if you want the cars to go the other way round all the time, you might as well turn the track piece around. Or else take the power base apart (carefully and somewhere that the screws won't dissapear down cracks in the floor) and investigate
im a fiddley bugger, there aint much point in me planning a perminanet track cos ill just want to change it, so im keeping all my track (when my gf lets me hav it) temp, so i may want to change directions occasionaly. but if its not easy, ill just swap it round. cheers
In fact, it's a very simple matter! Since I don't know exactly what system you use, I suggest you go for altering the transformer output. Get a two-way switch with no less than 6 poles (2x3, cheap thing btw). Cut the outgoing cable (NOT THE WALLPLUG CORD!). Solder the outcoming power + and - at the middle pair (let's call them 3 & 4), put a pair of jumpers (short cables) and connect them diagonally from one corner to the opposite end and vice versa (1 to 6, and 2 to 5). Finally you add the outgoing power cables to either of the pair 1&2, or 5&6. If you get it right you will be able to change direction with a flick of the switch. I'm sorry I can't enter a picture of it, it would be a lot simpler to illustrate that way, but I hope this will be clear enough.
With all due respect - don't do what LemmyLemur suggests!!!!!!!
This may work with many track systems, but not with Scalextric Sport powerbase.
The transformer gives 16V AC - so the switch on the transformer would do nothing. There is a bridge rectifier within the powerbase, so a DC input in one polarity (cars going the normal way round) should work ok, but a reverse polarity DC input would result in the cars not driving at all.
The switch wiring is well explained, but this must be placed in between the power base and the rails, not between the powerbase and transformer; also, you need one for each lane (or use a 4 pole switch instead of a 2 pole switch)
ok, well, if i were to have a 4 lane track, wuth 2 power bases, id hav it with one on one side of the reack, and the other would be next to it, but the other way round. id have to chan ge the direction of one, or the cars on one track would go the other way round to the other, so how could i perminentlay change the direction on a powerbase, ifi was to get a second one?
For my four lane track, I used 4 DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) knife switches.
I placed them between the leads coming from my controller hookup panel and the power taps in the tracks.
I have three tracks (placed around the circuit) with power feeds (taps). Each of these is connected to a 12 awg bus leading back to the controller hookup panel.
By "crossing" the outside poles of a DPDT switch (6 poles total), connecting the incoming lines to one end and the outgoing leads to the middle poles, throwing the switch causes the polarity to change going to the lane.
This will not change the polarity going to controllers (good if you use electronic controllers which may be polarity sensitive).
By using 4 switches, each lane is independently controllable (for direction). This can make for very interesting racing with different lanes moving in different directions...one needs not only drive one's own car, but watch out for oncoming cars around corners!
Professor Motor's site has a good diagram for switch wiring. If you don't want to "Cross" your own switches, you can purchase a 4-way light switch for each lane. There are only 4 poles exposed (crossing is done for you) and hookup is indicated by the color of the screws on the switch. 4-way light switches are used when more than 2 light switches are needed in a single circuit for standard household lighting. The National Electric Code (annotated version is best) has a good explanation of how and why these are used. These switches are also nice because they will mount in standard electrical boxes and accept standard switch plates.
Ok, I may be living in the past, but a "scaly system" to me does not by necessity mean that the "Power Base" is the world standard unit to be expected in a Scalextric layout, especially as it wasn't even mentioned in the original post! I might be wrong in the respect of contemporarity, and if so I'm honestly sorry I didn't mention this gadget in my previous post. But astro is absolutely right about the rectifier in the power base unit and the problem my suggestion in that case would have caused. Thanks astro for the heads up!
Several suggestions have already been made since my post in this thread now, but I still have a few sents to add: If you want to solve the issues you have skeeter: get rid of the power bases once and for all! And if you read between the lines of the other posterers ideas, this is what they ultimately suggests! Correct me if I'm wrong here guys. But I can not see any advantage of using this silly "Power Base"-system except for the fact that the novice could hook the track up with a little bit more ease than before this Great invention! And I managed to connect my Scalextric track at the age of four in the sixties without any Power Bases...
If you fancy a master direction switch in a 4-lane layout, get a sufficient single DC transformer instead of messing with a bunch of AC (or DC for that matter)-units per lane. The problem of having a 4-lane layout using power bases in opposite direction just vanishes the very same second! And if you do go for that, it's still very simple to add direction switches for each lane if that is the way you want to go.
If you would ever come to the situation of using controller with diodes (so called electronically controllers, which is by the way overkill in terms of cost in amateur business), this will never be a problem as long as you deal with switching the polarity to the track rails rather than to the whole system (before controllers), wich in fact is a cup of peanuts to wire up if you have the slightest skill in reading wireing.
If not, I suggest you ask your buddy to do the soldering. These things are not high tech stuff, just pure simple routing. There is a lot to find about this on the net if you just spend some time on it.
forgot to say that astros assumption that you NEED to have independent switches for all lanes doesn't comply if you use a single DC unit with the power bases terminated, except for the case already mentioned that you use "diode controllers" (polarity sensitive) and that you in that case put the switch directly from the PSU, which I assume you are not.
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