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 OFFICAL BSA TRACK SPECIFICATIONS 
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Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:33 pm
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O.K. PROFESSORS,

Mr. Pope has published on his website that the height of the starting line on a track should be about 48" above the track height at the finish line. Mr. Pope refers to the Cub Scout Leader manual LM33831, but I can't find this manual anywhere. So, here is my question for the professors. The 48" listed above, is that from floor level up to the starting pin where thenose of the car meets the pin? Also, if you have 1/2" thick track should the distance to the pins from floor level now be 48 1/2"?

The reason for my asking is that I believe that I may have built a better mouse trap and I want to make sure that I am falling within BSA regulations. If I am correct in my thinking, then my prototype is working great. If any of you can help me in locating this manual or qualify its spec contents, please let me know. tHANK YOU. :D :D


Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:38 am
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Master Pine Head
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GILLS wrote:
O.K. PROFESSORS,

Mr. Pope has published on his website that the height of the starting line on a track should be about 48" above the track height at the finish line. Mr. Pope refers to the Cub Scout Leader manual LM33831, but I can't find this manual anywhere. So, here is my question for the professors. The 48" listed above, is that from floor level up to the starting pin where thenose of the car meets the pin? Also, if you have 1/2" thick track should the distance to the pins from floor level now be 48 1/2"?

The reason for my asking is that I believe that I may have built a better mouse trap and I want to make sure that I am falling within BSA regulations. If I am correct in my thinking, then my prototype is working great. If any of you can help me in locating this manual or qualify its spec contents, please let me know. tHANK YOU. :D :D


As far as I know there are no actuall regulations for BSA tracks, otherwise you would not see as the different styles of tracks. I do remember seeing a example of one you could build but don't think there are any regulations concerning it.


Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:22 am
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Pine Head
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To my knowledge there is not official BSA track that everyone conforms to. There will be variations in length, height, lanes and building materials for different tracks. What Stan was probably referencing was an example plan that BSA had published. The following should be a link to the plans BSA has on the web.

http://www.scoutstuff.org/misc/derby/challenger.pdf


Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:23 am
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Journeyman
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Gills

The book that contains the plans for a pinewood derby track is the Cub Scout Leaders How To Book. However this is a guide as there are no official track requirements. What Stan is referring to is what is generally regarded as the standard design. The focus of track design should be on starting gate consistency, lane equality, smooth transition from lane to lane and safe stopping system. With that in mind the world is you oyster, as we all would welcome a better mousetrap.


Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:32 pm
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GILLS wrote:
The reason for my asking is that I believe that I may have built a better mouse trap and I want to make sure that I am falling within BSA regulations. If I am correct in my thinking, then my prototype is working great. If any of you can help me in locating this manual or qualify its spec contents, please let me know. tHANK YOU. :D :D


Other posters have spelled it out correctly. The HowTo book is really a suggested design.

On my website, I use that suggested design as a track on which the car design suggestions apply.

In my book, I show profiles from other tracks. The purpose is the same

On my district's website, where OUR district rules are listed, we show approx. specs for drop, length, etc. This is to help the organizers recruit appropriate tracks and builders to know "what the playground will look like." Don't you hate it when you optimize a car for one track design, and the race takes place on something totally different? :)

Now, tell us about your "better mousetrap"!!!

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Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:03 am
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Master Pine Head
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The thing that I enjoy the most about this forum is that where ever there is a question or concern, "THE OLE PROF.", "THE GODFATHER OF PINEWOOD", and his fellow disciples can always shed the light of reason and understanding on whatever is troubling one's soul. :D :D

I too am concerned about the differnces in tracks and car construction for the kids and also with the variations that you spoke of in your last post.
I also have been concerened with the consistant problems that people have with wood tracks, not that they are bad, but that there are some similar problems with some designs out there.
As far as my better mousetrap goes, I have my concept being finalized and awaiting mfg. to a working prototype. But I am wanting to double check my idea with the BSA recomendations and I want to be consistant with most of the tracks out there in use. I will hopefully be testing in 3 to 4 weeks. If it proves what I think it will, hopefully I can have it patented.
At that time I will probably give out more info and ask for some feedback. Thank you for your info Stan!!!


Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:01 pm
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GILLS wrote:
At that time I will probably give out more info and ask for some feedback. Thank you for your info Stan!!!

I understand.

The key items are width and height of center rail, since these interface directly with the car kits.

Profile shape and total drop are approximate from the track suggestions in the HowTo book. Late versions of the HowTo book (If I recall correctly) show the track constructed from aluminum sections instead of the old plywood design. Part of the reason (I suspect) is that BSA is retailing the track sections! And it also shows a longer track than the old 32' affair. (Many think that 32' aluminum is too fast for reliable determination of results.)

The changed surface and the additional length both change the car design parameters.

Part of the reason that BSA doesn't dictate surface and length, etc, is surely that each organization has its own constraints, such as the room dimensions in which the derby is held. Some of us can not store a wooden track in our area. Others can't store an aluminum track with reasonable hope for it to survive its environment.

We'll be waiting to read your ideas! I love to see innovation!

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Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:58 pm
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BTW...

The Cub Scout Leader HOW TO Book is shown in the ScoutStuff catalog...
Start at http://www.scoutstuff.org/cgi/catalog
and trace through Literature -> Cub Scouting

Text on the page reads: "Cub Scout Leader How-To Book
Helps Cub Scout leaders plan den and pack programs that are fun for everyone! Includes information on crafts, games, outdoor activities, special events, and more. WW33832A $9.95"

Ah, 33832!!! I'm almost sure that it is the HowTo book that shows a couple of pages on track design/building, rather that the Cub Scout Leader book (which is more rules and regs and program structure.) I have to check this and go find where I said Leader Book and, if possible, fix it!

Also, see Cub Scouting -> Cub Scout Derbies. Then look to the right side of the page where a pic showing "The Challenger" is a hyperlink to suggested design info.

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Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:13 pm
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Master Pine Head
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Stan,

Thank you for the most recent information on BSA regs. I think it will be helpful. I don't mean to be so secretive, but if I am correct in my assumptions, I may have eliminated some problems associated with wood tracks, and maybe have a new product on the market by next year. If everything goes well here in the next 6 weeks, I would like to p.m. one or two of you on this forum, and maybe talk about sending you one to tryout, PATENT PENDING OF COURSE! :lol: :lol:


Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:05 pm
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GILLS wrote:
Stan,

Thank you for the most recent information on BSA regs.


Important Note ... These are not "regs"! They are "program suggestions," subject to variance to satisfy local needs.

Out of curiosity, what "problems" are you addressing?

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


Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:27 pm
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Master Pine Head
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Stan Pope wrote:
Important Note ... These are not "regs"! They are "program suggestions," subject to variance to satisfy local needs.

Out of curiosity, what "problems" are you addressing?


Stan, what I am doing is trying to double check my design specs. For instance, at the start of the track, I am sloped at a 30 degree angle, my height to the starting pegs is 48" or 48 1/2". the total length is what I am trying to zero in on now. when you say you race on a 32' track, are you traveling 32' and then hit the stop section, or are you traveling 28' to 29' and the stop section is the remainder of the track section? As you stated earlier, my goal is to be consistant with the majority of the tracks being used by cub scouts and church groups. My ideas are designed to the performance of the track, not necesarily in astetics or "looks" of the track.


Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:16 pm
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Master Pine Head
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From my experience, the most common commercial wooden track that generally follows the "Scout Guidelines" is the Piantedosi Oars product. You can get specific dimensions from the manufacturer.


Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:43 pm
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Pine Head Legend
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GILLS wrote:
when you say you race on a 32' track, are you traveling 32' and then hit the stop section, or are you traveling 28' to 29' and the stop section is the remainder of the track section?

A typical wooden track is made from 4' by 8' sheets of plywood, cut into strips 8' long. Four strips yield a track 32' long. But the starting gate will be a foot or so from the end, and many tracks use a few feet from the last section as a brake of some sort. So practically, the starting-pin-to-finish-gate distance is going to be less than 32', perhaps as little as 27'.

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Photos of Unusual Derby Cars
Upcoming Car Rallyes in Silicon Valley


Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:39 am
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Yeah! What Darin said!

Thanks for taking care of him, Darin.

I was busy rebuilding my tractor's mower deck ... had to cut off a bunch of rusted nuts just to get at the broken belt. decided to repaint it while I had it off the tractor, too. Doesn't look like new, but perhaps it will hold the rust at bay for a few more years.

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Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:19 pm
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Master Pine Head
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Hey guys, thanks for the tip. Templetes are being made, and several producers have been contacted. More to come later.


Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:16 pm
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