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SProblem with ARC Pro and curved lane changers

gorp

611 posts

if you have not even set up digital let me to be the first to say

curved changers are inferior to straight duals

in performance and power draw

suggest you trash the curve or ebay it

and get another straight dual changer

btw the pitlane with arc pro is just a pull off area to satisfy the arc app instead of using the racing lanes to pit

for racers they are used to add more lanes to race

Blagard-01

173 posts

@F for Freddie

I have been preparing for converting to digital over the past 2 years. Having bought a straight and a curved digital lane changer plus pit lane for a tried and tested 8x4 track plan based on Jadlam and was awaiting the Arc Pro pre-order to finish it off!

Unfortunately now I find out here that this scuppers this plan with the curved digital lane changer for the bend directly before pits. I had assumed wrongly the old type Mods for curved lane changer for analog would be sufficient. But now I find out it will not even work correctly in Digital mode!!

I am a little peeved Scalextric did not point this out to people whom had digital track already these limitations with Arc Pro!! This of could of saved some time, money and bad feelings with past loyal customers! This means my 8x4 track will either need to be modified to 10x5 or a new layout adopted!!

I doubt you will be alone. I suspect a considerable number of users of Scalextric do not use the forum and will end up here only after trying to find out what we know will not work. A little transparency is all it takes and a mention of at least the old curved lanechangers not being compatible would have been enough for users to look into it further.

Dr_C

304 posts

Don't want anybody to void their warrantee but...if the entire track was powered from one lane of the arc pro then perhaps this would extend compatibility between arc pro and curved lane changes. If so this could be achieved in a number of ways... one option could be some simple mods to standard track pieces either side of the arc pro power base. Worth a try...?

Blagard-01

173 posts

You have missed the fundamental problem that it is the ARC Pro powerbase that put two independant supplies to the lanes and that will remain. unless you modded the powerbase. which I would not recommend. You would then loose the ability to throw the switch to Analogue mode.

Dr_C

304 posts

Great I think we are all pretty much agreed on the cause of the incompatibility and the theoretical solution of modifying the arc pro (absolutely not recommended). My suggestion is to archive the same effect by modifying the standard track pieces which are fitted on each side adjacent to the arc pro. The purpose of the mod would be, for example, to isolate the lane 1 supply from the rest of the track and to connect the lane 2 supply to both lanes of the entire track system (except of course the section of lane 1 track within the arc pro). This approach restricts the modification effort to cheap track parts... any thoughts from forum members? I've not tried this as yet but plan to do so in the new year as i have quite a few curved lane changers which I would like to keep in use alongside a shiny new arc pro power base.

Blagard-01

173 posts

Unless you use a single lane chicane by reversing the pit lane parts that will not work with the ARC Pro powerbase you might as well modify the Curved Lane Changers - The dead section required in the actual switching lane will be the same as you would have to put into your No 2 track lane either side of the powerbase. 

 

The dead section in the rails needs to be long enough so the pickups don't short across the gap you need to make, so maybe 1cm long. It therefore makes sense to cut that 1cm out smack bang in the middle of the change lane of the curved lane changer. The difficulty will be making the dead zone flush to replace the steel you have to cut out. Then it is a simple case of further modding the wiring to supply power to each of the short sections of the rails either side of the dead zone. The longer rail  each side is already part of each lane and in the pocess of putting in a dead zone you create those two new short isolated rail sections

 

Modding the Curved lane changers as above would then make them compatible with ARC Pro in both Digital and Analogue mode.

gorp

611 posts

like your dead section idea but believe you will actually need 3 cuts to center rails

and 

glad would make track a single lane running digital and analog as digital

but that has drawbacks if you like all the arc app and would cost more than rewiring curved changers

Dr_C

304 posts

Just to summarise... and then an added one further comment...

Arc Pro power base is reported to be incompatible with curve lane changers due to the base providing separate power to lanes 1 and 2 while unmodified curve lane changers assume a single power source is used to power both lanes (and were originally designed to comply with that spec). To achieve compatibility therefore requires some kind of modification/s with each approach having various trade offs. Prima facia there are three main options:

Option A - modify the Arc Pro (not recommended as would void warrantee)

Option B - modify each curve lane changer (as proposed above on this forum)

Option C - modify the standard track pieces either side of the Arc Pro power base as per my earlier post (agree this would not be compatible with analog mode but easier to implement if you have a lot of curve lane changers i.e. 3 or more)

Returning to option B for some lane changers (the latter ones where the olutput ‘wedge‘ is fixed in the centre position rather than free to move) i believe there is a simpler alternative to the earlier recommendation to create 1cm dead spots on BOTH rails at the centre of the cross-over lane. For this specific version of curve the output wedge is itself a dead spot - hence only require to create a single dead spot on one of the cross-over rails at the point where it is directly opposite to the ouput wedge (I.e. opposite a dead spot which is already present in the design). This achieves the same effect but half the modification work involved - also, a car switching lanes will only experience one period of loss of power rather than two. This approach will require a bit of care doing the ’digital’ to ‘analog’ mod to ensure the cross over lane itself remains powered. Again 1cm should be fine when adding the dead spot. For the avoidance of doubt, this approach should not be tried with curved lane changer where the ouput wedge is of the earlier ‘floating’ type. 

I believe maintaining maximum compatibility across all scalextric parts (whether current or obsolete) will help everyone get the maximum enjoyment out of this amazing hobby... hence all of this discuusion about compatibility is well worth the effort. Thanks forum colleagues for all the enthusiasm, interest, and proposed solutions - we now have plenty of workable options :-)

Blagard-01

173 posts

I don't have a curved lane changer but providing I can get to existing wiring below and to some underside part of the short rails the middle cut would produce I have an idea on how to do the mod. The biggest problem I could see was reinstating the track where the cut out section would be so the dead section is flush with the rails. So I first placed a query about track adhesives on the forum but have since thought of a better way it might work and to that end I am currently looking to get a curved lane changer to  try out the mod. My thoughts are that it is likely to be easier to cut out a section of two rails dead oppersite rather that one rail one side

 

I may understand what Gorp says about 3 rail cuts when I have the part in front of me but for the time being I am going to gamble I can wire it up with just the 1 dead section needing 4 cuts all within 1cm

 

I can see myself getting busy one evening with my dremel and soldering iron! - One thing is for sure it would not be as simple as the snips mod to get analogue to work with the C7042 base. At worse I will write off the lane changer!

Dr_C

304 posts

Yes - 1 dead spot on both rails would work fine - but probably better to avoid the exact mid point for two reasons:

1/ this is precisely the location of the flexible copper tracks which interconnect the three pairs of rails on the underside.

2/ this is precisely the location of a set of rail retension tabs.

Therefore, moving the positioning of the deadspot away from the centre line by a least a couple of cm (along the direction of travel) would produce a more reliable result.

I still favour the modification to add just one additional dead spot on a single rail as per my above post... idea being to lift the rail, then cut, then replace... i’ll see if i can share some images to help clarify... 

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