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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I have been using a Scalextric analog setup for a few years and we decided to go digital. We are sticking with Scalextric because it just seems the most practical at this point. I've purchased a digital set (http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr....0.0.0.0?pp=8&) to get started (read "father's day present" here). It comes up short (e.g., only 4 car power base), but it was all we could afford right now. We got it at a good price. We have a fair amount of track to add to it. I also purchased a couple controllers that came with high impact cars, as well as a couple of chips to upgrade existing cars. My son will also get a digital timer for his b-day.

Any advice on setting it up? Anything significantly different than analog set-up?

Right now we have a 4' x 8' table. I know it is not really ideal, but it is all we have space for. Added some "fencing" around the table and indoor-outdoor carpeting.

Thanks
Philip
 

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Greg Gaub
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14,651 Posts
Philip,

Don't waste money on the digital timer. Put that toward the 6 car powerbase. You can use the power supply that came with your 4 car base, and it will still work better than the 4 car base! Everything and more than the timer is in the 6 car base. It really is worth every penny, though it seems expensive. Trust me, where the 4 car base is a dull and witless piece of garbage, the 6 car base is a shiny pearl of everything that is good about digital racing.

Other than that, you'll be fine. Learn about crimping the connectors for good continuity. Pick up a bottle of INOX MX3 for good conductivity from the rail to the cars, and enjoy your track.

A little sleuthing tells me that you've been into slots for the last couple years. Have you gotten together with any other racers or clubs in NJ? Digital is just as much a social thing as analog slot racing. Getting together with friends will increase the longevity of the hobby for anyone but the most shy. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greg,

Thanks - although the 6 lane power base is expensive! I'll have to think about that one. I guess I made the mistake of buying the lap counter, but I'll see if I can return it without a restocking fee.

No - haven't checked out any clubs. No real time for that. My son would be thrilled to do that though. We'll look into it this summer.

Great website - I took a look at some of the tips and think they could help. Do you have any photos of the rail crimping?

Thanks again.
Philip
 

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Digital "Tea Boy"
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QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 17 Jun 2011, 16:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Philip,

Don't waste money on the digital timer. Put that toward the 6 car powerbase. You can use the power supply that came with your 4 car base, and it will still work better than the 4 car base! Everything and more than the timer is in the 6 car base. It really is worth every penny, though it seems expensive. Trust me, where the 4 car base is a dull and witless piece of garbage, the 6 car base is a shiny pearl of everything that is good about digital racing.

Other than that, you'll be fine. Learn about crimping the connectors for good continuity. Pick up a bottle of INOX MX3 for good conductivity from the rail to the cars, and enjoy your track.

Can't get better advice than that!!
 

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Greg Gaub
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Yes, the 6 car base is expensive, but it's well worth it. Still, it couldn't hurt to make sure digital is right for you. Some people find that the rear-ending and being blocked by a slower driver is aggravating.

If you fall in love with digital as most of us in this subforum have, then you'll probably find that the simple lap counter is just too limited, and that the 4 car base is just too underpowered, both of which can dampen the fun potential of the system. And the best part is that if you have the new base, you won't have to chip all your old cars, or swap out track and controllers to use analog cars because the new base (the C7042 aka APB) has the analog mode. Think about how much money you'll save on chips! ;-)

Anyway, the rail crimping is easy, but also well detailed in the SlotForum Resources page under the Slap My Slot Car. Here's a direct link. I don't do the foil thing, though.
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?...mp;page=SLAP-03
 

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Mark
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735 Posts
hello!
run what digital stuff you have and if digital is for you, then it justify's buying the latest pb! 4car pb might be basic but good enough to see if u like it! the new pb has all the feature's and toys on it you'll need! if u like slot racing in the new age! lol
my 10p's worth anyway!
MrFlippant is the one to talk to about all the toys on new pb!

mark
 

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Alfie Noakes
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Hi psp, I,ll add these:
1. Avoid CLC curve lane changers
2. Buy secondhand sets as a cheap way to get hold of digital cars, XLCs, hand controllers & track
Cheers,
Richard
 

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Hi, I've only recently switched over to digital and would defer to the far more knowledgeable people on this forum but here's a couple of thoughts from me:

- The advanced power base really does make a massive difference. Changing lanes is one thing, but pacer cars and race formats really added to it for me (plus the prospect of plugging in to SSDC down the line for fuel loads etc.) and the ability to switch back to analogue without having to switch out the powerbase is neat (although minor I guess)
- I think having enough places to change lane is going to be a big deal. I only have two of the straight lane changers at the moment, and that's ok but obviously the more of these, the more choices, the more interest etc.
- Where you put these seems to be pretty important. i.e. not in the middle of a straight as if you're going to fast there's not time for the flippers to change

I was interested that someone posted not to bother with the curved lane changing track. I've not got any of these pieces, anyone able to elaborate on why they're a bad idea?
 

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I've not not been at this very long but this is my take. By the time you have a 4 car PB and a digital lap conter you are well on the way to a 6 car PB. I bougth a second hand Digital set and found I had to power all the lane changers (that was less than a year ago), a Right Pain especially if you are a rug racer and put up the track only when you want it. If you only have an 8' by 4' table ( I have 5' by 7' of floor instead, which is bigger) you will struggle to put in many strait lane changers. While nothing is perfect I find curve LC's are usefull and in a small circuit are easiyer to find a home for. My track uses 2 curved (on into out and 1 out to in) and 1 straight changer. In hind sight I would see if you can get a design first, to find out wheather one on of the changers should be Left hand. The only thing with the 6 cat APB is buy from a shop that will povide it updated to at least version 1.04. As bought it was hopeless so then you have to get it upgraded which will cost you postage both ways or a cable, excelent but not cheap on a budget. Digital offers a whole new world.

If you ask nicely sombody here may sell you a cheap 4 catr PB that at least does not need powered LC's if such a thing exsists and that may be a start. But even than you need the ap conter and thet are not cheap even second hand.
 

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Greg Gaub
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I don't believe there's such a thing as a 4 car PB with decent power management, so don't go on a wild goose chase for that.

Another general suggestion is to avail yourself of uncommon track piece types, especially R3 and R4 turns, as well as quarter and short straights. With the wider turns, you can do much more interesting layouts, and make the track flow better. A few R1 turns are nice, too, but only if you like a technical driving challenge. For a youngster that likes to hold the throttle and watch cars go fast, R1 turns might be out of the question for a while. One helpful tip I've learned from the experienced minds on this forum is to use wider turns to enter into tighter ones. For example, an R4, then an R3, then an R2 turn makes for a much higher speed corner than straight into an R2 turn. You can also make a much easier hairpin by starting with an R2, then the R1, and back into an R2 on the way out. My layout uses both of these techniques, and you can find examples on many other great digital and analog tracks on SlotForum.

As for CLCs, the main problem with them is that the Out-to-In line, although more like a real racing line, is actually a SHARPER turn than just sticking to the lane you're in, even on the inside lane. From a racing standpoint, they are less useful than just staying in your lane. Also, the Out-to-In type has a tendency to cause inadvertent lane changes for magless cars as they drift about, pushing the flipper out as they slide over them. Then, if the next car doesn't trigger the lane change properly, it could get thrown into the other lane unexpectedly. Finally, you have to open them and cut them to use them in a layout that is used in 2 lane analog mode, and analog cars can't trigger lane change sensors anyway, so the loose/moving flipper thing is even more of an issue.

When using CLCs, your best bet is using an In-to-Out type, which is a smoother/wider turn for the cars to take, plus a moving flipper will default a car to staying in its own lane rather than changing lanes, which is even better for use in an analog mode layout.

In all cases, it's best to have the lane change sensor after at least one full straight. Almost all the lane changers in my layout follow this rule except one, and it's constantly being missed except with careful driving or magnet cars that don't drift much, if ever.

Speaking of magless... it's a lot of fun, but might not be good for kids until you can control their power levels (another plus of the 6 car base!). But, you need lots of borders so that the cars can drift but stay on the track. Designing a track for good magless racing can be a challenge in itself. Also, not all cars will perform well if you just pull out the magnet, so there is another learning curve with magless racing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the great suggestions and the info on the lane change curves. I can return the lap counter/timer and put that toward the 6 car power base. I I'll give that some thought.

Thanks again.
Philip
 

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Alfie Noakes
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QUOTE (richardtheforth @ 17 Jun 2011, 22:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>1. Avoid CLC curve lane changers
To elaborate, my preference for XLCs is that you can change from both lanes on a single track piece. The CLCs are only one way, so you need twice as many for the same number of lane change opportunities. You also end up with 90deg R2 curves, which can restrict your track design.

QUOTE (richardtheforth @ 17 Jun 2011, 22:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>2. Buy secondhand sets as a cheap way to get hold of digital cars, XLCs, hand controllers & track

As an example, last week I picked up locally off ebay a Scalextric Digital Driver set, the one with 2 digital Minis and an XLC.
Very little use, but only one wing mirror on each Mini (shrug).
Also came with a digital lap counter, digital Ferrari f430, digital Range Rover, 4 digital controllers, some extra track and borders/barriers, and I paid £75.
Cheers,
Richard

PS, the lap counter IS rubbish! Surprised that they go for as much as they do on ebay.
 

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Curved lane changes. Like R1's some love em some hate em. You have to decide youself. The cut to make them work in analouge is simple, but who would want scaley in analouge after digital :) (hey its fun to be contentious). In one of the books there is an artical about how to use a bolt to fix the flipper for analouge. Pobably more for rug racers than fixed track folk.

Not sure I would go so far as to say the lap conter is rubbish. It does "lose its rag" if you crash too often but swich it off for a bit, have a cup of tea and it will behave itself. Anyway if you come off that much you need a cup of tea to calm down and do it right ;-).
 

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Interesting to see the evolution of one's attitudes to this hobby over time as you get more into it. At first, I thought what use is analog when there's all the fantastic things with digital - answer addiction & money. I didn't imagine I would buy more than 6 cars but I keep seeing bargains & beautiful cars. So I'm economising on chips and keeping the nice cars for solo blasts and putting the chips in the ones for proper racing especially the super resistant ones.
Also I've finally got my 30 year old cars going & there's not much point in chipping them but they are pulling me towards magless racing - great to drift those old cars round the corners. So I appreciate the analog switch (and it's quieter as the fan slows down!)
 
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