I'm reviving my 40 year old 1/32 scale Revell set. 55 feet of track on a light weight 5'X12' torsion box table in my garage. The table will be on an electric winch that will raise up to the ceiling. I've selected a layout and am now about half way finished building the table.
Test of 1/4" Ventura tape on track
Test of soldering brass strip into track for power tap
I pulled the stock Revell contact rail out of the track and cut a notch in it
Brass strip under track. From here I can solder a wire on
Track numbered and awaiting table
Baltic birch plywood for table top and bottom
Taping tool for laying down tape. Sweet!
Pins on bottom of taping tool slide in track to assure easy alignment of tape on track
Laying out the 5'X12' torsion box table
Ripping the ribs for the torsion box. I don't have a table saw so I built a sled for my circular saw. Now I get nice straight consistent cuts
Pile of ribs. Main ribs (2 - 12' and 5 - 5') are 1X 1 3/4" KD pine. Secondary ribs will be 1/4" ply.
If you are looking for a "cart type" to mount the PSU, try looking for a microwave cart on wheels.
I plan to use one for:
1) moving the separate table sections (2 sections of 3 panels double stacked) into position on my collapsible metal saw horses when lowered from the ceiling, and
2) holding the PSU on the microwave shelf plus other stuff in the cabinet below.
When I get to the stage to show this, I will post on my thread below. Too bad Mr. F. cannot recall who had demonstrated this before!
Just a thought...that bottom panel is in tension when lifted by cables later. So, whichever direction you cut the webs you are greatly reducing your bending stiffness. So, if possible, don't make long runs but rather isolate individual areas that require access. I forget if you've said anything about your wiring plan yet, but if you use copper tape you won't need power taps...and you can easily keep all your wiring in one small area where the main power attaches (and also you might consider two way switches nearby on the side for reversing direction).
PS you've done a really fine job so far...very classy!
Thanks John. Very good points and something I have spent a lot of time thinking about. Originally I wanted bottom up access for attaching supports for elevated and banked track. I have change my mind about that and can do all I need from the top side. Aside from perhaps some lighting I really only need access for driver station wiring and 2 power taps and I can confine that down to a few places. I'm going to lay in some string through the holes to allow for later pull through of wire.
Stalled out for a bit trying to get the wiring done before the bottom skin. My wiring will feature 2 drivers stations that are duplicated on the other side of the track. In other words either lane can be controlled by opposite sides of the track. That in addition to 2 power taps and my head hurts.
Finally nailed down a plan for wiring. As I said I am doing duplicate driver stations on both sides. I'm using XLR plugs, 14 AWG wire and Blue Sea 12x terminal strips. I'm trying to shop locally because I want to see what I'm buying and have the option to run out and get more when I need it. I'm in a rather small town so first I went to Radio Slack and they basically no longer carry anything but antennas and cell phones. Bad selection of "parts". Then I went to the only local electronics shop and bought a bunch of stuff. But the terminal strips were just too poorly made. I ended up with the Blue Sea strips that I found at a marine supply place. Heavier than I need but oh so sweet. Thicker in every dimension with more space around the terminals with longer #8 screws. Much easier to work with and the terminals accommodate more wires. I'll post photos tomorrow. Tonight I am honing my soldering skills.
Assembling the wiring. XLR jacks for the controllers, terminal blocks and switches. Banana plugs won't handle the 12AWG from my power supply. Not sure if any do. Could use srew posts but would like a jack.
Here you can see how beefy the terminal block is. Made my own jumpers.
Been busy and not much time for the track. Finally got it wired with some help on the forum with the switches. Crimped, soldered and shrink wrapped all the connections. Tested and checked the schematic over and over again and all seems fine. I am doing this with the table upside down so everything is reversed. Wrote lots of notes on the table and marked everything with color tape to keep things straight. Nice learning curve for the beginner I am.
Duplicate drivers stations on other side of table.
Main wiring terminal block and drivers station 1A with switch.
Thanks for the compliments Brad. I'm in Eureka, California.
Did first live test of wiring. Shorted out a controller resister somehow. Also at first had a problem because I refused to accept I had swapped the red and black wires in the XLR jack. Fixed that and all is good. Now I can button up the bottom of the table.
Any suggestions for controllers. 60ft of taped track with old Parma Womp Womp cars and some new ones from Carrera and such. You can see the layout above.
I've been using some old Parma Turbo controllers that I picked up on eBay years ago. My track is about 55', and like yours is taped. The controllers work alright and the resistors can be swapped out to better suit the cars you're using. I think that mine have 35 and 45 ohm resistors. They work well enough for me for the variety of cars I have (Classic Asp - Ninco NC-1). I do have fuses wired into my driver's stations. I've put them to good use over the years, so I think it's something to consider if you aren't using them already. I also have a friend that has a similar setup and he uses Parma Economy controllers with good results. There are certainly better and more costly controllers if you are interested in that sort of thing.
Eureka, California. Hmm, that rules out hopping in the car and checking out each other's track. Oh well, at least there's SF.
My track wiring is very similar to your's, and I used resettable polymer fuses on my terminal blocks as well. As Brad has done, I've also installed fuses into each driver station. As for the exact reason I installed them, I can't quite remember anymore. I think I installed them because I thought that I needed to protect the circuitry AFTER the terminal block, as well as offering additional protection to the controller. Whatever the reason, I can tell you that over the past 8 years or so, I've had at least one or two of these drivers' station fuses blow (even though I also have the circuit breakers), which suggests to me that an overload somehow made it past the resettable polymer fuses. So I would concur with Brad, and suggest that you may want to consider installing them. A very cheap extra bit of protection.
As for controllers, I use a simple Parma Economy that I've rewired to have selectable resistance values of 25, 35, and 45 ohms. I can drive most any type of car, from old vintage cars that draw a ton of current, to modern plastic RTR cars. If you go with Parmas, I can give you the parts list and wiring diagram.
I used Parma turbo and economy controllers for many years, and they are basically very reliable. If you're going to be using cars that require about the same ohm rating for a single controller these are fine.
If your cars will require different ratings, the regular Professor Motor non-adjustable electronic controller is very effective: I've been using this for my vintage cars for the last couple years and it has also been excellent (that's for cars in the roughly 5 to 30 ohm range, like the Womp; not sure how it would do on today's plastic cars). Thai's suggestion sounds very inviting too.
Beautiful job on the wiring, and the track in general.
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could
be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
A forum community dedicated to slot car owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, racing, displays, models, track layouts, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!