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QUOTE 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

That is the digital multi car in one lane thinking for you. I'll have to get my digital brain into gear. Nice one Bepe.


That also means of course that all control for all cars can be wired into one lane. I doubt that it will be though in case folk want to run digital without any lane changing. The pictures above probably create more questions than answers!


I note also that Scalextric have opted for a bridge rather than a crossroads with the digital set. This is going against the trend set by the new "X-Set" layouts. It could well be that they have selected the optimum circuit to maximise fun from digital and if there is only one switching point then surely that will offer more racing action and less chance of lane change shunting which can only be a good thing judging by feedback here to date.


Moped
 

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Scalextric have very definitely been listening to feedback to date in connection with digital as the sets and upgrade packs very sensibly contain cars that do not have any spoilers and that look pretty bullet proof.

This will allow folk to get used to digital type racing, control and strategies and gain some skills with this new technology without necesarily wrecking the cars and before moving on to retro fitting chips to the cars owned with higher levels of detail.

This is a very sensible approach.

I am actually getting very excited by all this as we are clearly getting closer to the launch date now that pretty pictures have been released.

The fact that 3 or 4 people can race at the same time at home on 2 lane circuits should give slot car racing in the UK more of an appeal to groups of people than ever.


Moped
 

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There does appear to be something in that corner. Is it my computer (or eyesight?)or are images getting fuzier these days?

Even the images at SCI seem blockier than ever. That Vette at the top of the SCI forum for instance.

I think somebody here should contact NASA and ask them to put the image of that bit of track through their $1,000,000,000 Martian space probe image enhancer. The pictures that we get of Mars from 150,000,000 KM away seem much clearer than those taken from a few feet away by the white coats in the Scalextric lab.

Until I see a higher quality image I certainly would not bet my house on what section of track is in that corner. Would anybody here be prepared to offer odds?

The options are:-

1) standard radius 2 curve
2) crossover curve
3) curved lane switcher track

Scalextric staff are not permitted to place any bets by the way!


Another clue of course is that there has to be a switching sensor half stright track ahead of the switching curve so if somebody could work out if there is actually a half straight ahead of the far curve then the odds on a switching section would increase.

Now even more strange is that ahead of the switching curve on this near side there appears to be two full straights and no half starights. If that is the case where is the half straight sensor track?

Very interesting.


Moped
 

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To answer Wankel this forum will be absolutely choca with very excited people when it finally gets launched and get a record number of hits over the first month after the official launch. So bandwidth had better be increased to accomadate this in anticipation else within 24 hours Slotfrum will be down!


Thank you for the blow up Nuro. That makes things much clearer. There is definitely a half sensor straight on the far side ahead of the switch, but there does not appear to be one on this side. Is this a rare Hornby mistake?

It might be worth while printing the rendition off as "official" pictures with mistakes in are the sort of thing that in a few years time will fetch a fortune on Ebay.

And also note the staggered start?

Any thoughts on that?


And there is the first shot of the new bridge structure in use with the 3/4 length straight. Are we saying that the circuit is an artist rendition or just the box cover?

My advice would be to get your order in now for any of this kit if you want to be the first to have Scalextric Digital because for the first month or two it is all likely to be in very short supply.


Moped
 

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QUOTE I also think racing on Digital will be harder much harder.

Maybe not harder, but certainly different.

In the way that it takes several months to really get into how to drive a slot car until the controller becomes a natural extension of your hand, after a few months of racing with digital that controller and lane switching will become a natural extension in the same way.

I bet that in 12 months time newbies who have never raced analogue but who have started their slot car life with digital will say that racing analogue is much harder should they meet up with somebody who has an analogue set.

Weird but possibly true!



Moped
 

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I was shocked by the prices when I first saw them I was thinking slot cars racing in Switzerland is a hobby for very wealthy people.

Having checked things out there are 2.26 Swiss Francs to the Pound so the prices get multiplied by 0.44 which makes digital cars about an extra £8.50 but I believe Swiss taxes on slot cars are higher than the UK.

A controller would be about £12.

Just to say that Swiss prices on the conversion are higher than UK prices by around 15%-20% so the sterling figures above may be on the high side.

If you take about 15% off the price for the digital set you end up with about £150 which supports what Jon at Slot City said earlier.

The premium on cars would then just over £7 with a controller being justy over £10.

In my mind these are bargain basement prices and I have a sneeky feeling that Hornby are going to subsidise digital kit for the first year or so of launch to get the consumer hooked. Very good digital marketing on the part of Hornby.

We, the consumers of digital, are clearly going to benefit.

The extra fun per pound of maney spent that digital is likely to bring will make it very good value. You are probably looking at an extra 20% cost over analogue but looking at a far higher percentage in terms of adiitional fun.


Moped
 

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In terms of chip changing it should be very simple. You simply plug the leads from the chip into the guide and the leads from the motor into the chip. Not too sure how the sensor is going to fit but that will come hard wired to the chip I would imagine.

Basically it should not be too dificult a job even for the absolute slot car drongo!


Moped
 

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Remember that the "Digital Pro" set up will have a SPORT World type look and feel and will be able to be linked to a PC. There is a lot more to this than just racing cars around a track and it is going to be developed further over the next few years.

I do find it very strange that those folk here who remain unconvinced (a small minority of club racers) continue to post messages in the digital threads.

Why?


If its not for you then don't buy into it. A very simple solution!


Around 75% of set sales each year are to first time buyers. A proportion of these buyers will now have the option of purchasing digital sets.

Further, sales will be made to newcomers who previously would not have entertained buying an analogue slot car set.

And there is an upgrade set for existing users.

Sales are inevitable.

The real question, as put above Astro, is related to the play value and whether a higher percentage of newcomers will be hooked longer term.


Moped
 

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I'm not confused Wankel, I am just stating what is obvious to most readers of digital threads. This was a news thread that somehow turned into a discussion thread and it appears that the "neggies" were the root cause of this.

Scalextric have not said that digital will be replacing analogue (yet) and analogue sets will still form the greatest proportion of sales for the time being so analogue fans need not be worried for the time being.

You do get a lot of added value in the digital sets and so why should the manufacturers not charge a premium?


The top end sets retailing for £120 or more are some of the most popular so folk are prepared to fork out for the extra value within the top end sets and the same may well be true of digital sets. Its always the biggest sets that clear the shelves first at Toys R Us.

Slot cars are one of the few gifts to still come in a very big box and in the present/gift game size matters!



Moped
 

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Maltese seems to be suggesting that Hornby and others should go on the road with several expert digital racers (Adrian Norman, Moped
and a few others) and show folk how it should be done.

I suspect that when you get a group of expert racers together digital racing on two lanes will look absolutely stunning from a viewers perspective.

Those clubs who adapt digital racing and lane switching will make racing a far better viewing experiance and with much easier marshalling remember. And it may well draw additional membership as a result.

There will be no need to tarnish the car appearance with coloured stickers and the track with coloured dots and if a car offs it simply gets put back on the track in any lane. Marshals will not require a science degree to calculate what goes where.


Moped
 

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Quite right Xlot. The possibilities and combinations going forward are mindblowing and the whole industry benefits as you say.

I sense fear from some of the club racer element.

Up until now the club racer has only had to focus on speed and being the fastest and nothing else. That makes for a very simple defined aim.

Now they will have to think strategy if they choose to participate in digital events, and because this is alien to club racers they are fearful of this new world and fearful of loosing (not something I have to worry about
).

Quick club racers may still ultimately come out on top, but there will be new parts of the brain that will have to be excercised.



Moped
 

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Even SCX are producing a starter set for the UK with 2 cars in. Better surely that the 2 drivers get used to controlling digital and have 2 seperate lanes before a third car is introduced?

Remember that newbies to slot car racing who start with a digital set will never have raced with an analogue controller and so it will be as hard for them to think "analogue" as it is for some of us to think "digital". They will think it is very weird not to have lane switching!


The real fun will start when two pals and their families get together and combine circuits and race 4 cars.

I have a sneeking suspicion there is going to be more to digital than Hornby are letting on for the moment.


Moped
 

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Lets not get too wound up with digital pricing and sales strategy and whether slot car companies are going to make a mint. It is an investment risk and they may not get a return on their investment. Lets not forget that.

If it was your money would you do it?


It would be better to focus in this thread on the customer service side and what the customer wants. It started with the packaging illustrations and they clearly look very different to the normal Scalextric packaging. I don't know how different SCX and Carrera packaging will look but no doubt it will stand out to distinguish digital from the normal analogue sets.

In terms of decoder chips you can only race a maximum of 6 cars at one time initially and you get 2 with the set or the conversion kit, and you get 1 if you purchase a digital car. You surely are not going to need more than 6 in total so only 4 additional chips need be purchased. The important thing to remember is that the code numbers need to be different.

And in terms of the possibilities Lobsterboy has hinted at the potential and where this may be taking us in terms of new ideas. Digital is not just about racing cars but it permits many new "play" ideas that formerly have not been possible.

And in terms of entry level pricing, DVD players have taken around 5 years to reach the price point that videos were 5 years ago. They were not the same price as videos when first introduced to the public. Now DVD player sales are higher than tape player sales. Expect something similar to happen over the next 5-10 years with digital slot car racing.


Moped
 

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Yes, I can see your point of view Da Vols. The digital upgrade packs may well be the biggest sellers. Generally the average punter buys a set based on how big the box is. The assumption is a bigger box has more track and more track is better. Therefore a key marketing ploy is to put digital sets in even bigger boxes. Size will sell!

Also it is very important to put a list of key features and benefits on the box cover.

Its no good to simply say you can switch lanes. You have to say why this gives you more excitement.

Or to say that you can race up to 6 cars at a time. You have to say why this can save you money.

But the biggest sales point will be the fact that it is BRAND NEW! People love to be the first! Simple.

Put lots of stickers and big stars on the box with "BRAND NEW". This is not Hornby's normal style but there is always a first time.

You may appreciate that there is a little bit of selling experiance in the Moped blood sir!


No doubt Hornby, SCX and Carrera will be advising their sales outlets through the means of their retailer news sheets, ets, exactly what to say to the enquiring customer.


Moped
 

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If the majority of sets sold are to first time buyers as claimed then Tropi is right to say that all new buyers into the slot car arena have digital as an option.

The point I was making. all be it not as clearly as it should have been made, was that only a proportion would be prepared to pay the price of an entry digital set although that may be a higher proportion than folk here believe as the larger Scalextric sets are relatively popular.

It could well be that digital will slow sales of larger analogue Scalextric sets among the first time buyer.

However, it should also be rembered that once you have a Scalextric digital set, you can extend to it by purchasing an analogue set, and maybe a seperate digital controller and a chip pack or two.

A proportion of existing hobbyists do purchase a second set as this presents the lowest cost route to extending your track and garage.


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