Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Problem with POWER!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Problem with POWER!

    Harry and I have talked about this for years, slot car sets come with power supplies that are WAY too powerful. The problem is that kids don't want to be patient and learn to drive, they just want to race. So they put the cars on the track and grip it and rip it and the next thing you know the parents are on the phone trying to return the set!
    Slot Car Nerd/Photographer/ Just a self-styled marketing guy on my back porch.
    Check out my YouTube channel for weekly slot car news

  • #2
    Just solid gold!

    Will copy my responses here as well.

    I was very impressed to say the least when I had the chance to test the Policar system. The star of that show was the supply. No matter how great you think the plastic is...newcomers/kids/parents don't care. That ability to tone them down to REASONABLE speeds is where the Policar team just made fools of the other brands.

    Will give Scalextric a nod for the controllers, they do the job. Carrera? Time to wake up.

    ​​​​​​Number one email after Christmas: "The cars won't stay on the track".

    Number one answer from various folks in the hobby? "Teach them to drive"

    Which is not the right answer.

    Toning the volts down to let the kids play and watch the cars instead of chasing them after every corner IS.
    -Harry

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm amazed at the motors so many of the home racers run. We run 25-30k motors in our much heavier 1/24 cars. Longest straight is 30 foot and there is some banking in every corner. Anything more powerful becomes a handful to get around the track. I figure if I ever set up the ole Monogram 1/32 track, The stock 13D motors in those cars will probably be fine with new tires that actually grip. Still be 12 volt, but probably those ole motors are no more than 10-12 K rpm.
      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

      Comment


      • #4
        Question for me is, I wonder how many sales and possible long term slot car enthusiasts have been lost after initial purchase of a slot car set because of this single issue? I bet it is a significant number in both dollars and people. It is such a simple & inexpensive fix that should have been corrected long before now.

        Comment


        • Dave Kennedy
          Dave Kennedy commented
          Editing a comment
          I can tell you from experience maybe 40-50% are because of this one issue alone. I spent all 7-ish years dealing with this one question alone at least 40% of the time... "my kid's cars won't stay on the track".

      • #5
        When I build my first routed track in 2005 my youngest grandson, who'd just moved next door, was 6 years old. He became my shadow and wanted to race all the time. I had a Scalextric wall wart power supply but ditched it for of a 4.5 volt wall wart I found in a bin at a salvage store. It provided enough power for 2 cars and you could crash if you didn't let up for the corners, but cars accelerated softly coming out of the corners such that our cars were controllable.

        One day he was racing on the track and he kept crashing. I turned to him and said, "I thought you were a good driver". That bothered him and he said "I am". I challenged him by saying "I bet you can't go 100 laps at a good speed without crashing". At that point he got serious and proceeded to count to 100 as he turned in consistent fast laps without a single crash. When he got to 100 he set the controller down and walked out of the barn without saying a word. Later he said I hurt his feelings when I said he wasn't a good driver, and I apologized saying he'd proven me wrong. He was my racing buddy from that point on.

        Creating a racing setup that he could easily learn to master kept him interested and boosted his confidence. Even though most kids (and many adults) like to crash it's frustrating not to be able to not crash. And no one likes being continually frustrated. Great job on Policar's part finding and using that power supply. And, the charging port is a plus too.

        Comment


        • #6
          I also am amazed that the 14.8 v wall power transformer is still being used? I could not believe that they would make a slot car set so hot as it was almost impossible to make a good clean lap when first setting up my Carrera track a number of years back. My kid hated it until I got a variable dc power transformer which changed the whole experience for him and now he loves to race...
          Thx for another great video!

          Comment


          • Dave Kennedy
            Dave Kennedy commented
            Editing a comment
            cheers, you're welcome.

        • #7
          Dave...another interesting and informative video...keep them coming!

          I would like to make a suggestion though....adjusts your lighting! Nice to see you invested in some soft boxes but to make your lighting effective you need to move the lights out of the frame. As you are currently setup the lights are the brightest thing in frame and the f stop on your camera is adjusting to them, which in turn makes you and everything on the table darker. Ideally you should move the lights out in front of the table and at a 45 degree angle. Raising them up and pointing them slightly will make it a bit easier on your eyes. Give it a try on short 1 minute test and see what you think. This setup will give your videos a bit more of a professional look. If the lights out front are to bright on your eyes at least try moving them out of frame.

          Again...love the videos and hope I did not offend, that was not my intention.

          Gipper
          Last edited by Gipper; August 13, 2020, 08:33 PM.

          Comment


          • #8
            Dave and I do agree on some issues regarding slot cars. I totally agree regarding power, more specifically too much power making many slot cars almost undrivable. I have several mid to high end slot cars that I have exchanged the oem motor for a less powerful one and ended up with cars that have lower lap times because they are more drivable on the size track I own.

            Comment


            • slothead
              slothead commented
              Editing a comment
              I hadn't thought about it in this way before, but trying to find a balance between what serves the mass market and also makes us enthusiasts happy is solving the 'one size fits all' problem. In most situation one size never adequately fits all.

              Is the Policar variable voltage transformer available as a spare part? If so, what power base(s) is the track plug compatible with?

            • Dave Kennedy
              Dave Kennedy commented
              Editing a comment
              The power supply is a standard plug I've seen before I'll have to see it might work with the old SCX analog powerbase but I'm not sure. It's meant to be used on the Policar powerbase of course and that track is, like all others, a proprietary track connection piece. But I do think that Policar is at the head of the pack for a starter set option.

            • slothead
              slothead commented
              Editing a comment
              I asked because on both my routed tracks I mounted a Scalextric powerbase underneath that my adjustable power supplies and Professor Motor controllers plug into. Wires connect the powerbase rails to a central terminal block that sends power to the copper tape. This eliminated any track wiring issues and has worked flawlessly. If the Policar power supply could be used in the same way it'd simplify things for others looking for easy ways to have adjustable voltage on their tracks, regardless of type.

          • #9
            I've given up advising slower motors to club opponents, I let them get on with it, if they think a 30k motor is going to beat my 20k whilst wrecking their tyres I shrug my shoulders and say you were unlucky to have so many deslots and maybe your tyres aren't the best...some are beyond never learning.

            Comment


            • #10
              Slothead , I figure I will have the same issue , because I have a young grandson , who is my first . I figure that if I have the track run through a variable voltage which you can raise or lower the voltage on the track so the speed of the cars could be lower

              Comment


              • slothead
                slothead commented
                Editing a comment
                In the beginning for a kid the speed of the cars should be such that they stay on most of the time, but can crash if pushed too far. Tamer motors is one solution, though lower voltage seems the most direct fix.

            • #11
              And Kevan , I think that if you are going to use that big of a motor it would be best for drag racing , because you are going in a straight line

              Comment


              • #12
                I think its a balance. Some hit it better than others. Back in the day, Artin 1/32 race sets seems to be right on the money with having to still drive the car some but not too hard that it gets frustrating.

                I know the new Micro Scalextric race sets are aimed at young kids but from what I've read you can run wide open even at the full throttle controller setting. In this instant, it goes from an interactive hobby that you have to drive the car to one you just watch.

                Bottom line, I think all slot car sets should have a provision to run the slot car around the track without having the possibility of coming off the track. This can be accomplished with an adjustment on either the controller or the power supply. With that behind said, it should also have settings (or even an easily removable traction magnet) that require driving the car to keep it on the track to keep the interest level up.
                Last edited by BRS Hobbies; August 14, 2020, 03:32 PM.
                BRS Hobbies - Online shopping for slot cars in all scales, RC crawlers & more!

                Comment


                • BRS Hobbies
                  BRS Hobbies commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would think kids would be bored and lose interest after awhile if the cars can't come off the track at any setting.

                • HomeRacingWorld
                  HomeRacingWorld commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not really Brian. They get tired of coming off and chasing the cars. They get frustrated. All of the shows I did with Artin, I saw this first hand even though my kids were young and at home.

                  I did teach mine...but most parents don't. They want a fun toy, and that is as far as it goes for about 95% of the set sales at Christmas.

                  They like to watch them go.

                  But can depend on age. Youths in the 10 to 15 range? Yeah...they like more of a challenge.

                  The point is the sets should be PRODUCED with OPTIONS.

                  Policar got it right. Scalextric did well with the new controllers.

                • Dave Kennedy
                  Dave Kennedy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  the Micro cars are NOT slow, they so fast you'd be shocked how they stick to the track. So I think you're thinking that they're slow when they're not. Wing cars and thingees are stuck to the track with glue and they really don't come off that easily...

              • #13
                When I first got back into slots in the late 2000's the first thing I noticed was that the cars all seemed to have the equivalent of a 10,000 HP top fuel dragster engine in them, regardless of whether they were an F1, NASCAR or Rally car. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much power for how tight most corners, are on even large layouts.

                Comment


                • #14
                  My experience with 8 and 11 year old granddaughters tells me that the adjustment needs to be out of sight at the power supply. I had to superglue the knobs back on to the sensitivity control of my controllers after their first visit. I had the voltage turned down at the power supply so I think they were cranking them around just to see what they did. They had been learning to drive pretty quickly and I left them alone to play and..... kids will be kids. Nowadays, a year later, they almost able to keep up with me at my usual voltage.

                  Comment


                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    These days kids compare slot car racing to video game racing which requires no real skill and there's no consequence for crashing. Developers know if a game frustrates user they'll lose interest, so that is kept out of the design. To keep things interesting for users of different ages and abilities they can adjust the skill level and end up choosing the level at which they can do well. The equivalent of that for slot cars is adjusting the power level.

                    For online gaming developers can track user characteristics and know when and under what conditions users give up or get hooked, and modify things accordingly.

                  • Dave Kennedy
                    Dave Kennedy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Slothead, have you tried online race gaming? It requires tons of skill. The same hand eye coordination as it does to slot race.
                Working...
                X
                UA-149438709-1