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Is Scalextric Digital gone?
#1

I grew up with Scalextric. My dad and I built an elongated figure of 8 track as a kid on a board. The board was on the ground in our converted greenhouse. I put in a pit lane, albeit painted not an actual track section. I built garages and landscaped it. Not bad for a 12 year old. Even by todays standards it was very cool. All my mates used to come straight from school and we would race till dinner time. Lots of good memories and a lifetime fondness of Scalextric begun.

Fast forward to 2006 when I bought our kids a set, analogue. Scalextric, of course. I soon converted it to digital and I learned to modify it so it was more reliable, a more powerful power base, 3rd party controllers and a nice race management system. 
From there some of you would know Scorpius was born…..mainly out of frustration of the standard system.

Fast forward again to 2024. And the MPD is born. It stands for Multi Purpose Decoder. It could easily stand for Multi Protocol Decoder, ie a chip that can run on multiple brands, ie Scorpius, Scalextric Sport Digital, Carrera primarily.

Back to 2017. Hornby dump their Advanced Powerbase and brings out their Arc Pro offering. Hobby shops started to reduce stock due to reduced profit margins and an online store was started, which upset hobby shops. Lots of leftover stick dumped at too cheap a price also upset retailers who in retaliation simply stopped selling it. Marketing outside the UK ceased. Distribution networks reduced. Third party developers locked out except the app. Were all these factors combined  the beginning of the end? I think so.
Forum activity for SSD is not even 10% of what it was a decade ago.
Stock here in Oz becomes hard to get. Currently the biggest and most famous slot shop in Oz only has old stock on its site. They don’t even have a box set. They sell individual cars, the Arc Pro powerbase and track pieces, although not all. Other hobby shops have stopped stocking it. Sales are a fraction of a decade ago. Not one upgrade has been offered for 6 years now. Nothing. Not a penny spent. 

Carrera, based in Austria, start to dominate the market with a strong worldwide distribution network and good quantities of stock. New products are added regularly. Lots of digital track pieces have been added, along with wireless controller upgrades, Bluetooth connection, driver stations etc. The product looks professional and SmartRace have an excellent app for it.

So, my dilemma. Should I can Scalextric compatibility on the MPD?
I’d there enough SSD users out there to justify the effort and cost to implement SSD protocols? As of today my feeling sadly is no. 

Is it basically dead? Outside of the UK I fear yes. Inside the UK I see Carrera slowly getting a foothold also. I could be wrong.

So should I or shouldn’t I? That is the question. As a business decision, not an emotional one I fear it could be a dead loss of time (valuable) and money. Not a good thing.

There is no mention either of Hornby 
upgrading anytime soon, if ever. And if they do will they leave a couple of doors open for 3rd party developers? I fear not.

So it looks like Scalextric will be removed from the MPD project. Even though we just redesigned the bridge rectifier to suit SSD and still be friendly with Carrera. 

So that’s my dilemma.
Thanks for reading.

Rick
Scorpius Wireless

www.scorpiuswireless.com
[+] 2 members Like ScorpiusWireless's post
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#2

Well I haven't actually used any other digital system but i'm faily "invested" in SSD & there are about 10 or so in our casual racing group in Rockhampton so I'd definatly say yes please make the effort. 
I'm still looking for cheaper decoders for my TOY cars. :)
[+] 1 member Likes _marconi212003_'s post
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