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Into the attic...

6637 Views 30 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Val Solo
Right, so @ 4 yrs ago I decided I'd like to put a permanent circuit in my loft, but with limited space, funds, time and ability I was probably up against it. Planning was going well until a friend of mine pointed out that if I didn't insulate it first I wouold probably have a ruined, distorted track within a year, as insulation not only keeps out the cold but helps to keep out the heat as well!! Very important this as it's now usable in December as well as in August.

I had to try and do things on the cheap, so after pricing up insulation and tongue and groove to line the loft we were in trouble. A good old summer sale of insulation and some £1 bed sheets from the pound shop saw me up and running with an insulated loft, lined reasonably tidily, with some cheap laminate flooring and a T&G ceiling.

I now had my clean canvass to work with. But by now enthusiasm had waned and any thoughts of some of the beautiful creations you see on here with hills/switchbacks etc.. had far from passed. It was to be a simple, usable design that was within my abilities and a 'quick fix' if you like... don't ask me to define 'quick'........

The big change was learning (on here) about PBPro and SSDC, which made it all of a sudden something very interesting. The circuit still needed to be simple to make it something the kids could also enjoy.

Some time later.. a lot of time later, I am nearly done. With the help of some great after-market products I am really pleased with the results. I have the SSDC running on a laptop at the moment but hope to pickup a larger screen soon. A little more finishing required to hide some wires and the edges of the board, and I have some trees en-route from China (if they ever get here).

First pic tries to illustrate how it fits into the loft space, @ 3m square running betwee the rafters, which are not obscuring, probably need another coat of paint though

Pit straight is just a single pit lane with the Carrera pit buildings:-

First corner sponsored by "Fosters" is a tight hairpin, and it's the only problem part of the course for the kids where I set the throttle level, they can crash on this corner, but not enough to send the cars flying! As at £35 each you don;t want a digital car becoming a missile!! Fosters leads into a single lane chicane forcing a lane change for the inside line:-

Turn 2 "Shell" leads into a semi-chicane before the back straight under a Dunlop bridge:-

Turn 3 is a flat out Radius 4 corner with plenty of run off.. needed for when the throttles aren't restricted...:-

With a final blast to turn 4, last opportunity to make sure you can get into the pits under the "Vodafone" banner:-

It's taken a long time. The expense of £35 on artificial grass I think was worth it, but what makes it hang together is the technology and the advertising boards.

Oh and one final pic, xbox 360, with surround sound setup (£25 in sale at Currys) and a racing seat (free from freecycle!!!):-

I've really enjoyed some of the mastery shown on this site, and lots of the tips and tricks really help, especially when you are as impatient as I am for results. I wish I had made more use of the space and had some undulation in the track, maybe next time or a single lane rally track beckons somehow... for now I think enough is enough and its time to enjoy it!! Before the wife wants to move house
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I think you have done an excellent job i love the long single lanes where you have to be ready to get in or get past
Nice job Craig. there's obviously a lot of work gone into that loft.
Now make the most of the space you've made and start having some fun up there!
Remember to keep us posted with track developments...
It'd be interesting to see a track plan if possible Craig ... If I've understood your track tour correctly the layout is essentially a four sided oval with the driver(s) standing/sitting in the middle?
Yes you've got it.. square oval with of each radius corner.. the single lane (albeit short) forces you to think about your lap, especially if needing to pit. Health & safety issue has arisen with need for loft hatch cover..... especially when over excitement dawns when one has run out of fuel in race!!! There is a downside that you can get in each others' way, but you've got to work with what you have.

As for trackplan... I used trackpower ages ago.. will try to create an image from it..

.. I have too say, when I look at some of the others on here, and I know how much effort I put into mine, I just have to applaud them..
, but you have to start somewhere...

I'm already thinking that loose gravel in the run off's was a bad idea...
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nice track and i love how you put the curb inside the pit lane ive never seen that before
and why is loose gravel run offs a bad idea?
Thanks! The gravel just scattered everywhere with one single 'off'... which whilst authentic, is a bit messy!! I think what I will do is simply cut the shape out of the grass, replace with some foam and glue the gravel to it giving same visual effect.
Loose gravel can get into the car as well. The problem with glued down gravel, depending on the type used, it is then becomes sandpaper. I guess that would make for more realistic race damage, though.
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QUOTE (cicero @ 23 Jan 2011, 20:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It'd be interesting to see a track plan if possible Craig ... If I've understood your track tour correctly the layout is essentially a four sided oval with the driver(s) standing/sitting in the middle?

I used trackpower, I started off with great ideas about quite a complex circuit but ended up going for something simpler. I would at some point like to try and build in some form of single lane rally stage that is accessed from the main track via an offset crossover if that is actually possible. Think I may have to cut off the locating lugs on the track to do that... This may give me the best of both worlds, a race track for GT/F1 cars with an offroad extension for rally.

Anyhow here is the trackplan, and the circuit doesn't have R3 corners as I first thought... they must be buried somewhere in the back of the loft!!!
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Nice space saving track you got there, do you fall through the loft hatch when you're done or do you wait for the dizziness to wear off?
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A good tip I just learned about glueing dry ground cover to your track is to wet it with Isopropyl alcohol first then the diluted pva glue will seep in freely.
very good use of the spaace craig,and if im not mistaken the green turf is asrto turf,did you get yours from b&q ?

I found this ideal as it matches the track depth nicely and gives a nice finish.
Yes its astro turf, but I bought an offcut from a supplier after I'd explained it wasn't for a golf course so I think it was @ £20 all in all! It allows you to hang the tail off onto the grass which is good realism in my book..

I've added some trees that I found on ebay - £12 for 16!! And not too bad to scale really...

It's a tight squeeze for 2 adults, but 1 adult and 2 kids not too bad as long as no-one gets excited!!!!

Loft hatch cover now definitely required!!!!!!!!
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Did you make your accessories (tire walls, distance markers, sponsor flags) yourself or did you buy them?
If the former, they look really professional. If the latter, would you care to share your supplier?

Many thanks.
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I'm afraid to say I lack the talent and the time to create myself, now not sure of forum etiquette so if I get told off I am sorry in advance!

Speak to David @ Slottrackscenics he has a great range. Tell him I told you not because I will be rewarded but I do like to support small independant traders.

The only bit that I can own up to are the painted polo mints!!!!! But they do look really good. I think the adverts on single posts probably look a little high so will chop those down to the height of the gantry. The tyres come in pieces twice the height shown here, I like the effect of the stacked against the barriers so you can still see the barriers themselves.

You do have to assemble the gantry, but there are instructions and didn't take too long.

I just need to find a source of some people, or should I say marshalls specifically for the time being..

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i to have used slot track products on my layout and have plans for more,tyre blankets,gravel,track advertising hoardings etc.

With the added bonus that he is about 40mins from home and a really nice chap as well.
So, am now ready to take the plunge and 'rip up' some of my work to effectively add a rallycross circuit to my attic track. The thought being that I could create an 'optional' loop of mixed surfaces..

The track level surface would replicate mud/gravel around dry stone walling and drop down to hopefully a snow based level under the main track. This would have to be brightly lit.

It is all single lane accessible by a xlc offset. (so in the plan below you have to ignore the 'other lane'. First issue here.. if I run pace cars with lane changing enabled they could end up on this loop with problem consequences..

It's quite a lot of wasted track as I would be cutting a lot of R1 corners and hopefully hiding my handy work with the landscaping.

After completing the rallycross loop the cars would return to the main circuit completing the lap and timing.

Any racing would be interrupted by this section as it is all one lane...

I would also be planning on having a small number of rally cars with very low traction setups.. any ideas on this beyond removing magnets? How about enamel painted tyres or tyres wrapped in tape to minimise traction and emulate good, low traction rally experience..

Any the link here.. I'm already thinking too ambitious and start smaller..
V2 Layout
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Interesting idea.
The idea works... I have run tests and its ok...

May i make a suggestion though... In the "squeeze" after the fosters curve if you swapped the "narrow to one lane for an XLC one lane remains the race circuit and the other splits into the rally section. (explain more in a bit) you could then use the pit lane exit to let the single lane rejoin the racetrack anywhere you like.

OK so the xlc will allow pace cars onto the rally loop right... well yes and no... With a little bit of soldering there is a trick you can do to an xlc (or pit lane piece). You may or may not realise that an XLC fire every time a car crosses it not just when it wants to change lane... this reduces the flipper drift problem but best of all it allows a trick to be performed... On the XLC lane that leads to the rally section you can open up the "guts of the XLC" and you will find two wires goes to the solenoid sets... If it wants to open it fires current down one wire... if it wants to close it fires current down the wire... If you fit a changeover switch in that wiring you can change which way it fires when the car wants to go straight... (Will be posting more on this on my own thread later) so that way straight on can force a car into the narrows by setting the switch that way...

why is this clever... well by using the anti pit timing on your PBPro you can deactivate the lane changing on pace cars for a couple of seconds just long enough for it to pass the "narrows" and then it can switch on again... by flicking the switch from normal to reverse action the "no lane change signal"from the car will nudge it away from the rally loop... and when cars are racing they will not have to remember to change lanes to avoid the loop either... Flick the switch to "normal" mode and the cars will automatically divert into the rally loop! If you take the blanking cover off the back of the XLC you will soon see what i mean...

you could achieve the same effect without a switch by reversing the solenoid pack but then you would have to remember to use the LC button to get into the rally track instead of it being automatic...

If i did a "flypast" and your head is swimming... PM Me i will try and explain further
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