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Power problem on No Name Basement Raceway

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  • Power problem on No Name Basement Raceway

    The track has been set up in its current configuration for about 4 years.

    This popped up a while ago when my younger grandsons (now aged 4 and 6) started racing with me.
    I haven't had time to really try to figure it out until now.

    I set the voltage between 6-9 volts, depending on which cars the boys want to run, and lane #1 is always faster.
    (at the lower voltage they can run full throttle all the way around without de-slotting)
    One lane is clearly getting more power, but it does not show up on a multi meter.

    The track is Artin 1/32, 92' in length, and already has 4 power taps. Those are wire jumpers track rail to track rail, not multiple taps from the power supply.
    The power section is from a 4 lane set, and only lanes 1 and 2 are powered.
    The track also has copper tape on the rails as a preemptive fix in case any track to track connections loosened up over time.
    The controllers are the old Parma resistor type.

    So...I'm going to add a second power base as close to half way around as I can and wire it to the same Pyramid PS26-KX power supply and see if that helps.

    Any other thoughts on what might fix the problem are more than welcome.

    dennis

  • #2
    I would definitely run each power tap from the power source, not from the rail to the rail. Wire gauge same for all taps? Good solder joints, not cold solder joints? Wires starting to work harden and break at solder joints?

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    • #3
      Might try bypassing all existing wiring and run a fresh set of track leads to a terminal to see if there is a problem in your existing wiring.
      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

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      • #4
        Hi Dennis, ...........any chance the tape has split anywhere on the questionable lane ??....could be an issue if you are using non conductive adhesive .


        Cheers
        Chris Walker
        Last edited by chrisguyw; November 25, 2020, 07:00 PM.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input, guys.

          Same wire gauge everywhere.
          The current wiring has been in place for years, so the wiring schematic is good.

          The solder joints on the taps are all good, however, they are not soldered to the rails, they are just jammed into the rails from underneath.
          That could be a problem if they have come loose enough to jiggle as cars go over them. I hadn't thought of that.
          I will re-wire them from the power supply directly and put them into different sections of the rails to ensure solid contact. I may try to solder to the rails, but not sure my iron is up to the task without melting the track so I'll practice on a spare track section first.

          I will also inspect the copper tape more closely to see if I can find any obvious breaks.

          Finally, if none of these things fix it I'll get another power supply and adjust each lane independently to whatever is needed to even the lanes.

          I will report back once done with all options.

          Thanks again guys!
          This is why I came back to HRW. It was always THE BEST place to come for answers and general information when I was a regular here years ago.
          I am really glad to see it has not changed. 😁

          dennis

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          • #6
            Make sure you have nice clean area to solder and use some soldering flux on the rail and wire and it all should flow easy, also try place the track on a wet rag.

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            • #7
              Sorry it took a month for me to get back with this update.
              Adding a second start section, with power directly from the Pyramid PS, fixed the problem.
              I have since updated the track to include driver stations.
              Power is now directly from PS to two locations on the track (start/power sections replaced with standard straights), with connections available for two more if ever needed.
              The reverse switch is awesome, as most of you probably already know.
              Reversing the driving direction is like having two different tracks.
              My 6yo grandson thought it would be funny (it was) to flip the switch on my station when I turned to get a different car.
              He got quite a laugh when I hit the throttle and my car flew backwards! lol...
              The PM controllers, which I've had sitting in a box for many years, replaced the original Parma's.
              Thanks again for all the suggestions regarding the power issue.
              dennis

              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Dennis, glad you're fixed up and running again, thanks for updating us! My Professor Motor controller with brake and sensitivity adjustments is very nice, it will dial in any car to run for the specific user. Picture of the overall track and dimensions please, love seeing what everyone else does and getting ideas!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SlotCat View Post
                  Dennis, glad you're fixed up and running again, thanks for updating us! My Professor Motor controller with brake and sensitivity adjustments is very nice, it will dial in any car to run for the specific user. Picture of the overall track and dimensions please, love seeing what everyone else does and getting ideas!
                  I'm not at home for the next 3 months and don't have a pic of the entire track with the new driver stations.
                  Here are a couple older pics of my tracks and a pic of the layout as drawn with Tracker2000.
                  The table is 8' x 16.5' and the track =~75' per lane. (actually 76.39' and 74.71').
                  Click image for larger version

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