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Discussion Starter #1
I too am working on my new track. Thanks to all who keep this site going for the inspiration.

I wanted to know if anyone uses the Brake wire for HO and what it can do. I have a wire diagram that shows how to hook it up, but I seem to remember that someone told me it does nothing for HO tracks.

I also wanted to know if anyone had a cheap simple design for drivers stations I could build. I would like to use the alligator clips, but attach it to a recessed port somehow.

Below is my latest attempt. All Aurora Lock and Joiner, works well with a few passes of a super-G. A few special tracks from when I was a kid.
 

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That the breaks

Brakes work very well on HO cars. So well that many modern higher-end aftermarket controllers come with adjustable brakes. Some folks don't like it but I'd always build it into a track whenever possible so the option is there.


Cheap, simple, flush driver stations ya say? Grab three PVC flanges for each station, drill a hole through the sides, paint 'em red/black/white per station, install them with glue into your side board, then put a bolt through them with of course your track wire and a nut. Simple and cheap.





Nice lookin' layout, BTW. :thumbsup:
 

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Nice layout! :thumbsup: It's a good idea to wire a track for brakes.
If a racer chooses not to run brake, the red wire alligator clip is simply not
connected to the red post. HO runs positive polarity & 1/32nd doesn't.
For positive wiring, the positive power supply terminal runs to white driver station post. Black driver station post to driver side track rail in desired
direction of travel. Passenger side track rail is common & returns to red
driver station post. Final wire can splice in common wire prior to, or directly from red post, & runs to negative terminal of power supply. This is for one lane. From a common power source, power to terminal blocks & feed lanes individually from that point. Additional terminal blocks can be used for
multiple power taps per lane. HO tracks will run on negative gate, but can be problematic if electronic controllers are used. I hope this helps. :)
 

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SwamperG has a neat and safe hookup technique!!! May I suggest a shelf attached underneath the edge of your track. I added an edge lip, to keep things from rolling off. Comes in handy for those extra cars, controllers, tools, etc. Hobby Lobby has these color pads for marking you stations, (lane colors). One of those plastic parts boxes works for hookup protection. Just cut both ends off and use those around your hook up poles. Nice track by the way and let the fun begin!!! RM
P.S. I'd wire it for brakes just in case, I use them more for AFX cars.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick response Gents. I'm on it next chance. I love the PVC solution. By the way, the overpass has the start of a foam mountain with a lake in the middle. The back straight will have a foam drop off all along the side. Most all the guard rail will be gone or moved out beyond the turn boarders when I get those in. First shot at scenery, but looking forward to the challenge. Thanks again.
 

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Each of my driver's stations has three posts for controller hook-up and a panel with two switches, one switch to turn the brake post on or off, and one switch to reverse the polarity(the direction of travel) for that indivigual lane. It's kinda fun to run four cars in alternating directions!!!

Bob Weichbrodt
"Rawafx"
W-S, NC
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is there a simple reverse polarity switch that can be purchased or is that something I would have to build. Anyone have a link to a diagram with the option of reverse polarity. I run the simple Parma Resistor controllers.
 

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Is there a simple reverse polarity switch that can be purchased or is that something I would have to build. Anyone have a link to a diagram with the option of reverse polarity. I run the simple Parma Resistor controllers.
The article below has a schematic for a driver's station with a direction switch (scroll 2/3 way through the article for the schematic).

http://homepage.mac.com/pmarchand/Simpler_Driver_Station.htm

Be sure to post pictures of what you build :thumbsup:

Have Fun :)

Bob B.
 

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I had my driver stations made by Steve of Slot Car Corner. His service and
workmanship are excellent. You can possibly buy parts from him. Contact
Steve at his site: slotcarcorner.com for view of products.
My driver stations have 3 posts, 2 fuses, XLR jack w/isolation switch and
locking lane reverse switch. I will post pics of my track when completed.
 

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You can come up with some cool stations with all the modular stuff on the market these days:



I did the "bells & whistles" stations on my first couple layouts, but now prefer the basics at the stations and then centrally locate the fuses and switches in one panel:



This helps to avoid the common wiring mistake of running a single feed wire with "branches" to each station. You need to remember that until the break-away points, the feed wire is carrying the current of all four lanes if they are all running and it will create issues if using anything under 14AWG wire, especially with amp-suckers (Super III anyone?). Performance drops and cars will run hotter. In the setup above I ran 8AWG wire to the common bus of the fuses, then could run 14 from each fuse to it's switch then station without concern. You can still do it the other way just remember to run each station's wires to a common point fed by heavier wire. (edit: this applies to both + and - wires)
 

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Track Call?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned a "track call" button :rolleyes:
 

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LOL Gene...

Here is a simple reversing switch diagram. You can find DPDT (double pole double throw) switches at Radio Shack. The black power input would be the ground from the power supply and the red power input would be the positive lead after the controller post.

 

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Also, if you are debating whether or not to run brake hook ups, you have to determine if anyone will want to use an electronic controller on your track as these controllers MUST hook to a brake post to work properly. Stock Parma controllers can be used without the brake lead.
 

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I have never used brakes with my 4-lane Tomy track. It sounds like the motor only brakes when you completely let off the throttle. That would definitely change my driving style with various chassis. For me, driving X-Tractions is all about timing the coast into the turns and then timing the burst on the straights. And I never completely let off the throttle with any magnet cars. The downforce magnets impose some braking by themselves. As long as everyone is using similar equipment, the racing is fun. I'll have to try it sometime with brakes.
 
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