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Portable track power

2447 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  300SLR
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
1 - 4 of 19 Posts
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.
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.
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.
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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