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Seriously contemplating the switch. Help me MrFlippant!

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  • Seriously contemplating the switch. Help me MrFlippant!

    Here's the deal...

    After reconfiguring the proposed layout of my finished basement, I can now build a 36 foot long, dog bone-shaped and stretched Paramount Ranch (kinda-sorta) with the main straightaway running at a diagonal, across the table. I have all of the track needed to build it, with the exception of an R2 22.5 or two. Anyway... I was also going to keep it analog - and even recently scored a PS-26KX to power it, but I also recently saw the Platinum Digital set - with its analog capability - and now my imagination has gotten ahold of me...

    If you were going to build what I'm talking about building, what would one need to purchase - in addition to what comes in the Platinum set - to make a layout like Paramount Ranch as good as it could possibly be for digital racing?

    This layout is going to take me through my retirement. I am a complete newbie to digital, but have raced analog all my life. I want this track to be the nicest (scenery-wise) and coolest one that I have ever built... my wife has even stipulated that we have to get one of the scale photographic backdrops for the layout. (she's awesome) I'm thinking that digital has to happen, but I know very little about it. I've been trying to read archived material, but I know I'm coming into the game kinda late, and so much of the terminology (even with the quick links) takes a bit for me to understand. It's all so new to me... but soooo cool.

    Have at it, MrFlippant and the rest of you guys... if you were going to build it, what would you buy for it? Tell me what I need to get to be able to apex corners, pass and pit.

    I am also intrigued by wireless controllers. Can I get them/use them with Scalextric's powerbase?

    Thanks so much, you guys. Merry Christmas!

    Dying to get started on this track and am getting pretty close. Just a few more things to do downstairs...

  • #2
    i recently saw that scaley is coming out with some new power bases that incorporate wireless and some other cool features. if i were you, i'd build the track in analog form and just enjoy it that way (and possibly tweak it as necessary to get it flowing well) until the new scaley stuff comes out...

    also, i don't know how much experience you have with digital (and i'm not trying to talk you out of it) but digital is not for everyone. if you haven't already done so, i'd recommend finding a group that runs digital and joining them for at least 5 or 6 races before you commit to it yourself.
    Last edited by boopiejones; 12-23-2013, 03:44 PM.


    • #3
      The new RCS power bases are really cool looking, but one thing we don't know is if the RCS Pro (6 car digital) will have an analog mode. Someone even got an email from Hornby telling them to ask again later. That makes me worry for an analog mode in the new base. Other than that, it seems to have pretty much everything, including a USB port for 3rd party support and upgrades.

      But, I also said that if I didn't already have digital, I wouldn't wait for the new base. For a permanent home track, the wireless aspect isn't as big of a deal as for rug racing or temporary tracks where extension cables would be a hassle. Also, pretty much everything touted in the new base is supported in the current one, though mostly by third parties. For example, there are really nice wireless options for current SSD systems.

      As a long time analog racer, though, you might find that the digital controllers are somewhat lacking. You can get better controllers, such as the TruSpeed or controllers, but if you like your analog controllers (Professor Motor, DiFalco, etc), then you might want to do what I've done (and others have done) and wire up a plug or switch so that you can use your traditional controllers in analog mode, and the digital ones in digital mode. It's not hard, just a bit of soldering.

      As for what your layout would need to be a great digital one, I'd have to see the plan. Usually I'll put a lane changer anywhere there are 3 straights in a row, with the lane changer right before the next turn. On some layouts, those areas can be hard to find, or too numerous. Curved lane changers can also be used, but are limited in that you need a 1.5 straight and then a 90 degree R2 turn. If you have a sketch or image of your layout, I'd love to see it. If you post a photo, post a variety from one end to the other, and I can probably replicate it in TrackPower and make needed changes/suggestions.

      Finally, as boopie suggested, digital isn't for everyone. If you can find some local digital people to race with, assuming you haven't already, definitely take that opportunity if it comes up. Otherwise, ask yourself if you think you'd enjoy it when you're cruising along and suddenly come up behind a slower car... who then changes into the other lane right as you decide to do the same... maybe multiple times, preventing you from getting around him until finally you each choose a different lane and you're able to make the pass. If that sounds like fun, then digital is in your wheelhouse. If that sounds annoying, then it might be better to leave it.


      • #4
        It would also help putting your location in your profile. Someone may be close to you and show you the ins and outs of the Digital world. Ya never know...



        • #5
          Originally posted by dw5555 View Post
          It would also help putting your location in your profile. Someone may be close to you and show you the ins and outs of the Digital world. Ya never know...

          Ironically, I do have it listed in my profile and cannot, for the life of me, figure out why it's not showing up when I post. I have tried to fix it and get it to work a couple of times and finally gave up. For the record, I'm from right around Cleveland, Ohio. Note: I figured it out after posting this; it's fixed. Thanks.

          I would like to try driving on a digital track and certainly have alot to learn about the technology and terminology. If anyone has one in the area, I'm honest, trustworthy and clean.

          The only time I have ever gotten to play on a digital track was at the Cheetah reunion out at Nelson's Ledges, where Dave Kennedy had a small Carrera track set up with the power turned down... cool that one could change lanes, but it was kinda boring.

          MrFlippant, you have confused me with all the information about the RCS powerbase and its analog ability/inability. This is not the powerbase in the Platinum set, correct? The powerbase in the Platinum set will do analog, right? Having that capability is important to me.

          I'm probably the only one who's going to be using this layout most of the time. My thoughts of going digital, or at least having the capability to change lanes, was to be able to drive my track and apex the corners... that was pretty much it in a nutshell. I'm not so much of a racer anymore, but love to watch these beautiful models in their element - especially with scenery. I just thought it would be really cool to be able to do the things that I think digital allows one to do.

          Maybe I should just stick to analog (which is still pretty awesome in its own right) and be done with it.
          Last edited by Oldrice; 12-24-2013, 04:13 AM.


          • #6
            the powerbase that comes with the platinum set can do both analog and digital.

            but if you are a long time analog racer and just want a track where you can "apex the corners" while driving by yourself, i'd recommend a routed analog track. you can't really apex the corners in digital. you can change lanes at the end of the straight and then drive around the inside lane, but that doesn't really provide the same feel as hitting the apex (and it is often the slower way around the track too.

            with a routed track, you can actually build it so that the cars really do take the apex in the corners.


            • #7
              (boopie beat me to the punch )

              Sorry, didn't mean to cause confusion.
              The Platinum set, should you find one, comes with the APB, which DOES have analog mode.
              This new RCS thing is almost entirely different.

              Truth be told, even in digital, there's no way to properly apex a corner without a routed wood track. There are some fantastic digital routed tracks, though. Take a look at any BLST track. Plastic, however, only allows a poor facsimile of apex turns.

              If your only reason to consider digital is that, then I'd say stick with analog. Maybe go routed analog, and design the corners to look like the car(s) are apexing the turns. Routing analog tracks is not hard at all, really. A little messy, and more or less permanent, but not hard. Plus you end up with a super smooth track that's a pleasure to cruise OR race on.


              • #8
                Well, thank you both for your guidance. I obviously had misconceptions about what the digital technology could/couldn't do and I'm definitely going to stick with analog.

                As much as I admire the routed tracks, I'm going to stick with plastic track simply because I've got so much of it. I can build it and paint it so that the two lanes at least have the illusion of a "preferred line" through the corner(s). That'll work for me.

                Thanks again for all of the information. I appreciate it.