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Could you use the 3rd lane for one car and have lane 1 or 2 for 2 cars and the other for just one car as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Could you use the 3rd lane for one car and have lane 1 or 2 for 2 cars and the other for just one car as well?
Being able to run two cars per lane seemed like a neat idea, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t think it will work for me. Each car has to be “attached” to a controller, meaning it won’t run on a different controller. Its because of the “diode power control” scheme that ac2car uses. Thats really more of an irritation than anything else, but who wants to be irritated when just flinging slot cars around for fun?

But it also means I need to build more lane change sections. Not an easy thing in plastic track that doesn’t already have them.

It also means there’s no swapping inner/outer lanes. At least not if you’re running more than two cars. Since ac2car controls each car seperately through diodes and (essentially) “rectifying” the ac pulse into two dc pulses, you can only have two cars in one lane, if tou run 4 cars, as soon as one of those 4 cars (or three cars) seitches over to the opposite lane, you are fighting the other car cobtroller that is on the same recrified pulse.
I think the best thing for me is to just leave it alone or maybe do the ac2car control scheme and stick with just two cars.

For right now, I’m just going to stick with the “stock” dc powered tracks but keep ac2car in the back of my mind....
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Well, with the track up and running, I've got "proof of concept" confirmed. But the wiring setup was just prototyping, so it was pretty messy. Today, I pulled it all off and started cleaning it up. I plan to run each track power section back to a main terminal board and run them all nice, straight and clean. To give you a visual, I ran across this pic someone took of their setup:

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Given my aerospace background, what you see in that pic is the min acceptable for me. But that's only a sample. Mine will have power split per lane and with 6 power tracks, I need a min of 24 terminals. 12 for the positive, 12 for the negative and each lane separate. So I ordered 4 of these from "overseas":

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The jumpers are used to power each connector, the power line (or ground line) just goes to one of the jumper screws to power the bus bar. More pics to come as I get closer to finished.

I'm also experimenting with filling int he "flare" in the slots at the track joints. The lifelike track I'm using has pretty large flares to account for production tolerances, but it also end up banging and clicking the cars as they go past.

I've seen posts for everything from plastic wood to silicone to drywall compound. None of that sounds very smooth, doesn't sound like it would bond to the plastic track well or offer friction similar to the plastic track. So my first experiment is going to be with 5 min epoxy. my test pieces are drying as we speak:

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The aluminum bits are nearly the width of the slot, so I fill the slot with epoxy and press the Al into it to make the basic size of the slot. Sanding afterwards will get it perfect. I tried adding some dye to the epoxy, but it just went a very light shade of grey so that's not going to work. Thankfully, There is very little epoxy in the joint so it's not really visible.
 

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consider Testors 3502 liquid glue.
you make a paste that we call "goop"
shave or break down some extra track pieces very small and put into a bottle of the Testors 3502 glue.
there are reports that MEK can be used as well.
it will dissolve the plastic and you can adjust the consistency to your liking.
quite a few of us have been repairing old Aurora bodies with this technique and done right you cannot even tell there is a repair.
perhaps this is a bit tedious, but the plastic will return to it's former strength and will be chemically bonded to the track.
maybe search around HT slot car threads for more specifics.
there are a couple wizards that have been "gooping" for decades.
apparently Mike Vitale (sp) is credited with pioneering this venture.
 

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Discussion Starter #65 (Edited)
consider Testors 3502 liquid glue.
you make a paste that we call "goop"
shave or break down some extra track pieces very small and put into a bottle of the Testors 3502 glue.
there are reports that MEK can be used as well.
it will dissolve the plastic and you can adjust the consistency to your liking.
quite a few of us have been repairing old Aurora bodies with this technique and done right you cannot even tell there is a repair.
perhaps this is a bit tedious, but the plastic will return to it's former strength and will be chemically bonded to the track.
maybe search around HT slot car threads for more specifics.
there are a couple wizards that have been "gooping" for decades.
apparently Mike Vitale (sp) is credited with pioneering this venture.
Yep, that's an old trick and certainly not limited to slot cars. I’ve used that method on everything from car interior pieces to motorcycle side panels.

Basically, you're "re-flowing" the plastic and instead of using heat to keep it liquid, you're using a solvent. Instead of waiting for it to cool (like if it were formed in a mold) you wait for the solvent to "flash off". The problem starts when you get the mix ratio wrong and the "goop" can start attacking the parent material (IE: track") too aggressively and you can end up with a distorted mess. That's why plastic welding is a better option in most cases, not to mention faster....

It is an option, but I’m keeping it in my back pocket for now...
 

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Discussion Starter #66
So, the Tyco 440 Pro Racing Center showed up today.

I have to say: I'm underwhelmed.

First, it arrived in not the best of shape. It was how it was pictured, but the pictures didn't tell the whole story.

Cosmetically, it's OK. it's function that's the problem.

One Tach was seized. that freed up with a little cleaning, some penetrating oil and lots of manual movement.

Once hooked up, it became obvious that this actually was a "toy". The gauges do not move linearly to throttle, they often don't go to the same place for the same input, sometimes they don't move at all and sometimes they stick in an up position.

I plan to do some more work on it, but I think the problem is the internal components are just not high enough quality to work as expected.

The main issue seems to be the solenoid that is meant to move the gauge needle. I have to investigate more but it may be just too "cheap" to work well, or the internal components may have just succumbed to "father time"..

Either way, I'm bummed......:(
 

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Discussion Starter #68 (Edited)
Sorry to hear that! Sounds like you may already have a plan developing to make them better though. :unsure:
Possibly. I have to do a little reading on some electrical stuff (old brain looses bits of info now and then) and go through the racing center a bit more to get it all sorted.
I'll get it, it's just a matter of time (and irritation).

Sure looks neat though:

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Discussion Starter #69 (Edited)
So, the track joints.

Here is the stock LL track joints:

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You can see the flare in the track. This allows the cars to rattle around when being handed off from one section to the next.

First, 5 min epoxy:

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Meh, so so at best. The epoxy doesn't seem to want to bond with the plastic very well and that means the transition can't be blended smoothly by sanding. The epoxy also stays a touch flexible, which also lets it "roll" when the edges are feathered down. Car posts actually hit the edge of the epoxy and that's just not good at all.

Next, JB Kwik:

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Well, that grabs the plastic like it's life depends on it! sanded nicely, feathered well. Pushing the car through reveals no catch or "click" at all. Well, it does catch the rail joints, but that's a fix of a different color......;

JB also takes paint well, better than the plastic track would. I'd like to try a few more fillers, but JB sure is the front-runner at this stage.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Now I'm thinking about the AC2car setup again.

What I'm rolling around in my brain is to make the track the AC2car AC power, but still only run two cars. Allow me to explain:

AC2car lets you run two cars per lane, because of the use of ac power and diodes. But the problem with that and plastic track is that if you're running 4 cars (2 per lane) you end up with one controller running two cars. Unless you keep the two lane separate, you can't race against the next lane car and change lanes. Changing lanes is important when running two cars in a plastic track lane, as you are stuck behind the other car if you're faster.

But, my plan is to set up both lanes the same way with ac power. Then, build lane changing sections, something like this:

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Obviously, the HO track builders never offered that piece so I'd have to make it. Not a hard thing for me. I would take these two pieces:

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And combine them into 1. So you would have the option to change lanes, or continue on in the lane you are already in.

So if I build that piece in the track, I can use the AC2car power scheme to run two cars per lane and then change lanes to pass the other car in the lane. With the inner and outer lanes powered the same way, the controller will continue to control the same car in the other lane. I would have to build more lane "flippers", but it should almost be like a digital course, but only able to run two cars.

It would be a bit of work, but I'm certainly capable and I've got nothing but time on my hands.....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Alrighty then!

New motherboard showed up today for my 3d printer. I also added a BLtouch kit to the printer (auto adjusts for bed to printer nozzle height).

Right now, the printer is working on an HO scale Dunlop foot bridge:

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Another 8 hours or so and I should have the first side printed.....:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #72
First piece, fresh off the printer:

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A little clean up work and a dash of white paint on the lettering and it should be good to go!

It was 1/32 scale, but all I did was reduce it by 50% to get 1/64 scale. It was also in 4 pieces and my print bed is big enough to print the whole thing at once. I just dropped all 4 pieces into Cura and put them together on the print bed. Came out just right:

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Thats probably where I will put it. Other than the front straight, my track either has no space on the margins for it, or its all on an elevation...
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Well, minor progress on the racing center gauges. After tearing it all down to the smallest components and cleaning, adjusting and otherwise setting things to right, both gauges now read rpm with trigger pull.

The RH side works better than the LH side, but it's just a matter of the RH side moving linearly and the LH side wants to jump up to just before the red zone with just a graze of the trigger.

That's just a matter of frigging with it to get it right. But (technically) it's still just a "toy". So it's cheaply built and adjustments consist of adding/subtracting weights, and bending or distorting parts.

Still, that they working at all now is encouraging....
 

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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
OK, so I'm still not totally sold on the AC2car thing yet. I'm only ever going to run two cars (could run 4 if I separated the lanes) on my track. I don't see the purpose of running 4 crs, but never able to run either pair in the same lane. But just in case I change my mind, I grabbed an AC transformer that popped up for 38 bucks:

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The AC2 car site recommends a post war train transformer, min 100 watts of power.

Don't be fooled by the face plate though. The old transformers are listed by the INPUT watts. this Type V is closer to around 110-130 Watts output. But that's more than enough for my track as AC2Car's recommendation is for running up to 6 cars. This sucker will put out approx 5-6 amps at 26v, down around 12-18 it's 10-7 amps. More than enough for any cars I'll be running.

Supposedly, you loose some low end torque running rectified AC, but that's not a big deal for me as instant DC torque just blows the tires away. A little softer takeoff might make that a touch more realistic.

I'm also not completely sold on making my cars "tied" to one controller or the other. I've got a simple way to fix that in my head though: a little soldering, a little wiring and a couple moveable jumpers should allow me to to make a small cicuit board that will allow me to "program" each car to either controller with just the change of a jumper. Basically, just a small piece (has to fit in HO cars) with a diode and a couple pins. Move the jumper, change which brush the power goes to....
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Well FDM printing may not be the fastest process in the world, but it's hard to argue with the results:

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"Good things come to those who wait" I guess.......lol!

Seriously though, the level of detail is pretty amazing. And that's all before I clean up the prints and do final painting.

:)

For the curious, here's a snap of the printer starting the second inner panel:

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Only another 9 hrs to go.........lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Dunlop bridge print is done! no pics yet, but it looks bitcin"!

Just finished slicing up the grandstands. Have to wait for the next day to print because it's going to take 10 hrs total. But, it will look like so:

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Planning on printing out a Dunlop control tower next:

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:)
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Figured I’d start with the control tower first. I pulled the large tower components out of the design, dropped them on the build plate and:

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we’re off and running!

a quick check of the time to completion reveals....2 days and 21 hours?!?!??!

Time to walk away and let it do its thing.....
 

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Discussion Starter #78
So, while waiting, I'd thought I'd do a quick overview of what is being built on the track.

A view from the drivers stations:

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Control tower is going at the end of the front straight ( to the Rh side in pic). Grandstands will go up the same side of the front straight. Pits go on the infield section. There will alo be a gantry/foot bridge over the front straight.

Planning a crash scene at the tunnel turn:

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There will be a "depot" on the far end at the plateau:

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The fire truck and ambulance will also be there with a turn out onto the track for them to get to accidents.

There's a small building I'll place there along with a marshal's tower. Like these:

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Basically, the building is for the crews to relax in and the tower is to keep and eye on the mountain route.

I want to put a Med-evac chopper on the diorama somewhere, and I'm thinking on top of the low peak:

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So maybe a small helipad there along with a gondola system to get to it without flying the chopper. Perhaps a small shelter so the crews have a place to wait while the races are on.

Now it's all about waiting for the 3d printer.......:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #79
A little more thinking has me wondering if I should put the cable car on the plateau up to the high peak and put the observation tower on the high peak.
Seems to make more sense to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #80
well, I thought I'd screwed myself. I was cleaning up the room and the printer was just below 50% complete. I went to move some power cords and the printer shut off!!!!!!

Seems I had grazed the power switch on one of the power bars and turned the printer off. Well....EFF!!!

But fortunately, my printer is a Ver 2. Which means it has the newer functions Creality puts into their printer software. I scroll through the menus and there it is: "Resume print?"

YES PLEASE!!!!

After a couple seconds of the print head moving around and checking things, it goes right back to where it stopped and starts up printing and starts up printing again!

Whew! what a relief! It's been printing for 26 hrs and I would have been torqued if it was all lost.....
 
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