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A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge to start a new layout.

It came about after looking at "Richardtheforth's" track in his thread "Beyond the Loft Hatch". It got me thinking, then within a couple of hours I had a bare table again.

The last layout was too cumbersome - 14ft x 5ft which over-powered the loft, was hard to work on and was hard to marshal.

So after looking at Richards layout I decided I wanted to have a thinner, more "Marshalling" friendly layout. I used his layout as a basis and evolved the new layout from that. So far I am up to version 8!! - needing to tweak bits to ensure I get it on the table with enough room at the edges. There will be more tweaking as I start to test the layout once it is built. Here's the latest version.

circuit8.jpg

As part of this build I looked into the merits of the new APB against the PB-Pro. I didn't really want to lose my RichG tower encased with the Pit-Pro, but on reflection I already have a second PC screen and wanted to de-clutter the layout.

As some of you may know I took the plunge and purchased a new APB. I then had to re-jig my Pit-Pro to get it back to its original configuration, as it is my intention to now use it as a Pit In/Pit Out.

After some checking I have also decided to run the XLC's from the track itself. This meant I will not have to provide another power supply and run new wiring to power them. When I looked only two of the XLC's were wired for separate power anyway, so it will be a very quick job to divert the power wires back to the track.

The track is configured and built in sections. Each section will have its own power tap and each track piece in the section is wired together. This was how the last layout was built and I never had any power problems.

I have been tailoring the old tables to fit in with the new layout. I've reduced the width of the first table to 4ft at it's widest part. The second table has had a bit of a trim too, but not so severe. By tailoring the tables it now allows me to easily open the end wall and velux roof window, plus I now have access again to that part of the loft eves.

The previous layout was stood on six tressles - but I didn't really like this as it meant I had virtually no storage space beneath the layout. Plus they weren't that solid either. So the revised table is sat on a proper wooden frame. As you will see from the pics I still have to complete the last part of the new table build. A relatively small 4ft x 4ft extension which will complete the new "L" shape configuration. This will sit on another frame which extend under table two giving that additional support.

Here are some pics.
The new layout configuration gives me lots of room back.
20120221_104554.jpg

Table 1. See the windows and eves access door - all accessible now!!
20120221_104606.jpg

New retractable shelf for the PC.
20120221_104658.jpg

Table 2. Space to the right for the extension table.
20120221_104720.jpg

That's all for now.

Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

Nice looking plan, but is it me or have you just posted four identical photos?

Dave
 

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Sorry just spotted the bottom three, will be watching progress, any scenery to come?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dave,

I haven't really decided on exactly what scenery yet, but I know what I will definitely not be doing this time:-

No expanding foam, polystyrene, paper mache or hills!

My current thoughts are:

The layout is intended to be flat, with maybe a slight bank on a curve if required.

Simple gravel, barrier, tyre wall and fencing scenery to give that track feel.

I've got 200+ trees, so want to find some space for a few of those around the track.

Reuse of my pit lane buildings and pit wall.

I am thinking of using 9 mm MDF to create borders, and run-off areas. A bit like some of the Slot Track Scenic stuff. (I might decide to use 4mm MDF as it will be lighter, but then every scenery section will have to be raised to match the track level)

To fit the MDF to the normal track, which is 8mm, I will sand the edge to fit. With the digital sections which are 10mm I will look to raise the MDF by 1mm.

I intend to build each scenery section away from the track and then slot it into position when complete. Hopefully doing it this way will allow me to do the scenery at a desk and in comfort - fed up with contorting into positions or being bent over the table for long periods, which are crippling.

Also hoping to finally add the lights that I never got round to doing on the last layout!!

More thinking to do.

Steve
 

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Greg Gaub
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Excellent looking plans, Steve. A great mix of speed and technical. Getting more room to move in your loft is a good thing, too.

I look forward to seeing your track progress.
I'm planning to tap and wire sections of my track as you did yours. Can you share how you wired the pieces to each other? My main concern is that wire bridging the track underneath will cause the joins to be lifted and the center of each piece to tend to bend down, making a bumpy track. Did you cut a little plastic channel for the wires? Use really thin wire? I've also thought about strips of copper tape instead of wire.
 

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QUOTE (Stevef1964 @ 21 Feb 2012, 14:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am thinking of using 9 mm MDF to create borders, and run-off areas. A bit like some of the Slot Track Scenic stuff. (I might decide to use 4mm MDF as it will be lighter, but then every scenery section will have to be raised to match the track level)

To fit the MDF to the normal track, which is 8mm, I will sand the edge to fit. With the digital sections which are 10mm I will look to raise the MDF by 1mm.

Steve

Is it not better to raise the non digital sections of track up by 2mm with some sort of packing to make a flat & level track?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greg,

I have cut small "V" shaped notches so that the wires do not get in the way.

The wiring I have used is thin (slot car motor wire size) and also thicker power type wire (Real car electrical wire) and each link is only about 2" long. Neither size has caused any issues. All wires are soldered to the track piece.

Hope that helps

P.S the loft is actually 30ft x 14ft, but with a massive corner sofa, sofa bed, TV, computer and my PS3 F1 racing rig (full bucket seat and frame) there is not a lot of room left!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (ss67 @ 21 Feb 2012, 17:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is it not better to raise the non digital sections of track up by 2mm with some sort of packing to make a flat & level track?

SS67,

Will give that some thought, but as the there are only 5 XLC's, the 1 PB/start straight and 4 pit lane pieces, all dotted at different places around the track, it's a lot of work.

A simple way could be to find some cardboard (quite a lot actually!) to slip under the normal pieces to raise them. Will check it out.

What did you do for your track?

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a quick update,

The table construction is now complete.

The build consists of three table tops sitting on two purpose built frames. The tables are bolted together and then screwed to the frames. At some point I need to make a small change and use bolts and fly nuts to secure the frame to the tables, and remove the screws.

I have been testing the track design with go-karts, minis and F1 cars and am now happy that it provides speed as well as a bit of difficulty.

The pit lane is now built, with only one piece of track having to be cut to make it fit.

The XLC's are now all wired to the track, negating the need for wiring underneath the table.

The Pit-Pro has been connected up (only temporarily for the moment) and is working as expected in normal mode. I haven't yet tested it with SSDC.

I am now wiring in the power taps - one set for each of the nine sections. These power taps will be connected to one of three power tap points under the table.

Next on the list:-

1) Start basic testing SSDC and Pit Pro with APB.

2) Test the analogue.

3) Think about how I want to secure the track to the table - because I am not building this layout to be portable, but will still need to move it with not too much trouble I am thinking of using hot glue to keep the track in position. A few spots beneath each of the track sections should do it.

4) Decide on what and how much scenery I want to use and how I want to create it.

5) Pit lane Lighting.

6) Mounting the PSU beneath the table and tiding up tidying up the Pit-Pro, SSDC and APB wiring.

Here is a pic of the completed table.
20120303_182032.jpg

Should keep me busy for a few days!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I had a bit of time to test today.

This is the layout I've settled on.
Hurstland_Park_4.gif

I've also tested the SSDC, Pit-Pro and APB combination and they all work together nicely.

Even managed to work out how to use analogue - after a bit of confusion when the cars all went backwards to begin with!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's been a while since my last update.

The PSU is now located on a small shelf under the table.

I've still got to complete the under table wiring of the track, but so far just by connecting the track sections up in three areas of the track the continuity is superb. I just need to connect the three areas together.

Been testing the APB and everything seems to be working as I expected it to. Maybe less testing now and more building!!!

I have decided on how to do the scenery - I am using 9mm MDF sheets. I am using these to encase the track. A slight sanding down of the MDF edge is giving a really nice flush edge against the track. I am using a jigsaw to cut the sections free hand which is turning remarkably well.

Each section is only screwed to the table, so that I can easily remove them to paint and add scenery.

20120405_124519.jpg

20120405_124456.jpg

20120405_124538.jpg

I've got some friends coming over tomorrow so hopefully I can see how the track etc stands up to some abuse.

Cheers for now
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update:-

Not had time to do much lately, but have started on some of the fencing.

20120419_110809.jpg

20120419_110901.jpg
As you can see, the MDF, with a bit of sanding, seems to be doing the job I intended.

20120419_110705.jpg

I have been looking on here and found some suggestions on how to make my own tyre walls. So I am waiting for 120 wine corks to arrive ( even I cant get through that much wine in week!!!). Then I will be looking to make my own tyre wall covers as well.

Well, that's it for now.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Greg.

They are Slot Track Scenic fencing and uprights with SCX barriers for the walls. All previously used on my last layout.

The postman bought the wine corks today, so I have been glueing them together and they seem about the right size.

I've got to give some thought to the best way to do the tyre wall covers. Was intending to print logo's onto photo print paper, but current printer cant deal with the grade of paper!!!


Will look at using normal paper and spray with lacquer to seal.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought it was about time I posted an update.

The inlaying of the track is all completed now.

I need to do something with the Pit-Pro tower - relocate it and then encase it in something as it looks hideous!! I intend to create a building that will cover it but still allow the lights to be seen. But that's for later.

I have been painting the MDF black, which seems to match the track colour well.

The first batch of corks have been glued together and some have been encased in the tyre white/blue cover material from Slot Track Scenics - that is work in progress.

Barriers have been installed using a method seen on here - using rivets.

I am intending to paint the remaining MDF with a red brick colour and then apply scatter grass. This is going to be a bit of trial and error to get the circuit shape right. Then to finish it off I have purchased some car pin stripe tape which i will use to edge the circuit. My aim here is to give the impression of the cars taking the racing line.

Some pics.

20120515_102219.jpg

20120515_102143.jpg

20120515_102124.jpg

20120515_102159.jpg

20120515_102112.jpg

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, it has been a long time since my last update.

I've been distracted for the last few months with my other toy - a Range Rover HSE 4.6L V8. But that's now gone..............replaced by another, later one, a V8 Vogue!!!

Anyway, the itch has been coming back recently and I've been clearing up other stuff first.

But! Yesterday, the wife being out, I had the whole day to myself!!

So, the urgent thing to do was to decide how and where I was going to locate the Pit Pro.

So, I had some choices:-

1) To mount it on the layout in full view - I hate the casing, but I want to use the pit in/out feature.

2) To re-mount it in the purpose built casing I built for it and RichG's tower - would give me pit in/our feature but the casing is too big and doesn't really fit in. Plus I get all the race info I need from via the seperate screen.

3) To locate the Pit Pro underneath the table. I get the pit in/out feature without having to look at it!!

I decided on choice number three. so I extended the wires from the sensors and mounted the box. Then to ensure the main pit tower doesn't drop out I put two retaining screws in to lock it to the pit base. Simples!!

All wired up and.................away it went first time. Brill!!

I then decided I had to something to hold the throttles - they kept falling off the table and getting tangled. So, using some household waste pipe brackets I mounted them on the layout side. I then drilled holes and inserted the cable extensions into the table side so that the throttles can easily be plugged/unplugged.

20130225_100403.jpg

20130225_100336.jpg

I then decided it was time to test it all with SSDC v5. All working as I expected. In fact better than I expected.

Now the decision is what to do with RichG's tower and the casing it is in.

20130225_100703.jpg

20130225_100739.jpg

Any ideas?
 

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Living the Life&#33;
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Why not use it with this track? ............ SSDC has been able to support it since v5.4.2.0 ..
 
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