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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well guys,

welcome back for another episode of "How to" -where today I'll show you on how to make your very own mechanisation (for lack of a better word) of a LANECHANGER!!!

Of course I could not have done all this inventing and improvising by myself, so the techniques used in this episode are a combination of several, by different people, whom I owe a many great thanks in giving me inspiration, and setting me on the right track to combine the ideas and elaborate on them, to make my very own lanechanger.


You can use the lanechanger for both analog tracks, as I have done in the past for my track "Skipsleat" also featured in the members layouts in Slotforum, and for digital ones, since I have converted my track to digital. (As a result, I have changed the pitlane quit a bit, since I can now use one lane (since ALL the cars (maximum 6 on my system (ScalexSportDigital), and have the drivers select each of four "pitbays" with detectors to signal the software used (I use PC Lapcounter) for refueling.)


The "how to" make the trackparts used for the lanechangers is featured in the digital section of the Slotforum, so you can read about that here:
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=28996

Now let's begin, the heart of the lanechanger is a "turnout motor" as used in the modeltrain railroaders world. The brand used is "Peco" and it is in their productrange known as a PL-10.


Since this is quite a big "thing" it can only be used in a permanent -off the ground- track, where you habe the luxury to use some vertical room under the track itself.
This is the "depth"you'll need under the track:


Start by using a pair of pliers to bend the inner legs of the PL-10 flat. (study the pics, you'll see what I mean.)


Now for the base we use a piece of 4mm. fiberboard (MDF). Drill a big hole (10 mm.)for the actuating pin to pass through, mark where the 4 remaining legs will pass through the baseboard, and drill the holes for the feet slightly oversized. (Later we will fix them with hotglue, the oversize is just to make the fitting easier)


For the "tongue" of the lanechanger, which we will call "LC" from now on we use a flat piece of brass (at least I think that is the correct name in english)
It is a (yellow)goldtoned material, quite soft so it can easily be grinded and filed, and most important: it has excellent solder capabilities. The piece used is 2 milimeters thick and about 2 centimeters wide. You can find it in most hardware stores, such as Homedepot etc.


Start by drawing the approximate dimensions of the tongue on the metal and use a combination of sawing/grinding/filing to get it out from the whole piece. The idea is to make a tongue that will leave the same slotwidth free for the car's guide to pass through as if the rails would be uninterupted.

This will tke some carefull fitting and refitting.

Next drill a hole in the thick part and counter drill it so you can stick a bolt with a flat head in it, put the nut on the underside, and solder it on the metal. (The size of the bolt is not that important, as long as it is a few centimeters long. (I think I used M2) If you did not countersink deep enough, file/grind the extruding part flat, as the guide of the cars will pass over it.


Now solder a piece of copper tubing towards the narrow part of the tongue. Again the exact position is not that important, as long as they are both centered sideways. Just by studying the pictures, you'll get the whole idea...(use a "third hand" to hold the piece while soldering, it will get HOT!!!)



On the board, mark where to drill a hole for the bolt to pass through, and put some nuts and finally a big flat washer on the bolt, so that when you but it in place under the track, the toungue is exactly flat with the top of the track rails. (again: fit and refit...)


Put some black (or grey, if you have painted your track) paint in the center of the board for optical pleasure.


Fix the PL-10 to the board by hotglueing it through the holes of the feet.
When the tongue fits the cavity exactly, with no binding, and important(!) not making contact with the rails on the back (=thick) part of the tongue (as this will cause an electrical short when in use) fix it with a nut and a washer to the board. (Not too tight, not to loose...)
The point of the tongue is real sharp, it must blend flush to either side of the rail it touches.


Next put some flat plastic (scrap track material) to the sides of the cavity where the whole contraption will be situated, (on the underside of the track) to provide some support to glue the board onto the underside of the track. (sorry no pics of this step)

Now comes the most difficult and awkward part: to fix the base to the trackpart.


The idea is to find a place for the tongue where it can rotate freely to its limits, without the turnoutmotor reaching its end. The "easiest" way to do that is to have the track on it's side, and when you have found the right place, hold the track with one hand, use your other to fixate the position of the board use your third hand to press it firmly to the track, and use your next hand to hotglue the board to the track. (now you know why this is indeed the most difficult part...)

Almost done!

Next connect (solder) 2 terminals of the PL-10s actuators together, use them as common, (connect to a powersource 12Volts minimum, AC or DC does not matter, but it must have some power, I'd say 1 amp or so) use the remaining 2 terminals as connections for going straight or change lane. (Either use push buttons for manual control (see my track pics in the members layouts) or solder to a canibalized digital board of a lanechange piece of your preferred digital system.


Done! Of course it will take a little longer than to read the piece you just did,
but I can tell you that the feeling of having made your own custom lanechange is immensely rewarding!!! Not to mention the fact that you can make the track precisely to your ideas and dimensions!

To top it off some some pictures of the finished product in place:





And when all work is done...don't forget to clean up the workspace...


Well, this was the last "How to" episode in 2007. Till the next time in the New Year!

Laterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,

Martin
 

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You WIZARD.

I love these kind of how-to threads. You even show the part no's. etc. Great.

I notice you didn't do a 'nipple mod', might be worth doing if the car guides ever try and hit the flipper (tongue).
I have reshaped a few scaley flippers for custom LC's my self, but no matter how sharp i make the flipper if its on a corner i have cllision problems with the car guide and flipper. It may be a different story for you as in the approach to you pit bays the cars will be straight.

I guess you have seen the posts i did showing the custom Lc's (racing line) i have built into my digtal track, if not this is the link.

SSD Racing Line Transplant

Look forward to seeing more of your progress.

Shuanbmx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your all kind words guys,
I hope you enjoy(ed) the topic!

Of couse I need to do some more finishing touches, (when I get back home from vacation that is
...) but it is coming along nicely!
The next thing I will post about is a (really!) simple selector, that you can use to set your controller to control either of the six cars to the PBPro, so it's very easy to give for example the pacecars their correct speed, without the need to plug in and plugout the controllers all the time...

@Shaun: your racingtransplant is marvellous, since the nonrouting guys can have their ideal racing line now as well!
The dimple is indeed not nessesary since the cars are going straight but I did make good use of one at the entrance to the pitlane (a LH in to out LC)

@FerraiF40: The lollipop men are actually playing a very important role, since it turns out to be really difficult to press the lane changebutton at the correct point in space and time (wow, that sounds...mysterious
) (since the detectors are really close spaced because of the physical dimensions of the garages).
My initial idea was to mark a colored dot or arrow or something on the track where the detector for the entry to your teamgarage is, but then I came up with this solution, and it works super! (and of course it looks realistic too!
(It still is quite difficult to get the pressing of the button right, but it makes for interesting races, when people pass by their pit, and have to make another lap to try again...(the software is set up (PC Lapcounter) that when you run out of fuel, that lap is NOT counted (until you refuel again...))) The mantra of the track is now: watch your man!!! (being the lollipopman!)

Regards,

Martin
 

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Nice informative post, another one I missed during my absence.
 

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hi, this is my first post here so bear with me!

just a few questions about the pit lane

what are the track sections i require to make it?
and how can i make it work on an anologue track, for example how can i get both cars to enter the pit? as i see it if i made that pit only the car on lane one would enter the pit!

can anyone clear this up? i m getting confused lol

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi rcd647,

You are very welcome!

Good luck with your project!

Regards,

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Phil,

Before I went digital, my pit was setup for analog, so both lanes could enter the pits, and they each had their own exit as well.

If you see my topic here:

http://www.slotforum.com/resources/Layouts...SLEAT/index.htm

you can see how I did it.
Together with the how to on the trackpieces (thanks for the link rolloverdj!):

http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry310141

that should give you all the info you need, and don't be afraid to cut up your perfectly good trackpieces!!!


Succes!

Martin
 

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Hi Tim,
No they are stored online at Photobucket, so they should be accesible...

In fact I am away from home on a public computer now, and I can just see them all!

Martin
 

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Lars Ole
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Hi there, and thanks for some fantastic images and how-to's
How strong is this push/pull thingie motor for the lanechangers ?

Would it be strong enough to push the old scalextric pitstop taps back and forth ?
In ancient times you could actually buy some mecanical cables (Like for bikecycle gear changers) with handles in the end to get your cars in and out of the pit.

I am building this track and I would really like to modyfie the pit lane pieces so they can be changed at the push of a button.

Any suggestions, bare in mind that I'm not half the handyman that you are.

Kind Regards from Denmark
 
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