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· Beppe Giannini
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QUOTE The LC implementation, particularly in sets, may well be what determines the ultimate success or failure of digital in the home market, and thus overall!

Amen to that, Fergy !

Tropi, I recall that the track set will come with one LC plus a conventional curve crossover, while the conversion kit will have two LCs - or maybe it's the other way around

As for the optimum number of LCs, we are still speculating - unless you adopt the blst system, I believe that you actually cannot have too many - i.e. you need a certain distance (and number of turns) between LCs, otherwise the guy in front will "cover" your attempt to pass

Matter of fact, there was a quite meaningful thread on Digital Track Design a couple of months ago, which might well be worth resuscitating (yes, it's the one where I unwittingly caused a blowout from the initiator, still wondering why...)

Ciao
Beppe
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
This is the thread I was referring to :

http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1665

Now, what about an exercise in the convolute thinking required when planning a digital track layout ?
Take the track set in the picture above : it's not clear whether there's a second (outside-to-inside) LC or a crossover in the back curve

Assume it's an LC - and you have car A in front on the outside, with car B following on the same lane and wanting to pass
If car A doesn't change lane, car B will - and then have a full lap to pass. But if car A changes lane, car B only has half a lap available before car A changes again and blocks it >> this will be the preferred maneuver
On such a short track, half a lap is hardly sufficient to make up the initial lag plus pulling ahead, particularly in the absence of anti-collision protection on the LC (such as David and myself are foreseeing)

On the other hand, if the second LC is replaced by a crossover, car B has two laps available if car A doesn't change, and one lap if it does. I would imagine this is the solution offered with the set, even if a crossover is normally considered a nuisance

Simple, isn't it ?
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Well Wankel,
to use your famous words, I'm afraid wildlife is going to be seriously endangered, come October !

Jon,
not that it matters but what I read here

http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1078

is that the track set will have just one LC (and therefore one curve crossover) - it's the conversion kit that comes with two LCs
If you read my previous post this would make sense, since the track set is really too short and two LCs would actually make overtaking nearly impossible
Presumably the conversion kit is aimed at people already having a longish track (20 m being the optimum IMO), so two LCs can be accomodated
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Hey, have you forgotten you were an enthusiastic supporter since my very first post on SCI ??

QUOTE Safe to assume he's an adult, so he can blow his money whichever way he chooses, so long as it don't endanger the wildlife

 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
From ForoSlot (which BTW is fast becoming Spain's most interesting forum), the first price list :

http://www.foroslot.com/modules.php?name=F...iewtopic&t=1395

Comments :
- prices are in Swiss Francs (multiply by 0.66 to get Euros) - for normal cars, they appear definitely higher than what I usually pay in Italy
- the track set C 1140 is listed at 263 Euros
- the hand controller is predictably very cheap
- there's a 13 Euro difference between a normal car and its digital version, while the upgrade chip alone (C 7005) is 18 Euros

All in all, prices seem fair
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
QUOTE I believe Swiss taxes on slot cars are higher than the UK

I wonder why the Swiss should hate slot cars - maybe their Finance Minister is a railway modeler ??
Tropi, time to get to work !!

But yes, if you compare say the price of a Porsche 911GT3 on slotcars.it , it's over 20% lower

Much as I'm moved by Scaley's philanthropy, I rather believe that :
- electronics cost nothing, once they are mass produced
- these are the prices the "toy" market will bear

Well, I suppose it's the end of the road for DS-Davic and stillborn Carrera Pro-X - SCX Digital to follow in a while - but there's money to be made in track conversion pieces
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Once more from ForoSlot, yet another price list - this time in $ and still lower !!

http://www.hotslots132.com/index.php?cPath=21_43_156

I suppose this means the release date is not far off : how come our sponsors are mum ?

It appears there are two types of upgrade decoder chips, for F1 and saloon cars - but they cost the same, so it's probably a matter of PCB geometry - must say Scalex seem to be doing it right so far
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Yes but...... AFAIK Scalextric Digital doesn't have a separate lap counter, it's incorporated into the base station display (a bit small, probably)

The main point is that all prices are affordable, so it's a matter of which system works best - Scalextric IMO are the hands down winner (no, Moped's not visiting Rome and brainwashing me !!!)
So far they've done everything right, let's hope their chip is nice and allows for Configuration Variables to customize controller response
 

· Beppe Giannini
Joined
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1,698 Posts
QUOTE hand throttles with adjustable settings

If they indeed include CVs I'll complete my metamorphosis into a Scalex sycophant (which is not, as Mad magazine asserted ages ago, a loony pachiderm) - and SCX doesn't even have brakes !

On the other hand

QUOTE Moped
aka "The Pontiff"

don't even think about it !! I have the real thing just across the river - you Brits already tried with Henry VIII

Jamie
(image not showing) - to me, it's obvious that MCPL/Digital is not meant for magnet cars
But come to think of it, anti-collision protection on LCs is just about the only thing Scalex is missing - but Nep can do that in one hour
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Screwneck,

you are most certainly entitled to any opinion, but :
- from your post here, it's obvious that you have not bothered to read previous comments on pricing
- from your asinine post on SCI (51 V on the rails !!!), it's equally obvious that you are technically incompetent

I would therefore question the added value of your protracted braying
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Hi Astro,

on Davic, you may find my latest comment on the Neuvic 24h race thread of interest - I translated the impressions of an Italian driver - who BTW had never raced with it before and fresh (??) from the Verbano race

As for Inte, if you forgive his juvenile ways he has a point (plus I believe he did try out SCX Digital) : the one but significant question mark on Scalextric Digital's suitability for club use is related to collisions - the ones on LCs are child's play to eliminate with an interlock, shunting can only be dealt with by working out (and enforcing) racing rules

Ciao
Beppe

PS : I was obviously referring to his previous post - this last one doesn't make much sense (e.g. the thought of switching the decoder chip from car to car hasn't entered the kid's skull yet)
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
Hi Fergy :

- about Big Brother interlocks & reaction time - have you seen the blst video ? And it's not just a matter of preventing collisions, it actually facilitates overtaking. Please also have a look at that translation in the Neuvic thread

- do you actually race 100s of cars every time ? Then, at 18 $ a pop, you might buy a couple more

Beppe
 

· Beppe Giannini
Joined
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1,698 Posts
QUOTE At the moment though it seems if you are in the lead you will always want to take the fastest lane and you will be able to so will this not make overtaking really difficult??

Precisely - and this means that :
a) track layout and LC placement are crucial for a digital track
b ) when two cars converge on an LC (one trying to pass and the other trying to resist) it's going to be a very close call - too close IMO to rely on a race umpire (who's got other 4 cars to follow as well)
c) blst's interlock (and mine) facilitates overtaking because, in addition to preventing a collision, the leading car is forced out of the ideal line.

So, unless you are very much faster, overtaking will encompass 3 LCs :
- you change lane on the 1st LC
- you have the distance between 1st and 2nd LC to make up the initial lag and pull abreast
- the 2nd LC's interlock forces the two cars to remain on equal lanes
- you have the distance between the 2nd and 3rd LC to pull ahead and take over the ideal line there
 

· Beppe Giannini
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1,698 Posts
OK, dust seems to have settled a bit, so back to my original question :

how come two Swiss and one US retailers have published price lists - and nobody in the UK ? And , any idea about the launch date ?

Fergy :
QUOTE All ive seen so far of digital is a few demonstration sets where all that seems to happen is cars either crash into the back of each other on the same lane or when swapping lanes get rammed by oncoming cars
I couldn't have put it better

Beppe
 

· Beppe Giannini
Joined
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1,698 Posts
Screwneck,

I may have overreacted, and I apologize
Now, trying to be productive :
It's not voltage, but current that adds up if you have several cars running - digital is not different from conventional in this respect, i.e. the power source for a 2 lane/6 car digital set is basically the same you would buy for a conventional 6 laner
Except that :
- there will be instances when the total current will be flowing in one lane, so rail continuity is a must
- probably, a couple of volts will drop in the decoder chip, so the source voltage has to be increased accordingly

To me, it's crystal clear that SCX and Carrera Digital will have whatever life of their own the "toy" market determines (and let's not forget that's where the big numbers are)
For advanced slot racers, however, Scalextric Digital will be the de facto standard - the spread being 2 lane conventional, 2 lane digital for home/club use, and possibly 4 lane Davic for 15 car long distance races

But by Scalextric Digital I mean just the electronics package (base unit/lap counter, controllers and decoders). Decoders are already priced at about 16 Euro, and the current fuss on this thread seems to be whether one would swap the decoder fron car to car or buy several. But Fly, Ninco, Slot.it don't have to do a thing - except reap the benefit of additional sales in an expanding market

Similarly, the track doesn't have to be all Scalex - transition pieces already exist for Ninco, and anybody capable of routing a track would have no problem in adapting the LCs

So, there will be added costs, but quite aside fron the rejuvenation of the hobby some will be offset by cheaper tracks and inexpensive controllers (they no longer are power devices, just videogame hardware)

Hope this helps
Beppe
 
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