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I'm trying to decide on how to build my driver's stations, and what I should incorporate into them.

Brakes: My thought is I might as well set them up with a brake connection, although I really do not totally understand how and why a person uses brakes on slot cars, and which slot cars you might use them with.

Reverse Switch: Again, I am thinking switching to reverse might increase the life of a track layout, even if the track was purposefully designed to go in a singel direction. But maybe, this is something that could or should be incorporated as a single switch somewhere, not something at each station?

And now, for my big idea, something I have not seen mentioned before in all my slot-car surfing, but I know someone will link me to it now......

A selector switch at each station to choose which lane you control!!

No need to side-step 2 feet to the next station, or walk around the table to get from the lane 2 controller to the lane 3 controller. Just turn your switch from Red to Blue, move your car a couple lanes in, and you are ready to roll!

No need to decide in advance which side of your 4x16 table is going to get the drivers stations. With all the costs involved in this hobby, wire and TB's appear to be low on the scale, so why not wire, and then wire some more! Put 4 stations on each side, and throw one on each end for good measure!

Whatdya think?

Aside from that idea, please do tell and if possible show photos of how you built your drivers stations, and why you did what you did, and if in hindsight, you would've done something different.
 

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Not quite sure what I will do yet....I'm leaning to the three post set up...

The AMSRA guys all use a regular three prong single 110v style outlet....uniform to all tracks...

The break is the ground prong...so simply putting an adaptor to a two prong negates the breaking circuit...

Kinda neat....I allready figured an easy way to install both types of connections in parallel for each station....so either style would work on my (future) home track...
 

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Hi Jeff,

I'll try to help a little. :)

Brakes: Not necessary, but I'd say a big plus if you plan on racing anything above T-Jets. You don't need to know the technical aspects of how back-EMF works, but believe me when you hook a PC to a track you will be searching for those few 10ths of a second and braking will give it and more to you with many types of cars. Think of it more as "roll control".

Reversing Switches: To me, it gives you two tracks. I've done it on three of mine now, and wouldn't have it any other way. On my newest track, however, I got smart and put them (along with lane fuses) in a centralized location...takes a lot of wire out of the equation.

Selector Switches: I'd have to go against that one. Sounds good on paper, but you will have a wiring nightmare going on. Think about this also...if lane one switches to lane two, what if lane two forgets? Or lane three mistakenly switches to lane two also? In this day of big $$ electronic controllers, as simple mistake could wind up costing a racing buddy a lot of money, and as track owner you will be the one they point the finger at. Besides, look at most any large gathering of racers...most of us who belly-up to a track need that little bit of excercise lane rotation provides. :p

As for drivers stations, there are loads of options/opinions out there. A cheap, simple way is to mount three screws into an old 5.25" drive bay knockout painted for lane color. On my new track, I got "modular", using home networking parts painted with Fusion along with some binding posts...worked pretty well and if one terminal goes south for some reason, I can simply pop a new one in.




Gene

PS...didn't forget ya on the sensor thing, will PM you later. :thumbsup:
 

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I am going to add four hookups to each area of the track as mentioned , not switched but always there, just plug a controller into your choosen lane color.

And with larger set ups, if your running laps by yourself you just plug a controller into every blue lane so if you car de-slots you have access to a controller anywhere for your lane on the table.

I'm also going to sink my stations into the sides of the table not just have them sitting flush, this should help to prevent the plugs from being broken accidentally by bumping into them.

I would also like to use telephone coiled cord for my controllers but don't know if this would work, this would be nice to just use phone jacks as your ports, then rig your controller to ressemble a hand set and you could just plug a cord into the end.

Wireless controllers they've got them for trains., I'm sure they could be made.
 

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You're welcome to check out my HO Tech page on how we have done Lane Stations on our club tracks in Chitown. Some may disagree with exposed posts but I have never seen anyone short out the posts in over 10 years and that includes kids using the tracks as well. The 3 terminal posts will be more universal to general racing and if you decide to go race somewhere else, most likely the other tracks you race will have the same standards and your controllers will hook up no problem. Same goes for visitors to your track.

I went with a very affordable set up. Only thing I would add would be drink holders if my stations were a little wider. The tire scuff pads we have are great for scuffign stock tires on Tyco's and SG+ cars when they get smooth.

See what you think:

http://www.supervipersystems.com/VargoSpeedway/HO_Tech/Drivers_Stations/drivers_stations.html

Scott V.

BTW- those controller hook ups are awesome Gene! :thumbsup:
 

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I also went with the 3 prong drivers station for mine, as that is what we race on around here, and 1 of my controllers needs the brake circuit to work, brake doesn't need to be on, just plugged in.

SO...

Brakes: necessary for me and my controller

Reversing switches: I didn't do it, but I really like the idea, I think I would do it in the future

Selector switches: Sounds like a wiring nighmare and compltely unecessary. It isn't really that hard to move yourself a couple feet either direction. :)

I really like SwamperGenes, nice work! I cheated and bought mine from hoslotcarracing.com. I am having a new Brystal track made for me at the moment and those will have the nice looking Brystal/Scale Auto hookups.
 

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Brakes: Mine are wired for brakes but not connected nor needed.
Reversing Switches: I want to but haven't figured out how I want to do it yet.
Track Selector Switches: I never want, the driver station is painted the color of the coresponding lane on the track so racers and marshals can see what lane they have during the excitement of a race. When I want a different lane I use a different driver station.
 

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My track has brakes and reversing switches. Here's my opinion...

Brakes..... Easy wiring. Do it. You'll wish you had otherwise. You don't have to hook up the brake wire if you don't want to. I like brakes in cars that run well (that coast well).

Reversing switches..... A bit more wiring, but not bad. Do it. You'll wish you had otherwise. Like as mentioned before, you get two tracks out of the deal. You will be amazed how differently the track drives.

Selector switch.... That could get really messy real quick. Don't bother.
 

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If you can afford it,add a 100 ohm pot to your brake circuit,and mount it close to your controller hook-up,this way guys with standard resistor controllers can adjust the brakes.
Wire your track for individual lane reversing,when you get bored,have 2 guys go one way and the other guys go the other way,makes for a night of fun :thumbsup:
 

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Here is one of my drivers stations...

Wired for brakes, have a look:

I used brass screws installed from the bottom.
A nut at the bottom of the holes keeps the screw from slipping.
Once installed on the track table I soldered the wires to the top of the screws. The other three stations are painted red, blue and yellow...
Only thing that I am missing is a place to set the controller.
I have a small basket that I hang on the side of the track for that.
I may add a reversing switch later..... Maybe..
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lots of good ideas and set-ups here – thanks!...and I hope more people contribute their ideas and pictures.

I’m sold on wiring for brakes, and when the time comes, learn how and when they are used. I’m also sold on a reverse switch, either a central one, or at each station.

I need to learn more about the possible dangers of having selectable tracks at each driver station, either with a switch, or with multiple connections like I think Tycoarm was planning. If not selectable at each driver station, then maybe a central control panel, where a lane can be decided for each driver station.

This may not be a beneficial feature if your track is against a wall, and your driver stations by default are lined up along one side, but for a larger track where you have the ability to put stations along all sides, having the tracks the stations operate changeable seems like a plus. You could put a colored light above each station that indicates which lane that station is controlling, so marshalls could easier determine where to re-slot your car.

A wiring nightmare? Might be – I honestly have no clue how many additional wires and wire runs this would require. If a central station controlled the lanes, then maybe the wiring would not be as bad?

Drink Holders at each station – great idea!

Scuff pads – Since I no experience with slot cars, aside from looking really cool, do you use them often? What about you guys that do not have scuff pads at your stations – do you have another method or device in your pit box to do something similar? Maybe a scuff pad is something that if you have a central control station, you could have one located there for all to use.

Great stuff here guys – I really appreciate all the input!
 

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I like the idea of a pot for the brake circuit. I have a one on the power circuit itself at each driver station to dial down the juice for particular cars or drivers.
 

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Franko said:
I like the idea of a pot for the brake circuit. I have a one on the power circuit itself at each driver station to dial down the juice for particular cars or drivers.
Now THAT is the best Idea yet for those of us who have little tyke drivers...

I will definately remember to add that...

Ofcorse...at this rate....she will be a better driver than I am by the time I have the space for a perminate layout... :cool: ...she got all excited when I told her I bought a "race" car to run with the AMSRA guys....she said she would like one for next christmass when she knows how to drive fast...

Some how I think my car is going to end up pink.....LOL...

I'm really thinking of doing everything in a modular "plug and play" fashion...so the lay out is semi-portable....has a power supply , and timing gear with quick disconnects and have the main sections built as modular units that are wired with quick disconnects as well...

Then when I can host a race...all I need is to find a temporary space to set up, test the layout , then race....

I'd also like to hit a few of the local train shows and set up a couple mods and sell some cars or maybe even get hired to build a layout...

I might even try to make modular sections with with the PVC sheeting....I only need a few more tools and I could do that...

Great ideas everyone...keep them comming... :thumbsup:
 

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Scafremon said:
Scuff pads – Since I no experience with slot cars, aside from looking really cool, do you use them often? What about you guys that do not have scuff pads at your stations – do you have another method or device in your pit box to do something similar? Maybe a scuff pad is something that if you have a central control station, you could have one located there for all to use.
This is more of a "home brew" idea. My group has always enjoyed running stock tires on Box Stock Tyco and SG+ races. Most other guys allow silicone slip ons and double flanged rims on the SG+. We've found that scuffing neoprene tires does some good so everyone wanted them on the lane stations. Trying to scuff your tires ON the track with sand paper is not good track etiquette. :eek:
 

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I really like this one...

I really like this one...
But the posts look a bit too close together.
But I could be wrong... (like usual..)
Scott
 

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If you're energtic,you can add everything that a Electronic controller has right to your track,and it shouldn't cost much more then buying a topline E controller.
My track is directional and is wired for adjustable brakes/coast(100 ohm pot on red wire,switchable to joining the white and black circuits together for coast),adjustable inline resistance (3 ohm pot on white wire),choke (1 ohm pot on black wire) ,full power bypass and a blast relay (need to slightly modify Parma resistor controllers to operate),on each lane,and the total cost was comparable to my first Difalco fanatic.
Also make sure you use positive polarity,(black wire goes to your rail,white wire is positive feed from your power supply)
 
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