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· Banned
1,691 Posts
I have to say from the outset I've had lots of inspiration from many threads on this forum and have borrowed some great ideas from others so kudos to you all.

So I have recreated a digital version of vecbtb's track and this is final design (thanks for the previous input fishydelishy), as it's pretty much the most track you can fit in to 8 by 4 feet (no barriers). But I want the barriers for magless drifting so finally went for oversized MDF 9 by 5 feet.

Font Technology Circle Rectangle Electric blue

Having said that it may change a little when I actually get it on to the 9*5 feet MDF base as I can probably squeeze in another 1/2 or 3/4 straight to use the full space available, maybe even the pit in/out I bought if it leaves enough room for that actual pits etc.

The oversized MDF was delivered today so after many months of messing around I've little excuse not to get started (£56 for MDF and offcuts and £20 delivery).
2*12mm (4.5 by 5 feet) giving 9 by 5 feet in total - plenty room for drifting barriers and can be stored under a double bed (well two double beds given elevations), or on hooks vertically in a large cupboard we have as well as fit in a van.

Plan is to fit some type of locking mechanism to lock the two boards together.

I'm expecting delivery of the 'table' that will support the two MDF boards in next day or two and this was a difficult decision that I mulled over for a while. In the end it was between buying three of these tables or this centipede sawhorse (thanks for link djdarren).

I found a few videos of the centipede sawhorse in action and guess that sold me as it's portable, easy to store and just looks a bit 'out-there'...! Given the number of touch points I'm also wondering, probably naively, if I can get away without creating a frame underneath the MDF with stud 2by4, that would help with weight and storage as well as my DIY deficiency....we'll see.

Was struggling with how best to attached the track to MDF however best solution so it can be moved/stored vertically if required is possibly using lex-loc and have been speaking with captainkev re suitability. Looks like it could be a goer as I'm just not keen in putting nails/pins though the track and there aren't many other options available.

It's also in back of my mind that I could extend the track by inserting another MDF board 105cm by 5 feet inbetween the current two boards to allow 3 more straights to be added to expand the track in to 12+ feet by 5 feet. Anyway, that's for another day (year)...

Given lack of DIY nouse I'll post some pics as I go to illustrate to others how not to do it. ;-)

So next steps are:
- setup the MDF on the centipede and finalise the layout and work out a locking mechansim
- buy some 2mm/4mm underlay to reduce noise and lay over entire table gluing it down with no more nails or glue gun
- then lay some 8mm rubber matting over entire table to raise track surrounding then cut out track gluing down matting with no more nails or glue gun
- buy some more 2mm underlay to raise non 'digital' 8mm track to 10mm (as XLCs etc are 10mm) gluing down with no more nails or glue gun
- cover the rubber surrounding matting with some type of grass effect, maybe the woodland scenic spring mat but it need to be robust and not shed/be easily damaged by cars coming off etc., gluing down with no more nails or glue gun

Plan is to run SSDC RMS on macbook pro/the big telly and now need to look more in to how I will implement the pits. Kare's Smart Sensor is looking like an option especially if I can use the RJ45 O/P from the arduino to power my just arrived Scalextric Start Gantry C209. ; -) Does anyone know if this is possible? I got slingshots lap counter working and minified so I should be able to rewire the gantry np.

Lots to think about and do and lots to go wrong...



· Banned
1,691 Posts
The Centipede Sawhorse arrived today, and it's nuts!

Immediately impressed with the holdall.

Luggage and bags Bag Font Grass Art

This is what it looks like folded up.

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Pull it apart and 5 secs later and you have this madness...

Table Wood Chair Window Flooring

The MDF that I got delivered is a world away from what I was expecting from looking in B+Q etc, this stuff is smooth and polished and can easily be handled with no splinters. It also doesn't flex at all when carrying, very impressive.

The table is VERY sturdy with the MDF on, I can put full body weight on the overhangs all way round and it doesn't even think about moving.

Table Light Wood Flooring Floor

I got up dancing too, but no photos of that.... ;-)


· Bob Chapman
8,892 Posts
That 8foot by 4 foot centipede is rated to support 3000 lbs, yes the number is right, 3000 lbs 1.5 tons.
Well done Gordon, keep us posted . I have 2 of the centipedes for a 16 x 5 oval, but need to find room for it now.

· Banned
1,691 Posts
Chappy - I think the floor would give way before the table would...! That's a lot of space you'll need for two, do you have a track layout for your oval?

Doesn't look like a lot of track.

Personal computer Computer Table Laptop Netbook

30 mins to lay track as I had to find the pieces that I'd trimmed the lugs to make the pits

Wood Mobile phone Curtain Telephone Hardwood

Time for a test drive

Test Drive

Really happy with how the track drives, my biggest concern with a small permanent layout was that we'd get bored but think vecbtb cracked it! ;-)

So my first real mistake so far was to test the track without putting on barriers... I've never raced on a tabletop before, only ever on the floor so didn't really appreciate that a car coming off on to wooden flooring means something is going to break.

Tire Car Vehicle Wheel Motor vehicle

Barriers on and extra 1/2 straight added to make full use of the 9 feet table width.

Rolling stock Wood Train Track Electrical wiring

I also tried the pit in/out in place of the single lane pit track giving 4 lanes however not enough track (1/2 straight), before the sensor so guess that's a non-starter.

I've come to the conclusion that the MDF is sturdy enough not to need a frame underneath and that in short term no locking mechanism is needed to hold the 2 MDF boards together. Plan to just store the MDF as-is with the lower level track and upper lever supports removed and the track and drifting barriers gaffa taped down (until I find another space for it max 1day allowed up in living room).

However when I get around to covering the board, cutting out 8mm rubber matting and adding grass effect the gaffa tape will damage the surface it so need to think this one through, lex-loc might be the solution as I can't really think of any other feasible alternatives for my particular layout.


· Registered
1,749 Posts
Excellent track
, I would certainly consider doing something similar as a permanent layout for myself
. Are the lanes of equal length?

· Registered
1,190 Posts
Good looking track and the table worked out really well.

· Banned
1,691 Posts
Last pic before I have to dismantle the track and test out storage...

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Table

Track is gaffa taped, rather lazily, to the MDF.

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Now I attempt to move it, the pic looks a little odd because of angle but that is the MDF standing up vertically, nothing has sagged or fallen off yet. ;-)

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Quick dash to the spare bedroom to store it. One down, one to go.

Took similar approach with second MDF base then used a pile of 5 DVDs (one pile in each corner and one in centre), as support to lay the second base on so as not to squash the barriers etc. on 1st base below.

This is both the base boards under the bed and still plenty of clearance.

Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Hardwood Flooring

No-one would ever know...

Brown Wood Flooring Wood stain Floor


· Banned
1,691 Posts
Grumpy Gaz

QUOTE Are the lanes of equal length?

They can't be far off, don't have numbers as UR3 gives spurious results due maybe to the 3rd pit lane lane.


QUOTE table worked out really well.

Got lucky with that find!

· Greg Gaub
17,967 Posts
Based on the layout and lack of squeeze track, yes, the lanes are equal. The pit lane would not be, of course, but the racing lanes are the same length. Exactly how long they both are is where a track planner or calculator comes in handy. VectBB's original layout (with standard track in place of chicanes) had lane lengths of 35'-4" or 1077cm. Gordon's will be a little longer due to the extra straight to lengthen it to his board size.

· Banned
1,691 Posts
The missus is out shopping, dinner then drinks with her pals today so we thought we'd take the opportunity to get the track up again.

Took longer than I hoped but that's partly down to having to remove the gaffa tape and re-lay the wooden supports for the upper level. When I finally get the track stuck down firmly I reckon it will be maybe 30 mins from start to race ready, a little more maybe to add all the scenery and cars etc.

So first things first, wasn't totally happy with layout as some of the track wasn't sitting right meaning not all track was flush with a solid connection to it's neighbours and the 4 areas of straights were not parallel as you look at the image but a bit skewed. So back to UR3 to fix and this is pretty much the final layout, main difference is the addition of the 1/2 straight on RHS bend coming in to the pits and extending the RHS upper level by 1/2 so it all fits snugly. And nice clean parallel lines.

Table Automotive design Wood Flooring Interior design

Having said that UR3 still thinks there is a largish gap! :-| In reality, it all sits nicely.

Font Rectangle Circle Symmetry Parallel

I had the 5by1 feet off-cut from the original MDF board cut and thought I'd see if I could use it to extend the track to be 10by5 feet - so inserting an additional straight in all 4 of the horizontal lanes in the pic. Will probably move the extra straight at S/F so APB is on LHS of it and closer to the cars.

Musical instrument Wood Curtain Wind instrument Electrical wiring

Actually worked pretty well with only minimal sag of maybe 3-4mm, you can see sag clearly on LHS of the midlde strip of MDF, it's not so noticeable on RHS join as it's under the APB

The MDF sagging in the middle was starting to bug me, it was quite easily fixed with a length of 4mm plywood from another track build I have to support the joins (I did this after most of pics were taken so they still show the sag).

As you can see it does the job pretty well.

Shade Tripod Wood Gas Tints and shades

I'm also now thinking that I can use this section of wood as a locking mechanism too. Plan is to drill some holes through MDF and plywood support and countersink bolts at top, middle and bottom of each table section in to the MDF and tighten the nuts from underneath the support plywood (so 6 nuts for 9by5 and 9 nuts for 10by5). As long as I measure the distance of holes precisely I can use this to lock either just the two or all three boards.

Ah, pit lanes, I haven't decided on the final layout for the Pit Lanes and have am looking for some feedback on the three options I have:

1. leave pits as three lanes as is shown in first two pics in this post so only one pit lane.

So options 2. and 3. are referring to this layout with the Scalextric pit in/out track added.

Wood Musical instrument Table Curtain Auto part

Wood Urban design Stairs Engineering Motor vehicle

2. have four lanes for two are used for pits

3. as above but only 1 lane pit track is used for pits, the other 3rd lane can be used for racing

Any thoughts? I've never had pits before and plan is to use Kares SmartSensor, but from an actual racing perspective what are pros and cons of my 3 options? Even though track has grown maybe 2m longer than vecbtb's original it's still a little small for 6 cars unless they're all human. How crowded do pits get?

The 'Spring' ReadyGrass came too but didn't want to chance damaging it with the track rearrangements today.

Wood Office supplies Art Stationery Hardwood

So grass is the next big job and I'm in 2 minds now about what to do.

- go with original plan and put 2mm rubber matting across entire table for noise reduction, then 10mm rubber matting on top of that (XLCs/CLCs/Pit track are 10mm high), then cut out the track and add 2mm rubber matting for the 8mm high track (the normal digital track), the finally add ReadyGrass. But I'm now wondering if this is all overkill...

- just glue the ReadyGrass to the MDF and lay the track on top using 2mm rubber matting where the 8mm and 10mm track meets to even out heights.

These are the 6 cars from the Platinum set, must say I'm quite impressed with them all (no lights excepted). They drive well and the out-of-box mags are still easy to drift round corners. Did have a slight issue with the orange McLaren though, when lane changing the flipper moves as it should but then the car guide hits the black plastic X in the middle the car went back in to the lane it was previously in! I soon realised that it was because the guide blade couldn't fully rotate, a few wiggles and it was sorted. It was weird though how reproducible it was, start to change lane then bounce back, every time!

Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire

Wheel Car Vehicle Tire Motor vehicle

Looking forward to see how it looks with the grass matt on.

I've also put on the Ninco barriers on upper level but too dark now for decent pics.



· Banned
1,691 Posts
QUOTE second pit lane, for sure

Thanks for input Mr F., yes, that was me preference too as allows a few cars to pit at same time.

When the track is in 3 basboard mode (10by5 feet), I'd like to make the pit lane a full straight as I think it would sit better, only 2 options I can think of to achieve this:

Remove the 1/2 straight before the pit entry in after the bend so allowing the full straight pit lane. Downside is that you'd then have to slow down to make that part of pit lane, if you do miss not a showstopper as you're still in the pits, but this could become irritating after a while if you do keep missing.


Chop a 1/2 straights length off the pit lane exit to allow the full straight pit lane. This is probably preferable from a track design perspective but I'm not massively keen on butchering it given what they cost. I have seen a few forum posts where members have created their own pits by cutting up track but not found a tutorial on doing the pit lane out mod to reduce by 1/2 straight.

QUOTE The Centipede seems great. It seems it would save hours of work laying down 'standard' sawhorses, not to mention storage space, when preparing large events. Wow.

It takes as long to unzip the carry bag as it does to deploy the centipede, maybe 5 secs, there are videos online that show it being pulled apart. It goes back together just as easily so I thoroughly recommend these for slot car track baseboards or indeed any other use you could think of. Also, on a wooden floor you can easily slide it to move about and re-adjust position, useful for me when setting it up the bay window.


· Banned
1,691 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No work done on portable track past 2

Given the Christmas tree is now where my Scalextric track should be there will be no physical work completed until 1st week in Jan (I have negotiated and early tree take-down, or at least moving it to hall or somewhere else), for Tu 3rd Jan. Rather convenient as I 'm not planning to go back to work util 9th ; -)

So I thought I should maybe attempt some planning for what I'm going to actually do.

I've had it on good authority (the missus), that Santa is on the case in getting me Kare's light sensor so that also means that I now have to purchase a RMS so I can use it...
(Does anyone know how long the sensors take to get delivered, I don't know if he makes them up on demand?)


I demo'd SSDC and quite liked it apart from some of the irritating sound samples that apparently we can't change. I didn't bother with the other main contender RCS64 as the available 'demo' is [email protected] and a waste of time IMHO.

However given the 'Smart Sensor' functionality of Kare's sensor *requires* RCS64 to work (SSDC only works in PitPro mode), against my better judgement I may take the plunge and buy RCS64. What has probably tipped me is that I can also connect a RJ45 to Kare's Arduino to power my old analog Scalextric Start Gantry (C209) - more on that later - I would need another Arduino etc. for this on SSDC, that's correct isn't it?

Analog Scalextric Start Gantry (C209) - LEDs?

So 10 red, 2 green and 2 yellow LED/s required. Does any have any recommendations on which LEDs work best, the ultra bright ones with built in resistors? Would be really interested on what LED specs (physical size (3mm?), ratings etc.), others have used in that gantry?

ReadyGrass Vinyl Matting

Original plan was to lay vinyl underlay across entire base boards to minimise noise however now I not convinced that I can easily and robustly stick the ready grass matting to this? Has anyone stuck ready grass down like this?

It's a given I need the 2mm to even out where I have 10mm digital track beside standard SSD 8mm track but I can just cut and lay this where required, remove track, lay grass then cut track around.

OR is it just simpler to glue down grass to MDF, add in the 2mm where required and leave grass intact across entire table with the track/2mm underlay on top? Or does this look carp, I'm struggling to visualise...anyone any thoughts/pointers?

Electrical Wiring

I want to run the wiring for the sensors, a couple of power taps and also some additional yellow flag lighting placed around the track on TOP side of MDF so will beg/borrow/steel a router to guesstimate where these should be as don't really want to botch using my dremmel clone...

So my question is are there any wiring diagrams out there that you could share for gantry start lights with yellow flags lighting placed arounf the track, how are they wired exactly in parallel? Can the Arduino provide enough current as-is to support this functionality?

Thanks for taking the time to read!

· Registered
2,902 Posts
QUOTE (portals999 @ 15 Dec 2016, 21:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I didn't bother with the other main contender RCS64 as the available 'demo' is [email protected] and a waste of time IMHO.
Unless something has changed recently, there's a 30 day trial for the full version of RCS64:
QUOTE (Minardi @ 28 Jun 2016, 15:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>RCS64 update available through RCS64 website. With 30 day trial included

· Banned
1,691 Posts
Hi chris99.

QUOTE Unless something has changed recently, there's a 30 day trial for the full version of RCS64

Unless I'm missing something it's the same limited demo on their website that has been available for yonks, you can only use 'Quick Start' mode?

I'd be delighted though if I've missed a trick here! ;-)
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