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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...something that's never been done before.
What do you think digital should bring to our hobby ?

I mean forget what Scalex, Carrera, SCX and even Davic propose yet.
Even forget track design problems, etc.
Ok ?
You are Steven Spielberg and you're writing your new scenario.
(or you may prefer being Bill Gates and creating windows 2010..., or being Max Mosley and proposing a new kind of race... or being your own and that's not so bad after all
)

'Waiting for your replies !


(I am not working at Ninco corp. !)
jm.
 

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I want the digital solutions to ship with an embedded hypnosis device that works on people over 40 and convinces them digital slots are not the devil.
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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QUOTE (darainbow @ 10 Jan 2005, 17:19)I want the digital solutions to ship with an embedded hypnosis device that works on people over 40 and convinces them digital slots are not the devil.Perhaps if we program the car head lights to flash in the correct alpha-wave pattern.


Hmmm ... I think there are possibilities in this.


The CarDCC project needs urgen help from neurologic and brainwave experts.
 

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I would like cars to be able to switch lanes anywhere, or perhaps not have slots at all! (oh is that RC racing I am talking about?) But still on home sized layouts and with all the ease and excitement and realtively low cost of slot cars
 

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LOL! Hey now, I'm nearly 40, and am as excited as **** about digital.


Speaking, however, to the original question: There are a few things I learned from my MRR DCC days that I'd like to see brought to the table in the slot world...3 kinda "neat to haves" and one "I can not believe we don't have this yet!":

1) Reliability. I know this is an ongoing argument around these parts, and don't want to add fuel to the fire. However, I was in on the bleeding edge of HO scale DCC in the MRR world, and don't remember NEARLY as many issues bringing the technology to the industry. Sure, there were some "gimmicks" that worked themselves out (or, in a few rare cases, got adopted) as the standards settled...but, in terms of functionality, DCC tended to work reliably from the get-go. In short, then, I'd like to see companies do thorough and extensive studies/testing before ushering in the "digital revolution"

2) A wide range of chips and systems bringing more functionality. For example, souond systems, "special effects", control of lights, etc. Immagine a controller that could turn headlights and/or dome lights on and off...or would only activate brake lights when the car slowed...things like that.

3) A large variety of LC's. Perhaps even a system that, rather than having a sensor track before each LC, instead numbers each LC and lets the driver specify the LC to use from the controller.

4) Digital control of other accessories on the layout. In the MRR DCC world we used decoders for nearly everything immaginable, from grade crossing warning signs to building lights to...you name it. If it could be turned on/off, dimmed, activated, whatever, someone had a DCC chip that could run it. Think of what a nice club circuit could do to add to the realism of their layout if they had the ability, perhaps via a computer console, to control things like lights on starting grids, lighting in buildings around the track, crowd sounds, etc.

***5) TRANSPONDING! TRANSPONDING! TRANSPONDING! MRR DCC for YEARS has had the ability for any given decoder (chip) to report its location on the layout back to software or a controller. Slot cars need this desperately imo. Consider:

a) "Modes" for ghost cars, rather than just speed settings. A car could be programmed as a pace car, or a "best line racer" or a "lapped traffic" car, or whatever.

b ) TRUE ghost cars, that can record and replay any given run made by a human

c) DRAMATICALLY increased scoring information and telemetry. Immagine a display that shows information just like television coverage of actual races...who's leading, how far behind Car X is, whether Car X gained or lost a tenth on the last lap, etc.

d) The ability to tell the car AHEAD of time which LC to take, rather than needing a sensor right before the LC.

===============================

I tried to make this list something more than just a collection of neat tricks. All of the things I have mentioned are ALREADY BEING DONE with nearly identical technology in a very similar industry.

/gb
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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Hi GB

I like your ideas.

QUOTE (gboulton @ 10 Jan 2005, 18:24)LOL! Hey now, I'm nearly 40, and am as excited as **** about digital.
Yes, it's very exciting with the new possibilities the digital systems are bringing.


With very few exceptions you just described some of the features we are planning to include in the new CarDCC system.

1) Reliability: use short circuit proof, thermally protected track drivers, and derate the power components.
2) A wide range: car controller with automatic lights, current sensing and dynamic braking.
3) A large variety of LC's: use the guide blade for car identification, to remove the restrictions on LC placement and sliding cars.
4) Digital control of other accessories: like the light controller, PC interface and expansion interface.
5) TRANSPONDING!: how about sector timing from each LC?. 5a, b and c can be implemented by the PC software.

If you are interrested, I would like to hear your oppinion on the draft requirement specification presented in another thread.
 

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QUOTE (SWoRd @ 10 Jan 2005, 13:28)With very few exceptions you just described some of the features we are planning to include in the new CarDCC system.

1) Reliability: use short circuit proof, thermally protected track drivers, and derate the power components.
2) A wide range: car controller with automatic lights, current sensing and dynamic braking.
3) A large variety of LC's: use the guide blade for car identification, to remove the restrictions on LC placement and sliding cars.
4) Digital control of other accessories: like the light controller, PC interface and expansion interface.

Those all sound terrific. I'm very interested to see the various functionality that can be achieved.

QUOTE 5) TRANSPONDING!: how about sector timing from each LC?. 5a, b and c can be implemented by the PC software.

Essentially, this is how MRR do it as well. Different areas of the layout are wired as seperate electrical blocks, and then, via a signal from the decoder, the software/controller is able to determine which 'block' the train is in.

Seems to me that, presuming the sensor in each LC can, as you say in 3 above, use the guide blade for ID, that you're doing exactly what I proposed...having a means of identifying where any given vehicle is.

I might ask if that could be expanded, however? If I read correctly, the sensors would only be located at each LC...in other words, a block would be from one LC to another. Any though about producing track sections (or just individual sensors that could be retrofit for a routed track or what have you) so a circuit with 3-4 lane changes could have more than 3-4 blocks?

QUOTE If you are interrested, I would like to hear your oppinion on the draft requirement specification presented in another thread.

VERY
Can anyone point me to the right thread?

==================
QUOTE (astro @ 10 Jan 2005, 11:32)great list gb! I don't understand 5 d) though - the planning the LC ahead business?

Essentially, astro, I'm thinking this:

Say there's 4 lane changes on a circuit. If I correctly understand the current LC's and how they work, if I wanted to change lanes on LC 3, I'd have to wait until AFTER I passed through LC 2 before signaling my desire to change lanes. A minor inconvienience, to be sure, but on a smaller home layout, it does somewhat limit how close LC's can be...i.e., there must be enough time for the driver to be sure he's clear of LC2, and still request an LC for 3.

I'm thinking instead of some way to think, as I approach LC1, "Ya know...by the time I get to 3, I think I'll be in position to pass this guy...so I wanna change lanes on LC3"

Honestly, I admit, I'm not sure from a HUMAN perspective how you'd create a controller to allow it, and still keep the controller useable by anyone who's not a fighter pilot.

But hey...this is supposed to be dream land...baybe the CarDCC folks will invent a controller that reads brain waves. ;


/gb
 

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QUOTE I want the digital solutions to ship with an embedded hypnosis device that works on people over 40 and convinces them digital slots are not the devil.

Brainwashing the geriatrics? Is that what it will take?


I'm not 40 or over and I say it's got Beelzebub's hoof-prints all over it.


Forget everything and imagine a model racing concept where you can overtake at any point on the track, where diverse and multi-national brands can make model race cars to run on a wide variety of tracks, where neighbours who favour different cars amongst these brands can alternate venues and race on each of their respective tracks.

Close your eyes, wish real hard (maybe put on some red shoes and click your heels together three times- that kinda helps in situations like this, or so I'm told).

Now, open your eyes! You've got it now!
 

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DT
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Slotcar racing involves the use of a slot.

RC racing is wireless and the car can go anywhere - and generally does. Small scale RC racing is taking off with mini tracks allowing people indoors in a small room to race small electric cars around the place.

Us slotters want to simulate real 1:1 racing. We want to keep on the track and not nerf each other all the time. We want to go fast.

We want freedom. We want to overtake. We still want to go fast.

Give our slotcars enough freedom to leave the slot and we're talking RC.

There is a limit here somewhere...
 

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Scott Brownlee
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This has made me think there's a lot to be said for diecast; no de-slots, no overloads, no need to replace tyres, braids, etc, no nerfing, no inter-brand compatibility issues.
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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Hi Skeeter
QUOTE (Skeeter @ 10 Jan 2005, 23:33)make digital CHEAP. that would suit me fineI don't think you're different from most people (including me
).

But cheap is relative
... what do you think would be reasonable prices for the fully assembled and tested electronics in a:

1) Base controller with keys and LCD display for up to 8 hand controllers.

2) Car controller with integrated light controller.

3) Lane change controller with integrated sector timing.

4) Light controller for up to 4 track side signal lights.

I would really value all of your opinions on this, because it's silly to design something that cost way more than people expect ... if that's the case, it might be better to leave out selected features to meet a price target?.
 

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QUOTE (Skeeter @ 10 Jan 2005, 23:33)make digital CHEAP. that would suit me fine
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

cheap will come with time. Hopefully by next Christmas all the larger sets will be digital. - they wont run both in parallel for long, but they may keep the super budget ones as analogue.

It'll be a long time before you can buy an cardboard box of mixed SSD stuff at a car boot sale for a tenner.

In the Ideal world I'd like to be able to fit LCs in any position I like - i.e. middle of a bend (and more than one type of curve)- in a section of twists - high speed LCs in straights.

It needs to remain slot racing - you can't loose the slot. but you should be able to move from slot to slot as often as possible. and the option to have one or two or three or four slots side by side changing at different sections of the track.

three lanes down the main straight - closing into one for a tight corner. - that would be racing!

Iain

Iain
 

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QUOTE (SWoRd @ 10 Jan 2005, 22:58)Hi Skeeter
QUOTE (Skeeter @ 10 Jan 2005, 23:33)make digital CHEAP. that would suit me fineI don't think you're different from most people (including me
).

But cheap is relative
... what do you think would be reasonable prices for the fully assembled and tested electronics in a:

1) Base controller with keys and LCD display for up to 8 hand controllers.

2) Car controller with integrated light controller.

3) Lane change controller with integrated sector timing.

4) Light controller for up to 4 track side signal lights.

I would really value all of your opinions on this, because it's silly to design something that cost way more than people expect ... if that's the case, it might be better to leave out selected features to meet a price target?.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


ok, in my very inexperienced position i feel that:

1) £20ish. after all, its not very much more complicated than a lapcounter and power supply combined (just a more complex circuit board)

2) i think you mean like the SSD chips? in this case, i think the £10 for the SSD ones is a bit steep, cos it pushes car cost from about £30 to £40. i would pay £10 for a chip that i could EASILY (no soldering, minimal time/work) remove from one car and put in another. (at present, having 6 cars costs £60, but then your stuck with those 6 cars), id like to be able to say, "hey, today i fancey racing this car...."

3) i dont know how much LC's cost on average (Digital is out of my budget, so why bother looking?!?) but id say that £20 for a decent change (not having to have a half straite infront, having a long straite crossover) would be ok.

4) im guessing this is quite simple, so a tenner (£10).

remember, this is from a non exprerienced, non digital user, but for this i could have a fully working set with 2 Lcs and 3 cars for £70 (cheaper than the 2 car conversion for digital, that only has one LC). plus, with any luck, it would be better than SSD

i hope you find this usefull
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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Hi Skeeter

Thank you for your input.
 

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thats cool, after all, all systems should be idiot proof (me) lol. are you building your own software/hardware setup?
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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Hi Skeeter
QUOTE (Skeeter @ 12 Jan 2005, 00:30)are you building your own software/hardware setup?Yes ... I've posted the draft CarDCC hardware design in an old thread, but I'm waiting for some feedback on the draft CarDCC system requirement specification, before I finalise the Track controller and Lane change controller prototype PCB layouts.

I'm almost done mounting a prototype Car controller ... I'm waiting to receive some rectifying diodes to complete the hardware prototype.
 

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will this be a personal thing, or are you planning on manufacturing and selling the setup? what system of lane change track parts does it use, or are u going to create your own?
 
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