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Giacomo
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667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After few years racing on my scaley track and few changes to my Ironman circuit, which started as a digital track with all the ultimate tech HW (PB-Pro 1.8 + Simple H and Pit-Pro) and ended to analogue with DS300 + Parma Plus controllers + Truspeed PWM, the idea of a better layout with custom fit curves has been nurture for a while with the increasing need of at least an additional lane.
Initially I planned just to route some custom fit curves, but as you can imagine as soon as I started routing I realized it was not practical to have half track in wood and half in plastic. So I went for the full scope for a complete three lane wood track.

To dismantle the existing track has taken me three whole weeks. Even with very little scenery I made it was a big decision, but the most crucial question was if I could stand for few weeks of my vacation without slot racing…

Sometime harsh decision for the better must be taken so I went along and as soon as I removed from my hobby room all the slot components and placing them in the nearest available large empty space (TV room) my half beloved realized how much stuff I bought in the last few years for the hobby… She was not that pleased…

Coming to the topic:
First thing is to learn the most efficient and precise way of defining the layout on the different MDF boards without wasting too much of it and allowing a good connection later on.
I started with the long straight and the banked curve going into the elevation.
Second piece was the shorth twisted straight
Third the the curve into the tunnel.
Fourth piece has been the big curve connected to the straight (first item routed)
Fifth the inner part of the track made of almost an entire MDF board
Sixth and almost final piece the undertunnel straight. I kept it as the last one after the track was elevated and banked since this is changing the curvature.
An empty space has been left when I will receive the new DS bridge (4 lanes DS bridge to be converted into three). I know it is a waste of money having a second Stop & Go box + DS timer only for one additional lane but maybe in the future there will be a 4 lane track…

Since I have never used a router, a big help was received reading the Christ Frosts' web site.
After reading several posts here in SF, to use a good quality router bit of 3mm - double balde - and cut the slot 9mm depth. I had an old Chinese made one of 1/8" which lasted 20cm, I bought 2 new ones of good quality and I belive I can still cut few more entire tracks before binning the first one.
For the straights it is quite simple if you follow the correct direction of the router. For the curves I had to find the proper centre given the radius. I solve it using first a balsa square stick (10mm x 10mm x 1m) with at the end one hobby pin and then with the pencil sketching the curvature. Then I build a simple attachment to the router in wood with 1"x 2" and a screw to held it in the centre while I was routing the curve.
Some initial mistakes were made but thanks to the Plastic putty for automotive (do not use the one for wood, it will crack away while routing!) it was resolved and 30 minutes after the correct route could be cut again (it says that it dry in 10 min but depending on the with of the error there could be a lot of material in 9mm depth.

For the elevations I use again the 1" x 2" wood screwed in place to the newly extended table after having tested the correct levels with some left over pieces of wood.

So far with the first hand of painting (latex based paint) it took me around 30 hours, including the extension of the existing table which is now 4.38m x 1.56m + L section that protrude of 1m with a width of 1,50m.

Next step is laying the copper tape as soon as the Parma copper tape arrives home and do some preliminary running tests!

Here there are few pictures of the beginning.










One week has passed and nothing happened (no tape yet
) but that gave me time for preparing other stuff around the track.
I spend a weekend creating the parabolic curve (only 8degr inclination) entering the long straight so I might be able to have a quite decent stretch and then I have been spending quite a while for the the side walls to make sure no cars are flying around the house.
When the paint is dry I plan to have a white stripe on both sides near the walls.






Yep, about the house: do you think my wife really really likes the big mess I left in the living room for the last two weeks? First she realize how much stuff I accumulated in the lastest years (and how much I have spent) but now she is pushing me to spend as much time as I have to finish the track so she can have a normal house once again




Cheers,
JamieG
 

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Premium Member
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2,699 Posts
Well done! Love the banking.
 

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Giacomo
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667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you guys, I really appreciate your encouragement.
It's now 2 weeks without track and with the lack of clubs in the area I am suffering a lot

I hope soon to be able to run it.

I have a technical question: I am planning to have 3 places with power tapping for my 20m long track. Do you think is good enough and what method is mostly recommended? I am thinking to have screws from top with some solder to be melted with the copper tape. I saw an alternative with side holes and wire soldered on top of the copper tape but I feel the screw looks better and simple.

Cheers,
JamieG
 

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Rich Dumas
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3,539 Posts
We have several tracks that are about the same length as yours and they have worked well without extra power taps. We have had problems with the tape splitting at the joints in the track surface and I believe that is the result of putting too much tension on the tape as you lay it down. If you do get a split having extra taps will of course minimize the power losses, but you would still want to fix any breaks in the tape.
 

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Giacomo
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667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can see now the advantage of the cable soldered on top of the tape. With the screw solution it will became a weak point on the tape!
I read somewhere I should lay the tape with the room at a warm temperature to avoid later tensions. This is what I am planning to do.

So what you say it is not to bother to have power taps right now.
That's can be an easy solution TBH. If I detect power losses I can always add them later.
I have one point of my track where I can still make the power tap with the tape going under the track which is almost at half the lane lenghts. Maybe I should do it just there.
Thanks RichD, you unconsciously open my eyes!

Cheers,
JamieG
 

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3,568 Posts
What sort of copper tape are you using?

The tape intended for glazing use tends to split if put under much tension, and can give trouble with splitting at the joints in the track surface. The guys who use this stuff usually recommend laying it under little or no tension

The tape intended for slot car tracks should ALWAYS be laid under tension.

Power taps may not be needed on that lap length, it depends on what motors are used and what thickness of tape is used. Taps can always be added later if there turns out to be a noticeable power drop to half way round the lap.
 

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Parma copper tape should be stretched as its put down.

My guess is you won't really need power taps. Depends what motor you have in your NSR Mosler , most likely it will take less current than the Parma 16d
Even with a 16d you probably won't need power taps.
 

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Tel
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4,031 Posts
QUOTE (JamieG @ 15 Aug 2011, 12:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have a technical question: I am planning to have 3 places with power tapping for my 20m long track. Do you think is good enough and what method is mostly recommended? I am thinking to have screws from top with some solder to be melted with the copper tape. I saw an alternative with side holes and wire soldered on top of the copper tape but I feel the screw looks better and simple.

I used the same method as our club track, and it works a treat, and looks tidy IMO:







Although power taps may not be needed, it wont hurt, helps with potential tape splits and ensures even power, so win win I feel.
I went with 4 on my 15M track length, again overkill but I'm that kinda guy


Great looking layout, keep up the good work
 

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Giacomo
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667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you Savage,
that's exactly what I was planning to do.
The only thing is see on that solution is that it will became a weak spot if tension exists as some has mentioned.

The good part with your solution is that I can do it in a second time if required.

Cheers,
JamieG

PS: just got all the stuff now but I had no time to work on it
 

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Tel
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4,031 Posts
QUOTE (JamieG @ 26 Aug 2011, 10:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The only thing is see on that solution is that it will became a weak spot if tension exists as some has mentioned.

Not sure how you mean ?
My tape is glazing tape, and was laid with minor tension, no problems so far (completed about 14 months ago) not sure what tape/tension is used on the club track, but no issues on that either and its been going some time with lots of use.
Countersink the hole, lay tape in and flatten for 20cm each side or so before applying tension if thats a concern

Even if the tape does split at the hole, the brass machine screws will maintain continuity , and the tape over the top (punched through) will back that up.

One word of advice, from the benefit of hindsight: Stagger the holes, it makes it easier to access the wiring/nuts below
 

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Giacomo
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667 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (Savage @ 26 Aug 2011, 13:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One word of advice, from the benefit of hindsight: Stagger the holes, it makes it easier to access the wiring/nuts below


I'm not sure I understand what do you mean with "stagger" the hole. Do you mean not to have both of them in the same position?

About the tension I found there are different opinions on SF. When I will start taping I will understand better. I suspect the ones mentioning that the tape will have tension is more because it will be caused by sensitive temperature differences in the room (which I should not have BTW).

I like your neat solution and thanks for the useful tips!
Oh, yes almost forgot: Sealevel, I can see from your nice pics you kept some space between the tape border and the slot (Carrera track style). What is the reason? Easier to apply the tape or...

Cheers,
JamieG

PS: I got the Parma copper foil and to my surprise (and disappointment) I discover it is "MasterFoil" for glass stained applications. So, I waited 20 days to get it, paid a lot more and get the same stuff I could have bought in flee-bay around Europe. Oh yes, it came with the Parma bag
 

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Targa Freak
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936 Posts
Hi Jamie, Savages Screw-method is very professional. If you are looking for an easy and fast way you can drill three little holes (2mm) then connect them to a little slot (as wide as the coppertapes are) and put the tape thru these slots under the table. Then solder the powerline directly to the coppertape: Costs zero works 100%. Regards Jens
 

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Tel
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4,031 Posts
QUOTE (JamieG @ 26 Aug 2011, 14:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm not sure I understand what do you mean with "stagger" the hole. Do you mean not to have both of them in the same position?

What I meant was instead of having the +ve and -ve for each lane directly opposite as I did, move one forward of the other by 20-30mm to allow easier terminal/nut access
 

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Excellent layout and work Jamie, it looks more like "a second track" than a first time, and your patience in being methodical will pay off, it'll be worth it in the end.
 
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