Converting to Digital
What do I need to buy?
Scalextric (standard) and Scalextric Digital use the same track pieces and cars but there are a few things to consider. Let's go through them.
Your first question might be "Can I upgrade to Scalextric Digital?" The answer is "YES. Very easily."
I'll assume that your starting point is, and this seems to be the most common scenario, that you have a standard Scalextric set brought recently or at anytime since 1957! So, in most cases, you'll have the following standard Scalextric components:
One Transformer/Power Supply
Two Hand Controllers/Triggers
A selection of track pieces which will include the track piece (we'll refer to it as the 'powerbase') that is used to connect to the Triggers and/or Transformer.
Your second question might be "Can I use any of the above pieces in the new Scalextric Digital layout?"
Upgrading to Digital means replacing some of the above components. You'll be replacing the transformer, triggers and powerbase.
The cars will have top be converted to Digital by adding a Digital to chip to it. We'll cover this later (see 'Digital cars' below).
You can incorporate all other standard Scalextric pieces in to the Scalextric Digital layout.
Your final question might be "What do I need to buy?"
- If you purchase C7056 Digital Conversion kit all you do is lay out your current Scalextric circuit and replace the powerbase and triggers with the Digital ones in the kit. Insert the straight lane change track straight. You will need to purchase Digital chips for your cars. Putting standard cars on the Digital track is no good - they'll just emit a warning buzz to say 'I need a chip!'. (See 'Digital cars' below)
- If you purchase a Digital set, it gets even easier. Lay out your new Scalextric Digital set circuit. You can add in most track pieces from any previous Scalextric set you have but DO NOT USE any powerbases (standard or Digital)[No, not even if they are not plugged in - just do not use them as they will cause damage to the Digital system!]. You wont be able to use non-Digital triggers or transformers. The Digital cars you've just purchased in the Digital set can be put on to the Digital track and raced. If you have a non-Digital car then you need to fit a chip to it before it will work on your new Digital circuit.
Digital cars: In theory, any car can be used on a Digital circuit. In practice things are a little different. Let's look at the options:
- If you have Digital cars (with chips fitted) then you can race straight away.
- If you have Digital cars with the DPR logo then you need to fit a DPR chip to the car (C8515 or C8516). This is an extremely simple process of removing one screw from the underside of the car, plugging in a chip, and retightening the screw. It takes about 1 minute. Oh, and you can move the chip from car to car. You don't need a chip for every car, but only a chip for each car likely to be racing in the same race. If you have 20 cars, you'll only ever need a maximum of 6 chips since Scalextric Digital only accommodates a maximum of 6 cars on track at any one time.
- PS: DPR cars are standard Scalextric cars. They only become ready for racing on a Digital circuit when a C8515 or C8516 chip is fitted.
- More difficult, if you have cars without chips pre fitted, and it's not a DPR car, then you need to fit a chip. This requires the chip to be soldered in to the inside of the car. It means removing the body top and soldering some wires. OK if you are a hobbyist type but not much help if you are a "Plug 'n' Go" person! But, nevertheless, any Scalextric car can be made 'Digital'.
So, to round up; if you have an ordinary Scalextric set which isn't Digital then you can buy a C7056 Digital Conversion kit, or any Digital set. Add Digital cars or fit chips to standard cars. Remember not to use the non-Digital transformer, triggers or powerbases.That's it!
You can use all other track pieces from the last 50 years (with only one or two exceptions) and you can use all Scalextric vehicles (though the use of some older models are dependent upon your hobbyist skills at soldering.).
Simple options guide:
Discard all standard powerbases, transformers and triggers, then
- Buy a C7056 Digital Conversion kit and two Digital chips and two DPR cars
- Buy a C7056 Digital Conversion kit and two retro-fit Digital de-coders for your existing standard cars.
- Buy any Digital Scalextric set.