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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I will be building a routed track here in the near future I thought I would ask a few questions.

I used to race 1/24 Wing cars on commercial tracks and love the speed but for a home track I think that I should not replicate this type of track with 4 equal spaced lanes (any comments)?

Here are my questions: -

1. I think I will make it for 1/32 only (any reason why I should include 1/24)

2. If I stay with the 1/32 what is the normal lane spacing, most web sites say 100mm but this seems to big as I think this would suit 1/24, my Classic Scalextric track is only about 75~80 mm what do you suggest?

3. What about banked turns, good or bad?

4. Scenery yes or no?

5. Changes in elevation hills mountains good or bad?

6. What type of power to use? I was thinking of 12v batteries what do you have?

7. I like the idea of the "squeeze" tracks but I can't decide the best method the first picture is similar to a commercial track with "squeeze" on the bends and into some of the straights.


The second method uses a Random method looks good, and would look more realistic! But I don't want to spoil the racing by making it impossible to pass (if you look at this picture I don't think there is a long enough gap to overtake the car on the inside lane before the track squeezes back together again (what do you guys think)


8. How do the standard tyres (SCX, Scalextric, FLY etc) work in a painted surface compared to the soft sponge type used by 1/24 commercial type cars?

I have an area of about 3m x 9m (10' x 30') to play with so I do have a bit of room to play with.

Colin
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Just some of my own thoughts:

Lane Spacing and 1/32 vs. 1/24

Commercial tracks typically run 4" (102 mm) or even a bit more for 1/24 spacing and somewhere around 3.25" (82.5 mm) for 1/32. Whether you ever plan to run 1/24 cars is definitely a decision only you can make, but you may want to exceed the normal spacing on plastic track even for 1/32 cars, just to reduce the contact level in turns. It's really just a personal choice issue. I'm intending to use 4" spacing for much of the track so I can run cars built using the prevalent 1/24 and 1/25 model kits sold here as bodies, although 1/32 will be the scale I use most and will be the scale I decorate in. I will not have a uniform spacing everywhere on my track however.

What about banked turns, good or bad?

Personally, I hate them. No proper 1:1 road course has them (beyond just a very few degrees) and road courses are all I would build. They CAN be used to make a short track faster, but I just don't like them. Obviously, if you want to build a NASCAR oval, some serious banking may need to be considered.

Scenery yes or no?

YES!

Changes in elevation hills mountains good or bad?

My favourite real tracks all have considerable elevation change and I wouldn't build a slot track that didn't. I generally use a bridge so elevation change is implied.

What type of power to use? I was thinking of 12v batteries what do you have?

I used to use batteries, but having had a good electronic supply for many years I will never go back to them. You need a supply that can provide enough amperage for the motors you intend to run, and one with a variable voltage feature will enable you to suit the overall power level to your track, your cars, and the people who are racing. For RTRs on a 4-lane track, a 0-15V, 10-amp supply is adequate. For larger tracks, or hotter motors, I would look for something like 0-20V, 20-amp. For huge tracks, or very warm motors, possibly even 30 amps. Unless you want to run modified 16D motors, you really don't need battery power and in the long run it is cheaper, and more convenient, to buy a good power supply.

I like the idea of the "squeeze" tracks

I do too, but they need to be used very sparingly, and smartly, or you risk ruining the racing action, IMO. Used in a tight hairpin, or perhaps a set of esses, they can add interest and excitement. When overused, they become a source of frustration for drivers. I think both of your examples illustrate tracks that I would find frustrating. I prefer to let the racers race, and perhaps have one section (perhaps two on a long track) where they must keep the "chicane" in mind.

Take anything I have said as being just my opinion. You need to decide for yourself the exact track you want.
 

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Random thoughts from the peanut gallery with brief explanations.

Lane Spacing - Make it for the 1/24th cars - More room to get loose.

What about banked turns - Yuck - I race on one, they aren't what they're cracked up to be.

Scenery - optional - Keep it clean and low profile or it's just another distraction that needs cleaning and interferes with the racing.

Changes in elevation - optional - You don't notice them when racing anyway.

What type of power - high amperage clean power supply - Batteries are great but they are not for lazy people. Buy or build the highest amperage power supply you can and be certain it's clean DC. I could go on for a long time with this one but I said 'brief' up there somewhere.

I like the idea of the "squeeze" tracks - OK - Whatever floats your boat, it's your track


Maybe I should have used a different color, like puce. I agree with Fergy on all points really but I didn't want to just come out and say that because then my post would have been condensed to "Me too" and since I don't use AOL I'm not licensed to use that phrase. You have to consider the legallity of your posts here in the US. This probably has something to do with whether or not the water spiralling down the drain travels in a clockwise or counterclockwise swirl. Either that or the proximity of bedrock to the surface in their mailing area.
 

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I too am in the planning stages of my first ever track and have had similar thoughts. This is what I have concluded

The way I see it and from the home routed tracks I race on would be 100mm spacing. It gives the flexability to run 24th scale.

Yes to slightly banked turns (no more then 5 deg)It just seems to make the tracks more flowing

Scenery - does it make the cars go faster (well I'm building a pull down track, scenery is really out of the question.

elevation changes - yes, but I'm not going crazy

I've been told to forget batteries. Dont forget, they produce fumes when charged. Even tho a good power supply is expensive, once its bought, its bought.

Squeeze sections.....hmmm.... I have been hanging around another forum where at times guys seem to get very... well.... without offending... lets just say, if you dont have squeeze sections, there opinion is why build a routed track.
I have also discussed it with the guys of the club that I race with. There opinion is squeezes causes way too much agro. Its bad enough getting the tail out and flicking the guy next to you out of the slot, then actually forcing him ontop of you. But then again, I suppose its what you are used too.
Anyhow my plan is not to have squeezes. To me, I get enough thrill out of racing side by side for a few laps.

Like I said, this is my first track as well and I am still a newbie
 

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One of the big newbie mistakes is making too technical a track. A squeeze section, chicane or whatever is fine but when the entire track is a chicane, squeeze section etc it becomes too annoying to be fun. If you think one turn might be a little tight then route a scrap piece of wood and see if your longest car can make it around easily. The track is supposed to be fun above all else.

Something that might help is after drawing out your track on a piece of paper and figure out where the corner marshalls will need to be positioned. You want as few corner marshalls as possible because they are a rare breed that are difficult to find. Also figure on how you will clean the track. Where the drivers stations will be positioned and their visibility of the track. Any bridges, overpasses, trees, grandstands etc need to be placed where drivers can still see the car at all times or the corner marshalls can see where the car wrecked at AND be able to reach it. Also make sure that you can access ALL portions of the track without having to crawl, contort, stretch or jump.

Don't be afraid to copy a known working track design if it suits your tastes. Here in the US they're doing their best to copyright, trademark, patent and whatever else known to mankind but track designs are still free to use. If you find a layout you like but one section is no good to you, then change that section. Something else to remember is that it is only MDF, if you don't like a section after it's done, cut it out or fill it and do it again. Don't live with mistakes, all mistakes on tracks can be fixed.
 

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There are some really excellent responses up there and I largely agree with the comments to date.

Lane spacing and whether to squeeze or not are the most fundamental decision requirements - really difficult to make!

I have been considering these matters for a long time - considering is much cheaper than construction, but every bit as much effort!

Initially, I had 'firmly' decided on 4"/100mm spacing, as this was recommended in many authoritative places, on the basis of a little more clearance for 1/32 scale and the facility to accommodate 1/24 scale if ever needed. But as more and more time passed, I eventually concluded that the reality, for me, (and probably most HOME racers) is that 1/24 is extremely unlikely and that I should not take its greater space requirements into account after all.
My present inclination is towards 3.5 inch spacing.

I also concluded that the points made above, with regard to access and visibility, absolutely MUST take precedence over appearance, in spite of the immense admiration I have for the many beautifully landscaped and decorated tracks that abound. NOT that there should be no landscaping, only that it MUST be secondary to a circuit that is FUN TO DRIVE above all other considerations. Devise a great track for racing on and only then consider landscaping it - without compromising essential vision and access.

As for squeeze sections, years of experience and thought lead me to believe that, no matter how good they can LOOK, they tend to detract from the main business of simple slot racing fun. imho, anything that actively contributes to deslotting, other than curves, and the skill to negotiate them at speed, represents a real obstacle to the simple fun that is the essence of slotting. Having said that, extra obstacles actually DO represent extra fun to some people! But my own experience is that those are a minority. Certainly one should take the minority into account, but to maintain the majority's continued interest in minimising deslots, consider omitting squeezes altogether and, if wishing to incorporate them, definitely keep them to a minimum or some people will become frustrated and lose interest.

What that all amounts to is a primary personal decision as to whether racing or admiring is one's priority and BOTH are valid - it's your track, after all!


Although it is your track, there is an assumption that other people will race on it too. So I suggest you gather the comments from this topic and discuss them in depth with your friends before making any fundamental construction decisions. The more time that passes in discussion, bouncing pros and cons back and forth, the clearer becomes the majority desire, although you will never please everyone, that's almost certain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for ALL the great replies so far, and the time and effort put into them I really do appreciate all of your comments.

I think that several decisions are starting to fall into place, (but these could change between now and the actual build date).

1. Probably 4 lanes with a "Lane spacing" of about 3.5" as I will only want to run 1/32 at home so I can save some space here.
2. Only slightly banked curves on some corners.
3. Some scenery and elevation changes (just a couple of inches" to remove the "Flat Board" appearance and maybe a slightly higher "hill" section for added interest.
4. Not to twisty as I want the track to "flow" (I built a plastic track with lots of twisty bits and I hated driving it)!
5. I have read on a forum that old PC power supplies are good for track power? And they have a 5v output as well for "Timing circuits" and "LED lighting" etc.
6. I will have 1 or 2 Squeeze areas probably on the turns but I will draw up a few plans and decide then.

By for Now.
Colin
 

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I have just built a 4 lane routed track. This is my 2nd attempt. The first was a 3 lane track with too many curves.

This one is a 15m per lane with one twisty section with a squeeze in it. Squeeze sections can be fun if not overdone. Knocking someone out is part of the fun if everybody is into it.

Just finished laying the tape and the first few drives seems like it works.

I spent 18 months designing, and redesigning, discussing with a few slotheads.

Its great to give a routed track ago half the fun of this hobby is designing and building tracks, scenery and cars.

 
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