Cars, just about any class you want, very durable, and recent changes make them as fast as any of the major manufacturers.Usually a little cheaper than other manufacturers.
Controllers, Thumb plunger, some sets have reostat(black) some are electonic(red)
Power, one transformer per set, 14V for 1/32 and 18V for 1/24.
Track, stiff and smooth, stainless rails with plastic liner.Both 1/32 and 1/24 sets have the same track, just different size cars. The 1/24 track comes with borders, the 1/32 with gaurd rails.The lane spacing is the widest available, so the footprint of any given layout will be bigger than the other major brands.
The Nitty Gritty:
The track can be broken since it is not very flexible. Generally it is thought to be better in permenant /semi permenant layouts. And better on a table than the floor, if it gets stepped on it will break.
Plenty of radious allows 2/4/6/8 lane layouts.
Banked curves available for all radius turns.
Stiff rigid molded 2 piece bridge available(but they also make the piers to support the track as a flyover, and they are supplied in some sets.)
Accessories, electic timer, lapcounter , crossovers, squeez lanes, 1/4,1/3 straights, 30degree curves, borders for all pieces are or will be available available.
Digital sets and cars available.
Smooth but fragile track
Larger space needed
Some folks don't like the gaurdrails
Harder to assemble, clips hold the track together, but solid after assembly.
Connector track accepts after market power, and aftermarket controllers are available.Some folks don't like the controllers, and like most home sets, the transformer is merely adequate.
Low or long cars may scape on the #1 rad banked curve, and the bridge. Non mag cars may have touble with the banks at slow speed. (Today, most RTR cars come mag, you choose to remove them.)
Lane spacing allows use of 1/24 cars, fly trucks, good for f1 and sliding/drifting 1/32 cars, even without borders. Some people perfer the closer lanes of other manufacturers, more banging/rubbing and blocking.
That's about it for now, this is a work in progress, I will edit later. Carrera owners, feel free to post additions, corrections, negative features.Lets have some feedback.
I agree with your assessment of Carrera. I would like to add that the new sets come with red track clips instead of the black ones. The new red clips are of a softer plastic and much easier to snap into place without sacrificing your fingers. I highly recommend them.
The new guardrails are much better than the old ones. They install quickly. My only complaint is the red & white on the inside might be tough on the eyes, at least mine.
The power supplies need some help if you are going to add other brand of cars. The red electronic controllers work great in my opinion but I the black mechanical ones in the new sets are pretty much an on and off switch. It is a little thicker than the red ones and I liked that. I do like the plunger style as a change of pace from trigger ones.
I only use R1 banks in single pieces in my layout to prevent the scraping. I also use the hump track this way to make a corkscrew type corner with both of them. The hump track is nice for elevation change too.
I like being able to run 1/24, 1/32 & 1/43 on this system. I do use borders on most of the curves to allow more room for the big cars to slide.
the new sets come with red track clips instead of the black ones. The new red clips are of a softer plastic and much easier to snap into place without sacrificing your fingers. I highly recommend them.
I have some red ones but have not tried them. I use the clips on the bank curve, bridge, and occasional section that seems to get stress from racing.
The clips are not an absolute necessity, if you are changing your track or experimenting with a new layout, I wouldn't bother. They do make a rock solid connection, if that is what you are after.
The red electronic controllers work great in my opinion
I would agree, I think they are the nicest set/stock controllers shipping with current manufacturers sets. But I have not tried Ninco, or SCX, or Artin, that's just hear say on my part. Still, most folks who get serious will want an upgrade, no matter what brand set they buy.
To add to Alan's last comment some cars still drag on the radius 2 banks but again it is highly car specific.
Also.. as an FYI, the track borders for Carrera are some of the widest available. Each section of border is half the width of a normal 2 lane section of track. If you plan to use the borders make sure you leave roughly 4 inches of clearance on both sides of a turn in order to have room for them.
Oh... and I know that I've noticed power surges when one lane deslots using the standard Evolution 14.8v power supply. In other words.. 2 cars are racing simultaneously, each drawing equal power from the stock power supply, and when one car deslots the second car still on the track pulls some of the power no longer used by the 'crashed lane'. That extra 'boost' of power can often cause a car to crash where when racing side by side it might otherwise have been fine.
here are a few points on carrera,carrera track building.....
First, the specialty sections...like the banked curves. Here is a rad 3 banked curve, but it is at ground level...you could have 4 lanes below it, making it a high banked curve.
You will note, it is upside down. It is convenient to assemble large sections of track in this manner. As mentioned in my first post, I do not always use the clips. In this case I used them all, and on the outside border. The inside border is not available yet, but should be soon.The border is rock solid, and will not fall of, even elevated. (my son drove a fly viper over the top of the bank, airborne, in practice today)
Here it is assembled, with part of the infield, all rad 1 curves.
Here is the corkscrew. Note I run my cars clockwise, which makes this uphill. The original design, adapted from RS, known as the ascari, point an shoot, f1, calls for counter clockwise, making this a downhill. So with carrera cars, you just throw the direction switch on the bottom of the car, and it becomes a downhill. Which also means you come out of the bank and into the straight , hammer down, my bro's.
When you come out of that bank, and hit that straight, watch that curve going into the uphill, cars fly of the track, and go airborne. (the uphill, or downhill corkscrew combo is half a bridge section, 2 #1 rad banks, and a 1/30 section, all flipped upside down and assembled with the clips, then put into position.
So here is a view from the bank, looking down the straight. My original plan wa to flip the track, so the straight was in the back, the downhill and twisty section in the front where the drivers are, for easy marshaling. But time and patience ran out, I will finish that later.( Out of the bank into the straight on the back stretch, down the corkscrew on the right, and into the infield ). The infield is currently all r1, that will become a similar series of increasing and decreasing r2 ans r3 curves.
Re: here are a few points on carrera,carrera track building.
Hey John, Nice layout!! What size is your table? The Ascari layout is still my favorite layout and it fits on a ping pong table. I like using flat curves and banks to make interesting turns and the hump track is great for making a corkscrew as you have done.
Re: here are a few points on carrera,carrera track building.
What size is your table?
Currently, 6X12. It is made in sections so I can change it longer,thinner or an L shape.
I realized @ 8 months ago that the 5X9 tracks would easily fit my 6X12 table. (you will note that with borders, a lot of the MCR tracks don't quite fit the 5X9 (ping pong) table) They kind of hang over the side.
When I was moving the track, I ordered a few pieces I didn't have. They didn't ship when I needed them, so I built another track. I still wanted to build a variation of Ascari, just took a while to get around to it.
tricks for combining a digital Pro-X and an analof Carrera set
The tracks from both sets can be combined, including the lane change sections.
However, you have to remove the digital starter box section and the pit lane section if you want to use analog cars. It appears that the "microprocessors" within the starter box and the pitlane sections stop the analog cars from working.
Otherwise the combined sets work.
I've heard of complex wiring alternatives...but for now, swapping out sections seems to work fine
That looks like a fun layout to race on. You have to race every inch of the track! I usually don't put any long straights in mine as they get boring after a while. I like to throw some bank curves in with the flat ones to make it more interesting. Good to see you back.
Has anyone found a good copper clip that can be used on the underside of Carrera track to build you own power taps? I am making a lot of custome MDF sections and need to be able to easily connect new MDF sections to the steel rails of the plastic track. I would prefer NOT to purchase the power taps from Carrera because I am going to need a lot of them before I get finished.
I thought I had found something today but it does not quite fit - the little copper contacts that you find at the ends of floresent light fixtures, where the tubes snap into the fixture.
I have not been to the LHS yet today, maybe I'll run over there and get some copper sheet.