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Thinking about getting a track & some cars.....


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#1 bigmikevee

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:47 PM

Hey Gang,

Was out of town for the 4th, my Godson's dad set up their H.O. track, long story short, I played with the cars for hours. Had a Strombecker set back in the day, not sure of scale maybe 1/24 or 1/32. See larger scale sets online, see H.O. as well, larger scale sets are pricey, digital sets are pricy, Carrara and some other brand keep popping up the most (sorry forgot name, starts with an "E")

What is a good way to get back in on a reasonable budget? What is a reliable brand that can be expanded if I stick with it? Are larger scale cars worth it or just an expensive waste of money? The H.O. cars were a blast, but won't I end up wanting larger cars and track? Space is not an issue, smart shopping and a reasonable budget are the goal here.

Might also be interested in buying or trading, but want to do it properly to keep the moderators from moderating, at least moderately. (Huh?)

Thanks as always.

Mike

#2 ra7c7er

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 09:09 PM

It depends on what you want really. Do you like the bigger cars better or do you like the HO stuff?

I raced slots both commercially and in several clubs for awhile when I was a kid with HO and again for a few years in 1/32 and 1/24 when I was in my early 20's actually the only reason I stopped was because my new place doesn't have the space for a decent sized track.

If space is no object I would go with 1/32 it is more of an investment but in the end if you want good racing and not just blue blur versus yellow blur it's the way to go. Plus their is lots of cars to chose from everything from LMP to old school rally cars and everything in between.

As for track and stuff. I used Carrera exclusively it is a bit expensive but it works for both 1/24 and 1/32 cars and it runs cars of every brand well. Scalextic (which I think is the brand you are saying starts with an E, Eldon is the only "E" names track I can think of but that hasn't been around since the 70's) would be my second choice based on price and availability but the track to me is not as good. Ninco track is just beyond any reasonable price expensive and the only people I know that run that track have more money than sense. I hate to put it that way but I don't see any benefit to Ninco track over the other brands.

Also all of the cars work with any of the tracks don't pick a track brand just because you like the cars they have. When I worked at a hobby shop I was surprised by how many people thought the cars were proprietary to the brand and wouldn't work on other track.

If you want to go with HO scale I would stick with the Auto world track they don't have the largest line of track pieces but they are the top brand and really stand behind their products. Plus their stuff is available just about everywhere hobby shop wise.

When you decide what scale you want to go with or if you have any questions you can either post them up here or send me a pm either way I will help you all I can.


www.slotcarillustrated.com is a great place to get more info and ask all the questions you want. You might even be able to find some cheap track there.

#3 bigmikevee

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:21 AM

Hey Robert,

Thanks for the kind reply, it really helped me. Scalextic is exactly what I wanted and couldn't remember, thank you. I did a little browsing on the Net last night, and seems like Carrera has a lot of good reviews and products. I did not know that cars were switchable from brand to brand, that helps a lot too. I like the idea of a car you can see (and display) as well, when I was playing with the boys set, they had a bunch of HO cars their dad had gotten at garage sales, most ran ok, but there was this one blue 'vette that just screamed, but when it was running, just like you said, one little blue blur, it was still a blast to drive, but.... Think Carera cools rods is where I am going to start, if I go HO Auto World got good reviews as well. What are your thoughts on digital sets, should I start with a small digital set and work my way up? I don't really know if the digital might take the fun away because too hard to master when I use with either my age group or the kids.

Also, what does LMP stand for, don't know that term. And if I buy some aftermarket cars, should I buy Carrera and Auto World or look at other brands?

Robert, thanks again for your help, it is just so great to have online friends in these great forums to help with questions like mine. Cool!!

Mike

#4 ra7c7er

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:05 AM

It looks like the MCM server switch ate my reply. Mike, I will repost it when I get back from work today.

#5 ra7c7er

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 12:56 PM

Alright try #2.

I will start off with the easy answer. An LMP car is just a class of race car. Here is the wiki page about them. http://en.wikipedia...._Mans_Prototype

On to the other questions.

Digital. Digital racing is fun but has serious draw backs. First is the cost. Both digital track and cars cost more and it takes more work and care to keep them in good working order. Also digital cars ARE proprietary to the specific brand. So you lose out on using cars from any other brand than what your track is. You can convert other brands cars to digital but it takes a lot of work to do it correctly and often times requires cutting the chassis or interior. Another thing to consider when thinking about digital is how many people are realistically going to be racing most of the time. If you have 4 or more people racing all the time then digital might be better for you but if you are going to be racing alone or just with one other person you are losing all the benefits of digital. Digital racing isn't all that hard to get the hang of lane changing just requires decent timing. The hardest thing for me to get the hang of was remembering to refuel. I would be in a tight race and forget to refuel.

How much track to get (for both HO and 1/32) at first is always a big question and will always be right up until you pick your first set or two. The generally recommended amount to start off with is two sets. That way you get two power bases, two walwarts, extra controllers and extra track right off the bat. Not to mention two extra cars. Then you can expand with specialty track pieces as you design your track. Part of the reason for getting two sets right off is the two power bases and two walwarts. You will want each racing lane to have dedicated power (when running analog) so you don't get the power spike when one car goes off the track. You don't need a huge track to have lots of fun but the bigger the track the faster the cars will go (you always want at least one long straight section). My first track was 10 ft. long and only 3 ft. wide. It was a blast for 2.5 seconds but was so challenging the club I was in actually ran a monthly challenge race on it. It was the smallest race track ever to have a monthly race in the clubs 40+ year existence.

Edited by ra7c7er, 14 July 2011 - 04:50 PM.


#6 Jairus

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:24 PM

Good answers Robert! :mellow:

#7 djway3474

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 03:44 PM

My 2 cents are, go with the larger/wider track, then you can run what you want. Avoid making a track with a ton of really tight turns which is usually a problem with limited space. Go with more sweepers and only one or two really tight turns. Too many tight turns really make it a series of drag races and also becomes very difficult to drive unless you have strong magnets in the cars. If you look at a lot of the European tracks even the tightest turns are pretty gentle. Over there the big thing is NO magnets. So it really depends on space and if you want magnets or not. Many of the makes of slot cars use little or not magnet although there may be a mounting point for them. Even so some don't provide much space and just are not fun on a really tight track. In conclusion, The Bigger The Better :D

#8 bigmikevee

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 07:41 PM

Hey Rob,

Thanks to you and Dwayne for helping me a little further along, just want to get enough info to make a wise purchase, there is just so much out there, I really appreciate the imput. I'm sure I will have more questions down the road, thanks again.

Mike

#9 highway

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 09:35 PM

Mike, even though I'm not very big in the slot cars, I must say if I were you, go with the Scalextic set! One of my LHSs had one set up during Christmas and I was amazed by the performance of the cars. If Santa would have had more money, I might have even found a set under the tree!! B) :lol: :lol:

#10 scale trucker

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:48 AM

scalextric and carrera are not switchable for the cars..the voltage is wrong..

#11 ra7c7er

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 11:51 AM

scalextric and carrera are not switchable for the cars..the voltage is wrong..



The voltage is different but the cars work just fine. In fact Carrera cars are faster on Scalextric track because of the voltage difference. You can run 1/32 plastic cars anywhere from 9 volts to 18 volts with very little issue.

Edited by ra7c7er, 16 July 2011 - 11:54 AM.


#12 scale trucker

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 03:08 PM

The voltage is different but the cars work just fine. In fact Carrera cars are faster on Scalextric track because of the voltage difference. You can run 1/32 plastic cars anywhere from 9 volts to 18 volts with very little issue.

i have both sets and they do run if you can get it to move without burnin the tires off

#13 bigmikevee

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

Hey Gang,

Okay, now something new to think about, my search is narrowed down to 1/32 at this point, Rob has provided me with a lot of great answers, thanks to all that have replied. (Yo to my man Highway!!) I am going with either Scalextric or Carrera, thinking right now that it is a coin flip, have been doing a lot of reading online and it seems like both brands are good, have a little differences, but both still good. Exactly how will the difference in voltages affect performance, and will it affect the car motors long term. I know I will probably get cars from different sources, and I want to baby them, as much as you can baby a slot car anyway. Or should I jsut get a track and use their cars exclusively? Gordon, I guess you mean the cars will be too "hot" for the track, right? I think I am leaning towards Carrera for the track because I plan on putting track on plywood attached to the wall that I can "hinge" up out of the way for more room when not using and Carrera seems, from what I have read, to attach better of the two. Or should I....? Whatcha think? Thanks.

Mike

#14 djway3474

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:34 AM

Hey Gang,

Okay, now something new to think about, my search is narrowed down to 1/32 at this point, Rob has provided me with a lot of great answers, thanks to all that have replied. (Yo to my man Highway!!) I am going with either Scalextric or Carrera, thinking right now that it is a coin flip, have been doing a lot of reading online and it seems like both brands are good, have a little differences, but both still good. Exactly how will the difference in voltages affect performance, and will it affect the car motors long term. I know I will probably get cars from different sources, and I want to baby them, as much as you can baby a slot car anyway. Or should I jsut get a track and use their cars exclusively? Gordon, I guess you mean the cars will be too "hot" for the track, right? I think I am leaning towards Carrera for the track because I plan on putting track on plywood attached to the wall that I can "hinge" up out of the way for more room when not using and Carrera seems, from what I have read, to attach better of the two. Or should I....? Whatcha think? Thanks.

Mike

Check the surface textrue on the two tracks of choice and go for the one that feels like it may have more grip and wider. One important about width is when you start to slide coming out of a corner you want the rear tires to stay on the track so you can recover from the slide. The narrower tracks you fall off more. Don't worry about about the small differences in voltage. Run what ever cars you want. I have all brands and run them all on different tracks and no problems. You will find in general Scalextrix cars are faster than the Carrera cars as they have better magnets and ususlly faster motors. Nincos have the weakest magnets along with older Carreras. Nincos have some strong motors in many issues. Another alternative to the hinge system is a motorized pully that lifts the track up. I have seen systems hooked to a winch and lifts the entire track. In either case you are limiting you potential size of the track which gets you into the tight turn problems I mentiond earlier. FYI I have seen a 32md scale track that had an HO track running around inside it :o Have fun. Thse things can bee addicting.

#15 JustBill

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:38 PM

Here's another opinion to maybe help. You can run any and all manufacture of cars on any analog track. You keep asking about digital. You are limited to what you can do with digital. When running digital you need a chip in the car to run on the track. When using analog you can run any car on any track at any time. However, you can start with a analog track and convert it to digital later if you want to do that.

As far as Carrera vs. Scalextric, they are both smooth tracks. Really you should run silicone tires on your cars so you can get grip out of them. Even running cars with magnets the silicone tires will improve grip tremendously. Things to look at when dealing with Scalextric are that its a narrow track. That also means that the groove in the track is narrower and not as deep which means the cars guide doesn't sit in the track completely and the car comes off the track more. I've also seen where cars will get stuck in spots from the guide flag being too big for the groove. Also you can't run 1/24 scale cars on this track.
Carrera track is wider which means wider deeper groove in the track and you can run 1/24 scale cars on it. The cars will run smoothly on this track.
Both tracks have been know to have power issues. At times there will be dead spots were the car will slow and times you will have hot spots were the car will get a boost of voltage. The power isn't consistently going through the track. You can fix this depending on how involved you want to get with your setup.
I myself, (while not having more money than brains :D ) have a 45ft. four lane NINCO track in my basement on 13x7ft table. I went with this track cause it doesn't have the power issues of the other tracks and its wide enough to run 1/24 scale. It is also a rougher track surface which means more grip. You can run the stock rubber tires that come with your cars. Its recommended that you don't use silicone tires. The silicone will build in the track and its almost impossible to get it out.

I am no expert by any means. I have raced on commercial tracks and private leagues as well. We do all non-magnet racing. The cars are actually more realistic this way. Also too they do go slower which means when the car comes off your less likely to break something. Running without magnets also means the rear off the car will step out a lot more. We use weight and weigh the car down to give us more grip. The possibilities are endless and it is all up to what your looking for or how involved you want to get. Like its been said, this stuff is very addicting and you can get in trouble fast!! I hope I was of some help and have fun!!

#16 Tom Setzer

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:15 PM

I have used both Carrera and Scalextric track and they rea both good brands. Carrera is very ridged and brakes easily, so I would only recomend it for a perm. Table top track with a very ridged table surface, Carrera takes about 1.5 times the area as Scalextric does so you need a much larger area for the same lap length and you cannot do variations in banking wit Carrera Track.

All brands of Analog Cars will run on any brand of track, but you have to cut down the length and depth of Carrera Guides on any brand of track except Carrera, but it is easy to cut down the guides.

I have regular races on my track which is Scalextric Sport Track, and we run all brands of cars.

We run the following classes:
LMP; Scalextric and SCX LMP Cars Magnets limited to 350grm of down force, 14.5 volts 18000 rpm motors limit.
LMP as above with no magnets
Slotit and Racer Sidewise Group C and DP, 450rm magnetic down force, 14.5 volts, 20000rpm orange endbell or 25000 rpm white end bell inline or sidewinder, no angle winders.
As above Anglewinder slotits.
60s/70s TransAM Scalextric, SCX, Carrera, and Pioneer Only mod allowed is add on bar magnet or two 5/16 disk magnets, 450 grm magnetic down force max, 18000 rpm mubuchi motors.14.5 volts
Ventage Sports Cars any brand no magnets, 12 volts 14000 rpm motors
Ventage GP any brand no mags., 10 volts 14000 rpm motors max

Slotit and racer Can change wheels and gears. All classes may chang tyres NO SILICON Tyres ALLOWED!

We run other classes periodically,
I hav A variable Piramid Powersupply and the track is jumpered every 12' I use Trakmate timing and race control and I have two kill switches for track calls. The Track is positive polarity and my driver stations have both three pin and phone jack hook ups. The Track is painted and landscaped to give the appearance of a real track circa the early sixties.
Here are some Image of My Track:
Posted Image
Posted Image
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Posted Image

CHEERS!
Tom

#17 Gregg

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:12 AM

Heh guys. I was going through some stuff the other day and I pulled out my old Carrera track sets. I had bought two of the sets, one the Le Mans Champs and the other was the Blacktop Racers, for a great deal some time ago. I have got a few 1/24 and 1/32 scale cars, mostly Scaletrix, Carrera, and now my favorite, the Monogram new ones. I love it! It's easy to get hooked in this and I hope others will as well. I love Tom's track, I would like to do that one day, space permitting. Right now it's in the living room floor, to see how big it would be. I have probably 10 more straightaways extra, but no turns left.
I run all the cars, 1/24 and 1/32 on the Carrera track, with no problems. I don't think I would go to digital, unless I win that lottery one day.

Attached File  GreggTrack.jpg   333.41KB   24 downloads

#18 mr moto

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:52 AM


As far as Carrera vs. Scalextric, they are both smooth tracks. Really you should run silicone tires on your cars so you can get grip out of them. Even running cars with magnets the silicone tires will improve grip tremendously.


Just a note from my long experience with silicone tires. The grip is great but if you run silicones be sure that you're not ever going to want to run with conventional tires. After silicones have been used on a track for a significant amount of time they leave a thin coating of silicone and ONLY silicone tires will be able to bite on the track surface. That may not be a problem for you. Just something to think about.

#19 Tom Setzer

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:14 PM


Just a note from my long experience with silicone tires. The grip is great but if you run silicones be sure that you're not ever going to want to run with conventional tires. After silicones have been used on a track for a significant amount of time they leave a thin coating of silicone and ONLY silicone tires will be able to bite on the track surface. That may not be a problem for you. Just something to think about.


That is why Silicone is baned on my track, we run a lot of different cars and I don't want to force anyone to have to use Silicone tyres, also your track must be extremly clean for them to work. My Track has great grip with Neo, and Urathane tyres aand no mags.

AIR is temperarily close due to roof repairs, I hope to have the track back in opperation soon. I will have to replace three track sections that got damaged. For now I have A tarp over it waiting for the roof repairs(New Roof over the whole Room!)


CHEERS!
Tom

#20 Gregg

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:54 PM

That's really good to know on the silicon tires.
Never knew that.
Another great feature of the forum, you learn things by just looking around.
Thanks guys!