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Should you buy a C7042 Advanced Powerbase????

11219 Views 46 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  sealevel
Hi slot racers one and all....

This bank holiday weekend I have broken down my oval layout and with a 4 car powerbase, C7030 PBpro V1.5 and a C7042 APB I go for Christmas I have been testing what was best for me for my new layout. Doing that made me realise what a minefield it is at the moment and thought it might be good to share my thoughts on what the new powerbase can do for different users and whether they should upgrade or not.

These are just my conclusions based on the options I see available to me, cut me down in flames or follow my advice the choice is yours but they are my opinions based on a lot of testing.

I'm an analogue user... What will it do for me.

Well this is an expensive upgrade for you but it will bring a lot to your slot racing... with the powerbase (£100) two C7024 power supplies (£70) two digital throttles (£30) that is a £200 investment...

What do you get for Your money????

Well first of all you get lap counting, timing and several race modes to add some spice to your racing.
You have independent power supply to each lane for smooth racing
Configurable Track calls to slow or stop the race when a car deslots and false start detection
Pace cars giving solo racers a drone car to race against
Easy change of direction of racing round the track and supports drift type cars without problems
You dont need to chip any of your cars

If you buy the new cable from Riko and upgrade the firmware to version 1.04 you can then connect to SSD Console for full Lap reporting and Timing on your PC!

Best of all if you decide that you want to move to digital you can buy a four chips and a couple of straight lane changers for about £100 and go fully digital and switch easily between digital races and analogue races without having to remove the lane changers from the layout.

Go Buy one today its the best advance in Scalextric analogue in years!

I have a 4 Car powerbase should I get a C7042 or a C7030...

If you are already digital with a 4 car Powerbase then it is probably cheaper for you to go with the new advanced powerbase. You will need the powerbase (£100) and one more C7042 (£35) making a total investment of £135. Compared to buying a C7030, getting it upgraded to PBPro +SH & Dual analogue, a lap tower and power supply, total cost around £350 the new powerbase looks like the best option.

The C7042 will give you access to all the powerbase features such as

Lap counting, timing and several race modes to add some spice to your racing.
You have independent power supply to each lane for smooth racing
Configurable Track calls to slow or stop the race when a car deslots and false start detection
Pace cars giving solo racers a drone car to race against
The ability to race with analogue cars and test and race Club cars like NSR's and Slot is at home without chipping them.

With a bit more investment though you can really add to the fun, if you have a PC or laptop you can add SSDC console and Pit pro to your layout this will set you back about £100 but adds a whole new dimension to the racing and you will never look back.

I Have a PBpro V1.5 Build 1.8f but its not got Simple H What should I do...

To Buy a C7042 (£100) and two C7024 power supplies will set you back a total £170... The feature set of the new powerbase is identical to the software you already have in the C7030 in real terms... You already have single analogue drive capability so just buy a laptower from RichG... You then have twin displays (one on the powerbase for programming and the lap tower for timings) the RichG laptower is streets ahead of the Scalextric one in so many ways... If you dont need the twin analogue function get a laptower and stick with what you have.

If you want dual analogue Drive to get your Powerbase to twin analogue with simple H and a lap tower and a decent PSU will cost you £300. To buy the new APB C7042 with 2 x C7024will cost £170 and you can sell your old powerbase to cover some of the cost... If dual analogue is important to you then Its probably best to change to the new powerbase.

If you already have a pit pro and SSDC things change a bit. If you get the dual analogue mod done all your existing PC setup and Leads will work... If you get the new APB it will cost you £20 to upgrade to SSDC V5, and another £30 for the lead to the new powerbase... so the cost differential is not that great... (£80) Personally I would stick with the C7030 get simple H Dual Analogue and a laptower as the simple H power delivery is so much better and the laptower is so much prettier and you have twin displays... The Guys will support you for years to come... No need to change.

I Have a PBpro with simple H and good PSU what should I do...
This is a no brainer... get Riko to do the dual analogue mod and buy a laptower if you don't already have one... it will be cheaper for you than changing to a C7042 and you have all the greatest Scalextric bits ever made... Look down on those APB owners and laugh... Knowing that you had that software years ago, you have all the features, better power delivery, a laptower you can see in the dark and a separate programming display on the powerbase

So there you go its a simple case of what you already own...

Now with that decision made its back to planning my new layout....

Oh what did I do?

Because I had not invested in the simple H mod, nor got SSDC or the cables to connect to a PC, I want dual analogue drive and I got an APB for Xmas from my lovely Girlfriend... New Powerbase won the day but I will miss my Rich G Laptower a lot.

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QUOTE (hankscorpio @ 3 Feb 2011, 01:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I might know someone who may swap your PB V1.x plus a wedge of cash for a PBPro V1.5 without SH already done and ready to go...

I might be in touch! The APB seems to be like gold dust at the moment. I am really, really trying to sit on my hands until I get the set... no point in buying a load of kit to then find something's not working. But it doesn't hurt to plan ahead
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QUOTE None of the Digital lane change challenges had a V1.5 in them... sad fact i know but unless somebody has "swapped" it out for a V1.5 at some point you will probably be dissapointed.

not true
I bought two of these and they were both v1.5
QUOTE (davekp @ 3 Feb 2011, 10:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I bought two of these and they were both v1.5

Interesting that... there can't have been that many like that as the sets had the old style CLC's with the loose exit flippers... The "Fixed" CLC exit flippers appeared about the same time as the V1.5... did they come with the Fixed CLC's as well... If they did that would be an easy way to tell the PB Version inside...

Ive bought 3 and all were V1.2 & 1.4's... I was advised the only way to get a V1.5 is to buy one that was "Solo boxed"...
I also had 1 V1.5 in the Lane Change Challenge set, with fixed CLC's.
Sorry Sean, I've had 4 sets with V1.5 units in.

I would be waiting until I could afford the entire upgrade........ though it depends what you want.

As has already been said, if you want ultimate power the simple h version of the C7030 is best. The C7042 has a limited power output and this is noticable on a large track with 6 cars and lots of L/Cs.

Also, I assume you have two PSU's for the C7030? I know where there are several (at least 4) of these gathering dust!

QUOTE (Minardi @ 3 Feb 2011, 11:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I also had 1 V1.5 in the Lane Change Challenge set, with fixed CLC's.

Me too also as well.
You can tell if it's a v1.5 because the start button has the arrow pointing to the left. All other versions point to the right. I think.
Me too I also got the v1.5 in mine. hang on no I didn't.

As lovely as your explanation of all the options was, you missed my situation.

PB-Pro, S-H, Lap Tower, SSDC v4, always racing 6 cars but would love the Race Series option that comes with SSDC v5.

As far as I can tell I would be better off with the new one am I right? If so anyone want to swap what I have for a new one(note in NZ so postage is a little more)?

Edit: opps never mind, I think I'll hang onto it as a back up.
gain a race series option and loose laptower and the awesome power of the s h modded pb.

Hold on a while longer awallace is trying for ssdc v5 on pbpro platform.
Yes, I've been watching that conversation and voted for it too, but it seems quite a lot of work needs to be done and I wonder if he charged for his time to make it backwards compatible the charge would be as much as buying a new one. Also how many of the new features will not be compatible. As I programmer I hate backwards compatability it makes the coding harder as you always have to keep the old hardware in mind in every decision. As a user I love it, though I think we pay a lot more for stuff to get that, I just don't see it being worth the overhead. Then it comes down to who pays for the extra overhead? The programmer, the new users or the old users. It's the programmers work, so that is up to him to decided but should not be expected of him. The new users don't require it so why should they pay for it. It comes down to those who want it but we don't want to pay for it otherwise we may as well get the upgrade. The only backward compatibility I think is really required is the transfer of old setting to new setting and only if that doesn't mean a loss of functionality. Eg if the old variable pace car data doesn't work with the new software, then don't allow it to be moved.

We all got the PB-Pro due to its better features, so I doubt many of us will be happy to miss out on the new features. 100 pounds and then I'm up to date does not seem like that much of cost. Also I am sure they are working hard to get the tower to work with the APB. The only reason I can see to hold off is the stability of the hardware on the new APB.

Wow, I think I've just convinced myself to get the new APB.
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He he he he....

I have a PBpro V1.5.... I'm intending to use the APB for my new loft layout BUT i will be hanging on to my V1.5 just in case... I know if i can convince Riko to do the dual analogue mod for me and the SH at the same time i will have the best of both worlds then buy a "massive PSU"... It would be the more powerful option.

I like the idea of blazing a trail with the new APB pushed to its limits... But with that much building involved I really do not want to run without a safety net... at least the cost of the conversion can be covered by the sale of the APB and PSU's if necessary... then i will just need a new lap tower... doh!

My only concern is the power loss ben (BBENSCA) noticed at the club with the APB compared to the normal SH Setup... seeing him saturday so will get the lowdown on his experiences first hand.
QUOTE (distantkiwi @ 3 Feb 2011, 21:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As lovely as your explanation of all the options was, you missed my situation.
PB-Pro, S-H, Lap Tower, SSDC v4, always racing 6 cars but would love the Race Series option that comes with SSDC v5.

Trev, I was in the same position as you... If dual analogue is important to you... I would reccomend the SH/Dual analogue mod to your PB...

Mainly because if you upgrade to the APB and use SSDC the PC cable plugs in where the "Naff" laptower plugs in and you lose it???? as SSDC takes over full control of the PB... Then you would need a new cable £30 and a SSDC Upgrade £20...

The dual analogue mod will put more power to the lanes 8 amps per lane instead of 2.5 amps per lane... But your "round the world postage needs to be factored in" but you probably already have the cable and SSDC V4.

There is an issue with the new APB i'm still not sure of for a big layout... In digital mode you get 5amps... but I'm not sure if thats still 2.5 Amps per lane as in analogue mode... If it is (based on how the relays are in the circuit it seems to be the case)... you could find times when 6 cars are in a single lane with only 2.5 amps between them... This is what scares me!!! It may or may not be a problem... only one way to tell for sure... try it!
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Dual analogue has no interest to me. The only time I go analogue is for me to place with my analogue cars. If I'm racing then I race digital.
RichG, RikoRocket, or anyone who knows better can please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the APB can push 8 amps constant, 10 or more in bursts, to 6 digital cars. I assume it can push 4 amps to each lane for two digital cars.
As for Pb-Pro Simple-H 2-lane Analog, I think RichG mentioned somewhere that the 8 amps is just the rating on the relay, and he's never managed to pop one yet, so the practical limit is much higher.

5 amps would be a C7030 with NO simple-H upgrade and two Scalextric Power supplies.
In digital mode the C7042 will supply 5 Amps continuous and up to 8/10 Amps for approx 2 seconds before overloading. In two lane analog mode I would expect, but have not measured, things to be the same. In other words a total of 5 Amps continuous or 8 Amps for approx 2 seconds, the current being available on a total basis to the 2 lanes.

This is because the voltage from the two supplies is combined and then fed to the output stages. In digital mode the 2 output stages are connected in parallel with a relay and in analog mode they are operated separately one feeding each lane. However the current monitoring takes place at a single point after the voltage dropper / regulator and before the two output stages. So the Powerbase does not know how much current is going to each lane, only the total.

On S-H yes the 8 amp limitation is the rating of the relay, in practice more current can be take without failure. However I have always strongly advised this in order to protect the long term reliability of the S-H setup. Which I have to say is excellent,
there are probably somthing in the order of 500 S-H units scattered around the World and the couple of failures that I know of were all due to the PSU being connected up the wrong way round.

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Nice explination Rich...

So the APB regulates the amps it outputs at a single point before the current is divided between the lanes... so uneven amounts of current can be pulled happily only being capped when both lanes are added together.... Thats cool.

So looks like the full amps are available in a single both modes.... so i should be ok!!! yipeee

Thanks as always rich
so whichever car hits the throttle first gets more amps?
oh ade dont.... I've been suffering that all evening!

I have just been rug racing with my APB to test the amps problem...

I stopped in the model shop to pick up a couple of R3's i didn't need for the layout just so i could build an all R3 setup on the rug... still my local shop has 20% OFF stock at 2 yr old prices walked out with a bag full of obscure bits for just over £50... got home at list that was almost 40% of current retail!!!! gotta love those guys at Gt Eastern in Norwich... just a shame they are giving up stocking scalextric.

Anyway back to the point... Trying to get six pace cars to run around even a large oval without nerfing took some fine tuning... but... in the end i managed to get them all up and running without making contact for 20 laps or so... The cars were about 60% of top speed on the edge of sliding 2xlighted F430 and 4xSR F430 all with magnets... so a pretty heavy load all running as pace cars... 2x C7042 PSU's... Vanilla .84 APB.

One car on its own was lapping between 2.55 and 2.60 seconds... consistantly

Six cars all in the same lane were lapping between 2.7 and 2.75 seconds consistantly...

Thats 0.15 drop in lap time... therefore a performance drop of about 7% between a single car and a full grid running pretty quick.... I could barely grab a car as it passed to take them off!!!! so this was a pretty good load test... will post more on my "build thread". click the Highlands link in my signiture.
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Sounds about right. I do not know what the relationship between voltage and speed is? I suspect it is not linear, but there is a 7% drop in output voltage when the Powerbase is driving 2.5 Amps to the track. For comparison a standard C7030 would see a 34% change and an S-H unit 2%.

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