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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all -
We recently set up a decent sized Scalextric digital track using the C7042 and running PC Lap Counter. I'm not sure of the total track length but it takes up a large majority of a 8' x 16' table with 2 lane change sections. We have observed some noticeable drop in lap times when running 6 cars versus 1 car on the track that I'm assuming can be attributed to power loss.

My question is simply that as the length of the track increases and more cars are added is it necessary to add power to a SSDC track and how is this best accomplished?

We are running the standard Scalextric 2 PSU setup through the C7042. Please note that I did read the Power thread in this forum, but frankly most of it is a bit over my head. Just looking to understand if there is an easy method to add power in order to maintain lap times when more cars are added.

Thanks in advance.

Adam
 

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I have the same power base and supplies and a 60' track. Same problems when running 6 cars on a large track, but I'm almost sure it has to do with bad connectivity.
I'm trying to find methods to improve this. This is what I tried:

- contact spray between connectors (seemed to improve significantly)
- copper grease between connectors (did not notice much improvement
- pieces of bare copper wire next to rails (force it next to it on the outside) - good improvement
- reduce magnet strength of cars by raising the magnet (drags less Amperes from power supply i hope) - not tested enough
- reduce power settings for each car (can do this because of the weaker magnet strength and cars must slow down more) - not tested enough

This week I will get Inox MX3, some people say praises so much to that, I have to try it:)

If I do not succeed i'm thinking of copper taping my track, or at least the bad parts (25 year old Classic track).
I read on this forum that the standard Scalectric duo power supplies are actually quite good, someone did a thorough test, so I hope I do not need to buy another power supply.
Let us know if you succeed in improving this
 

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I to have noticed the power drop I have 145 ft of track with 10 L/C and an aftermarket PS that runs up to 30 amps I currently have the voltage set at 16V there are 12 power taps .
if I run 1 or 2 cars lap time are in the low 12 sec range 4 cars 13 sec range 5 or six cars can't break 14 sec
the cars are all scaley and are stock no additional magnets other than the bar mag that comes standard with the car.
I have noticed no differenc between using the 2 standard psu's or the aftermarket psu. I'm confused I thought the aftermarket psu would help get the cars going faster, but not!
I am now considering doing the high power mod to my 7042 but can't find the resistors here in the USA
the only other thing that I did was to change my cars to a 20,000 rpm motor now cars are fast still running all pace cars with stock motor, With all 6 cars running amp draw is only around 3-4 amps
 

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Greg Gaub
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You've tried everything but power taps.
That is, to bridge power from next to the power base track to other areas of the layout.
Each connector causes a drop in power (amps), which is the cause of slowing down (for magnet cars) or not speeding up quickly (for magless), or for everyone slowing down when in the same area (since all cars must share the few amps available). The longer the track, the more severe the power loss will be.
Good joins make a BIG difference, but if that's not enough, use wires to "jump" the power from the best section (power base) to the worst (usually the half-way point of the lap). You can add more power taps as well. Some people add so many that there's a tap for almost every 5-6 pieces of track.

Copper tape can also fix the problem. Tape has it's pros AND cons, though, so it might be better to add a couple power taps before you go right for the tape.

INOX will give good power transfer from the track to the cars, but will not help much with power transfer around the track itself.
 

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Edit: Of course, Mr F was faster - his and my posting overlapped, as I saw when finally uploaded mine, first time. Good that we don't race together, frequently ;-)
Powertaps are the solution ;-)

I simply wired the most distant part of the track (2 meters, here) to the track piece nearest to the C7042 Powerbase.

Lazy as I am, I bought me a proper Scalextric cable support ("power taps"), 3 meters, designed for helping exactly with this kind of power problems.

But it's simply a double cable with cable shoes, fitting to straights - they have ... ah, what's the English word for it - small connector pieces of blank metal, where you can put the shoes of the cable ends, onto.

This results in a track-wide spread electricity, giving good power to my track, everywhere, roughly 20 meters long (sorry, stupid German with wrong units - please recalculate in feet ;-)).
 

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I hear the L/C don't like voltage over 16v, is that ac or dc as I check my track with a voltmeter it registers 14.67 VAC not much on the DC side do the L/C work on AC or DC?
I did some testing with a second abp I have and ran it at 18VDC for 2 nights of racing. No adverse problems with L/C cars all ran excellent AC volts to the track was 16
only problem was after about 2 hours of racing with 6 cars the apb shutdown. turned it of for 5 min. then powered back up no problem for about another 2 hours. no blown chips or L/C's
I am considering powering the L/C's separetly, wondering will the high power mod help?
 

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mrFlippant,

Thanks for the clarification and tips. We are really learning a lot here:)
I forgot to write down but I already have two power taps installed. Maybe going to add more though.
What do you think of inserting small strings of bare copper wire next to the rails, to make a fresh copper bridge between two pieces of old classic track?
 

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Greg Gaub
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The copper wire jumpers have worked for some people. When I tried, I couldn't get the gap between the plastic and the rail wide enough to put anything in there, and even if I did, it would have just made the slot narrower. My plan for this summer is to dismantle my track and divide the track into manageable sections. Each section will have the individual pieces jumper wired together underneath, and I'll install power taps to each section. The end result will be a track that has effectively continuous power throughout. I just need to decide if, at that point, I'll switch to the APB or not. That will depend on developments prior to summer.
 

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Mr. Olufsen
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Hi dahm1966,

Welcome on board! All the things that the other guys have suggested already are very good advice that will help you minimize your problem. However, you might want to consider supplying a larger quantity of current (Amps). The C7042 will not permit this as it is, but modified as detailed by RikoRocket in this thread it will accomodate a third party high current PSU, and on top of that you can have var. voltage depending on the PSU. It takes a couple of hours, it isn't too difficult, and it certainly is worth the effort and investment


By the way - you can probably go above 15V, however this is the rating of some of the components as pointed out by THESLOTCARGY so though it may be doable, it might not be - erm - recommendable


Br,
Christian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all!
A great deal of tremendous information.
We are going to start of with a few power taps and see if that helps the situation out before deciding if we want to do any modding of the powerbase.

Appreciate all of the responses.
 

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QUOTE (THESLOTCARGUY @ 8 Mar 2012, 16:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I did some testing with a second abp I have and ran it at 18VDC for 2 nights of racing. No adverse problems with L/C cars all ran excellent AC volts to the track was 16
only problem was after about 2 hours of racing with 6 cars the apb shutdown. turned it of for 5 min. then powered back up no problem for about another 2 hours. no blown chips or L/C's

Don't run above 15V if you haven't done the mod. You are killing your APB. When it shut down that would have been the regulator overheating. Do that any more times and it probably wont recover.
 

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If the rails in the areas that are causing the problem are less bright and shiny than new pieces of track, then surface conductivity may be the culprit (ie the braids aren't picking up the power that lies just below that layer of oxidation on the rails.

Scrubbing with a nylon scouring pad dipped in Inox can help, but copper tape totally hits it for six!

Cheers

Andrew
 

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Mr flippant gave me an idwe. So it took apart 145" of track and soldered in jumpers between each rail so in effect I have a continuos rail track, also since I already had them I installed 12 power taps. and treated the track with INOX. RESULTS: still power loss when running more than 2 cars and approx. 30% power lower when running 6 cars. Can't figure it out I have a 30 amp supply and when running 6 cars and 10 L/C I still draw less than 5 amps. So if I have the available amperage then why are the cars slowing? I have the settings in SSDC set for max power.I also have 2 APB's same results with either one.
 

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Its probably that you damaged the regulator. It was getting quite hot with standard Scalextric PSUs. Running at higher voltages was somewhat silly. And the reason I posted the high power mod was for people wanting to use 30 Amp power supplies. Using one with a stock powerbase makes no sense - it trips at 5Amps if you only use one socket and 10A if you use two.
 

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Mr. Olufsen
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Sorry to ask a silly question, but scrolling through the thread again I'm not sure I completely understand how your setup is, THESLOTCARGUY.

Do you supply power to the c7042 APB from one (1) 3rd party 30 Amp PSU into one (1) socket on the APB? Or one 3rd party PSU into one socket, and a standard Scalex PSU into the other one? Or do you supply both sockets in parallel from your 30 Amp PSU?
 

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RikoRocket was right apb voltage regulator fried with 18 volts. What I did- replaced voltage regulator, soldered all tracks together using small pieces of wire to join tracks from underneath( what a pain to do on such a large track), totally cleaned all rails and applied Inox MX3 and reinstalled all power taps just for good measure.
RESULTS= incredible, no power loss with 6 cars running, in fact took out the 20k motors and replaced with stock motors. All working well.
Would like to go magless but don't have room for borders to let cars drift around turn. Working on video to post showing the layout and the speed these cars are doing. It's like being reborn I guess been fighting this power issue for 3 months. Thanks Mr F. for the idea.
GUESS YOU CAN TELL I'M HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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