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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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------ Updated May 16, 2022 ------ Top design is the original layout - Bottom is the current layout (81 ft): - Tables were installed roughly two months ago

Slowly I'm attempting to put together a track in my bar area (outside of the dedicated theatre room). Measuring the area I can roughly fit two 6' x 6' tables (creating a 6' x 12' area) with a 4' x 8' table butted up against the other two. I have zero skills and they are being constructed offsite with 4" x 4" folding legs and sanded plywood tops. Worse case I can place them in another location if reality says differently. I left the design of the tables rather generic encase I decide to punt (at some point in time) so they could easily be put to use for another purpose. Basically sanded top wrapped in 1" x 6" finished trim stained flat black.

I more or less assembled the track (as you can see in the attached image) and overall I'm happy with the design and its use of the space. Drivers will be in front of the long straight with the SmartRace TV located behind the CU. As far as racing goes there will be very little. More so if we entertain I might say... hey want to race. :)

Again with zero skills and not being a "big" fan of scenery I don't think I'll be dressing up the layout to any large degree. Now don't get me wrong a lot of the custom scenery is extremely impressive and in the right installation wonderful. I guess I'm going more for the look of your old local hobby store racetrack. Along those lines I decided to go with a "dirt" look not grass. I think it moves it away from scenery and I like how the track "pops" I tried a few green (grass) samples and it felt like the track got lost in the darkness. I purchased 6' x 8' rugs at Menards (for a whopping $20 each). Looking around my wife spotted them and I instantly rejected them wanting to go "grass" but after a while I was sold. We'll see...

At this point nothing is set in stone. Outside of the track and tables are on their way (at some point). So I'm open to any suggestions and or opinions. One thing I'm trying to resolve now is how to keep the cars within the table. I didn't want to build the tables with walls (again if I use them for another purpose or need to expand the track a few inches beyond the edge) or permanently mount something on the tables so I'm thinking the fences you attach to the shoulders. I'm guessing putting them on the three outside 180 degree turns would be plenty.

When Ed (my table guy) shows up I'll be happy to update the thread. Along with any other updates.

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Hi Charles

Like your track layout. It is similar to mine, which is a blast to drive
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I have used a mix of track boarders . Std scalextric and walls on the edge of table. Since the photo I have added more walls. It is now extremely rare for a car on the floor.
Green grass. with the boarders I think it really helps the track to stand out.
I look fwd to yr progress
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Like your track layout. It is similar to mine, which is a blast to drive
Great layout. I'd say mine is a junior version at best. I like how you have used all of the space and yet maintain a nice racing flow. One disadvantage of Carrera track is obviously its size which reduces the amount of track you can "squeeze" into the available space.

I'm hoping I can walk behind the bar and table side of the track fairly easily. It's going to be real close and I won't really know until I actually place the tables. If it's really bad I have another room (open area - shown in the rugs image) that in reality fit much better but I'm trying to keep it out of the main flow.

I wouldn't mind putting walls around the tables however I'd want a solution that didn't "damage" the tables in anyway. Such as screwing them onto the trim board. Now once I get everything in place based on how it goes I might be willing to dedicate the tables to "racing" and no longer care what I do to them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anyone prefer moving the S curve to right after the 180? Still waiting on the tables and the rest of the track... or perhaps the dual change lane before the curve section? Think I prefer the original and hopefully I'll get to find out before long. Just been playing around with the pieces to see what else is available without ordering even more!

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Greg Gaub
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My main reason for not doing that is to add variety. With it right after the 180, you basically have two long straights, a squiggle, and a short straight. Moving the S curve away from the 180 breaks up the second long straight. In the end, it will add life to the circuit. But, that's just my preference. You can certainly try it both ways, and switch back if you decide you don't like one after trying it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My main reason for not doing that is to add variety. With it right after the 180, you basically have two long straights, a squiggle, and a short straight. Moving the S curve away from the 180 breaks up the second long straight. In the end, it will add life to the circuit.
I tend to agree. Since the track is relatively short breaking it up should make it feel a bit longer... increased lap times. I keep lusting after tracks two, three and even more times longer (it's roughly 62ft) I see on YouTube. I guess you have to walk before you can run. I figure once this is established and with some experience I can design a new layout. Probably have to go multi-level to lengthen the track to any degree. Instead of playing with the current layout I'll play around with a totally new design trying to up the length by 50% or so. At least until Ed calls about the tables... I didn't ask about a time frame because I probably don't want to know. :)
 

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Greg Gaub
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Before seeking length, take a closer look at those really long layouts. Are they also monotonous? I have lost count of the number of very long tracks I've seen that are repetitive straights with 180 turns at each end, long repeating esses, excessive bridging and layering... never mind the sheer overwhelming number of 1/60 turns that make it up.

It doesn't matter how long a lap is, since you'll be doing thousands. What matters is that the lap itself is not boring. Focus on getting a good mix of different length straights, different radius turns, combination radius turns, etc. If you can pack a lot of track in, AND keep every turn different from the rest, and every straight different from the rest, then you'll probably have a winner. If your EYE sees repetition, so will your finger feel it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think "flow" is the most important factor of a layout. I tend to picture more the old commercial tracks of sweeping turns versus the start and stop of the HO tracks I would assemble at home. Might just be me but I like to see the layout in sections that flow together. As an example from the start line to coming out of the R1 180 feels like a section, followed by the straight with an integrated curve and finally the esses. Each has their own rhythm and hopefully they flow together seemlessly.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Flow is a hard thing to describe. Sometimes what looks like a track with good flow, isn't, and vice versa.
I think your layout will have good flow overall. The S curve might feel like it interrupts the flow, but only because it's so sharp. Using larger radius turns and lengthening the straight between the two turns might help the flow. At the same time, going into a hard turn isn't inherently bad for flow. ;)
The best thing about sectional track is how easy it is to change it if there's something you don't like. :)
Some people say that "hairpin" turns are bad for flow... the reality is that they are just bad drivers. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Wood shims?

I saw someone recommend them in a YouTube video and happen to find a couple lying around. From what I can tell it looks like it might add a nice (small) bank to the curves. Anyone using them (could even stack them) and if so are they recommended? Hate to buy up the market only to find I won't use them. My table guy called yesterday with a few questions so I guess he's at it...


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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Note I'm not looking for any real degree of banking rather simply a slight angle to just ensure the curves don't have a negative angle plus I think it adds some depth to the look of the track.

I ended up going with composite shims. They were a little more (than wood) but looked more uniform in size and since they are black I don't have to worry about them being exposed. With wood I would have had to paint. I taped two together for roughly half an inch which seems to do the job. Not sure how I dreamed it up but I have an endless supply of wire ties and decided to slide one between the two shims. They increase the height a little and allow the top shim to pivot a bit to ensure the track sits flat on the shim. Haven't tested them yet but it appears two sets per track piece will keep the track stable.

Who knows perhaps I'll punt the entire idea when I get up and running. Although the entire cost for the layout is a couple of pieces of track so there isn't much to lose. Below is a link to the YouTube video where I got the idea about using shims.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Easy question... if you have used the Carrera Dual Lane Change does it require shoulders if used going in or out of a curve? Don't know if I should order shoulders or not... my missing track pieces are shipping today. Now if my table guy comes around I might get somewhere!
 

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Greg Gaub
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I usually design for borders at LEAST for the exit section of the lane changers, because a fast moving car will probably kick out as it shifts from one lane to the other. Might not be a problem for 1/32 cars, but if you're running 1/24 without magnets, it will be easy to drop a wheel if you don't have a border there.

Similarly, I usually design for borders on the straight after a turn, because cars coming out of the turn hot will often wag to the inside at least once, and you can also drop a wheel that way.

Depending on the car and driver, the car can wag it's way a considerable distance up a straightaway after a turn, so I usually give plenty of border to allow that to happen. It's only on the longer straights that I feel comfortable leaving borders off for most of it, after pretty much any car would have straightened out.
 
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