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Help a Newbie - sanity checking

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  • Help a Newbie - sanity checking

    Hello all - First thank you for all the help which I've received by snooping around old threads over the last few days.

    What I'm looking for is sort of a "sanity" check on what I've decided to do in terms of getting into Slots. I got my first set when i was about 12 - but (and I hate to admit it) I never really took an interest and within about a week I think I had the cars rolling on the shag carpet with all my other standard diecast..... ...yes, I know....somewhere one or more of you shed a tear.

    I've been visiting the LeMay museum here in Washington and every time I go, my kids just love their slot layout. I discovered I liked it too and it sort of makes sense I have a fair 1:18 die-cast collection and a few of the full-size classics too, so I thought I might do something for know...for the kids..... After all my looking and reading, I've decided there really is no ideal set-up - no matter what you pick there will be some compromises and trade-offs. are my thoughts....your advice and opinions appreciated.

    Analog or Digital: Digital - We have four racers but no room for four lanes. I also like the idea of lane changes and pit stops. Without any prior experience I have no particular bias on technology, so I thought it made sense to go to digital rather than get hung up on the technology debate.

    Track: Carrera 132 - specifically the "Race Party" set. I like that this set has a decent length of track (26+ft) but fits into a 10X5 area (which is about what I have available). Its also wireless which will be great for the kids and the Carerra race app + Bluetooth thing that comes with it looks pretty neat too. It comes with three cars so I just need to add one more (for now) and I like Carrera's "pit-stop / gas management" solution which does not come with this kit but I imagine I could add it later. I also looked at Scalextric - Technically I prefer their track (more kid and space friendly) and I definitely prefer their car models, but their "gas management / pit-stop" idea seems very complicated in comparison to Carrera - certainly not OTB ready to run...seems to me anyway. The closest comparable set seems to be their "law enforcer" set. I prefer the cars (my kids would love the police car) and I think the controller is better - not sure what to think of the Carrera thumb-button. However, the set is not wireless, there is no race-management app (and the Scalextric version seems expensive as a stand-alone item) the track is also 5 ft shorter yet the layout consumes a tad more space. Its also more expensive, though not by much. I do worry that the Carrera track might be too easy to break for my 4 & 7 year old, and that space will become an issue if we try expand with Carrera being overall bigger piece by piece. I also wonder about durability since at least at the start, this set will be taken down and set up often - not a permanent set-up initially - but all considered, *I think* Carrera is the better choice.

    Cars: Carrera to start for ease, but more often than not, I prefer the Scalextric cars. I don't know how they compare performance wise, but in terms of the makes and models, I find more to like on the Scalextric side. It seems the Scalextric cars are the easiest to convert from Analog to Digital, I keep reading that you can do the same for Carrera, but I've yet to find much information on that. My hope is that I can "chip" an Analog Scalextric car to run on Carrera digital. I'm handy with a soldering gun, so, as long as its possible and the chips are available, I think I can make it work - but I'm not sure if there are any other things to worry about when using a Scalextric car on a Carrera track. My wife, for example, will only authorize this purchase If she gets the pink and black Dodge Challenger ....a Scalextric car

    So - that's what I'm thinking. Any thoughts? Opinions? othe rthinsg I shoudl condier or know about between my choices?



  • #2
    Call me tomorrow morning. I'll PM my phone number.
    I have both analog scalextric and digital scalextric as well as digital carrera.
    We can talk about all these things, and you can come over and play on my track and get a feel for things. We can spend time and get all your questions answered.

    In short, however, digital Carrera or Scalectric is great and analog is plenty of fun as well. You are hereby invited to an EMSA race tomorrow evening (which I'm happy to bring you to and home from) as well as a DRAWW race this coming Sunday.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Treozen
      [ It seems the Scalextric cars are the easiest to convert from Analog to Digital, I keep reading that you can do the same for Carrera, but I've yet to find much information on that.. Allan.
      Allan, you must have missed this ne. It has over 1000 posts... I'm assuming you mean Scalextric to Carrera.



      • #4
        Go digital since you want to run 4 cars on a 2 lane track. With carera I know you can run 6 cars total so that means you could add 2 ghost cars that everyone would have to dodge and pass. Not sure on scaley but carrera cars are pretty tough. My 2 yr old hasnt broken one yet despite his desire for maximum speed and no regard for physics or curves.

        As for police cars....carrera has 2 different police cars and a fire marshal/safety car out so they have 3 cars that have functional roof lights.

        Going carrer d132 also means you can run d124 cars. Just need to add bourders and run the cars. Not as fast without going to the 124 power supply but then again i am racing with a 2 yr old so they go fast enough to deslot so thats good enough for me.

        There is a list of cars that have been chipped to run carrera. Its a.sticky in the carrera sub forum.

        As for the plunger controlers, I love them. Throttle is on the plunger and lane change is on your trigger finger. That makes it easy to find the right speed setting with your thumb and hold steady and just pull the trigger as you need to change lanes.
        Last edited by ATIS; 11-16-2015, 03:25 AM.


        • #5
          As for durability...carrera track using plastic clips.that can be replaced and they take the pressure off of the electrical connectors so I vote carrera *** more durable.

          As a disclaimer, I just got back into slots a few months ago and went carrera and love it.


          • #6
            Thanks - I was hoping they had a police / flashing light car - not sure my younger one would have been happy with anything else. I think I also saw a police Mini - Scalextric I think.

            I hear different views on the Carrera track - I guess its the most rigid so can't take as much abuse? I guess it just need to be a rule - no walking your giant feet on the race track.

            Also, somehow I managed to post this thread twice.....


            • #7
              Originally posted by Treozen View Post
              Also, somehow I managed to post this thread twice.....
              Hi, I've fixed that now I think. to SCI!


              • #8
                Allan even though Carrera is rigid it does have some flex to it. While I definitely wouldn't recommend walking on it I have dropped a hammer on one and all it did was dent the rails. IF you have the room Carrera is a great track.

                You can also set the speed & brake for each individual car with a push of a button so the little ones can floor it around the track without desloting while better drivers can advance their speed as needed.



                • #9
                  Also, carrera has a few cars from disneys cars movie in d132 so the kids can have cars you wont worry about being abused.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ATIS View Post
                    Also, carrera has a few cars from disneys cars movie in d132 so the kids can have cars you wont worry about being abused.
                    And these cars are very tough and drive pretty good.


                    • #11
                      I am currently Scalextric analog but want to go digital once ARC PRO comes along.
                      I have had (and still have) Carrera track and I prefer Scalextric.

                      My kids have stepped on the track getting cars and the Carrera track cracked. Yes it was easily fixed but the Scalextric (new Sport track) held up better.

                      Also you don't need extra clips to keep the track together. The track clicks together and pretty much stays. I have lifted entire tracks up and carried them across the room and set them down again.

                      Scalextric also offers some cool extras like the "flying leap" aka a ramp, a road crossing /intersection and lane changing curves that allow for smash and bash racing kids love so much.

                      You can also use older, "Classic" Scalextric track which has banked curves, wicked chicanes, tight squeezes and even a lopp-the-loop (hard to find and expensive...) but technically it is an option.

                      I feel that the magnetic force of the track is higher (though I have never tested it) but the surface is smoother (less grip).

                      You can use any brand analog car on any brand analog track, whereby you may have to trim the guide a little as Scalextric track is about 1 mm shallower.

                      Scalextric track takes up less space too.

                      Finally, the ARC ONE power base that is readily available allows you to have lap counting, timing and pit stops with fuel and tire changes for around 50 USD$ (sometimes less).

                      The only advantage I see to Carrera is the ease of racing 1/24 scale cars on it and better availability of banked curves. And I live in Germany in the middle of Carrera country. :-)


                      • #12
                        Yes the d124 cars. I swore I would run only d133 cars and now 2 months later I have two d124 cars to go with all my d132s...the d124 are very impressive in detail and size.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ATIS View Post
                          Also, carrera has a few cars from disneys cars movie in d132 so the kids can have cars you wont worry about being abused.
                          I didn't know they had them in 1:32 - that's great, We actually all love the Cars movie. I'm a "Car Guy" of sorts and the kids have picked up in the bug too - hopefully it sticks with them so that I have someone to crawl under the cars when I decide I'm too old to do it myself, yet to stingy to pay a shop.


                          • #14
                            Carrera track is great. I won't argue that. It's quite large, though. There's a whole other thread about whether it's "really" bigger, but factually, it is bigger than all the other track systems. That's probably one of its greatest weaknesses, but for those who want the option to run larger cars, it's also its greatest strength.

                            Digital is fantastic, and it's what I prefer. But, even as a lover of all things digital slot racing, I just don't have the need/desire to chip every car I buy. That's where Scalextric's power base with the analog mode really comes in handy. To run analog cars on a Carrera track, you must remove the digital base and put in an analog one. A tricky project depending on the layout due to the inflexibility of the track. You can perform an electrical mod to make a Carrera track switchable, but doing so avoids the warranty, and requires redundant power sources and controllers, or the sacrificing of two chips to a permanent switchbox.

                            Carrera cars work really well on Scalextric track with a quick and easy guide exchange to one that's thinner and suitable for Scalextric track. DRAWW is currently running a racing series using Carrera DTM cars chipped for Scalextric digital.

                            I've got the Carrera Cars cars, and they're a lot of fun. Not indestructible by any stretch, though. I've broken and re-glued bits from both Lightning and Francesco. Any car from any maker can break if abused.


                            • #15
                              Truth be told, you'll be happy with either system. However, as this topic does come up from time to time, other influences in a decision are often going to be not only the availability of supplies, but also what other people in the area use, especially when it comes to digital.

                              Availability-wise, Scalextric is easily the more widely available. The hobby shop in Covington carries Scalextric, but pretty much no other slot stuff. Hobby Towns in the area carry primarily Scalextric. sells Carrera cars, but not sets or track, but does carry the full assortment of Scalextric products. Fantasy World sells it all, I think. Those two places are both in Tacoma, if you didn't already know.

                              Local users-wise, it's primarily Scalextric. While DRAWW fully supports all kinds of digital slots, and we encourage people to join in whatever system they have, most of us Scalextric. Of the two local members with another system (Carrera) one purchased an entire SSD track from someone leaving the hobby, and the other is considering adding a Scalextric digital track to his man-cave. While we're be happy to come over and race on your track whenever invited, whatever system it is, there's something to be said for having the same system that most of the others in the area are using.