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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

since I find myself racing solo many times at home (beside the club meetings), was thinking about some 'opponent' system.
If I'm not wrong the available choices are:
- Pacer System (classic tracks)
- Challenger C8159 (both classic and sport tracks)
- Pace car option of the C7042
Was wondering... which is the best?
For 'the best' I mean the closest to what would do a human opponent: faster on straights and slower on bends, constantly all over the race.

Now from what I understood:
1) the Pacer System requires you to drive a few laps with the pace car and then the System repeats your best lap with that car. Analogue only. Out of production.
2) the Challenger system uses a special car which learns the circuit and then drives to his pre-programmed best. Out of production.
3) the digital pace car(s) can be fine tuned but only to a constant speed which cannot exceed the maximum speed for the hardest point of the circuit (usually some R1 bend). However more digital cars can be assigned and they can also randomly change lane.

A few things that came to my mind:
option #1 let you drive agains yourself, that is against your own best lap, repeated 'endlessly'. This seems the best option to me since I like the idea to beat myself instead of a 'machine'. However it seems there is a problem with the controller's plug since the base requires the old type.
option #2 is good again because can learn any variation to the circuit and can be moved from circuit to circuit though it uses a special car. It can be used on digital tracks after the installation of a rectifier bridge. However I guess it cannot change lane so you always know where the pace car is. Maybe the digital chip can be installed and maybe a random change lane circuit can be made but it looks farther then my reach. Anyway, if it randomly change lanes, how can this car learn a circuit if it always change??? I don't know....
option #3 is good because you can make any car a safety car but I definitely don't like them to run at constant speed... a rubber band would do the same.

Moreover, if a safety car deslots or hits another car or suffer from tires degradation during the race... what happens? Does it know how to go on once put back into the track?

So which one???
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Luca
 

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I use the SSDC variable pacer car feature for this.
I have a pretty large track (90 ft / 26 mtr) with lots of R1 bends as well as a long straight and got it working ok and can run exciting races against it. Good laptime is around 11 seconds (good human driver) and I have my pacer target laptime at 11,2 seconds. This leads to nice races as I only can win if I run consistent laptimes of 11 seconds all race long and don't crash or only once.
I must say my pace car has a magnet in the back position and the cars I race with are nearly magless. This way the pacer doesn't need to be pused to the limit.

I created some tools to edit the recorded pace data so I can fine tune the playback very precisely (See fastest laptimes in excel topic).
Best way to start is with a constant throttle as much as possible and add some speed to the long straight section and decrease some speed in twisty r1 sections.

Limitations:

- After a track call, the pace car drives at the last throttle value stored for that car and track (this is usually the speed at which a lap ends) until the start line is crossed, so acts like a standard throttle pacer for the remaining of the lap. When the power base is crossed, it returns to a variable pacer.
This behaviour leads to the fact that the last recorded value for a lap must be a speed at which the car can do a lap without crashing. So the less track calls you have, the better the pacer is.

- When the pacer is touched or slowed down by another car, so that a pacer has a slower lap than normal, the software corrects the pace data and the pacer will speed up and deslots sometimes. So the pacer must never be touched

- pacer cannot do pit stops, so fuel burning races and pacers is not a good idea.

I usually have pretty exciting races with pacers as i use 1 variable pacer in 1 lane and a slower constant throttle pacer (a VW beetle :) )in the other lane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello, thanks a lot for your reply.
Since I'm not expert in digital, do you please confirm that SSDC only works with 6cars powerbases (making the whole thing a bit pricey...)?
Anyway, where can I find it for purchase?
If not owning a digital track (or an old 4cars powerbase), what's the second best option to your judgment?
Regards!
Luca
 

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Greg Gaub
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If you have no interest in digital, I wouldn't suggest getting the new 6 car base just to hook it up for pace car use. You can do just as well with a rubber banded throttle, or making up a variable resistor to plug in. For that matter, a Slot.it SCP1 would work, as it has a "pace" car function.
I've heard the challenger is pretty good, though I've not used it. For analog systems, it seems the way to go, IF you can find one at a reasonable price that's still working.

In any case, a human driver will always be better than a similarly configured car driven by a chip, at least for the next.... 20 years. You have better reaction time, not to mention eyes to let you see the course and plan your speeds accordingly, and more specifically, where your car is at on the course at any given time, especially relative to the next turn.

As such, the only way for a non-human controlled car, whether it's fixed speed or fancy programming, to be any kind of challenge to the human driver, it MUST be a "better" car. It must have better traction and better speed, and better handling. If it has to go so slow in the turns that you catch it up in the straight too quickly, then it's just traffic. The easiest way is for the pace car to have a magnet, and your car to not have one. If that's not enough, give the pacer better tires, or true the tires on that car. If that's still not enough, give it a faster motor, or more magnets, or both. If that's still not enough, then you need to drive a slower car with worse traction. You need to be required to push hard and drive clean in order to beat the car. It doesn't matter if you're driving a bad car, it will still make you a better driver of any car.
 

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Prof I T
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hi
the best option with the least amount of cost is to fit a challenger car with a digital chip.

I have used one in analouge mode and it was a blast to race against,there are 2 settings for pace and a handy learning mode.

The downside to this though is after about fifty laps it would stop on track with it's roof lights in hyper mode indicating it was to hot to continue and needed time to cool..

One other thing as the car is already crammed with electronics fitting the chip is one for experienced people only really..

I use ssdc and i find it best to stick with the fixed throttle pace cars,if your running with mags take out your's and leave them in the pacers and try to keep up. I have had some very close races using this method in the past...
 

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Hi,

I do not have digital but I do have both the pacer and challenger systems.
The pacer is not very sensitve and does not suit all cars. Particularly as the old controllers that are required do not have braking and so the pace can be compromised. (I have found it works best with SCX cars.)

The challenger systems however is very good. The only downside is that you can only "race" one type of car and I did add an extra magnet at the backof the car to improve grip and speed.

Good Luck!

Philip
 

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I bought a Challenger system years ago. It never worked. It took corners at very low speeds, almost crawling.
And then one day I put it on a ninco track and it crashed at very high speed.
After that it is short-circuiting and I cann't fix it.
 

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Sorry to hijack this topic, but being a relative newbie I had no idea of the Challenger system.

I had been thinking that as a bit of a solo racer I would upgrade to the six car digital powerbase at some time, but in the interim this seems perfect.

Question is would this work with the Start powerbase I have at the moment? I presume I would need to 'null end' a controller for it to work?

Going to Gaydon so might be on the look out for purchasing one of these if I see one.
 

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Prof I T
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hi
the challenger car uses a set of keys wich plug into the powerbase in place of a throttle.
From memory there are 4 different one's and you just select wich one for your version of powerbase.

As the start version came out way later than the challenger system it may be that there is not a key for it

Also if you do decide to try and get hold of one you need to make sure it is complete as there is also a gantry that comes with it from new and without it the car will not run.

There is also a small magnet that attaches under the track..

Hth
 

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Full rundown on the challenger system HERE.

The magnet tells the car where the start line is located.
 

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Hi Zetec-s,
the 6-cars powerbase allows up to 6 pace cars but, though fine tuned and able to change lane, they will run at constant speed which I don't think is a good thing.
From other replies, you need to add the SSCD system to the C7042 powerbase to have a smart pace car behaviour.....
Regards, Luca
 

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1) the Pacer System requires you to drive a few laps with the pace car and then the System repeats your best lap with that car. Analogue only. Out of production.
2) the Challenger system uses a special car which learns the circuit and then drives to his pre-programmed best. Out of production

Hello,

I have both above, I use the "Pacer System" everytime I run/race my slots, for racing and breaking in cars.

I have not used the Challenger system in 2 years+, its good, just with my custom track and the magnet thing.

Thoughts,

ncng
 
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