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Bill
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I've been thinking about experimenting with a portable digital routed (PDR) track. The easiest approach, I think, would be to rout the track, and then drop in the plastic digital pieces. Given my constraints, it would have to be portable. I'm thinking that two 5'x3' sections combining to make 10'x3' (that is about 3.5m x 1m) would make a significant size for fun racing, but small enough to put in the back of my van or store under my current table. I'm thinking (of course) of a rally type track with some small elevation changes. Here are two preliminary plans that I drafted. I'm leaning toward plan #2 because it's simpler to make as my first go at this. I'd love to have any comments or suggestions.

PLAN #1


PLAN #2
 

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I would use #2. In the left corner I would make a small change, that the two lanes are not crossing. so you can work total on one level, thats a lot easier.

My suggestion is not to use the plastic material, but the electric. you can add extra opto sensors, solenoids and so you can build everything in a routed track.

greetings from germany
 

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No1 super guy
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I like them both, but I can see why No.2 would be easier, and as it will be digital you won't need the lane equality No.1 provides.
Bound to be a super track whatever one you go for, judging by your previous efforts Bill.
Is this something we can expect to look forward to in the near future
. I hope so

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Bill
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Still thinking about a portable digital track... it did occur to me that by using drop in (digital) pieces for the connection between the two 5'x3' section I could also make the track interchangeably digital and analogue simply by swapping those pieces. Perhaps another advantage. I hear Gecko's suggestion, which I guess is just to embed the digital electronics in wood. I'm still thinking it would be easier to use the plastic pieces as it would seem to be so much easier. I see the other thread on SSD and wood, so if someone else pioneers this approach then it would be easier for those of us less electronically gifted to follow in their path. I'm leaning toward Plan #2, and still tweaking it... I put one squeeze into it. I'm thinking that the digital piece on the top straight would be an actual bridge crossing a small canyon.

 

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It seems to me that the last approach could be the best, so go for # 2 [or rather, # 3]. The abridging drop-down-LC/digi-piece concept is simply brilliant, thus you also get a more versatile track configuration. Change direction of the track, for instance.

And at that, you could also try out the different digi systems if wanted, by making short transition-pieces at each end of the drop-down-LC/digi-piece. The half-loops may have in some way be prepared/pre-installed for all the different systems though? ..

Also, if wanted, you could put in an extra middle section and you´d still get both an analog/digi-track. No parts wasted. Hmm .. this reminds of or seems very close to Gazza´s tracks .. with modules and different add-on-parts ..

.. cheers ..

-- ron --
 

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Stuart Walters
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Hi Bill
I too am pondering this for my next track. Rather than placing plastic pieces with wood I'm going to try and take the gubbings out of the xlcs (with flippers) and power base and build them into my track. I've just had a look at the gubbings and although tricky I think it would be achievable. My purpose for this is so I can make the changing lane 3 times the length as it is now and incorporate it into 3 lanes. Good luck with yours
 

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Hmmm. BLST?
Need to ponder this but maybe it could be incorporated. I personally prefer your last design Bill. K.I.S.S.

The canyon would certainly enable you to drop down to baseboard level for the join and it could be hidden by a strip of 'water'.
 

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QUOTE (1eye101 @ 25 Sep 2007, 20:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Bill
I too am pondering this for my next track. Rather than placing plastic pieces with wood I'm going to try and take the gubbings out of the xlcs (with flippers) and power base and build them into my track. I've just had a look at the gubbings and although tricky I think it would be achievable. My purpose for this is so I can make the changing lane 3 times the length as it is now and incorporate it into 3 lanes. Good luck with yours


I´m doing this myself in the moment. my experience is:

for the flipper use 3mm axes which you shorted and hold it with imbus-ring??
buy extra solenoids, they are stronger and you can place them direct under the track, peco PL10E.
use extra optosensors, so you have to drill only one little hole in your track.

if you want to make it more easier, use extra optos for the start lane and seperate the light-bridge from the lane and put it direct in the wood.

so you need only a lot of little holes in your routed track.

if I´m finished I will post some pictures.

greeting andreas
 

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#2 is the better track.

I am working on my own routed track an I have put the plastic sections in. was not hard and works well.

the problem with adding the digital bits to the wood instead of just using the plastic track is that the lane changes are sharp and you kinda need the magnets on those sections. also the magnets assure the sensor is read.

I marked out the area for the xlcs and routed a pocket out. I used 12mm MDF so I went 9? mm deep and there are no gaps and the surfaces are level.

I had to remove the tabs and connector pins from the xlcs.
 

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QUOTE (Gundam2000 @ 26 Sep 2007, 18:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>#2 is the better track.

I am working on my own routed track an I have put the plastic sections in. was not hard and works well.

the problem with adding the digital bits to the wood instead of just using the plastic track is that the lane changes are sharp and you kinda need the magnets on those sections. also the magnets assure the sensor is read.

I marked out the area for the xlcs and routed a pocket out. I used 12mm MDF so I went 9? mm deep and there are no gaps and the surfaces are level.

I had to remove the tabs and connector pins from the xlcs.

So, let's see some photos please.
 

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Bill
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (Gundam2000 @ 26 Sep 2007, 08:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hope this works.

you can see the pockets and the evil magnetic paint


Did this get any further Gundam? I'm still thinking about this. Again, I'm thinking about (1) something that is portable/storable and (2) something that I might be able to convert back and forth from analog to digital. I think I might start with a test track, but something fun. One sheet of MDF would be good, but I don't like the idea of a 4'x8' track. I'm thinking that it would be better if it were 2'x12' or 2'x16' -- that would give me the opportunity to have a good straight in there, which I always like. I could make it two sections -- 2'x6' each (that is, about .7m x 2m each). Here's an idea (which also allows me some space to incorporate my SCX Rally Box). I'd probably have a couple inches of elevation, with the back "highway" a little higher than the front. I'd drop in the digital plastic sections into the routed MDF.

 

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G'day Bill.
I couldn't help think that, as a rally track, you could do worse than adopting oldslot's lane change board that drops in, allowing you to use all lanes when driving solo, without the need for the digital wiring issues.
Great to be able to watch this one progress though!
Please keep us updated.
 

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Bill, I was thinking about this and one of your initial plans and I got to thinking.........It seems to me that realistically on most real world 1:1 tracks you have maybe a couple of passing opportunities.....perhaps 1 or 2 more on the largest of circuits......So my thought was, How much MORE could you do if you utilized Single lane track and Pit in outs to set up Passing opportunities followed by having to line up for a return Back to single lane....... Not sure how it would work or even IF it would work But it is an intriguing thought..........you'd really have to be thinking like a driver and getting set up for the opportunity to Make your move.........If each were a bit different going into and coming out of ( for example one would be designed to allow for the car with better acceleration to capitalize while another may go to the car that has better braking/handling.........Might make for some interesting racing.......Worth a dry layout perhaps??

You may even consider making your own turnout ( pit left/right) sections to save a bit of do re mula!!
 

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Bill
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Wow, got tentative approval of the wife to go forward with this idea--as long as the track can be stored away when not in use. So, I'm continuing to develop the idea.
QUOTE (knoath @ 23 Feb 2008, 16:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I couldn't help think that, as a rally track, you could do worse than adopting oldslot's lane change board that drops in, allowing you to use all lanes when driving solo, without the need for the digital wiring issues.This is a great idea. I could make the analogue version a one-person rally track using a crossover. This got me looking at the OldSlotRacer's site for more ideas...

QUOTE (Tileguy @ 24 Feb 2008, 07:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bill, I was thinking about this and one of your initial plans and I got to thinking.........It seems to me that realistically on most real world 1:1 tracks you have maybe a couple of passing opportunities.....perhaps 1 or 2 more on the largest of circuits...Indeed, with squeezes on a routed track, I could limit the passing in spots without having to add the electronics of a digital single lane. This would save even more money, and allow the track to switch between digital and analogue versions. While I understand the idea of limiting passing opportunities, I also think that if you limit them too much then it's just frustrating and I want to make this track fun for newbies. Also, perhaps a track that I can buy a Hummer to race!

I'm looking at the OldSlotRacer for ideas--what a great source. I'm stealing ideas for this from his Raid track and his World Rally. I especially liked the idea of a split track with a bridge and some water (but I'll stick with MDF--no lexan track!). I wanted to create three distinct driving challenges in this short track -- a long straight, a fast technical, and a slow technical area. The slow technical area will be done with a squeeze to prevent passing (and let me cram more length into the small track). All suggestions are welcome!!!
 

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Ian
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Woah! Bill,
At it again
I had missed this thread, but I won't from now on! I love your work, following it from planing to completion this is another for me to follow.
 

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Nice to see this afloat again .. I´ve had too much coffee to drink maybe .. but anyway, here´s a few ideas, Bill ..

-- If you chose to do the main straight as an motorway overpass or bridge in a lean arch, the pond or a small stream in the valley underneath would fit in. [level 1] .. great spot here for an angry fisherman, as rallycars ruin his day.
-- Also, if the overpass is on [double] pillars at the edge of roadway, [grey dots, which are hard to see, sorry] perhaps some 12-16' up to the top [from level 1] gives room for some extra sqeezed loops under it, behind the pillars at right [blue streched line] without a viewblock. You also gain some feet of extra track.
-- The very left hand end of the bridge could be 4-8' lower than the right hand part, thus the arch runs slightly upwards, left to right and levels out at the middle of the right section,
-- Left hand rally section could be almost level, the esses under the bridge at right runs in uphill slope towards right corner. All this to add some scenic interest.
-- Some weaving on bridge could be necessary to get through between the oil barrels [red dots, red line the armco on bridge] or have it just as a full speed straight line.
-- The barrels at right at the front edge between two bends in rally course could be swapped for a yump [or a hump?], if wanting to run *the fast course*, just a long, biggish loop.



Any good? .. [sorry about the crappy picture, it should be 800 wide, and a bit sharper]

-- ron --
 

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Hi Bill,

My track build has stalled for quite some time now. Now that my son is at school, I find that he is much more interested in spending time with me in the weekends, so I feel guilty disappearing into the garage to work on the track.

That said, there's lots of construction going on in my head, so to speak. I too have been thinking of ways to make a track easily switchable between digital and analog, and here's what I've been thinking.

On the underside of the base board, close to the egde (so the base unit can stick out the side) will be two "blocks" that the ends of the base unit track can sit between. One end is fixed and the other end will be spring loaded or held in place with a wingnut (not sure of the best arrangement yet). The "blocks" will grip the track piece, and provide an electrical connection to power the track. That way I can "borrow" the digital power base from my son's scaley set without altering it in any way, and swap back to an analog one (for practising on my own). The fixed end could even be one end of a piece of sport track screwed to the bottom of the MDF.

If that description is hard to follow, here's a (very) quick diagram. Drawing the diagram made me think a pivoting end bracket could provide a quick, easy option to attach the power base.

Side and top view


Of course, if you don't need to keep the powerbases intact you could separate them from the track and just plug in whichever one you wish to use.
My track is two lanes with a home made equivalent of a SLC. That way it can be a simple two lane circuit or (by switching the "lane changers") a two lap, single lane. By allowing the digital powerbase to be used I can race two cars on the two lap single lane circuit (first car to catch up to the other wins!!!!).

Oops. It just occurred to me (looking at Gundam2000's pics) that if you're using a 6 car PB, that having the power base track section under the MDF won't allow the cars to pass over the sensors. I've only got the 4 car PB, so it doesn't matter to me. Hmmm, I wonder how far away from the cars the sensors still work? Even if the powerbase track was held directly under the MDF and holes were drilled to let the sensors see the cars, would the distance be too great? It would also mean you'd have to route your track very close to the edge of the MDF to be able to use the powerbase like that.

Oh well. It was a good idea for my purpose. Now that I've explained it, it's probably not an appropriate solution to your "problem". Are you going to be using a 6 car or 4 car PB?
 
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