My "New to Me" 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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BradyS71
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My "New to Me" Track

Post by BradyS71 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:22 am

Since I didnt really introduce myself in other posts I will do so now.

I'm Brady, 41 yr old father of 2, Jack (8 yr old wolf scout) and Abby (4 yr). I am the wolf den leader (17 boys) as well as the Pack 13 committee chairman. Jack and I got first place in our den last year and just missed top three in our den this year. I decided after racing this year that we put too much time in our cars to just race for an hour (and some people only 2 races). I decided I wanted to build a track. The pack leader and I were getting something out of our storage closet and he pointed out the packs old wooded track (we have a nice 4 lane aluminum track now). So at the next committee meeting I asked if I could buy the old track to set up once a month for open racing. They just gave it to me :). So I started researching timers and am assemblig the parts to make an arduino based timer. But I just got the track last Saturday and I am thrilled!

It looks to be homemade out of 1/2 plywood. 4 sections, with 3 lanes. The first section has 2 fold out legs and the start gate. The last section has a pretty interesting timer. Its basically a cut down hinge, that the cars knock over, when the hinge falls it completes a circuit and I think lights a light. It looks like the sections are held together with 2 1 by 2s and wood screws.

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So my plans on rehabing it included:

A new stop section (current one is too short)
New timer
Paint it black with colored lanes (timing displayes to match lanes)
Rework the start gate to either use a spring opening with a latch or solenoid
re work the section connections to use bolts and wingnuts

Any ideas and help would be greatly appreciated.

Also I found out from out church I can have our open races there anytime for free :). I plan on opening the track 1-2 times for tuning next years cars with out the timer or other cars just so that all the cars can make it down the track on the day of the big race. Also I was wondering what you all thought about charging 1-2 dollars admission for the open races to help pay for the track rehab/timer/software?

Thanks in advance!

Brady



Speedster
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by Speedster » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:29 am

Brady, I recognize that hinge. It was special made by the guy who sold the program and the hardware to go with it. I bought the program in 1985 and used it for many years. It hooked up to a computer and took the times out to 4 decimal places. You were suppose to notch out the guide strip for the hinge and the cars would pass over it and stay on the track. It was fancy for its time but the new timers are much more dependable.



BradyS71
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by BradyS71 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:37 am

Hmmm so the timer is vintage... So who wants to make me an offer :mrgreen: Just kidding. I can't wait to get this thing set up for real!



Speedster
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by Speedster » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:06 am

Please check your email.
Speedster



BradyS71
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by BradyS71 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:21 am

Speedster, I am not ignoring you. I had surgery on my ear on wednesday and won't be back into teh office until monay and that is where my email from hear goes.



Speedster
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by Speedster » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:35 pm

Get lots of rest and Get Well Soon.
Cheers
Bill (Speedster)



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Stan Pope
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:46 am

Speedster wrote:... You were suppose to notch out the guide strip for the hinge and the cars would pass over it and stay on the track. ...
I missed this the first time ... The 2 or 3 inches of rail cut-out, leaving no sides to constrain the wheels, would cause a rail guided car to veer into the notch and hit the face of the rail continuation. The resulting derails and/or flips would be too exciting for most of us.

A simple fix is to cut two narrow strips for each rail and tack/glue them in place so that the car wheels see no interruption in the rail!

Of course, your plan to replace the finish gate/electronics fits this plan well, too. You can plug in a full width rail section instead of two side pieces.

For connecting sections, think about 5/16" dia dowel alignment pins in the section ends and a pair of trunk latches, mounted either on the sides or bottom, to hold sections together.

(Brady, you will find my email there, too, on Monday!)


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

Speedster
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by Speedster » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Stan, I had that set-up back in 1985. Whoever did it did it wrong. You were suppose to notch out the section for the hinge and leave the sides of the guide strip intact. It was great when it worked but it was no where near as dependable as todays timers.



BradyS71
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Re: My "New to Me" Track

Post by BradyS71 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:18 am

Well I have all the lumber and all the electronics for my rehab of this poor misguided track. I have discovered that the lane guides are 1 3/4". So my plan is to router off 1/16 from either side then make a custom width block to do my sanding. I have a spring for the start gate and will look closer at the hinges, and build a release. Later I will build the solenoid release. I plan on filling in the old timer slots (before getting out the router) and dropping the raised "stop section" to get a couple more feet of track. I am making a new timing bridge that can added or removed from the track with an Arduino based timer. The lanes will be paineted red, green and yellow, with matching displays. Finally I will be making a new 6' stop section. Hopefully will get started as soon as I can find my route guide... Rassan frassan cluttered garage...



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