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Hello Everyone,

You may know me from my briefcase track with 1/87 scale cars I was working on some time ago. Well, I'm still working on it and hope to maybe finish it off sometime soon. But in the meantime, I have been looking up at the incredibly high ceiling we have in our garage and thinking about a track that I could lower down. I have done some extensive research on the site, and having a winch system to lower it down looks pretty doable, but before I even start to amass the items to build it, I have a couple questions I'm hoping you kind folks can help me with.

Let me tell you first what I have decided.

I want the track to be digital, and I am thinking routed with embedded Scaley or Carrera lane changers (unless there is some way to put the changer hardware into routed pieces. I did some digging on the forum and this doesn't seem to easy).

I think think I can squeeze out a 6' x 14' track area if I have a connection in the middle. Only 6' x 12' without the connection.

As this thing will be hanging from my ceiling, weight is an issue, so right now I am contemplating using 1/4"MDF laminated with 1/2" pink insulation foam, which I plan to test out soon with some I have sitting around my garage. The track will probably lower down on to some folding tables and will somehow be fastened down to them to keep the track steady.

On to the questions...

I have seen on the forum where someone made a track entirely out of insulation foam (Expanded Polystyrene) as a kind of temporary track, but has anyone tried laminating MDF to pink foam as a light weight alternative? It seems like I would be stuck without elevation with this idea, which I am not excited about. Any good ideas how to have elevations with with this?

I really love the look of the 1/24 scale cars, so I would like to run those in addition to 1/32. Can I do this using standard Scaley lane changers? Is 6' x 14' even big enough to run 1/24 scale cars well or am I just dreaming? Please remember I want to run digital.

So many people seem to go with Scalextric, but is Carrera a good option here? How easy is it to chip cars from other manufacturers with Carrera chips? I definitely like the Scaley controllers better, as controlling the cars with my thumbs seems awkward at best. I will be stuck with cheap controllers at first as I am trying to keep costs at spouse approved levels.

Regarding the winch and mounting it to my ceiling, most of the systems I have seen have been electric winches. Anybody have some ideas for a poor man's manual version? I have some hoists for bikes already in my garage, maybe adapting some of those? The only problem I could see is that it would be difficult to keep the boards level while lowering, especially since I would need two hoists in a row for each side of the track. They also are only good for 50lbs per hoist. Here is a pic...



Many thanks in advance for your help.

Heath
 

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If you check Minardi's thread on his build he used an aluminum ladder frame and styro insulation for his first track.

Then, check the Auslot website since there are several people down there (no pun intended) who have used various winches, manual boat type and electric, to raise and lower their tracks.
If you look at my build thread below to see how I am planning to use collapsible metal saw horses for my tables (plus an electric bike hoist from Costco).

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (turbofrenzy @ 4 Dec 2013, 23:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've used a pulley system like your bike one for my 4m x 1.20m circuit suspended from my garage ceiling.
I'll do a post with pictures over the weekend.
Pictures would be great. Can't wait to see how you did it. Still mulling over how this will all work.

QUOTE (sealevel @ 4 Dec 2013, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you check Minardi's thread on his build he used an aluminum ladder frame and styro insulation for his first track.

Then, check the Auslot website since there are several people down there (no pun intended) who have used various winches, manual boat type and electric, to raise and lower their tracks.
If you look at my build thread below to see how I am planning to use collapsible metal saw horses for my tables (plus an electric bike hoist from Costco).

Cheers!


Thanks for the tips Sealevel. I'll have to check out the ausie site. I took a look at Minardi's track. He is using insulation to give some elevation to his Scaley track. What I am thinking of is routing the track directly into is a thin piece of MDF glued to the top of insulation foam (expanded poly styrene). The MDF adds hardness and durability, while the foam adds thickness and stiffness but is much lighter than using thicker MDF.

Here is a somewhat terrible pic of the test that I did...


It's a little hard to see what's going on here, but I glued the MDF together with some foam and routed a slot. The piece is in my vice, just to show the rigidity of the piece. It seems pretty darn good to me! The foam also routed really cleanly. Here is a close up of the routing...



So after much consideration and searching the forum a bunch, I think I may just route the Scalextric lane changer in place rather than routing the lane changing pieces myself and adding the Scaley hardware. Much like Ade's track. I am still torn as I would love to run some 1/24 scale cars, but I think this would take me a lot longer to do. I do have access to a CNC, for a price, so I think I could make my own changers. Would Scaley changers still work fine if I made the distance between the slots larger and the lane change section longer? Would I need to make longer flippers?


I am also thinking that I will have the track on wheels, where it rolls up one of my walls. This way I could use the bike hoist I already have, and it wouldn't get in the way of the overhead storage I already have in the garage. Here is the rough plan I am working on...



Not sure I would need the hinge in the middle, and after having to deal with all the hinges on my last track, if I can stay away from them I would be happy.

Anyway, planning continues. Please let me know any comments or suggestions you have.

Heath
 

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WB Heath,

the laminating idea sounds good I think using mdf the same thickness as scaley track is what Bill (jwsms) does and drops std scaley lane changers into it.

Look forward to seeing your progress, a friend of mine has a 6'×15' table in his garage and uses 2 Silverline winches which cost a total of around £130, so seeing a less expensive alternative will be intresting.

Simon
 

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Very clever idea for the bike hoist and guide wheels.

With respect to Minardi, look at his FIRST layout (Catalunya inspired) not the present one. The first one is mounting from the ceiling, which the 2nd is in the garage.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (SplitRim @ 6 Dec 2013, 13:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>WB Heath,

the laminating idea sounds good I think using mdf the same thickness as scaley track is what Bill (jwsms) does and drops std scaley lane changers into it.

Look forward to seeing your progress, a friend of mine has a 6'×15' table in his garage and uses 2 Silverline winches which cost a total of around £130, so seeing a less expensive alternative will be intresting.

Simon

Thanks for the warm welcome back. Life has settled down for me a bit and the weather is freezing, so it's time to finish off some projects and get a new one going. A track where I can just buy completed cars will be a welcome change, but I need to finish than dang briefcase. My daughter keeps asking me about it, referring to it as "her" track.


I read Bill's thread, but not that part apparently. Any idea how thick scaley track is? I don't have any yet to measure off.

Most of the winch options seem to cost more than I am looking to spend on the whole track, at least initially. So I am exploring cheaper options.

QUOTE (sealevel @ 6 Dec 2013, 13:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very clever idea for the bike hoist and guide wheels.

With respect to Minardi, look at his FIRST layout (Catalunya inspired) not the present one. The first one is mounting from the ceiling, which the 2nd is in the garage.

Cheers!


Thanks Sealevel. I have been racking my brain on how to make a track that would meet with spousal approval.

I'll have to look a little further into Minardi's profile. You told me first layout, I just forgot.


Good to be back on the forum.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello all,

Ok. Lots of research going on, but little in the way of concrete progress. I'm about to purchase a digital conversion kit with the 4 car powerbase, a straight lane changer, two controller, power supply and a couple straight pieces. My question is this, is the track piece for the 6 car APB the same size as the 4 car power base? I want to upgrade to the APB, but I am waiting for the right price on the APB. I'm getting the set used at a price I would pay for just the track pieces and the controllers, so it's still a good deal. I looked it up, and the PSU seems to be the one that comes with the APB, so I can use this one as my psu when I upgrade? or as my second if I want to run more than 4 cars?

I hope to have a draft track plan up soon.

Heath
 

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Hi
Yes same track piece,and Yes again the psu will fit the C7042apb.


The apb does not come with a psu when purchased new but a used one might have one included.
 

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Both the 4 car PB and APB have a half straight attached. And they use the same PSU so you can use It for the APB (which you really need to get
soon)
Nice job Heath ! I still have the 2nd track unused to the ceiling, waiting for the day to make a routed rally track as an alternative to the main digital track, I had thought about removing all foam and cardboard (which I used between Scalextric track and foam) but yours is a much better idea ! Following this with much interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Ade @ 13 Dec 2013, 13:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi
Yes same track piece,and Yes again the psu will fit the C7042apb.


The apb does not come with a psu when purchased new but a used one might have one included.

Thanks for the advice Ade. I love your track, I hope that mine can be even close to that some day.

QUOTE (Minardi @ 13 Dec 2013, 13:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Both the 4 car PB and APB have a half straight attached. And they use the same PSU so you can use It for the APB (which you really need to get
soon)
Nice job Heath ! I still have the 2nd track unused to the ceiling, waiting for the day to make a routed rally track as an alternative to the main digital track, I had thought about removing all foam and cardboard (which I used between Scalextric track and foam) but yours is a much better idea ! Following this with much interest.

Thanks for your kind words Minardi. I'm hopeful that the foam laminate works. I'm going to try an even thinner MDF, to save weight and cost. I am crossing my fingers that it works. The stuff you guys are doing with RCS64 is awesome. I can't wait to use it! I have visions of the lighting on my track dimming as it gets to night, and maybe even misters to simulate rain (this may be over the top, but I can dream can't I?)

So some more questions. I might be able to get the older Scaley 6 Powerbase with RichD's upgrade for a good deal cheaper than an APB. Would this be just as good as the APB? Better? I am pretty sure that the power supply I have through the 4 car power base will not work, so will I need a second psu? Is the old version compatible with RCS64?

Thanks for all your help.

Heath
 

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Hello Heath, the old powerbase is not compatible with Rcs64 , but beside that the Apb is really the way forward and worth every penny. There are alternatives for the scaley psu, toshiba laptop psu is cheaper and fits well, I hope someone can give the details, otherwise I will do a search. your lighting idea is not so crazy and actually something we have on our to do list once the megasmartsensors are available. Would be cool if we get it to work. But in the meantime, enjoy your track!
 

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Greg Gaub
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Yeah, PB-Pro C7030 units aren't worth a tenth of the APB any more. I have two, and I only use one when the analog club comes around, as it's the only one that works with the RMS they use. The other is an overpriced Car ID tool for off-track car programming.
 

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Hi
Although it limits you to fewer race management programs the pbpro can still be used on ssdc and I think pclapcounter has support for it as well.


But development for it is now at a dead end and if it is just a pbpro unit I would give it a miss as it needs the s/h power mod to make it any good for the serious racer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for your advice about APB. I'm now on the lookout for one on the cheap, so if anyone has a used one they want to sell, let me know.

Alright. Here is my first go at a layout. I wanted something fast with some good flow but a few tight curves to mix it up.



The direction would be counter clockwise, and the track is 12' x 6' (3.6576m x 1.8288). I will probably change the slot routing to take more of a racing line after I am happy with my overall layout. I would also like to throw in a few squeezes to spice it up, maybe in the tight curve right before the big lefter (going counter clockwise) and maybe a lane changer in the small straight before that.

I'm not really sure about the pit lane, should it be longer so maybe the exit is after the lane change?

Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I tweaked the lanes just a little to show what I'm talking about and added the extra lane changer...



Also tried the thinner MDF and did a small test run with the 9volt battery...



Works like a charm, even with the thin MDF. I think the copper tape I have is 3/16" and it looks like Ade used 7/32 on his track. I wonder if it would make much difference using the smaller width as I have some left over I wouldn't mind using up?


Heath
 

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Greg Gaub
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Narrower tape just means less contact area for the braids. In the end, it's just a matter of making sure your braids are arranged to get the best possible contact with the tape. This is no different than any other track, really. I see no reason not to use the tape you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No comments on the track layout???

I've been thinking about adding some banking and some small elevation change to the track, but due to the sandwich construction I'm not sure the best way to go about it. I'm thinking about doing it in a similar fashion to the way I did the elevations on my briefcase track, routing around sections of track and then bending them up. My question is this, is there anything wrong with having a slot with an open bottom? I think I read somewhere that it wasn't recommended.

Thank you for your help.

Heath
 

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Greg Gaub
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Ok, since you asked...
- The XLC at the top, in the twisties, will be missed like crazy. It would be better to not be there, or change your twisties
- Squeezes in digital? No. Stuff like that is for analog tracks where you have to force car interaction. Digital has that to spare, so don't add more with squeezes and forced crossovers and stuff.
- make the pit lane as long as possible, with the exit AFTER the lane changer.
- don't forget this is a routed track. Even if you use stock pieces for the sensors and flippers, there's no requirement that the exits for the lane changers be so abrupt and into a straight before a turn like it's plastic track. Let them lead into the turn more smoothly. Seriously. Design new slots from the back of the flippers going forward.
- where are your drivers? If the twisties are against a wall, then you need to rotate the whole thing and put the pits against the wall, 'cus cars will be coming off in the twisties all the time. If access and drivers will be all around, then that doesn't matter.

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a slot with no bottom. If anything, it prevents the guide from riding the bottom of the slot, which is bad. Graham Lane did open slots on the rally portion of his SSD track, and it appears to work well, and looks fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 18 Dec 2013, 09:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok, since you asked...
- The XLC at the top, in the twisties, will be missed like crazy. It would be better to not be there, or change your twisties
- Squeezes in digital? No. Stuff like that is for analog tracks where you have to force car interaction. Digital has that to spare, so don't add more with squeezes and forced crossovers and stuff.
- make the pit lane as long as possible, with the exit AFTER the lane changer.
- don't forget this is a routed track. Even if you use stock pieces for the sensors and flippers, there's no requirement that the exits for the lane changers be so abrupt and into a straight before a turn like it's plastic track. Let them lead into the turn more smoothly. Seriously. Design new slots from the back of the flippers going forward.
- where are your drivers? If the twisties are against a wall, then you need to rotate the whole thing and put the pits against the wall, 'cus cars will be coming off in the twisties all the time. If access and drivers will be all around, then that doesn't matter.

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a slot with no bottom. If anything, it prevents the guide from riding the bottom of the slot, which is bad. Graham Lane did open slots on the rally portion of his SSD track, and it appears to work well, and looks fantastic.

Hey Mr Flippant,

Thanks for your reply. By redesigning the lane changers from the back of the flippers going forward, do you mean on all the lane changers, or just the pit exits? Only routing space for half the changer would save a lot of work, but I am a little nervous that I won't be able to match the exit angle well with the routing and screw things up. There will be all around track access.

I haven't yet decided where the start should go, also I looked at my space a little more closely, and I figured out that 6 feet is just a bit too wide I am going to have to pare the track down to 5 feet wide. So I redid the track layout a bit...



Got rid of the lane changer in the twisties, extended the pit lane, tweaked the layout. Got rid of all the squeezes. Would love some more feedback.

I did get a chance to buy the MDF and the foam and weighed the MDF as it seemed pretty heavy. 40lbs, so that works, as I now have found a bike hoist that goes to 100lbs, so that should be plenty of left over extra weight.



Picture of foam is a little boring I know, but I'm excited about it. I just have to sell this filing cabinet we have to make space. You can see the file cabinet in the pic. Come on craigslist! Don't let me down.

Any way, things here are progressing. I have taken all your advice and I am going to buy the APB, I just need to sell the 4 car power base I bought and a few other things to fill up the PayPal account.


Heath
 
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