It is without doubt that Scalextric Digital is a great innovation. Controlling your Scalextric cars individually via a digital data stream is a great idea allowing multiple cars on one slot and having the ability to change lanes. Simply fantastic.
However, Hornby (Scalextric), as is their style, have almost
completely failed to deliver the dream. So, what’s the problem, I hear
you say. Well, where to start? Let’s start with the track. The
powerbase has little or no short circuit protection, which means if the
track rails are shorted out with a small piece of metal then the
controller will fail, permanently. Time to buy a new one.
Then, there’s the lane change pieces of track. These use small
electromagnets known as solenoids to move the points to allow the cars
to change lane. These are very poorly produced resulting in the points
frequently sticking and stopping the cars from changing lanes. If you
are going to have active pieces of track then at least make sure it all
works properly. Does anybody test anything at Hornby?
Now we consider the cars, or actually, the digital chip
that fits inside the cars. The biggest mistake of all made by Hornby
is this. There were FOUR version of the chip. What barking mad idiot
thought that was the right thing to do and how did the Hornby board of
directors allow that to happen. Plain madness. To make things worse
the TWO saloon versions of the chip have proved very unreliable whereas
the smaller single seater versions have proved quite good.
Additionally, the output of the chip is not protected so, again, a
short circuit within the car will cause the chip to fail, permanently.
Time to buy a new chip.
With all this going on is Scalextric Digital worth investing in?
We’re simply not sure. All we know is, our customers who have
Scalextric Digital really enjoy it even with all the associated risks
and problems. Your choice really.
Brought to you by Scalextric Car Restorations.