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ParrotGod
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I think Greg has had too many drinks! :D
I totally agree with him (I am sober by the way - my scotch time is much later) on that Suzuka layout. And I love the Suzuka track, but needs to be done properly.
If you plan to experiment, then grab a pack of R2, R3 and R4 (yes they are sold as 180 degree - which means for the R4 you get 12 pieces).

Slotspeed idea is really a good starting point. What is the space you have in mind?
 

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if you were to hot glue it ,you would need to do it all around ,not just here and there , but then when it wants to expand where will it go ??????? ,the other thing you could use would be silicone as it will have give in it ,but the amount of expansion i,m talking about is like in excess of 1/2 inch in your track length plus nearly the same for width ,.
what you need is some thing that holds the track DOWN but still lets it move back and forth
so maybe the carrera side clips are the best , just dont look the best thats all
 

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Good points about the expansion. There was a commercial Ninco track near where I live (well it was 20km away but it never seems far when it comes to slot cars) which had mdf borders all around with about 4mm clearance to allow for expansion. The track was free to just float within the confines of the borders. Maybe something like that would work, didn’t realise Carrera expanded so much.

I think I have a design that would fit that space, since I’m always skint I try to do designs that incorporate variety with a minimum of extra investment so I might have a similar but smaller design using a 6 pack each of R2 and R3 but will need to have a look. The R4 geometry is useful but as Grunz mentioned it comes in 12 pack. In Germany and Austria where Carrera is very popular, it’s far easier to get hold of what you need by way of swaps or online stores, but everywhere else seems too far behind on the collaboration at this point but it seems to be getting more popular in general (North America and Australia in particular)
 

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Mmm after treading the thread I think you better do as Greg (MeFlippant) says, don’t build anything permanent until you race it, I have the feeling you will change your layout soon after you race(seriously race) those corners you put everywhere.
Some advice:

1)Did you already take a look at the layouts around here at SF? Check them out mate!
2)Remove the magnets of whatever cars you have and see if you can drive them like you stole them.
3)Normally everyone starts with Carrera/Scalextric Cars, go to the shop and buy a high end racing car(Slot it,Nsr,Sideways, Revo, Etc), and repeat number 2.
5) Finally go to the local club and see how they race and how you race(self knowledge is important)
6)If you are really into Rally thing, you’ll see that it’s not excuse for driving slow, just take a look at the videos in YT, those Rallymen are crazy(both 1:1 & 1:32).

Cheers
 

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Hope this is relevant, it's an idea I had for expanding from an existing set (depending on how many R1/60 and straights you have on hand) and adding a pack of R2 and a pack of R3. It also requires (x2) R4/15 pieces, which may be difficult to obtain depending on the used market as they normally come in a pack of 12. But you could also substitute for the left over R3/30 piece instead, by using some hobbyist skills and cutting it in half, and making up the extra two electrical connecting tabs with strips of copper or some other suitable conductive metal, even a strip of nickel coated tin can cut with tinsnips. Some keen skill required for the work around, but I'm sure most hobbyists would be able to manage, I have cut several pieces and rejoined them this way. I think swapping the 1/4 straights for 1/3 straights might work better in this case, see second image below. Note that I have not driven this, it is something to try, and maybe fiddle with, but a possible starting point. I can make a slightly better flowing version of it by using an extra two R2's and deleting one of the R1/60's, it all depends on what you already have, availability in your area and how much you are willing to spend.

Urban design Font Line Slope Asphalt


Infrastructure Urban design Asphalt Font Engineering
 

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Mmm after treading the thread I think you better do as Greg (MeFlippant) says, don’t build anything permanent until you race it, I have the feeling you will change your layout soon after you race(seriously race) those corners you put everywhere.
Some advice:

1)Did you already take a look at the layouts around here at SF? Check them out mate!
2)Remove the magnets of whatever cars you have and see if you can drive them like you stole them.
3)Normally everyone starts with Carrera/Scalextric Cars, go to the shop and buy a high end racing car(Slot it,Nsr,Sideways, Revo, Etc), and repeat number 2.
5) Finally go to the local club and see how they race and how you race(self knowledge is important)
6)If you are really into Rally thing, you’ll see that it’s not excuse for driving slow, just take a look at the videos in YT, those Rallymen are crazy(both 1:1 & 1:32).

Cheers
Agree on all points, especially point (3) with a decent handling car without magnets. It will change the way you think about building and developing tracks.
 

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Tore
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I agree with others in waiting with fixating down the track. Every layout drives different than it looks “on paper”. It will need adjustments before you are happy.

The Carrera track clips are rigid enough to store 3-5 pieces connected without taking damage, so you can store It for a while in “modules” without fixating it.

As for the layout, my advice is to start with a simple and easy to drive track, there is nothing more annoying and discouraging than constantly picking up crashed and damaged cars. You can always make it more challenging later.

If you plan to race against Ghost cars, then consider that the top speed of the ghost cars are determined by the speed they can carry through the slowest turn without de-slotting.

Also, slot cars travel faster than you imagine when designing a layout on paper/screen, so what looks like a cool turn or “esses” often becomes the de-slotting trap from hell.

Give the drivers enough room (straight length) between turns to find the acceleration points and braking points. Most start with a “point ’n shoot” driving style, it takes time (and a good controller) to learn intermediate throttle control.

If you will use the track alone, consider keeping the layout shallow enough to reach most of the de-slotted cars from one side of the track. It soon becomes annoying to having to walk all the way around to the other side of the table, even with wireless controllers.

I think that’s enough "pointers" for now 😊

Btw: Here is an outdoor track (analog) I am planning for. It’s not modular per definition, but the white lines illustrate where it can be extended to change the layout during the season.
Font Pattern Symmetry Creative arts Metal

The “base version” is 15’ 8” x 6’ and hopefully it has a nice flow with increasing and decreasing “parabolica” turns, and 2-3 straight pieces between the turns so the drivers can hit full power before breaking into the next turn.

It will probably have 8 “trigger events” during a lap due to the kinks in the straight, which is more than enough for new drivers. And the track is narrow enough to reach de-slotted cars from one side.
 

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ParrotGod
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@Slotspeed: very nice layouts there. You should post an HowTo thread on how to cut track.
I think Carrera should have a R3/15 to make 4 lane layouts more interesting...even better, adding an R2/15 and R5/15 (being terminally optimistic).
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Quick update. I built a test track using pieces I had on hand and here's what it looks like. I know it's not very interesting with only 60-degree turns, but it's letting me put my plan for assembly and break down into action before I invest in the larger track design.

Snake Rectangle Font Line Scaled reptile


I bought 1-inch thick pink foam insulation board from Home Depot which measure 4-feet x 8-feet each. I put 4 of them on folding sawhorses, and then assembled the track on top. The foam boards are a little flimsy in the centers so I might reinforce with some wood strips on backside to stiffen them up a bit.

Here's how track looks on the foam sheets. I went ahead and laid out the track on the sides of the foam sheets that have the manufacturer branding, etc. When I settle on my final larger track design, I'll flip them over and use the clean pink side for that track layout.

White Automotive design Black Interior design Textile


Automotive design Font Urban design Art Flooring


I was going to use plywood instead of foam sheets, but I wanted something that is lightweight that I can handle by myself for the most part. Also, my plan is to keep most of the track assembled on the foam sheets when they're pulled apart and stored on their sides.

I understand the track will expand/contract being stored in my garage (no climate control) so I wanted to affix the track in a way that would allow for some movement. I decided to use 1/2-inch wide elastic fed through the track and then secured with #4 3/4-inch screws. Here's a pic:

Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Wood Textile


The elastic seems to work pretty well. It holds the track securely but has some flex to allow for inserting and removing track pieces. I know the screws might work themselves loose over time in the foam, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. After racing with my son and testing out the system, we broke it down. I removed 5 track pieces that intersect the foam sheets and then stored each foam sheet on its side. I think it took us less than 5 minutes to break it down. I'm going to build a basic cart with casters for storage and mobility in my garage. Here are the foam sheets in storage mode:

Font Electronic instrument Music Art Rectangle


Automotive tire Tire Wood Automotive design Floor


So while it's not a perfect system, I think it's going to suit my needs pretty well so that I can use the larger space in the garage for racing instead of a smaller space in the house. Since my wife parks in the garage, I can't leave it set up full time so being able to quickly assemble and break down is important so that I'm not discouraged to put it together and race.

I've invited a couple of buddies over soon to give it some more testing, and they're new to slot cars as well so I'm hoping they'll be excited enough for regular racing sessions. I'll update this thread as I glean insights from this set up over time. And when I get the larger layout set up, I'll update with pics.

Thanks to everyone for assistance, guidance, and encouragement. Means a lot to this newbie!
 

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Small suggestion... If you wanted to slowly increase your variety of curve radius investment over time, I'd start with (x4) R2 (or just get a 6 pack) and change the first turn after the CU, to look like this. Once you get some experience with the layout as it is, you will find that it will flow a bit better by this modest alteration...

Font Line Rectangle Screenshot Scaled reptile
 

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Great thread here, this new guy is learning a lot. I do have one question, though, what are you guys using for track design software? Is it available on the internet, and is it free? If anyone has a link to some decent, free design software I would very much appreciate that.
 

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I, too, like the elastic idea. Mind you, given that Carrera track is, I think, polystyrene (haven't checked the markings, but it looks, feels and responds to poly cement like polystyrene), you may find that you don't get much relative movement anyway, as your boards will expand and contract at roughly the same rate as your track.

That's in contrast to wooden boards, which don't move much due to temperature changes, but creep all over the place due to humidity.
 
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