Loading... Please wait...

scalextricfaq.jpg

General Questions 

Buyers Guide

Analogue, Digital or ARC App Control?
What Type of Track?
Converting your set & Cars to Digital?
Should you fix track to a board?
Car & Track Maintenance Help

box-img000002.png

 

Troubleshooting Questions

 

Compatibility

Cars keep stopping?
Car buzzes and doesn't move?
Using my C7042 6 Car Powerbase
Using my C7042 6 Car Powerbase in Analogue Mode
One controller moves all cars?
How to improve car performance
Why does one car handle better than the other?
Power drops at certain area(s) of the layout?
Digital lane changer not working correctly?
The rear tyres are stuck and the car won't move?
You keep crashing/the car is uncontrollable?

Will other cars work with Scalextric
My Carrera car does not run smoothly
Can I convert my Carrera cars to Digital
Can I use Carrera 1/43 car on Micro? 

 

 

Analogue, Digital or ARC?

Analogue

Analogue Scalextric is slot car racing as you know it. A track, 2 lanes, 2 cars and one person drives each car on a single lane. 

Analogue uses the same track as Digital (Sport Track), but the powerbase, hand controllers and power supply will be different. 

It is possible to upgrade or convert your Analogue set to Digitial by purchasing a conversion kit or the parts separately. 

 

ARC App Racing

A whole new level of slot racing fun. The ARC powerbase allows connection to the Scalextric APP race control app on your smartphone or tablet. Wireless controllers being a big bonus on some of the ARC systems. There are analogue or digital versions of the ARC system available with three powerbases to choose from: ARC one, ARC air and ARC Pro - you will find more details on the pro's and con's of this along with a comparative view of all the features on our buyers guide: CLICK HERE

Most Scalextric sets can be upgraded to an ARC system easily - the ARC powerbases come with sport track connectors.

 

 

Digital

Digital Scalextric uses the same size track and cars as analogue, but the cars are electronically chipped to enable more control of the car and specific sections of the track. 

An entry level Digital Set will include a 4 car powerbase, meaning that 4 cars can be used at once on the standard 2 lane track, with each of the 4 controllers independently controlling a car. 6 Car powerbases are available so 6 cars can be used at once. 

One of the main features of Digital is Lane Changers. These are sections of track where you can switch from one lane to the other by pressing a button on the hand controller. You press a button on the controller at a certain point on the track and a mechanical point on the track switches over and the car changes lane. The track switches straight back so any car following you continues on the normal straight path.

The Digital controllers also have a brake button to slow the car quicker.

The addition of the lane changers add a great dimesion to racing where you can overtake and block other cars on track. You can also use lane changers and pit lane entries to extend and widen the track into 3 or 4 lane sections. 

Digital uses the same track as analogue, known as "Sport" Track. Although the powerbase, hand controllers and power supplies are different. Please note that the cars also need to be chipped or have a Digital plug installed.

 

 

What type of track?

Full size scalextric is 1/32 and Micro Scalextric is 1/64.

Digital Scalextric only comes in 1/32 scale. 

Track types available:

Classic Track - discontinued, very old.
Start Track - discontinued.
Sport Track - All current 1/32 Analogue & Digital Sets

Both analogue, digital scalextric and ARC sets use "Sport" track. 
Sport track has one curved end connector and one square locator. 

You can purchase converter track to connect Classic or Start track to Sport track. C8525 for Start converters (disc), C8222 for classic track.

Analogue/standard scalextric uses a standard powerbase, standard hand controllers, standard power supply and non digital converted cars. (Cars come non digital as standard)

Digital sets use a different digital powerbase, digital hand controllers, digital power supply and the cars need to be converted for digital use. 

Micro Scalextric has a very limited range and is only compatible with 1/64 Micro components. 

Click for larger image Click on this image to view track parts and codes.

 

Converting your set to Digital

 

Cars

Cars are typically sold as non digital, unless stated otherwise. 
Most cars produced are DPR (Digital Plug ready), meaning you only need to install a digital plug (this takes about 1minute). 

Some chassis types and older cars are not DPR and require manual fitting of a digital chip. This is a more involved process and requires basic soldering. 

To identify a DPR car look for a rectangular hatch on the bottom of the car (just behind the front axle) with 1 screw. If the car has this hatch it is DPR. 

If the hatch is plain solid plastic the car does not have a digital plug installed. 

The digital plug to convert the car is shaped just like this hatch, however it has a centrally positioned diode/led. This is how the car communicates to the track.

To install a digital plug, you have to remove the plain plate by removing the screw and unplugging the cable from the underside of the plate. You then need to replace this hatch with the Digital Plug - ensuring you plug the cable into the chip. 

Here is a video showing the process: 

Track

Both Analogue/Standard and Digital sets use Sport track.

Powerbase

The powerbase needs to be digital specific, so you will need a 4 Car powerbase C4PBD or a 6 Car powerbase C7042.

Hand Controllers

The controllers need to be digital specific, C7002.

Power Supply

The power supply needs to be digital specific, C7024.

Lane Changer

Lane changers are not essential, but add another dimension to racing, C7036.

Conversion Kit

Well sell a full conversion kit, C7056 or simply search for conversion and narrow your search to scalextric.

 

 

 

 If you car is not DPR

When retro fitting a Digital chip to a Scalextric car ensure that the chip is positioned as close behind the guide blade as possible. Fitting the sensor chip close to the guide blade ensures the correct distance between guide blade and lane change flipper. Additionally, the sensor should also be placed in the chassis so that it is immediately above the track slot. This is normally on the centre line of the car chassis.

 

Should you fix track to a board?

Ideally, it is best not to nail, screw or glue the track to a baseboard at all. The reason for this is that plastic and metal, the two ingredients of Scalextric track, expand and contract at different rates. So, on hot days the plastic will expand larger than the rail. Of course, the rail won't let the plastic expand evenly due to the rail gripping the plastic. This causes the track surface to warp.

When the track is laid loose the circuit can 'grow' and absorb any expansion due to heat. If the track is not allowed to move freely (i.e. nailed down) then any expansion will only lead to uneven surfaces.

If the layout is to lay flat, leave the track loose. Keep the layout in a dry and constant temperature room. This normally means that the loft, shed and garage are not ideal places.

 

 

Car & Track Maintenance Help

We have a dedicated page specifically for Scalextric car and track maintenance

 

 My Cars keep stopping and will not run smoothly 

With any car issues it is important that you first check the car's guide and braids. The braid is fitted to the guide blade assembly. It allows electrical power to pass from the track slot, up through the braids and into the car, any issues with the braid will result in the car not working correctly. If your car isn’t working, checking the guide and braids is therefore the first thing to try.

  • Check that the guide blade can rotate freely.
  • Check that the car is properly located in the slot and that both pick-up braids are making good contact with the track rails.
  • Adjust the position of the braids to make sure they are making the connection to the track. They want to be reasonably straight and don’t want to be too flat against the guide. If they look very worn then replace the braid plate - instructional video on the right of this page.

If you've tried the above and still aren't having any luck then the next thing to check is the track. You have to remember that a Scalextric track is an electrical circuit and power will leak and be wasted at every single connection in the layout. So you have to make an effort to ensure that each piece of track has the best connection to the piece next to it. 

  •  Keep the track clean, both the rails and connectors.
  • Keep the track as flat as you can thorugh elevations
  • Take the set apart carefully so you do not bend the metal joints
  • Power to the car only comes through the braids on the underside. Ensure these are straight, clean, and sprung down towards the track. When worn, they will need replacing. 
  • Ensure the cars drivetrain is clean, cars pick up hairs and carpet debris very easily. Remove the body and ensure its clean and not blocked.
  • Check the rear axle is sat in the chassis mounts. If stood on or badly crashed the axle can pop out and prevent the wheels turning smoothly.

If general maintenance hasn't helped the running, then there are a few things to try. 

  • Inspect all metal connectors on the track to make sure they properly locate and contact the next piece of track.
  • Create the smallest track you can (simple oval) and see how the cars run. You may find that a single piece of track is causing all of your issues and by creating a small loop you can eliminate and eventually identify this piece.

braids-1web.jpg

braids-3web.jpg

   

  Car buzzes and doesn't move?

If you have a digital set, you have paired the car to the controller but the car just buzzes when it is put onto the track and does not move then this is most likely because you have an analogue car on a digital track. 
Cars have to be digital to work on a digital track. If your car is digital then you will be able to see a small glass eyelet sticking out from the chassis - see picture:

scalanaloguevdigitalweb.jpg

 

 

 Using the 6 Car Powerbase

When configured the C7042 is a very good piece of kit, but the dated display and poor instructions can make it hard to get your 
head around it. We always suggest to look on youtube, as many member have created instructional videos to help you set up certain features. We have posted a couple of the most common issues below. 

 

 

 

C7042 6 Car base in Analogue mode 

 

Attention should be given to the type of track pieces used when using the C7042 Advanced Powerbase in Analogue mode. This mode simulates the traditional way of using Scalextric with car in each lane. It is necessary to avoid track configurations whereby lane 1 is linked to lane 2 to create an electrical short circuit. In a Digital circuit this is fine and, in fact, desirable.

It is important to ensure the following track configuration rules are applied when using C7042 6-car Advanced Powerbase in ANALOGUE mode:

  1. Ensure lane 1 and lane 2 of the powerbase are not linked together by configuration of the circuit layout.
  2. Ensure a crossover such as a Racing Curve doesn't cause lanes 1 & 2 to come together.
  3. Ensure the use of Pit Lane lane change track pieces do not cause lane 1 & 2 to come together.
  4. Ensure any power booster cables used for a Digital circuit do not link lanes 1 & 2 together.
  5. Some Lane Change track pieces may have factory installed link wires between lanes 1 & 2. The link wires should be disconnected via the access cover on the underside of the track piece. To check if a lane change track piece has these wires simlpy undo the access cover and observe if flat copper strips link lanes 1 & 2. Do not do anything at this stage. Decide whether you want to do this. Replacing the Digital track pieces and/or cross-over track pieces with regular track pieces is the preferred solution to avoid damage or warranty issues.
 

   

 One Controller moves all cars

Single Car Control through one Hand Controller

The normal procedure for programming is to remove all cars from the track.

Place the car to be programmed on the track and press the program ID button (buttons found on the powerbase, just above where the hand controllers are plugged in). This car is now programmed with the specified ID.

Repeat this operation for any other cars that need an ID set and, of course, use the appropriate ID number for each car.

All other programmed cars can now be replaced on the track. Racing can commence.

Multi-Car Control through one Hand Controller

One controller can be used to control more than one car simultaneously.

Place the cars to be controlled by one controller on to the track. Set the ID button. These cars will now operate under the control of the hand controller.

 

Improving Car Performance

Scalextric Performance Parts can be used to tune up new and old cars. A range of motors, gears, bearings and tyres can improve performance on track.

Motors fitted as standard to Scalextric cars normally have a 18,000 rpm specification. The Performance range offers three more motors of a higher specification at 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 rpm.

Tyres are extremely important. The Performance high grip tyres make a remarkable difference. The tyres come in a range to cover F1, GT, Touring, Rally, Mini and Nascar cars.

Gearing can be changed on car motors. The simplest method is to just change the pinion gear. This is the small gear that fits on the motor shaft, 9-tooth for in-line and 11-tooth for side-winder chassis configurations is standard. Changing these gears can give higher top speeds with slower acceleration or slower tops speeds with higher acceleration. The enthusiast would experiment with the different ratio combinations to get the best set-up for the car/motor/grip/circuit combination. Up to twenty-five combinations are possible.

The performance of an older car from past years can be restored to its former glory or at least improved in most cases. It should be noted that the quality and performance of the more recently produced cars tends to improve over the years. So much so that it is normally unrealistic to expect a car produced before the year 2000 to be able to race favourably with a car produced since 2000.

Improvements can be made by the most basic maintenance. Cleaning the axle, axle bearings and chassis in general, lubricating the axle and motor bearings, replacing the guide braid and tyres, will generally improve performance. 

 


Magnets & Downforce - why does one car handle better than the other?

What to race: a Super Resistant or Fully Detailed car?

Let's use the Audi R8 GT3 for a comparison. It comes in detailed and super-resistant form. With two cars of the same make, in super-resistant and detailed build, the differing down-force between each car might influence your choice depending on what type of circuit you race on.

The magnets in both cars are the same so why the difference in down-force?

A super-resistant Audi R8 has a weight of 87g and a magnet force of 260gm. This downforce is measured with the magnet fitted to the car. The overall downward weight on the track is, therefore, the force of the weight of the car and magnet together. E.g. 260gms. The magnet accounts for a force of (260-87) 173gms.

A detailed car has a higher weight of 93g and a magnet force of 277gms. The magnet adds a force of (277-93) 184gms.

The 11gms difference between both cars is accounted for by no two magnets being alike in terms of their magnetic attraction (gauss value). Other factors such as flexibility of the chassis also come into play as does the condition of the track and thickness of the tyres (as the distance of magnet from rail is critical and exponential). The magnet being twice as close to the track doesn't mean it's effect is two-fold - it could be ten times stronger! So small differences in all of these areas can make a significant impact.

From a practical point of view of racing, both cars have good performance. This car does race well and feels sure-footed, even for those racers who prefer to race without a magnet (which is the fastest way to race!).

Pros and Cons:

A lightweight super-resistant car is superior on smooth track and/or long straights since it won’t be inclined to de-slot and can accelerate to top speed far quicker than a heavier fully detailed car. For circuits with bumps or only short straights a heavier car is recommended because the extra weight is required to keep the car in the slot and not so much time is wasted accelerating along short straight lengths of track.

If you have a car that sticks to the track too much check the underpan to see if the magnet can be moved to a different position. Usually, moving it foward lessens the downforce effect.

When you are ready for more of a challenge, try removing the magnet completely. It's interesting to note that most Scalextric clubs ban the use of magnets!

Finally, all this careful preparation can be undone if the most important aspects are ignored – clean tyres and good track connections.

 

Power Drops and Breaks

The most common reasons why this might happen are:

  1. The track piece that the car is resting on has no electrical power due to bad track connections.
  2. The car motor has expired or there is a mechanical reason within the car that is stopping the motor from turning (e.g. tyre jammed against wheel arch).
  3. The car's braiding has come out.
  4. The hand controller is not plugged into the power base fully.
  5. The electrical power switch is turned off.
  6. The car has developed a fault.
  7. The hand controller has broken.
  8. A motor wire has broken.
  9. The powerbase has broken.
  10. The powerbase is not connected to the power supply.
  11. The power supply lead is broken.
  12. The power supply has broken.

Power jumper cables can be used on 'analogue' or Digital track circuits. Note, though, that a power jumper cable only hides a bad track connection and, ultimately, it is better to fix the track problem than add power jumper cables.

There are power breaks or weak power sections on the Scalextric layout. How can this be repaired?

When a car stops on a circuit this can indicate TWO breaks in electrical continuity since electricity travels in both directions around the track. If there was only one break then you would not notice it as electricity flows in both directions!

The way to correct this problem is to:

  • Disconnect the track behind the power base.
  • Then drive a car forward at a slow speed. When the car crosses from one piece of track to the next there should not be a drop in power/speed.
  • If there is a drop or loss in power, then fix the track connection. Disconnect both track pieces (the track piece immediately before and after the fault). Turn them over on a hard surface. Ensure that the metal rail tabs at the ends of the rails (there are 8 of them on every track piece) are fully pressed and clamped down to the plastic. Use a stout screwdriver or similar to push them tight.
  • Reconnect the repaired track pieces and retest by placing the car back at the powerbase and again drive the car slowly forward until you meet the next reduced or lost power section.
  • Continue the above repair process until you get to the last track piece before the powerbase.
  • Reconnect the last track piece to the powerbase.
  • Full power should now be restored.
 

 

Lane Changers

In the event that a lane change track piece fails to operate follow this simple procedure:

  • Disconnect the lane change track piece and check that the rail connections are all good. For more information please seethis article.
  • Check that there are no obstructions in the slot preventing the flipper from physically moving. It should 'flip' freely.
  • Ensure that the track piece hasn't been bent (stood on, for instance) which will also cause the flipper to jam.
  • Reconnect the track piece and turn power on.
  • Manually move the flipper into the position which would cause the car to change lane. Manually push a car over the track lane change sensor (this is a round hole about one car length before the flipper). The flipper should flip back to the 'straight ahead' position. 


The rear tyres are stuck and the car won't move 

Check that the rear wheels of the cars can turn freely. Check for any debris that could prevent free movement.

Check that the axle has not been dislodged from it’s mounting clips – this can normally be clipped back into place. 

 

You keep crashing/the car is uncontrollable

  • Remove any debris on the track or in the slot.
  • Check that the car’s pick-up braids are not pushing up the front of the car so that the guide blade cannot fit fully down into the slot.
  • Maybe all you need to do is… slot down! Release the trigger as the car approaches the curves and squeeze the trigger gently when the car is on the straights.
  • On wired analogue controllers you can restrict the trigger movement.

 

 

Compatibility Issues 

 

Will other cars work with Scalextric

Most major brands of Slot cars will work on a Scalextric track, however only in Analogue mode. 

However please note that these cars havent necessarily been designed solely for Scalextric, so its possible that they wont run completely smooth. 

To name a few brands that we have used successfully:

 - Carrera
 - Ninco
 - Fly
 - Slot it

Can I convert my Carrera cars to Digital

In theory this is possible as the internal structure of a Carrera car is similar to a Scalextric car, however there are no standard fit components to do the conversion.

You will need to solder in and fit a digital chip yourself - search the internet and you will find lots about this on enthusiast forums

My Carrera car does not run smoothly

Carrera cars have actually been designed with Scalextric in mind and come with a spare guide blade in the packaging for use with Scalextric track. 

Please follow the instructions in the car pack to change the guide to the Scalextric suitable component. It is very similar its just slightly smaller and thinner. 

Can I use Carrera 1/43 car on Micro?  

Many people mistake Carrera Go 1/43 for Micro. 

Micro Scalextric is 1/64 scale and is not compatible with Carrera Go!

We would recommend Carrera Go over Micro Scalextric every time!

 

View all:

Scalextric Sets & Layouts 
Scalextric Track & Extension Packs 
Scalextric Analogue Cars 
Scalextric Digital Cars 
Scalextric Accessories

 

 Return To Top