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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys (& gals if any)


I am from Cape Town, South Africa and have decided to start a small business with a Slot car hire track/s.
My aim is to produce a high quality 6 lane routed wood track (similar to permanent set-ups in clubs) that would be portable and easily assembled/dismantled.

Now I have never done this before but am reasonably skilled in wood work/computers/electrics. My involvement with slotcars was from being a member of Ecurie Slot car Club in Durban, SA a few years back and I absolutely fell in love with slot cars.

I will keep updating this post as I work on the track and would welcome some advise / caution along the way.
I already have some obstacles to ponder out such as timing system and track lighting & sound.

1. I want to DIY build the timing system hardware as much as possible but can't seem to find any info on this anywhere.

2. I want to build a sound system into the track somehow so that the sound is loudest to those around the track. any ideas?

3. I don't want to paint colour stripes for the lanes but thought it would be really cool if the slot itself could be "illuminated" with the lane colour. Led's are my 1st thoughts but obviously need to experiment with how it will work.

Cheers for now, but hope to have a lively thread over the next 2 months while this build happens.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Hi SkillY and welcome to SlotForum.

I hope you have a big truck because a 6 lane track with a decent lap time (10 seconds or more) will be BIG.

Have you considered digital? Yes - people have embedded lane changers into routed wooden tracks. You can fit 6 cars onto a more compact track with the same length as a conventional 6 lane track OR use the extra space to create an amazing digital track that varies between 2 and 4 lanes and has pits to pull into to refuel.

If you went Scalextric the SSDC software and cable is cheap and you would have a ready made timing system, practice, qualifying and racing in Grand Prix or Endurance format, pit lane refuelling and real opportunities to overtake and have pile-ups!

No need to worry about lane colour coding - you could light the track for night racing instead.

Worth considering as an option before you commit to your build.

Routed boards will be heavy. To save weight you should consider your build method and board size carefully.

Here are a couple of ideas to toy with (I am going through the debate myself as my next track will be a portable routed track unlike my current portable Scalextric track;

You could consider using 8mm MDF with an 8mm slot BUT glue and screw 6mm-8mm MDF under the boards in the shape of the lanes before you rout the top. This has the same effect as routing 16mm MDF and then removing as much surplus material as you can.

Alternatively you could screw and glue a matrix of softwood wooden batons (say 25mm square) under an 8mm sheet of MDF. Rout your 8mm deep slots and the track should stay together. The added bonus being any debris falling into the slot will fall out the bottom of the track!

Take a look at my Amman Valley Raceway (link in my signature) to see how I did mine - it's not perfect by a long way but it might give you some ideas.

Looking forward to this story unfolding whatever route you choose!
 

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Some tracks do have the slot painted in lane colours rather than a stripe along side. That works well.

Routing all the way through the board (e.g. 8mm deep slot in 8 mm MDF) was a common way of building tracks in the 1960s. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Builders discovered that having a closed bottom (e.g. 8mm deep slot in 12 mm MDF) makes a better track track.
 

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Routed MDF track will be heavy but will last the longest.

We just done a 4 lane MDF track (18mm) with 10mm deep slot and copper braid which was also recessed.

We have striped the lanes using a pin striper which was quick and easy. Although we have also used ribbon led lights in straights of track to light up for night racing, the ribbon led lighting comes in 5 metre strips and most colours, also it's 12vdc so easy to connect up.

Have fun and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Here is a photo of our track:

http://s1070.photobucket.com/albums/u494/balanceraceway/
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanx @Benj, Did you use the ribbon LED's in the slot itself? Can you show me some pics of that if you don't mind?

Well, The last 2 days got gobbled up by "paying the bills" kinda work and slot car stuff had to take a back seat. Sucks to be self employed sometimes but then again, pretty soon I will play Slotcars AND get paid for it


I been fine tuning some designs on track layout. I basically want 1 track that gives me a few options depending on the hiring party's venue size.
So I wanted to design 1 track that could have sections removed or added in according to the space requirements.

Medium Track

Track Long

Very basic sketches with Coreldraw at the moment but they are to scale. 6 lanes track is 86.4mm wide in total including 100mm outside gutter around corners and 75mm inside gutter. Lane spacing 115mm.

more soon
 

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Alan Paterson
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Sup "Cuzzin"....


So as I mentioned. I have a timing solution for you. Don't worry about that now.


The track dimansions (In my opinion), are too small... You are not catering for the 1/24 scale cars with outer gutters at 100 mm's.. Forget it. If you have space issues, then "downsize to 4 lanes as suggested, but have enough space between lanes and outer borders to clear Scale 24 scale cars.

Analogue, the lanes HAVE to be coloured, otherwise marsha;s have no idea.

IF you still want to do Digital AND Analogue, then the timing system will need to be changeable to deal with both Analogue racing and Digital.

If you still want to do Digital, you have to look at Slot It's oxigen system to keep costs down.

Keep in touch.

regards

Al
 

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Can I make a few suggestions?

Both layouts are likely to produce quite a lot of cars off under the bridge at the right of the drawings.
Medium Track
Track Long
There would be considerably less need for marshalling under there if the underpass wasn't so close to the corners.

The 100mm outside gutter is rather tight, where as the 115mm lane spacing is generous. It might be better to go for more outside gutter even at the expense of slightly less generous lane spacing.
 

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Rich Dumas
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My club has "Gypsy" a portable track that has extra sections so that it can be reconfigured. The track is braided and it is constructed like commercial raceways are with scab boards at the ends of the sections and removable legs. The ends of the braids make up without using connectors when the sections are bolted together. One person could assemble the track but it goes a lot better with at least three people. The track has dead strips and Trackmate is used.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanx guys for all the feedback.

Ok, I originally wanted to do a track analogue and digital but digital option is out the budget for now (maybe a later stage conversion or another track )
Space not that big a problem that I can't add 40mm to outside gutters which will bring them to 150mm (6inches) instead of 100mm (4inches). This will give a track width of 825mm only. I had allowed 865 originally but due to mental calculation error had added in an extra lane spacing.
I do suffer from that stubborn streak of wanting it all, so 6 lanes it has to be and 1/24 too


The layout suggestions from @300SLR is noted. I will try stretch the main straight a little and come back to the underpass. The Ecurie club had a straight/doughnut/underpass like this and I simply loved it. The doughnut is really nice to drive! So I would like to find solutions that can keep it in the layout. The long design is more tricky hence the fact that it will be removable for kiddies parties or novice events.
I also have a short track option where the entire track gets 2,3m left out of the main straight/mid section.
The big sweeping turn on the left of the layout will be a banked turn.

@Big Al, the lanes will be coloured and I was hoping to do so with LED's in the slot and although I have solved the technical problem around it, it does present a budgetary deficit of around R4500 ($500).

At this stage I am working on solutions for joining the sections of track which needs to be quick as well as accurate with lining up the slots in both planes (vert and Hor).

I am planning on doing a mock up later this week once I have decided on the best way to do it. I want a system that will work with one person doing it if need be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Everybody
Sorry about the absence last few weeks. Have had lots of regular money earning stuff get in the way of building the track.

Well, as the planning down to detail got underway I realized I bit of a massive project here, especially with the criteria of it needing to be a decent length (28m) 6 lane woodtrack that is portable and 1 person must be able to assemble in under 45mins!
After breaking the track layout down into manageable (real life) chunks I realised that I am going to need a custom built trailer for transporting no less than 17 track sections varying between 2,6m long and 1.5 x 1.5 square.
So, I got quotes on trailers and they blew the budget. Option "B" is that I build the trailer from scratch myself. I have now ordered the steel and building should start in about a week.
The wood has also been ordered and will be delivered some time next week all pre-cut to my section dimensions where possible.

Big Al (my friend) has been an absolute star with controller plan diagrams and some empty handsets which I now need to make up new circuits for so that I will have 7 identical units that did not break the budget. Using old Ninco controllers and rebuilding them from scratch with DIODE control & brake circuit.

I am in the mean time hunting for a small compressor to do the spray painting with.
Power supply has been ordered which is a MeanWell 12V 12.5amp 150W switching power supply. This should be ample to drive 6 lanes as well as any LED circuits I may add into the mix.

Have found some nice die cast cars on line in the USA which is en-route now. The plan is to make plastic copies for racing and to build possibly brass chassis for them from scratch. (again Big Al to the rescue with all the advice and know how). I am also planning on getting some Ninco 1 cars or Scalex Super Resistant 1:32's

I have sourced some really nice looking 24 Way 2 Row Mate-n-lok Mini Plug connectors from RS components at a very decent price; these are planned to be used for the wire connections at the joints.

Timing system is still in the air a little bit as Big Al's one was for 4 lane only and not 6. I have contacted the other Al on this forum who is designing a killer timing system and just holding thumbs it pans out as good as he wants it to be.

Ok, that is enough of the boring details. When I start working on actual build I will post some pics along the way.
Happy grooving y'all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A quick update on progress.
I have ordered most of the material now and awaiting delivery. In the mean time I have spent time drawing details on Autocad to try iron out inconsistencies when it comes to actual building.
I have picked up on a thread in the forum regarding Torsion Box construction and got totally carried away with the concept. I redesigned my entire method of construction to make the entire track sections constructed via the Torsion Box method. This will save me a lot of weight overall as well as tidy up the track all round.

It will also allow me to simplify the way the track sections are joined together both in construction, weight and accuracy of keeping the slots aligned regardless of floor unevenness.
I will however have a huge amount of extra work in the process


I have decided to settle on 9mm MDF for track surface and 3mm MDF for the boxing. 16MM MDF for joining edges as well as adjustable legs.

I have also order Magna Braid 1/4" from USA and that should arrive by end of April hopefully.

Decided to go with Ninco +1 1/32 scale cars as they are resilient and most spares available locally. Have ordered N55025 Renault Megane Sport x7 and will have to repaint 6 of them.

Have managed to also register a new domain and website design will start as soon as the hosting peeps get their act together and let me have the essential info.

Ok, that's my bundle for now. Will update as I get going and will post pictures when the work starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yesterday I splashed out on a new compressor and spray gun as well as a pneumatic brad nailer to make assembly easier. Got confirmation that my braid is now officially en-route as I have a USPS tracking number

I also received my connector blocks from Molex and I am indeed very happy with those as it will make connectivity reliable and easy. I got 24 way connectors which will enable me to do ALL the track connections and lights etc in one connector block at each joint.

I have ordered 7 Ninco Renault Megan 1:32 cars. 6 of them will have to get a new paint job.

Next update next week when the MDF arrives and the real work starts.

Happy Easter to all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Been a while since I posted. Just got too busy with the track building and re-inventing the wheel over and over


Here are some pics of the short version of the track that is now operational. I am building a new lightbridge at the moment so will post more pics when that is done.









 

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Greg Gaub
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanx MrFlippant for your comments. Nice to get good feedback. I still need to tidy some aspecs up to make it real slick, but it needed to start earning money so long as it cost a pretty penny and her friend.

It has only been out to about 7 events over the last 6 weeks, but it is very much the centre of attention.
I've had to modify cars (Ninco 1) to make them more reliable and controllers posed their fair share of troubles, but it is all being ironed out as we go along.
 
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