News

Scalextric Challenger - Great or crap?

Discussion in 'Collectables, Literature, & Models' started by tifosi12, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,699
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    I waited a long time for the release of the Scalextric Challenger car, which uses electronics to learn your track and then take you up for a race if you don't have a 2nd human player. Great concept!

    The fact that Scalextric postponed the release made me a bit sceptical, but I jumped at the chance when the kit finally came out. I even modified my track to accomodate the Challenger car (it doesn't like cross overs on slow sections). Then I let it learn the track and watched it creep around it. The car btw is a F1 pace car, a Mercedes. Absolutely beautiful with flashing lights. Very neat.

    Then it was time to race. There are two modes, slow and fast. I set it to slow and off we went. The Challenger threw itself off the track at the first corner. Repeated attempts at relearning the track yielded the same result...
     
  2. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    21,748
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim E
    It's a great idea, but I was skeptical about it's ability to work properly. You've confirmed my skepticism. Call Scalextric and chew them out!
     
  3. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,699
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    Well, I'm glad I got at least one response. Thanks!

    Anyway, the saga continues. I'm in constant discussions with the innocent shop that sold me this unit and also with some slot car fans and with Scalextric. Scalextrix has basically stopped returning my phone calls...

    The slot car community is more helpful, so here is where we stand today:

    In essence the system works if you have a basic track, not too technical, no negative camber turns, no cross overs, ideally no altitude changes. Basically a boring track will do...
    :)

    I got my car to the point where it even stayed on the track for 2.5 laps, then it deslotted in a spin. So the good news is, the thing has finally learnt the track, it just isn't good at it.

    Remember Toonce, the driving cat from SNL with Steve Martin? That's kinda how it works. Or doesn't.

    So now I'm trying to tune the car to the point where it never deslots. Problem is, that will also make it an impossible competitor to beat.

    If all else fails, I decided to develop my own PC controlled system. It would probably work, but be another project I need time for...
    :(
     
  4. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    44,699
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    Well I continued experimenting and found that by lowering the voltage on the Challenger's track (I have two independent power supplies) the car doesn't deslot anymore.

    I added a 10 Ohm resistor and slowed the car down just enough to still have challenging races. After all it never makes a mistake and drones around the track. For the learning lap I leave the resistor off though.

    By playing with different/no magnets on the Challenge car and/or your own car you can keep it interesting.

    The Challenger system works on all track systems (Carrera, Scalextric etc).
     

Share This Page