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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

looking for ideas as to power a portable track as some venues do not have 240v supplies,

generator ?

Car Batterys ?

Plug in to van ?

It would need to run for 8hrs with possible 15min breaks inbetween

Cheers Tony
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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Car battery and solar panels...

...or a hamster running around a wheel

Save the planet


If you plugged it into a van for 8 hours that van wouldn't be taking you home afterwards. A generator running for 8 hours is a whole load of energy and fuel pollution for nothing other than flinging a few cars around a track. The kids racing would breathe in so much rubbish, you'd have to take them hosital in your van afterwards.

Maplin Electronics for solar panels, OK?

Tesco for the hamster
 

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Hi Tony
Generator / Car Batterys / Plug in to van would all work.
The big advantage of a generator is it is simple to keep going as long as you want just by refilling the fuel tank.
Batteries can go flat and may well do just that part way through the meeting unless you have capacity to spare.

What sort of cars are you running. That makes a differance to how much battery capacity you'd need.
Does your race control system runs on 12 v? If you need mains, you'd be better off with generators.

Solar panels? There's a need to work out what size solar panels are needed to provide enough current to be worth bothering. As a first approximation you would need large solar panels and a sunny day to do much good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Um looks like i need to buy a extra long extention lead,

Generator looks the most likely but i wonder now about power surges from it ?

T
 

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Mike
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Battery and battery charger use 1 while you find somewhere to charge the other and when power drops change over and charge the flat battery. should last all day
 

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A generator is GBP99 and "4.2 litre tank will run for 5 hours costing approx. £1.13p* an hour"
Also one for 119 that claimed 2.6l for 4 hrs.

Put a second battery in the van with a diode system (commercially available, boats have them) to protect the primary battery so you can drive home. If the slot car battery did show signs of voltage drop off you simply run the van for a while to bring it back up. Check alternator capacity.
 

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QUOTE (Fingers @ 10 Jun 2011, 09:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Um looks like i need to buy a extra long extention lead,

Generator looks the most likely but i wonder now about power surges from it ?
If you are powering the track through a decent power supply plugged into the generator power surges won't be a problem.
If you've got a very basic power supply plugged into the generator then power surges might be worth thinking about.
If you are running a bunch of experienced slot car drivers, they might notice the cars' speed change dues to power surges, particularly if the generator capacity was a bit marginal for the load you were putting on it.
If you are running for the general public, their level of slot car driving competence will not be sufficient to notice the cars' speed change dues to power surges.
 

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I've used my Honda Inverter generator : it delivers 12 V DC (actually 13,9 V) and about 8 amps and it compensates automatically and very quickly the demand of current by varying its rpm. At the same time you still have 1050 Wats at 240V AC to run the drink-coolbox on ...
 

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Do what the Eden project did get people to race in pairs get a row of Bikes attach the back wheel to a car alternator attached to car batteries, get one to peddle and the other to race then change them around at after 10 laps.
Just an idea
Zen
 

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I'd go for a caravan or leisure battery, they should last fine and have enough power to run a track for 8 hours and can be recharged over night.
They are safer than most car batteries being gel filled and are designed to power low loads for a long time.

A slot track doesnt use that much power in real terms and we used to run a 6 lane track at the club using an old car battery and it held out pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Slotcarscrapyard yep leisure batterys seem a good alternative, and not to expensive.

T
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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I'll say again, go for solar panels !

Get to Maplin Electronics and ask about the common sense confusion that you need sunlight for modern panels to work. You can charge up batteries in advance and save a load of cash and a load of pollution. They last for years and nothing can go wrong, either.
 

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QUOTE (Fingers @ 12 Jun 2011, 14:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Slotcarscrapyard yep leisure batterys seem a good alternative, and not to expensive.
T

Yep! About the same as a genny and cheaper to run.

Learn something everyday.


You can still put this battery in the van? Using this two battery system for GBP17

If the van is close it is easier than lugging the battery around.
 

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why is there no power? what is the event? how many cars are you trying to race?are you alone?
thanks zen we designed the track used by the eden project.
 

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QUOTE (slot32 @ 15 Jun 2011, 23:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>why is there no power?

I'm thinking Boot Sale or Village Fair on the green



But only the Shadow knows.....
 

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A leisure battery will work fine until it goes flat.
How long that will take depends on how much current you are taking out of it for how long. Obviously a car is not taking full current when the controller isn't on full power and isn't taking any current when its deslotted or stopped so it's not easy to calculate how fast the battery will last.
I did find a SF thread where Fingers shows us his track and cars. Looks like the kind of cars that take a lot more current than the normal home set type cars.
Guess it might be worth buying one leisure battery for a start and seeing how long it lasted. If it didn't last long enough, buy another one for next time so it can run up to twice as long at the next event.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks all for the input,

I am thinking leisure batterys for sure, and am now thinking can i put them in series together so they last longer.

T
 

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If you want to keep the voltage the same and make them last longer, they should be connected in parallel not in series.

Are you going to be running where there is a mains supply elsewhere on site? If so it might be better to run one battery till its flat, then swap the track to the fully charged one and take the flat one off to the mains supply to start recharging it.
 
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