As I'm completely new to slot cars need some help as to what the pros and cons are to use scalextric, carrera or scx track?? And are the tracks able to be interchanges and use sections all together or do you have to decide on one make and stick to it???
At this point, it's best to decide on one make and stick to it. There are adapters to go between different types, but otherwise they do not stick together.
I'll do a quick summation of my personal thoughts on each type. It's best if you can try some of each brand yourself, or at least investigate the ones that are of most interest. In the end, most people get whatever brand comes in the set they start with. ;-)
Scalextric: flexible, least expensive, small, slick surface great for a variety of grip levels depending on tyre type and prep, but mediocre electrical connections
Carrera: stiff, strong, expensive, BIG enough for 1/24, not as good for small spaces, good electrical connections, plus stainless steel rail, slightly less slick than Scalextric
Ninco: flexible, medium sized but with tight turns so can fit a lot in a small space, very rough surface for exceptional grip even with bad tires, excellent electrical connections, also expensive.
SCX: old type was like Scalextric original, new type works with their digital track. Flexible and small-ish size, rough but not too much surface texture, mediocre/good electrical, slightly more expensive than Scalextric
My personal ideal track doesn't exist. It would have the size/shape/surface of Scalextric Sport track, but the connections of Ninco track. Or I could say, Ninco track with a Scalextric Sport surface. Ninco also has the widest range of curve sizes, from the tight R1 to the extra wide R5. Carrera's R1 turns are about the same as an R2 in every other brand, because they're cars' long guide keels won't make it through tighter turns. But, Carrera's larger size does make it possible to run larger scale cars, and is often the choice for plastic track when a large area is available for it.
Then there's wood. If you're at all handy, and especially if you're not interested in digital (since that adds some work to the process), take a serious look at building a wood track. They're dead easy to do, cheap to make compared to the money for a big plastic track, and smooth as butter to drive on. The amount of grip you get is entirely up to you in choosing the paint application, and the continuity is outstanding since it's just one long rail, either copper tape of braid. Oldslotracer.com and other sites have tons of helpful info on make your own track.
This might give an idea about the size difference between the different tracks:
MrFlippant sums up the differences quite well.
IMO the initial cost difference should not be the deciding factor, if the budget is tight it's better to start small with the right track than to start big with the wrong track.
With a bit more info from you it's easier for us to give advice, so:
- How do you plan to use it: portable or permanent?, on the floor or on a table?
- How much space do you roughly have now or maybe available later?
- Have you considered the difference between analog and digital tracks? do you feel you need more info on this?
It's going to be a permanent track space on a purpose built table for it and the space be about 7 foot by 4/5 foot and from what I'm reading I'm defo thinking digital main purpose is for the track to be a test track as now joining a slot car club. Considered cutting slots out of wood but my DIY skills leave a little to be desired
Not sure abour Scalectric being bad electrical contact now. Last Tuesday I put up 14m track, only 2 issues which were track new tomy track box which I had not done the maintainace on (bending the lugs). It then worked perfectly. Bit of INOX 3 and its perfect. On the board somewhere there were comments from a scaley demonstrator who considered Sport good for 100 ft no power taps provided its clened and use conductive marine grease on the connectors.
Lee, sounds like Scaley or Ninco is the way to go. No way you're getting a decent track in Carrera on that size table. Between Scaley and Ninco, well, I guess it depends on what the club tracks have so you're at least testing on a similar surface. One advantage of Scaley is the digital is actually going somewhere, unlike Ninco Digital. Plus, the scaley 6 car base has analog mode so you can test either type of car without having to change your track set up or do any DIY on stuff.
UshCha, that's why I said "mediocre". I've never had truly DEAD spots. The cars always GO. The problem is the amps. Because the connections aren't so great, you lose amps the farther you are from the power track or tap. The more connections away, the more power you lose. Not volts, but amps, mind you. This means that magnet cars go slower, and magless cars take longer to speed up when in those areas with lower power. With more taps, or other ways of augmenting the continuity between tracks, the problem is mitigated. Without them, they can be quite noticeable. For example, at our digital race last night, we discovered one section where a tap was not working properly. With one car going up that hill, it was noticeable. If all 6 cars happened to be in the same area, it was possible for some to stop dead for lack of power. Once other cars were out of that section, the lagging cars got more power and could crest the hill. Being in that section when a track call stopped you meant losing a few feet to the people who were beyond it.
Where about are you from, if the UK it is hard to get anything other than Scalextric. you can get other makes from specialist shops but as the others have said they are expensive. i have a large scalextric digital setup run by a 6 car apb and ssdc, and with the aid inox and some power taps there is no power problems.
just keep your eye on e-bay for the odd bargin or try jadlam racing.
After I gave looked into it I now think I defo going for a scalextric digital set up, thinking may get a set and build on it with extras as I go along. Going to get the standard McLaren F1 set with Lewis and jenson car and the buy the £70 digital conversion or may just go straight n get the digital tower. What you thin guys???
Get the 6 car base. It's worth every penny, and you'll still be able to race those F1s without chipping them by using the analog mode.
You can save a boatload of money by getting laptop power supplies rather than the Scaley ones. See the APB power thread in the SSD forum for help on that to make sure to get the right kind.
Oh yeah, you'll need at least two Scalextric Digital controllers. Then you'll have the powerhouse that makes it all go and in style. Add on as you please with more track, lane changers, digital cars, etc.
What is the program on computer where you can set number of pit stops cars make and race format etc?? Cos thinking of getting a computer to have set up with it to really give a good racing format for 6 car races. Even though getting scalextric going to have a carrera pit garage's as don't like the look of the scalextric style and mix and match other track buildings
the program is SSDC you can find the download here . If you have a local hobbycraft shop it might be worth looking in and see if they still have any digital sets . i only paid £80 for a x3 set with 2 chipped cars controllers lots of track and a XLC. then save up for the 6 car APB, and additional lane chance peices.
Not really got many good hobby shops close to me we really lack in that area round ere. But will keep looking hoping to get the base built in next couple of weeks and then have track completed by Xmas as wanna get fully sorted with grandstands etc before start racing on it
in the process of building my own garages and grandstands, building and scenic track is a labour of love and takes much longer than you think. i just cant stop buying cars and modding them for club racing, which eats into my home track buget
I don't always disagree with Mr Flipant ;-). From one who has tried, unless you can get a STUNNING deal dont go 4 car base. It actually nearly costs as much and you are worse off. I got the 4car APB, but then you realise have to have the digital Lap counter; thats another £30 or you count your own laps. ;-(. The lap counter has a bug so if you come off too often it "Throw teddy out of the pram" and you have to disconect it and leave it off for a minute or two. The APB does lap conting and timeing (not done with lap conter). Powersupplies are about £8 delivered from E Bay as Mr F said (they work I use one). Second hand digital controllers (E Bay) work but see my andr other posts on how to get them working. Find somewhere to buy your 6APB upgraded to version 1.06 to save the cost of the cable to start with or buy the cable and upgrade yourself. You need the cable anyway when you want to us SSDC.
Have fun Lee! I've owned and/or raced frequently on wood, Scaley, Ninco, and Carrera, and they each have their own plus and minus points-- including how carefully they are set up and maintained. If you know for sure you won't want to run 1/24th scale cars then you'll like either the Scaley or Ninco for analog, and I recommend Scaley for digital.
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