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ToddsPartyHirePerth

20 Questions On A Setting Up Mobile Digital Track

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Hi All,

My Name is Todd, I run Todd's Party Hire in Perth.

I am looking at setting up a mobile track to hire out for kids birthday parties, corporate team-building etc.

 

My budget is $1500-$2000

 

I want to start with digital as this would be a new experience for many adults and I can fit more cars on a smaller track.

Has anybody tried a digital setup for hire? The analog ones are huge.

 

I am considering using Ninco as they allow up to 8 cars at one, compared with Scalectric's 6.

I know Ninco is not as popular here, but is there any reason not to use it? ( I don't need interoperability with other enthusiasts)

 

Would 4 lanes be enough to run 8 cars at once?

 

Or should I go 8 lanes into 6 into 4 into 2 or a combination thereof?

 

I intend on mounting the track on 2 or 3 sections of plywood, each no larger than 1.5x3m, (so i can fit it in my van) with only minor joining required on site.

 

I want to buy 10 cars ( 2 spare) , 8 controllers, transformers and enough track for a decent layout.

 

Would it be more cost effective to buy a master track kit and one starter kit plus the extra controllers/ cars i need?

Or one master track kit and several starter kits?

 

How many transformers are required to run 8 cars?

 

What sort of cars should I use? Ninco only, or other brands re-chipped?

I don't need to win races or have rare models, just have different styles/ colours with even racing.

Durability is also a factor.

 

Would magnets make it more durable/ usable or less?

 

Is there a way to nobble the equipment so small children can play, or adults don't thrash the cars?

 

Finally, can any shop owners out there do me a deal?

I can offer sponsorship on my track, so you may gain some customers once I introduce them to the hobby.

 

Thanks for you help,

Todd.

 

PS Sorry about re-posting it from the welcome forum, but I wasn't getting anybody familiar with digital replying.

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Hi Todd and welcome ,,, the one bit of advice I would give about running an events track is to keep it simple and for my money that rules out digital for no other reason than if you are catering to novices then you are going to have cars smashed regularly by people running up the back of cars in front .i may be opening a nest of vipers by saying this but analogue is the way to go in terms of simplicity.

 

Scorpius would be the only system that is beefy enough to operate commercially having anti collision built in ,,,I think,, among many other features.

Edited by tooter

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Agree with Tooter, most hire tracks are 4 lane analogue. I'd also go with a timber track.


The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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I have been involved with commercial track for many years and I have to agree with the comments above.

While digital will work it will require a lot of upkeep and probably frustrated customers.

My choice would be analogue,timber track with a variable voltage supply and use something like Parma womps with some good vac formed bodies on them.

If you are going ahead with this venture a call to Peter at Mobile Raceways in Melbourne would be worth the time,he has been involved with Mobile And commercial tracks for many years.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not wanting to seem like a killjoy and correct me if I'm wrong,,,, while this track has been put together for the purpose of commerce,,,,,,maybe,,,,,,,,, This is NOT a commercial set up .

 

I doubt whether this will withstand the rigours of commercial use for too long

Edited by tooter

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I agree. Its only been built for a few months, but it does go through some thoughts, which may be useful.

 

Simplicity is a key, I agree. Scorpius is likely to blow the budget even before putting a router to the board.

 

One thing that hasn't been defined here is "What is a Commercial Track"? Todd talks about kids parties and corporates. He doesn't state if he just wants to hire out the track, or intends to hire the track with an overseer. This needs specifying.

 

Ian


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Thats very true,,,the Scorpius system will retro fit to any available system so it doesn't need to be a routed track although this would be the best option and I guess strictly speaking a "commercial track' by definition is a track which is paying a wage or two ,,,,,I just don't think stock power and controllers make for a "professional " experience ,,,,,maybe professional is he wrong word but to me thats what the commercial tag conjures up for me .I feel it needs to be a cut above the out of the box experience.

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Ahhh, whereas for me, 'commercial' implies one where there is a (very) high level of robustness, simple operation, has low on-going costs for operation and repairs, and when repairs are needed parts are cheap and plentiful. Along the way, the initial outlay must be cost effective to speed ROI and also create something that can be easily duplicated for growth or so that a 'spare' is always available.

 

Professional, then, may be different from Commercial.

 

Personally, I'd want Commercial. Something that will take the knocks, be able to be moved easily and hired repeatedly withOUT requiring repairs.

 

Ian

Edited by MIH

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The market to which things are aimed has a large impact too. Kids, whilst having notably low attention spans are likely to be more forgiving of problems than the corporate world. One would expect the corporate world to be more willing to pay big $$$ for the privelege but for those $$$ they will expect perfection. The two markets mentioned have completely different demands.


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Ahhh, whereas for me, 'commercial' implies one where there is a (very) high level of robustness, simple operation, has low on-going costs for operation and repairs, and when repairs are needed parts are cheap and plentiful. Along the way, the initial outlay must be cost effective to speed ROI and also create something that can be easily duplicated for growth or so that a 'spare' is always available.

 

Professional, then, may be different from Commercial.

 

Personally, I'd want Commercial. Something that will take the knocks, be able to be moved easily and hired repeatedly with requiring repairs.

 

Ian

My sentiments exactly!!!! Slotfire is the option that comes to mind for me.but not cheap!!!! Edited by tooter

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Thanks for the input guys, just to clear up a few points for you:

It would most likely be kids parties, although I can foresee a few grown-ups wanting to use it. Definitely no bucks parties.

With further research, I don't think the corporate market seems to be all that great.

The idea is to up-sell to parents that come to my business wanting bouncy castles.

 

I don't think that with the plethora of kids toys out there these days,slot cars are as ubiquitous as they were in my day and before.

Therefore a slot car set with more than 2 cars at once would be a novelty to most kids these days. Digital racing would be a novelty to most dads too.

 

I don't want a professional setup to please regular users ( I.e. any of you guys...sorry!)

Therefore, by your standards, the track will be slow, unchallenging and without the fancy bells and whistles of wireless controllers and computer controlled scoring.

 

I would probably oversee the track just to stop them deliberately smashing things, alternating the kids between using the bouncy castle and the track.

 

I don't fancy using a router.

 

If the track won't fit in a standard 2 car garage, it's hardly worth it for kids parties. It also has to fit in my LWB Hiace van.

 

Does the lane changing aspect of digital cause that much damage by new users?

Are the cars that fragile? Even if i replaced a car each time, i would still make money.

 

Todd

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From that you definitely will be after super resistant Scaley cars.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Hi Todd, I have attention deficit laziness disorder so please disregard my next offering if you've heard this already, I didn't read all the way through the thread. Here's my brilliant idea... ebay. At various times you'll find people selling second hand track, often in need of a bit of clean up with wet and dry and wd40, but you can get lots of it, and cheaply. As you said, you don't need to appeal to the purists, so scratch around ebay or even gumtree and see what you find. I reckon the best track for you would be a big pile of scalextric classic, which was in production for something like 30 years. It still runs perfectly well, it is compatible with modern track (and is indistinguishable from it), and will run modern cars - anything in 1/32 scale.

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Todd

 

From your description of what you are chasing... It doesn't sound like you are really chasing digital. From what I read in to it... You want something that is robust, take a bit of wear and tear and is simple to use.

 

Personally, I haven't properly used scorpius yet... Not in a lane changing environment anyway. ... But Discounting scorpius, there is nothing readily available in digital that is professional... And thus for me, would be commercially of interest.

 

However, commercial is all about commerce funnily enough... And if it is making you money it is ticking the right boxes ... And therefore winner winner, chicken dinner. It is all about your target audience. If your target audience is children... Stay digital. If your target audience is adults, then for me you need a professional system... And nothing less than scorpius or similar on a routed magless track would tick the box with big LCD screens etc.

 

I think table top supercars is sailing in the right direction using what was arguably the best readily available digital system at the time.

 

I have had a 20m four lane Ninco digital system... The system was good enough to tinker in the back yard with... But not to charge money for in my opinion.

 

My two cents

 

Dave

Edited by GTR XU-1

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Sorry to double post... I meant to say if your target audience is children... Stay analogue... They won't care for changing lanes.. They will just want to beat their friends.

 

Am writing on I phone and couldn't edit properly hence double post

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I have seen enought problems with bad track connections,low power and poor lane changes on Scalex digital that are set up on good frames to say that IMO it is going to be a real hassle when you are moving it all the time.

I think any of the digital guys will tell you that the best teacks are those set up on good wooden frames with all track connections secure.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So what do you think Todd,

are you going to give it a go and tell us what happens?

 

Drifter

Well, Drifter, I'm still waiting for a few more replies to my original questions.

I don't know how many transformers are required.

I don't know if Ninco is good enough to justify the extra 2 cars at once.

A few of you have suggested cars, but even repeated google seaches hasn't shown me where to buy " super resistant Scaley cars" or "Parma womps with some good vac formed bodies on them."

 

Whilst I appreciate the input on the business side of things, I don't want to replicate existing monter setups that appeal to enthusiasts such as yourselves.

I can't see how a anolg setup could be both small enough for the average garage/ gamesroom and still race 8 cars at once in an interesting layout.

 

I understand that most of you wouldn't pay to hire a setup that didn't meet or exceed your own, but my customers just want to spoil little Freddy with something differnt for their birthday.

Perhaps at a future date I'll go the whole hog with a top-notch bulletproof setup, but I like to start small and see what the market can handle.

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G'Day Todd,

I've got a huge SSD layout and is just so good for the older racers, while cleansing our thirst, or whatever.It's a great entertainment tool.

Kids have an absolute ball on it. they don't care too much about if any one is winning or not.

When they work out how the lane changers work, they love nothing better than getting all six cars nose to tail in the same lane.

Scaley digital ,I reckon will work for you. Just don't make it too complex. A six car PB and 2 straight lane changers with a simple track plan will do.

I've found with kids Scaley V8 Supercars are almost indestructable. I still use the oldest cars i own with kids, and they have a blast.

If the track is to be mobile, a smaller one,fixed to a base board may be the go. Bigger isn't always better. Creating a fun atmosphere is vital to retain their attention, and let the fun begin.


"S#!t Happens"

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If you buy an after market Variable voltage transformer with good amperage ,you will only need that and some taps,,If you use stock power you won't have the facility to lower the volts. Ninco is the better option due to better connectivity and will stand up to being pulled apart more often . I think Scalextric has more bits available but it needs coaxing to be at its best .High impact cars are available readily from all Australian shops and international online dealers.

 

I take you're point re. the space issue but I do feel you will be frustrated by the amount of work you'll put in to setting this up and what you end up with . Don't get me wrong I've had some fantastic racing on some seriously well set up digital systems and i may be doing kids an injustice by assuming they won't have the diligence to know when to hold back and not smash into the car in front ,,,,,,but in my experience ,,they don't. Older kids pick it up pretty fast but the kids of jumping castle age may struggle .

 

 

Whichever way you go ,,all the very best of luck theres a whole lot of fun to be had with the simplest of set ups ,,go for it

Edited by tooter

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Not meaning to correct you or anything tooter but with the newish Scalextric APB you do have the option of different power levels which can be adjusted in accordance with the ability of the driver. If my mate comes round and has his kids with him I can lower the power so as the kids never come off the track or have it set so if they do its not going to cause a great deal of damage to the cars. You can set the power level for individual stations or just set it so as all are equal. My kids are 3 and 6 and my mates are 4 and 6 and love being able to drive around the track at any speed, my 3 year old is fine with 100% power whereas my 6 yr old crashes trying to keep up with his younger brother, so without him knowing I lower his power to keep him on the track and they have a great time. My 3 yr old hasn't got the gist of lane changing yet but the 6 yr old has no problems. I know nothing about Nince digital but if 6 cars on the track can play havoc with young kids what would 8 cars be like, I think that young kids will have a blast whichever way Todd decides to go but I can see the Dads pushing them aside for a go themselves.

 

Matt

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Resistant cars are hi impact resistant as the windows are the same mould as the body. The windows come usually blacked out, that's the easiest way to find them.

Power supply just any that us adjustable down to say 10V and can deliver at least 15A

If you want something different go with a Ninco digital system. But remember you will using a off the shelf system in a commercial environment but use the scalextric impact cars like Aussie V8s. The Ninco track is the best for continually pulling apart and re setting up. The advantages is you should be able to run 4 cars not 2 which is what you want at a party. 8 will run but you need a bigger table or the congestion will be excessive.

 

Rick

 

PS for a wireless digital system with plug and play lane changers x 2, 4 controllers, 4 impact cars and 4 chips, table, power supply and ninco track I estimate you would be up for $2000. Later you can extend table and grab another 4 controllers, cars and car chip to accomodate 8 cars.

I thinkl all this would be substantially cheaper than an 8 lane analogue track. Beauty of this is you can start it out as analogue then switch when the time is right.

 

PS Id be charging minimum $300 for 3 hours on site thats 7 outings to break even.

Edited by aussieslotter

The best form of satisfaction is success.

www.scorpiuswireless.com

 

 

 

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It is good to see that so many are using digital and having so much enjoyment, but rememember that Todd ,s track has to be transportable, easy set up and that most of the users will only get a short time on the track, and want to have a great time.

Hire tracks and mobile tracks are so different to any home of club tracks.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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