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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

It's been a while since I've posted any updates on my track progress (mostly because there hasn't been much!) I still have a bit of "infrastructure" work to do before turning my attention to scenery, but things are definitely taking shape.

I've gravitated toward a name for the track--the "Peak to Peak Raceway." I live at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and not far from me there's a road known as the Peak to Peak Highway. The track's back story (however improbable) is that one of the local sports car clubs was able to pull some strings with the local authorities to shut down a portion of the highway to host a club race. I plan to incorporate a few elements of the surrounding landscape, including--and this will be a challenge--the landmark "Chapel on the Rock":



Meanwhile, a critical piece of the aforementioned "infrastructure" arrived in the form of the "PB Pro" (thanks TXSlotRacer!) into which I promptly installed the "Simple H" upgrade. (Scalextric guys will recognize these modifications.) At this time I also separated the power base itself from its track section. The internal connections were replaced with binding posts (for track power) and an RJ45 connector (for signaling).



The table got some upgrades as well; it now features a bracket that holds the power supply. Another new feature is the addition of rudimentary driver stations--a "U" bolt provides a holster for the controller, and a jack is mounted underneath the table, recessed from the table edge to avoid accidents. But the cords still rest on the floor where they can be tripped on; I'll have to come up with a solution for this.

The area had formerly been lit by a single overhead incandescent lighting fixture (the track is situated in the basement, where lighting is a bit sparse). I replaced the fixture with a track lighting setup that provides much more even lighting over the racing surface.

Then there's the track itself. I still have to acquire more track for the pit lane and three-lane sections, but other than that I think the layout is complete. I've also come across some trees: Home Depot is currently selling an assorted pack of 21 trees in various sizes (approximately 2 in/5 cm, 4 in/10 cm, 6 in/15 cm, and 8 in/20 cm) for $6. They've been decorated with "snow," but I'm thinking I can paint over it. Over at Hobby Lobby, I picked up some miniature Christmas trees for $3 each (12 in/30 cm) and $4 (18 in/45 cm). They're not terribly realistic, but for that price I figured I could experiment with adding some scenery foliage to improve on them.



Although I've never done any sort of scenery before, I'm certainly looking forward to trying my hand at it. And I continue to draw inspiration from the amazing work shown in this forum. I hope to soon be updating this thread with progress on my own scenery :)

Thanks for looking!

Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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Tel
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Looks like you are off to a good start

The trees look a nice size from the picture, a good find.
 

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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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Glad to see that you've made a start on the track Jeremy; the table looks great! You're at the point where just about everything you do from here on out will improve the look of the layout. One suggestion that I can make at this time is to install any of the digital specific track pieces so that they can be removed for maintenance or replacement at a later date - like when the scenery work is complete. This is something I regret not doing on my track. Bill is the guy to help you here as I think that he addressed this on his Targa track. I'm pretty sure that SpaModeller can be of assitance too.

I'm looking forward to following your progress.

Brad
 

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Lars Ole
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The "Chapel on the Rock" is one amazing building, and I can see why you want to recreate it for your layout.

I'll be looking forward for further updates to come.

cheers
 

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QUOTE (Brad Korando @ 18 Oct 2009, 09:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Glad to see that you've made a start on the track Jeremy; the table looks great! You're at the point where just about everything you do from here on out will improve the look of the layout. One suggestion that I can make at this time is to install any of the digital specific track pieces so that they can be removed for maintenance or replacement at a later date - like when the scenery work is complete. This is something I regret not doing on my track. Bill is the guy to help you here as I think that he addressed this on his Targa track. I'm pretty sure that SpaModeller can be of assitance too.

I'm looking forward to following your progress.

Brad
Brad,
How do you make the digital sections "removable"? Just remove the tabs so the track does not lock? Or is it positioning so the track can come apart (Bill's Targa is on 3 tables)?

This is an interesting comment worth pursuing.

Cheers!


Oh, ya. The Peak to Peak track looks like an up-and-comer to watch!
Home Depot sells model trees? Gotta check that out.
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm interested in creative ways to make the digital track sections removable. I suppose the tabs could be cut and the rail joiners removed, since I intend to eventually tape the rails anyway.

As for the trees, Home Depot is currently selling "Christmas village" sort of stuff (at least here in the US--probably in Canada too), and I found the trees there. They also have some neat buildings although they're a bit too small for 1/32 scale. Unfortunately the smallest trees look like saplings in 1/32 scale, so their use is limited, but for $6 you can't go wrong


Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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Hi guys. I didn't make the lane change sections removable on my track, so I don't have any first-hand advice to offer. Were I to do it: I would probably create a pocket in the adjacent scenery that would keep the track section in place as the cars drive over it. I would cut off the tabs and rail joiners so that the section could be lifted out, and I'd use electrical jumpers under the table to make the electrical connections. Taping across the joints would certainly work on it's own, but I'm a redundant kinda of guy.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Since this will be the "official" thread for the Peak to Peak Raceway going forward, I'll repost the track layout here:



The real Peak to Peak Highway doesn't have many straight sections, but there are a few spots where it opens up. While the road has plenty of curves, the really tight switchbacks are actually found on one of the connecting highways (which is one of my favorite roads to drive!) Also, the Peak to Peak Highway doesn't have any tunnels, but a nearby highway does, and I'll be copying its style for the one tunnel in this layout.

There's also at least one railroad operating in the area. Space permitting, I was thinking of incorporating some railroad elements, such as an old abandoned spur with a forgotten piece or two of rolling stock.

More updates to come... hopefully


Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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QUOTE (JeremyR @ 17 Oct 2009, 22:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Meanwhile, a critical piece of the aforementioned "infrastructure" arrived in the form of the "PB Pro" (thanks TXSlotRacer!) into which I promptly installed the "Simple H" upgrade. (Scalextric guys will recognize these modifications.) At this time I also separated the power base itself from its track section. The internal connections were replaced with binding posts (for track power) and an RJ45 connector (for signaling).

Thanks for your reply, JeremyR.

So you did your own SH upgrade, eh? Was it difficult to do? I understand that the SH board is the biggest cost.

Also, you mentioned using an RJ45 connector. Did you choose this jack specifically to accommodate the number of wires? I know the RJ11 is for phone connections and hosts 6 wires. How many does the RJ45 handle? Would a plug/socket for the power distribution work if the PB is separated from the track? Like you, I like to keep things modular and not have lots of junction barriers connecting wires. I do not know if a couple of RCA plugs would work in this instance or if the power output is too high for them.

I look forward to future installments of your track development. Keep up the good work!

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (sealevel @ 19 Oct 2009, 13:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So you did your own SH upgrade, eh? Was it difficult to do? I understand that the SH board is the biggest cost.
If you're somewhat handy with a soldering iron (my skills are serviceable but not great), it's not at all difficult to do. And other than the S-H board itself, the cost is minimal, as you just need some wires and whatever you choose to use for connectors (binding posts and an RJ45 jack, in my case). It does require some patience, though, if you're installing a fan (to increase peak output from 8 amps to 16), because it's a pretty tight fit (vertically, anyway).

QUOTE (sealevel @ 19 Oct 2009, 13:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Also, you mentioned using an RJ45 connector. Did you choose this jack specifically to accommodate the number of wires? I know the RJ11 is for phone connections and hosts 6 wires. How many does the RJ45 handle?
It turns out that "RJ45" is actually the incorrect term, although it's very commonly used. The connector is properly known as an "8P8C." But whatever.
In any case it handles 8 conductors, which incidentally is the number of signaling wires required by the PB and its accompanying sensor track section. The connectors are readily available (again, Home Depot sells them) as are the cables--any Ethernet patch cable (note, not a "crossover" cable) will do. (I used a second RJ45/8P8C connector on the track end). The connector is also pretty easy to install, and can be secured to the PB case (after a suitable mounting hole is cut) with CA glue.

QUOTE (sealevel @ 19 Oct 2009, 13:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Would a plug/socket for the power distribution work if the PB is separated from the track? Like you, I like to keep things modular and not have lots of junction barriers connecting wires. I do not know if a couple of RCA plugs would work in this instance or if the power output is too high for them.
Binding posts seem to be the connectors of choice for this application. While I'm no authority on the subject, RCA connectors might work, as they're used in moderately-powered audio applications (up to around 100W). But since there's plenty of (horizontal) room to install binding posts as I have, I see no reason not to use them. These cost just a few dollars at Radio Shack...

Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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Jeremy - Hello, fellow Coloradan!

We just did this trip last year ourselves and loved it. Great track to model!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This weekend I added borders to most of the track, using the foam tape method (discussed previously on SlotForum and documented at http://www.homeracingworld.com/trackborders.htm). Because the tape is slightly thinner than Scalextric Sport track (especially the digital sections), I cut shims from paper board and glued these to either side of the track. The result is that the borders aren't quite level with the track surface, but they're close. I was planning to use automotive body filler to fill in the gaps between the track sections, and hopefully this will adhere to the tape as well. The result should be a seamless surface. (I understand that the tape at least accepts acrylic paint, so I'm sure there will be some way to get things looking good!) In the meantime, here's what it looks like now:



I used 2" wide tape all around, although I did have to trim it somewhat on the inside of the R1 hairpin. The roadway won't necessarily be this wide everywhere, but I'll eventually blend the landscaping into the road surface.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking that a ground-based ambulance service simply won't do for the Peak to Peak Raceway, given that much of the highway is fairly remote. Fortunately, the area is served by a number of air ambulance services, including a Colorado Flight for Life base of operations in (relatively) nearby Frisco. Most of the local air ambulance services use the Eurocopter AS350, which unfortunately has not been offered in 1:32 scale. I decided that the Eurocopter EC135--which is available in 1:32--would be a reasonable substitute. The company that operates many of the local air ambulances does use EC135's in other parts of the country, so it's certainly plausible that one could find its way into service in Colorado. Besides, it has that cool Fenestron tail rotor!




I've built tons of model cars over the years, but this will be my first helicopter. Finding a place for it might be tricky, but I'll come up with something!

Thanks again for tuning in...

Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Been making a wee bit of progress--foam, cardboard and plywood are slowly being covered!

The cubbies for the power supply and power base have been there for a little while now, but here's a closeup, along with one of the driver stations. (Still thinking about ways to keep the controller cords off the floor.) Off to our right is a set of plastic drawers screwed to the underside of the table. Perhaps not as elegant as wood, but they get the job done.



For most of the landscaping I'm using plaster cloth draped over a framework of cardboard strips. The cloth doesn't do much to hide its cardboard endoskeleton, but it will make a good starting point for the rock walls that will eventually start to take shape.



Before buying a bunch of plaster cloth, I wanted to first try it out to see what I thought of it. So I bought just one roll. Here's where the roll ran out--just rounding the curve to the river bed. Here the naked cardboard framework is clearly visible.



On the far end of the track, temporary fencing is starting to give way to hardboard edging, which is screwed to the side of the table. Here the cardboard landscape framework has been started. When finished, hopefully the landscaping will provide a "natural" safety net for those cars that overcook a corner!



Soon I'll get to try my hand at the techniques demonstrated by the numerous masters in this forum. It's quite exciting to see it all taking shape!

Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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QUOTE (JeremyR @ 25 Oct 2009, 18:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This weekend I added borders to most of the track, using the foam tape method (discussed previously on SlotForum and documented at http://www.homeracingworld.com/trackborders.htm). Because the tape is slightly thinner than Scalextric Sport track (especially the digital sections), I cut shims from paper board and glued these to either side of the track. The result is that the borders aren't quite level with the track surface, but they're close. I was planning to use automotive body filler to fill in the gaps between the track sections, and hopefully this will adhere to the tape as well. The result should be a seamless surface. (I understand that the tape at least accepts acrylic paint, so I'm sure there will be some way to get things looking good!)

I used 2" wide tape all around, although I did have to trim it somewhat on the inside of the R1 hairpin. The roadway won't necessarily be this wide everywhere, but I'll eventually blend the landscaping into the road surface.
Thanks Jeremy for your update.
Your track is an interesting one to follow. I like what you did with the PB and PSU under the table. Re: the controller cables, what about replacing them with coiled cables? Either that or retractable ones (neither of which have I seen, just suggestions) are the only ways to have a cable shorten automatically.

Re: the trackborders:

Did you buy the Neoprene Rubber and Foam or the Neoprene Blended Foam Rubber from McMaster-Carr?
The latter comes in the lengths mentioned in the linked article while the former does not seem to come in the widths mentioned.
I think I am getting stuck on the exact product name here.
Would you provide some guidance here?

Thanks.
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I used McMaster-Carr's part number 8694K79, which is nominally "Neoprene Blended Foam Rubber" in 1/4" thickness. It's also available in other thicknesses, but unfortunately 5/16" is not one of them. In 1/4" it's available at various widths: 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 2" and 4" (all 50' long). If it takes paint and/or body filler well, it will be just about the perfect stuff!

As for the controller cables, I was thinking about some sort of retracting mechanism, but I hadn't considered the possibility of coiled cords. Certainly something to look into. Thanks!

Cheers,
Jeremy
 

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Even simpler - tie a piece of elastic (the type you find on those cheap masks for kids to the center of the cord and staple it to the bottom of the table. it will keep the cord off the ground and stretch out when needed

Cheers Gloveman
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's right--I am a certifiable Porsche nut. Whatever gave it away?


I've been in love with the Boxster since the concept car was first shown in 1993. I'm now fortunate enough to own one. But racing Porsche slot cars is much more affordable than racing the full-size cars!


Cheers,
Jeremy
 
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