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SCurrent cars all digital ready

Are all current cars availlable new from Scalextric digital ready?

woodcote

800 posts

If you mean are they all 'Digital Plug Ready' (DPR), the answer is no. That should be clearly stated on the website for each individual car. Most are, but the Legends Formula One cars and front-engined classic cars (eg Corvette Stingray, E-Type Jag) are not. This is because there is no space to fit the digital plug in the chassis. A few others, such as the Super Resistant LMP, GT Lightning and Team Rally cars are not either - not sure why they aren't DPR, except they were all originally made for the cheap entry-level Start sets.

 

If you mean can all current Scalextric cars be converted to digital, then that is a yes. Cars that aren't designated DPR can be fitted with a C7005 Retro-Fit chip. This requires some basic soldering skills and a 3mm hole may need to be drilled in the chassis - full instructions come with the chip. The challenge with the Legends F1 and front-engined classic cars is to find room in the cars to place the chip. With the Legends F1 cars, that will mean significant modifications to the cockpit and driver to make room.

 

Hope that helps

Thanks Woodcote that answrs my question.

Next question: Will digital cars run on ARC AIR tracks and will analog cars run on ARC PRO tracks?

woodcote

800 posts

Yes, cars with the Scalextric digital chips will run on traditional 'analogue' track, including ARC Air. And yes, ARC Pro has an analogue setting (there's a switch on the side of the powerbase) which means you can run the powerbase as if it were an ARC Air base (the app also runs in ARC Air mode). Scalextric have generally been very good with their design philosophy to ensure digital / analogue compatibility.

 

However... I'm not a fan of running digital cars on any analogue track, they feel very jerky to me. There's not the smoothness of running analogue on analogue. Similarly, I'm not grabbed by the analogue mode on ARC Pro. Power is delivered in a different way to ARC Air, and it's not as smooth. The cars and the powerbase make quite a loud noise too, which some people find alarming!

 

I'm lucky to have ARC One, ARC Air and ARC Pro powerbases. Mostly I run digital, but since ARC came out, the old 70s and 80s Scalextric cars of my childhood have got a new lease of life with the ARC app. If I just want to run a few laps, analogue mode on ARC Pro is okay. If I want a serious analogue racing session, then I swap out the ARC Pro powerbase, pit lane and lane changers and hook up ARC Air.

Andy P.

1707 posts


Community Moderator

Digitally chipped cars on an analog track do not have brakes making them a little harder to handle... on DPR cars you can take the chip out easily getting brakes back..

Twigman

91 posts

NOTE

I tend to convert non-DPR cars using a SureChange guide that places the IR LED in the guide rather than have to drill a hole in the chassis. This places the IR LED in front of the guide blade. It also means that no matter how sideways the car gets the LED is over the sensor.

I am informed that this configuration will NOT work with ARC Pro as ARC-Pro needs both the blade AND the LED (IN THAT ORDER) to cross the finish line to register a lap.

 

Another reason I shall NOT migrate to ARC-Pro.

 

Something tells me engineers at Scalextric didn't think this through

woodcote

800 posts

I have a car with the SureChange guide fitted, but I don't think I have used it with ARC Pro as yet. I will dig it out later and try. I'm pretty confident it will work, since the sensor set-up in the ARC Pro powerbase is similar to the C7042 Advanced Powerbase. Optional firmware upgrades in the APB did away with the need for both the guide sensor and the ID sensor to be involved in counting laps. The guide sensor (on both ARC Pro & APB) is, as far as I understand, to allow lap counting in analogue mode. The ability to use a digital powerbase with non-digital cars was (and still is) an important compatibility issue for Scalextric, which is fair enough.

 

I'll test later and let you know whether it works or not. Of course, the SureChange guide is not a Scalextric product and it is pretty niche within the Scalextric digital community, only being available via private message on Slot Forum... It is very handy for non-mag racing where getting a bit sideways is de rigueur. It is also my go-to solution for the front-engined cars (in my case a Revell Cobra Daytona) where the motor is sitting where the LED would normally go.

Twigman

91 posts

woodcote - slotforum reports that ARC-Pro will not count laps if the the LED is in front of the blade.

 

Surechange guides are not solely available via PM on slotforum

They are available at https://www.slotcar-union.com/en/slotcar-tech/1762-surechange-racing-guide-fixing-screw.html for example

woodcote

800 posts

I tried my Cobra Daytona with the SureChange guide on ARC Pro and you're absolutely right, it didn't register laps. I put the car through the powerbase backwards and it did register, so ARC Pro does seem to require guide then ID. I don't have an APB with the original firmware to see if there is the same issue. I suspect it might be.

 

That's a shame, as the SureChange guide is a nicely thought-out innovation for digital racers. However, it remains 100% compatible with the C7042 APB with updated firmware, which most Scalextric digital enthusiasts will be sticking with for the forseeable future. Good to see Slot Car Union is now selling the guide.

 

I guess there are two possible scenarios where the guide might still come into play on ARC Pro. The first is if an optional digital-only firmware upgrade becomes available - as it did with the APB, thanks to co-operation between third-party RMS developers and Scalextric. Alternatively, the same ingenuity that produced the SureChange guide in the first place could create an ARC-friendly version.

 

For those getting into digital via ARC Pro, I'm not sure the incompatibility of the SureChange guide will be a deal-breaker. Having said that, I think it shows the need to find an alternative fix to convert those front-engined cars and the Legends F1s. That probably falls to the 3D printers to create digital-compatible chassis and cockpits to use with the standard Scalextric components (rather than needing additional Slot.it components).

 

Incidentally, the reason my Cobra hadn't been used with ARC Pro is that I'm converting it with an Olifer 3D chassis with a standard LED fitting. I really like all the aftermarket options that exist at the moment. It goes to show that the big manufacturers (essentially Scalextric and Carrera now) give us a product and some very clever enthusiasts come up with brilliant tweaks that occasionally take the hobby down new paths. It's great that some of those ideas get taken up by Scalextric and other manufacturers, but ultimately they have to make compromises to bring a good-value and profitable product to market.

Twigman

91 posts

@woodcote

, it remains 100% compatible with the C7042 APB with updated firmware, which most Scalextric digital enthusiasts will be sticking with for the forseeable future.

 

 

 

 

Until such a time as ARC-Pro has single sensor registration ( and CLC compatibility)  I can't see anyone migrating from C7042 to ARC-Pro....nobody wants to reconfigure their converted digital cars.

 

Have Scalextric really thought the ARC-Pro through properly?

They seem to continously make product incompatible with product that's gone before. Why?

While I know that the Surechange guide wasn't a Hornby invention, they must realise it exists and many cars have been converted to use it. The fact that ARC-Pro isn't compatible merely puts people off.

As if the CLC compatibility thing wasn't enough.

I'm not sure that's a particularly clever strategy.

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