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Beppe Giannini
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Last Friday at the Milan Hobby Expo, I was indeed able to drive SSD's production version - I was told it should be in the shops by mid-October

In short : I was impressed

Now, this was the starter set [BTW yes it includes two LCs, so Jon/Slotcity was right, I stand by my technical considerations that one LC plus one lane crossover would have been "better", but one gets more value this way - fine with me] and the crowd waiting to try it was getting impatient - also, it was my first experience with Scaley's industrial-strength magnets
I did take pictures, but external appearance is the same as previously shown - so I'm sparing myself the effort of posting them

OK, the LCs worked extremely well : one could push an idle car with the other while pressing the LC button, and getting to the LC the front car would go straight and the rear one change
The LC "flipper" (it's too big to call it a blade) is not electrically "live", so a car crossing the LC very slowly will stop - but it really wasn't a problem at normal speeds
There's also a second flipper exiting the LC, but it seems idle - its purpose apparently being that of allowing just two LC track moulds for the four configurations

The controller felt solid and very smooth - more importantly, I could not perceive any delay in the response (at least with two cars running). There's this odd thing about the large button actuating the reverse polarity (??) "hard" brake and the smaller button for the LC. This brake does stop the car on a dime, but I have personal doubts about its usefulness, all the more so since it appears you can configure the controller for conventional dynamic braking - IMO one should be able to rewire the controller so that the large button serves lane changing

The base station does provide lap counting and timing, but the display is ridiculously tiny - I was told there's a port for the connection to a proper screen
The corresponding half straight carries two rail recesses per lane - as previously explained on SF, one recess is for the LED sensor and the other for a conventional lap timer sensor that confirms the reading
The half straight before each LC curve has the same four recesses - presumably again to use the same mould. I don't know if the LED sensor/lap timer combination is also used here (maybe to make sure there's no interference from ambient lighting ?) - the recesses on the other lane should be empty, might come handy for the anti-collision add-on !!

As I said, these are just initial thoughts - I'm sure SSD will be dissected in greater detail and by much abler minds soon !!

Beppe
 

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René 'Vialli' Christensen
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With all the buttons on the controller - how do you reckon the changes are for converting it to other controllers?
Many racers change the Scalextric controllers for something better like Parma, FLY, Prof. Motor and so on.

And how many cars is system maximum build for?
If it's only for six cars I don't think it will work in clubs - at least not bigger clubs.
Must be like DaVic which can manage 15 cars!!!!!
 

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It would work very well in clubs. You could have 3 different 2 lane circuits set up in the space currently occupied by one 6 lane circuit which permits 18 people to race at the same time and there could be circuit rotation. Each circuit could be different so you have fast NASCAR style circuit, a slow twisting tight rally type circuit and then a Formula 1 type circuit, which permits a multitude of racing permutations and car set ups all within the same club.

It simply is not necessary to have 6 lane circuits any longer.

18 club racers racing at the same time and on a number of different circuits would surely give club members more of a buzz and might even ultimately give clubs a healthy finacial base.


Moped
 

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But you still need a marshall for every corner.

Therefore with 18 racing, and a minimum of, say, 5 marshalls for each circuit, you require 33 people. Oh, and 3 people to over see race control for each circuit. That's 36 members, and no-one left to be able to fix their cars between races.

We have discussed this before and there are very few clubs that would be able to benefit from the "more people racing at the same time" element of digital. However, I am beginning to think that being able to take the racing line, and propperly slip-stream and overtake will be quite fun at a club. Still skeptical about the "staying power" of it. I think club racers will get tired of it when the novelty has worn off and all their cars are chipped and wingless...

McLaren
 

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QUOTE there are very few clubs that would be able to benefit from the "more people racing at the same time" element of digital
There are even fewer that would have the cash, the space or indeed the inclination to run more than one circuit, though I know there is a VERY small number of honourable exceptions.

The vast majority of racers like club racing for the reason that they can actually manage to hit max speed and even perhaps maintain it for a couple of seconds on a circuit that is big enough to permit it. They would far and away prefer to devote precious available space to achieving that
Multiple small circuits don't help.
Might almost as well race at home
 

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Thanks for the mini review Xlot!

everyone else - do we really have to have the 'clubs will love it clubs will hate it digital is great digital will kill slot racing' discussion AGAIN????
 

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Thanks for the info Xlot - Im looking forward to SSD and I appreciatte the info...
A couple of questions if you dont mind..

1) Does it matter if the car passes the LC terminal (half straight) at an angle - ie - car sliding out of a corner - into the lane change - does it still trigger the lane change?
2) Same question about the start line terminal?
3) Will a fly truck fir under that bridge section?

I appreciatte you may not have tested for the above - but Im comtemplating mutiple positions of the lane changes - and the answers will affect where I put them.

Many thanks

CoolS
 

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Beppe Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi CoolS,

I intended to carry out a test on allowable slide angle, but the fair's ambience wasn't conductive to scientific experiments (a brat started kicking me in the shins, and I departed) - so this will have to wait until the detailed review - MOF I've been trying to have the same test carried out on Carrera Pro-X
No idea about bridge clearance, either


Beppe
 

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my understanding of SSD is that the LC track sensor is on a half straight before the curve with the LC - so the chances of the car driving sideways are remote - probably only if you have another curve just before it.

for realism - if the car IS drifting sideways at that point, and the change fails, its probably because your 1:32 driver might be too busy with opposite lock trying to control the slide that he is unable to execute the desired lane change at the same time!
 

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QUOTE everyone else - do we really have to have the 'clubs will love it clubs will hate it digital is great digital will kill slot racing' discussion AGAIN????

Yes!

No!

I'm not sure! Shall we? Shan't we?

Man, I'm indecisive.

Thanks for the mini review, there.

Still not swayed by any of it.
 

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As a casual slot racing newbie, I'm quite tempted by the new SSD product. I currently only have old scalextric classic track running cars with no mags and no brakes.

I would like to update to sport track and see the digital starter set as a possible way to do that, since I get new track and the digital system.

The main advantage I see with the playability of the digital systems is the increased strategy offered, being able to block off or overtake opponents as well as the concentrating on staying on the track. The main disadvantage to me would be the increased risk of car damage from the probable shunts and crashes that would occur from racing multiple cars on a single lane.

I could see a lot of beginners trying to shunt each other off the track, which I suppose lead scalextric to include 'basic' cars with the starter set and controller bundles.
 
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