ninco ProRace braids. They provide excellent electrical conductivity and can traverse the bumps and undulations of digital track sections quite well.

The fact that you can install a decoder chip and get running so quickly indicates that you are competent enough to progress in the hobby and get a lot of enjoyment regardless of which type of slot car system that you evolve with. So, hopefully you will persevere and things will get better. And come back here for help when you need it.

_michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi mfogg. Im certainly not going to light the fuse just yet and considering I got the lot for a gift I shouldn't complain so much. But considering what this system costs you should not have to go modifying things straight out of the box. The cardboard box I can live with. I was just under the impression that all large Ninco tracks came in a plastic carry case. No big deal. The instructions for track set up and race modes is very bad and Ninco should improve that in the future. I think I will set up and alternate track design and see how that goes. The Master Track as is, does not lend itself well to digital racing. Anyway I will give it a try for a while and see how the lane changes go and see how different cars run on the track. I had a good look at Carrera track today at my local slot shop and cant believe how much better the rail liner is made on Carrera track. It is flawless. I also had a good drive on it with Carrera cars and loved it. So smooth!!! Actually every car from NSR, Scalextric, Ninco and Pioneer ran beautiful on Carrera. I was once told by the owner of a large store that Carrera is the "Rolls Royce" of slot car track and I can see why. Time will see if I stay with Ninco or sell up and swap to Carrera. Thanks again.
 

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QUOTE (Oztoob @ 31 Dec 2011, 09:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Actually every car from NSR, Scalextric, Ninco and Pioneer ran beautiful on Carrera...
Yes, Carrera has a very nice system and they are definitely putting a lot of their resources behind the digital products. Was the system that you tried digital? Just make sure that you are comparing digital to digital. Remember, they all have their issues...
 

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I am also a happy N-Digital user and find it to work exceptionally well out of the box with the minor adjustments that mfogg mentioned. As far as the track goes, the only adjustments that are really needed is adjusting the slot liner at the track joints which you would have to do with a NINCO analog or digital track and adding the tape over the cutout of the slot liner on the lane changers.

I have been using my track for over 3 years and have yet to have any of the N-Digital track components fail.

Also, the NINCO 1 slot cars are a lot of fun to drive with or without the traction magnet on an N-Digital track. The only modification that I do to the cars is I switch out the stock guide for the better performing NINCO #80112 ProRace suspension guide.

Best regards,
Brian
 

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Thanks all, just to summarize for quicker read:

1. Adjusting the slot liner at the track joints. (Pic please to illustrate)

2. NINCO #80112 ProRace suspension guide replacement for cars (http://www.brshobbies.com/catalog.php/BRSHobbies/dt16325/pd231253/Ninco_80112_ProRace_Suspension_Guide_with_Braid_4_)

3. best braids for digital slot racing are the soft, flexible tinned (silver) kind, such as Ninco ProRace braids. (http://www.brshobbies.com/catalog.php/BRSHobbies/dt16325/pd230751/NINCO_80110_ProRace_Pickup_Braid_50_cm_) Make sure that the braids are fanned (splayed) out at the ends. This is accomplished by gently pulling the braids apart at the edges and/or pushing the braids toward the front of the [upside-down] car with your thumbs. The braids should also be angled down by about thirty degrees from the front of the guide.

4. Keep it clean: Cleaning solutions. One in particular is INOX.

5. The lane change track sections have a gap in the liner where the flipper operates. Guide flags can get hung up in these gaps. Put a strip of electrical or packing tape over the trailing edge of the gap (where the guide flag catches) to form a smoother transition. (pic please)
Edit. I found this better sollution for no 5 from http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=61813
 

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QUOTE (dutchdog @ 15 Mar 2012, 09:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...1. Adjusting the slot liner at the track joints. (Pic please to illustrate)...
There are several solutions for this. Here is the best that I have tried:

In the U.S. this is known as a "Popsicle stick"...



Insert it in the slot liner wherever the liner is pinched and rock it back and forth.



You may have to do this several times in severe cases, but eventually the liner will relax. You can also insert it and leave it overnight.

_michael
 
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