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How do you solo?

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  • How do you solo?

    I've been a solo slot car racer for about 6 years now since the grandsons headed off to college. Thankfully I've found ways to be even more engaged these days and this hobby is the central thing I do on a daily basis.

    Many others are now solo races by default as we deal with the pandemic. This thread is for folks to share info and ideas about how they are staying in the slot so we can learn from and support one another.

  • #2
    Not going to say we are still racing here.........but we are still racing here!🤫
    Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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    • #3
      I just sold my track so I'm busy getting things together to build a new one. This time it's going to be a six lane hillclimb. I've got most of what I need, still need to order a power pack and a lap counter. I've got a couple of projects I need to finish and get out of the way and then I'll get started.
      Butch

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      • slothead
        slothead commented
        Editing a comment
        I thought hill climb tracks were 1 lane with a turn around at the top so a complete run was up then down. Hope to hear more about what you have in mind.

        My 2 lane oval is about 15 years old and I love it, but am also beginning to consider building another one when it gets a little warmer here. I should be able to find room to build the new oval before having to dismantle the current version.

      • chrisguyw
        chrisguyw commented
        Editing a comment
        Slothead,..While a hillclimb can be a single lane track,...in this instance, Pappy is referring to a specific track design ("Hillclimb" ) , initially designed/named/built for commercial raceways in the 60's....its design has been copied/changed for several "home" tracks built over the years.

    • #4
      I just go down grab a car off the shelf and run 20 laps on the lap counter. I build a lot of proxy cars. But if I want to race I drive to Louisville and race the 1/24 scale hard-bodies.

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      • #5
        With plastic every several years I reconfigure Dundee Speedway.

        With all cars or trucks in their given catagories T/A, NASCAR, daily drivers, etc., they are timed on each of the two lanes based on 5 laps

        A good track design should give fairly equal times.

        interestingly that isn’t always the case!

        With a 100 plus cars that keeps me fairly occupied!!!

        this fall Dundee Soeedway will go thru a design change once again as I have burned thru the 100 cars with the current layout

        Dundee Denny

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        • #6
          Long before this crisis, I have basically been solo anyway. So have a lot of home racers. A few events a year, but most times are just myself, the track, and the car in question.

          My #1 tool is my lap counter/timer. Which is why it is the first thing we like to advise newcomers to invest in.

          With it, I challenge myself. I like to just run a 10 lap heat, record my best and then adjust the car a little here and there. Simply just trying to best myself in time. It's my way of fun
          -Harry

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          • slothead
            slothead commented
            Editing a comment
            It seems some (many?) newbies wonder why go to the expense and bother of installing a lap counter and timer setup if they don't intend to run formal races, but I couldn't agree more that such a system is the basis for really being able to fully enjoy a home track. Whether racing purely solo or with others the clock is an ideal challenger that never relents. Next comes an adjustable power supply because there is no 'one size fits all' for tracks or cars when it comes to voltage.

        • #7
          Hi Slothead,

          Chrisguyw is correct on his definition of a Hillclimb. There are several variations, some with donuts and some not. Some people call the one's with donuts a Grandstand. Mine is not going to have a donut. A donut makes all the lanes equal in distance but since you have to run them all the same amount of time in a race it doesn't make any difference.

          There are two advantages to a Hillclimb. One advantage is the over and under straightaway's which give you more running footage in the same floor space. The other is you can turn marshal it from the inside so you can push it up against the wall which also saves on floor space.
          Butch

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          • slothead
            slothead commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the explanation, I took 'Hillclimb' too literally thinking it meant a replica of something like Pikes Peak.

        • #8
          Slothead,

          Majority of the time i run solo on my two lane routed track.

          What i have done is list all of my cars in race coordinator as a driver. This allows the stats to follow the car.

          I will grab a number of similar cars and race them against each other with me as the common driver (proxy fashion) .

          The other option is setup a two lane race with a car on an adjustable power supply on the most stable lane. I will give this car an advance head start which should be enough to where i should catch up to the car with one or two laps left provided i drive my car clean. Overdrive or de-slot and the ghost car will consistently win.

          mike
          Last edited by Mike SoCal; March 27, 2020, 11:47 PM.

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          • #9
            A laptimer is essential to keeping slot car racing fun when running solo. It is you against the clock. Very seldom do I ever run a car without the timer going.

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            • #10
              Every once in awhile I run without the timer....but mostly that's checking function of a new build. Once it's set, I run the timer to check real speed.

              A good timing system can be done under $100, maybe under $50 and that includes software with fuel and tire options. Variable power at the driver station can similarly be done under $50 per station. So don't be concerned about the cost.....cheap and easy!
              Come Race at The Trace!
              Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN

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              • #11
                I have the laptop that runs my Trackmate hooked up to a stereo speaker system I bought years ago to use in my office at work. I get a kick out the lady calling out my lap times and the engine roar sound when I set the fastest lap of the session.

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                • slothead
                  slothead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  How do you trigger your lap timer - dead strip or photosensors under a light bar? There are other options too, such as microswitches in the slot.

              • #12
                My wife works in the medical field and has been working in our home office for the last couple of weeks. I spend a good part of the day in the basement tinkering with old cars and the track. Over the years I bought a lot of used cars usually because something about them interested me and they were cheap. Lately I've been pulling them out of drawers and fussing with them. I'm surprised how well an old abused Ninco sedan can be made to run, or an old MRRC can be as made to run smooth as an NSR.
                Occasionally I'll put a jumper on the terminals and turn the power down to around 5 volts and just let cars run around the track.
                Now of course if I didn't have this distraction the garage might be cleaned out by now.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by Mitch58 View Post

                  1. Occasionally I'll put a jumper on the terminals and turn the power down to around 5 volts and just let cars run around the track.

                  2. Now of course if I didn't have this distraction the garage might be cleaned out by now.
                  1: Good idea.

                  2:

                  Mark in Oregon

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                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Mitch58 View Post
                    Now of course if I didn't have this distraction the garage might be cleaned out by now.
                    There's only one reason to clean out a garage, it's if you want to put a slot car track in it.

                    Butch

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                    • arroldn
                      arroldn commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I really do need to get to it. It is the 3rd bay and currently holds the lawn mower some shelves and hand tools. It currently has a refrigerator that came out of the wife's office when she retired last year on the floor. Where will it go???? Other stuff that seems to accumulate. Got to get to it sooner than later

                    • Brumos RSR
                      Brumos RSR commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Put a little bourbon or whiskey in that refrigerator for breaks in between testing and tuning. Sometimes you have to clear your mind.

                    • slothead
                      slothead commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This makes me wonder if slot cars would be a good way to do research on driving under the influence since you can't let someone with a snoot full actually drive a real car. Can you imagine the lawsuit that could cause?

                  • #15
                    Slothead- I have infrared sensors at the bottom of the slot with a Trackmate gantry.

                    Mitch, I use a 4-4.5 volt jumper set up to break in cars while I work on other projects on my bench. I can hear the audio of the lap times and when they level off will do another tuning step. That way I can evaluate changes without any driver effect. Oil bearings, grease gears, PTFE on the sides of the guide flag etc one at a time.

                    Comment


                    • Mitch58
                      Mitch58 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That is how I prefer to break in motors/cars also.
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