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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Ok, I got my new layout (65ft aprox) working fine in analogue with 3rd party PSU. Now I want to convert to digital and install 3-4 LCs and the new advanced PB, cables and SSDC will follow.

I am concerned about power loss, I do notice it on analogue unless I have power taps so it will probably be the same on digital?

Is there any special requirement/s for doing this in digital? On analogue I have all connections hard wired to the tracks, on digital can I also run the power taps directly from the PSU to the different parts of the tracks or does it need to pass through the PB in some way?

Sorry for the noob question/s, but all this digital stuff is fairly new for me and don't want to make mistakes
 

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Greg Gaub
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15,353 Posts
You will want to move the original power tap(s) from the power source (or your driver stations) to the output from the Scalextric Digital power base. Your wiring will still be useful and a good thing to have, as power taps are just as necessary for digital. But, you can't have DC to the rails. The rails must only have power coming from the powerbase track itself, as it's a special codified AC power signal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Greg, you really are helping me out on this stuff! Lots of info and knowledge sharing on this forum, you guys are great!


I'll have a closer look at the PB when I get home (still in it's box) and post if I can't find my way around!

Cheers
 

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Circuit Owner
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To build on Mr Flippant's post:

You cannot connect transformers to track - all power has to come from the powerbase feed.

HOWEVER - you can connect from track piece to track piece as much as you like. As with analogue you need to keep left rail to left rail and right rail to right rail for each lane.

In theory you can connect left rail to any left rail because the A/C is everywhere at all times carrying the signal and it is up to the chip in each car to take instructions from the signal and apply power to the motor, or not.

HOWEVER - if you want to run analogue mode you need to make sure your power taps stay in the same lane because the powerbase puts out traditional D/C when in analogue mode.

Analogue mode only works on both lanes if you have two transformers connected (or one big PSU feeding both power inputs on the PB so it thinks it has 2 transformers connected). Analogue will only operate 2 lanes if they are electrically isolated from each other so if you have straight lane changers you are OK. If you have curved lane changers there are issues and I believe you can only run one car in analogue because the CLC connects power across from one lane to the other.

Sorry if this is confusing!

It does help to understand the fundamental differences between digital and analogue;

Digital track carries A/C power with an encoded signal. This means the track is live and being fed power at a constant rate all of the time. It is up to the chip in each car to take instructions intended just for that specific chip and do what it is told with that power. Because the power is in every part of the track it doesn't matter where the car is - it will still receive and react to the embedded instructions.

Analogue track carries D/C power and only carries it when the throttle is squeezed. The more it is squeezed, the more power is fed to that lane.

When the APB runs analogue mode it reverts to the old way - D/C and only what your throttle squeeze determines.

Back to your power taps - you can use them to simply connect adjacent track pieces or to jump from one part of the track to another (just like analogue). Digital signals are prone to interference so you need to keep your rails clean, connectivity good and keep your braids in good condition.

Many of us with a few digital miles under our belts swear by Inox MX3 (wish I was on commission!) as it's near mythical properties (lanolin) inexplicably helps track connectivity, inhibits corrosion magnificently and keeps working on one application for months.

Personally I use pure copper braid rather than tinned copper - for some reason I get less problems with chips getting corrupted data.
 

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Greg Gaub
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15,353 Posts
+1 and a
to Ade for a much more precise and considered response than mine. I went with my seldom-used "compressed" response style that go around.
I'm still working on it.


QUOTE (Mr Modifier @ 23 Apr 2012, 12:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When the APB runs analogue mode it reverts to the old way - D/C and only what your throttle squeeze determines.

I've seen this one cause confusion. Note that "analog mode" still means the power base is in complete control. You'll still use the SSD controllers connected to the power base, and the base will still send power to the track. Other than the cars on the track (being analog rather than digital), nothing changes, hardware-wise, between digital and analog mode. Sometimes people think analog mode means they can use their analog controllers (which are often much better than the OEM SSD controllers) to control analog cars, but that's not the case. The digital throttle is telling the base how much DC volts to send through to a particular rail. This design also means that it's not possible to control more than 2 analog lanes through a single C7042 base. (at least not without complicated wiring through chips, commonly referred to as "chipping the lanes")

As Ade said, for this base, just keep your power taps and wiring separate per lane and correct polarity, as if it's a normal analog track. That way you can still use the analog mode without problems. Here's a video I did a couple years ago that explains a few of the important facts about using analog mode with the C7042 (APB).


Looking at your other posts, it looks like you've got a good thing going with your analog track, particular with the Avant Slot power supply and controller(s) and such. You would pretty much have to give all that up if installing the Scalextric power base, especially if you're adverse to opening up the base and essentially voiding the warranty in order to make a 'hybrid' track where you can use both the digital system OR the classic analog control system of your choice with only the flip of a switch or two. This can be, and has been done by people, and isn't especially difficult. But you have to be willing to desolder some wires from inside the base track so that you can install switches to switch between power supplied by the digital base and power supplied by analog controllers. Otherwise, you can still have VERY good analog performance on the track controlled by the APB in analog mode, improved even more with a quality controller such as the slot.it SCP1 or the TruSpeed SSD controller.
 

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Prof I T
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11,196 Posts
hi
just to add to the options i have run a fairly large ssd track a while back using nothing more than crimping all the rail joints to ensure a good snug fit and the magical inox,it ran six cars no problem with no dropouts or deadspots..in fact after using inox i removed my powertaps to tidy up the underside of the table..

Also the use of conducting grease applied to the terminals before assembly helps as well,as does coppertaping the whole track,only good if your running permanent setup though...
 

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Thanks for the replies guys, lots of useful info there.

Ok, I think what I will do at this stage is just take out the C7042 Power base when I want to run analogue. Digital is really going to be only for when I want to have fun with my kids, friends etc. I will leave fast connectors in place ready so the swap is easy. I think the best way to leave power taps for use in both digital and analogue will be to install and distribute them from a section of track beside the PB track. I will leave a half straight hard wired with jacks to the PSU for analogue which will simply replace the digital PB section when required.

When it's only me I like to squeeze fast laps out of cars and tinker about with them to get max potential. Needless to say that is only an option if you are using a decent controller, and running analogue through the 7042 means you need to use the Scaley controllers right? This part of your answer got me a bit confused though:

Otherwise, you can still have VERY good analog performance on the track controlled by the APB in analog mode, improved even more with a quality controller such as the slot.it SCP1 or the TruSpeed SSD controller.

You would only be able to use the SCP1 with a special cartridge right? The way I have it right now is simply with the 3 standard jacks black/red/white (I use an adaptor to XLR for the Avant PSU).

Greg, I saw in your video the way to adapt curve LC's to run in analogue. It seems pretty simple. Will this system work also if NOT sending the power through the PB? One thing is changing only a section of track, but having to remove lane changers would be a pain, specially as I plan to have one on an elevated section which I'd rather not move around much.

Cheers
Richard
 

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Greg Gaub
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15,353 Posts
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 23 Apr 2012, 12:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>+1 and a
to RICHARD for a much more precise and considered response than mine.

Sorry, Richard (Mr Modifier), for whatever reason my brain was thinking bigbird when I wrote my reply. Stupid brain.


QUOTE (Nytelotus @ 24 Apr 2012, 03:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You would only be able to use the SCP1 with a special cartridge right?

Yes, that is correct. If you already have an analog SCP1, then the digital cartridge alone is less than a whole new controller. You can also get a complete SCP1 digital controller. As I mentioned, there's also the TruSpeed controller.

QUOTE (Nytelotus @ 24 Apr 2012, 03:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Greg, I saw in your video the way to adapt curve LC's to run in analogue. It seems pretty simple. Will this system work also if NOT sending the power through the PB? One thing is changing only a section of track, but having to remove lane changers would be a pain, specially as I plan to have one on an elevated section which I'd rather not move around much.

Yes, it should work fine when using an analog powerbase (such as your direct wired track from your A/S PSU) to run the track. Essentially, it's just removing a short between the two lanes that is only present in the CLC. The lane changers can be safely left in the track as long as you keep the voltage below 16v.
 
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