Shamelessly Ripped off from other Internet Sites
Drive, accelerate, pass & slide back in front and just in Front of your Opponent!
But Watch out for the jam vehicle! Criss-crosses, up-and-over bridges, obstacle barrels and a myriad of other specialty items came with most sets.
Although we remember it very fondly, maybe a bit better than it actually worked, the TCR race system always seemed to pose one minor problem or two. Mainly it's downfall was the "stall". Zooming down a straight, banging in a corner or sliding through an s-curve, a mid-lane, mid-move, mid-pass, then stall... It really slowed racing down. A clean, warm, tight track helped, but few kids could afford or figure out the solution.
TCR is an AC powered system, rather than the typical DC power of slotted race sets. AC power is what allows you to switch lanes. It demands an output of Amperage in AC current of at least 2 AMPs. A Variable-Volt, Variable-Amp Power Source is just the ticket to allow a racer to 'dial-in' a set of cars. One power for two cars, boost of power if you add a JAM car & even more power as you enlarge the system. Often well over $100, it is the cost of a truly successful TCR race system. The addition of dependable, variable power is nearly as important as power distribution over a tightly connected track. Large or small system, a second power pack arrangement or under-the-track-wire-jumper system is needed for dependable, even power around the track circuit.
You hear this a lot from people that owned one of these sets, and 90% it is true. The reason is due to a few factors.
1) most sets sold of TCR during the early days had power transformers of such low wattage that the 2 cars could not be on the track at the same time or both cars would slow down so much they could not change lanes. Most early sets came with 6.6VA or 7VA transformers this is 6-7 watts of power depending on voltage you were lucky to get 0.2 to 0.4 amps. this is not enough power to run a normal slotless car let alone 2 or 3 cars. Later they beefed up the power supplys to put out 13VA to 23VA this was good however the cars needed over 20VA to run properly and most low end sets still had underpowered power supplies. a good set should have over 20 watts of power to work with a jam car.
This power supply issue was the first reason TCR gets a bad rap.
2) most sets sold were the cheapest and only included enough track for a basic oval configuration. Oval tracks are a nail in the coffin for TCR racing. In a oval track with no form of passing ability, the fastest lane is the outside lane and the fastest car will always win, there is simply no reason to change lanes. This was a valid complaint. only the most expensive systems of the day(and only from IDEAL toys) came with a form of passing mechanism(the Super booster) without this device you just went round and round, it was boring and pointless.
for the most part IDEAL TCR only produced ovals and tri ovals for 90% of the their TCR sales. Tyco had more track options however only the most expensive sets had cross over track or tracks configured with inversion areas that forced a player to switch lanes. Aurora Had even more inversions that caused players to change lanes. Aurora also included Chicanes, where Tyco only made chicane track sections and forced the customer to buy them later. Aurora was the only company that understood to make a TCR system work you needed a reason to change lanes.
Tyco finally figured this out in 1990 with Tyco TCR that build special tracks that forced the player to change lanes and included RED Cones that could block off a lane and act like a chicane. By 1990 it was too late TCR was so tarnished by cheap badly designed sets and power supplies that the early reputation of them Sucking stuck.
3) the last complaint you hear is TCR sucked because you could not drive the inside lane in a curve, and the cars never flew off the track.
again true complaints: the inside lane issue was true because people never left the outside lane due to #1 and #2, and the cars never flew off the track because #1 the cars were underpowered to start.
Today in 2012 with information on this website you can overcome all the limitations people complained about, when you see what TCR can really do you will never drive a slotted car again.
The best way to get into TCR slot less racing is to pick up a late 1990 to 1993 racing set with CC-03 cars. Later on if you wish to spend extra money work backwards adding 1970s accessories. There is a learning curve to these types of 1/64 scale cars, and you have to tailor your driving style to each track you build. Knowing when you should change lanes and when it will lead to a stall out. The early 1990s kits are more reliable and easier to find parts for and are easy to get complete. Start with the best then see what else is out there for these types of sets will maximize your enjoyment.
This Website has no affiliation with Tyco, Ideal, or any other company that produced TCR play-sets over the years
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