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  • How to get started?

    I posted in the 1/32 scale and was recommended to post here in the Carrera forum. I would like to jump into the hobby of slot car racing and build a setup to use in my rec room. I do not have a local vender (CDA, ID) to go to, so everything is done over the internet. I'm planning to build a 8'x12' or 16' table, with all the accessories. I think my air hockey table will terminated. I'm trying to read the threads to understand the terminology used, I feel like I'm in grade school. I watch F1 and would like to build the track with those cars in mind, but not limited to them. Is there a thread that explains the different elements of a setup of track, curves, lap counters, fuel stops, etc.?

    What starter set should I buy? I understand that addition items (track, controllers, etc.) are required based on the size of the end goal. Time is not and issue, I'm retired military. I look forward to feedback.

  • #2
    Buy the set that has the cars you like. Ideally, a set with more than just a couple cars and controllers and a little track. I don't think they make any sets with more than 3 cars, though.
    After that, decide if you want to use a computer (or tablet) for race management, or dedicated hardware. If you go with one, you really don't need the other, though I see it all the time, so that's just my opinion.
    Personally, I'd go with 8x16, or maybe even 7 or 6x16. Reaching across to the center of an 8 foot table to pick up a crashed car is a PITA, so you end up using grabbers rather than hands. This is assuming you can get all the way around your table.
    Also, I prefer PC control, though the latest version of Smart Race for Carrera Digital is pretty darn good. Carrera Race App.... not so much last I looked.
    Set up a nice big screen for the PC, or to share your tablet screen to, and forget about all the silly hardware accessories. All you need are the Bluetooth module, or a PC connection (they use the same port, so you have to pick one).
    Then, plan a layout and buy track and cars. Try to plan a layout with one long straight, then connect the ends with a variety of short straights, varying turns, combination turns, hairpins and switchbacks, and such. Try to avoid making a paperclip. Bridges should be avoided in general, except ONE bridge as needed to create a figure of 8, so that both lanes have equal length. The debate rages on as to how important this is, but as a guy who's raced in digital and analog clubs for over a decade, I much prefer a track with even lanes. IMHO, it's even more important with digital BECAUSE you can choose lanes. With analog, you usually rotate and everyone drives every lane.
    When you build your table and track, keep in mind the need to add wiring (aka power taps/jumpers) to help distribute power from the control unit around to faraway (by number of connections) sections of the track. Every track join reduces the available power to the next section. Bad connections make the problem worse. Power taps resolve those issues.

    have fun!
    Last edited by MrFlippant; 12-04-2020, 05:32 PM.

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    • #3
      MrFlippant, thank you for your feedback.
      1. Is there any difference between new and old digital set for sale, as to the track?
      2. What do you use a tablet for with race management?
      3. 6' or 7' is a better choice.
      4. ​​​​​​This is an older set, but it has the F1 cars. Carrera Digital 132 Formula Rivals 1:32 Scale Digital Slot Car Racing Set. Does it matter buying off of Amazon?
      5. What are power tabs/jumpers?

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      • #4
        I would buy a digital 132 set that includes wireless controllers. There aren't that many sets to choose from. I sure wish Carrera offered a “super” set. Starting out with 4 controllers, more track and lane changers would be nice.
        I use an iPad, smartrace, 55” tv for race control. Drivers with phones can link in. Works great. Still like having the carrera lap counter tower incorporated as it shows laps and rankings at a glance in big red numbers.
        I preferred building actual different tracks rather than layout software. It was more fun and less tedium than software that seemed to give dubious results in real life for me. I think actual driving on different track features/ideas shows what you like in a course then morph out the bad ideas in the next layout....
        Build your table in a modular form. Allow yourself flexibility to make changes in the footprint relatively easily. That way you can adapt to your slots growth and see how much of your living space to the table.
        Its different than a routed track. Sectional isn't a commitment, its easy to grow into with ideas and hardware. I find that pretty cool and entertaining.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frogman View Post
          MrFlippant, thank you for your feedback.
          1. Is there any difference between new and old digital set for sale, as to the track?
          2. What do you use a tablet for with race management?
          3. 6' or 7' is a better choice.
          4. ​​​​​​This is an older set, but it has the F1 cars. Carrera Digital 132 Formula Rivals 1:32 Scale Digital Slot Car Racing Set. Does it matter buying off of Amazon?
          5. What are power tabs/jumpers?
          1. Track is the same
          2. IPad works well, only thing I've used. Iphones and Androids all link up easily
          4. I've had better luck with online hobby shops/slot dealers than Amazon. I have made some Amazon buys, no problems, but prices are generally better elsewhere. Find someone fairly close to your location.... cuts down on the arrival time, I'm impatient waiting on new goodies.
          5. Power jumpers are added external wiring to even out power distribution throughout a larger layout. Can be made or purchased.

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          • #6
            Based off recommendation, starter set: Carrera 30008 DTM Furore $430 Amazon. Two wireless 2.4 Ghz controllers.

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            • #7
              dw5555 recommended I buy Scaley, Carrera does not make a lot of F1 cars?

              Comment


              • #8
                The selection of Carrera open wheel F1 cars is pretty small, but there are some. I have no Scali experience other than converting over some of their cars (not F1) to Carrera digital. The Carrera track is broader, even wider when using shoulders to run 124. I think the track system works well overall. Have some lane changer issues sometimes, whether Scali lane changers are better or worse I can't answer. So for a given table size you can fit more Scali track.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just bought the Carrera Digital DTM Furore as my starter set. Now what needs to be added?
                  I now understand that 8' would be to wide, so I'll start with 7'. The table will only be temp until I workout all the accessories and track design. I do want to run both 1/24 and 1/32 scale cars, so shoulders will be applied. How do you determine you need a better power supply and where to put these power tabs/jumpers? Does the 1/24 cars require more power than the 1/32 cars?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Congratulations on your purchase.

                    Some good advice earlier from Mr Flippant.

                    7' is still pretty wide, you will need access to both sides. Some people recommend a jumper every 10 track connections, you could probably get away with more than that for a temporary layout. It's best to jumper each lane individually. Don't buy the expensive power taps, you can make them using speaker wire. You won't need an aftermarket power supply straight away but they are nice to have. The 1/24 cars use an 18v supply so I suppose it isn't a bad thing to go and get an aftermarket supply if you will be running both scales as its easy to trim it down to 14.5v for running 1/32 and then back up for 1/24. Though some people swear by running lower voltage for 1/32 but that is debatable for D132 as you can individually trim down each car using the speed function available on the CU to adjust each car (the setting is saved in each car's decoder)

                    There are a couple of good beginner videos on youtube, dw5555 from this group explains the pitlane and refueling features well and there are others regarding use of the CU.

                    Don't be in a rush to go and spend your money as you might find you end up with a lot of stuff you don't really need that much. Some people like to buy another set to get some more straights and spare parts which isn't a bad thing but you will end up with a lot of R1 curves.

                    Finding F1 cars might be a bit tricky, you might be able to fit aftermarket decoders inside other brand F1 cars but I am not really familiar with the various F1 cars so can't comment too much.

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                    • #11
                      Slotspeed-thank you for you feedback. As you said 7' is wide and 6' can be reached from both sides. I will have to reach the jumper issue, I do not understand what they look like or how they work. Another unknown is the race management issue, I'm lost on that subject. I will be visiting youtube for a lot of the track designs and what goes where and why.

                      I do not understand why there is not more F1 cars, it's the major race forum in the world. Must be like soccer and football, it's not American!

                      My ping pong table lays on my pool table, it will be my first platform.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Short answer may be licensing costs. As well, from what I have heard and read, the cars are made and released in quantities such as 1500 units. Set car numbers might be different, I don't know. But my local shop tells me that the licensing for car makers such as Ferrari can determine when the cars are available from say Carrera or Scalextric. Carrera had Ferrari licensing a few years ago and produced some cars back then. Dave Kennedy does some youtube videos that may answer a few questions on why cars and liveries are available in limited numbers.

                        Someone did a Spa tribute circuit, I forget where I saw it but it looked good for 1/32 racing.

                        Might need some time and patience to find the F1 cars that you desire.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Time is on my side, retired. I started this as a long term hobby. I ski in the winter and ride my Harley in the summer. I need an indoor hobby that I can enjoy, but also change as time moves forward. The hard part now, is understanding the requirements. Thus I pick the knowledge of individuals that have already traveled this road. The valuable information that is provided is the "what not to do" vice the "what to do". Example; 6' width vice 8' width and why. Thank you again for your input.

                          I assume you need 3-4 wireless controls if you run more than 2 cars. Would you buy the 10109 and get the charging station? When looking at cars, is there a guideline for good-better-best?

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                          • #14
                            Hi Frogman,

                            I can't answer your questions about wireless, I am sure someone experienced with them will answer. But with regards to the F1's I just came across some new Policar models that are in the modern style of F1, it seems it is up to the user to decorate them if they so wish to look similar to the modern F1 liveries. There are several places that sell all manner of decal kits such as Patto's place and others. It seems that the Slot.it decoders fit in them, assuming it is the type C that fits, then you can run it in Carrera compatibility mode if you use your mobile device with the correct slot.it app to transfer the firmware. But they are not cheap. Perhaps MrFlippant or someone else who is more familiar with the slot.it lines might be able to confirm if I am correct about this. I just tried to find the page where I saw this information and a photo of a slot.it decoder fitted to one but of course now I can't find it.

                            Steve.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frogman View Post
                              Time is on my side, retired. I started this as a long term hobby. I ski in the winter and ride my Harley in the summer. I need an indoor hobby that I can enjoy, but also change as time moves forward. The hard part now, is understanding the requirements. Thus I pick the knowledge of individuals that have already traveled this road. The valuable information that is provided is the "what not to do" vice the "what to do". Example; 6' width vice 8' width and why. Thank you again for your input.

                              I assume you need 3-4 wireless controls if you run more than 2 cars. Would you buy the 10109 and get the charging station? When looking at cars, is there a guideline for good-better-best?
                              You need a controller for each driver up to six. The 10109 includes a receiver. You already have a receiver with the initial wireless set and don't need another. Although two separate controllers and a double charge stand are the same price as 10109 so the spare receiver is a freebie.
                              As far as cars. They are all different. As in real life a Nascar Torino isn't going to drive the same as a Porsche 917. I like'em all! Unfortunately it isn't easy to know before hand what you are getting. Some chassis have stub front axles. Some have magnets accessible from the bottom, others the magnets are inside. Pretty much all the cars have wheels in different diameters and widths, weights vary alot between model styles. The motors are all the same except F1’s are different.
                              So get what you like for cars and have fun with it. I do wish Carrera would offer at least six liveries of each model as if you want the most even racing car wise they need to be the same.
                              I've found urethane tires to be a good upgrade for any car.

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