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I have seen different ways to bend braid, (one way for Scalextric, one way for carrera) on various threads, and an article in MCR mag. I also see lots of braid "brushed", sort of flatened and spread out on the end.

Does this hold true only for scaley on scaley track, carrera on carrera track? How about when you start mixing car brands and track brands?

Do you tune your braid differently for each brand of track, regardless of car brand?

I have found keeping the braid adjusted for the carrera slot and rails requires constant tinkering to avoid the herky - jerky.

BTW, I had a couple of cars that seemed to be running slowly and unpredictably. I wiped the track down, but I also put a little oil on the braid and ran a couple of laps.
Don't know if it cleaned the braid or cleaned the rails, but really improved the cars performance.

Setting up RTR, OEM, tips would be appreciated, but digression to after market, home made guides, braid, and so would also be interesting.
 

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People tend to have their particular favorite braid set-ups.
Mine, based on common practice since the inception of trailing braid, is to bend the 'tails' quite hard and flat along the full length of the 'T' section of the guide.
Next, splay them apart slightly in a V shape, the width of which depends on the track rail spacing - a little more for Carrera.
Next, carefully 'comb' or pick apart the individual strands for about the last 1/8"-1/4" (3mm-6mm), using a pin and splay them a little.
Snip off any straggly bits.
Finally, firmly bend the combed area down towards the track rails.
Some people prefer to bend about half the braid length down and others prefer to curve the whole braid length slightly to produce a similar effect. The important thing is to ensure that the contact area is as far towards the TRAILING end of the braid as possible. As the braid wears, you can recomb and rebend the trailing end to suit, until the braid needs replacing - your call.
Note:
Contact towards the front tends to produce car bounce AND premature wear of the braid.

This is difficult to describe accurately in plain words and needs quite a lot of experimentation to get it 'just right'. It also depends on whose braid is used - for instance, it's not easy to comb the Scalextric tinned copper, which is rather stiff. I prefer softer copper, even though it doesn't last as long.

An illustrated How-to would be invaluable, but I don't have the equiment to produce this myself.

The biggest problem is when you have your braid painstakingly set up to your preference and you deslot. Some twerp reslots your car, after first 'helpfully' resetting the braid for you!
 

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I`m very interested to hear other peoples views on braid preparation as it`s dead important but often overlooked. I`m always surprised as to how different cars seem to need a different type of prep.
 

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I tend to use a Fibre pen, brushing the braids flat along the T section and if required remove any rubbish and dirt with a drop or two of lighter fluid.

Gareth
NSCC
 

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Matt Tucker
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Running on smooth scaly sport or routed I basically do what mecocrop does. In terms of braid I use slot-it braid or if I can get it pink-kar ultra thin or if neither of those Ninco but it pull it in half so its much thinner. Also ensure set up is only one braid thick (ie not like SCX / Scalextric RTR set-ups)

For 'bumpy' track I put in a more pronounced kink at the end of the braid to help ensure electrical conductivity.

Clean braids with lighter fluid.

Matt
 

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A question : how important is the lenght of the braids? Some friends cut them short and others have them very long. Who is right?

Ciao
 

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Too short is where the braids will not reach the track at all.
Too long is where the braids are longer than the blade and could short out by touching each other.
Between those two extremes, my opinion is that longer braids allow longer running before they needs replacing, provided that they are set up properly as described earlier. However, it depends a little bit on the state of the braid material. Very thick and 'bushy' braid will probably be best set up at only around half the length of the blade or less. Experiment to find what works best for you and a particular track/car/guide/braid.
 

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I get my braids to "bow" or curve towards the track, then I will get a scalpel and pull the ends stright so they are nice an flexible

long braids are better, more control while cornering

Rob.
 
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