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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Elsewhere in the forum I have been working on a 1/87 scale Porsche 917k based on a Brekina model. I am getting close to having that project finished and now I think it's time that I start working on a track for it. As I stated in the beginning of the Porsche build, I am very jealous of all the great tracks I have seen on the forum. I would love to build a track like I have seen, but the main issue I have is space. So I had this crazy idea to put together micro track, with very small cars that could be contained within a briefcase.

A brief search on Google revealed that I was not the only one who had had this idea, but nothing available offered the cars/track that I was looking for. I initially wanted to go N scale, but couldn't find gearing to make that work and when Knacki showed me the amount of 1/87 scale cars available, I was sold.

The whole idea is to have a completely contained briefcase that can be easily folded out, raced, then folded back up and stored in the closet. My intention is to do a series of these, with each having a different theme with full scenery to match. Since I really love the 917k the first case I have chosen is a 1970 Le Mans track.

The track will be routed into the bottom of the case. I have not started the actual track layout yet, as I wanted to get some input on the mechanics of the case and get some ideas. I would love to go digital, but at 1/87 I have serious doubts about making this happen, but would AC2Car be an option? The train transformer seems like it would be pretty large for this. I read that someone modified a scaley transformer to do a similar thing, seems like this might be a more compact option. I would also like to get some ideas from people about track timing. Seems ridiculous at this scale I know, but I think it would be really fun.

So here are the initial plans for the briefcase, the case thickness is there with the idea that scenery can be added and not crushed by the folding. Right now it is set so scenery can be up to 3" higher. The briefcase as it stands is spec'd to be made out of 1/4" mdf with a 3mm deep slot.

Side View of the case collapsed down


Front View


Side View 1/2 unfolded


Top View Unfolded (The car is there to give you a frame of reference. Lots of room for a cool track.)


It's important to note, that the motor I am using maxes out at 5volt, so I will need to adjust the power supply accordingly. The slot will also be a custom spec.

I welcome any/all constructive comments and suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After looking around the forum regarding Le Mans, I have decided that given space constraints, I am just going to go with a cool track inspired by that era of racing and not worry about making the lay out of the Le Mans track.

I really would like to have some elevation in the track, but not sure how to achieve that given my current construction. Anybody have any good ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More work done on the planning of the track. I now have a draft layout of the track plan. I did not come up with this design myself. I adapted it from Robert Schleicher's book, "Slot Car Racing in the Digital Age". I think the design fits the space well and leaves ample space for scenery. I have been spending a lot of time on the AC2Car website, and I am still mulling over if that system can work for this scale. I love the slender track that can be used, but I am not sure about adapting it to my power requirements, and if I will be able to route my slots so close together. At this scale, that seems really tough.

Anyway, here is the initial design. I would like to have some pits, but if I can't do AC2car or digital of some form that's out:( Let me know what you guys think.

Any help provided would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have also done some thinking about track elevations. Sadly I don't think I can make it happen in this format due to the number of breaks in the track and the requirement that the track be at the lowest level not only to connect with the other portions of track, but so that the briefcase can fold properly. I think I can make the corners banked by adding a thin layer of sheeting below the mdf and cutting the mdf of the corner away from the main piece. Then I should be able to wedge in wood or foam to add appropriate banking.

Banking will be important as I want to run with little or no magnets for traction. I realize at this scale that might be unrealistic.

Thanks for reading.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (Chapman @ 11 Apr 2012, 15:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I guess you've already seen this?




I had seen the faller carts, but hadn't seen the case. Really cool! From what I have seen, the price of the faller cart tracks are pretty spendy. Love the design though.

Thanks for posting that.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


Thinking this might be a better fit for the case and that it just looks like a more fun track. What do you guys think?

The chassis is away at the printers, so I need to get cracking on this track. I am concerned that routering at this size might be difficult, so I am trying to get a hold of a guy in town with a CNC router. It seems like other people on the forum have limited success with this. I'm hoping my luck is better. I would also like to have the cars follow more of a racing line around the track, but don't really know if this makes sense without digital.


I tried to work with the dimensions of the AC2Car, but they just don't scale well to this tiny size.

I've checked out some attempts to bring digital to HO, but nothing really seems like it has panned out. I would really love some sort of digital element, but the only thing that seems to work even at HO scale is a bump in the slot so you can lane change based on speed. This might be an option, but I'm not really sure how to make the track layout work for this?


Sorry for so many rookie questions guys. As always, any input is appreciated.

Jens- Thanks for your kind words. Your tracks are an inspiration to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Chapman- Thanks for reading. I was thinking that I would use a battery contact at each contact point. Something like this perhaps...



So that when the briefcase was unfolded the pressure of unfolding would create a tight electrical connection much like getting a finger caught in a door.

My other thought is to simply bend strips of copper into place, although I am concerned that without some sort of alloying, copper will not have much spring in it to foster a strong connection. I was even thinking I could use HO scale slot car pickups, as they seem like they would have the correct amount of spring


Here is a really basic side view diagram of what I was thinking with the copper strips...



Yes, the plan as it stands right now is for a 3 three lane track.

Any ideas for improvement or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Joel LeNoir
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I just love this idea. Can't really offer much advise I am afraid other than I prefer the first track layout. Digital? Not very likely. I think making this work in 1/78 scale will be quite an achievement. Not trying to discourage you in the least. Just realizing how much work you are facing. Very cool.
 

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hy, im sure ive seen a fold up track in a suit case on ebay for around£16, its got a flyover, scenery ect and i think its still being made. it could form the basis of your track or at worst, take it apart and see how they,ve solved the problems your going to get, you might even stripout the bits you want or use it as is. john
 

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Targa Freak
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...well, I must say that I am infected somehow by your idea. Thougt a lot about it. I think you have many great ideas. Most of the guys in this forum who were building a wooden digital track (or even wooden track without digital) had some more or less serious problems with digitalisation, electronical devices, custommade flippers, grip of trackpaint etc. Especially the 1/87 size seems to be a relatively new field of slotracing. Nobody ever tested anything. Dont you think it might be senseful to do a little testtrack first to check out all options? One of my main goals in trackbuilding is to KISS first (KISS=Keep It Simple, Stupid) and then add the specials...
Some thoughts:
1. To connect the rails at the joints a simple cable might do the job. Batterycontacts seem to work, too but arernt they too complicated?
2. Cars will be very lightwight so the the main goal of testing has to be to keep them on the track first; very critical will be the joints here,too. What happens if they drift?...
3. how are you planning to do the slot/copper?
Very great job so far, looking fwd to see more.
Regards Jens
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (Kellerkind @ 21 Apr 2012, 22:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...well, I must say that I am infected somehow by your idea. Thougt a lot about it. I think you have many great ideas. Most of the guys in this forum who were building a wooden digital track (or even wooden track without digital) had some more or less serious problems with digitalisation, electronical devices, custommade flippers, grip of trackpaint etc. Especially the 1/87 size seems to be a relatively new field of slotracing. Nobody ever tested anything. Dont you think it might be senseful to do a little testtrack first to check out all options? One of my main goals in trackbuilding is to KISS first (KISS=Keep It Simple, Stupid) and then add the specials...
Some thoughts:
1. To connect the rails at the joints a simple cable might do the job. Batterycontacts seem to work, too but arernt they too complicated?
2. Cars will be very lightwight so the the main goal of testing has to be to keep them on the track first; very critical will be the joints here,too. What happens if they drift?...
3. how are you planning to do the slot/copper?
Very great job so far, looking fwd to see more.
Regards Jens

Hey Jens- I agree with all that you say. I have been thinking along the lines of a test track as well as there are many things to test: depth of slot, banking of turns, lane spacing, power, tire grip and more.

Along this lines, I just picked up some 1/4" mdf at the Home Depot and I am ordering a 1/16" router bit today from Amazon. I will also be looking for some high quality hinges and copper strips for the connections. I agree that the wires is a more simple solution, but I'm not sure how to avoid dangling wires while wiring around the corners that bend. The solution I am thinking right now, is maybe a combo of these two ideas, with connections bringing the power to each section of track and wires taking the power from there. This way the battery style connections are minimized, but the wire won't stick out of the case to work around the folds.

Anyway, a test track will be the perfect place to test some of these ideas, before wasting a lot of money having the track cnc routed.

I plan to use copper tape, but it all depends on how well I can get the cars to handle without magnets. There is always magnetic paint I suppose?
The width of the tape to match the guide is 5/32 of an inch, but I think I could go up to 1/4 inch if the costing was better. Less copper is better from a visual/realism standpoint, but I have to keep the costs low.

QUOTE (stoner @ 22 Apr 2012, 00:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>you,l find some company,s that will slit rolls of copper tape to the exact width that you want. john

Thanks for that tip. I will have to look that up. Anybody know of a good US supplier? I have searched a bit, but can only find it with non-conductive adhesive. I don't think this is a huge deal, as I am not using a lot at time where I will have to combine rolls.

As far as power, I am planning on using a simple 5volt 1amp power supply at this point, or batteries. The motor only draws 30 milliamps at 5volts, so I don't think the high amperage scaletrix or other supplies will be necessary. Is there something I am missing about this?

I also need some controllers. It seems cheap ones would do just fine in this situation. I was thinking of just of getting these http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-TYCO-CONTROLLERS...=item5d33512a73 . Or if that is not enough controller the low budget Parma controller. Any thoughts on if the cheap tyco controllers will be good enough?


Anyway, that's all my update for now. Hope to actually have the beginning workings of a test track in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just ordered the router bit from Amazon. Still working on the copper tape. I think I might be able to get it at the local hardware store and save on some shipping. In thinking about the routing, I read on the forum that someone used tubing for a cheap version of a router guide. Anybody have experience with that?

So excited to get the test track going.

Still need to search on the slot car briefcase that stoner mentioned earlier. Might be some really good ideas there.

Think I'm going to try those Tyco controllers as they are dirt cheap for a concept. Even if I end up needing something more precise, at the price you can't go wrong.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Heath
 

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hi, Heath
Great project, I'm really enjoying it. One minor point...I would be sure to get copper tape with a conductive adhesive backing. Maybe this is obvious, and maybe your local hardware actually supplies copper tape
with adhesive backing. Just wanted to mention it though. Conductive adhesive backing will make everything easier...from patches and repairs later, to simply joining beginning and endpoint of each lane during the initial build up.

Best of luck...really fine project IMO!

John
 

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Targa Freak
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ZITAT(Flag Slot Racer @ 24 Apr 2012, 00:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... Still working on the copper tape. I think I might be able to get it at the local hardware store and save on some shipping. In thinking about the routing, I read on the forum that someone used tubing for a cheap version of a router guide. Anybody have experience with that...

Hi Heath,

Coppertape can be found in shops selling items for "tiffany-glass-arts". Some guys used copperwire instead (Watch HO-style tracks for that); might be an option, too. Best (and not too expensive) routerguide is a stripe of Lexan giving nicely flowing lines. Search oldslotracer.com "Routing Kit" for that.
Hope it helped a little.

Regards Jens
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm now staring at a beautiful 1/16" router bit and getting excited to begin routing.


I've been been looking up 1/8 inch copper tape today. I have found some sources, but I can't seem to find 1/8" copper tape with a conductive backing. From everyone's comments it seems that the conductive backing makes it much easier to patch things. Does anybody have a US source?
I have found some 3/16" copper tape which might work, but it also doesn't seem to have a conductive backing. Does anybody know if the Venture Tape copper tape has a conductive backing?


Looking a little more closely at my wheel width, 1/4 inch is not an option as the car will be on the tape all the time, which will make traction poor.

Another option is to get a MonoKote cutter and cut a 1/4" roll in half. I would prefer not to spend the money on something I will only use a few times, but it could make things cheaper in the long run.

Copper wire is an option, but I used a slot guide similar to a 1/32 car in my design and I don't think the connection would be very good. Below is an image to give you an idea.



Thank you all for your supportive comments. All input is appreciated.

Heath
 
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