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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after several major redesigns and the evolution of my layout, I believe I've finally hit on something I'd like to make permanent. Here's where I currently stand:



I'm fortunate to have a large basement area to work with, and have the opportunity to spread out a little.

Some comments on driving (which, BTW, is almost all magless). The first R4 kink right after the start line causes a few mis-steps if you're not paying attention, but the sweeping R4 left hander tends to get drivers settled for the twisties. The little R2 right-left combo preceded by the sensors will be a racing line lane change, right now as it's shown it requires some careful negotiating. A quick blast into the decreasing radius R3-R2 left then back to back esses that open up to the hairpin (not a fan of R1s, this is R2 all the way round). Things open up through the outfield.....a couple of R4 turns leading into the fast slider R4 to R3. Left, right swerves keep things settled before a right hander into the back straight and pitlane areas. Finally, my favorite, the tightening radius curve allows some lovely slide to position for a quick blast on the inside leading to the last chicane - the inside lane there is the major tripping point for most drivers.

One thing to note - the faster lane appears to be the right lane (at start-finish line)....my best time magless on newly sanded tires is 13.9 s (Jag XKRS). However, there are opportunities for lane changes to mix things up a bit.....pace cars without auto or random lane changes will end up in the right (fast) lane across the start-finish line, forcing drivers to switch lanes to pass them.

I plan to add more XLCs (and complete the borders!) - possibly one right after the start line (although pace cars on random will tend to cause huge pile ups!), one before the R2 hairpin, one after the R4, and finally one before the last chicane (to allow lane changes from outside to outside).....but will have to wait for some funding first. I did work up a concept with a split lane, but I'm not sure on this one yet (I'd need to fill the middle with material to allow sliding):



The R4s in the split would be cut and used as single lane pieces, just can't do that in Track Power.....

Note the pitlane is still not behaving properly or reliably for all cars....I'm in the process of providing separate power to all lane changers and will likely do the same for the pitlane game. SSDC and PitPro are in future plans.

I do plan to mount on a table at some point (still on the floor now).....and am considering an elevation change between the back straight and the lower left portion - using the twisties to get sharper elevation changes, and the outside lines for straight hill blasts. Some simple scenery is also planned for the future.

Anyway, I'll update this thread as things progress over time. Comments and critique welcome!

Thanks!

Steve
 

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David J
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I think that looks really great, very driveable.
Like the idea of the split lane but think it would be better if you could get a XLC directly before it, that way you could made a last second decision to go one way or the other in the hope of overtaking. I realise with the layout as it is you don't have that option.

Look forward to seeing you progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the comments.

I agree, some mechanism for last minute decision would be ideal....hence it's still a work in progress. Perhaps a tweak here or there will make things possible.

Size is 21.2" x 16.1"....pretty substantial!

Steve
 

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Neat looking layout. Lots of track joins with those single lane pieces you've got there. Plan on some powertaps and/or rail soldering to ensure that you don't lose juice around the track.

Regards,

-- Rakete --
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks - yeah, I plan to hardwire sections together for better continuity, but for now things work just fine with two scaley PSUs and no power taps. I need to get this off the floor, even if on a board surface without legs, before messing around with wiring, etc.

I took a long hard look at the layout again today, and think I'm going to reduce the "infield" section a little just to save a little room and make marshalling easier - the purple section is the current layout:



The little gap after the hairpin should be no biggie to close. In reality this prepares me for a revised split with lane change options (but I need another pitlane and a couple of R4s to split)....



I'll set up the revised infield layout this evening and test. I received a few new cars recently - my first foray into NASCAR with a couple of COT models.....magless and with nicely sanded tires they're a blast. I also picked up a scaley Audi R8 LMS (Team Phoenix Racing) - now that's a fast one! Magless and freshly sanded tires I got a couple of laps under 14s right off the bat!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So after some testing, it seems the redesigned section was just not giving a smooth drive.....cars were able to get too much speed after the hairpin. So a quick rework resulted in this:



The layout provides almost the same space savings as the original redesign, still works with the new split lane option, and more importantly, drives like a charm. The deeper left-right combo now requires less foot to the floor driving out of the hair pin, and careful entry into the corners is very rewarding.

Steve
 

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You have the same issue as I have on my track. If drivers make no lane changes, after the first lap everyone stays in the same lane. The other lane is only used if someone actually makes a lane change.
 

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Hi Simon - yah, that's actually by design. The "inside", default lane is actually slightly faster (at least in my hands!), so would be preferred if no traffic, but requires the driver to time passing in the slower lane. Alternatively, with random lane changes on pace cars things are a lot less predictable. Either way it works well....makes a decision and traffic play a lot into strategy. Of course moving to the "outside" lane is necessary to pit.

Thanks,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update -

Got myself a couple of CLCs to create the racing line lane changer. In spite of the issues I've had with the PLG (
), this one was actually pretty easy. Measured with a standard R2 curve, marked with a utility knife and then cut with increasing pressure. Rails were cut with a Dremel....not the best as I couldn't get the cut off wheel completely perpendicular with the track. I guess I could have removed the rails from the track, but meh....you win some, you lose some.

Results:


I optimized connectivity by adding the solid locking "bullet" tabs that you normally have on any track piece to the three sets of rails I joined. I also connected power to the odd bits between the flippers. To bond the two halves, I just melted scrap plastic and the underside of the track....very easy. Works like a charm.

I've also started hardwiring a few sections together, just to avoid any future connectivity issues. I have a LOT of track to go...

A few "action" shots (sorry for the crappy phone pics):

Fly Renault 5s sliding out of the hairpin...


NASCARs through the last chicane...


Viper, Jags, and Audi through the racing line...


And closer...


Fly trucks along the back straight...


Steve
 

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Good on you for making the cut.... errr, plunge... to cut your track!
The racing line looks terrific!

You mention the bullet tabs... did you borrow these from other track or do you know of a supplier?

Keep up the good work!
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all!

The Renault 5s are a complete blast. Without magnets, they simply are so tail happy!! Really fun.

I'm really glad I took the plunge.....that is one of the best parts of the circuit now. As far as the "bullet" tabs are concerned....they're cannibalized from a spare track piece - they just fall out as you lift the rail. I just trimmed the plastic under the rail where it had been cut on the CLC, positioned the bullet and heated it with a soldering iron, replace the rail and crimp the rail tab....voila - perfect fit, no issues. Because the cut of the CLC means cutting the rail, you end up with two "half-tabs" on the bottom of the rail, so I did go back and connect those with a little tinned speaker wire and solder for continuity. Works great!

Steve
 

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Thanks, Steve.
I was thinking one could remove the entire rail, cut the plastic, then reinstall the rail so it does not get cut.
But I should measure the rail first to make sure it is long enough!
Thanks for sharing.
Cheers!
 

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I'd have to look, but I think you'd need to bend the direction of the rail anyway, which would likely cause more issues with crimps, etc. To make things cleaner/easier - if I were to do this again, I would lightly score with the utility knife across the plastic and the rails, then remove the rails that showed score marks, cut the plastic and then cut the rails with a dremel. Then reinstall and bridge the connections between the cut rail parts.

One other thing - when you "melt" the bullet tabs into the track, some of the plastic will melt and mean the rail won't sit flush....you just need to press it in (pliers) while heating the part above and near the bullet so it melts into the plastic a little.

Steve
 
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