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Conditionally Human

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About Conditionally Human

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    Stranger in a Strange Land
  • Birthday 10/01/1963

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    Australia
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    Hunter NSW
  1. G"day fellow Slotters. Sim 999 has asked "What's wrong with Ninco Digital?", and I'd like to post an answer. Since I've had a long and expensive history with Ninco Digital, I hope to save other Slotters some pain. The short answer is, that Ninco NDigital is deathly expensive, and more suited to large, fast cuircuts than it is to tight home tracks, where slow to moderate cornering speeds require more control. Ninco Digital lacks car control steps. A mere 14 from memory, compared to Scally's 64 (which is about the same as analogue I think), making the cars difficult to drive, especially at low to moderate speeds. This problem is made worse by their use of dead strips for car detection. Ninco track is fantastic, but, if I had my time again, I would have bought or made a routed track, and digitized it with Scorpious. Or, if lane changing isn't important (and since you have Ninco track already), you could look into Ninco WI-CO, which, I believe, is wireless analogue. What I have now, is a Ninco Track of about 28 meters, using pure Slot-it 02 digital. In the end, at a cost of well over ten thousand dollars, it is an excellent solution. The bonus for me is a box full of Ninco electronics that will one day end up on EBay. Message me if interested. Peter.
  2. Thanks Rick. Everything I've read on the subject suggests that, in terms of functionality, Scorpius has no peers. That said, I'm still undecided between O2 and Scorpius. The most desirable advantage of Scorpius over O2 for me is the LCD display on the controllers (my biggest issue with digital so far has been control). Then, there are other things such as PEARL (Programmable Electronic Assisted Racing Line), programmable ghost cars, extra pit-lane features and live flippers. In O2's favour is slightly lower cost, and the fact that I can implement the system changeover to my Ninco track in small stages. Warning!! For anyone sick to death of me going on about dead strips, I advise you to stop reading now. Without wanting to put too finer a point on it, I HATE dead strips. In the case of DAVIC systems (which also use dead strips for car detection), I expect that it works quite well because of the large, fast, multi-lane club tracks that it is usually found on. On tighter home circuits though, they are less than desirable. Live flippers sound like the answer but if I go with O2 on my Ninco track, it won't be an easy upgrade. Ninco L/C's use plastic flippers which would need to be swapped for metal ones. Then, the flipper has to be electrically insulated from the rails (Ninco track features a plastic inner sleeve in the slots, so maybe this part has been done for me), and then the installation of a latching relays. I saw a thread on this forum polling members if they preferred racing or tuning. Easy answer for me. It's all about racing. I expected digital to more involved than analogue but here I am, two years on and over $5000.00 poorer and still decidedly unhappy. And, don't want to solder at all if I can help it. I just want to race. But.... I won't be going back to analogue. It's digital wireless or it's nothing (life wasn't meant to be easy). Peter.
  3. On the subject of "Frequency of Car Speed Messages". (This goes to show that I'm getting older (and so is my brain)). Study as I might, It's all just a bunch of numbers to me. But... if the numbers are to be taken literally, then Ninco's frequency of car speed messages of 20-70Hz reads well. This then, is also not the problem. Acceleration Curve perhaps? I've only ever used my Slot-it controllers in "LIN" mode. I've been too lazy too look up spread sheets on setting different curves for that particular mode (though I know the controller supports it). A combination of factors? Or... am I missing something entirely? Peter. P.S. I'm going wireless whatever happens, so, thanks for every ones input.
  4. I'm still rug racing. I have around 28 meters of Ninco track, so that means moving the furniture. I have to build a shed. The missus has turned into a Slot Car Nazis already. I haven't told her yet but I'm planning on making it wider (four lanes). If she leaves me, I'll really miss her cooking.
  5. A few thoughts are going through my head right now (that's good for me at my age); 1. Dead strips. Maybe I'm placing too much of the blame on them. If "A standard (1/32 scale) slot car traveling at speed can cover 6 meters in one second", then the dead strip is less of an issue than I thought it was. 2. Throttle control. Speed Steps are one entry in Dave Changs chart. Other entries include "PWM (pulse width modulation) frequency" and "Frequency of Car Speed Messages". I assume they both have an effect. I think I understand PWM. In analogue, to achieve 1/3 speed, 1/3 power is applied all the time. With PWM, full power is applied one third of the time (signals are then decoded by the in car chip and power delivered to the motor). Nincos PWM frequency seems low at only 120Hz where as Scaley have 300Hz and O2 and Scorpius have 4.5KHz & 4KHz respectively. The frequency of car speed messages I am less clear on. But, I have the book and I'm determined to keep reading till I understand it. Thanks again, Peter
  6. Thanks Guys. Willie, I'm a Hi-Fi enthusiast too and I understand what you're saying in relation to vinyl. It's also been argued that valve amplifiers sound warmer than digital. I think the analogy here is a good one. Logic would suggest that a digital signal should be able to carry much more detail with less unwanted background noise. In other words, digital should be better, but not everyone agrees. Regarding the steps. I started with standard Ninco digital controllers (11 steps) and upgraded to Slot-it (15 steps) and noticed a huge difference. I can only dream of 32 steps. Another part of the problem I think is dead strips. The double lane change curve has four, each measuring 43mm in length. Add four plastic flippers and that makes each dead strip on the curve 157mm. All things add up to it being very hard to drive through this corner under control. Scalextric have metal flippers that sometimes carry a current and Scorpius has live flippers. I don't hear any Scalextric Digital users being as frustrated with lack of feel as I am, but am I asking too much from digital? Thanks.
  7. I Just finished reading Dave Changs new book "Digital Racing in 1/32 Scale". On pages 84 and 85 is a comparison table of eight different digital systems (I didn't even know that there where so many). Third last entry on page 84 is "Speed steps". As far as I can see, this the main difference in car control between analogue (unlimited speed steps) and digital (limited steps, controlled by pulse width modulation). The chart says; Scalextric SSD = 64 (but I think the in car chips only recognizes 32). SCX = 13 Carrera, Davic and Slotfire = 16. Ninco NDigital = 16 (but standard controllers only recognize 11 and progressive controllers only 14). Scorpius and O2 = 256. It's hard to explain, but when I drive in analogue, I eventually get a feel for the car and the track. It may be a combination of factors. The tires warm up, so does the motor, so do I, and for a while, I'm "in the zone" and control feels instinctive (it's at this time that the car can do some amazing stuff). With my current set up (Ndigital and Slot-it controllers which gives me the full 16 speed steps available) it's not the same. I'd like to hear from anyone lucky enough to have tried O2 or Scorpius for there thoughts on this. I have other questions, but this is the first. Price will NOT dictate which direction I head in. I've spent enough now that it just has to work right. If it doesn't "I'll be very angry. Very angry indeed" Peter.
  8. Conditionally Human

    F1 Cars

    I saw it on Armchair Racers web site. I had a Scalextric version when I was a kid. And a Six Wheel Elf (which we broke pretty quickly). We busted it playing smash up derby with Mini's on the skid chicane.
  9. Conditionally Human

    F1 Cars

    Love it. I must have it. (I wonder if I could fit a digital chip in it?) Sorry about the small pic. I'm still struggling with photbucket it seems. I'll fix it soon.
  10. Also, Hobbyco has a good range of Airfix 1/32 scale starter kits. My modelling skills are crap but I ordered the MK1 escort and Triumph TR4 kits. I'm thinking of trying to match one of them to a Slot-it RTR chassis. Maybe the CH31A ? I'll be a happy slotter/alien if I can get a half decent result with the Triumph (I'm planning to do it in a metallic blue). Peter.
  11. I have enough outer radius curves to make a four lane Talladega type circuit. Six cars = $120. Digital chips are more per unit cost wise. Another thought, would they like my hump bridge (marine ply and cricket stumps) I wonder ?
  12. Has anybody noticed that Hobbyco's website have SCX Nascars at $19.95 each? Are they any good? Should I buy some? How do they go on Ninco track? Peter. .
  13. This is my current layout. I change it fairly regularly. When I read my "Bad Decisions 3" post above, I sound a bit whiny don't I? I didn't mean to. I was just having a bad track day. If I'm to be positive about it, I'd say that I have a pretty cool track that is easily upgradable (albeit at some expense). Ninco track is everything they say it is and I'm still having fun. If I were to start again,knowing what I know now, I would think about the Ninco four lane analog track for around $800 and an upgrade to Scorpius Digital Wireless. It would have been cheaper. For now, I'm considering my options. I won't be rushing in too quickly. Besides, I may have to sell the children for medical experiments just to afford it. Peter.
  14. P.S. I did research the different digital systems before I parted with any of my hard earned. None of the retailers I deal with have ever mentioned Oxygen or Scorpius. All of these things are going through my mind as I write. More decisions to be made. More money to spend. By the way, my track is currently 27 meters long in two lanes (I'm thinking of making it shorter but in four lanes). with seven lane change sections. I can't go back to analog. I like lane changing too much. I'm thinking that I (like Ninco) should go back to the drawing board and start again. Peter
  15. Bad Decisions Part 3 Firstly, a thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far. I’m a novice still in this hobby and need all the help I can get.. Bad decisions (on a “bang for buck” rating). 1. Ninco Digital (not the track, just the electronics). Seriously, I regret every dollar I’ve spent on something that just doesn’t work right. For nearly two years I’ve been throwing good money after bad trying to make something work that was flawed in its original design. Add to this the fact that I think Ninco Hobbies already came to same conclusion, which, in my opinion, is why they will never improve their current system without going back to the drawing board and starting again. The design flaws are myriad and I’m too lazy to document them all here, but there’s the lack of control steps in the throttle and brake profiles, the poor implamentation of fuel usage (making the pit lane useless), the tiny, difficult to read display screens, lack of ghost car facilities, no race management software as promised (I’m guessing that they won’t deliver on this ever, because it would further highlight the systems limitations), and then there's dead strips (just to start). There is also the little reported fact that Ninco lane change electronics seem to require at least 10 volts. I’m not sure of that figure exactly, but since, my track has over a hundred pieces, and every track join is a potential source of impedance, when running lower voltages for non magnet racing I need to power tap almost every lane change section to make them work with any accuracy. Add this to fact that I thought I could race eight cars at once (no, I haven’t spent money on the simple H mod yet) which just won’t happen. I can get five cars into a race after some fiddling around, but you’re lucky if the power base records any driver info except for the driver who recorded the fastest lap. 2. My choice of cars. If I spend $60 or $70 on a car and $29 on a chip, then the average cost of a car is around $90 to $100. I have purchased and chipped sixteen cars now (you can do the math). Five of these cars are un-drivable. The bad ones are Scalextric and Carrera. Let’s call them the “lemons”. I even took my favorite lemon, a Scalextric Ford Escort (I drove one when I was younger) to to Armchair to see if something could be done (I’m new and just learning about car tuning). No good. Along with the other lemons, it’s still track scenery. The good news is that after advice received on this forum, my two latest cars have been a Slot-it Alpha 33/3 and an NSR ford GT40. Early days yet but I think I’ll be removing the magnet from both (how good is that straight from the box with nothing more than truing the tires and a lube job?). There’s also two Ninco 1 cars that nobody drives because they are gutless (a mini should not beat a Lamborghini down the straight). 3. Lack of research. My local hobby shop (big on SCX but not Ninco) is terrible. This is where I went to for advice.Big Mistake. All the frustration, wasted money and lack of results could have been avoided if; A. I’d have spoken to an expert from specialty slot car store like Armchair or Thunderbird instead of the local clueless guy and B. If I’d spent more time asking the right questions on this forum. Is this post too long? I have more.
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