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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Having put myself in semi isolation I'm in the process of rewiring my track guided by Chris Frost's excellent article:

http://www.slotcarracing.org.uk/trackbuild/part5.htm

I understand the wiring diagrams and the theory behind them pretty well. I don't know what I should ask for. I need a relay for turning track power on and off, a switch for reversing direction, and a circuit breaker to protect it all. Would the best place to get them be a car parts place such as Halfords or a local equivalent? If so, what specifications for each item should I ask for?

I have variable 15 volt, 40 amp power supply (overkill I know) if that has any relevance.

I will be really grateful for any help or advice

Cheers

John
 

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Living the Life!
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11,082 Posts
I would have thought that a local Electrical Retailer/Wholesaler should be best ...... someone like CED or similar.
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Greg,

I've never heard of CED, I'll check their site.

Cheerrs

John
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was chatting to my next door neighbour earlier anout this. He's an engineer and a font of help and knowledge. He's just popped round with a switch for changing direction and a relay for power. I'm lucky to have great neibours, they never complain on the odd occasion when I play Led Zeppelin loud either :)

I just need to check out a circuit breaker now. He's just suggested the power supply might haave one built in? I'll investigate.

Cheers

John
 

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Rich Dumas
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3,593 Posts
Any decent power supply would at least have a protective fuse and also probably have some sort of current limiting circuit, however that would only protect the power supply itself. You indicated that you have a 40 amp power supply. The biggest hazard is a short circuit, that could be caused by an improperly connected controller or something conductive that has gotten across the track rails among other possibilities. 40 amps would melt the insulation on your track wiring, cause the rails to get red hot and warp and plastic track to melt as well. A regular resistor controller would burn up instantly. It is best to have a separate fuse or breaker for each lane. The fuses should be the fast acting type and the amp value that you would choose would be dictated by the amp draw of the cars. I have measured as much as two amps per lane with cars using Slot.it 21.5K type motors, so two amps would be a good value to start with.

Here is an article on power supplies that includes some information on fuses and breakers.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r_mey6LXg4kmp6sX4U3lU-fDA72pXhfj/view?usp=sharing
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Rich,

I occasionally use JK type motors that apparently draw up to 5 amps and I believe some vintage motors, Gp20 etc can take more.

The thought of all that potential heat terrifies me as not only is the track and the shed it lives in wooden there are some boxes of motorcycle magazines etc stored under it.

I'll have a look at your link

Thanks again

John
 

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The power supply we run at Stanboro/Eastcote Scalex Clubs is a Fusion PS600a (600w, 5-15v, 0-40a) regulated.

https://www.pendleslotracing.co.uk/fusion-600w-adjustable-power-supply.html

It has adjustable voltage and ampage.

We 'split' the single power feed at what is basically a 6 way automotive fuse box.

(note there are tiny red LED's that glow if/when there is a short circuit, making it easy

to identify which 'lane' has a problem.)

s-l225.jpg


We 'subsituted' the normal bade fuses with manually resetable automotive circuit breakers rated at 5amp.

These were the lowest ampage value available in the size that fits and they do the job admirably :-

s-l225.jpg


These have all run faultlessly since this set up was installed and have never had any issues ...or any of them 'trip'.

(PSU set at 12v, 20amps)..

Oh and before anyone asks why just 12v....

We have more or less zero votage drop around the entire 132ft Ninco 6 lane layout. Any and all continuity issues

were rectified and sorted when the layout was set up (it is a permanent layout). Any noticable variations in power

on a club night are noted and the problem resolved before the next meeting of either club, and so far we have had

very few of those.

We tried 13.5v (which is what we used to run at in our previous venue, but we found that there was no need to

go beyond 12v to acheive the same speeds and times we had before, such are the benfits of the improved

continuity, the power source, AND that we have a main 'power bar' with 9 track power take off/feed points.

Hope those little fuse boxes and circuit breakers are a welcome idea/suggestion for anyone.

Graham H
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Graham,

I'm getting lots of good information here. Hopefully I'll be able to take the best bits from everyone. I'll post it one SF when I've done it.

Cheers

John
 

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Rich Dumas
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3,593 Posts
If you have a power supply with adjustable amperage leave the control turned up or the power may cut out from time to time under normal conditions. The reason for that is addressed in the article. The lower the amp rating on the fuses the more protection that you will have. DC motors pull a lot of current when they start up, but much less when the car gets moving. If you size your fuses for a little more than the normal running amperage you will be good to go because a brief starting surge will not blow even a fast acting fuse. If you find that you are blowing fuses when there is not a fault just go to ones with a slightly higher value. Breakers are more convenient because you do not have to keep extra fuses around, but they are more expensive. If you start with fuses and find a good amp value to use, you can replace the fuses with breakers.

With respect to storing things under your track I have never heard of a track actually catching fire, but it would be best if flammable items were not too close to any wiring etc..
 

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Hi

How are you taking the feeds of the main power rail, a junction box of some description?
In a way your assumption of junction boxes is right, but we didn't use them but something similar.

I can't remember the name of them but they operate like junction boxes.

I can't give any pictures because I had never seen them before...they were from another

member of the club, and they fitted our requirements, so we used them.

But in essence they're like an open junction box but the wiring pillars are laid out such that

they look like a 2ft long board with bolts sticking up through them. You then attach wires via

large crimp fittings and lock each 'layer' with a nut. (That is a simplistic description, ok)

For info...the fusebox and the circuit breakers were both obtained off ebay....

The box was about £12, and the circuit breakers were from memory £3 or so each.

We have the capability to run the track in reverse, which is what both clubs do to add 'variety'.

However, before anyone asks, we manage this by individual dual pole/dual acting toggle switches

as in On/Off/On, BUT this was all wired up over a year and half ago, and I can't for the life of me

remember exactly how our electrics 'wizard' plumbed it in even though I was assisting. (Dohhh !)

That part of the track wiring was not changed when we swapped from the 6 individual DS-5 power

supplies that we had to the newer single Fusion PS600a unit.

(Due to the Covid19 issue the clubs are closed as the premise is on lock-down, so I can't

get to reaquaint or remind myself how it is all set up unfortunately.)

Graham
 

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I would have thought that a local Electrical Retailer/Wholesaler should be best ...... someone like CED or similar.
CEL?

How about maplins (on line) or RS components.
 
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The articles from Chris (original post) and Rich (post#5) are aimed at very different sorts of slot car. While a lot of the principles are the same , the currents requirement of the motors are very different. Modern high end motors will briefly take over 30 amps where as just 2 amps is adequate for the motors typically used in plastic chassis cars.

If you're running a power supply that can give way more current than the motor needs (which I think John is) it's wise to fuse each lane. What value fuse depends on what motors you run. John mentioned JK motors, JK make quite a range of types 3 amps is adequate for something like the Hawk 25 where as the hotter ones will take over 5amps.

If the wiring is properly sized for the cars, there's no question melting the insulation on the track wiring Of course tracks intended for high end cars are built with suitable wiring and have no problem with 30 ish amps (If you doubt that,just think they are typically wired with something at least as thick as domestic house wiring which is designed to take 30 amps all day) The only way a problem might arise is trying to take high end motor type currents from a track only wired for plastic chassis type cars.
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for that, I also have a few G20 and C Can 26g motors from the 70's and 80's, What sort of maximum current are they likely to draw?

TIA

John
 

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Hi John

The max for the 26g motors will be in the region of 20 ish amps, the group 20s a bit less.

Come to think of it a 40 amp power supply is by no means excessive if you are running two of those at once but fusing each lane at 20 amps would be about right
 

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Old Engineer
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728 Posts
I put appropriately-sized panel mount P&B circuit breakers and sometimes reversing switches in my drivers' panels. I wire each lane back to the supply, and then go to all the lane feeds from there. back when I used to wire commercial tracks, I made feed boards like mentioned above to distribute the power, because the wiring was heavier and there were a lot of 'split' feeds.
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys, I know a lot more now than I did a few days ago when I stared this topic.

Cheers

John
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Since soon after my last post I had to pause the project due to Health issues. Back in April I bought a Slotmaster race control system from David Lelievre http://slotmaster.com

I'm pleased to say that my health has improved recently to the point where I've spent a few hours in my shed yesterday and today to start installing Slotmaster. Hopefully I've finish it by the end of the week.

I've also decided to reduce the number of lanes from 4 to 3. Most of the running is by myself and it'll allow more space for scenery.

Photos and reports of progfress to come in due course.

Cheers

John
 

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John Roche
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4,202 Posts
I'm getting there thanks Shaynus, I have more surgery scheduled for next month subject to Covid not interfering with the hospital then I'll be good to go.

Cheers,

John
 
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