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Woodcote

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woodcote

630 posts

The third part of my review is looking at compatibility. And I'll start by saying that the new track system is 100% not compatible with the old track. The new sets also run on half the voltage of the old sets - 9V compared to 18V. However, there is some cross-over potential between the two systems. What I've written below is partly theoretical, but mostly based on a few things I tested last month.

 

Without any modifications, the differences mean that the old cars will run slowly on the new sets and the new cars will be ridiculously fast and twitchy on the old track at anything beyond half throttle (and the motors may well burn out). For other brands of HO car, their solid shoes do not work with the flat rails of the new track. I did run an AutoWorld car that I'd soldered braid to the bottom of the shoes - it ran fine, but slow (due to the 9 volts).

 

I did think that plugging in an old Micro Scalextric power supply to the track (to give 18V) would mean old Micro cars and other brands (with braids soldered on) would run - that seemed a simple fix. However, Hornby have very sensibly altered the power plug so that this can't be done - only the 9V power supply fits the new powerbase.

 

So here are a few fixes that have come up in discussions with US HO enthusiasts. However, I must stress that all these are options for dedicated slot car enthusiasts who have some electronics and car-building skills. And we can't test them until those first sets arrive in May...

 

1. Multi-voltage layout. The simplest option is to use a variable voltage power supply that gives settings at 9V, 12V and 18V or a fully-adjustable bench-top power supply that gives options everywhere from around 0 to 20V. The easy option is to connect the new 9V lead and plug to the adjustable power supply. An advanced-enthusiast system would be to build a custom power track and driver stations that would allow controller upgrades, a brake circuit, relays controlling track power etc etc. That would be the ultimate HO system and I think the new track is ideal for that.

 

2. Adding braid to other brands of HO cars. With adjustable voltage, the old Micro cars will work fine. Other brands would need either braids soldered to their solid shoes or an HORacePro Slide Guide installed. The Slide Guide acts as a miniature Scalextric guide and is designed for HO cars running on 1/32 scale track. There is also a 'Standard Track' Slide Guide that is designed for the narrower slot in HO track - I think this would be ideal for the new Micro track. I shall be getting some Slide Guides from the US to test them in May.

 

3. Using a replacement chassis. Using adjustable voltage doesn't solve the issue of racing 9V cars against 18V cars. However, there is a perfect solution to running other cars on 9V on the new track - the SL2 3D-printed chassis available from Shapeways. This isn't an out-of-the-box option, it has to be built and components (braid, axles, wheels, tyres, motor, gears, traction magnets) have to be sourced. So neither is it cheap. However, using the motor (and axles, gears, wheels and tyres) from the new Micro Scalextric chassis, you will have a car with almost identical performance at 9V to the new Micro Scalextric cars. Available for the SL2 chassis are body clips to fit numerous brands of HO bodies - Micro Scalextric (1994-2018); most AFX/AutoWorld/Tomy standard wheelbase cars (1970s-2019); Tyco/Mattel wide and narrow (1970s-2019); AutoWorld Super III; Tomy Mega-G and Mega-G+ longwheelbase. Plus more to come... What I will aim to do is build two (and eventually four) SL2 chassis so I can race any of my HO bodies against each other on the new track and also against new Micro Scalextric cars.

 

4. Using new cars on existing HO track. This would mean dialing down the power to 9V or swapping out the motor for a new one that works at 18V. The Tomy Mega-G+ cars have a similar N20 motor that was custom-made to work at 18V - unfortunately these are not readily available. Some of us would very much like to run the new cars as a school holiday race series at our club - we'd continue to use our four-lane AFX track set-up, but reduce the track voltage to 9V.

 

I hope that gives people food for thought. If you have any other ideas, do share them here.

woodcote

630 posts

Hi luanvanviet - welcome to the forum!

 

I would suggest contacting Scalextric Car Restorations in the UK. They offer a repair service and stock a vast range of parts for the older cars.

 

I hope that helps and you get the Jag back on track.

woodcote

630 posts

Yes, most of 2.5mm plugs are too big to fit underneath the powerbase casing. Either grind out a bigger hole in the plastic casing or shave the plastic coating of the plug. That's what I did. I bought my cables from eBay - stereo extensions are fine.

woodcote

630 posts

When you get that passkey message on an android device, it suggests that it is not compatible with the ARC app. Sadly, very few Android devices work well with ARC - there is a list and discussion here: https://www.scalextric.com/uk-en/forum/arc-app-device-compatibility/?p=1

 

Personally, I would use the Fire tablet - so long it is not hacked for GooglePlay. Use the Fire OS version of the app from the Amazon AppStore. The 2017 Fire tablets work well with ARC - I use a Fire 7 and am very happy with it.

woodcote

630 posts

When you say that you can’t pair either device, do you mean there is no green light on the powerbase or that it connects, but you just can’t count laps?

 

The direction of travel is from Pro to ARC over the powerbase, or look at the pictures here: https://www.scalextric.com/uk-en/shop/sets/scalextric-digital/arc-pro-hyper-cars-set.html

 

Apart from direction of travel, the track configuration shouldn’t mean you never count laps.

 

What is important is what I call the ‘rule of three colours’ - that the colour the car and controller are connected to on the powerbase is also the same as the colour in race set up in the app. That third colour is the side of the tile containing the driver description. So, the car connected to red on the powerbase is controlled by the controller connected to red on the powerbase and will only count laps if it is set up as the red car in the app.

 

I hope that helps.

woodcote

630 posts

Yes, those controllers and that powerbase will give you brakes.

woodcote

630 posts

Hi Michael - there was another post on here recently about banked curves that might be worth looking at: https://www.scalextric.com/uk-en/forum/high-banked-curved-track/

 

What you describe sounds to me more like a 'Wall of Death' - which is the subject of this excellent blog post and does answer some of your questions: https://www.pendleslotracing.co.uk/blog/speed-with-guy-martin-wall-of-death/

woodcote

630 posts

Yes, if a Scalextric controller is fitted with a 3.5mm stereo plug, it will almost certainly operate with dynamic braking at zero throttle. If you let off the trigger a bit, the braking circuit is not engaged - you have to be completely off the trigger so the wiper is resting on the brake contact.

woodcote

630 posts

Three of the first four sets are Warner Brothers tie-ins. That has certainly caught retailers' attention and should give the new system that initial boost it deserves. Alongside the sets, there are five extra Warner Brothers cars due for release this year.

Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny are included in the Looney Tunes set. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are the two individual cars. I didn't see Road Runner, but he arrived in time to appear at the London Toy Fair - and looks great. These are pre-production samples, so are pretty close to the final production versions. The figures are in a soft flexible material, which looks durable and keeps most of the weight in the bottom of the car.

 

The Wacky Races cars are based on the 2017 reboot of the TV program. These are 3D printed and painted prototypes of the two set cars - The Mean Machine of Dastardly & Mutley and Peter Perfect's Turbo Terrific. The one individual car out this year is Penelope Pitstop's Compact Pussycat. I suspect there are more cars in the pipeline - the Gruesome Twosome at least.

 

The Justice League cars I saw were also 3D printed and painted prototypes. These are representations of four super heroes as cars, rather than vehicles they drove. Batman and Superman come with the big Justice League set, with Wonder Woman and The Flash released separately.

 

Some of the body shells from the 2018 set releases have been adapted to fit the new chassis, so expect to see some of those reappear in new sets in the future. However, there is also serious consideration to go beyond the Warner Brothers and 'fantasy' cars and produce some of the street and racing cars that can be found in the 1/32 range. There's a lot to choose from!

 

I really liked the new cars - I knew I was going to love the Wacky Racers cars, but the Looney Tunes cars stunned me by their excellence. The Justice League cars are different, but are certainly growing on me. What excited me too is the prospect of the designers of these new cars getting let loose on some 'real' street and race cars - those might well surpass the Aston Martin DBR9 and Peugeot 206 which are my favourite Micro Scalextric cars so far...

woodcote

630 posts

Yes, you should be fine with either of the 2017 Fire HD tablets, running the Fire OS version of the ARC app with the Sunset Speedway ARC Pro set.

 

The Fire OS version of ARC app is compatible with all the 2017 Fire tablets - Fire 7, 8HD and 10HD. However, the latest 2018 Fire 8HD tablet does not currently work with the ARC app - this has been reported to the development team to look at. The 2018 Fire 8HD does work with the Fire OS version of the App Race Control (Legacy) app. Both the current and Legacy apps are available from the Amazon AppStore.

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