Most newbies are afraid of looking silly when they come off. So they hold the controller in one spot to stay on and go a constant speed. We run "crash-and-burn" rules (ie you come off and you are done), and a surprising number of races are won this way.
An irony: Occasionally I try that just to understand first hand how it feels, and the amazing thing is how much faster a car will go around a turn if you lift than at a steady speed.
Kind of like lifting or trail-braking a 1:1 car into a corner as oppose to just sailing it in there on cruise control.
Nonetheless, it kind of is the only option if you want "other" cars running when you are by yourself.
Way back before the day I think that HO cars were intended to just slowly motor around the train layout, ghost style. That changed pretty quick.
The Ghost Racer set is interesting in that they use only style of radius track for all the corners. You set the Ghost lane car to run as fast as the corners can possibly take before the car flies off the track. It's not that easy to be as accurate with the hand controller. You pass the Ghost in the straights, only to get passed in the corners by something more steady than your hand. Try to pass the Ghost in the corner and you're off the track. There's no catching up to it after that. Keep the straights very short in your track design and you may even lose the odd race to the potentiometer.
The problem with the potentiometer is when you have a hairpin. You need to set the top speed so it doesn't fly off at the hairpin making the rest of the track boring.
Block control. A model rail road thing. A pre-digital, relay controlled method of controlling signaling and speed of trains.
Aurora had a similar command control system where the out put module featured individually tapped voltages that were feed into the insulated track blocks of your choosing which could be insulated from other auto command voltages or your hand operated controller.
Essentially you were setting the speed for the sections of your choosing.
Thus you'd be able to set the command voltage for a hairpin, and have different voltages in other blocks. The remainder of the layout would not be governed by a single preset slider voltage.
Pretty nifty. I forget the exact name of the product. I've seen it 3 times in 20 odd years of Ebay prowling. Obviously it didnt catch on.
Yes, a separate power pack for each lane. No surges on either lane caused by the other driver. The internal electical components were removed from the opposite lanes on the power tracks to keep them isolated.
I use the third power-track for a small drag race test track return lanes (7-feet). I don't use the potentiometer.
My brother picked up my AFX Ghost Racer and monkey with it before I will in a week's time. He likes it and he discovered the build in lap counter with finish flag. That's a nice feature.
I plan to set up a four Lane set up. So the built in ghost feature is handy. One quirk however, the far side of the ghost track has a part that sticks out which would interfere with the other 2 Lanes. Can that be trimmed off? Or we notch a section of track and glue it on?
Well then, in that case CB, I would have to figure out how to cut a bump sized divot out of a straight track. It will not be easy, and it very well may take ruining several straights. But with some combination of a straight edge, razor knife, and a small, possibly razor or coping saw, fine toothed metal file, sandpaper, and maybe a dremel, I believe I could do it. The trick, of course, is to have your modified straight snuggle right up to your "Ghost Racer" piece.
Then I would fill the hole in the track.
1) Get a cookie sheet or flat piece of metal and tape down some waxed paper on it.
2) Put clear packing tape on the topside of the track. Trim the cut part as necessary. Make sure the packing tape also covers the uncut edges of the track.
3) Mix up some bondo and spread it under the track. Up to the cut edge, of course, and probably an inch or so inward toward the center of the track.
4) Push the piece down on the flat sheet. Put more waxed paper on the bondo and mush it into approximate shape on the edge.
5) Bondo hits pretty quick, Carefully lift the piece off the sheet with the waxed paper attached, and then remove the waxed paper from the track.
6) Probably the bottom of the track is close to being close enough, so now you are only dealing with the edge of the bondo in the modified part of the section. Sand the high spots off. Fill the low spots using the same technique if necessary. Repeat. Remove the clear tape from the topside when it is getting close. Try to keep the racing surface bondo and scratch free if you can.
7) Paint the track with brush or spray as is appropriate. I like Krylon Fusion flat black. Hopefully it will just be the edge of the track, and even that will be covered by the adjacent "GR" piece.
Now, the guy on the modified track has to run over two diagonals and a chuck of the GR track. Clearly that cannot be a lump, it has to be smooth. I would consider tying them both down to something--the plywood below if it is permanent, or a very thin piece of something if it is a temporary setup. Shim and/or sand with very fine sandpaper (if you have to) to get the racing surface as smooth as you can. It should be like any other joint that the tires pass over when you are done.
There may well be a more elegant solution to "filling the hole" that other members suggest--and if so I would take that route.
It's not as simple as cutting out a trapezoid chunk... An earlier post of mine suggested that.
The tracks are one way. So the computer must "fling" outwards. We have limited space and don't want to make the front straight not a straight. So probably make it the back straight, with the computers on curves?
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