We'll say if right at the beginning. DS timing and scoring systems are not cheap. But they are capable of doing almost anything most hobbyists will ever need such a system to do and they are durable and reliable to an amazing degree. We have used DS systems for literally decades on home tracks, club tracks, store tracks, and portable tracks for public events. We have used them under conditions often bordering on outright abuse and have never had an electronic component or functional failure. The only problem we have ever had is a broken light bridge, and that was fixed quickly and permanently for us by the US DS distributor.
Furthermore, DS systems are compact, portable, adaptable, expandable for tracks of up to 8 lanes, and easy to use. We will admit that the instructions that come with them are not the best, but all you really have to do to master the system quickly is to just spend a couple of hours playing with all the functions to see what they do, and you will rapidly be able make use of all of them without really having to think about it. And if you do get completely confused, all you have to do is unplug the unit for a moment and all the functions reset to their defaults, making it easy to start over. We actually have recommended a DS system for customer use on store tracks so the customers buying track time can easily set up and run their own races without having to master or risk fouling up the sophisticated PC-based systems some places use to run their organized races. Even children quickly learn the drill, and the system stands up to their sometimes not-so-gentle touch.
One of the best things you can do early in your enjoyment of the slot car hobby is to equip your track with a capable and reliable timing and scoring system. You will be impressed by the improvement in the quality of the racing experience. And we genuinely believe that for the big majority of home racers a DS system is the last timing and scoring system you will ever need to buy -- well worth the investment.