Controller idea

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Re: Controller idea

Postby Drewbert34 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:50 am

kidvoltage wrote:I never thought I'd feel like Jim Bouton but that day has come... (10 bonus points if you understand the obscure reference)

Drewbert34 wrote:I'm sorry you went all in on a product for SCX. I wasn't one of those people.


All in? We developed a product and made a few, we have a few left. I wouldn't exactly call that "all in". Nor would I call it a shining example of the market leading development which may be your goal.

My goal was simply to share ideas, not "complain" and I feel I did as such.

Thanks for the bonus points.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby kidvoltage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:24 am

I'm sorry, a bonus points award will need an explanation of the obscure reference.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby Drewbert34 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:53 pm

I assumed you were referring to his book "ball four" where the inner workings of professional baseball were not at all as they appeared to be from the outside...as it was a business.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby kidvoltage » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:54 pm

Nope. The second book. I'll give you 5 points.

As an aside, Jim once played in Portland for the Portland Mavericks. Kurt Russell was there at the same time though I far prefer his work in Big Trouble in Little China.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby DaveKennedy » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:56 am

Czar wrote:Yes, I agree, Carrera could certainly make a more sophisticated control, unit, controllers, dongle. But they seem very resistant to ideas from outside. They apparently have a clear vision of their product and market. They are doing well enough financially that there is no real incentive for them to change anything. It is the same reason that they do not support a universal digital system. I am not putting Carrera down, just stating my observations.

We could make it more sophisticated but the most common question I get is still about programming wired controllers and people haven't even attempted to read the instructions 90% of the time. Yes I will of course admit reading the instructions can be hard to understand at first but nearly all the calls I get about that topic alone I ask the same question first.. "have you read the instructions"... sheepishly people almost always admit they hadn't. How can you even consider making something more in depth then? How?
The number of informed consumers like yourselves who want more in depth systems are minute compared to the typical consumer who buys 1 set and that's it and plays with his/her children. This makes up most of the people that buy digital. For them the idea of lap timing out to 3 decimals is even too much.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby DaveKennedy » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:02 pm

kidvoltage wrote:
SCX users pleaded for a start light that would offer some race control which had been totally ignored by SCX along with a few other items. So we did that, we developed one. It works great, the few that have purchased it like it also. However that number is probably close to half a dozen. On the other hand we have sold more than 400 wired controllers and hundreds of USB units for Carrera Digital.

The bottom line, some projects will be successful while others not so. Listening to the loudest voice is not always a profitable solution. We will never recoup our investment in the start light project. Just the way it goes sometimes.

So who wants to invest some development funds?


And there we have it. Once you see how small a market for the hobbyist level of products actually is then things come into focus a bit better maybe. Selling even 400 of a controller is ok for a niche company but it's simply not even enough to justify the larger companies even considering tooling up for a product. This is about the number I suggested that to Slot It that they could sell of a Carrera trigger controller BTW... so I'm interested to see that number.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby Czar » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:32 am

The horse is dead.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby b.yingling » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:50 am

DaveKennedy wrote:...Selling even 400 of a controller is ok for a niche company but it's simply not even enough to justify the larger companies even considering tooling up for a product. This is about the number I suggested that to Slot It that they could sell of a Carrera trigger controller BTW... so I'm interested to see that number.


slot.it does (did, at least) have a Carrera digital trigger controller. It also worked on N-Digital, SSD, and the original SCX digital system. Like the (current) Ramjet, it's not wireless, however.

I don't keep up on all the details of every manufacturer- did they discontinue that beast with the arrival of oXigen?
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Re: Controller idea

Postby b.yingling » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:53 am

Czar wrote:The horse is dead.


As kidvoltage tried to point out- the horse isn't dead. Dave just explained to you why it won't have Carrera as a jockey.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby Drewbert34 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:24 am

Czar wrote:The horse is dead.

...and made into glue, because the economics of a dead horse just doesn't make fiscal sense; however, if you turn said dead horse into glue, then the economics of a dead horse becomes fiscally advantageous.

If you feel you have a better idea, go shoot your own horse, make your own glue and quit complaining...or pitch in some money for someone else to do it for you. :violence-stickwhack:
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Re: Controller idea

Postby DaveKennedy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:43 am

b.yingling wrote:
DaveKennedy wrote:...Selling even 400 of a controller is ok for a niche company but it's simply not even enough to justify the larger companies even considering tooling up for a product. This is about the number I suggested that to Slot It that they could sell of a Carrera trigger controller BTW... so I'm interested to see that number.


slot.it does (did, at least) have a Carrera digital trigger controller. It also worked on N-Digital, SSD, and the original SCX digital system. Like the (current) Ramjet, it's not wireless, however.

I don't keep up on all the details of every manufacturer- did they discontinue that beast with the arrival of oXigen?


correct they have one (i have 2 of them btw) that will adapt for Carrera. I had suggested to him that he make a bespoke controller for Carrera's digital... just to clarify.
The have continued to work on Oxigen yes but due to the cost I don't see it as a system that will get much market penetration. it's a great system that's a really indepth digital system that's as much racing simulation as it is slot system. It is costly and it does require a level of technical expertise that's not for everyone though... all things I believe that Maurizio would admit. i'm in no way diminishing it, the system is superb. With is background as an F1 engineer you'd expect nothing less from him but a "reach for the sky" system that's meant to be the slot version of what F1 does for racing.
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Re: Controller idea

Postby Drewbert34 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:03 am

DaveKennedy wrote:
b.yingling wrote:
DaveKennedy wrote:...Selling even 400 of a controller is ok for a niche company but it's simply not even enough to justify the larger companies even considering tooling up for a product. This is about the number I suggested that to Slot It that they could sell of a Carrera trigger controller BTW... so I'm interested to see that number.


slot.it does (did, at least) have a Carrera digital trigger controller. It also worked on N-Digital, SSD, and the original SCX digital system. Like the (current) Ramjet, it's not wireless, however.

I don't keep up on all the details of every manufacturer- did they discontinue that beast with the arrival of oXigen?


correct they have one (i have 2 of them btw) that will adapt for Carrera. I had suggested to him that he make a bespoke controller for Carrera's digital... just to clarify.
The have continued to work on Oxigen yes but due to the cost I don't see it as a system that will get much market penetration. it's a great system that's a really indepth digital system that's as much racing simulation as it is slot system. It is costly and it does require a level of technical expertise that's not for everyone though... all things I believe that Maurizio would admit. i'm in no way diminishing it, the system is superb. With is background as an F1 engineer you'd expect nothing less from him but a "reach for the sky" system that's meant to be the slot version of what F1 does for racing.

That's some good information!

It appears that's the solution for me. I appreciate this :text-goodpost:
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Re: Controller idea

Postby b.yingling » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:34 am

DaveKennedy wrote:correct they have one (i have 2 of them btw) that will adapt for Carrera..

I have one as well. Going on 8 years now, I guess. To tell the truth- I prefer Monte's Ramjet as a pistol grip. But the versatility of the slot.it made it a must have for me, and at the time it was the only pistol option. Plus, when it was released, there were guys in the IHSR running SSD, and I thought the digital user numbers in the club would only increase (way wrong on that one).

DaveKennedy wrote:The have continued to work on Oxigen yes but due to the cost I don't see it as a system that will get much market penetration. it's a great system that's a really indepth digital system that's as much racing simulation as it is slot system. It is costly and it does require a level of technical expertise that's not for everyone though... all things I believe that Maurizio would admit. i'm in no way diminishing it, the system is superb. With is background as an F1 engineer you'd expect nothing less from him but a "reach for the sky" system that's meant to be the slot version of what F1 does for racing.


I think you're right. I would need a great deal more disposable income- and a few more hardcore digital slot racers living near me- to go all in on oXigen. I think it has gained some ground as a club track system in Europe- but that is a very different market, and I think it (oXigen) is, for Maurizio, a labor of love. Much of slot.it's product is, I think, and it's supported by an endless stream of Group C cars :D
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Re: Controller idea

Postby DaveKennedy » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:37 am

I too prefer Monte's controller... it's a solid controller that gives you everything you would want I feel at a VERY reasonable price. He sent me one of the first prototype's he'd made and it's a great controller...

I agree about that too Bruce. I think it's a system designed and best used at a "destination track" like a large club (the likes of which we really cannot conceive of here honestly-clubs are VERY different in Europe than they are here).
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Re: Controller idea

Postby kidvoltage » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:51 am

Drewbert34 wrote:
Czar wrote:The horse is dead.

...and made into glue, because the economics of a dead horse just doesn't make fiscal sense; however, if you turn said dead horse into glue, then the economics of a dead horse becomes fiscally advantageous.

If you feel you have a better idea, go shoot your own horse, make your own glue and quit complaining...or pitch in some money for someone else to do it for you. :violence-stickwhack:


This is pretty much how the world works. We saw a need and tried to fill it.

To that end we have developed the RamJet-X controller, our own USB cable, and our Lane Gate technology to add collision avoidance and basically reduce car carnage. No one asked, we just did. We have a few more irons in the fire as well.

However, let me say that I have been a slot racer on and off since the late 60's when the initial slot craze came to the US. I have never in my life raced with anyone that thought taking their eyes off their car in the middle of a race to check their controller status - no matter how momentary - was a good idea.

Then there's the question of what information does the system make available at the controller level and how can you work with it. The controller is a sender not a receiver. If Carrera doesn't put the data on the bus, there's no trip possible no matter how clever we are.

Actually there's a lot of questions. Some of it has to do with money.

By making these suggested additions how many more units am I likely to sell that I wouldn't otherwise? If it is not a tremendous improvement in numbers then the value is not there. Breaking down the technology can be quite difficult and time consuming. There is no documentation to work from. This is not just adding three lines of code to an Arduino project to make lights flash. And if a small company (like ours) makes a poor choice in a product it could be the very end of that small company.

And If you feel that strongly that this is the most important feature and you can't live without it then you need to proceed with your vision like we did with ours.

Do understand there is more to it than "Gee, guys, I got an idea".
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