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Circuit Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was unsure where to place this thread. I guess it could go in "Tracks & Scenery" or "Clubs" but as it is mainly about the functionality and configuration of SSD/SSDC then I think this is the right place.

I use SSDC with Pit Pro on my portable track but it was constrained by the need to be able to fit in the back of my car so it is only 4.4m x 2.3m. My design is appropriate for that size.

HOWEVER I have stumbled across a guy in my town who has a huge venue with an adjacent storage room sorted out for a slot car club. He has even got local grant money available if we can create a track and club that would cater for youngsters one night a week and we would be free to use the same track for adults as often as we wanted.

I'm in!

SO I have a budget of up to £1,500 to buy the ultimate SSD track (yes - we are going to make the club predominantly digital - hail the digital revolution!)

That budget has to include cars.

BONUS - this chap owns a CNC routing machine that can rout sheets up to 8 feet x 4 feet.

The available space for the track is about 10 metres long x 5 metres wide and this is just for the track - this size allows people to move freely around all sides of the track and there is even space for setup tables, a side room to set up a mini workshop and a BAR downstairs.

It would be nice to be able to run the track for analogue from time to time just in case some of the old fashioned clubs want to come visit but I am thinking we could simply make two swappable sections for the power bases and run the rest of the track in reverse so the flippers don't cause any problems. This puts a constraint on the lanes (we would need a constant minimum number of lanes) unless we make other sections swappable.

So there's the brief. I am looking for ideas, based on experience please, of how we could create a cracking digital track which would suit everybody aged 10 and up.

3 - 2 - 1 Go Go Go Go!
 

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Ting Tong
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hi
sounds like slot nirvana to me. Lots of space access to a router and a nice budget to work with. Have you thought of approaching your local authority to see if any grants can be obtained.??
 

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Living the Life!
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Most kids are used to small tracks on the rug as are most adults. If the track is too big it can become boring especially if you get lapped so I would offer a compromise. have several medium to largeish tracks so that you can offer a good variety of racing. You would appear to have the space to storage boards. Think along the lines of table tennis tables that fold up. I wouldn't bother with plastic track I would route them if you have access to a CNC machine.

Whopping big tracks are only really suite the insanely fast analogue cars with turbo nutter bustard motors that need long straights. Digital is more about tactics and consideration as to what the others are doing in your lane
 

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I would go for a TRI Oval


It's a simple track but will be great fun as people wont get left behind in having to learn the track.

Plus if you get a set of NASCARS they are basically undestructable.

We recently put up a "more complex" track ontop of our oval and going back to the oval reminds you of how good they actually are, for out and out racing.

If you want fun close racing then there is no better track.

Michael
 

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The requirements for a really good analogue track and a really good digital track are quite different.
Perhaps the best you can do is go for a really good design for one or the other, and put up with the track being somewhat compromised for the other sort of slot racing.
Analogue club racing normally needs 4 or more lanes, which is more than you need (and possibly more than you want) all the way round a digital track.
There are also differences of opinion about what is a good track design, for example some think ovals are great others think the opposite. For example some think the quicker cars are great others think the opposite. For example some think 150 ft lap length is too long, others think way over 200 is great. You cannot please all of the people all of the time.

Certainly there are some things that apply to both, like the need for drivers to be able to see all the corners without other bits of track, marshals / other drivers / spectators getting in the way: like the need for reasonably easy access to recover deslotted cars.
 

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I'm with Greg on this. I think that tracks can be a reasonable size but too big is almost as bad as too small. If you have the space why not have a digital track and an analogue track? Have an oval and a technical track. Variety will help.
 

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  • Whatever you do, keep the boards a similar size and consider the weight - you want to be able to put up/take down quickly.
  • Make the boards VERY tough as they will be going up and down like a (similie removed to spare blushes). It's astonishing how quickly they will get tired/tatty.
  • Modularity is key if you want to be able to add in more track for analogue night. - compare my/your track to the big track at Abergavenny (actually, not sure it was up when you attneded).
  • Also modularity will allow you to take out the twiddly bits for kids night - they seem to like lots of fast straights without technical sections - tri-oval a possibility there. I know tri's are popular on this forum, but I'd get bored a bit quick with a full card of racing on one.
  • Pay great attention to the electrical inteconnectivity between boards. Durability, ease of use, ability to change sections are all of high concern.
  • Don't try and do it all in one go!
If you are going to use AVR or AVR MKII, you can build this new track as big as you want.

Possibility of 3 lane digital, with a fourth lane for analogue.

Additional considerations:

Don't go with standard scaley throttles - they are a pain after a couple of hours - I really like the feel of the Truspeed digital units, and they appear to be better made than the original scaleys.

Think about power - a good quality power supply per channel to the C7042 as opposed to the scaley power supplies.

Make sure they sell Bass downstairs.
 

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I have a load of photos of routed flippers if it incites you to route them. Here is a sampler .....
View attachment 10010 View attachment 10009
I can't remember who did these but they are on the forum, somewhere!
 

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Circuit Owner
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QUOTE (bigbird @ 30 Apr 2012, 08:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hi
sounds like slot nirvana to me. Lots of space access to a router and a nice budget to work with. Have you thought of approaching your local authority to see if any grants can be obtained.??

That's where the £1,500 budget is coming from!

QUOTE (GregK @ 30 Apr 2012, 09:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Most kids are used to small tracks on the rug as are most adults. If the track is too big it can become boring especially if you get lapped so I would offer a compromise. have several medium to largeish tracks so that you can offer a good variety of racing. You would appear to have the space to storage boards. Think along the lines of table tennis tables that fold up. I wouldn't bother with plastic track I would route them if you have access to a CNC machine.

Whopping big tracks are only really suite the insanely fast analogue cars with turbo nutter bustard motors that need long straights. Digital is more about tactics and consideration as to what the others are doing in your lane


We have already decided to go routed - the lane changers will be standard SSD and dropped into a routed track (this will allow magnets to help keep the cars in the slot when changing lanes but the rest will be copper taped). Agree with what you way about turbo nutter bustards!

QUOTE (GregK @ 30 Apr 2012, 10:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have a load of photos of routed flippers if it incites you to route them. Here is a sampler .....
{photos removed from quote to reduce size of post!}
I can't remember who did these but they are on the forum, somewhere!

Yes I have seen them and was impressed. A bit beyond my ability at the moment so I think we may be better off getting the CNC machine to make the right shaped holes and drop in the lane changers. This would make it easy to replace them if they go wrong.

Thanks everybody for your comments so far - keep them coming. I hear what you say about tracks being too big. My raceway is 20 metres long with 2 hairpins and only takes 7 seconds for a decent racer to get round with magnets. I would like 10-12 second laps and I appreciate that magless will reduce cornering speeds but speed up the straights so I am wondering what track length I should be going for.

We will be getting some club cars (can't expect the kids' parents to blow £40-£50 on a chipped car) so I think evenly matched cars won't be a problem - we will probably buy identical super resistants and fit DPR chips (I'm happy to take advice if there are better alternatives) - we can spray the cars with the APB colours no problem.

Bear in mind this can be modular in design so we could have options to provide variety (I'm thinking about the two track configurations that the Falcon Raceway has).

Great contributions everybody - please keep them coming. I promise I will post a thread of the track build when we start in a few weeks time.

Richard
 

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A good way to get some cheap club cars is to watch your suppliers shelves and if he has 6 or so of the same model that isn't shifting, ask him what he will take for all of them. I got 8 Fiats500s for £8 each BNIB this way.
 

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Richard,

I would be inclined to speak to Adrian Norman and Graham Lane from this site as they are two people I know of who currently race at digital clubs using plastic track. Michael363672 has a routed digital track circuit.

They and any others should be able to give you some good pointers as to what does and does not work racing on a digital circuit.

Steve
 

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Circuit Owner
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Steve - good shout.

Keep the ideas coming folks - your contributions all much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello all,

Things are shaping up - Adrian Norman kindly PM'd me some ideas. Combined with what is written on this thread I have decided to start the ball rolling on a definitive spec.
The track will fit in a space 7m long x 4m wide but in roughly an "L" shape. It will be designed so that drivers are all along the longest edge and all have an uninterupted view of the track regardless of what the Marshals are up to.

The track will be 3 lanes all the way round. The pit lane will run alongside the start/finish line and be 2 lanes wide - so for about 2 metres we will have a 5 lane superhighway!

There will be 3 or 4 lane change sections with 3 straight lane changers in each section, after a long enough straight for non-mag cars to straighten up and hit the sensors dead on.

There will be a couple of long straights (6m and 5m respectively) and to balance that there will be a couple of tortuous esses sections equivalant to R1. That will sort the men from the boys!

We will do the usual SSDC, PitPro with two sensors and a 3 lane start/finish straight.

I am not sure about the power mod. The esses sections will work against monster motors and we will ban wood guides because they rip the lane change sensors off. Less power will probably deliver better lap times.

By the way - has anybody done any mods to protect the sensors? Surely a little ramp before a sensor which lifts a guide above the sensor danger zone would leave standard guides unaffected and launch the cheats skywards
I will have to make a guide depth checker to avoid compensation claims!

What do you think so far?
 

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Hi Richard
I bought 6 scalextric ford taurus nascars (bash and crash)
Resprayed to match the ssd colours.
I picked them up for around £5 each.
They have silicone tyre and ninco pro guides.
I have now removed the magnets as they grab to much on the lane changers.
they are probably the best car we race and pretty much indestructable.
One thing i would bare in mind is when you let the scalextric changers in the mdf you get movement between the
two different materials.
I will machine all the changers eventualy.
I have used braid as it is harder wearing.
regards lee
 

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Well it's about time you showed us some rough sketches, isn't it?


C'mon Rich, you must be bursting with ideas, through them through the scanner and get them posted!
 

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Apologies Lee, I just masked your post - readers, please go to the last post in page 1 - Lee makes some excellent points.

BTW Lee, is it non-magnetic braid? Cheers.
 

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Yes he did use NON Magnetic Braid

If you are routing it then route everything

This way you won't need the magnets to keep hold on lane changers as you can route them at any angle you like

1 thing is how many people do you have committed to coming to each club night ?

As to make a digital race work you need at least 4 people racing ( plus you can run a pace car per lane to liven it up even more) and you will then need enough people to marshal so the more complex your track the more places to crash the more people needed to marshal the more people you need to be there every race meeting

and before you say - dont even think of using track calls, as when we have to use them on the oval ( with only 2 bends ) it gets frustrating very quickly and the races take a long time to complete

and no wireless throttles won't help either - as in the heat of racing you wont be looking at putting anyone else's car back on for them

Both of the above are great for home races but not for club racing

My Advice - Keep it simple - Even more simple than you think - Almost everyone else will have less knowledge than you and will be impressed by the fact that 6 people can play at once - Trust me every time our track has been out not one person has said its only an OVAL and not once when it has been out hafuel even added puel or the pit lane into the mix

If you design it right you can you start with a simle track (OVAL
) and then add the sections in as your club grows
Start to complex and if only a few people win every race night the others will soon give it up, even if they don't win they need to think they were in with a chance

In my opinion you can never start to simple - think how did we get to where we are now? 1st set 140ft long ? or the figure of 8 on the carpet ?
 

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Greg Gaub
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IMHO, I would pitch in for the magnabraid. Magless is great, and kids learn fast, but without magnabraid or about 10 coats of magnetic paint, you don't even have the OPTION of running some mag cars. Let's face it, not all cars are great magless runners, but it's really nice to have the ability to run any car, especially right out of the box. If you had magnabraid, you could run box stock classes that really ARE box stock, and still could get around the track well enough. Then there's the drivers. ;-) Yes, that does eat into the cost, so if you can't get any more money for the project, then copper tape it will be. Just putting that out there. I'm planning to use magnabraid for my track... some day...
 

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Mr F a question
have you ever run on a wood track, as if not you will be supprised how well cars go on a flat track

We also run the Start LeMans cars and they are great


I am also testing a START F1 car and even with no weight in it ran great with nothing doing to it apart from making sure everthing was straight and flat with a proper set of braids on the car

If you route a track you can basicaly run anything

All we do is change rear tyres to Silicone ones or the SCX Nascars have been fitted with Wayne's WASP tyres


I would not even get into P6 / F15 or anything like that as though they work you open up the can of worms that is tyre treatment
Everyone can fit a set of silicones in seconds, even to the point that the club has bought silicones in all the tyres for the classes that we
run so if someone turns up with their own car it is so easy to fit them with the right tyres and off they go
 
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