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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have recently joined and have spent the last two weeks every night pouring over the forum and I am still wondering what would be best to do. The wife gave me a go ahead to turn our formal living room area into a 1/32 scale slot car track. This will give me a 17' by 11' table for my layout.
I am really confused on what to do with this wonderful space. The local hobby shop only carries Carrera track and mostly that brand of cars as well. With the internet I do not have to go to the local hobby shop to get things. In addition should I go digital or analog. Plus or minuses of each please or should I route a track. I kind of like the three lane digitals I have seen on the forum have not quite figured out how they did that. The hype of the SCX commericals on the internet have the young ones in my house convinced that is the route we should take. Can you do both route a track and make it digital? It looks like if you do digital track then you can not run analog cars on it. Am I stuck with the cars of that brand if I go digital. I have literally had this on my mind constantly since she offered up the space. The offer came Christmas day when the four lane HO track I built was having six people wanting to race. I suggested that we make a six or eight lane HO track and my darling 8 year old piped in and mentioned the SCX commerial she saw when her brother was on the internet and we should get that one instead and daddy could decorate it, then we could have two tracks. Great thinking kid (right) love my youngest she is to smart, wife bought it and said that was a good idea and the hunt has begun.
Any help on this matter would be great

Thanks
Ray
 

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DON'T get Carrera Track !!!

You will have MAJOR limitations with the restricted geometry.

Si.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Hi Ray

I can recall answering a question about track types for someone fairly recently. Basic plastic analogue track types are detailed here.

Digital is a little different, although I think all but SCX can use their standard analogue track to extend a digital one. Or rather digital can be added in to an existing analogue track as an after thought. SCX are in the process of changing their analogue track to be the same as their digital currently.

You can route and make it digital either by using the new Scorpius system or dropping in either the full digital section from your chosen plastic system or just the electronic heart.

SCX digital is an interesting system as it is the only one in which the car performs the lane change rather than the track. Sounds strange, but it's fairly simple. An SCX lane changer has a deeper slot than standard for the deviation. When the car receives the instruction to change lanes a 'pin' drops extending the guide beyond its usual depth, meaning that it will deviate into the new deeper slot and the car will change lanes. One benefit of the simplicity of this system on the track side of things means that it is very easy to route a track and use the SCX lane changing system. Some here have done it.

Sorry if I've not been overly clear on the digital side of things. I haven't really had a great opportunity to play with digital yet. I'm sure others will chime in with details of what makes each system good or bad.

Hope the information's been of help.

Cheers and welcome.
Embs
 

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Hi radtad

Look at the forum LOTS, before making a desision on track/digital/etc.

DON'T listen to dealer HYPE.

The geometry of a track system, dictates how, & how much you can fit in your space.

Your space is EVERYTHING, use it to your best advantage.

Si.

Using 'Ultimate Racer 3.0' software ( free on net ) can give you an idea of how your layout may fit your space, without costly mistakes.
 

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hi, Radtad
Sounds like you're jumping right into slot cars! I'm glad to see your enthusiasm. From what i read, it sounds like you'll want to do a little bit of homework before selecting any one brand. If you were to stay analogue, I believe your decision would be fairly straightforward. With 11' x 17' to work with, any brand will yield you a nice big track layout...no worries there. And your decisions would quickly pare down to price, specialty track features, track surface and such since all the cars from any brand will work fine on any other (there is a minor issue of needing to trim the guide on Carrera with Scalextric track, but this is hardly worth mentioning it's so easy). But since you are interested in digital it gets slightly more brand specific...the nature and options of each digital strategy, and the fact that you'll need to "re chip" cars from a different brand to conform to whichever brand you end up with. So, among other things, if you had a favorite brand of cars it might encourage you to buy that brand of digital just to reduce how much retrofitting you'll have to do. I'm not saying it's a big deal, just that it's a consideration. As for modifying non-SCX cars to run on SCX digital, I can't speak to that...but I'm sure others will. In general, you can swap among Ninco, Scalextric and Carrera as well as specialty makes fairly readily from what I hear, as long as there's a little room inside to mount the little chip/LED assembly.

My advice would be to take a little bit of time and learn about each of the major digital systems, what they offer you in terms of features and the idiosyncracies of "re chipping" each from it's contrasting brands. And also give a little attention to broader features of each track from the basic analogue attributes (track grip, style of fastening, available pieces etc). The suggestion about Track Design software is a good one...it's easy to compare the same basic track idea/geomtery with different brand track systems that way.

Lots of good people here to help you...have fun!

best regards,
John
 

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Hi Radtad,

There's probably a few things to consider first, predominantly who will be using the track and do you plan on joining a club and racing with others on their tracks?

The answers to these questions is what guided my own build. Initially I bought a plastic track and raced on my own, fairly soon after I had joined a club or two and race with others on their tracks. Recently I decided to ramp up my involvement and am now commencing building my own routed home test track, as this is what I mainly race on. Who knows one day I may even convert this to digital.

If you do decide to purchase a track set then I'd recommend scalextric especially if going digital. The reason quite simply being that some other popular brands such as slot.it have digital chips which are compatible with scalextric.

What ever way you go best of luck and make sure you start a build thread so we can all keep tabs on your progress and offer answers to any q's you may have.

Cheers,

Braith
 

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if you want a 3 lane track, routed is the cheapest way and that includes all plastic tracks. ninco track allows you to race 1/24 at a sqeeze and its got lots of different radius curves. digital track nice as it sounds only allows you to run 1/32 slow motors other wise it screws up all the electronics with a hot motor. john.
 

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Ask 20 people about track and get 20 different answers. I started with Scaley Sport, had all sorts of it, and grew to hate it. It's too flexible, track joints are awful and it's also too narrow. If I had started over with plastic track, I would've used Carrera.

I've ended up with a wood track now, and I would never go back to plastic track. I have little interest in digital (and that interest will stay at that level until the manufacturers grow up and standardize on one common system), and I can get nearly any sort of track geometry I want with wood. It's also alot less expensive than plastic track. The downside of course is the initial learning curve. It's not that hard but certainly more difficult than snapping pieces of plastic together.

Try and get some time to drive on various types of track if you can, and use borrowed cars that have been set up for the particular track system. Also try and get some time to run on a wood track, again using a car set up for the track.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the advice it sure does help. If I do not go digital then I cannot run more then one car per lane is that correct. The digital apeal to me is that fact that you can run up to six cars in fewer lanes and fewer lanes means more room for a bigger track is this right? The wood track is very appealing as well. Keep coming with the advice please and I will keep scouring the forum.


Thanks
Ray
 

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Ray,
You have a mesage.
What a can of worms you have opened, I am suprised you havent had more answers already, but they will come!!!, firstly you can race different types of digital cars on different digital tracks, you will have to change the digital chips for whatever system you are using, the exception to this is SCX as this uses a completely different system to change lanes, a pin drops down into the lower slot, unlike the other systems that use track/flipper guides to change lanes.
Most of the digital systems are three lanes going into the pit I dont know if this is what you were hinting at with the three lane track
I have always had problems with analogue carrera track picking the power up of the tracks, other cars using carrera braids appear to work OK, but the braids are very stiff and upset the cars i use
I would suggest that you find a club and go there a few times before diving in and spending lots of money, there is a swapmeet this Sunday at swindon if you are able to go, ask around there and have a look at the tracks and talk to the people.
Regards
Zen
 

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Dove in with one foot so far!! Decided on Scalextric and bought the analog full throttle set. WOW what fun!! It is setup on the carpet for now I needed to drive. The club people near me all run Carrera and I did not want the big of track I never see me wanting to go to 1/24 ever. Now to break the news to my wife that with the extra cars and the new box set the slush fund is down by several hundred. Will keep you posted on progress as we go along. Thanks for all the advice

Ray
 

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whilst may "pureists" vote for routed tracks they have a major drawback of being fixed desighns. You cannot change a track easily one it has been built. |This it can be argued is no different to the real world. However my experience is that with a plastic track the youngsters enjoy driving and helping to desigh new tracks. Plus if you can change from long straight fast tracks to "rally" type tracks in a short time even on bigish tracks provided you work to a plan. Personally I run scalextric sport digital using SSDC. The SSDC may be an overkill but the grandauter likes to hear her name being called by the computor. Scalextric has R1 corners. There are 2 caps 1 loves them the other hates them. There is no right or wron its just personal tate and nobody can dictate your own taste. Carrera would not be for mee as it has the least variation in tack radii so has no appeal despite many statements on how good its surface finish is. Ninco I cannot comment on and SCX as far as basic track goes is near identical but not interchangeable with scalextric sport. With children I do not think overall power is a key decion parameter on decideing digital or analouge. Typically children are best running on restricted power which is available via the Scalextric 6 car APB. However it is expensive and does need a 3 party upgrade to be at its best. That scalextric thenselves point to the this party upgrade says somthing.

The new book on digital scalextric does have a good overview of the systems for Digital.

Like everybody says. read and look at all the tracks. Visiting local clubs is interesting but may not inform you much about home raceing with children.
 

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In my view there are two major problems with digital tracks, the first is that every brand uses a different and incompatable system and the second is that digital systems are prone to glitches of various sorts that can be frustrating if you actually race your cars. If you start out with an analog track it is easy enough to convert that to a digital track of the same make. There is actually an inexpensive analog system that lets you run two cars on a single lane, see this: Link
 

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Ricg D. Personally with the help of the guy's on here Scaley digital is "fixed" with version 1.06 of the APB. Reliability is now acceptable even for scaley. As I ubderstand it scaley was the worst of the bunch to satrt with. For the average joe with a few cars (like me) no interchangability is not a significant issue. Apart from SCX with is pin thing you can chip any car with scaley with minimal effort in most cases. I think that all will agree that there is a world of difference between Analoge and Digital and for some only one or the other is worth it. Everybody has to decide if Digital is worth it for them. Digital is not a better analouge, is a diffrent game altogether love it or hate it.
 

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QUOTE (UshCha @ 8 Jan 2012, 03:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>whilst may "pureists" vote for routed tracks they have a major drawback of being fixed desighns. You cannot change a track easily one it has been built.

I'm not sure if I consider this an insult or a compliment. Deciding to build a wood track has absolutely nothing to do with being any more "pure" than anyone or anything else. I made my decision based on the poor continuity of the Scaley Sport track, the smoothness of running on wood, the completely open track geometry choices, the completely open choices of lane spacing and ample skid aprons and the chance to spend time tuning my cars without concerning myself with the effects of magnets. I found that, once I had tried a wood track, the plastic just seemed, uh, cheap and clunky. Again, that's just me.

Nothing "purist" in there at all, just design decisions based on what I wanted. One argument that I see a fair bit about wood is the lack of opportunity to change the layout easily. I considered that too but for some reason, that has not been an issue. I have had my wood track for nearly two years and still can't drive it particularly well, so I really haven't needed to change anything. Oh, and the kids who use it, over and over, still like it. They turn down the voltage and run my NSR Porsches, no problems.

As for digital, it really doesn't matter to me how much it improves over the years. I think it is ridiculous that there are so many incompatible digital systems.

Randy
 

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Hi radtad

When I up-graded from fixed wood based layouts a few years ago, I found only advantages over the former.

The up-grade from wood to the decent quality Scalextric Sport system was significantly more expensive than a few sheets of particle board, but nearly 10 years later, I consider the investment a bargain.

The Scalextric Sport track has performed flawlessly over years of racing, 3 or 4 house moves & sometimes less than ideal environmental conditions.

Although only changing track configuration 3 times in 10 years, the advantage as I see it is a major one.
Expansion as space & funds allow.

I've changed from a medium sized layout room, to a small one, to a now big one, in my house moves; all easy as anything.

Each time the track has been reassembled, it has gone toggether perfectly, with no power-taps or conduction problems & a fantastic to race on & easy to clean surface, ensuring best grip.

The superbly versatile geometry & multitude of compatible sections, has meant endless flexibitity to create stunning race-tracks.

You are sure to have many years of fun ahead !!!

Cheers

Si.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guy for all your input. The carpet racing is not ideal but has been lots of fun. Now I must finish my honey do list and oh the motorcycle rebuild I am currently doing in the breakfast nook before I am aloud to expand my track. I will keep all posted on progress!!
 

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I prefer digital over analog but have had several analog 1/32 slot car tracks over the years before switching to digital about three years ago. I have tried all the digital systems on the market except for SSD. Out of what is currently available, I like N-Digital the best. The reasons being -

1) The track has very good track connections which is extremely important with any digital track. Ninco track has excellent grip and is wider than Artin, SCX, and Scalextric track. The extra width is helpful when you have a lot of cars on the track.

2) I prefer racing my 1/32 slot cars without the traction magnet and the NINCO track surface is great for this using stock rubber tires. Other brands, generally require fitting each car with aftermarket rear tires for no mag racing.

3) The out of the box power is very good. It can be improved even better but isn't necessary for most users.

4) The decoder chips are easy to install in most slot car brands.

5) The central console has a track call button which cuts the power to the track giving the opportunity to reset the cars back on the track.

6) The lap counting is very accurate which is one of the most important functions for any slot car track.

As much as a like N-Digital, it isn't for everyone. It doesn't have some of the extra features that some of the other brands have such as plug & play stand alone fuel and lap timing displays. It is also better suited for the more advanced slot car enthusiast and the ability to solder is helpful.

Best regards,
Brian
 
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