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Analogue to Digital

A few basic questions by a digital newbie...

I have bought a Scalextric Sports track, and am running their basic digital set up, so...

Analogue Scalextric DPR cars: just buy the SDD pod and fit to hatch in chassis...

Analogue car: Buy the SDD module and fit somehow to chassis...

Analogue Scaleauto car: Also buy the SDD module and fit somehow to chassis?

Also, do I need to buy the remote LED that goes with the SSD module to deal with lap counting and lane changing?

Also, can I run the analogue cars safely on the digital track ahead of fitting the SDD modules?

Thanks in anticipation!


The basic Scalextric 4-car powerbase is digital-only, but the C7042 Advanced 6-car powerbase and ARC Pro both have a traditional one-car-per-lane analogue mode too - so non-chipped cars will work in analogue mode, but not in digital mode. An analogue car will simply sit on a digital track and hum (as a result of the un-rectified 15volts AC the powerbase pumps out in SSD digital mode).

All cars will need a SSD-compatible chip (decoder) to function with Scalextric digital. The options are the C8515 digital plug for most DPR (Digital Plug Ready) cars, the C8516 for single-seater DPR cars, the C7005 retro-fit chip for non-DPR Scalextric cars and the SP15B SSD chip for cars. For other brands of car, it depends on the motor. If you are running non-mag with anything up to around 23,000 rpm (S-Can or FF slim can), the C7005 should be sufficient. A faster motor (or most long can motors) will need either the SP15B or the latest version of the C8515 (Rev H - without the cylindrical capacitor). GregK has some examples of fitting the C8515 chip in non-DPR cars here:

The C7005 has its LED on wires, so it is easier to fit in tight spaces. The SP15B and C8515 both have a PCB-mounted LED, so the board needs to be mounted flat, with the LED poking through a hole in the chassis. The 'remote' LED is only required if the chip cannot be fitted flat in the chassis with the PCB-mounted LED positioned on the centre line of the chassis and no more than an inch behind the rear edge of the guide.

It's worth mentioning that Pioneer cars are DPR and so the C8515 is plug-and-play. There is also the new Type C oXigen chip, which will work with oXigen and SSD (and Carrera digital) with only a change of firmware required.
[+] 1 member Likes woodcote's post

Thanks again Mr W...

1. I did look, but could not spot an LED on the SP15B circuit board. and there was no reference to an onboard LED in the P***le sales blurb. Need to learn what they look like!

2. In my mind, a remote LED poking through a simple new hole in the chassis is quite an elegant solution and obviously frees up restrictions on chip location.

3. Oxygen chip...hmmm

4. When can I come round with my new soldering iron and dremel?

[+] 1 member Likes BourneAgainRacer's post

There are two types of LED that have been fitted to the SP15B.

The original is a gold-coloured surface-mounted component that you can see through the hole in the chassis here:


It is wise with this version to cover the hole with clear polycarbonate to prevent any shorts between chip and track.

The latest chips have a tiny black LED which is more conventionally LED-shape - i.e. it is raised like a little dome from the PCB. It is the same LED that is used on the oXigen Type C chip.

Supplementary questions... 

There is an existing hole in my group c chassis about 21mm from the rear of the guide that looks like it is provided for the led to see through. I am going to use that one.

There is an existing hole in my scaleauto 911 chassis 25.4mm to the centre from the rear edge of the guide. This is exactly 1inch...will that be suitable for SSD and oXigen operation?

I cannot find any reference in manuals indicating setting out guidance. 

Thanks all!

That measurement matters for two reasons...

1) On all SSD or oXigen layouts, the LED does need to be over the centre line of the track (ie the slot) to trigger a lane-change sensor. That's also true on SSD tracks for a lap to be counted. Any lateral movement of the rear wheels (out of a corner, fishtailing on a straight etc) will move the LED off the centre line - and the further back the LED is positioned from the guide pivot, the further off the centre line the LED will be. For this, one inch (25.4mm) from the rear of the guide is a good maximum to aim for. Although suggest a maximum distance of 35mm from the guide pivot to the LED (so about 20-22mm from the end of a guide), DiSCA stalwarts (eg Tamar) have run 40mm (=25mm from end of the guide) on oXigen with absolutely no problems. It does depend a bit about the track characteristics, where lane changers are positioned etc.

2) With ARC Pro, the lap sensors in the powerbase rely on a two-step process - a horizontal IR beam is broken by the black guide and then a vertical sensor picks up the ID from the car's LED. With ARC Pro there is an ideal distance between the trailing edge of the guide blade and LED of 10mm - give or take 4mm. The optimum performance is in a range between 6mm and 14mm - and the absolute limit (measured by Dr_C) is 24mm, although the higher IDs will have had given up before then.

Keeping the maximum one inch as a rule of thumb, I would aim for less - especially if you intend using ARC Pro at any point.

Thank you. 

So I have now actually loose fitted the slot it ssd chip in my group c chassis and can see that the on-board led will need a hole drilled in the chassis if I am to fit the chip snuggly around the front body mounting post, which seems to be the sensible thing to do (holding the chip in place with some blutac!). So utilising the template included in the instruction in the package.

Looking more closely at the scaleauto R chassis, there is a pre drilled hole immediately behind the front body mounting post that lines up perfectly with the on-board led. However, due to the adjacent motor pod, it would not be possible to fit the chip close to the chassis floor, it would be floating about 4mm above. So for this car, I will probably go for the remote led option through that hole next to the post, noting that I have ordered an oXigen chip for this install, so I will await the delivery of that to better understand the spacial limitation that might create.

I'm lovin' all this learning! Please bear with me...
[+] 2 members Like BourneAgainRacer's post
#8 is my Sauber C9 with digital chip installed by your truly. 

Can anybody see any obvious mistakes? The only thing I can think of is whether I need to put some insulation tape on the motor as a barrier to the silicon man? If I do, how does the motor vent with the holes covered? 


And here's another important is the minute little washer that goes on the bridging screw of the oXigen type C chip? 

You know, like if it got dropped whilst you were trying to change the bridge from Carrera to SSD, and it couldn't be found because it had completely disappeared...

Edit...found it clinging onto a magnetised part of my laptop casing. At least the kitchen floor has had a good sweep now!

The pic looks fine to me Jeremy! Yes, definitely cover the motor under the ferrite man. I wouldn’t worry too much about covering the holes. I do make a point of covering said holes with tape when I’m working on the car to stop any screws or crud getting in the motor. I don’t always remove it.

Glad you found the Type-C screw. I’m pretty sure it is the connection, so not sure it works without. In the SSD position it brings a bridge rectifier into the circuit, so it can be kept in that position on Carrera and a pure DC oXigen layout and it will work fine, just losing a little power. At an oXigen race, you could switch to the other position.

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