SlotForum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

I'm fairly new to slot cars but have found lots of useful tips on this forum to suit my "newbie" skills and a lot of info that I don't understand fully yet but that will come as I get more experienced. If it wasn't for communities like this I may well have given up early on through not seeing the potential of the hobby.

One thing I am struggling to comprehand at the minute is the issue of controllers. I currently use the standard scalextric controllers and whilst I don't really follow the electronics reasoning behind it, I accept that the consensus is that a different ohm controller will improve the throttle curve.

BUT, I have been having some fun with ssdc5 and c7042. Does the throttle curve adjustment on there mean I don't need a new controller. I must admit that I don't fully ubderstand the settings but by playing around with them I did manage to spread some of the power lower in the throttle movement to improve the standard where not a lot happens at first then woosh, off the car goes.

Any advice gratefully appreciated.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Hi and welcome!

I have used the standard controllers for some time now, and often looked at the SlotIt controllers.....
But I have made the the decision to stick with the standard controllers.

Just use the calibration to increase the max speed, and avoid the crawling, and you be fine.
If you have to compensate to much to one of the controllers, get rid of it, a new one will set you back
under 10GBP.

Thats just my opinion, the SlotIt controllers are probably better but to buy 6 or 7 of them.....

Peter
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,109 Posts
Two things,

1) yes SSDC and for that matter PB-Pro could make throttles respond much better, especially if you drive non-mag cars.

2) quality of Scalextric throttles is not brilliant, and all of the systems excepting base units will allow throttle calibration to take out that variability. But the throttles degrade with time and you need to clean them occasionally or upgrade to an aftermarket throttle.

In my view the expensive aftermarket throttles offer little extra in terms of tuning (especially if you use SSDC variable braking), and that makes them not very good value for money from a functionality perspective, but the trigger action is nicer and they don't suffer the same degradation so no cleaning needed.
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
To add to Peter and RikoRocket's great advice...

Ohm ratings are for analog resistor controllers. That stuff doesn't apply to digital at all. To make the cars easier to drive, use throttle and power adjustments available in the base or in the software controlling it. The three "dial" throttle curves in SSDC5 are very nice and work well.

There aren't many options out there for aftermarket SSD controllers. There's the previously mentioned Slot.it controller, as well as a nice controller from TruSpeed. Both are great, but both are expensive. The best way to improve a stock Scalextric digital controller is to 1) replace the spring with a lighter one, and 2) clean and lubricate the sliding resistor and other moving parts with some INOX MX3. For springs, I recommend the Parma Economy (not turbo!) replacement springs, which can be purchased at most places that sell replacement parts. INOX MX3 can be easy or tricky to get, depending on what part of the world you're in, but is well worth any trouble to acquire some, as it's great for many things, not the least as a rail treatment for optimum SSD performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,879 Posts
Personally, I wouldn't recommend using Inox on the sliding resistor as I had to clean mine again soon after. The second time I used DeoxIT contact cleaner and now have a very smooth and precise controller. I got a tiny tube very cheaply by post from the US.
As an aside, also don't use Inox on the hydraulic arms on an 1:1 estate car boot lid - it creaks something awful now. However, for rails it's perfect (LDDiscounts in the UK has some).
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
That's interesting. One thing I did notice with using INOX on the resistor is that you have to really wipe off the excess. Use it as a cleaner more than a lube. When I just dropped a bit on and left it, the controller got worse, but when I thoroughly wiped it off, it was much better. Unfortunately, no matter how clean they are, the tolerances aren't so great, and some controllers are just plain different than others. That's why calibration is so important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for sorting out my confusion. I will get the suggested replacement springs. I don't have any inox and being in UK it seems hard to get hold of from reading this forum but I will perservere as it seems to be well liked as a rail treatment.

Since I don't have inox I have used isopropyl alchohol to clean the controller, but since they are fairly new probably didn't need it yet anyway.

I will keep playing around with the ssdc throttle settings to see if I can get it to suit how I drive.

I've searched for advice on how to use ssdc but can't seem to find indepth guides on throttle curves, variable speed pace cars etc unless i've missed it.

Thanks
 

·
Prof I T
Ting Tong
Joined
·
11,085 Posts
hi
Mmmm.Variable pace cars..been playing around with ssdc for about 15 months now and still stick with the more reliable fixed throttle variety.

You can race billy no mates syle with 5 fixed throttle cars and have a cracking race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Big Bird

Thanks for that, I've been going crazy re-recording pace details and sometimes they run ok, other times the timing just goes all out of sync and they accelerate at the end of the straights rather than start or accelerate too early. Problem seems worse when running two pace cars so i put it down to power so:

To try to sort it I've taken track apart and crimped all joints, added two power taps even though its only 11 metre track, put circuit repair paint on all joints. I suspect now that it is just down to the variance in drag on each lap can cause the 10ths of a second difference that make the car accelerate at wrong point. I haven't done the magnet mod in my lane changers (magnets ordered today) so suspect the dead flippers make the variance in lap timing worse (can occassionaly see the pace cars slowing as they go over lane changers). Frustrating cus every 3rd or so race they will run flawlessly which is awesome to see and race against.

Am I right to think that the fixed throttle cars run at a constant speed (other than drag on corners) so they need to be set to run at the speed of slowest corner? I guess I could go that way and if it's reliable, fight through the traffic on my 2 lanes which would make up for the extra speed.
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
As great as the variable speed pace cars can be when the track is perfectly clean and the cars are running consistently well, they will never be truly reliable, or real competition, until there is a way for the computer to know where the car is on the track at many more intervals than once per lap.

Until then, the best way to use pace/ghost cars as anything other than traffic, is to always ensure that your pace car is BETTER than the car you're driving. It should have more magnets, a faster motor, and stickier tires. You should drive a car with less magnets (or none!), less motor, and slippery tires. Then, you can set the pace car at a lap time that is just within your ability to achieve with your own car, or just out of reach. Then you must drive especially well to catch up and pass the pace car. You will catch it up in the straights, and it will catch you up in the turns. When you can reliably catch and pass it, increase the pace car speed by a notch, or a tenth of a second to increase the challenge. For one pace car, set it to lane change randomly. More than one, I recommend only two, one in each lane, with no lane changing. This prevents them from crashing, and forces you to change lanes to get around them. In all cases, the pace cars must be "better" than the car you drive, or else you'll simply drive circles around them.
 

·
Prof I T
Ting Tong
Joined
·
11,085 Posts
hi
before variable becomes ultra reliable sector timing needs to be developed and installed.

While chatting with Andy Wallace at the recent gaydon slot car festival he mentioned the above would be attempted at some point in the future,in the meantime just keep the track clean and run the rear tyres over some duct tape or similar add some weight or extra mag if desired and run them as fixed throttle pace cars.

With the above mentioned they become very good opposistion if you run your own car with fuel load simulation and having to pit for fuel as well they become very good racing adversaries.
 

·
Prof I T
Ting Tong
Joined
·
11,085 Posts
hi
before variable becomes ultra reliable sector timing needs to be developed and installed.

While chatting with Andy Wallace at the recent gaydon slot car festival he mentioned the above would be attempted at some point in the future,in the meantime just keep the track clean and run the rear tyres over some duct tape or similar add some weight or extra mag if desired and run them as fixed throttle pace cars.

With the above mentioned they become very good opposistion if you run your own car with fuel load simulation and having to pit for fuel as well they become very good racing adversaries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all

I should have asked the question before spending 5 hours re recoding pace cars lol. The time spent sorting the track was well spent though.

I don't have a pit lane (yet) so will do some research and testing on mag tuning the pace cars and maybe putting the yellow scalextric motors in to cope with the extra magnets. so can then get them running fixed speed at a reaonable rate. I true (sandpaper method) and glue all tyres, clean them with tape or lint rollers, use 3 in 1 oil. So hopefully i'm getting there on the basics.

To be fair I actually wanted all cars to be fairly equal rather than having specific pace cars but may need to reconsider that, or maybe pit lane is going to be the next "necessary investment"
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
Be careful with more powerful motors and magnets, though. Stock scaley chips will pop with too much amp draw. If you pop one, contact Gmyers for a repair/upgrade which will make them pretty much un-poppable, rather than replacing with another chip that could pop just as easily. If you're good with a fine tip soldering iron (unlike me ;-), you can repair/upgrade chips yourself following RichG's lead in a thread he started a few years ago. I usually just run pacers with stock motor and magnets, usually silicone tires, but then I run a magless car against them.

The pit lane is a good idea, too. You can set things up such that you have to stop for fuel while the pacers don't, but you still have to complete the same number of laps to win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (bigbird @ 16 Aug 2011, 17:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hi
Mmmm.Variable pace cars..been playing around with ssdc for about 15 months now and still stick with the more reliable fixed throttle variety.

You can race billy no mates syle with 5 fixed throttle cars and have a cracking race.

Thanks big bird,

I did the magnet mod on the lane changers today which has made a big difference to pace cars as the speed is now maintained a lot better through the course. also changed to fixed throttle pace by setting a driver specific to each car and then fine tuning the start speed of the driver to ensure they were running at target speed within 2-3 laps max.

I raised the hairpin chicane too by making my own wire supports. this seems to slow the cars and therefore allow a higher overall speed (made out of a 50m for £4 reel from a national diy store bent to make a stable (I hope) base but the height adjustment is easy. Willl see how it stands up to 1000 laps.

I can even run multiple pace cars now too and work my way through the traffic. Great fun.

now I just need to work on racing consistently as I seem slow down too much after each straight and let the (now) unslottabel pace cars catch up.

cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 16 Aug 2011, 22:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Be careful with more powerful motors and magnets, though. Stock scaley chips will pop with too much amp draw. If you pop one, contact Gmyers for a repair/upgrade which will make them pretty much un-poppable, rather than replacing with another chip that could pop just as easily. If you're good with a fine tip soldering iron (unlike me ;-), you can repair/upgrade chips yourself following RichG's lead in a thread he started a few years ago. I usually just run pacers with stock motor and magnets, usually silicone tires, but then I run a magless car against them.

The pit lane is a good idea, too. You can set things up such that you have to stop for fuel while the pacers don't, but you still have to complete the same number of laps to win.


This is where my complete lack of electronics skill fails me, I would do more damage than good to a circuit board. From what I understand Gmyers is in USA and i'm in uk so shippping costs untill i have a few chips will probably outweigh benefits rather than buying a slot it chip?

I dont really understaand how it works but if I move from magnet to magless then the current draw reduces becase the motor was previously having to overcome the approx 250grm downforce from the magnet so now the motor can spin more freely?. I presume magless isn,t about replacing the lost 250g with weight in full but inpart.

any tips?
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
You're right about magnets causing drag. Magless is more about tire grip than anything else. Weight in the right places can help, but if you put too much in, you're just making the car slow to get up speed and long to slow down when braking. Competition level magless cars have no weight added at all, and actually strive to lighten the total weight.
My main tip for new magless racers is to start with a sidewinder car. They have most of their weight in the back already. Sand the tires for better grip, treat them with a little WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil to soften them more if you want to. After that, it's about driving technique. You can also spend more money to get better parts and grippier tires, of course, but without the ability to drive a car that slips, you won't be able to properly drive the ones that don't. Just like in real racing, although drifting is cool and fun, it only slows the cars down, so the better you can keep it over the rails in the turns, the better you're driving it. With magless, you'll find that tire and wheel trueness matters so much more, and a car that ran great with magnets might jump right off the track without them.

As for getting chips done by gmyers, I think you'll find that a packet of chips (hehe) is pretty inexpensive to ship between you and us. Still, economy of numbers isn't a bad idea. Hopefully someone in the UK will offer a similar service, if only for convenience, but I know of several on your side that have had him upgrade chips for them. The slot.it chip is great, but isn't as easy to install in as many cars as scaley ones, especially the F1 chip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,879 Posts
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 18 Aug 2011, 05:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Magless is more about tire grip than anything else. Weight in the right places can help, but if you put too much in, you're just making the car slow to get up speed and long to slow down when braking.
I've finally seen the light of magless but I'm tearing my hair out trying to get the weight balance & distribution right. My Pioneer and SCX cars drive great without any mod but Scalextric is a real pain. Is there a magic formula to start from as I seem to get a twitchy bottom (on the car
) on cars like the Mustang and Porsche 911GT3R - in fact I like the drifting but weights make this lumpy. Following Dave Chang's book I start with a bit of lead as close to the back of the guide as possible and as two bits close to the back wheels (I'm still on the original tyres but looking for urethanes). I've also tried blu tac squeezed in crevices where lead doesn't fit easily but it doesn't seem to help - maybe I should glue the weights under the car as the Mustang is quite high. Any advice or links to guides would be most welcome.
 

·
Greg Gaub
Joined
·
14,670 Posts
rule of thumb: weight down low will make the car less tippy and more drifty. weight up high will reduce drift but make it more tippy.
you want grip in the back, not the front. The only reason to add weight up front is if you have bad wheels, uneven track, or so much grip that you pop wheelies, and NEED more weight to keep the nose down. The closer you can get the weight to the rear axle, the better. My Pioneer Mustangs work best with a few grams just behind the guide, and about twice that (6-8 grams) just under the rear axle. On the other hand, my Slot.it Group C cars (with P6 tires) perform better with weight up high, above the motor stuck to the body, because that extra roll makes better grip in the corners and reduces the excessive sliding.

the important thing to remember is that when adding weight, the location is more important than the amount. More weight has an effect too, but not necessarily beneficial to performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've bought some weights but they may not be too much use as they are 5g and 10g but they are huge!

I think it's because they are made of non lead material.

I suspect the method is trial and error, add weight and see if it helps, if not move it?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top