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Jumper wires for a slot set-when do you need them?

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  • Jumper wires for a slot set-when do you need them?

    I've done this video to show beginners in the slot hobby when they might need jumper wires. Video sponsored by Slot Car Corner.
    Slot Car Nerd/Photographer/ Just a self-styled marketing guy on my back porch.
    Check out my YouTube channel for weekly slot car news

  • #2
    This guy walks into a bar with a set of Jumper Cables loosely dangling around His neck.

    Bouncer at the door stops Him and says , "Hey... We can't let you in with whatever those things are around your neck."

    The guy replies, "Oh...these things? No worries. They're just Jumper Cables."

    To which the Bouncer says, "Ok...I'll let you in. BUT DON'T START ANYTHING!"
    Last edited by Silberpfeil; December 2, 2020, 05:49 AM.


    • #3
      I use a voltmeter, test at the power track and then the furthest point of the layout. If there is a noticeable drop (or one that matters) then I would add a jumper.
      "Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool."

      Zen Raceway
      Severna Park, MD


      • Dave Kennedy
        Dave Kennedy commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed, my point in doing this video is more for the people that don't have a voltmeter or don't know how to use one. Most people don't. So that's why I point out that if you see the cars slow down (and it bothers you if they do) then put in jumpers. It's that simple.

    • #4
      I have a 70' routed track with copper tape that I divided into thirds, seems to work fine.


      • #5
        Your track rails do have some resistance, so as Dave has said there can be lower voltage at the far side of a very long track. With sectional track every joint is a potential problem. A fanatic might want to take voltage readings at the far side of the track to see if there is a significant voltage drop. Unless there are joints that are actually open those readings will be meaningless unless there is a load on the circuit. If you have a sectional track the easiest way to do the test is to disconnect the last section from the power strip. Place a car, or better yet two cars, on lane 1 of that section with something under the back of the chassis to get the rear wheels off of the ground. Punch the controller for that lane. Hopefully the motors in the cars will run, if not there must be a completely open connection someplace and you will have to back at least one car up until it gets power. You will need to fix any open connections that you find. Once you get at least some power to the last section you can take voltage readings at the power strip and on the last connection. Repeat the test for every lane, if the differences are less than a volt you are good to go without jumpers. If it is much more than that one set of jumpers would be a good idea. More jumpers would not hurt. If you have a taped or braided track there is nothing that would be easy to disconnect, so put the car(s) half way around the track and compare the voltage at that point to the voltage where your power taps are. Do not skimp too much on the jumper wires, 18 gauge multi strand speaker wire would be a good choice. I went crazy and used 16 gauge zip cord on my HO track.
        Last edited by RichD; December 1, 2020, 10:55 AM.


        • Dave Kennedy
          Dave Kennedy commented
          Editing a comment
          Or... if you see the cars slow down put jumpers on.