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S6 lane analog to 4 lane digital


3 posts

Hi, couldnt find the topic I´m looking for so I add this one.


We have a 38 meter six lane track (plus a lot of spares) that we are considering changing to a four lane digital track. Is it possible to make a 75 meter four lane ARC Pro digital track? And if so is it possible to build it so we can change between all four lanes? I´m really greatful for any advice on this.




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Andy P.

2059 posts

Community Moderator

If you use one power base and two power packs you could use a pit entry left and a pit entry right to extend to 4 lanes but you will be severely limited as there are only a few  pit lane pieces (one curve radius and one straight length).

While you could in thoery then use standard track to hook up to the sections you extended to 4 lanes you must ensure that the two original lanes never cross (touch) because ARC PRO requires each lane to  be isolated to avoid a short circuit.

Using 2 ARC PRO bases in the same set up is technically possible as there are dip switches to change the channels but they will operate independently (two races running at the same time) and you cannot switch to the other race.

There is a user working on this option of haveing a 4 lane digital track but you will still be limited to 6 cars and it requires electronics and electrics knowledge.

I personally don't see the point of a four lane digital track. You say you have a 6-lane track and I am assuming it is analog. With digital you get up to 6 cars on two lanes and with the length of track at your disposal you will need 2 power packs (also because you have more than 4 cars).

You also have to chip every single car.

The fact that there are hardly any 4-lane digital systems available on the market (for the home user) is sort of a sign that there is not much demand.


1133 posts

Lars - Andy is correct in saying that you'd need to run through a two-lane start/finish line (ie the ARC Pro powerbase). This was also the case with the C7042 Advanced Powerbase, although digital enthusiasts did come up with a 4-lane mod (see thread on Slot Forum here). I'm sure, before long, someone will carry out a similar mod for ARC Pro.


We build tracks of between 30 and 35 metres at WHO/digital. That's a good length for six cars. Most have been just two lane, very occasionally going three or four-wide - using pit lane entry and exit pieces to spread out from the two-lane start/finish straight. One example of a WHO/digital multi-lane layout is here: www.whoracing.org.uk/who_digital_nov2017


With a maximum of six cars running on such a long (75 metre) circuit, two lanes is absolutely perfect - in my opinion. The art of digital racing is the overtaking, pit stop strategy and using lane changing to find the best racing line. I think six cars on two lanes delivers those features better than on four lanes. However, I can understand the need for four lanes with digital systems running more than six cars (eg oXigen and Scorpius).


I hope that helps.

Andy Player


791 posts

Going from 6 lanes to 2 lanes is a huge change.

Had a 4 lane analog for over a decade.

Now say that with scaly that best combined is digital is 2 9/10 and analog is 3 (3 9/10) using chipped lanes (glad) and the digital powerbase, power pack and controllers.

This will not break the budget but does require many single lane half straights that have a universal connector, although you can use 2 lane sections and cut them in the middle or stick them out side of track.

Any size rad curves can be used since straight single lane connectors are again used.

Actually originally tested 3 9/10 using 2 sets of pitlanes for digital but no one wanted to run on the mostly outside lane.

If you are currently running scaly analog , and if there is enough room in your current 6 lane , you might want to keep 4 of original analog for better power issues and instead separately power a 2 lane digital squeezed in with pitlanes.


3 posts

Thank you Andy and Woodcote for your thoughtful comments and info! Very helpful! We are obviously not ready with our thinking process yet so all ideas are welcome. We don't want to use more than six cars in one race and are probably a bit brain washed because of existing 6 lane analog thinking that going down to four lanes makes it "smaller" if you know what I mean. My own reason on why I was thinking four lanes is that you can choose different lanes/curve strategy as its bigger differences on speed with four lanes in the curves than with just two.

If we go two lanes would you say that there is any advantage in using three or four lanes at some place/places on the track?

How often would you recommend to have lane changing?

Really appreciate your input on this!

Thanks, Lars


1133 posts

Lars - Going from analogue to digital is a big change. The racing is different and so is the track design - especially the placement of lane changers and pit lanes. With such a big layout possible, I would suggest getting advice on a busy digital forum, like on SlotForum. There are more digital enthusiasts there with more experience of designing and building digital layouts. They will all have different opinions!


Having said that... we have now designed and built twenty-six different Scalextric digital layouts at WHO/digital, all around the 30 metre size. We race six cars on (mostly) two lanes. Each time we learn what features work and what features could be improved. Some things work because they are thought-out and planned, some of the best things are a surprise!


Four digital design elements that might be useful to you are:


1)  Aim for a straight lane changer (known as an XLC) at the end of a straight, when the cars are slowing down.


2)  Look at the 'racing line' on a track and place the pit entry away from that prefered lane - full-speed racers don't want to encounter cars slowing for the pit lane. Add an additional third lane (or create an early pit entry) to remove pitting cars from the racing action. Likewise with the pit exit - avoid cars entering the racing line, especially on a fast straight. This is where a three (or four) lane section can isolate racing from pitting. Ensure the pit exit pieces are used to remove the non-racing lanes - cars will need to slow a little as they change lane.


3) Again, looking at the racing line, choose places where an XLC would allow cars to change lanes to stay on the line. For example, a short straight between a left-hand turn and a right-hand turn is ideal for an XLC. There are also old curved lane changers (know as CLCs) that are brilliant for keeping that racing line. The in-to-out changers work best for us. However, the CLCs need modifying to use with ARC Pro and are only available as R2 90-degree curves.


4)  Leave some space between lane changers - I'd say at least one and preferably two metres on a big track. You need to hold down the lane change (LC) button before the XLC, so - if too close - you might catch the earlier (unwanted) XLC or pit entry if you press the LC too soon. That is annoying! Likewise, with ARC Pro - leave space between the powerbase and any XLC or pit entry piece. Holding down the LC button over the powerbase causes problems with sensing the car.


Specifically on your lane question - I'll answer as best I can...


Having four lanes and the '2 metre rule' means that swapping from lane 1 to lane 4 requires three lane changes and 5.5 metres track length! If you use the '1 metre rule', then it is down to around 3.5 metres. If you used the XLC next to each other, it is 1.5 metres, but you are likely forced into either three lane changes or no lane change - it would be hard to control and guarantee a change from lane 1 to 2 or from 1 to 2 to 3 (but not 4) if the XLCs are so close. For me, that makes the 'racing line' experience less satisfying than with two lanes.


Ultimately, with 4 lanes, you are forced to compromise. For example, you might designate a 'slow lane' round to the pits and effectively race on three lanes. You might alternate XLC connections at the end of straights - on the first corning using one XLC between lanes 1 & 2 plus an XLC between lanes 3 & 4; then at the next corner an XLC between lanes 2 & 3. So a racing line strategy would need to be planned and executed over three consecutive corners to get from the outside to the inside. Of course, any overtaking and full-on racing action within that three corner section would wreck the plan.


Finally, I think I've touched on the "how often" question. You must be able to plan and execute a lane change (without any 'unwanted' changes). When strategically placed, 'less can be more'. It is a case of experimenting - designing a track suited to digital racing and then racing on it - constantly refining the placement of XLCs and pit lane pieces until you are 100% happy that the track suits experienced racers and also people who are digital racing novices.

Andy Player


3 posts

Gorp, Thank you for your input! I like your idea of keeping some analog lanes. If we still go four lanes and make two digital lanes for our digital races, would it be possible to use all four lanes for analog races?

Really amazing info woodcote, thank you for spending so much time on this! Now we got a lot to think about. Our track has just been dismantled to be moved to a new location so the time to make all the changes are when we will start to set it up again probably late May. We can use a 7x7,5 meter area in our new location for building the track. As we haven't really tested digital racing yet maybe we should take a trip to Worthing and test it out before we get to deep into our track design. Btw, is there a good track layout program to be found? I haven't manage to find one that works well so I have been drawing all different track pieces in PowerPoint and started to make a puzzle.


1133 posts

Lars - you're always very welcome at WHO/digital!


As for track design software - there are some old 'legacy' products that people use, but the most up-to-date program that is good for Scalextric digital seems to be Ultimate Racer.

Andy Player


791 posts

Yes  Lars , you can run 2 digital lanes built into 4 lanes of analog by using glad.

In fact you can build 2 digital lanes into your 6 lane analog with glad.

Glad is chipping all the analog lanes, thus all lanes run under digital so 1 arc pro can power all 6 lanes using 6 wifi controllers.

But you will need 2nd arc pro stripped of lane power or a 4-6 digital lap counter powered off track ( personally prefer the dirt cheap pb4 for this function ) for 2 lanes of digital counting and whatever you now using for analog counting.

Slot car illustrated has a how to on glad on home page.

Sorry about pics but have never figured out how to post them well and the example there was to show how a pb4 can also run analog.



791 posts

To make this clear ,  the arc pro used with glad to actually run track,  is placed outside of track.

 The 2nd arc pro used only as lap counter is installed in track ( but isolated from it ) with a separate off track power just as the alternative 4-6 car counter with pb4.

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