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  • slot car track

    The construction of this is what's been keeping me busy lately. A friend has decided to go into business doing what he loves- this is the first stage in this enterprise. This track has six lanes of about 60 odd feet of length average, taking up about 30 ft x 12 ft of floor space. It's not complete, but the store is open for business finally. We've had a lot of fun messing around with the track, power supply, and controls. Response from the public has been good so far, with people of all ages giving it a try.

    I'm nearly finished making another, but smaller track area, which will be for the youngest kids to use. Phase IV will be when we add roughly 25 ft of track length to the main track by removing the 180 (nearest in the picture) and connecting another section in its place. This will give us more corners to weave through plus a long sweeping curve entering the long straight.

    Phase III will be the construction of a portable track to go to car shows, childrens wards, etc.

    The 'car' you see at the far end is actually the back of the window sign, which is now hung, but wasn't when this pic was taken. There's lots more to do- as you can see, the diarama is far from complete. If you want to drive from Florida to come race at our track, there's a hotel less than a minute away by foot-
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Wow, I thought those went out in the '60s. One of my first part-time jobs was tending a slot car track.

    Seems like a lot of the tracks back then had a bridge to keep the inside lane from being so much shorter than the outside lane.

    The big thing was rewinding armatures and changing the timing to get more power. It would be interesting to see what's changed in forty years. Getting good contact on the brushes at the front of the car was really important, too.

    Looks like a first-class job on the track.

    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


    • #3
      Well I never only goes to proove what goes aroung comes around.
      Are you doing staggered starts as distances trvallled by each lane is not equal unless you use a cross over.
      Nice layout brings back memories!!
      I have tools I don't know how to use!!


      • #4
        Holy Smoke Darryl ! I would have killed to race a track like that when I was a kid. I remember going to school in town... almost every kid had one of those little tracks in his basement(lucky buggers had electricity). I bought my own car and used to take it to run on their tracks.
        Ya... the "inside" guy has an edge on that track.
        So did you guys buy the track sections or make them?
        Geez... now I'm remembering... one kid in town had a slot car drag strip in his house. There where catalogs filled with performance stuff for the oval and drag cars... big sticky tires... wheelie bars.. all kinds of stuff.
        Last edited by torker; 06-08-2008, 10:19 AM.
        I have tools I don't even know I own...


        • #5
          As a Formula 1 enthusiast I think those are not very realistic. There is
          way too much difference between the tracks. Not only the BIG one
          of distance but the an even biger one of turn radius on corners. It
          looks like something only a 6 yr old would be satisfied with. Sorry I'm
          not impressed.
          ...lew...Canada GP today.


          • #6
            If we were to come try it out where would we go?

            Another case of ...If you had your location POSTED......Bla Bla Bla.


            • #7
              Still got my 1/24 cars and Parma controller from about 35 years ago.The land got developed where the track was,so it had to be closed.

              Mura motors just about ruled the roost then.It was good fun at the time and I think there's still a hardcore following in the UK,but nothing like it was years ago.



              • #8
                Nice looking track Darryl. I bet you guys will have a lot of fun with it. I used to race about 18 years ago but our cars were about 6 to 7 inches long. I can't remember the scale of the cars. When we raced we raced 6 heats and your car raced in each lane. The number of laps added up at the end determined the winner. That equals out the playing field. We raced in several different classes from bone stock to all out modifieds. It was a lot of fun.

                One other thing, the inside lane may be shorter, but on the track we raced on you couldn't corner nearly as fast on the inside as you could on the outside lanes, so the racing evened out that way also. You really had to drive the cars or they would spend more time off of the track than in their slots, and you can't win if the car doesn't stay in the slot and make laps. You don't just hold the trigger down and see who is fastest, at least on our track you didn't.
                Last edited by japcas; 06-08-2008, 01:10 PM.
                Jonathan P.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chipslinger

                  Another case of ...If you had your location POSTED......Bla Bla Bla.
                  So Chipslinger, I guess we could drive right up to your door based on your location description.


                  • #10
                    I have built three tracks from scratch and rebuilt 3/4 of the oldest track in the northwest.

                    There is a lot going on. And to make one work well is a lot of work.

                    The smiles are what really make it worth it.

                    Good job.

                    That hairpin has to go as soon as possible however.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by doctor demo
                      So Chipslinger, I guess we could drive right up to your door based on your location description.
                      Sure just as easy as we can drive to yours, But we can't even find out what country or state he invited us to, can we, Dr. demo?
                      So quit stirring crap up.


                      • #12
                        Ok, so first off I've edited my profile to put my location in view. I must have missed a revamp sometime since I did have that up at first, and I haven't taken it off. Whatever. I invited folks from Florida since I figured if they were willing to drive that far, they'd deserve a few free laps. Ya, I'm sick, I know.

                        The track- the room limits us to this size. Sure we'd like to have made it wider (easier hairpins) and longer (the cars don't quite reach their rpm limit at this short distance on the straight) and maybe incorporated a crossover- however it's fun as is and it just takes some skill to be able to negotiate each lane. The inner lane is shorter, but harder to drive, and all in all it's reasonably matched for lap times. There will be events where everybody had to drive every lane, and your times are added up and stored in the computer. Etc.

                        This is a 1/32 scale track, with the cars being roughly 5-6 inches long. This seems to be about the right size considering the restricted length of the track and the cost of the cars and what you are able to do with them as far as tuning, etc, without losing your shirt. The 1/24 scale apparently got quite expensive and would probably be out of reach for a lot of those who would be our customers.

                        At any rate, this track is pieced together with available track sections- in the future we would like to create our own roadway, but for now this is a start. When we add the extra 25 ft or so extension, that's likely to be our own creation.

                        Lew, don't be sorry for your opinion. We know there are many drawbacks to this setup, but it's all we could fit into the available space. By the way, we've had kids from age 3 up to about 80 drive the track, and everyone so far has hated to leave.

                        It IS about all the smiles on faces, and there have been lots so far, on pretty much everyones face.

                        Rewinding armatures- hmm. I just brought one home to rewind. This is from a car that is so anemic that you'd thing it was stuck in first gear. Turns out one of the windings has an open. There are big differences in motors, and you can customize to a large extent, even if not at the same scale as the larger cars got to before the hobby died out. Big differences in cars also- one car is capable of making the complete circuit in one of the lanes at full tilt boogie. That's fast, but it's not fun since no skill is required. We have one with a broken pinion gear that still runs- it's noisy and it drifts beautifully, and it's the one I have the most fun with. One day I'm going to motorize a computer mouse and run that.

                        Brushes- yeah, it's all coming back to me. Hairballs building up on worn out braids, intermittent broken wires, misaligned bushings, out of balance and out of round tires, cracked and broken chassis, expensive cars getting all slammed up, adults crying over their damaged 'babies'-
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          Nice track,

                          dont forget to weight the cars' front nose down with moddelling clay etc so the back end slides on corners but the pickup stays put

                          used to have fun on those tracks.

                          If it does'nt fit, hit it.


                          • #14
                            Nice track!!!

                            Darryl...That brings back some great memories from my junior high school years. The track we raced at was in an old grocery store building. It was run by the local hobby store and they had parts for sale on site. The cars we had were 1/32 scale and many of the kids got into motor rewinding and balancing armatures. That is the kind of thing I wasted the money of my youth on. Too bad today's kids don't have more of this kind of activity to get involved in.

                            As for the detractors, every party needs a pooper that's why we invited you! Party pooper.
                            Jim (KB4IVH)

                            Only fools abuse their tools.


                            • #15
                              A little more done today- fences, cleanup, got an armature repaired and ca'd to keep the windings on. We have a movie company in town for the next day or two, and many of the workers are eager to give this a go. Should be interesting.

                              In their day, the 1/24 scale cars were capable of being upgraded to very powerful motors. Unless you could supply each lane with 15 to 20 amps, you may have had a problem. With the 1/32 scale cars you don't need more than a couple amps per lane. The power supply I made has separate circuits for each lane, and each circuit has current limiting set at about 2 amps. The voltage output can be set from about 5 volts to about 16 volts, with all channels being driven by the same voltage regulator. This way each lane has the same voltage as every other lane, but separate current limiting. The limiting protects against shorted motors, lanes, and controllers, while the voltage control lets us protect against newbies, youngsters, and idiots. Voltage control also lets us find an optimum between the cars and the controllers. I will also be making some electronic controllers- even at this time, variable resistor controllers are still the norm. Some things haven't changed much in the last 40 years.

                              The motor I fixed today uses an alnico magnet. Remember those? Ferrite magnets were the hot new thing at one time- now we have magnets with ten times the strength. Actually, some of the cars use the neo discs to provide downforce. We've been removing them since the cars are more fun without them. Of course there will be different classes to run in, so all the cars in any one class will be reasonably competitive.

                              We've considered making a dragstrip. As an event that can potentially be over in two seconds or less, it may not be worth doing. We don't have enough length anywhere to put even a scale 1/4 mile, so at this point it's not realistic anyway. Anyone have experience with scale dragstrips?

                              Some of you will recognize these guys-
                              Last edited by darryl; 06-10-2008, 04:16 AM.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-