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.