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  • Procedure question

    I'm not sure where to post this, so mods feel free to move it. Anyway, I would like to know what the normal procedure is when a car de-slots in a race. I'm mostly speaking of a race on your home or club track. Does everyone stop? If so, how do you enforce it? I know TrackMate has a relay you can use, but I don't think it works for individual power supplies. With the speeds these cars go and the average track size, it seems lap times are in the 3 - 6 second range. If you de-slot you can lose a couple laps.

  • #2
    Track Call only if the car can't be marshalled within a predetermined time (usually one lap or less) or if 2 or more cars come off at same marshall. Rules may vary by organization.
    Most rules are developed to eliminate excessive track calls which delay the length of each heat and break the rythm. It is your track though so you can run your rules.

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    • #3
      My HO club runs both races with marshals to put the cars back on without stopping the race or with track calls. If the race is on an oval it would be nearly impossible to get cars back in the slot without blocking the cars that are still running, so track calls are used. On road courses the cars are replaced by marshals provided that there are enough people that are not driving and that all of the track can easily be reached. On one track there is a section that can't be reached easily and there is a track call when a car comes off there.

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      • #4
        So, it sounds like using common sense is best.

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        • #5
          Track calls penalize the drivers that don't come of so we don't use them. In case of multiple cars going off at the same time or because of hitting a desloted car then the "innocent" car ideally get marshaled first.

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          • #6
            Every track is different. Some tracks are designed where you can't marshal them without using grabbers. In that case you have to cut the power.

            Most of the major slot car track organizations say the only track calls are for a rider (someone in the wrong slot), car off in front of the drivers or a problem with the track. All the cars can be off in the same turn and if there is a turn marshal in that turn it's not a track call. I raced in a six hour endurance race in Columbus, Ohio where there were no track calls unless there was a problem with the track. Your car could be under the track where no one could reach it and it still wasn't a track call. Go get a broom stick and fish it out. I loved it because I hate track calls.
            Butch Dunaway
            Oxford, Ohio

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            • #7
              Good question.

              A lot depends on the race management software you are using. In TrackMate you can select the amount of time you want to penalize the car that comes off. In other words, there is a delay between the time a call button is pressed to when the power is cut by TrackMate. This works well when you do not have marshals, when the car comes off in a place that is difficult to marshal, or when marshals are overwhelmed by several deslots.

              I don't know how you would wire it up to cut power to more than one supply, but no doubt someone else can answer that for you.

              On my track I have seven track call buttons - one at each of four drivers stations and three others that marshals can use if they are having difficulty getting to the cars.

              It's usually the drivers responsibility to make a track call. In a race with drivers sitting out heats it's better not to use a track call unless necessary because the pause in action penalizes all cars in the heat to a small degree by disrupting the natural rhythm and the momentum of the race - ie., some time is lost in the deceleration and acceleration of cars in the heat.

              Steve
              Team SCANC
              Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
              OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
              Leadfinger Raceway

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              • #8
                I figure the only way to cut power to all 3 lanes is to cut power to the power supplies, which would be 110v relays. I'm thinking about it. The track is in a basement room that doesn't have a lot of open space and most of the time there aren't enough people for marshals. If there were 2 marshals it would be pretty good. Unfortunately, slot car racing is not a big hobby around here. Cutting power and penalizing the person going off seems like the best solution when none or one marshal is present. Otherwise if the racer has to put their own car back on the track, it will cost them at least 10 seconds, which probably means 2 laps. Here's pictures of the track for reference. This is my new track that's not quite done yet. Each lane is 61 feet, within an inch of each other.

                I certainly appreciate all the comments.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • Fast Co.
                  Fast Co. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nice track! It's too bad you don't have a group of slot heads to race with.

                  Unfortunately, it's up to us hobbyists to "grow the hobby" as they say. You might be surprised to find out that there are more slot enthusiasts in your area than you are aware of. The very first slot head I met when I moved to North Carolina 18 years ago contacted me. He saw my email address on a vendor's notification of backorder (the now defunct Fantasy World Hobbies) and recognized the suffix and he contacted me via email. From there it grew to a group of about six casual racers, many of whom have since left. But we now have a dedicated group of 10 friendly racers, really good guys. Most of us have been together for 5-10 years and we can usually count on having 6-8 talented drivers for our regular weekly races and for hosting proxies. We race all year round.

                  Where are you located?

                • Bal r 14
                  Bal r 14 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm just sure how to comment on a comment, so here goes...
                  I am located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, which is a northwestern suburb of Milwaukee. Anyone who is interested, please contact me. I have about 30 cars of all types and skill levels, so you can use mine until you decide you want your own.

              • #9
                Thinking out loud so to speak here. If individual power supplies can be plugged into one master power strip the on/off button on the strip could be a master track power switch. Another thought is to use a power (extension) cord with an on/off switch. We use one of these on our Christmas tree to turn all the decorations off at once.

                On my tracks the power supply and track lights are all connected to a single power strip or cord to turn everything on and off easily and ensure nothing gets left on when the tracks not being used.

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                • #10
                  Ok , this is only a thought , but couldn't the power of the other lanes cut off if there was a de-slot , just making a comment here guys

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                  • Bal r 14
                    Bal r 14 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That is the objective. The trick is how to accomplish it in a timely fashion. It would require a button for all racers and marshalls (If any).

                • #11
                  The OEM Trackmate relay can be used to power a series of relays or one 3 or 4 pole relay that can switch multiple power supplies. I would not switch 110V as modern switching power supplies need time to start up. Its better to switch the DC provided by the power supplies. With Trakmate the track call buttons are wired in parallel and multiple buttons can be installed. Most tracks establish their own Track Call rules. For my tracks the Track Call can be called for any of the following:

                  Car on floor.
                  Multiple cars off in one corner overloading the marshall or blocking the track.
                  Car off on main straight.
                  Undefined dangerous situation such as a controller falling onto the track.

                  Anyone can call Track. With my current track I leave it up to the RD to review the incident and decide if Track should be called or not. With my two previous tracks Track call pushbuttons were installed in the two worst areas for crashes. The drivers panel did not have a track call pushbutton.

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                  • #12
                    These are some great comments and suggestions.

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                    • #13
                      Well....ya know...on a 2 or 3 lane track it's easy enough for folks to just be polite and stop until the car is reset.

                      You can get fancy and technical with relays and track calls, but having a house rule to call "off" and have folks stop works as well and it is free. Basement racing can be fun without requiring a lot of equipment. It's different with a large club or commercial track.

                      Common sense works.
                      Come Race at The Trace!
                      Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN

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                      • #14
                        "just be polite", seriously when is a true blue slot racer going to stop if there is power to the track. Be honest....NOT.

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                        • #15
                          Being polite sort of works... with the right group of racers. Otherwise, it's kind of like herding cats... especially with teenagers thrown into the mix.

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