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Dear All,

I am quite new to 1;24 scale, buying my first stuff a year ago. I am not actually a racer. Nearly all of my previous slot car experience has been with HO roadway systems Minic, Playcraft, Aurora, Faller AMS, Tyco US-1 and others.....

I do display layouts, featuring HO slot cars and trains, mainly at vintage toy train shows, although I took my Playcraft Railways and Highways layout to Gaydon in 2016. On thos layouts reed switches operated by the trains are used to control the slot car traffic with isolating sections in the road to allow the cars to stop and wait clear of crossings.

A video was found on You Tube showing a guy in Germany using his Carrera Digital with his 1:22 G scale garden trains and this gave me an indea:

Wood Floor Flooring Musical instrument accessory Hardwood

A chum who is a skilled engneer carefully built two crossings like this for us.

Electrical wiring Cable Wood Electrical supply Audio equipment

This shows how much work was involved underneath

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A trail layout was set up.


Then another trial layout was set up! (We had to wait for a really dry and sunny day to do this, as we did not want the Carrera track to get wet, or the contact strips might go rusty!).

The track is all Carrera 1:24, the cars are all running in analogue form, without traction magnets, as these cause the cars to bog down and lose the ability to run slow enough to look like traffic. So far we have cars from AutoArt and Carrera. The borders are important, as as slow speeds the cars pull inwards at sharp corners. Minic had pavement sections to avoid this!

The flashing Wig Wags at each crossing are from Lemax and the US style crossing bells are modified Faller electromagneic church bells driven by a synchronus motor operating a drum contact sytem. On this layout the trains running are a mixture of 1980s Playmobil and LGB operating in analogue mode. The track and controls are all LGB.

Since the trial set ups, the 'inner' portion of the layout between the two crossings have been lengthened and the red and white border markings have been grassed over! We have taken steps to hide many of the wires and electrics too and the next step is a few buildings etc!

We are taking a 'final' version of this layout to the Train Collectors Society Autumn event at Leicester on 4th November. This is primarily a vintage model train event, with many vintage working layouts and displays, plus lots of stalls. There are often people buying, selling or exhibiting Minic there too... Here are all the details of the event:

http://traincollectors.co.uk/event/tcs-2017-autumn-get-together

Any slot car fans who would like to come would be most welcome. We think this is a first? It certainly is for us! We are looking foirward to having some fun!

James
 

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Good question Jason,

Yes, the public can actually drive the train within certain parameters, up to a certain max speed and the system will not allow them to reverse, although they will try! They can also operate the signal so the train can be held at the station if they wish. However to stop kids repeatedly going stop/start/stop/start there is a two second delay built in to the signal control.

Obviously when they drive it, they can stop it on the crossings if they wish, which they always seem to want to..... The trick is to ensure the crossing reeds are set to prevent the cars falling victim to a rogue train driver! They need to nearly be run down and also nearly hit the rear of the train a it passes, but not quite.....

It will all look a little better properly laid out with some buildings etc...

Before we removed the magnets the cars could go so fast that you could barely see them, but amazingly they stopped on a sixpence. It was quite thrilling, but not exactly realistic, although what is? A chum used to run an HO GT40 and a Ford 3 Litre (both magnetic) on my Playcraft display and they would do similar feats of acceleration and decleration!

I can feel an idea forming.... Jason, what have you done?

James
 

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Oooops, I don't know, what have I done?

Well here's another thing. You've got the trains under human control, so what about the cars?

It would be beyond brilliant if you could allow people to race the cars as well, but obviously still find a way to stop them when the train is crossing. I know I'm asking far too much here, but racing slot cars is what we're all addicted to here.

PS. Are there any 1:32 scale trains?
 

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I've never been into model railways, that was my brother's preference, but this is novel. I like it.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you J.ason,

That is the issue - yes people could drive the cars, and you have even made me realise that reinstating the magnets under 1 or 2 cars would be very entertaining, BUT there is no way I could stop the public from beaching the car on the crossing. Unlike the train, the cars do not control the movements on the crossing, so the system is not clever enough to 'know' the car is there or have any means of stopping the train from mowing it down.

Pity!

I do have some great control boxes that allow the cars to be either moving constantly at a pre-set speed or driven (within a controlled spped range) by a plug in hand throttle, but these would not really help with this key issue.

Sorry.

James
 

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Jason,

As a PS: I never answered your question about 1/32, but the answer is a little dull:

The trains we are running here are on Gauge 1 track 45mm (or 1" 3/4 in old money), but they are broadly to 1/22 scale, so the track is an approximation of narrow gauge trains with roughly a metre between the rails.

However, if you use the same gauge track, but the trains such as those made by Markiln are smaller, (built to approximately 1/32) then the track represents the standard gauge of 4'8 1/2" or 1435mm.

So it we used the same gauge track, with Scalextric Cars and Marklin trains it could represent a main line railway, rather than a narrow gauge branch line!

James
 

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Very informative ^^^ post.
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David K Phillipson
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stopping either the cars or the train if one or the other is already near is simple enough, just requires a microswitch or two and a timed relay
 

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David,

We don't have an issue stopping the cars, as you can see, but the issue is were the isolating gaps are. At present these are only on the roadways on the Right Hand approach lane on each side of the crossing. The crossing is always live for the cars to escape. I have a crossing module that is switchable so the gaps can be all around the crossing and it is switchable so that you can select UK, US/EUROPEAN and even RACING mode (same side) but these all require a lot more wiring and loads more time to set up

Yes you are right, I imagine that a sensor of some kind could be rigged up to protect a beached car from the train, but that would double the wiring and require isolation of the rail tracks too. Whilst it could be done, I think it is beyond what we could hope to deliver on a temporary table top layout in a normal time scale!

Sorry,

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well we are in the hall and all set up. It all went together easily and quickly and the cars were soon running well and the trains were stopping and stating under public control.

I tried out the 'public control' module for the cars but with or without hand throttles this didn't work out as well as I hoped and the cars did not run at all smoothly. We switched back to the old model railway Compspeeds and order was restored. The module works well for HO? More work needed clearly! Sorry!

Also finding that my 4wd cars run less well than the 2wd ones. I guess the sharp curves and low speeds are to blame. I am thinking of making all the cars 2wd but is that a crime and will anyone notice?

Pictures of the final set up with the longer roadway and a video to follow.

Thanks to all for the encouragement, ideas and support.

James
 

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So, the show is over just packed up and got home. Went really well. Cars ran wonderfully all day.

Discovered two things today, which was my most intensive day of ever running braided cars ( I mainly do HO with shoes)

1/ if a car starts to stutter and tweaking the braids does not cure this, stroke the flat of the braids a couple of times with a scratch pen and this removes the build up of crud and the car performs well again.

2/ The Autoart 4wd cars are much more suited to my needs once the front pinion has been carefully removed (converting the car to rear wheel drive only) and we have carefully set them aside. No more 'scrubbing and scrambling' on tight corners. it is very easy to do and looks to be easily reversible.

We had a couple of spectacular crashes, where the train 'activated' the crossing module whilst the car on the inner circuit was already part way through the isolated approach section, the loss of power causing the car to slow, but not enough to stop 'in section'. Thu the car slowed, coasted out of section and then recovered speed and attempted to cross the rail road, being mown down by the loco and pushed along the track, in one case knocking over some cows and a farmer before striking the bridge parapet and flicking over. All harmless but spectacular fun. A guy with a digi-camera had been filming just prior to this, but had just stopped, as one does....missing the lot!

We did slow the inner circuit down a bit after this one.

The kids driving the trains kept stopping on the crossings hoping that the cars would crash, which of coure in those circumstances they just won't do.

A chum has loads of footage which I hope to upload soon.

James
 
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