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Ninco for Beginners

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  • Ninco for Beginners

    Here goes....

    After 15 or so years of racing with Scaley Classic at home about 3 years ago I took the plunge and bought a large amount of Sport Track and built a permanent layout in the garage. Initial impressions were that it was smoother than classic but the connections were a bit too flimsy. I was also not that impressed with the performance of non-magnet cars, especially once when running down the 15ft main straight. Once the track was built, I haven't raced on it half as much as I thought I would, nor did I have enough track left to build ad-hoc circuits in the house for testing new cars etc and racing with the kids when it's too cold/late to go into the garage.

    So, with this in mind, late last year I noticed several traders were selling new Ninco sets at cheap prices and decided to buy a couple to meet those ad-hoc indoors needs...

    I was already a big fan of Ninco cars having examples of most of the cars they produce so was aware of the potential of the brand.

    I ended up with a brand new Mini Cooper figure of 8 set and also got a 2nd hand Golf GTI set (with a big GT layout) from ebay. I set up the layout from the GTI set and then added a few extras for the mini set. My thoughts from this were:

    The track connections are more robust than sport and for me (or more specifically for my 3 boys ages 8, 6 and 2) this is essentially

    The grip on the track is superb, much better for non magnet cars than sport

    The supplied controllers (both the original and 55ohm Power Plus) are vastly superior to the standard Scaley Sport ones. (I also have a couple of Parma's and a Couple of Red Foxes) and far more comfortable to use

    Power supply felt much stronger and cars felt much more "alive" than on sport

    The ability to run the opposite way at the flick of the switch is useful

    The extra width between the tracks allows F1 cars more room to slide without wheel touching too.

    On the downside, when using a single power supply, there was an obvious surge/drop problem when racing with 2 cars and one came off. (more obvious than with Sport), though in my case this was easily fixed as I had two supplies)

    Also on the downside, the track takes a little longer to breakdown again than sport due to the strength of the connections so not suitable for little hands.

    Back onto the positives, the new mini set (and other new sets) also included the conversion half straights so that classic Scaley pieces can be incorporated. This would certainly help those people who may already have bits of old track kicking around to build bigger tracks straight away and of course with the classic to sport converters you can also add Scaley Sport track into the mix.

    As mentioned earlier, I'm a big fan of Ninco cars and both the Mini's and the Golf's impress straight out of the box. The golfs with their lower power NC1 motors and 4wd are great fun and all of the cars drive superbly with or without magnets.

    I've tried many other brands of car on this track, Scalextric, SCX, Carrerra, GOM, Vanquish, Fly, Spirit, Pink Car and AutoArt and they all run well.

    There is also a growing range of accessories including off road snow and dirt curves and humps etc and rally loops to allow single lane racing. I've just "got the hump" and it certainly adds variety and fun to the racing.

    I would certainly recommend Ninco as great home set starter with potential for expansion into bigger "club" style setups or into specialist rally tracks such the bug kick in.



  • #2
    Nice synopsis, Chris. Thank you.



    • #3
      Yes, thanks for the post, I am sure folks looking at getting into the hobby, or just as a toy for the kids, will appreciate having your thoughts on Ninco.


      • #4
        I just thought I'd drop in and post a response I gave some months back to one of the guys who wanted to know about the benefits of NINCO track. It's a long post, but you'll be able to see why some call it the best home track system you can get.

        "Great question Mike, and one that comes up in conversations, many times.......A lot of people prefer Carrera's smooth track, and yet there are many reasons to enjoy NINCO's "Easy-Clip" track system. In 1996, NINCO meticulously studied and then designed (arguably) the best overall track system in the history of Slot cars. They didn’t set out to make commercial track that will be “nailed” down and professionally maintained. The intent was simple….the strongest, most reliable electrical, and mechanical track with the greatest surface adhesion in the industry.
        Let’s look at some of the benefits of NINCO Track…..
        1.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The track is extra wide…... Wider track allows for more exciting racing giving more space for modern cars like the F-1 and Champ cars to slide and truly test your driving skills. It wasn’t logical that 90’s cars rode on roads from the 60’s.
        2.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Isolated Rail & deeper slot……A plastic slot between the pickup rails eliminates short-circuits, prevents guide wear and damage, reduces friction and noise and therefore delivers improved car performance. It also provides added stability and handling.
        3.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Covered slot……Avoids dust and (shag carpet) getting into the track from underneath and so enables trouble free usage on carpets or floor surfaces.
        4.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp High Grip…..This is the meat of your question. You actually have added traction and better tire performance with the NINCO track, with stock tires. Remember, on other track surfaces, most cars need silicone tires in order to perform. The cars don’t work well as “stock”, out of the box. When you watch F-1 on TV, you watch as these drivers and cars perform right on the limit of adhesion, balanced by their driving skill. If they hit the “marbles” on the track edge, the car suddenly breaks free, no matter how good the car or the driver……because adhesion is lost. NINCO track best duplicates that sensation. And remember, 1:1 race tracks like Silverstone, or Spa, or Monza, or Road America, etc., are not smooth. NINCO firmly believes, above all else, that even in slot cars racing, driving skill should be the determining factor….. and NINCO track surface makes that happen.
        5.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Electrical Contact Reliability…… Integral electrical connections with metal inserts provide a clean contact on 3 sides of the pickup for maximum reliability. This ensures no drop in power & avoids the necessity for extra power cables.
        6.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NINCO has a wide range of track….. Four different radius curves and single racing turns enable the construction of tracks from 1 to 8 lanes. Plus the exclusive Off-Road surfaces with mud and bumps, etc, in its Off-Road Curve track and the new Dune extension track and the latest Snow Track.
        7.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Easy Clip system….. Allows for fast and reliable construction of layouts and ease of breakdown. The track can’t separate, period! Short circuits are impossible. The connections just don’t fail.
        8.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Brakes are built into the controllers…… Hand controllers are fitted with dynamic brakes as standard for finer control and more realistic driving. Ergonomic design features coiled cable and plug & jack connections. Ok, not part of the track, but part of the track system and part of the overall modern design.
        9.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NINCO’s Powerbase Track…… Race in either direction at the flick of a switch. You don’t have to figure out which way each car is set like on some other manufacturers cars. You can power each lane independently if you set up a really large system to eliminate possible power surges (via two separate sockets for 2 transformers). You can maximize performance by using the NINCO POWERBOOST which increases amperage to the track. Alternatively the extra socket on the standard Power Track can be used for powered accessories (i.e. lap counters).
        10.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Compatibility……. NINCO's race systems are compatible with Scaley Classic, Sport and SCX using NINCO’s adapter track. You would lose all the benefits of NINCO’s completed system as I stated above, but you could certainly adapt the track.

        Well, Mike, for what ever it’s worth, and remember, NINCO started in 1993, not in the 60’s… many people are going to tear up their existing system that they’ve labored with for years to get the layout exactly as they wanted, just because there’s a better system out there??
        Anyway, thanks again for a great question. I hope you’ve gained a better understanding of NINCO’s design philosophy. Keep the track contacts and braids clean…. Practice more until you can feel the break, the “marbles”, the tension…..and try not to curse at the track! Thanks again for the kind words."

        Hopefully, you gained a bit of food for thought about NINCO track.



        • #5
          Thinking you can use

          On the Ninco Forum, if you have not visited...

          This is good info, as most folks,who, gone pecan, no matter what brand, want more power.

          2 PS and Connection Track


          • #6
            Hello there i agree that if you already own a large track.You won't just buy a new one.
            I started about 3 or 4 years ago with a ninco track,wich is +- 90ft by now and digital.
            There are a few minor downs with that.
            1:Your track has to be very very clean.
            2:Some of the chips are very sensitive.(they blow up)
            3:There is no light in the display.

            For the rest of it i think its great especially now that we have bought a pit lane(i've bought the track together with my best friend)

            If anybody has anymore questions about n-digital i would be happy to answer them for you.(there is a large picture on my girls space webadress is in my profile)

            Greetings ratson(forgive my english but i am dutch so i don't speak or write it on a daily basis.)


            • #7
              I have been quite pleased with my Ninco track. I recieved it for my birthday about 3 years ago and have not had a problem with it. My son and I recieved a set of SCX track from my dad so we ordered a couple of conversion pieces to intergrate it. We were haunting around some of the local hobby stores and found a couple of Scalextric corner pieces we really liked so we had to intergrate them in to now we are sitting on about 100' of Ninco track with about 1-2' of SCX track and about 10' of scalextric track. They varios track brands seem to work fairly well together except that we seem to have some lack of power issues and certain car brands due to the guides get stuck on the scaletrix track if your not going fast enough to power thru it (narowwer channel). At least that was the case until yesterday. My wife and son bought me a couple of Speed ISS (formerly Bycmo) motoGP bikes for Christmas and I can not seem to get them to work at all. Kinda a bummer because when it comes to sports motorcycle racing is #1 in my book. I beleave that the problem may be due to the lack of power being sent around my track (14.8vdc 700mA from the stock Ninco transformer). I was planning on hooking up a DC power supply to see if I could get things to improve.


              • #8
                Nice article about Ninco. I have a Master layout with a lot of additonal pieces. It works well for all my cars.


                • #9
                  The Ninco Track Map software is another great bonus for using Ninco track. You can dream up any track configuration and the software will tell you if you have enough track in your tickle trunk to build it. It's also helpful to do the layout on the software before you try to build it so that you can check your clearances on your perimeter. I always try to put too much in the space alloted and Track Map helps curb my enthusiasm.

                  The version I have doesn't have a provision for the Super grande curve or the 5 cm straight pieces, so you just have to wing it if you use the big curves. But you can figure out if you need the short straights by the distance left to close that the software figures out for you.


                  • #10
                    My two cents. Texture texture texture.....I don't use mags. and I like the track to have topography and anomolies. I like a long straights at top speed to FEEL like a long straights at top speed, meaning I like the car to feel light and just a little "nutty" with the bodywork actually/maybe/possibly having some effect flying down a long straight. At least it should feel like it.

                    Also, and an extremely important quality is, in open fast corners as well as tight hairpins, you can 3 wheel, not drastically, but a little, lifting a rear wheel or a front wheel depending on breaking or accel. Track texture and tire adhesion are the two key elements to making this happen. This quality simply cannot be done with any other track brand or magnets and it essential to my philosophy of slot racing.

                    My goal is "quality racing" with every corner needing setup and execution, lots of "event" for each racer in every lap, let alone the door to door quality. I don't use a lot of power, 13.5V, and my cars are all around 90 to 105 grams. These qualities in my opinion give a fairly realistic speed ratio and usually keep my cars in reasonable shape. Meaning, a high speed, high mag. car usually leaves the track ending in a 70+ dollar car broken for life...he he

                    Lastly, and just as important, Ninco suspension guides. Absolutely key in using cars with lots of traction and, at times, rear end heavy cars like Fly 935K3 and Carrera 935/78's...key for lifting front tires in hard accel out of corners and staying in the race. Also leaning heavy through corners while lifting inside wheels through the apex. Gotta have'em.

           two cents...Love the Ninco it!

                    Hoping to build a proper rally track one day....have the image in my head....snow track, dirt track, and tarmac...too cool......


                    • #11
                      Hi Ratson
                      When racing your Digital track how easy is it to race the normal Analog on the same track what needs to be changed ect? Or is it as simple is switching the cars


                      • #12
                        Here's my proposed 1/32 scale layout, after I dismantle my large room-filling 133-foot HO railroad layout.

                        (I hope the picture transfers...)

                        Pit Stop

                        It didn't.


                        • #13

                          Today I began dismantling my 133-foot HO model railroad layout. (122 foot main line and 11 foot siding)

                          I moved the 9 fiberglass mountains out of the Game Room and into our salvage area, then scooped up the 300 pounds of Rock, Gravel, and Sand from the OSB table surfaces and hauled them away by many bucketloads.

                          Tomorrow, I'll begin removing the Flex Track from the OSB surfaces, which I hope to sell cheaply on the For Sale section of my Model Railroad forum.

                          Only 3 more posts after this will give me 25, and then I can hopefully send pictures of my dismantling progress and my layout plan for my 1/32 Ninco Slot Car course!

                          Pit Stop
                          Last edited by SlowLane; 12-02-2015, 10:15 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by "Slow Lane" View Post

                            Today I began dismantling my 133-foot HO model railroad layout. (122 foot main line and 11 foot siding)

                            I moved the 9 fiberglass mountains out of the Game Room and into our salvage area, then scooped up the 300 pounds of Rock, Gravel, and Sand from the OSB table surfaces and hauled them away by many bucketloads.

                            Tomorrow, I'll begin removing the Flex Track from the OSB surfaces, which I hope to sell cheaply on the For Sale section of my Model Railroad forum.

                            Only 3 more posts after this will give me 25, and then I can hopefully send pictures of my dismantling progress and my layout plan for my 1/32 Ninco Slot Car course!

                            Pit Stop
                            I can't help but wonder where these 'enthusiasts' disappeared to but oh, well.

                            6 lane oval makes for great racing, tuning, driving any car from vintage to modern, mag or no.
                            Phenomenal bite, any tire works and all I've every done for maintenance is clean the rail(s).
                            5 Stars


                            • #15
                              My Ninco track is 17 years old, well used and still going strong. Having been in the hobby since the very beginning I have tried many different systems of tracks and Ninco is definitely #1. Before becoming a permanent layout a few years ago it survived grandchildren's and great grandchildren's abuse without one track failure.

                              It's gone from being lots of different long road courses and is now an action packed short track oval running scratch built dwarf modifieds.


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