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  • Slot depth and Stadium lights

    Ok I'm new to the board. I read this subject all the way back. Could not find the answer. I'm in the planning stages of a 4x8 2 lane build and all the web sites give different slot depths. So what should i do and what are people using for Stadium lighting? I read the threads and found the info on Guard rail and fencing. Yes i know 4x8 is a tiny layout but for now it is the space i have.



  • #2
    First welcome to the forum, you will find tons of great info here.

    I have a 3 lane 4x8 oval that I created and host the 2021 Pioneer Proxy on just recently. Check out that section of the Proxy forum for some great pictures.

    As for Slot depth, I used the 1/8 router bit from Slot Car Corner, it allows you to route up to 3/8 inch deep which is ideal for routed tracks.

    https://slotcarcorner.com/collection...lot-car-corner

    They also have great info on routing and wiring your track.
    I can't speak to the stadium lights but I know there is info here in one of the forums, hopefully someone can point those out.
    Mike - Galena Ohio

    "When you're back there with the squirrels, you're bound to get your nuts cracked." - Graham Rahal

    https://www.hrwforum.com/forum/hrw-a...gends-bullring

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      I saw the pioneer race you hosted. I'm jealous there is not stuff like that near me. I was on SSC page to day. Did you end up banking your track? Found the build thread.

    • Zcarfan
      Zcarfan commented
      Editing a comment
      I did a little. I took a 1x2 and placed under the corners of the MDF and then started from the center of track outward to screw to the table top allowing a small curve to occur in the corners. You don't nee much, and worked really well.
      FYI, route the track before mounting to the table to created the curves, you want a flat surface to create the slot in. routing a bent piece of MDF is NOT going to give you a nice clean slot.

    • TuscoTodd
      TuscoTodd commented
      Editing a comment
      sivad - just for reference, the Pioneer cars are part of the Pioneer Legends proxy where a number of members here all submitted cars for various track hosts to run. Participating proxies can be a good option if you end up being a solo racer most times. 👍

  • #3
    Slot depth needs to be at least 1/4" but a little deeper is fine if the thickness of your track material allows. For my last track I used 1/2" MDF and had it CNC routed. Initially the depth was 3/8" but with only 1/8" of material left at the bottom of the slots the track sections had to be handled very carefully. When I had more sheets routed the slot depth was reduced to 5/16" making the track sections noticeably more rigid.

    If you use 1/2" MDF I recommend 5/16" deep slots, if you use a thicker material for track sections go deeper.

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm going to used 3/4 for most. So i think 3/8. But i would like to have some banks. I don't have the space for elevation. I may use 1/2 or 2 layers of 1/4 to make it happen.

  • #4
    1/2" MDF has some bend. 3/4" does not. Banking is easy with your track size. Take a 4x4 piece of MDF and cut it into a horseshoe shape. Then put a clamp on the ends and pull them together until you get the desired bank. It will bend, but you will lose about 2" width. You don't want to bend more than that. You have to route it before bending. If bending pinches your slots, just sand them out a little. You will have to design some bracing to hold the banking shape. I found somebody who gets a lot of banking and bend by wetting the MDF, but I haven't tried that.

    I use 1/2" MDF and 5/16" slot depth. If this is your first track, the most important things I found are:
    1. Get a good routing guide.
    2. Make sure there is about 1/32" between the copper tape and the side of the slot.
    3. Use tape with conductive adhesive.
    Last edited by Bal r 14; July 6, 2021, 03:53 PM.

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      ok so 5\16 depth. Yes on the guide. Yes and yes. reading the web do i need to open up the horseshoe? i was going to get poster board to play with the concept.

  • #5
    Zcarfan that was the plan. i need to get some poster paper and find out a good bank angels. Read a thread on the Technique. Can you refer me to info about power taps with copper tape?

    Comment


    • Zcarfan
      Zcarfan commented
      Editing a comment
      I never found a good place that gave a good opinion on how to attach the wires to the copper tape. What I did is solder a thin piece of narrow 9very thin) brass strip. Once soldered to the wire. I bent the strip into a 90 degree tab, then affix it to the mdf before laying the tape. Now I tried 3 different ways, the best was to use a thin amount of flexible glue to attach the strip to the MDF.

      If I did it again, id have drilled a small hole ion the tab with a countersink and screw to the tab to the table. I'm sure someone probably has a better method and I love to know what they chose.
      I have hear of soldering the wire right to the tape, but you have to account for how it will lay flat and not leave a bump in the middle of the tape.

  • #6
    1/2 inch mdf, 3/8 deep slot. It is pliable and can be banked easily, especially moderate banks. You might consider a 4X8 base with the routed track setting on that. You can raise each end, which helps, to get a full 180 degree bank,, yo need to cut a wedge/pie shaped piece out of the corner and then force the curve to 180 degrees, making it bank. Easy to do. Just removing 2 inch on the outside piece of pie will give you a fair bank. It doesn't take much. If you rout the oval flat, then cut it out with inner and outer skid aprons. all you will need to do is cut the pie off each end and then put it back together, only 2 joints and full banking.

    My first experiment with 1/2 mdf. This is 8 foot wide, 4 inch lane centers. Probably cut a piece of pie that was 5-7 inches on the outside,t hen attached the straights and pulled them parallel. I was surprised how easy it was. My track is free standing and it would have been even easier if I had screwed it down to a table top.



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    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      man thank you. yes the more i thing about this it dos make sense to use the table as a base for the track.

  • #7
    What Matt said. You can do 3/4 but it's really heavy and not necessary. 1/2 is adequate especially if you are doing some overpasses for more length.

    Power taps are easy, brass or steel screws countersunk and tape in each side of the hole, us cover with another layer of tape. Get 2" long screws and you have plenty of length to attach wires later.

    Stadium lights are another subject.....powered separately and probably LED nowadays.

    Come Race at The Trace!
    Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
    https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      ok long screws done and in stock. so on the lights. i was thinking brass tube with led. this place sells lighthouseleds.com led prewired. i need to take i trip to the modal shop. see of i cant find a set up and just power it.

  • #8
    one thing i learned was DONT PULL ON THE TAPE. take your time and just guide it around then rub it down with something smooth.
    bill ,framingham ma

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      i rear that thread. man I'm glad i found this group.

  • #9
    Here is an article on making your own lights: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzL...ew?usp=sharing

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      thank you

    • Zcarfan
      Zcarfan commented
      Editing a comment
      That's the article I was thinking about, thanks for sharing that RichD.

  • #10

    Tape works great, lay it flat and easy. Lane hookup wiring is easy as Paul noted, or just run the tape thru a 1/4 inch hole to the underside of the track. Wrap it around your power wires and tape it together, or fold it and put it in a terminal strip. Almost anything will work. First track I did, I ran the tape thru a hole and against the bottom of the track. Laid the power wire over it and hit it with the staple gun. Tape is easy and it does work fine. Paul put me on to tape that has an electrical conductive adhesive which is a good idea.

    1/2 mdf is great and isn't near as heavy as the thick stuff!!! You'll do great and find out that it's not "rocket science" as out old buddy Jack used to say.
    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

    Comment


    • sivad
      sivad commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks for the confines boost. talk with the guy a track master he recommended a 3 3/4 slot to slot so i could use one of his premade bridge. is the same 3 3/4in good for the gutter?.

    • Zcarfan
      Zcarfan commented
      Editing a comment
      I knew there was a better mouse trap, thanks for sharing that mattb!

  • #11
    I used 3 volt mega chip leds and a regulated 3 volt power supplies for track lights, made the poles out of 1/4" copper so I could easily bend them and shades are a piece of 1/2" pvc water pipe sliced down the middle with caps made for the ends. I attached them to track hold down clips and put them wherever I want, with Carrera track that is, you can set them over nails and they hold pretty good too with some museum putty around the nails, whatever works. I have male plugs on the end of each one and wires running underneath the track with female plugs at spaced intervals, go back around to the power source and make a loop with the wiring or they get weaker to the end I found, The interior and some exterior lights that need dimming are the Woodland Scenics Just Plug system, expensive but worth it in the long run by the time you try to do switches and dimmers yourself with pieces-parts. They are higher voltage so much brighter , would make good downlighting stadium type lights with shades.

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    Allan

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    • #12

      What are you building your track for 1/32 or 1/24? Makes a big difference on slot spacing and aprons. My 1/24 is 4 inch centers and expands to 5 inch centers on the big slightly banked turn. I would do 5 inch all around if doing it over. I would do 3 1/2 inch for 1/32.

      A good rule is to make aprons or run off is 1 1/2 times of lane spacing. Sometimes it might make sense for outer apron to be wide enough for a de-slotted car to set against the outer wall and be clear of a car racing in the outer lane.
      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

      Comment


      • sivad
        sivad commented
        Editing a comment
        1/32 for the most part.

    • #13
      For 1/32, 3 1/2 is great lane spacing. 5 inches is a good apron spacing. Your cars will rub against the wall if this space is too small. You can build your bridge/crossover track section, that is no big deal. You can do all this and if it doesn't work as you want, you do it again and learn from the first try.
      Matt B
      So. In
      Crashers

      Comment


      • #14
        1/2" MDF with 5/16" slot depth is the best bet if you're routing the track yourself. For a mall track with an overall 4'x8' footprint keep lane spacing at 3 1/2" with a 3" inside apron and 5" outside apron for a manageable track width of around 12". Subtracting from an overall sheet width of 48" the outside lane would have a radius of 19" and the inside lane radius would be 15 1/2".

        I had my 6' wide banked oval designed by Brad Bowman (Brad's Tracks) and CNC routed at the theater department at the state university. All I had to do was pull the ends of the corner sections in till they formed a 90 degree turn. Practicing with poster board paper or something similar is a good idea so you see how it doesn't take much compression to create the desired amount of banking. For a small oval too much banking will be boring.

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        Another option would be to prop up the track at both ends as Harry Wise did on his track build. It's not true banking but provides a similar effect and doesn't require any calculations or complexity. You could route the whole track in a single 4' x 8' sheet and not have to do any cutting. Just be careful when bending up the ends of the sheet, you don't want it to crack. You can route it and use it as a flat track first then 'bank' it a little at a time.

        Comment


        • #15
          Michael's used to sell these lights every December as part of their Christmas village. They can still be found on eBay. They can either run on batteries or they come with a power supply in groups of three. I plug mine into the same power strip as the track power so that if I'm leaving the room and the lights are on I know that I forgot to turn off the track. Click image for larger version  Name:	20200515_104240.jpg Views:	24 Size:	2.57 MB ID:	107551
          Last edited by Mitch58; July 8, 2021, 09:30 PM.

          Comment


          • sivad
            sivad commented
            Editing a comment
            Ok thanks i will look for them.

          • 2cool
            2cool commented
            Editing a comment
            What is the footprint of this beauty??

          • Mitch58
            Mitch58 commented
            Editing a comment
            The main table is 13'X6.5', the jog in the back is 3'X4', giving a lap length just a shade under 70'
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