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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All:

It's been a while since I've posted anything about the progress that I have been making on my 8'x17' track. Currently, I've been working on the track itself rather than the structures. The track is all wired up and running great! I run both analog and Pro-X digital on it - although not at the same time. I altered the Pro-X black box with the help of a friend so that it's a matter of flipping four switches to go from analog to digital. We followed the article in issue #20 of Model Car Racing magazine (published here in the USA). Here are a couple of pictures of the track in it's final configuration with all of the Pro-X components in place (five double lane change sections, one functioning pit lane and two Mobil receiver towers for wireless digital controllers). You can see that the structures that I've made in the places where they will be located.





The screen at the perimeter of the table is a temporary setup to keep the cars on the table when they deslot. I will "bowl" the scenery up at the edges of the table to achieve the same results when I get to it.

I've put a fair amount of time into wiring the track. I went a bit overboard on power taps. There are seven taps for analog and eight for digital. Five of the digital taps are placed immediately next to the lane change sections. One is next to the pit lane turn-out and the remaining two are located in the longest stretches of track between the LC's. I have had excellent performance from my Pro-X setup and I'd like to think that the power taps are the reason. The Pro-X black box is located in one of the four drawers I built under the table. There is also a small model train transformer that I use for building lighting and future track lighting. Eventually, the track will be fully scenic'd and I didn't want to see the black box, transformer or the analog connector track. There are four remote analog driver's stations at the corners of the table. Here are some pictures of the black box, transformer, wiring and driver's stations. There are no Pro-X driver's stations, as I am using wireless controllers for digital.













I will use Lionel Trains light towers for the track lighting. The size of Lionel's light towers work pretty well with 1:32 scale. I will use two different types of light towers. Four eight-lamp fixtures will be placed along the front straight across from the pit building. Four or five two-lamp fixures will be located around the a parking lot that will be behind the pit building. The idea of the parking lot is to create a scene that may have taken place in the 1960's where privateers are wrenching on their own cars in between races - kind of informal. Here are the light towers that I'm going to use.



My most recent task was to make flush borders at the curves. I used 1/4" "Masonite" and shimmed it up to the track level with plastic laminate samples I had lying around. When I get to the scenery I will bring the terrain down onto the borders and track for a more realistic appearance. The track will be painted a medium to dark grey. Aside from giving the cars more room to drift, the borders will give the cars a look like they are following a racing line through the curves. Here's a close up of one of the borders.



My next project is to install SCRM lap timing software and hardware so that I can keep track of how the Pro-X cars are running. It should also take care of analog cars. I'll paint the track after the lap timer is installed and then move on to "real" scenery. The scenery will feature rolling hills with lots of trees and vegetation. The location is Wisconsin, USA. I drew a site plan that might give you an idea of what it will look like.



There is one significant structure that remains to be built. Which is a barn and silo. The barn can be seen in the middle at the top of the site plan. It will actually be cut off by the edge of the table in order to expose the interior. I intend to model the the interior of the barn as well as the exterior. I'd like to include a few racing relics under tarps between the hay bales. I'm really looking forward to making this model. I won't start it until the topography is finished.

So...that's what I have been up to. Aside from the work mentioned above, I have been doing a lot of racing on the track. It's been a great source of fun for my family and friends. I'll keep you posted with more progress posts as the work continues. It's always nice to share what I'm up to with you all. As I've mentioned in past posts, this is a great site with a lot of talented contributers.

Brad
 

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Wondered what was happening with your track. What a tease of a post! I was expecting to see hills and trees done the Brad way...

ah well - glad you have been having fun getting the track functional and had fun racing it. The plans sound exciting, I am looking forwards to seeing that barn!
 

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Still Learning
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Brad

You say that your borders are made from "masonite" Can you explain a little more about this. Is Masonite like MDF board? How do you cut it, Router, Jigsaw, carpet knife?

Thanks
Slotnik
 

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Rob
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Hi Brad,

I wondered why we hadn't heard from you for a while - those shots of your wiring explain it!

But you know we're all keen to see how this progresses, so don't make us wait so long next time!! It looks a great track though, no wonder you can't resist the urge to put it to good use. The Lionel lights look superb, can't wait to see them in situ.

cheers,

Rob
 

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I was goggle eyed when I first saw your pit buildings Brad, but it looks to me like this whole damn thing is going to be quite excellent! I think I'll have to wear a set of safety goggles to keep the eyes in once you've finished!!


If I can do half as well with my track I think I'll be happy - hmm perhaps read vaguely dissatisfied - damn I'm going to have to do some work!!
 

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This looks amazing. Nice to see people go through alot of trouble to get their track right.

Slotnik, Masonite is also known as hardboard. It is smooth on one side and rough on the other. I think you get it up to 8mm thick, depending on country.
 

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Brad,
Nice to see some updated pictures! Having just spent time on doing the wiring to my track as well I'm very impressed by the clean installations you have done. Quite clever as well to hide the powerbases in the drawers!

And the scenery site plan plan... what can I say... just as perfect looking as can be expected!

/Stefan
 

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That is looking very promising. I'm a sucker for scenery done well and I reckon this will be a good 'un.

You a chippy by trade? That woodwork looks awfully good.
 

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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys! Coming from such a talented group as yourself, it means a lot to me. I have to admit that my discipline for working on the track for at least an hour each night has fallen by the wayside since it's been operational. Rob, you warned me about this and you're right on target! Sorry for the tease Astro. You really put my progress to shame with how quickly you put together your track. It looks great! Actually, you too Rob! It must be something in the water over there! PLEASE, send whatever it is over here! I need something to get me going here. I've drank up all of the Bass Ale in the state of Wisconsin, but it doesn't seem to help!

Slotnik, Mampara is right on the mark. Masonite is the brandname for hardboard. MDF is actually nicer than Masonite and also more expensive. I chose Masonite for the lower cost. Here in the USA it is readily available 4'x8' sheets at 1/8" and 1/4" thickness. A 4'x8'x1/4" sheet is about $8 US dollars, not too bad. It cuts like and is about as dusty as MDF. I used a jigsaw and then sanded the exposed smooth surface (it has a very slick surface otherwise). It can also be routed. I will eventually paint both the track and the borders.

The lights are made by Lionel Trains. Lionel makes O gauge and O scale toy and model trains that are popular here in the USA. O scale equates to roughly 1:48. Most of what Lionel offers in the way of accessories (like these lights) are not true O scale, they're actaully a bit oversized - just about right for 1:32 and 1:24. Lionel first made these lights in the late 1950's and have offered them every few years there after. These were in their 2005 catalog. The larger eight lamp tower is about $35 US dollars. The smaller two lamp fixtures come three to a pack for about $15 US dollars. I bought them on-line at Trains and Planes Hobbies here: Lionel eight lamp fixtures Lionel two lamp fixtures

I'm an architect by trade, but a chippy at heart! My dad was a carpenter before retirement. I worked for him a number years before and during school. I really enjoy woodworking as a hobby. My last project (and also the reason for the delay in working on my track) was a reproduction of a writing desk designed by Thomas Jefferson. He used the original to write the draft of the US Declaration of Independence. It's made from Mahogany and all of the work is by hand. The hardware is actually from England - thanks for the great lock! Here's a look at it.









Thanks again for the interest in my track!

Brad
 

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Fabulous desk.

Just in case you were wondering - my track was built so quickly because of the special construction ethos I used. I call it the 'botch' method!

Much more impressed by your craftsmanship
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Very nice, Brad!
Looks like a quality job, from the table and drawers, right down to the use of nice heavy wire for the many power feeders - I think it does make a big difference. Beyond the build quality though, that layout looks great! Smooth and flowing - something you can find a rhythm on.


Can't wait for future updates!
 

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I just can'r say enough about your track..... amazing detail. I was also thinking about mounting my black box in a REMOTE area. Did you use the oringinal "screwy" phone jacks from the black box, or did you wire directly to the circuit board? I was thinking of using the remote controllers, but I have bright flourescent lights overhead, so I'm afraid they won't work properly. How did you shield yours from the lights? Sorry for so many questions, but I really want to do this right.

Thanks,
Mach
 

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Brad Korando / Brad Korando
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Mach:

I emailed a response to your questions. Thanks for the compliment. I really enjoy my time spent working on the track. It's as much a part of the hobby to me as racing the cars.

Brad
 
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