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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for the support so far, I think I have come a long way on my Scalextric digital journey. Still at the beginning but starting to see results and very much enjoying it. Lately I’ve been focusing on the track, I like the shape of the track I race on and find for me at least it flows and has challenges while providing a good mix of flat out and technical.

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Initially my Scalextric was all analogue - but great fun! Then I finally bit the bullet and went digital. I was so excited when I got all the bits but it was a big anti climax as my digital cars would not even go around the track. I realise now that this is due to my track all having been bought used and digital requires good signal transfer. Anyway after some fiddling the initial issue was solved but the cars still behaved a bit erratic and where sluggish to react. Some more fiddling entailed with brushes and track connections which helped to get it all quite consistent but still not 100%.

My route to addressing the problems came from here - via google - and required disconnecting the track from one side of the PB and then slowly running the cars around the track and when they stopped I would clean the rails and connecting bullets with alcohol and then tighten the tabs on the underside of the track pieces to get a better connection. This is what allowed my cars to travel complete laps of the track without stopping. I then bought a bottle of the infamous IonMX and applied that to the braids on my cars and ran them around the track. In between all this I also replaced the braids in the cars. After a few more races and over a period of days I still felt that the connectivity was not 100% it was much better but I was aware that the cars where reacting better to my throttle commands and I felt more in control. Thinking about it the chip gets it’s commands through the rails so it all makes sense. After some more googling I stumbled across a post stating to measure the resistance across the track connections. I got my multimeter out and tested the resistance across every connection. It was very surprising results considering I knew I had full connectivity around the track. Most connections registered 0 ohms, some 5-10 connections measured up to 4ohms - I have left these for now. However two connections where very high resistance indeed, I did not capture the exact value as my Multimeter in default mode is automatic so it starts in Mega Ohms then cascades down to Ohms. In this case it would flash some high numbers and then settle in the Meg ohm range but set at 0. I re-tested these bad joints and it was consistent. So I used some of the Pendleslotracing “PSR Track Power Boosters”. These lowered these high resistance connections to between 0-4ohm range.

So right now I feel quite confident that the track is in the “OK” range. I doubt it’s good but it’s ok.

The cars, I have are three Porsche 997s tough cars from a Scalextric digital set. They all have the same chip - type F I believe. I’ve worked on one of the cars, removed the magnet and widened the rear track, added some new grippy tyres which have been sandpaper trued and I use 3-1 oil to treat them. Finally I’ve played with adding weight and I’ve settled on 10gs across where the magnets would sit. I have also created a plug that bypasses the chip turning the car into analogue when needed.

For race management I use the Magic App and that keeps tabs on the very best lap times via a “Hall of Fame”. I only keep tabs on my non magnet cars. My very best is my Porsche NSR 908/3 however my Caterham is also very competitive. It’s again an old car from a set (Caterham Clash), I’ve done a few bits to it to make it better and I keep it well lubricated but it’s a Caterham and everything I read about them says they are slow. So if course I want the 997 to beat it consistently. However - and the question for the post - When I race it in Digital (the 997) it’s a touch slower than when I race it in analogue. Is this normal for Digital? I’ve read the F chip is not the best so I have ordered a new set but while I wait I thought I would post this. Also any further checks on the track that are recommended? I’ve attached the latest results from my hall of fame but the “Yellow 997 D” times are mostly analogue with only one being digital. So we are getting there but should I focus more on the car or more on the track/chips? Note just off sceen number 11 is my Caterham Evo at 6.865

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Prof I T
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Yes slower times are the norm when switching over to digital , the chip itself consumes the odd volt , so less power to the motor ..

Rev F are really poor performers, they can be reflashed with better firmware which removes the analogue function , you can also have upgraded diodes and fets fitted to a chip which makes a big difference to the feel of the car in digital mode, it moves it much closer to analogue power...

The reason you can get a run away with the rev F chip is that is thinks it's in analogue mode and shoots off at full throttle, it usually just takes a bad packet from the rail data to trigger it, most times by passing over a flipper as the chip momentarily loses power and then regains it because of the dead unpowered flipper in straight ahead position..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes slower times are the norm when switching over to digital , the chip itself consumes the odd volt , so less power to the motor ..

Rev F are really poor performers, they can be reflashed with better firmware which removes the analogue function , you can also have upgraded diodes and fets fitted to a chip which makes a big difference to the feel of the car in digital mode, it moves it much closer to analogue power...

The reason you can get a run away with the rev F chip is that is thinks it's in analogue mode and shoots off at full throttle, it usually just takes a bad packet from the rail data to trigger it, most times by passing over a flipper as the chip momentarily loses power and then regains it because of the dead unpowered flipper in straight ahead position..
Great info, I plan on using the Rev F chips in my pace cars as these don’t seem to be misbehaving. Is there a guide on how to flash the chips?

You’ve got me excited about the new chips I’ve ordered as the Analogue feel is exactly what I am after, it’s close right now with all the improvements to the track but it’s still slightly different.
 

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ParrotGod
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While it is true that the chip will use some very small amount of amps when compared to pure analog, one has also to consider the voltage difference.
Now, in your post it is not clear to me what you mean as "analog": do you have scalextric analog power base? What voltage does it run? Or do you have a PSU directly wired to the track?
When you are comparing digital and analog, are you now talking about the analog mode for the Arc pro? And when talking about analog, are you running the chip in your car in analog mode?

To sum up, if you are using the same power source at the same voltage then a pure analog car (no chip installed) should be a tad faster than same digital car (you need to compare same car) because the analog car does not have to carry the chip weight and the motor takes all the amps (the chip is not absorbing anything).

In both analog and digital good conductivity is a must. Inox will help. But also you could think about putting a couple of power booster cables.
And, throw away those F chips - no worth it the troubles: get the latest version of the dpr chip (H version) and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To sum up, if you are using the same power source at the same voltage then a pure analog car (no chip installed) should be a tad faster than same digital car (you need to compare same car) because the analog car does not have to carry the chip weight and the motor takes all the amps (the chip is not absorbing anything).
I think this is me. I use Arc Pro, the car I use is the same car run both with and without the chip. We will see if the new chips help but for now it does seem what I am seeing is perfectly fine. It’s not like it’s a completely different car it’s just a touch slower.

BTW before I addressed the issues on the track it was a night and day feel between the modes with this car so definitely headed in the right direction.

I will take a look at power boost cables but I am not sure my track (~14m) is long enough to need them yet.
 

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Here: 33mt Carrera Track, 9 power taps (mixing Left and right lanes), metal tabs added in every connection ... the digital track require more attentions than analogue one. But this way it works without headache.
 

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Greg Gaub
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The more you race, the more you'll feel power drops, even the minor ones.
My track is 54' and I have 9 power taps AND every join has a soldered wire bridge underneath. It's effectively continuous. Power loss is imperceptible on my track. It was a LOT of work, but worth it. I would not recommend it to anyone who changes their layout... ever. ;-)
 

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ParrotGod
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I would say that mine is overkilling but it is portable track that I bought second hand.
However, when I had my 25m track on my previous place all new track pieces, I had a power boost every 5 meter.
I think that another variable is the number of racers you have.
 

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ParrotGod
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I think what we are seeing is a trend , of a power tap about every 5 metres from what you and Greg are saying. Maybe the first 10 metres does not need to be treated this way as the 5 metre point is being feed from both directions.

Just trying to put some numbers against the task.

B.
Look, the thing is that having them does not hurt at all.
And especially with SSD where the data is transported via the rails it helps to have good conductivity.
 

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Greg Gaub
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That's generally my answer. When someone asks "how many power taps" I usually say "as many as you're willing to install."
I then go on to describe my set up, not only the soldered wires between every track section, but also the 9 power taps on my 54' track using 14awg in-wall (4 wire) speaker wire. No kill like overkill, but power loss hasn't been a thing since I did it, and my layout is in my garage which gets quite cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Circling back, lap times will absolutely suffer due to bad continuity of power, especially digital where the signal needs to be constant and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all it’s been a great response and I’ll add power taps to my “to do list”. I’ve seen a set from a shop but would assume you can make them. I’ll check the underside of my track tomorrow to what size clips are needed. Thanks for the great advice, I’ll be sure to update although I’ve a slight change to apply to track so will be a whole new set of lap times :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the new chip today stuck it in an ran a race… immediately top of the hall of fame beating the times previously posted above. Very pleased. Anyway lots to do to this car, if you’ve seen my body lightening thread then this is the one that’s getting treated and then of course there are the power taps and finally I have some new R4s on their way to created a large sweeping corner off the main straight . All this of course means a while load of new hall of fame lap times but for now I was able to beat the Analogue time with digital. I know lots of variables but same car same track :)
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