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Allan Wakefield
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OK well it is Carrera Pro-X and not Fly but the car running on Pro-X this evening was a Fly Porsche GT1 98 Evo 2.



Spurred by a damn good flaming on Carrera Digital in another post I decided to test it once and for all, I also did some asking about...

It IS possible
humble pie eating time. Sorry 'darainbow'

OK the pertinent facts when converting a non Pro- X car are:

The mammoth guide is simply for the Carrera Laptimer to be used in conjunction with Pro-X and it also serves to control self the adjusting magnet. It is NOT a requirement of Pro-X.

The self adjusting magnet is not required for Pro-X thank God, although it DOES seem to work on Pro-X at least (well to a certain degree anyway)

The Digital board inside the car is NOT going to be sold as a conversion kit according to Carrera (not yet at least and there are no plans to do so although there is no Official statement on this). This from a close source to Carrera (Cheers thomas
)

However, it IS going to be sold as a replacement part so quite what the difference is is anyones guess. I suspect it is labelled thus to prevent a flood of questions and requests for help from people trying and getting the conversion wrong.

Also the board is huge (see two pics below) in slot terms and will not fit most cars. For this reason I chose the Fly Porsche as it has a lexan interior and thus plenty of space inside the body.

Ok, what you need to do, assuming you are using a donor car like me, in this instance the F1 Williams car.

This is what it looks like on the outside. The important parts are the sensor (top left of the magnet) and the dip switch array you can see to the top of the movable magnet.



Also important is to note that the distance between the guide retaining post and the front of the board is 30mm, the board must obviously be centred within the chassis from left to right.



To remove:

From the board itself -
Desolder the wires leading from the guide.

From the motor -
Desolder the power wires and the diode connecting the two electrical lugs of the motor. Pay attention to the polarity of the diode, the silver tip must connect to positive on the motor.

Now the board will easily come away and you can ditch, display or whatever with the shell and chassis of the F1 car.

Fitting into the Porsche is relatively easy and I fixed it (after taking measurements and finding the optimal position) with super glue to the chassis after desoldering the wires from the motor.



Note that Carrera polarity is opposite to Fly cars (and many others) so find out which side of the guide is positive first, these ones have no Carrera polarity switch either.

After the board is secured you simply reconnect the wires from the guide to the board as they were in the Pro-X car (polarity aware!) and then resolder the wires from the board to the motor and remember the diode (polarity aware!).

What you end up with is as in the picture above.

Now for the underside you need to drill one hole and cut one slot as shown below...



The sensor hole is 5mm and the slot is 5mm by 20mm. I achieved this with careful application of the mighty dremel.

Then refit the body, check for clearances, check the manual, set the dip switches and place it on the track.

How did it go? (NO mag remember) well...

Lack of brakes is a nightmare and seriously inhibits performance sadly, maybe fitting a magnet will help.

Here is a list of modes you can select with Pro-x and my findings with the Porsche...

Automatic - slow: Stops and starts, not enough power.
Automatic - medium: better, constant running but way too easy to beat.
Automatic - fast: Too fast and deslots on every corner wether on the inside or outside.

Lane changing under automatic: works extremely well.

Manual mode: we only have a basic F1 set with a few extra changeover sections (digital) and a couple of straights and curves (pic tomorrow - I forgot!). We have no kerbs or borders (not supplied in the set! damn silly as you need them)

However once you accept that speed is not going to happen the car ran well and was easily better than the F1 cars supplied, I would like to test some more converted cars which is the first time I have actually wanted to spend any time on Pro-X track so the conversion must have been worth it


I do have to point out a couple of issues I have with the F1 Pro-X set...

On the plus side the front wing design is excellent for this type of use (crash and bash is a definate part of Digital racing), they clip in well and fall away instead of breaking in a collision.

However, the minus list (for me) is larger and a shame IMO...

The tyres on the cars (front and back) are too large for the rims and are very easily unseated which means bad handling/running and time spent trying to reseat them.

Even with this feature I think open wheel cars are not the ideal choice for Digital sets, especially as they are aimed at kids, the damage is collosal and unavoidable.

I also dislike the thumb controllers as they are not nearly responsive enough, especially as the system has no braking. There is also no chance to change them (but to be fair it is unlikely that the Scalextric ones can be changed either although they are fine response wise if the prototypes I tested are the same)

Then we come to automatic mode, I LIKE that you can have from 1 to all 4 running on Automatic and so do most kids I have tried it with.

I don't like that slow mode is too slow and the cars judder and stall often. Removing the second magnet (fixed around rear of car) helps but then the cars do not like fast mode at all.

Medium mode is better and functions well but it way too easy to beat.

Fast mode is too fast and deslots on corners are frequent and unavoidable (Borders would help I suspect).

This system isn't for me but kids like it (the whole point maybe???) and converting the Porsche HAS made me want to experiment more, I look forward to doing a comparison when the Scalextric Digital lands here.

Enjoy!

PS: thomas sorry about your F1 Williams.........
 

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DT
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Digital Hacks - Cool


I was about to convert a couple of Fly Vipers to Scalextric Digital this week... more about that later
 

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Swissracer,

Thanks for your detailed write up. I had seen a similar conversion on a German site, but not so well documented. I suspect that you might be able to retain the interior of some "flat pan" fly models with the use of a dremel. I was going to try converting a 908/3. Which is a fast and very sturdy car. The chip is actually quite narrow, probably 5mm or less, if you remove the bumpers.

It had been known for a while that "replacement chips" will be available as they are listed in dealer catalogs. I suspect, like you, that this is to avoid responsibilty for hacking up one's other models. In fact, I think the sclectric "conversion kit" will prove to be only for scalectric analog cars with a pre fitted wiring harness and that the procedure for converting other cars will not be covered.

I have carrera track which is great and was hopeful about Pro-X, but without braking, I cant take it seriously at this time. It works, the LCs work great, the ghostcars are workable, but lack of brakes makes it unusable for my racing. Carrera has reported that they have a solution for braking but that they cannot say when it will be available. This may as well be "second generation" and will probably entail a new power base.

Regarding the lack of responsiveness of the controller, it has identical feel to the analog carrera plunger. Its probably quite possible to dismantle the pro-x controller and fit in a pistol grip. At least the plunger response is linear. Also, an aftermarket supply can be used to increase voltage to cars. However I have not done this yet.

I regret that they do not have brakes. As soon as brakes are added, I will jump back into this technolgy.

Thanks again for sharing this information.
 

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Allan Wakefield
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (darainbow @ 19 Nov 2004, 06:17)The chip is actually quite narrow, probably 5mm or less, if you remove the bumpers.

I assume by bumpers you mean the foam feet on top of the unit?. Unfortunately, on the underside of the board is a capacitor and another component, soldered in, that makes the units height 12mm minimum and not 5mm.

The dimensions for the board are:

Height: 12mm
Width: 40mm
Length: 27mm

QUOTE In fact, I think the scalextric "conversion kit" will prove to be only for scalextric analog cars with a pre fitted wiring harness and that the procedure for converting other cars will not be covered.

The Scalextric 'conversion kit' will not require any prefitted components although Scalextric are providing the pre drilled holes and a seating place for convenience in all their cars from now on.
Scalextric have also publically said that their chips will fit in many competitors cars although I agree they are unlikely to publish their own procedures in a rival specific way


For comparison does anyone have the dimensions and a picture of the Scalextric component board?

How does it go?

"Glad we cleared that up!"?

I also meant, refering to the plunger controller, that I dislike this controller style in general as I feel they are not responsive enough. I DO like the idea of changing the interior parts to a pistol grip style though! I must go find a parma controller going spare
 

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Great work and write up swiss! Illuminating and informative.

Also sorry to Darainbow - looks like there IS a 'replacement' chip from Carrera, although the confusion is caused by Carrera's insistance that they will not supply a conversion chip for other cars! (I wonder whether they are intending the chip for conversions, or simply expecting a lot of the chips in the cars to blow up due to cheap components
)

Carrera's 'spin' on being the rolls royce of slot cars has totally been blown out of the water for me. They seem to have provided a just-adequate system - number of cars, lack of brakes, lack of included lap counter/timer (a vital accesory for analogue imho, and even more important in digital) and just-passable electronics and digital protocol.

It works after a fashion and I wish people luck with their sets. From all accounts so far, the Scalextric SSD system seems far more well thought out, expandable, and initially comprehensive, even if the range of track pieces and LCs is presently very limited.
 

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QUOTE (astro @ 19 Nov 2004, 12:47)Carrera's 'spin' on being the rolls royce of slot cars has totally been blown out of the water for me. They seem to have provided a just-adequate system - number of cars, lack of brakes, lack of included lap counter/timer (a vital accesory for analogue imho, and even more important in digital) and just-passable electronics and digital protocol.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Every adult I know who races analog, has aftermarket power, controllers, and custom wiring to their tracks. Analog leaves the door open to do this because it is simple.

With digital, we are stuck with the functionality of the stock base unit, controllers, and now the programming of the system. Time will tell if the aftermarket can address any of these issues. However, the lack of brakes with carrera is an egregious faux pas. I wonder if any fundamental issues will be found with scalectric.

I hope this was only a first-pass attempt by carrera and that they intend to address this issue because the track system is superior (and because i own it. . .). But I suspect that this is really intended as a toy, yet their choice of classic Nascars suggests it is marketed to adults. I dont know any "younger" people who are interested in classic nascar.
 

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DT
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I don't see why aftermarket products can't come in and better what the digital systems have to offer.

Take power: the systems provide transformers with AC or DC output with just enough amperage to power the required number of cars. An aftermarket power supply could offer better power allowing the user to change motors and upgrade accordingly.

Take controllers: The standard systems look ok, if not a little boring. Just wait until the guys at Parma look at how they're made and we'll soon see aftermarket controllers in all shapes and colours offering gadgets that we haven't though about yet. What about lights, sound, speed control, variable acceleration and adjustable brakes - all are possible with digital.
 

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Allan Wakefield
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5,857 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a quick pop in to post a pico f the test track we used at Swiss Race Bahn....

Standard F1 set with added track pieces and additional digital change overs. Standard power and control



Using it like this on the floor OR off it, you DO need borders and barriers, why can't Carrera just stick enough to cover the curves in the box like everyone else ??
 

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Allan Wakefield
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There were /are non with the F1 set that I have seen.
However, without borders these barriers are next to useless when using open wheel cars are they simply ride up the barrier.
I LOVE the new Carrera barriers but they are not enough on their own when using F1 cars or similar.
 

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QUOTE (Swissracer @ 22 Nov 2004, 18:31)There were /are non with the F1 set that I have seen.
However, without borders these barriers are next to useless when using open wheel cars are they simply ride up the barrier.
I LOVE the new Carrera barriers but they are not enough on their own when using F1 cars or similar.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I forgot that Europe was given the open wheeled F1 cars. While I have borders on all my turns, the guardrail works with closed wheel cars.
 

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Allan Wakefield
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (darainbow @ 22 Nov 2004, 21:17)I forgot that Europe was given the open wheeled F1 cars. While I have borders on all my turns, the guardrail works with closed wheel cars.

We got both versions over here I think but yes the barriers are amazing in use either with or without borders EXCEPT for open wheelers. We have a few metres of it installed on Suzuka for a few weeks now.

Actually I have new pics of Suzuka with all the new Carrera buildings and pit crew etc, I MUST remember to post them.
 

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..then I've to remember you to post them?

But I've to agree - even the new, better guardrails of carrera are not suitable for open wheelers - but IMHO none of the available ones do their job for open wheelers without borders - and as Carrera offers the widest ones...
 

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Allan Wakefield
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
See HERE..

I consider myself reminded and job done
 
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