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Can I say how shocked both myself and many members and visitors to the ASSC are that there is so little uptake on Digital clubs.

I don't know about other digital clubs but we struggle to get a decent number (I dream of the days where we get 10+ every race)

Now I'm sure there are plenty of digital racers out there and we all know analogue racers are happy to drive all over for their racing, so why is it that Digital racers don't.

There seems to be very few clubs dotted around the UK so I would have thought it would be easy to get the numbers, especially as were situated 2 miles from a Hornby / Scalextric concession.

Please note, I'm not just sounding bitter, these are the opinions of most of the racers at the club who have been racing for many years.

If anyone know the answer (and its not simply "42") please let me know :)
 

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Maybe there needs to be a league of digital clubs? If there was a format and a promise of club teams and inter-club events, maybe people would be more encouraged to set up clubs, knowing it was part of something bigger.

I think one of the things possibly holding back digital clubs is the fact that digital allows everyone's living room to be a club. The fact it is so easy to set up a compact multi-car race might actually prevent it from getting bigger and more organised? I've been to one of A.S.S.C's events and it is a whole lot more than a living room race - but perhaps people aren't seeing the potential.

A league would also allow clubs to pool resources to promote themselves better at events and through a single national website.

Just thinking aloud here...
 

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I don't think it's just digital clubs that are low on members, the analogue clubs I race at would be happy with 10 members racing regularly.
 

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I think there are in fact too many clubs, and a mentality of 'Screw that, the nearest one is 25 miles I will start my own'. Or the slightest rule that grinds on four members means they go off and start a rival club.

Your problem has little if anything to do with digital.

How much of the Worthing HO handbook have you done?

The digi club in Norfolk, with tonnes of members, how many of their promotional avenues have you also explored?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (montoya1 @ 2 Jun 2011, 15:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think there are in fact too many clubs, and a mentality of 'Screw that, the nearest one is 25 miles I will start my own'. Or the slightest rule that grinds on four members means they go off and start a rival club.

Your problem has little if anything to do with digital.

How much of the Worthing HO handbook have you done?

The digi club in Norfolk, with tonnes of members, how many of their promotional avenues have you also explored?
HI,

Not sure what the Worthing HO Handbook is?

Anyone from Norfolk digi club that can pass on some trade secrets in getting regular members please let me know :)

I don't see other clubs as rivals I see them as a future club v club competition, again any digi clubs out there that fancy that let me know :)
 

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When I say rival I mean in terms of using a different philosophy than the club they left. 1/32nd clubs are notorious for running rules that make crossover and competition difficult. You get complacency and the dreaded big fish in a small pond syndrome too.

The Worthing HO handbook is a document written by the guys running that club, which sets out the steps they used to go from being two guys to easily the most popular HO club in Europe. They are regularly getting turnouts in the high 20s or above, and everyone seems happy and very switched on to what they are doing. The document has been published at least in part on this forum.

Any club that has not adopted a 'no stone unturned' policy really has no grounds to complain. If a HO club can do it, then...
 

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Greg Gaub
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I think the main point being that it like anything... unless the word is spread far and wide, those who might be interested won't even know about it. Sure, SlotForum people know, but that's a small number and not enough locals. Come up with as many ways of "advertising" as you can, and you've still just scratched the surface of what's necessary to get the numbers you want. I have a simple, 3 step process to starting and growing any club.
1) pick the location
2) set the date
3) ADVERTISE
It's that last one that's the hardest.

I'm interested in the Worthing HO handbook, now. I'll have a look for it, but if anyone finds it, please link to it here.
 

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Flip,

I am sure I can hook you up, PM me. There are a few startling things in there that worked, but in the main its common sense. Where the memo has it's power is in how spectacularly it all worked, which should inform the reader the work involved is worth it.

You have hit on something that was key, the sorting of the venue and an open night. I went down to the coast for WHO's and the buzz which the club has to this day was made that night. Had they promoted in a hotch-potch way and just had people come in dribs and drabs it probably would of gone very differently. They way they did it instead, they really 'arrived'.
 

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Hi all,

I'm possibly the only person at WHO (maybe more but I don't know) who has joined the club because of Slotforum. And I only joined Slotforum because I discovered people who were talking about Tomy AFX which I've always been into and I was looking for similarly minded people. Even then it took me over a year to finally get my act in gear and turn up at a race meeting. And there is a long established 1/32nd club here in Brighton (who strangely aren't on SF) and WHO a mere half hour train ride away.

HO has always been my thing and yet it takes me a year to go and race? Now imagine I am your regular casual Scalextric fan and I have a digital set. I might like hauling the set out once a month or so, maybe get a few friends over for a race but to actually then decide that I would like to go to a club and make a regular commitment in time to go and race AND a regular commitment in terms of money to make my cars race ready is a completely different kettle of fish.

I suggested that we try slot racing to some friends a few years back and their reaction was that they like Scalextric but to go to a club and race was a level of geekery they didn't want to go to! I say this as a club racer myself so no offence is intended here! But the truth is our hobby and our passion is seen as geeky but not in a cool way. Maybe if people tried racing, they would see that isn't the case. I've made some great friends through racing in 5 short months.

Alos, as Woodcote said on a previous thread, the people on the forum are people who are really into slotcars but that may not necessarily mean they are into racing. Some like it for the modelling possibilities only while others want to race but are miles from anywhere.

I'm rambling somewhat so I will wrap this up. I just wanted to point out some of the other reasons why it can be difficult to attract new members. Best of luck to you in your endeavours and as Deane says, have a look at what WHO have done. It has been a great success story. One of my favourite snippets was the guy who has always had HO sets who heard about WHO from either one of their radio bits or something similar and decided to come see what was going on. He lived less than 5 minutes walk away and had no idea it was there. Food for thought?

Cheers

Gareth
 

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I race in Norfolk which has 4 thriving analogue clubs. I have tried HO and loved it but Digital I just can,t take to. The Norfolk Digital club is my nearest club but i do,nt go there as its not my thing and i do,nt know of any of thier members who race analogue. If you look at the digital posts on here most seem to be about problems with the system, If it becomes reliable it might be a success in club racing but at the moment i see it as a race at home system.
 

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Reason is three fold:
1)Trend away from clubs to home systems
2)Lack of heavy duty systems designed especially for club use.
3)Simply relatively early days with digital.

Rick
 

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Not speaking 'for' ENSCA, but as an 'occasional' participant there....

I believe that 'we' have taken a hometrack format about as far as one can for a club in terms of layout size. Hank Scorpio and BBENSCA may well have a whole lot more info on just how they started out as floor racers in the village hall and arrived at 'The largest Digital club in the world'

So, as that occasional racer, it is family based (I'm 51 and my lad of 22 enjoys racing there too....), grandparents help out/do their knitting/make tea and whathaveyou as well as race competetivley. The format of Hornby (only) GT cars keeps pocket money racing possible, no sillycone tyres, no highrevs motors (would blow the digi-chip?) & fully detailed and Super Resistant cars make up the grid. FWIW when its magless I use a dodge Viper front engined with sheet-lead in plumbers putty for ballast, no more competetive than a TVR as it happens.

So, young'uns make up the numbers, are 'encouraged' to take up marshalling duties and enjoy it on a sunday teatime when the village hall would probably otherwise be unused and kids would otherwise 'be at chapel'


Just my brief take on what sets us apart from analogue racing. I have tried that too briefly at NSCC meets, and i'm rubbish. with Digi, well at least I can keep up.

scalexkid

Oh Yeah, Scalex Racer Club mag had a two page article about the club last issue, could others write about theirs and get it published?
 

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Greg Gaub
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QUOTE (jonnynobber @ 2 Jun 2011, 13:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I race in Norfolk which has 4 thriving analogue clubs. I have tried HO and loved it but Digital I just can,t take to. The Norfolk Digital club is my nearest club but i do,nt go there as its not my thing and i do,nt know of any of thier members who race analogue. If you look at the digital posts on here most seem to be about problems with the system, If it becomes reliable it might be a success in club racing but at the moment i see it as a race at home system.

At the risk of veering off topic, though the basis for the above statement might have an impact on the thread's purpose, I wonder what you, or anyone actually, feel makes for a "club" system as opposed to a "home" system.
Size of layout/track?
Speed of cars?
Plastic versus wood?
Magnet versus magless?
Analog versus digital?
Number of simultaneous racers?
Number of racers overall?
Free versus paid?
Business venue versus home venue?

As for problems versus reliability, I honestly don't think digital is any less reliable than other systems. I run with an analog club and have raced on several commercial raceways. They have their "off" times as well with lap counting problems and dead spots on the track. The cars are the same cars as for digital. The digital chips themselves are just as reliable as analog cars are as long as you understand their limitations. You can no more put an analog box set together and expect competitive racing than you can a digital set, and BOTH can be built/assembled in a robust way so as to minimise issues that are common with "home sets".

I no longer personally accept reliability and other similar issues as reasons why people don't like digital or think it won't catch on. Those are red herrings. I also don't accept the claim that all the crashing is bothersome, because we all know very well that analog racers crash quite enough themselves, especially inexperienced ones. I will, however, accept that there are many people who don't like changing lanes, and would rather only have to worry about keeping their car in the slot, and not about all the other cars on the track at the same time.


To those who don't agree with me, for the sake of argument, let's just say that digital IS just as "reliable" as analog. Now what's the reason? Any remaining reliability issues will be gone soon, if not already. What's left that you/anyone thinks might be holding back digital from becoming a club level hobby, at least approaching the level of analog racing?

If anything, I think it's more about getting the word out than it is about anything else. Rick's point about digital being relatively young is spot on because analog slots have been around for generations at this point, and people in general don't like change.

I could go on, but I'm mostly wondering if there's some crucial bit that I'm missing here. Some malady that has yet to be addressed before we can move on and get the ball rolling properly.
 

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Alan Tadd
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Possibly too many different incompatible systems? A Guy who runs Ninco at Home isn't going to re-chip his cars to go race at a Scalextric Club...Doesn't happen in the analogue world but may explain lack of Digital numbers...If it ever gets to the stage where one system dominats then I'm sure Club level interest will increase.

Regards

Alan
 

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I will add my 2 cents worth.

First let me state that I am an analog racer in a club in Sydney Australia with around 18 members of which anywhere between 10-16 turn up regularly. All our tracks (11 of them) are routed timber tracks with braid. We have around 12 different classes of cars that we regularly race every fortnight.

A few years ago I sold my routed track to experience Scalextric digital. At first my 2 young sons and I really enjoyed it. BUT, I just could not get away from the fact that it was too "toy like". The controllers were awful, the lane changing was too abrupt and would miss many times it was activated and the whole experience left me with not a lot of positives. Mind you, I had purchased the PB-PRO and it was an improvement but not what I wanted. I sold the whole set 2 weeks after purchase.

I am fortunate enough to live only 15km away from Rick (Scorpius) and have been to his place a few times to enjoy Scorpius. Whilst Ricks track is plastic, the Scorpius system is simply not even in the same ball park as Scalextric. The controllers are more usable than the Slot.it ones, the cars dont stop and jerk all over the place, you can use higher spec motors such as the NSR's, can have a heap of cars on the track and you can stand anywhere you want. This will be the future of digital club tracks. Transferring Ricks technology to a routed timber track where with a few modifications a digital track can become an analog one and then back again, will be the future. This will be my future track and I can hardly wait.
 

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Since others are giving their comments.... here are mine...

1) most digital layouts are home based ... no evidence of this but I think a quick review on this forum will show that most digital layouts are built for a small group or a family at home.

2) incompatible technology ... any analogue car can race on any analogue track but the barrier to switching between digital systems divides users and prevents people from racing on even their friends tracks. The ultimate has to be SCX vs. Scaley or Ninco or Carrera as far as different from each other.

3) modelling vs. racing ... the ability to try and recreate "realistic" race courses, with all sorts of technical goodies, attracts many who may seldom actually race anyone else. And with pace cars, one does not even need others around to race against.

These may not be new ideas but could explain why analogue leads to more clubs than digital.
Comments?

Cheers!
 

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I agree. There are a variety of digital tracks - SSD, Ninco, SCX. There is a lot of new technology afoot - Scorpius, Oxigen, Dslot, etc. It's more expensive than analogue. And for beginners you have to press buttons and keep an eye on fuel levels, as well as concentrate on keeping the car in the slot. Too much for them.

Having said that, I have a digital track. I love it, but we also have a Ninco 4-lane in storage waiting for a permanent club room, and that will be where beginners cut their teeth before moving on to digital.

My suggestion - do both.
 

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Here is one for the OP - Have you approached the Champions League about hosting a round? if I understand how that works the clubs provide the cars and the entrants just have to get on with it.

Champions Leaguers who wish to hurl abuse at me for suggesting this can PM me, but please put *@~#[email protected]!! in the subject line
 

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QUOTE (Yngwie @ 3 Jun 2011, 08:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I will add my 2 cents worth.

First let me state that I am an analog racer in a club in Sydney Australia with around 18 members of which anywhere between 10-16 turn up regularly. All our tracks (11 of them) are routed timber tracks with braid. We have around 12 different classes of cars that we regularly race every fortnight.

A few years ago I sold my routed track to experience Scalextric digital. At first my 2 young sons and I really enjoyed it. BUT, I just could not get away from the fact that it was too "toy like". The controllers were awful, the lane changing was too abrupt and would miss many times it was activated and the whole experience left me with not a lot of positives. Mind you, I had purchased the PB-PRO and it was an improvement but not what I wanted. I sold the whole set 2 weeks after purchase.

I am fortunate enough to live only 15km away from Rick (Scorpius) and have been to his place a few times to enjoy Scorpius. Whilst Ricks track is plastic, the Scorpius system is simply not even in the same ball park as Scalextric. The controllers are more usable than the Slot.it ones, the cars dont stop and jerk all over the place, you can use higher spec motors such as the NSR's, can have a heap of cars on the track and you can stand anywhere you want. This will be the future of digital club tracks. Transferring Ricks technology to a routed timber track where with a few modifications a digital track can become an analog one and then back again, will be the future. This will be my future track and I can hardly wait.

I think you have hit the nail on the head John. You cannot compare the reliability of analogue over digital, something extraordinary has to happen at a commercial analogue track to affect reliability, the same can't be said for digital. Scorpius could possibly change things however...time will tell. So far, it is living up to my expectations.

I purchased a 6 car PB V1.5 and had the PB pro stuff added in by Drummer, but I couldn't justify the expense of continuing on considering the points outlined above and the long list of problems digital had at the time. Granted things have improved, (though I still see issues with the new APB). A commercial operator can't afford issues with reliability, no matter how good the features are. If I was a commercial operator considering digital and did some research on the various systems on this and other forums, a digital plastic track would have a snowflakes chance in hell of going in my centre until a proven reliable system is established.

A commercial digital track has to be something better than you can have at home. Personally, I think it has to be wood, pretty long length (min 100 ft), a good suface, magna braid, have high power handling of the car chip and be rock solid reliable. This leaves all options open to run any class of car including 1/24 & 1/32, mag & non mag, big and small motors, metal chassis & plastic, rubber and foam tyres, etc etc, so racing can be mixed up and not become boring. The design of a commercial wood track is absolutely critical, this cannot be understated and is usually very different to home tracks.

- Cam

Edit: I think the ultimate commercial track should cater to everyones needs. I would build a 6 or 8 lane analogue track with 2 to 3 lanes setup for digital. Going off topic a little, I find it bizarre the divisions between
analogue and digital racers you see in some posts and the heated arguements. I am really happy racing anything with 4 wheels and a slot guide, so I say keep everyone happy.
 

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I think 'incompatible digital systems' is another red herring - maybe it does put some people off but it shouldn't for a number of reasons - especially in the UK where SSD must surely be the dominant system due to the brand name and availability here.

But in addition to that - what A.S.S.C. does is provide the track AND the cars. This ensures the cars are even and untampered with for fair racing - and means it does not matter if the club member has SSD, another digital or even analogue at home. This seems to be a great approach especially in the early days of club racing.

But anyone who has done analogue club racing knows that a lot of the time, they have to buy a car to enter a specific race at their club anyway, to fit the class entrance rules and to be competitive in that class, and to be tuned to the club rules. They will buy a controller specifically for that club, if it can be used at home that's just a bonus. The parallel with digital is it doesn't really matter what they have at home, if they have to buy a car for the club, that's the same as analogue clubs anyway.

The factors of incompatibility may be holding people back in their minds, in which case it is an issue that needs to be dealt with because I don't see it is a real world issue.
 
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