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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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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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