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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've only just started back in slot cars after a gap of more than 50 years.

I'm only in the planning stage atm and right now, I don't even know the right questions to ask - there will be many.

What I'd like to know right now is if the track drawings in this post were drawn freehand or was there some software used.

I'll be putting up a similar question when I get my proposed design sorted.

Cheers,

Frank
 

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What I'd like to know right now is if the track drawings in this post were drawn freehand or was there some software used
That looks like CAD software, I don't know which software package it is but someone else here will probably know?

I'm only in the planning stage atm and right now, I don't even know the right questions to ask - there will be many
Maybe start with:

What space do you have?

You want a routed CNC track not plastic?

1:32 scale or 1:24?

How many lanes?

Analogue or Digital?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Basically I have an "L" shaped platform available.

The long leg is 5490mm (18') x 810mm (2.67') but the width can be increased.

The short leg is 3200mm (10.5') x 1020mm (3.35') and also can be widened.

I prefer wood and can route MDF as I have a good workshop.

I would go 1/32, two lanes and digital with LC and pits.

Thinking it might be better to buy plastic bits (Carrera?) for the LC, pits power input etc.

I have a Powerpoint drawing but I can't upload that file.

I'll appreciate everyone's patience as I ask newbie questions.
 

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Thinking it might be better to buy plastic bits (Carrera?) for the LC, pits power input etc.
I'd also have a good look at Scalextric LCs, pits and power bases too, there are threads here showing others 'implanting' Scalextric XLCs in to routed tracks

If you're going digital you'll also need an RMS?
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I have a Powerpoint drawing but I can't upload that file.
If you're stuck screen capture the Powerpoint image full screen, paste it in to Paint or the like then save somewhere as .png file. You can then upload it here:

[More Reply Options] -> [Choose File] -> [Attach This File] then [Add to Post] to right of image once it's uploaded.
 

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What please is an RMS?
RMS = Race Management System

A configurable program that you run on a laptop/PC/device that you connect to your power base (cable or WIFI or Bluetooth), and you setup races on it and it deals with start light gantry, lapcounts, positions, pitting, yellow flags, tyres, fuel, autonomous pace/ghost cars you can race solo against etc.

Search google for RCS64 / SSDC / PC Lap Counter / Race Coordinator / Magic App -> these are all software packages for 1:32 Scalextric power bases. Sometimes you need additional hardware such as sensors and an Arduino. They all do a similar thing but have different feature sets and GUIs so pros/cons to each.

There are other systems for Carrera and also for routed tracks such as oXigen and Scorpius, guess it all comes down to requirements and budget, some systems are more club/pro orientated and prices reflect this.

This post doesn't even touch on questions such as use cases (family/friends/club/pace cars no mates?), do you want wired or wireless controllers, ability to use a tablet etc.,

You will also need digital chips for the cars, they come in different sizes, more so these days but I'm not getting in to that here....

Loads of threads on this forum re copper tape versus braid and the benefits/evils of magnets vs no magnets

I'd try and do some reading as the rabbit hole opens up quick...
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hi frankm ,

wecome to the forum if you are starting from scratch and want a routed track ,you should research oxigen and scorpius systems

scorpius has lane changes I THINK

but if you are starting from base 1 ,then it wouldn,t be a whole lot dearer than going plastic

i know a lot of people go the routed road .but once done then there is a lot of work to change the track design

plastic on the other hand ,you can change the track design as many times you like

i use ultimate racer 3 for all my track designs

on my table of 5.4m x 1.8 m i have a 75 ft track with over 100 different layouts available using the same track pieces.

carrera is the closest surface to wood ,it also allows you to race 1/24 scale if you ever desire

but as portalls has said ,reseach,research,research
 

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Good suggestions above.

My question would be why do you want to go digital.

Do you like just lane changing or would like also to have simulations (like tyres, weather, fuel) so that you have more strategy involved.

How may drivers do you expect to have each night? or is just you and the occasional visitors with no slot experience?

Digital is great but requires a great deal of learning and troubleshooting.

Systems like Carrera digital and the ARC Pro are more user friendly but this comes at a cost of having less functionality/simulations than other (like the APB, or oXigen with RCSO2).
 

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Lots of good advice. One item to consider is lane spacing, since you are routing yourself. If you use 4" spacing it's a touch wider for 1/32 but will allow running 1/24 cars if you eventually get the itch (as some of us do).
 

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4" is good, but if you can go 120 mm then even better...that is what I would do if I had to route my digital track.

Actually, if I had to route my own digital track I would seriously consider a 3 lanes 120mm spacing.

But that is another story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions.

Right now, it has become VERY clear that I need to do a lot of research. You guys have made mention of software and other things that I didn't even know existed. As the old saying goes, "you don't know what you don't know.

So, I'm going away from here for a bit and hopefully I can come back soon with some slightly more intelligent questions.

The first thing I want to do is get a reasonably scale drawing of my proposed track so you guys can give me some constructive criticism and suggestions.

Thanks again - see you in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, this happened a bit faster than I figured it would.

I downloaded and installed Ultimate racer 3 and have managed to get the basics of a track plan to fit in my available area.

It is based on Carrera and there is no fancy stuff such as LCs, pits, etc. Planned direction of travel is indicated but that could be changed.

I will be routing most of the track so I can get the curves and flows and undulations I'd like.

Happy to insert appropriate commercial products as required such as LCs, Control Unit, Lap Counter etc.

I'd appreciate your constructive criticism and suggestions including the most appropriate places for LCs, pit entry and exit and anything else I need

Please don't get too complicated - I'm just starting to learn all this.

I'm going to take this slowly making sure I have the right info before I start doing or buying anything.

Cheers

 

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if you want to put LCs you need to plan to have at least one full straight before the LC sensor.

The back section with those repetitions of R3 chicanes could be improved. Also think that you wan to have the last ditch LC to move from the outside lane to the inside for entering the pitlane.

I assume that the pitlane will be in the main straight in the front part of the 5.5m section.

There are too many R3s: you can mix and match the radii and try to use some R4 as well.

The bridge section gives me some concern because the most complicated part of the track is below and hidden by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the input Grunz - appreciated.

I built this plan more to get an idea as to what would fit in the space I have available, not necessarily to use Carrera track. As mentioned, I will be routing most of the track so your comments re improving the radii with a mix of R3s and R4s will definitely be taken into account. I'll also reroute the section under the bridge to provide greater visibility.

As for positioning of the LCs, I'm thinking going from Green to Red at the kink at the end of the straight and then from Red to Green at the start of the sweeping curve at the top left corner. Also for entering the pit lane, a move from Red to Green just prior to the last turn at the top right corner. Perhaps a rejig to allow a bit of straight there as you suggested.

Do you have any thoughts as to the viability of inserting commercial bits of track for the LCs, Control Unit, Lap Counter and anything else you think I might need. If so, is there any particular brand you would recommend. What I'm aiming at (I think) is similar functionality as a Carrera 1/32 digital set but again, happy to be guided those that know what they're talking about - right now, I'm just starting to learn.
 

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I embedded Scalextric parts into my routed track and I love it. Carrera would work as well.

I did the track layout with Illustrator. I created a line style with the correct lane spacing. I also added lines as to where I needed to place my routing guide. Then I exported it to PDF, so I could do a multi page poster print. I sprayed them with removable glue and glued them to the MDF to route it. I ended up cutting the routing line out of the paper, as the router would bind up on the paper if I didnt.

I embedded the plastic pieces first, and made sure the router bit lined up with slot of the plastic pieces, as this was the most important part.

I hope this process makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Heath,

That makes perfect sense. I'll probably draw the track directly to the MDF with the plastic bits embedded as you did. I just need to figure exactly what bits I need first as per my questions in the last post.

One shop suggested I just buy the 1/32 GT Face Off kit as that would have a lot of what I need. However, I'd still need other bits and pieces to set up what I actually want.

I'll just take my time and get it all figured before anything happens.

Cheers,

Frank
 

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I know that you are going to route the track but I have seen many examples where routed tracks have been done with constant radii which in my opinion defeats the purpose of having a routed track.

I do not have experience with embedding plastic track in wood but Heath has had a good experience with that.

Giving that you are going to save by not buying the track, my suggestion is to get only XLCs (xcrossing lane changers): they give you more flexibility and are not that more expensive than single LCs.

As for track system, are you stuck with Carrera? Have you considered other systems like oXigen?

http://slot.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/LaneChangerO2.en.pdf

They make lane changers for wood tracks (see page 6).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks again Grunz.

Your point about constant radii with routed tracks is exactly why I want to go that way - specifically to avoid that.

And no, I'm not stuck with Carrera at all. It's just that I used it to "roughly" design the first track and they seem to have some good components.

I was unaware of the oXigen LCs. That is exactly what I'd like as then I can make what I want so BIG thanks for that suggestion.

I have a good workshop and have built many RC yachts and planes so I'm quite capable of making these sort of components.

I would appreciate your comments on my question a couple of posts back as to the best and most appropriate / useful locations for the LCs.

Cheers.
 

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I would appreciate your comments on my question a couple of posts back as to the best and most appropriate / useful locations for the LCs.
I tried to answer your question about the placement of the LCs by suggesting to use double LCs instead of single (red to green, green to red) LCs because they will give you more flexibility.

My usual approach is to add as many as possible because you never know when a slow car is going to be in front of you.

But the usual rule of thumb is to have the last ditch to move a car to the lane where the pit entrance is as close as possible to it.

Because you are routing your track try also experimenting with corner LCs: you would need still a straight before the sensor so that the car is straight when the IR LED on the chip will light up the sensor on the LC but except for that it is up to you.

Then, try to add an XLC before each corner where you can place a straight before it.

If you are going to use single LCs, then try to place them to cut from the outside lane to the inside before a corner: this will give you a better chance for overtaking another car in front of you.
 
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