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Life cycle length of Carrera technology

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  • Life cycle length of Carrera technology

    Is there a known life cycle length for Carrera technology, with new tech introductions expected every X number of years? We had the switch to digital about 10 or 11 years ago, and nothing new since... Isn't it time for some new tech to be introduced soon?

  • #2
    Well...there's been quite a bit new since.

    First Carrera digital system was Pro-X. This was replaced by D1XX, and for the first couple of years the D1XX systems could be switched to a Pro-X mode to allow use of any Pro-X investment. They also offered (for a period of time) a trade-in on Pro-X components to D1XX components. D1XX made for up to 6 human cars (Pro-X had 4), expanded the digital line to include 1/24 scale cars, added ghost and pace cars, and adjustable brake, top speed, and tank levels among other things.

    Then they introduced the Control Unit to replace the Black Box. This added the ability for software and other accessories to show fuel levels, added a real mode simulated driving experience, and allowed for driver displays, the position tower, and start light accessories. Also made it possible for software to set the speed, brake, and tank levels. This was essentially a brand new system in terms of function- but it did not obsolete any existing equipment.

    Since the Control Unit no *major* changes, but over the years since the CU's introduction they have added 2.4ghz wireless technology, a Bluetooth communication module to allow phones/tablets to talk to Carrera tracks, new check lane (or sector) timing devices and multi-lane start tracks for more-than-two lanes digital.

    What would you like? A new system which would require you to replace all of your existing hardware? I certainly wouldn't.

    I would like to see either a new control unit or a major firmware upgrade to the existing unit to allow deeper, more involved simulations for those who want it. But I wouldn't want to have to throw out anything I've already bought.

    I haven't looked deeply into this years Toy Fair now ongoing in Germany (where new Carrera stuff is announced), but it appears they didn't offer any new digital bits and baubles this year, which is disappointing, but we'll see what the future brings.
    Last edited by b.yingling; 02-01-2019, 11:52 AM.

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    • #3
      Bruce, I just got into slot car racing over the last year or so and have invested quite a lot in it, so trust me, the last thing I too want is to have to throw all that out the window for something completely new. I really asked the question about the life cycle of Carrera tech, actually dreading that someone will say yes, there is a newer system (whatever that would be) on the horizon, and I'm glad that you of all people don't seem to think so.


      That said, I also wouldn't mind some software "upgrades", and also hardware ones... As long as they're compatible with our existing systems... I would also not mind new D124 cars, and not just different liveries of existing models.

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      • #4
        The changeover from Pro-X was handled better in Europe than it was here in North America. Wasn't until several years had passed that CofA came up with an upgrade plan.

        Like you, I have no desire for a 'new' system. But I am always encouraged when they add improvements and additions to the core digital system.

        As to new molds/liveries/marks: seems every year there's a combination of happy people and disappointed people as far as the car lineups go. Nothing much this year excites me- still hoping for a Ferrari 512 in 1/32!- although the new Porsche GTs (finally a new body style) will likely get some of my money.
        Last edited by b.yingling; 02-01-2019, 12:43 PM.

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        • #5
          And the FXX will certainly be getting some of mine...

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          • #6
            I really like what they have to offer now. Things I would like to see...
            --- A platform that allowed more than six controlled cars. Not really needed, but would be nice.
            --- This should be in bold print, but I'm a nice guy.

            like Bruce said, a 1/32 Ferrari 512! they have the license and they need a mate to the
            Porsche 917K.... and maybe a Lola T70.. at least there's a Fly version.

            1/24 Lola T70 to go with the Porsche 917K and Ferrari 512.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by buspor63 View Post
              like Bruce said, a 1/32 Ferrari 512! they have the license and they need a mate to the
              Porsche 917K.... and maybe a Lola T70.. at least there's a Fly version.

              1/24 Lola T70 to go with the Porsche 917K and Ferrari 512.
              I can't believe they haven't done this! How long has the 917k been out in 1/32? Four years, I think? And no running mate. The Lola would be nice- but why they haven't done the 512 when they have a Ferrari 'contract' is beyond me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by b.yingling View Post
                I can't believe they haven't done this! How long has the 917k been out in 1/32? Four years, I think? And no running mate. The Lola would be nice- but why they haven't done the 512 when they have a Ferrari 'contract' is beyond me.
                I agree. They're going to lose sales to people buying the Scaley 412, just to have something to run against it.

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                • #9
                  OK, newbie question here...


                  What a running mate?

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                  • #10
                    A car that ran in the same class if not the same year/race, as another car. Conceivably, they could have raced along side one another in real life.
                    Ideally, the slot cars have similar running gear/parts so that they are relatively close matched on the track.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you for the explanation. So, what are known running mates in the D124 carrera lineup?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by myared View Post
                        Thank you for the explanation. So, what are known running mates in the D124 carrera lineup?
                        An obvious and popular example would be all of the DTM cars: the BMW M4, Mercedes AMG, AUDI RS 5. The Corvettes and the Ford GTs and the Ferrari 458 would be another example in a different series/class of racing. While some of these may not have actually been on track competing directly against one another, they are definitely close enough for most slot racers.

                        For an historical example: they did release a Ferrari 512 running mate for the 917K in D124.

                        When I first started slot racing- I really didn't care about this. But now I must admit I like having cars on the track that 'look right together'.
                        Last edited by b.yingling; 02-27-2019, 10:49 AM.

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                        • #13
                          More than running mates, I would love to see advanced software options like are available on the Scalextric side. For example, dynamic weather events, road conditions, tire settings, car damage, and automatic track call.

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                          • #14
                            Some things are not technically possible with Carrera. I'm sure Bruce can provide specifics, but I know that track call is one of those things, at least for now. I know that he is getting everything he can out of the system. If something opens up in the future, I'm sure he'll take advantage of it.

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                            • #15
                              Tire, weather, road, etc. effects are not really possible through software on Carrera. Even though software can change the maximum speed and maximum brake while running. That's because every time a speed or brake command is sent to a moving car, you run the risk of 'transcoding' the car, which will revert it back to it's factory settings for brake, tank, speed, and worst of all- controller ID. Transcoding can happen if something interrupts the speed or brake command and prevents the car from receiving all of the data message (and this can happen, unfortunately, just from the small dead spots on lane changers). The transcoding problem can be fixed for individual cars by adding a gold cap to the chip where the current capacitor sits. Unfortunately, this is only a per car solution, and requires the end user to solder on the digital chip. Not for everyone.

                              I have included things like tire, brake, and mechanical failure events in my software, and since they don't happen very often (compared to simulating weather and tire effects which would be changing with every lap), transcoding is not such a big risk. Plus, when it does happen, you could chalk it up to a catastrophic version of the event. Then I restore normal speed while the car is in the pit- so not moving, and not subject to much chance of transcoding.

                              In these discussions, I always like to point out that at least the Control Unit does an excellent job of simulating fuel load, w/o any outside software needed.
                              Last edited by b.yingling; 03-28-2019, 09:33 AM.

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