Derby Magic Track

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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FatSebastian
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:41 pm

John Shreffler wrote: The plastic DerbyMagic and Supertrack are excellent running surfaces, but the support system of both of these tracks leaves a lot to be desired. If I was going to buy one of them, I would bargain for just the surface, and make my own stable pylon system.
Stan Pope wrote:Great point, John! Any idea how much additional support is needed... ?
John made a similarly great point earlier in this thread, proposing how he might create a suitable support structure.

:thinking: However, I wonder if the approach of buying the surface only would be viable for most resource-strapped units? In my (admittedly limited) experience, track modifications of any kind usually involve some trial and error, adding to the hassle and expense of owning / building a track. I would guess that few have sufficient space to adequately engineer, construct, and test a track sub-structure. And I would also guess that whatever solution was found, it would likely detract from the portability of this type of track, which is otherwise a key selling feature. Mr. Slick has already noted that the price differential between the various products is not always as great as one might think. Might the convenience of a more conventional prefabricated wooden or aluminum track then seem like the better bargain?

(I don't have any experience with the Derby Magic track and I have yet to see one in person, so I do not pretend to speak to the quality, durability, or the stability of the design, and my comments are not intended to be a criticism of said product.)



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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by BallBoy » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:59 pm

Stan Pope wrote: A second issue is that car prep is slightly different for BestTrack and Freedom Track. They have different profiles, and BestTrack's profile is more demanding of the builder.
Stan, I am intrigued by your comment that BestTrack is "more demanding of the builder." Our pack may make the leap from renting a track to owning a track for next season. BestTrack and Freedom have made the short list. We want to have a track that will reward the boys that build a fast car but also provide a fun experience for the boys that produce mediocre cars. I believe that the quality of the car has more impact than the design of the track, but to the extent that we can minimize the track's influence on poor performance we'll go in that direction.

Will a BestTrack track make a poor car perform worse than on a track with a more gradual change from slope to straight (like the HOW TO design)?



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Stan Pope
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:33 pm

The difference between BestTrack and Freedom is mostly between 2 and 11 feet from the start line. BestTrack stays steep for 6 feet, then enters a 4 ft radius curve. Freedom starts to level out pretty quickly with a long gentle curve.

Difference in effect:
Cars on BestTrack are subject to more forward acceleration during the slope.
Cars on BestTrack are subjected to much greater G-force in the curved area.

If a car has a tendency toward any kind of instability, the BestTrack will bring out that behavior more readily than Freedom. That means a less satisfying experience for the large population of "lesser builders."

But still the important criterion to me is to match the kind of track that the best of your Scouts will race on when they qualify for district/council races.


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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by eaturner » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:38 pm

We have 32' Derby Magic track. It's a great track. We just got the software this year and despite a few little quirks it was flawless. The whole derby ran much smoother/faster with the software. It seemed to ensure that each racer raced the other cars. I do wish within one den it would make sure the top four cars were in the same final heat. After three years of races one of the track connectors came off the track and had to be epoxied, no big deal though. The track is holding up great. I do think the stand leaves a little to be desired. Our track was slightly off balance this year since we didn't level it, and you could see that the lane that started off lower was slightly lower. Our races were very close between cars. Often times the winner was a difference of 2 thousands of a second!

PRO: Light weight track makes it very portable. Comes in heavy duty cardboard box that is used to store it. Very fast track, cheap timer compared to others. Cable guide built into track.
CON: Hard to get software working with 9pin serial port. Newer laptops have 15pn and the 9pin-USB converter are not always stable. We couldn't get it working on Vista or XP. With an old laptop you need a 9pin serial cable with one male, one female end. Software doesn't have pictures, yet.



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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by kevinrevin » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:58 am

I purchased a 2 lane BestTrack for our Pack & District use in 2008. LOVE IT! When setup & leveled, we have equal lanes. (In one event, two cars raced each other then switched lanes, each car ran back-to-back identical times to the 1000th of a second!). I don't remember how they name/size their tracks, but mine has a curved section of 41 inches, a braking zone section of 48 inches and 5 sections that are 7 feet long (one is the staring line section with 76 inches of race track and one finish line section of 73-13/16 inches of race track). This gives a total race length of 36 ft., 9-13/16. I think this translates to the 42 foot BestTrack. One added benefit of this track is that it can be expanded if needed. I added one 7 foot section two years ago. Now the District race is different from the Pack races, making things more fair for other Packs. We are currently thinking about adding extra lanes. Another benefit of this track!
Hope this helps.



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46u
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by 46u » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:25 pm

I have looked at the pictures on the magic track and the screws are not where the wheels ride. The are in the center of the lane where nothing rides. I have not read this whole thread yet but does any one here have any personal experience with the magic track?


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46u
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by 46u » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:18 pm

After some more reading I see where there has been a lot of changes in the magic track.
Thank
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:25 pm

46u wrote:After some more reading I see where there has been a lot of changes in the magic track.
They have made some good changes from their initial offering. I just wish they would change the hard stop at the end of the stop section. Eventually, some car will hit it and it will mess up the car's alignment or worse yet, break the car. Though, I would not let that particular issue prevent you from buying one of these tracks, but I would remove that piece at the end and get a piece of lattice and mount it underneath the end of the stop strips. A little upslope on the stop section can be beneficial anyways.


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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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46u
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by 46u » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:08 am

Thanks for the input. Been racing RC cars off and on for about 15 years but pinewood derby is all new to me. I have to have a car ready in 3 days for my grandson as his mother my daughter did not let me know till about 3 days ago. He is coming over to help me tomorrow and hope everything gets here in time. I have 3 other grandsons that I will be helping as well in about 5 years so I am learning all I can. I am guessing I will be helping on no less then 20 plus cars not counting the ones I will be building for my self.

Since I will be building so may cars cheapest for me is to get all the special tools and a good practice track with timer is why I was asking about the magic track. I can get a 32 foot with timing system shipped from them for just over $400. I have never gotten in to anything half baked and this will be no exception. Just this week I spent about $100 on tools, spares and supplies and this is only the beginning. :O
Thanks
Jeff


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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by MOFAST » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:48 am

46u- Can I be an adopted Grandson? :idea: My grandpa never spent $500 to make me a fast PWD car. That's awesome! I might be a little old at 39 though, and I am not little or cute. I am willing to go fishing whenever you want though.

I understand, I have spent over $100 in the last couple of months and have a scroll saw on the way. It's bad that I have a scout shop 4 miles from my house and a hobby lobby, and a Michael's and a Farm & Home that all sell PWD stuff. I might have ordered some polishing kits on the internet too. :shake: Oh and a new dremel. At least I haven't ordered a lathe yet. Is it too late to ask my wife for a Valentine's present?



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46u
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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by 46u » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:10 am

I have a lath that my dad bought when he graduated college and a small engine machine shop in my basement. I am hoping to get a small band saw with in the year. It will be a while before I get a test track just checking to see what will be a good set up.


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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by btskyler » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:03 pm

I just got a Derby Magic track and we had our Pinewood Derby last night. I would say that this has been the best track we have ever gotten or used. It was ready to go in less than 30 minutes from the box. Now that the frame is built, it will only take 15 minutes to assemble each year. In comparison to our wooden track and a borrow aluminium track, the Derby Magic track was faster and more reliable. Each lane was identical and the run-off at the end was long enough to stop every car. It was certainly worth the money spent. We bought the 38' 2-Lane version and had it pre-drilled for an electronic timer to be bought next year. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me about it.



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Re: Derby Magic Track

Post by lacatahoula » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:29 pm

btskyler I am also considering this track my concern is in the transition area did any of the cars have trouble with the transsition?



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