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KEEPING CONTINUITY

Your track, whether permanent or not, is the most important piece of kit, when when it comes to running slot cars.
You can spend hours tuning and preparing your favorite cars, but if your track is not up to scratch, your steeds will never reach their optimum performance! ohmy.gif
Here are a few basic things to check, to improve the electrical continuity of the track, and troubleshoot any problems.

 

MAINTENANCE

On the underside of each piece of Scaley Sport track, there are 8 important lugs. These are the 4 outer ones, at either end of the rails.
4 hold the connecting pins in place, and the other 4 determine the size of the hole for the connecting pins of another piece, to slide into.
Even on brand new track, these 8 lugs are not always as tight as they should be, and after use, the act of taking track pieces apart also loosens them. (so they are always worth checking). thumbsup.gif

Place the track piece upside down on a hard surface. (worktop/laminate floor)
Do not do this on carpet, as the fibres absorb the direct pressure, and the track bends instead of the lugs.

Using the tips of snipe-nosed pliers, push these lugs firmly down, using a rolling motion, from the slot towards the end of the lug.

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Once you have done all 8 lugs on 1 track piece, repeat the process for all track pieces.
I am doing this now in preparation for an event just after Crimbo. There are only 205 track pieces!! Just 1640 lugs to press then! wacko.gif

Next, make sure the rails are clean.
Using something like the Plebys or Re-Shine blocks, available on Ebay, lightly rub the rails. You will be surprised how much tarnish and dirt will be removed from even a clean looking rail!!

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You can also use WD40 or White Spirit on a cloth, and rub along the rails to clean them.

This will improve the electrical continuity between the rails and the braid of the cars.

HANDY TIP

If after this, you still have problems, determine at which join you lose the power.
If your car stops, sad.gif then you have at least 2 bad pin connections, (as the juice flows from the power unit in both directions)!
Cut some 1cm discs of tin foil (don't use too much cos you will need some for a turkey in 4 weeks)!! tongue.gif If you fold the foil several times before cutting, you will have many discs. Have fun piddling them apart tongue.gif
Wrap a disc over each of the offending pins,

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and then push together.

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Using a craft knife, make good the join, by chopping the excess off. Pay particular attention the vertical wall of the slot. You must not have any foil touching from opposing rails!! ohmy.gif

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Once you have trimmed off all the excess, vacuum the slot to rid it of any bits of foil. This is important!! If you don't do this, your little shiny friends, will find a way to short out the track wacko.gif

You should now have a sound connection thumbsup.gif

Test track again using a car, and repeat wherever needed.

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POWER TAPS

If you have a large layout you may want to add a power tap, about half way around the track.
On the underside of Scaley Sport track, the central lug is smaller than the rest, and (almost) wacko.gif lends itself nicely for a 4mm female spade connecter to be attached.

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Trim the small plastic bits at either side of the central lug. This will make a little more space for the spade to lay flat in.

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Using a welding torch.. (sorry, craft knife) innocent.gif cut a path through the various plastic sections, for the wires to be routed through.


Squeeze the connector a little to make it a tight fit on the lug. As i stated above, "they almost fit". innocent.gif

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Measure 4 lengths of wire to reach from a straight next to your powerbase, to the midway point in your circuit. Strip the wire ends, and crimp the spade connectors to the wire.

Attach the spade connector to the lug, using pressure from both sides, so the lug does not buckle.

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Route your wires to the exit, and tape in place.
If your layout is a permanent one, a dab of solder on each connecter/lug would probably be in order.

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Using bits of tape on the exposed wires, mark the lane No, and rail (left or right in direction of travel) on each. This will make it easier to identify each wire, when you repeat this process on the other track.


Hope this helps some folks! cheers.gif
Have fun!

Zipp (November 2005) thumbsup.gif

 

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We're looking forward to more articles    
in our SLAP My SlotCar Series.      

Stay tuned!

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