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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched high and low for this information but for some reason this information is very rare, too rare for me to find it. I can only find general recommendations to cover a whole range of slotcar brands and models, generally 18 volts is recommended but my tyco double loop nightglow set that came with HP2 chassis cars came with a power supply that said 12 volts on the label so I can't see how the recommended 18 volts could be correct in terms of what these cars were designed to run on, unfortunately I cannot find my tyco power supply at the moment otherwise I would measure the actual voltage as the 12 volts on the label would be under a certain load, it will vary depending on that load of course. Also the higher the voltage used the more current running through the motor, at some point it will be too high and cause premature burnout of the motor so if the HP2 was designed for a lower voltage it would not be wise to run it on 18 volts i would have thought. Now that's what I know but what am I missing?
 

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most of the toy car set including tyco came with 20+(22 I think) volt wal warts
partially because they had very low amps.

then people stated to use batteries 6volts + 12volts = 18 (more like 19 in realty)

so when rules came out for voltage at the big events it was 18+ volts.

so u can take a 18 volt car and run at 12 or vise versa.

just use what u like and have fun
 

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18 volts is correct, depending on the year the set came out and the type of controllers.

12.5 Volts is the original spec for Tyco pro cars, What happened was Early Curve hugger sets were rebranded Tyco Pro sets and there is confusion as to what power supply should be issued.

the issue is Magnatraction verse, Non-magnatraction.

Tyco pro was Non-magnatraction for the most part. the original specs are 60-90 ohm controllers and 12.5 volts. later they changed to 18 volts at 75-90 ohm controllers.

Tyco Hp2 went through about 4 or 5 revisions. but they are magnatraction. The 18 volts carried over to the Hp2 curvehugger versions from 1975 till 1980. but the cars kept changing, Double Flux Plates, then single Flux plates, they tried to reduce the magnetic attraction because the hand controllers would catch fire from the increased amp draw, around 1978 they changed from the Thumb controllers carried over from the Tyco pro era to the Trigger style controllers. the voltage remained at 18 volts and the controllers callibrated to use that voltage, because they needed to be backwards compatible. in 1980ish they went to higher voltage like 20,22,24 volts. then the HP2 had removed the flux/traction plates from the center of the chassis to the rear of the car in front of the rear axle( more traditional) Then the chassis was replaced around 1981 with 440.

If you are using the original controllers, 18 volts is correct. if you are using later controllers depending on the ohms of the controller which can vary from 35-75 ohms, then you may need to play with the voltage level between 18 and 22 volts.

ride height has a big effect as well due to the sensitive nature of the magnatraction flux plates in the early cars, increasing the rear tire diameter may get you into a sweet spot.

lastly the front contact shoes are a major problem the design is REALLY bad and hangs up the Hp2 chassis .

check out some awesome threads here
http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=257624
http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=257391

applying these modifications will majorly free up the HP2 chassis and stop that ON/OFF throttle feeling you get no matter what voltage you try out.

check your front tires contact with the track if the front end is floating it will explain your voltage issue thats driving you nuts. the front tires must be supporting weight not floating above the track, this requires modification to the front contact shoe support plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, very informative slotcardan, thanks. My set came with a 12 volt transformer, at least that is what the label on the transformer says and I had the pistol grip trigger controllers, the cars had 1 magnet on each side in the middle of the car, an open rear axle box and silver coloured plastic chassis.
Ok, before posting this I did some digging, I have the original instructions that came with my set and they state and output of 12VDC 5.4VA, I hooked up the original tyco transformer and measured 18 volts but this of course is open circuit which does not really mean anything, as soon as I put a load on by driving just 1 car it dropped to 13 volts, it will no doubt drop to the 12 volts with 2 cars. So I have to wonder if confusion has come about because of the open circuit/no load voltage and that is why 18 volts is widely quoted instead of the 12 volts. I know some people will just say use what ever voltage you want but it's nice to know the original voltage these sets came with so you can see how these sets originally performed and maybe to be wary of burning out the motor on too high a voltage/current.
 

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I have raced all my cars, various makes and years, on voltage up to 28+ and no problems.
as has been said somewhere, a pretty much agreed on 18 volts is very common these days and makes tuning a little easier for everyone. now, rail height is a whole nuther story!
 

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yeah those cheap transformers need to be tested under load you can also boost the transformer a little by installing a polarized capacitor in parallel. if you want to stick with the 12 volt and boost performance a little install a cap from 4.7uf to 1000uf size. 1000uf will turn the cars into rockets so you have to play around with a capacitor size, i go with 4.7uf to just compensate for race starts where the power gets drawn down.

some of the smaller sets came with 12.5 volts for a while. if the cars had lights then they boosted the power to 18v to compensate for the load of the lights. if the set had 90 ohm controllers then they gave you 18 volts as well. after 1976 the kits stabilized and they kept using the 18 volt transformers. if your sticking with original equipment then its easier to stick with the 18 volts if you start playing with the ohms in the controllers and start using stronger magnatraction cars then you start needing more power.

A big issue with tyco was when they switched from tyco pro to Curvehugger.
they kept the same specs in the box but changed the chassis. the curvehugger chassis draws like .5-.9 amps, and the tyco pro draws like .2-.5 amps. so what would happen is the original finger trigger controllers and the thumb controllers would basically melt and possibility catch fire, burn fingers, etc. in 1978 they finally redesigned the track system, changed from the side lock to the new tyco track tab connectors and changed the controllers out for less ohms and kept the 18 volts until the 440s came out, then upped the voltage. there was a time where Tyco lowered the voltage to try and keep the controllers from melting. less power equals less amp draw for the same resistance.

Over time the cars would get replaced with newer chassis but kids kept the original power supplies, so you may of started out with a tyco pro set, then got curvehuggers with the same bodies and suddenly the original 12.5 power supply isn't enough or the controllers melted. or if you added headlight cars to the original sets that was a problem also.

the worst is if you had a original tyco speedway set and threw a 440x2 car on the track, call the fire department lol.

getting a tyco pro 18 volt supply is really easy they come up all the time or drop into local radio shack and pick up a 18 volt supply at 1 amp which is good for playing around.

that's not to say you can't use the 12 volts with the curvehugger but you need to drop the resistance in the hand controllers to get that throttle range back due to magnetic friction. when you have a car without magnatraction then even the slightest voltage will throw the thing across the room so you increase the resistance of the controllers and that is when you see people using 90-120 ohm controllers.

So at 18 volts 60 ohms you would be equivalent with 12 volts at 45 ohms, both would pull about .3 amps. so you have a lot of ways you could approach tuning the track for the cars. you could up the voltage or drop the resistance in the controllers and stop that lazy feeling or ON-OFF feeling.

if you want to maintain the set, then i would go get the 18 tyco transformer and done.
if you want to start messing with the controllers then you could go nuts, you could even add dynamic braking to the cars. that allows you to drive even harder into a corner let off the gas much later and pull faster lap times.
 

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i forgot besides the power of the cars, really really think about modifications to the contact shoe area of the car, shaving down the barrels and allowing the shoes to float and drop flat with the bottom of the chassis will make the car run smoother and faster and draw less amps.

sounds like you have the 1980s Curve hugger chassis


or maybe this earlier one.


the entire curvehugger hp2 line from 1974 to 1981 had the same front shoe design and problems

The early curvehugger actually didn't have magnets underneath, those are actually flux plates, they become magnetic and act as traction magnets they also manipulate the motors magnetic field for more torque.

the 1980-1981 hp2 curvehugger did put magnets right on the back of the chassis to try and keep the rear end from sliding out.

basically you are seeing the evolution of Tyco HO in the magnatraction field from 1974 to 1981.

after that they settled on the 440 chassis and the line grew from there from 1982 till now since you can still get 440x3 chassis from Mattel for 3$
 

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I do want to add on thing here.. just a little warning. Capacitors in the higher ranges are most likely electrolytic, and are usually polarized. Make sure you know what is positive and what is negative on both the power supply and the cap before hooking them up. They can go POP if they're hooked up the wrong way.

Okay.. normal discussion may resume!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I do want to add on thing here.. just a little warning. Capacitors in the higher ranges are most likely electrolytic, and are usually polarized. Make sure you know what is positive and what is negative on both the power supply and the cap before hooking them up. They can go POP if they're hooked up the wrong way.

Okay.. normal discussion may resume!! :D
Thanks for the warning, I have some basic electronic knowledge though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a benchtop power supply with variable voltage, variable current limiting and plenty of amps so will play around with that at some stage.
 

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Have already started on the contact shoe area mod, didn't take quite enough off though so have to do it again, the funny thing is before i seen the info on this mod I was wondering what the hell was going on because it does sound like the car is roughly dragging it's bottom along, it sounds awful and not right, I have in the past also noticed that the front tires were floating above the track, I assumed it was a case of worn tires so it's great to find hear the real solution to the problem.
 

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the internet can be so wonderful sometimes.

keep adjusting how much material you take off the idea is get the shoe flat into chassis recess.

I will recommend one change. the original author said to flatten out the contact shoes totally. bend them 100% flat. I have found if you do make it 100% flat the shoe starts to catch the joints on the rails, and it can de-slot the car when you use the lane changers. flatten out the shoe a little bit but leave a little curve in the shoe, its not ideal but it will stop the shoe from de-slotting the chassis.


the result is night and day with the modification the cars are as quiet as the tyco pro 2 cars.

Also if you find the contact shoe guide holder is bent(plastic warp) like this / \ so the edges are hanging down, you can take a soldering iron to the top heat up the spring barrel holders till the plastic starts to smoke then bend the plastic straight again and let it cool down, some of the older cars the black plastic droops on the ends and that causes all kinds of issues also.

modifying mine


modification to old tyco power supply



its 1976 all over
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Looking at your tycopro gear Slotcardan just reminds me again how luck you guys in the USA are with the stockpile of old slotcar gear available, most of it is rare in my country. I like your use of a mural around the slotcar table, I can only dream of such things at the moment due to time limitations.
It would be interesting to know if any sets similar to mine came with power supplies that were not 12 volt, is mine the exception or the rule.
 

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Lol,, what stock pile? there is only ebay and your wallet.


Actually everyone has access to parts now that you could not even get when this stuff was new.


Out of the states no idea what countries laws required as far as power supplies for toys.

I have seen curve hugger and tyco pro sets with 12.5 volts, but you defiantly want 18 volts with the curvehuggers.


The light and sounds Sebring set fits in 3x5 feet actually its much smaller then the 3x5 dimensions listed on the box. The table is just 3.5 feet by 6. I don't have space either. Bigger tracks go on the floor.
 

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I like your use of a mural around the slotcar table, I can only dream of such things at the moment due to time limitations.
Kiwislotcar, when you get ready for some decorations for your track I have all kinds of designs for the AFX style billboard guard rails that I made, they turn out really nice, I had them printed off at a local Staples for less than $0.50 each page, which is 6-8, 11" long pieces, shoot me a pm with an e-mail and I will gladly send the files to you, (or anyone else) its a great cheap way to add some detail to a layout.

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