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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following an interesting thread in Cars about digital and compatability, I thought I'd post the last message into here to see if it is a good idea or not. There was a lot of comment from people willing to ally themselves with one system or another, but I believe that, similar to model railways, slot will need a single industry standard for digital to survive. No one system has all the best features, but a consumer requirement could change that and give slot the best digital system possible as long as it isn't left too late to define the requirements.

This was the last post in the Cars section about digital systems :

It would be better if people posted what they wanted from a digital system, then maybe slot racing would move towards the power of the railway consumers and be able to make the manufacturers listen. If it became clear that systems that did not meet requirements would stay on the shop shelves (ouch - I'm a shopkeeper !) then we would possibly get a digital system that would please everyone.

Personally, I would go for the following :

Track compatable with standard race track. (Scalextric)

Lane change sections that can be used in any direction (left - right, also forwards - backwards) and don't take up a lot of space (SCX)

Cars which can be chipped to run on all digital systems.

Easy to programme the cars to the control system (SCX)

Add-On lap counters which are easy to read (SCX)

Common power supplies with more powerful transformers to enable multiple cars to run decently (Scalextric - partly)

Car circuitry which can enable cars to run on analogue tracks as well as digital (switch out the chip ?) (Scalextric - partly)

Choice of after-market chips with multiple functions to add working lights etc, and a variety of sizes and shapes to allow any car to be fitted up.

Variety of novel or new track sections only suitable for digital (pit stops ?) (Scalextric and SCX)

There is probably a lot more that people would want, but the basic requirements have to be decided and understood first. If any manufacturer could comply with a REQUIRED set of parameters for digital, they would obviously be the ones to succeed. In the model railway world, because many manufacturers comply with an industry standard, many are succeeding and railway digital is thriving. The consumer also benefits with competitive pricing and better development and innovation.

So, instead of bitching about who has the better features at the moment, why not do something useful and let the manufacturers know what is required for the future ?

Unfortunately, Slotforum is less than a spot on a flys arse compared to the overall slot market (no offence intended, just trying to look at the global market for the manufacturers) but as experienced racers there is a voice as valid as the thousands of newcomers buying their first set, which is where the digital future lies and where the manufacturers need to get it right.
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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355 Posts
Hi MRE
QUOTE (MRE @ 20 Dec 2004, 23:55)Following an interesting thread in Cars about digital and compatability, I thought I'd post the last message into here to see if it is a good idea or not.

<snip>

So, instead of bitching about who has the better features at the moment, why not do something useful and let the manufacturers know what is required for the future ?You are adressing the exact same issues as we are discussing here in the digital forum.


We have just started the specification phase of the "perfect" digital system.
How about joining us, and help us to address all the issues you are talking about?.

We need all the input and crazy ideas we can think of, to make a specification that will meet the needs of all slotcar enthusiasts.

Right now we have split the project into a track electronics part and a PC software part.

Please read the DCC thread and the Specification thread, and feel free to comment on our ideas, and add anything you think is missing.

Oh, and welcome by the way.


Søren
 

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Premium Member
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447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No problem Soren.

I am looking at compatability from a different viewpoint, as I am not technically minded to know the details. My experience comes from the model railways that we also sell at MRE, and how the digital systems now have an industry standard. I believe it is vital to also have an industry standard for slot racing, but at this time I don't see how it can be achieved in the same way that happened for model railways, because slot racing does not have a big consumer group that the manufacturers will listen to.
 

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Soren Winkler Rasmussen
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355 Posts
QUOTE (MRE @ 21 Dec 2004, 00:34)I am looking at compatability from a different viewpoint, as I am not technically minded to know the details.It's a good thing to look at a problem from different perspectives.


QUOTE My experience comes from the model railways that we also sell at MRE, and how the digital systems now have an industry standard. I believe it is vital to also have an industry standard for slot racing, but at this time I don't see how it can be achieved in the same way that happened for model railways, because slot racing does not have a big consumer group that the manufacturers will listen to.I think a lot of us have come to the same conclution ... the major manufacturers are competing, and will not standardize anything.

If we want a standard, we have to make it ourselves. Our current approach is to address all the problems and disadvantages with the current comercial solutions.

We aim to end up with a functional superior, low cost, easy to install, easy to use, flexible and cross brand compatible system.
If we are able to gain wide acceptance for a product like that, we might be able to get some momentum going towards standardisation.


Søren
 

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Allan Wakefield
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5,857 Posts
Any ultimately successful system must have braking built in!
You can power up any system with uprated transformers but whats the point if you have to drive slow because you cant brake?

Cross platform compatibility is going to be almost impossible and unrealistic considering all the systems available are competing against each other.

Number of cars per system is also important, whats the point of only 4 on two lanes (from a club point of view) when most clubs have at least 4 lanes anyway?

Carrera sysem will allow a limited amount of backward compatibility as long as an aftermarket timing system is used.
As an interesting aside, Carrera are heavily advertising Pro X on German/Swiss and Austrian TV and included in the advert is a shot of a functioning pit lane, however I feel this is very misleading because this feature isnt available yet is it?

So for me the main ingredients for a successful Digital system will be:

Braking, backwards compatibility for all makes of car but not across systems, more than 4 cars per system, variety of curves/track/change over options, quality and high performing controllers, good power or easy ability to upgrade and the track itself must be compatible with existing track by the same Company at least.

I am looking forward to seeing what Ninco produce, am in love with DAVICs ideals but will be settling for Scalextric.
DAVIC offer the perfect system for me but the complexities of 'getting it right' are reflected in the extreme price of this wonderful system. Compromise, at my level of expendable income at least, will have to be made for now.
 

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Do the DAVIC LCs work properly now? I heard that you couldnt trail another car through a LC without getting sucked through. That is worse than lack of brakes.

Brakes are only really necessary on small 1/32 scale home layouts. Its not such a big deal on larger layouts with broader curves.
 

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René &#39;Vialli&#39; Christensen
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4,861 Posts
QUOTE (Swissracer @ 21 Dec 2004, 11:17)DAVIC offer the perfect system for me but the complexities of 'getting it right' are reflected in the extreme price of this wonderful system.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can only agree with you, Swissracer, since DaVic can be made for use with SCX, Scalextric, Ninco and so on, because of the way it is made!
You convert your LCs into the kind of track you run with and you "chip" the cars and use a pc program for racing!

I think it is worth waiting for DS to see what they will come up with!
 
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