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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sire; I have a cunning plan...
But unlike Baldrick, I shall stick this one above the parapet to see if it gets its head shot off!!

I am a 'lone racer' - or rather a 'lone slot messingabouter'
Mostly just race myself for best lap times, or run a home made pace car - or just watch the car going round and round like a fast goldfish - very theraputic!!.

Do not want to go digital. Looked at the idea with APB, but the up-front cost is just too much, even if I only chip a dozen or so of my cars.

My permanent analogue layout has a pair of curve lane changers. I have occasionally taken one of these out so that I run 2 laps for 1, if you see what I mean.
Which got me to thinking: If I put in a digital Lane Changer I could swap lanes at will (only single car at a time, of course). If I put in two, strategically placed, I could run a lap on almost only inner curves, or only outer curves, or mix and match to find the best lap times.

Is there some fundemental flaw in my thinking that I have overlooked?

I would make the Lane Changers operate from a wired remote held in my left hand (controller in right).

Which raises some questions:
Are the Lane Change Flippers biased (sprung) to the straight ahead, and only move momentarily when a lane chage is requested, or are they free floating, waiting for a command from each approaching car?
Are the solenoids always powered to one side or the other, or are they relaxed when no lane chage signal is made?
What is the lane changer power requirement? AC or DC, and what voltage?

Ideally, I would want to make the Lane Change Flippers like model railway points, stay at the last selection.

I don't think I would have any problem working out the wiring to make the lanes separate for normal, common for "lane swapping"
I already have the Scalextric Lap Counter track piece remote from the Lap Counter, with switching to either Lap Counter or RMS module for PC, so it would be easy to common the track trigger signals to record a pass in either lane as a lap (if you see what I mean).

Yes, I know this is all 'much ado about nothing' - but that is what my slot addiction is, just idle amusement.

Appreciate any comment

Cheers,
Tom.
 

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Thats a good thought Isetta, would be nice if you could make this work somehow.

Ive been tempted to upgrade to digital recently but i would never have a full grid, finding just one person to race with can be difficult for me now.

Regards, Teez.
 

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QUOTE (Isetta @ 6 Jul 2011, 16:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are the Lane Change Flippers biased (sprung) to the straight ahead, and only move momentarily when a lane chage is requested, or are they free floating, waiting for a command from each approaching car?
Are the solenoids always powered to one side or the other, or are they relaxed when no lane chage signal is made?
What is the lane changer power requirement? AC or DC, and what voltage?
If we're talking scalextric:

They are free floating;

The solenoids are relaxed when no signal;

Voltage, someone else can clarify, but the track is 12V AC so either that or rectified to 12V DC.

The changers are triggered each time a car passes - even if the flipper is in the right place - but I guess that's a bit of security, should the flipper have been knocked by the previous car and in the middle of the slot somehow it'd avoid a problem.
 

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Greg Gaub
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lane changers can operate on DC voltage, so it's probably rectified in the electronics. You wouldn't be using the original electronics, though, just charging the solenoid by button press when desired. For SSD changers, you'd have to set up different buttons to charge the different solenoids to make it go both ways. They are simple push solenoids, one on each side of the flipper.
What you're talking about it a lot like what the AC2Car people do. Should work fine, though most of them do routed tracks, so I'm not sure how much help is out there for triggering SSD changers from a button rather than in-car electronics.
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies,
Yes, I am talking about Scalextic Sport track.
I would want the flipper to stay firmly in the last selected position, I guess if the existing solenoid is rated for momentary operation, it would burn out if constantly supplied to hold the flipper?
As the change-over does not have to be fast, perhaps I could substitute a model railway points motor.
Looks like I have some experimenting to do.
Cheers,
Tom.
 

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Stuart Wood
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I can't imagine how the wiring's gonna look, but it certainly is a subtle and cunning plan - as cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University...

Be great if you could make this work Tom, please keep us posted.

Cheers,
Stu
 

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Does a model railway motor hold the track? I thought that was part of the points design.

Perhaps you could pulse it - every two seconds or so? If a standard digital track has a ~10 second lap time and 6 cars going round it, the solenoids can put up with 6 pulses in 10 seconds. You could do less depending on your laptime - as long as it gives the flipper a kick before you come round again.

Not sure of the electronics that would be required to do that, though...
 

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Use Peco solenoid, as theres an optional piece which holds the flipper in place firmly.
Also use Ninco sprung flipper concept, that way you only need to change lanes, the flipper would return automatically as soon as you switch off power to solenoid, saving parts and hassle.
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, this has been a long time in gestation...
But happy to report that the project is now complete, working as planned, and lots of fun.
I have one Straight Lane Changer and one Curved Lane Changer.
The track can now run using (all but 1) inside curves, making a fairly good racing line.
I can also run lane 1 & 2 consecutively as 1 lap (selected by a 'commoning switch') (same as having one crossover in an analogue).
Also, the lap counter can be switched to record each lane independently, or a pass on either lane recording as lane 1.

It took so long to do because here in Chiang Mai there are no hobby shops (that I have found) - just one RC car & plane shop.
So, I had to wait until my visit to England in October (to attend my sister's golden wedding anniversary) for my golden opportunity to buy the parts I needed.
Thanks, Injectorman, for your advice on the Peco solenoid and sprung base plate. Once I got to look at them in the shop I could see they were exactly what I needed.

Just need to sort some photos, then will post a "what it loooks like and how I did it". Probably in 2 or 3 installments, hopefully starting tomorrow.
Hope I have piqued your interest


Cheers, Tom.
 

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Excellent, can't wait for the pics and to see how its, done.
I was thinking on the same lines but thats as far as I got!
 

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OK so this suggests we can replace the solenoids in the Scaley digital track with PECO ones and then there is no issues of:

1) bad lane changes due to the IN flippers not fully moved one way or another

and

2) secured lane changers for running analogue on a digital track

Am I correct?


Cheers!
 

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Maybe a bit late - didn't see this before, but I would have suggested a 3 position centre sprung toggle switch
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Installment 1:
Hi Sealevel, can't answer about bad lane changes in SSD as I have no SSD experience.
In theory, yes, the Peco base plates hold the flipper in the selected position for analogue, but not sure if this would be a good solution for SSD running.
Rico, centre sprung 3 position toggle switches are what I used. On reflection, I think I would have been better to use the "traditional" rail points lever switch. The centre spung toggle does not give a visual representation of which position the flipper is in.

Anyway, on to the build:
First job was to select the parts. I was contemplating using the original solenoids, but finding a way to incorporate a mechanism to hold the flipper at last selection was difficult, plus the original solenoids did not seem to have the power to move the Peco sprung base plate.
The Peco solenoid and base plate seemed the ideal solution:



First I had to remove the SSD solenoids and a few bits of plastic from the track, then fit wooden mount blocks for the Peco units.





Then mount the base plates and solenoids. I found there was not room to install all the mount screws, so liberal doses of hot glue should keep it all in place. The pins that connect the base plates pushrods to the flippers was surplus length of pin cut from the Peco solenoid, and araldited into the flipper.





Enough for now, on to the installation and wiring next installment.

Thanks for looking.
Cheers, Tom.
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh!, and Greg...I did not forget to do the CLC vasectomy




Cheers,
Tom.
 

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Wow, the size of those solenoids makes one appreciate the small size of the Scalextric ones.

Cheers!
 

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Greg Gaub
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Yeah, those are definitely for permanent track situations where a hole can be cut into the table to make room for the solenoid. Perfect for his uses, though!
 

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1 hp Trabant is not my real car
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote Mr Flippant..."...where a hole can be cut into the table to make room for the solenoid."

Which brings me neatly to...cutting the hole in the table.
My baseboard is expanded polistyrene sheet, which makes it easy




And the lane change pieces inserted. (Makes me realise how dull the old track rails have become...time for a buff up, I think)





Now for the wiring, was actually quite straightforward once I got into it and got my head around what I wanted to achieve.
The swiches on the new "black box" are, left to right: 1. To common the lap counter. 2. Lane change for CLC. 3. Lane change for L/H of strt LC. 4. Lane change for R/H of Strt LC. R/H side: To common lane 1 & 2 power. Underneath: Power input for lane change solenoids (I just unplug one of the wall warts from the sport module and insert here.



Here is what it all looks like from the front side. The module below the Lap Counter is my home made control centre for: Pace car throttle control, switches for lights for the overpass and pit boxes, Change over for Scalex lap counter to RMS/PC (I used phone plugs because I couldn't find a 4 pole switch at the time).



And behind is an explosion in the Chiang Mai noodle factory!!



And here is an overview of the track (before I put in the lane changers!)



That's about it.

Cheers,
Tom.
 

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Great looking layout and thanks for the closeup pics of your wiring.
From what you said, you have polystyrene under the track. Is that mounted on a board or just on a frame?
I was thinking of putting some styrofoam insulation board under my track so I could go up or down from that level (mainly due the light weight of the stryofoam).
I was not sure if the "lower" level of your track is on MDF or other wood and the elevated on the polystyrene or if it is just a wood frame with polystyrene on top.

Many thanks for sharing.
Cheers!
 
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