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Been gathering up stuff for nearly 20 years with the intention of building a 4 lane track using vintage Revell stuff. I got my start with slot cars back in the days when the commercial tracks were in nearly every decent size town and my first car like many of us old folks was a Cox Chaparral. Should have kept it but that's another story. Not in a position to change now so please refrain from telling me the new stuff is better, etc. I have a good amount of the old Revell track including the 21" radius curves, etc and need ideas for how to set it up. I have 30 or so 21" outer curves, 40 or so standard straight sections, way too many standard 14" curves but zero of the elusive half straights or half curves. I can buy more if I need to. My space is limited to 5'-6' wide but can be fairly long and at one end or the other can be wider to accommodate possibly an L shaped addition. I would also want at least one crossover so all 4 lanes will be of similar distance. I have a few ideas in mind but haven't chosen one yet and I'm pretty computer illiterate as far as using one of the track planner gizmos. Have been told that modern Parma or similar controllers would be a good upgrade but that gets confusing as well with all the different choices with respect to how many ohms they are. Also variable voltage transformers. My son works with a train guy and has access to a variety of electric train stuff. Will these work and what should I look for ? Also if there is a section here showing different methods of building the table and so forth please direct me to where that might be. Thanks fellas. I'm sure I will have more questions as I move forward but knowing what I still need to gather up in preparation for doing this will be a huge help.
 

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Hello,

I have the Revell Monaco set that I like to use for running my vintage 1/24 cars. I don't think I've EVER seen half straights or half curves for Revell. I know that Atlas made a 1/24 straight conversion track for connecting Atlas track to Revell track. As far as layouts go, if you do a Revell track search in google, I believe there was a site (maybe Slotcarillustrated.com) that posted a bunch of layout options for various track according to the size of the layout. I'm certain this included Revell track as well.

Just so you know, Revell sold three-pronged extension units that made it easy to hook up parma controllers to its control track. I have a pair myself and they work great. They occasionally come up for sale on Ebay.

You didn't mention it but if you don't have them, it would be helpful to pick up aprons (borders) for your curves if you plan on racing in non-magnet form. Revell aprons are fairly narrow compared to most other brands but they still give the cars a bit more room.

Good luck.
 

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Thanks. I do have some aprons and plan on using them so I can run 1/24 scale cars as well but they are hard to find and I need more. Never seen the 3 prong extension units you made reference to. I'll have to look. What ohm Parma controllers are you using ? I also have some vintage Cox controllers I can use if those would be acceptable. They are the old commercial type like us old guys bought for going to the big commercial tracks in the late 60s. Wonder if those would work or if I should sell them and find more modern controllers. I plan on using vintage cars since I already own several but would also like the option of using modern cars as well.
 

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Build a table to fit your space then play with the track until you find a layout that you like. I used an old Strombecker track for years until I built a routed one.
 

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Thanks. I do have some aprons and plan on using them so I can run 1/24 scale cars as well but they are hard to find and I need more. Never seen the 3 prong extension units you made reference to. I'll have to look. What ohm Parma controllers are you using ? I also have some vintage Cox controllers I can use if those would be acceptable. They are the old commercial type like us old guys bought for going to the big commercial tracks in the late 60s. Wonder if those would work or if I should sell them and find more modern controllers. I plan on using vintage cars since I already own several but would also like the option of using modern cars as well.
I use 25 ohm parma for my vintage cars and 35 ohm for current 1/32. I will post pictures of the extensions for your reference. I do have some vintage controllers (MRC, Cox). They work fine as well.

P
 

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Also variable voltage transformers. My son works with a train guy and has access to a variety of electric train stuff. Will these work and what should I look for ? Also if there is a section here showing different methods of building the table and so forth please direct me to where that might be.
If you still have the original power supplies in working order use them.

It's worth looking at the electrical connections between track sections - if they are tarnished/corroded they will benefit from a clean and if they are bent they'll need bending back to the correct position. This tends to be more of a problem than the power supply on just about all makes of plastic track.

Back in the day we ran Revell cars on about 12 volts (transformers back then didn't give an entirely consistent voltage) . The normal reason people use an adjustable power supply is to slow the cars down by lowering the voltage to say 10 volts. This can be a good idea if the car feels too fast on 12 volts. I don't recall feeling too fast was every a problem with Revell cars back in the day, but I guess it might be worth a try.

Some model train stuff doesn't supply enough current for slot cars. If you can borrow something and try it may work OK, or you may find it's Ok with one car but run more and they all go slow.
 

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There are definitely half straights - I had 2 in my track and then a few weeks ago picked this lot up which had 12 in them- but whole pack was not cheap!

SO they are out there - have never seen 1/2 curves however.

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood


I am using an old PC transformer at the moment. However as i use the track to test cars for Bordo, it has to be able to have enough power to drive Champion 601's or modified Atlas motors, so will upgrade to either car battery or upgraded power supply.
 

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I'm agreeing with everything said here so far. As to variable voltages, don't even worry about it. Aim for 12-14 volts and you can run anything. The real issue is AMPERAGE. The packs that came with the Revell sets were well made, will work today, but were only 1.5 amp. The reason being, they were generally powering a 12-15 ft. figure eight or such. Adding more track, and having the ability to run the more powerful "amp suckers" of the day (Atlas at-206 and Strombecker hemi cans come to mind) you are going to want 3-4 amps minimum. My solution for many years was to wire my two Revell packs together in parallel, that is, positive to pos and negative to neg. to double the amperage. Until I found an MRC upgrade unit (forget it's exact name) which gave the amps as well as a voltage selector. As to controllers, most of the time with the vintage cars/stock motors you will be happy with 18-35 ohms, depending on the motor's draw. That comes with experience and what you personally like as to car "response". For those hotter ones I mentioned, you'll want to start at 15 ohm and maybe go as low as 10. Don't concern yourself with lower ohms than that in a vintage set; 7.5 and lower were for the "pros" and commercial racing.

"jumpers" were mentioned above and they are a good idea for dealing with the above issues, esp. if you plan to do organized "club type" racing. And your guests will appreciate it. My track is for messing around, and my solution of 4 amps through just the terminal section is adequate for 34 running feet. You will also need to make decisions as to controllers; thumb or index, variable or fixed ohm, hookups, flexibility as to cars run (BTW I "need" a 45 ohm minimum to run most of the current crop of cars at 4 amps; even have to go to 60 (!!) to keep certain cars from running away!).

And then of course you are going to 4 lanes. Even more power and controllers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great advice guys. Thanks. I also have a few Revell/Monogram modern cars and some Carrera Evolution cars. Will I need to do anything different to run those ?
 

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When I built my 3 lane scalextric track, I laid the layout on the floor first, before building the table. That way I could be sure the table would be exactly what I'd need, including space for marshaling and adequate drifting/border spacing for turns.

I'd also recommend against the old toy transformers, even the better ones like Revell. Especially if you are going to have longer lap length and hope to do any quasi serious racing. With unregulated power supplies, such as the old toy transformers, when cars deslot any cars still running get a sudden boost of unexpected power, which can cause them to accelerate and deslot.
 

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When I built my 3 lane scalextric track, I laid the layout on the floor first, before building the table. That way I could be sure the table would be exactly what I'd need, including space for marshaling and adequate drifting/border spacing for turns.

I'd also recommend against the old toy transformers, even the better ones like Revell. Especially if you are going to have longer lap length and hope to do any quasi serious racing. With unregulated power supplies, such as the old toy transformers, when cars deslot any cars still running get a sudden boost of unexpected power, which can cause them to accelerate and deslot. Ah, I hadn't thought about the issue of the other cars getting a sudden power surge. My son helps a model train guy quite often and has access to a large variety of train transformers including the old huge Lionel type that have variable power up to 20 volts and enough amps to run several large trains at once. He also has access to more modern ones. Is that something you would recommend ? I can likely get one for free. If not what do you suggest ? Thanks. Still in the planning stages but gathering parts and as much info as I can. It will likely be a 4 lane layout 4' or so wide and 10-12' long with a couple of twists and turns and I will be running a variety of cars from the mid 60s up to the more modern stuff. Nothing digital or high tech though. Some Revell/Monogram cars and a couple Carerra Evolution cars.
 

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It really depends on how you're going to use your layout, and what your budget is.

Could you get by with an old, free train transformer? Probably, as long as you're not worried about the power surge when other cars deslot or having at least semi serious racing. Think about it, when the hobby was brand new and Triang was the only game in town for slot cars, a lot of folks were building tracks out of ply wood and scratch building cars with balsa wood or fiberglass bodies, and scavenging motors and gears from trains. There was no slot car parts market at all at the time. They also repurposed train transformers as power supplies. But as slot racing as a hobby grew, train motors and transformers were less than ideal, and purpose built slot car motors and transformers/power supplies were created and hit the market. The ideal power supply remains a fresh automotive battery on a trickle charger, though.

A modern, regulated and variable power supply gives you the power, amperage, and flexibility to use your layout in a variety of ways: from dialing back the power so newbies and/or kids can have a better experience, to ramping things up to run more demanding motors and satisfy the more serious racers. A good one can easily accommodate vintage slot cars right on up through the most modern of cars and motors.

They are not cheap. I purchased a used/refurbished MG unit from a well known US slot car vendor for about $150. BUT it will do anything I ask of it, and is the least troublesome component you'd likely have in your layout. To me absolutely worth having modern power supply AND controllers if you're going to spend any serious time running cars on your layout.

When I first set up my big 4 lane Revell 25 years ago when I got back into the hobby, I started with the stock transformer but quickly moved up. BUT the first things I got rid of were the set controllers. They are strictly toys and do not stand up well to excessive use, not to mention they simply are not responsive when racing. As I recall I created drivers stations with alligator posts to use the Parma controllers I graduated to (then eventually Professor Motor, etc.), simply running wires from the Revell terminal track to the fabricated driver stations.

If you decide to use old Cox, MRC or other vintage controllers, know that they are wired the opposite of how current slot car controllers/layouts are wired.
 

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Looks like you got it all figured out. Great stuff. I like your machinists tool boxes, I also have a pair. Great for slot car stuff.

What's your possum's name that sit on your shoulder?
 

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Looks like you got it all figured out. Great stuff. I like your machinists tool boxes, I also have a pair. Great for slot car stuff.

What's your possum's name that sit on your shoulder?
That's actually a pic of an old local moonshiner, Barney Barnwell. I live in the middle of moonshine country in the East Tennessee mountains. Have met nearly all of the guys from the Moonshiners tv show at one time or another. I'm the fat guy in the middle.
 

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Can someone postna detailed description of how to use Parma controllers with a Revell layout. The stock controllers are not very reliable.

Thanks

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can someone postna detailed description of how to use Parma controllers with a Revell layout. The stock controllers are not very reliable.

Thanks

Paul
I could use that info myself. I'm using ancient Cox controllers and they're also not the best choice.
 

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the basics are the same and should make hookup esp. easy if you are using a proper "station" with posts like bandit shows on his track. Polarity of controller and track wiring has reversed since vintage days (to accomodate Parma and other's main customer: the commercial track). Wiring color is the confusing part. Determine which Parma wire is the brake (the one that "shorts" the coil) and mark it appropriately. Hook up the two others, touch the brake clip to it's post; if it sparks, reverse the power wires and try again.

Doing it the hard way (like I always do): I wanted to use the stock Revell terminal with it's plugs. So then you have to find some spare Revell plugs/wires to splice into the Parma. Unless you disassemble the plug proper, determining which two are the "power" is the tricky part. Then make sure you get the polarity straight and solder the wires together. I wrapped the whole wad in electrician tape.

I created my own conondrum at our last house where I had 5 vintage tracks set up, all different manufacturers, and I wanted to move said Parmas between the tracks with their varying hook-ups and wire colors! Got to the point where a 3x5 card of "instructions" for hookup was posted at each terminal since I could not keep it straight in my head!

Very nice layout, Bandit, very professional and I'll bet a lot of fun!

Steve in CO.
 
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