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 Post subject: modular track idea
PostPosted: Fri 23. Dec 2016 13:14 
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Joined: Wed 10. Aug 2016 00:44
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut USA
I just ordered some counter top connector hardware and am going to try building track with 4' x 4' sections using 1/4" MDF and 1/4" plywood with a 3/4" poplar and pine frame sandwiched in between to give rigidity and something for these devices to work in. At this size one person should be able to handle one section if needed. When broken down they could be stored without taking up a lot of space.They might be a little too large to fit in the average car, but with a pickup or small trailer they could be transported. Depending on the track layout of the turns in the end sections, the track could be expanded later on by adding more in between. I thought 4' x 8' sections would just be too heavy, ungainly, and perhaps too flexible to move and set up.

I plan to set up three driving lanes in a 12" wide track with a racing line set all the way around so that passing would be accomplished by changing lanes to overtake or at least pull up along side another car to the inside before reaching a turn, thereby forcing them to either back down, change their lane, or be bumped out of the racing line when the lanes converge approaching the corner, which is pretty much the way it happens in real racing.

The hardware I chose for the track is a Hafele 26287041 Matrix B32-41 connector, which should make for quick and simple assembly of the sections just using a hex key. Dowels or pins could be incorporated along the edges as well to insure that the track wires would line up perfectly.

I have .029 and .031 wire for the lanes, and I may also put another wire to pickup in the runoff areas of the turns as it appeared that Wes did with his tracks for those who do lose it in the corners for whatever reason.

Please feel free to give opinions, good or bad, as they will all be appreciated. This is my first attempt.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Fri 23. Dec 2016 14:28 
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Joined: Sun 13. Apr 2014 01:02
Posts: 308
Location: Sedona, AZ USA
If you made your panels 32" x 48" they would fit in the trunk of almost all cars with a folddown back seat. They would also be easier to handle, store, and put together. A light weight alternative to MDF and plywood you might want to consider, is XPS rigid foam insulation board.

If the top of your panels sag in the middle when they are laying flat and connected together for racing, you will end up with "peaks" at the seams where they are connected and "valleys" in between. This is likely to cause problems, so you probably should add some bracing across the middle of the panels, not just along the perimeter to keep them very rigid.

Sounds like an interesting project. Please keep us posted.


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Fri 23. Dec 2016 23:45 
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Joined: Tue 7. Oct 2014 22:28
Posts: 77
Modular track is great idea and has been investigated before for slot cars.
The main method that seems to have taken hold is called J-Trak. Basically the sections have common pitch entrance and exit points, so a track can be built in various configurations. The width between any two adjacent track edges is one of two distances, called R1 and R2. Have a look at the following link.

http://phantomdrum.co.uk/scalexracer/j-trak/index.html

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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Sun 1. Jan 2017 23:16 
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Joined: Wed 10. Aug 2016 00:44
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut USA
Happy New Year,

I just finished routing and gluing in my first wires for the modular track. My sections are 4' x 4'. My full size layout will be 10 sections, but just to get started I used 4 and can add the others later. Ideally 4' x 32" sections would be best, but the track layout would not work so I just went ahead. I used the latest lane change configuration posted under News from MAGracing, and even though I have three old cars with worn and shimmying front ends, the lane changes all seemed to work. I have not put one in the longest straight yet, so I don't know what will happen at top speeds, but everywhere else is good so far. I set up three default lanes and one default racing line with other racing lines that could be chosen if desired. I put a lot of thought into the layout, and after running two cars autonomous and actually driving the third, I still may make some changes. The way it's setup there are many places where there are converging lines so you really have to think about where to make your move. I may have to simplify it some to cut down on the number of wrecks, but I think with experienced drivers who know the track, it could be pretty interesting. When I get to the construction of the sections themselves, I'll post some pictures. All I have now is the 4 sections of MDF clamped together sitting on horses just so I could play with it and see if it worked. This was my first experience actually driving the cars, and I have to say I'm hooked.

One thing that happened which I wondered if anyone else has experienced, one of my controllers is acting up. I used it for a while and noticed the car slowing down, and it wasn't a battery issue. I spun out a few times and noticed reverse wasn't really responding well. When I picked the car up, with the controller trigger in neutral, I noticed the motor running at a slow speed in reverse. If I pressed the trigger for forward about half way, the motor stopped, and with it pressed full throttle, the motor ran maybe half speed forward, and when I released the trigger, it went back running in reverse again. Another controller worked fine with the same car, so it's not the car. Like I say, it worked fine for maybe 30 minutes before it started doing this. When I first got it, it did the same thing, but almost immediately, and i figured it was gone. I thought I would try it again once I got the track together and I was so excited that it worked normally, but it didn't last.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Wed 4. Jan 2017 10:06 
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Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Posts: 152
Location: Norway
Hi Brian.

I have just had the same issue with one of my controllers.
I manage to fix it by open up the controller and re position the potmeter setting of the throttle.

Just twist the pot with a small flat screwdriver while holding the trigger. You might need to try several settings.
It will recenter zero when you put the battery in.

I don't know it it will be a permanent fix but it is worth a try. I have asked WES about it and he did not know of the problem.

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Kim K.


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Wed 4. Jan 2017 19:13 
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Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Posts: 152
Location: Norway
Ugh....

Just did a new test with that controller. Still having more ore less of the problem.

Not for me to tell but I guess we have some HW trouble related to heat with some component.
I'll send WES a mail and hear if he have any chance of consulting the electronic company he used developing the system.

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Kim K.


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Wed 4. Jan 2017 19:26 
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Joined: Wed 10. Aug 2016 00:44
Posts: 37
Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut USA
Hi Kim,

Thanks for the reply. I tried the same thing with adjusting the pot when it first happened, I thought it worked, then it didn't.
It sat for a while, then when I used it, thinking it was still broken, it worked for maybe a half hour, then went back doing the same thing, really weird.

I'm curious to see if we can save them, as I don't have any spares.

Wish us luck,

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Wed 4. Jan 2017 20:51 
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Joined: Sun 13. Apr 2014 01:02
Posts: 308
Location: Sedona, AZ USA
I'm having the same problem with one of my controllers. Thankfully I have a couple of spares.


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Wed 4. Jan 2017 21:56 
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Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Posts: 152
Location: Norway
West suggest gluing the trigger to the pot. Assuming IT is sliding on the axel. I Will test tomorrow.

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Kim K.


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 Post subject: Re: modular track idea
PostPosted: Thu 5. Jan 2017 06:16 
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Joined: Mon 9. Nov 2015 11:49
Posts: 152
Location: Norway
Hi.

I have added a post under a more relevant heading with the fix.

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Kim K.


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