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Discussion Starter · #181 ·
Not uncommon with pressed on wheels from any number of "toy" car manufacturers that use a knurled axle and pressed on plastic wheels, certainly not at all limited to Carrera.
If one was looking for the most commercial based slot car such as metal chassis, wheels, who cars what body that could still be chipped for Carrera what would you recommend???
 

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Greg Gaub
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You don't need a metal chassis to move up from Carrera. Most people's "next step" car is usually a slot.it car. While you can't just choose ANY slot.it car and expect it to be easy to chip, their latest iterations have chassis with holes in the right places and interiors designed to allow room for a variety of chips to be installed. They have a pretty wide range of cars, so it's likely that you'll find something that appeals. If not, some other options include, but are not limited to, NSR, Thunderslot, ScaleAuto, MR Slotcar, RevoSlot (has a metal chassis), and many others. These cars will all come with "set screw" wheels, gears, motor pods of some kind for various tuning options, and are usually considerably lighter and faster than a typical Carrera car. They aren't usually designed to accommodate a chip, but as long as you can use a soldering iron and a rotary tool (Dremel), you'll do just fine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #183 ·
You don't need a metal chassis to move up from Carrera. Most people's "next step" car is usually a slot.it car.
Think I'm going to be patient (or at least try) and wait to see if I can get a hold of the Tek-Slot. I have one on backorder and we'll see. Somehow I think in a lot of cases even if I chip a car it doesn't support all of the digital features? This way I can place a car on the track and Go. Instead of trying for a one lap track record I can use 10 laps via the Carrera analog lap counter/timer. Just seems cleaner.

Seeing how these new motors break cars I should be busy for a while anyway. :) Not to mention so far lap times aren't much to write home about... I need to up my game to break the track records.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Some 3rd party chips don't support some D132 features such as pace car or ghost car, but they all support power and brake settings, as those are considered fundamental to the function of the system.

But yeah, I prefer being able to run analog cars than being required to install a chip into every car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #185 · (Edited)
Out of the Pits

Received my care package today (replacement chip and rear axle). The new chip looks to have cured the stopping/jerking/full out acceleration of the Corvette and obviously the matching rear axle got the Ferrari FXX out of the pits. The Paul Gage tires appear to fit fairly well on the new wheels. I just gave them a light sanding for good measure. My first car related warranty issues and they were handled just as smooth as the couple of track issues I had... very happy with my reseller. Hopefully I don't blow any more wheels via the upgraded motors. Not sure it was the culprit but it certainly didn't help!

Looks like a good time to reflect on my initial experience with Carrera itself. Been turning laps for roughly three months and overall I'm impressed. My current layout is around 200 pieces of track, shoulders and whatnot including digital features such as dual lane change, pit stop, and check lanes. I had a couple of quality issues with the layout itself and they were handled instantly. Such as a dual lane change rail being badly "mounted" and not connecting smoothly with other pieces of track.

I'm rather "picky" and overall I'd rate the quality fairly high. Compared to the cost I don't think you can expect much more. Also with my reseller resolving all of my issues painlessly they have created a good impression. If that wasn't the case I'd probably rate Carrera lower.

Car wise again quality versus cost appear to be inline. To some degree it's determined by your use case. If you run the cars stock (endorsing magnets) you are all set and they perform rather well. However if you lean more towards the hobby than toy usage get ready to upgrade your car. At a minimum rear tires. Followed by the guide and finally perhaps a new motor. The good news once upgraded you'll have a car too fast for your layout and your driving will come into question not the car.

Bottom line I'd say on a scale of one to ten (toy set to commercial track racing) with a little time and additional third-party money you can get close to an eight (or so). It might be expensive as a toy set but if you invest a little it becomes rather "cheap" for what you get in return.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Unlikely. Those motors are fast, but not THAT fast. It's likely that the wheel had some kind of defect to begin with, either from the molding or assembly process. The RSM motor just might have made the failure happen sooner than a stock motor would have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #187 ·
Unlikely. Those motors are fast, but not THAT fast.
I'm hoping. Popped one in the Corvette and it's not nearly as "overpowered" as the Ferrari FXX. The tires will spin like crazy even accelerating out of a turn and handling wise it's a handful. Super easy to overdrive the corners. It has always been the "loosest" car. They are all set up without magnets, Paul Gage tires and Frankenslot guides with the guide spring removed. The Corvette drives/handles much like the (street) Ferrari 458. Not as fast but they hug the road better and typically turn faster lap times. Although I'm sure a perfect lap by the FXX would rule.

Overall I'm happy with the upgraded motors. They add just enough torgue/speed to the slowest cars that you can now overdrive them. Turning a relatively boring lap into a nice challenge... it's not the car determining your lap times rather your driving skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #188 · (Edited)
Power Tap?

I noticed the new (upgraded) motors don't have quite as much torque on the inner straight. Luckily my halfway point is pretty much right next to the CU so I can pretty much hide the power tap wires. I have a spare of each piece so I mocked up a sample as shown. Both pieces are lifted off the ground so I don't have to worry about the track being flat. Assuming the car is running towards the "tap" end on both pieces I presume I won't see any smoke? If the wires did get shorted or crossed at some point would it take out all of the digital components?

Of course I might need more than one but I'd think this would be a start. Again it's just a mock up and I haven't soldered the wires (need to verify they are long enough). Although if I get the courage I might install them into the layout to see how much it helps.


Automotive design Automotive tire Electrical wiring Auto part Technology
 

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Discussion Starter · #189 · (Edited)
Power Tap Installation (for now)

I woke up feeling adventitious and before I knew it I had the two track sections removed from the layout. They came out easy enough however upon removing one it took out roughly three quarters of my track supports (what I was dreading)... a pretty good domino demonstration. Oh well in a week or so I should have them tweaked as good or better.

I have thirty-three and thirty-eight track pieces on either side of the tap (back to the tap next to the CU - so 31 and 40 from the CU itself)) and the tap is two pieces from the CU. Not the middle but relatively close. I presume most of the power is lost via connections not length which (obviously) isn't a direct ratio to the number of track pieces. Bottom line I now have the missing torque down the inside straight.

Instantly I could tell the difference. Before with the stock motors there was a hint but it didn't draw attention to itself. With the upgraded motors I would go around the track and "gun it" in spurts and with the inside track you could easily see the reduced torque. Now I can't tell a difference. If you were to measure it's probably not identical and if I was racing more cars I might need perhaps two more however for now it serves its purpose... I can haul down the inside straight.

Automotive lighting Bumper Motor vehicle Wood Automotive design


Automotive tire Automotive design Line Red Automotive wheel system
 

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Greg Gaub
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Well done! You "measured" it the right way... by driving a car and checking how well it accelerates at different points on a track. After some more driving, you'll be able to feel power loss even in places where you're not going full blast. ;) Getting actual measurements of power loss is tricky, because you need to use a load of some kind. Just measuring voltage is pointless. Good job on the power tap. Hopefully it will be at least as long before you feel the need to add more. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #191 · (Edited)
Upgraded motors and power tap have set a new track record in both lanes. Funny thing is the fastest car had slower lap times before the upgrade and now it's even slower compared to the other (slower) car's best lap. Both received upgraded motors. With the original motor (it was very fast too - compared to the other originals) it was very close to the slower car via lap times. Now it's just that much harder to control its torque and even getting a lucky lap I'm not sure it could beat the slower car. At least the inside lane with tighter curves. Somewhat easier to handle on the outside.

Perhaps I might get to handle the fastest car after enough laps but I'm guessing if I turned the power down to 90% I'll turn faster laps... probably give that a try before long.
 

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Greg Gaub
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I was gonna say, if you're running that RMS motored car at 100% power, turning it down a little bit might give you the speed you need without it breaking loose so easily.

You have the fancy wireless Frankenslot controller, right? I don't remember the details, but I believe it has some fancy features. See if it has anything like a choke or traction control or anti-spin or something. If it does, that might be helpful as well. But, it's still a fairly short track where the car will pretty much never get up to full RPM. A car that is easier to control will almost always get better times on such a track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #193 · (Edited)
I was gonna say, if you're running that RMS motored car at 100% power, turning it down a little bit might give you the speed you need without it breaking loose so easily.

You have the fancy wireless Frankenslot controller, right? I don't remember the details, but I believe it has some fancy features. See if it has anything like a choke or traction control or anti-spin or something.
Faster Lap Times via Less CU Power?

I did some testing and found a surprise or two. I have one car that's fairly easy to handle (C8 Corvette which holds the track record) and another (Ferrari FXX) which is a bear to drive. It appears to have too much torque. Both are setup identically. Paul Gage tires (same size I believe), no magnets and Frankenslot guides (love them). I noticed the Ferrari isn't as wide and might be somewhat lighter. I can't swear to it but for some unknown reason I think the Ferrari natively has less grip. I have been surprised how the half dozen or so cars I've driven have handled so differently even with identical setups. I used to think it was simply the motor but now I believe there are some inherent differences.

Anyway I drove each thirty laps or so (until I felt I got as good of a lap as I was going to get) at 80%, 90% and finally 100% CU power. With the following results:

Ferrari
Lap Time - CU Power
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8.371 - 80%
8.319 - 90%
8.297 - 100%

Corvette
Lap Time - CU Power
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8.150 - 80%
8.124 - 90%
7.906 - 100%

I think there are a few takeaways from the above. And if I drove many more laps I'm presuming the higher percentages would increase their lead (hitting closer to its potential) although at the same time the lower percentages are much easy to drive. As an example if I was racing any number of laps I'd take the Ferrari at 90% over 100% every time.

Forgetting margin of error (which is probably pretty high) an increase in power produced a faster lap time on every occasion. Somewhat surprising to me with the Ferrari. Not by much however. The better handling Corvette clearly benefited from the increased power and easily dropped time as it increased.

My take away is apparently none of my cars have too much power since it produces better lap times. I need to quit complaining and learn how to drive better. :)

Greg I do have a wireless Frankenslot although I have been using the RamJet-X of late. A while back I did A/Bed them and lap times were virtually identical... within margin of error. It does have an adjustable power curve but I'm not in deep enough to see how it would affect lap times. Probably would need a different "setting" per car based on its performance.
 

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My experience, really limited, is that trying to beat a track record usually fails. However if I run a Race of 100 laps against a ghost car that has pretty good magnets Somewhere in that 100 laps I'll get very close to or exceed the record previously set with that car. And the Lap that is run usually doesn't stand out. It's just smoother thus quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #195 · (Edited)
My experience, really limited, is that trying to beat a track record usually fails.
I tend to flip the track on and setup open practice (per car/lane) and then run laps until I no longer set a session record after x laps. Still in the mood I swap cars and or lanes and repeat til I'm not. :)

Regarding setting a record I'll vary driving by introducing more or less sliding, altering braking points or simply adjusting the rhythm. I find the flow of the previous lap greatly influences the lap such as if everything is in rhythm I just need to go with the flow. The car drives itself... no adjustments needed.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Your driving is getting better, simply because you are driving so much and on the same track. With every lap, your likelihood of nailing the acceleration and braking points, as well as optimum speed for each corner, increases. With that, faster motors will be less and less of a handful. Sometimes, a controller with some curve options will help you tune a car to your driving style, which can help even more.

And yeah... physics is still a thing at this scale. If you don't already have a simple scale to measure weights of cars/chassis/bodies/etc. in tenths or hundredths of grams, get one. Same for a set up block so that you can ensure that all 4 wheels are doing what you want, and the guide is as deep as it can be. A piece of track is not a suitable substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #197 ·
If you don't already have a simple scale to measure weights of cars/chassis/bodies/etc. in tenths or hundredths of grams, get one. Same for a set up block so that you can ensure that all 4 wheels are doing what you want, and the guide is as deep as it can be. A piece of track is not a suitable substitute.
It's roughly 103 (Ferrari) vs 110 grams (Corvette) plus the Ferrari's body doesn't look to have much weight towards the rear end. Which might explain why it likes to spin its tires and or drift - although running both without bodies if I remember correctly they still had the same tendencies. Remember I'm only "racing" myself so having a faster car has limited value. I'm not looking to beat anyone and currently the cars are faster than I can drive them. I'd guess someone "great" could turn a lap half a second faster (hopefully less). I'd like to think they couldn't do even better!
 

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Greg Gaub
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Car tuning is as much about making the car behave in a satisfactory and predictable way. The decrease in lap times come along with that, but most people would be happy to lose a tenth if it meant the car is a lot less likely to deslot as a result of the tuning.

The "magic triangle" of the rear wheels and guide make a pretty big difference in how a car behaves, as does weight distribution. More on the rear isn't always better, but a good rule of thumb is 40% on the front and 60% on the rear. For this, you'll need at least two scales. :)

You clearly enjoy driving the cars and doing a little tuning, otherwise you wouldn't be making these comparisons, changing tires and guides, and taking out the magnets. Take all the time getting there that you like. I'm not at all concerned with whether or not you get there, because I know you will. ;-)
 

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in regards to cu power ,i run my cars at 70% power ,it does seem a little low for my carrera cars ,but in all ,as most of my cars which are not carrera 70% is right on the limit for them ,i have even tried 60% with very little drop in times .if the cars a twitchy to drive then dropping the power will improve the drivability of the cars and also drop the times
 

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Discussion Starter · #200 ·
in regards to cu power ,i run my cars at 70% power ,it does seem a little low for my carrera cars ,but in all ,as most of my cars which are not carrera 70% is right on the limit for them ,i have even tried 60% with very little drop in times .if the cars a twitchy to drive then dropping the power will improve the drivability of the cars and also drop the times
I'd be interested your track's layout and how the cars are setup (magnets, etc). What do you consider the "limit? On my track more CU power has proven to be faster laps. Admittedly perhaps not as easy to drive but then again trying to get the most out of the car is the fun part. If I can turn every lap at the same speed (non twitchy?) I feel like there isn't a challenge.

I'm sure this varies greatly based on layout. And I can only address Carrera cars however on my layout if I ran 60% I'd fall asleep. :)
 
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