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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I purchased Tracker 2000 to help me design my next track layout. I'm starting to get the hang of the software - the split/join track feature is nice.

I'd like to get your input on the current design I am working on. I have uploaded the .tr3 file in case you would like to assist by modifying it.

The file will show my current inventory of track. I was a bit shocked to realize that even after purchasing an SI set and a BBB set (along with a few more pieces) I am still about $150.00 short in needed track based on this design :( So the track has started to slowly change, as I try to use more of my inventory pieces. But, I don't want to build a poor track just because I'm trying to only use what I have.

The layout is 2 4x8's, and since they will be stored seperated, I am trying to keep straight pieces over the split, so when I carefully pull the tables together, I can make the track connections over the split. I am also trying to keep the track flat, since the tables will be stacked with spacers and raised to the ceiling of my garage. However, I'm tempted to work in the few 12" banked pieces I have, to save some $$ on more track.

Anyway, suggesstions on improving the design are appreciated. Even negative comments will be appreciated. I have virtually zero experience running slot cars, so I'm not sure what really works, and what doesn't.

Thank you.
 

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No matter what you do, make sure you lay the track out and run it before you finalize your design. Sometimes what looks good in the program doesn't always 'flow' right when you actually build it.

My next track may be an "L" shape table too. Got to finish the one I am working on first, though! :lol:

'doba
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1976Cordoba said:
No matter what you do, make sure you lay the track out and run it before you finalize your design. Sometimes what looks good in the program doesn't always 'flow' right when you actually build it.
I hear what you are saying. One thing I am trying to do is get a fairly close estimate on what track pieces I need to purchase, since I am realizing this can get expensive. Having done 3 or 4 designs, I am seeing that I need a bunch more 15" straights and larger curves, no matter what I do.

I was just looking at the track pics you posted, and noticed how drastically different our layouts are. I'm in a poor position because I have no idea how those consecutive curves I have are going to play out - if I will enjoy that aspect, or just wish I just had bought more straights.

My SI set will arrive on Monday, so I am going to try next week to build a small track, and test out some different aspects, such as all those 6" curves. Unfortunatly, the only cars I have are Super G+, and I am already thinking I need to try some different cars on a track to get a better feel for how it runs.

Or, I am simply overthinking this - something I tend to do. :)
 

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Scafremon said:
My SI set will arrive on Monday, so I am going to try next week to build a small track, and test out some different aspects, such as all those 6" curves. Unfortunatly, the only cars I have are Super G+, and I am already thinking I need to try some different cars on a track to get a better feel for how it runs . . .
6" turns are -tight- . On my track the smallest radius is 12" and the largest is 18" -- I didn't go any smaller because I just don't like 9" and 6" turns because they are pretty tight for fast magnet cars like Super G+.

Don't get me wrong -- there isn't anything wrong with using smaller radius, so long as you can get it to where you like the flow of the track. I like big sweepers and long straightaways and my track reflects that :)

'doba
 

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No offense but the track layout is kinda boring to me. Im not saying it wouldnt be fun because honestly any track that size would be a blast compared to my 2-lane 4x10 table. At the same time I cant say much because I dont know what kind of cars you will be using. It has a lot of chicanes so it would be fun and challenging for non mag cars. I just think you could do some things to liven in it up.

I dont know if you planned on any scenery at all but this layout gives you no room to do anything. The best tip I read was dont try to use every single inch of your table for track. Some of the cleanest and most fun tracks have been things like the spare door track.

I will never build a track that doesnt have at least one overpass because I think it makes it more interesting. All flat is alright I guess but I like the contrast in raised track sections for visual appeal. You could even do something as simple as making an overpass in the middle section like this:
http://www.designbydan.com/pt/design5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
BewstdGT said:
No offense....
None taken whatsoever! I was hoping to get some criticism on the design. If everyone would have posted 'best layout ever' I would've probably stopped visiting this forum. :)

As for scenery, I wasn't planning on any, although, as I see more and more of these landscaped tracks, I could see myself going that direction at some point. I just think that would be later - after I experience just the racing part of slot cars, and if I get to that point, I would start over with a new design.

I agree with the visual appeal of an overpass. Just adding a little elevation to a flat track makes a difference. I noticed that when I built a door track, that by simply adding the guard rails helped the visual appeal of the layout. The reason I have not incorporated an overpass (although I may end up doing so) is the limited storage space I have for the track when it is not in use. I just measured, and I have 27" from garage ceiling to the roof rack on my wifes Honda Element (proper air pressure in tires, and it will be 26.75"). I'm leaning towards buying that Racor Lift I posted in another thread, and it will lift one of the 4x8's, with the other 4x8 attached to and hanging underneath it. I'm not sure what the total height of that assembly is going to be (Racor thing and 2 table halves), and what clearance I will feel safe with. Another 4 or 5 inches for an overpass should be doable, but until I really figure that out, I was going to design all flat.

Thanks for your comments...and don't forget to tell me more about the Harbor Freight Wench thing you are using. It's half the price of that Racor thing, but then, it takes up more vertical space (I think).
 

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I'd really like to see a big long sweeper turn up there on the left, you have enough twisties I think, and a sweeper would add to this layout. I also have to agree that an over/under somewhere would be a nice touch as well.

I like the rest of what you have done though, looks like a fun track.
 

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FYI, the 90 degree 9" radius corners aren't really 90 degrees. Don't use more than one in a corner cause there will be gaps. The 45 degree 9" corners are better. I was trying to save money and use the 90's..... Now I want to replace several 90 degree corners in my track because of the gaps. Hindsight is 20/20 or better.....


My opinions......

One section of 'wiggles' is probably enough........

Spend some money on the 18" curves, they are very cool. Yes, they are really expensive compared to regular Tomy track.

I had some 12" and 15" corners with tight slots. Mainly with x-trac's and the guide flag.

The 6" corners are 'fiddly'. They take some work to make smooth with all cars.


Definitely set the track up and run on it before commiting to a layout. I changed some stuff based on running it...... Glad I did........
 

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I'm really intrigued with models of real tracks.....or at least those close enough...

I think most surfers have seen "portugal in a play room"

But just in case...the article...pictures on the right...

http://www.f1specialties.com/main/racetrack/racetrack.html:

I wonder why they didnt make it a 4 lane though?

I rank this model right up there with the Katz-spa-ring...still looking for more pics of the model of monte carlo some one did...

HO france layout rocks too...there are so many cool and detailed tracks...

This is kinda what I was going for when I decided to do a mock up of mid ohio sports cars car course...but even with a two car garage...I need MORE room to do it in scale...

In the end it's what drives you....a pure race track....a detailed model....a mixture of both...

Yes detailed tracks can be a pain to marshal...and super fast cars can damage scenery....but IMHO.....with proper catch fencing and a handy piece of thin metal on a stick....even the biggest and finest detailed tracks can be seriously raced...

Almost everyone has a "favorite" real track...you should include elements from that track that make you like it...

I want a detailed model that can be raced...but I need a bigger house with an unfinished basement... :tongue:
 

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Crimnick said:
. . . I want a detailed model that can be raced...but I need a bigger house with an unfinished basement . . . :tongue:
:lol: YEP -- My wife and I looked at probably 30 houses when we were home shopping until we found a nice one-story ranch with a nice open basement.

'doba
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
martybauer31 said:
I'd really like to see a big long sweeper turn up there on the left, you have enough twisties I think, and a sweeper would add to this layout.
When you say ‘sweeper’, is that like what I have in the upper right corner, or even the lower right corner?
Manning said:
FYI, the 90 degree 9" radius corners aren't really 90 degrees. Don't use more than one in a corner cause there will be gaps.
When you say ‘don’t use more then one in a corner’, do you mean not to use two 90’s to form a 180 degree turn, or something else? I don’t have any consecutive 90’s, except in the wiggles. Is the gap you are referring to a gap that is created between the inside and outside track pieces, or somewhere else? Based on something I read at Greg Braun’s site, I was thinking I would try and maintain the 1/8” gap between inside/outside tracks for the complete layout. Do you have a pic of what you are describing?

I admit I was trying to use as many 9” 90’s as I could, since aside from 6” curves, this is the piece I have the most of.
Crimnick said:
I think most surfers have seen "portugal in a play room"
But just in case...the article...pictures on the right...

Almost everyone has a "favorite" real track...you should include elements from that track that make you like it...
I had not seen “Portugal in a Play Room”….. Oh My!! That is spectacular! You may have just changed everything in how I approach this. Previously, when I thought about ‘landscaped’ designs, I pictured diorama’s in my mind, with buildings and scale people, etc. And while I think dioramas are incredible in their own right, I did not see how the ‘snapshot’ of the diorama fit in with the ‘action’ of the slot cars. I would prefer to see a diorama with fixed mounted roads and cars, and then I could see spending hours talking with the creator about why he/she created each part of the snapshot.

If you have more links to tracks like Portugal, maybe you could start a thread and post them. I would enjoy seeing more layouts like that.

As for a favorite real track, I don’t have one. I don’t follow any type of car racing, except for maybe the weekly car-jackings-turned-into-police-chases I catch on the evening news.
 

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Scafremon said:
I had not seen “Portugal in a Play Room”….. Oh My!! That is spectacular! You may have just changed everything in how I approach this. Previously, when I thought about ‘landscaped’ designs, I pictured diorama’s in my mind, with buildings and scale people, etc. And while I think dioramas are incredible in their own right, I did not see how the ‘snapshot’ of the diorama fit in with the ‘action’ of the slot cars. I would prefer to see a diorama with fixed mounted roads and cars, and then I could see spending hours talking with the creator about why he/she created each part of the snapshot.
Some of the stories behind these tracks are awesome.....for many guys...they are the tracks they dreamed of having when they were just kids..

If you have more links to tracks like Portugal, maybe you could start a thread and post them. I would enjoy seeing more layouts like that.
Sure...I'll start another thread and post some of the links I have saved...

As for a favorite real track, I don’t have one. I don’t follow any type of car racing, except for maybe the weekly car-jackings-turned-into-police-chases I catch on the evening news.
Well...that in itself brings up a good link...I'll have to find it again...

A guy has a killer track set up with train crossings....cross overs....criss crosses...a whole down town and outer highway loop...the object is more of survival than fast lap times...

When I was first racing while living at home....I only had two laners set up....but with a ton of squeeze tracks and cross overs...

The whole object was to deslot the other guy....by any means neccessary....it was after that when I glued a tyco slim line into an AFX tractor in an effort to get some more speed out of a big rig...

A crash and bash track would make a great second track to mess with....and really....the kids have more fun on them...

I'm really thinking on re-building my first 4 lane and taking it to tiffin show to try and sell it...
 

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Yeah, with sweeper, I mean one continuous curve around the whole end, it may be hard to do with the Tomy track as somewhere you are going to need a straight, but yes, similar to the lower right side.
 

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My advice would be to look at the different layouts in Greg Brauns site and take it from there.All of the layouts on there are tried and true,and can be tweaked to ones liking.

I think your track looks pretty good.But for me personally there are too many twists and tight corners.I like some long straightaways.

Again,thats just me and my "need for speed"

Mike
 

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I wouldn't break up that long inner straight on the right side like you've done. I think you'd like having that extra chance to squeeze the throttle. It also balances the lane difficulty a bit, although the guy on the inside on those sharp turns is going to have it tougher. Those sharp turns in the upper portion will really separate the poor handling cars from the good ones as you'll really have to feather the throttle. Give yourself that inside lane as a handicap when you have guests over.

Where will the four driver stations be located? You don't want anyone's view blocked when they're going through those tight turns.
 

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Your second attempt looks goods, very good. I like the flow and looks like it would run nice in either direction.

I would lay it down run it and tweak it from there.

I really would of liked to use some 18's in my layout but I couldn't see spending for them. I like running Tjets and Magna Tractions, but last week The boys and myself fired up the 440's and Fast Tracker and OMG! what a night of racing we had.

Those super cars I like to call them handled my 9" & 12" curves well, I've got no 6"ers in my layout but since you have them use them but sparingly and try not to put them at the end of a long straightaway it'll only lead to frustration.

I've got my first few attemps at a 4 lane setup and my current 1/32 layout in as well in my gallery, take a look.

For scenery you could look at a lot of pictures of race tracks for ideas but here's how I went about it. I stuck Grand Prix Challenge (One of my favorite racing video games) into my ps2 and played a few laps then went to the replays and just watched, you'll be able to get ideas for grandstands, elevations, curbing/aprons as well as some good layout designs too.

And also remember don't be in a hurry to lay something down, take your time, experiment, take a break if you have to but most importantly be patient it'll come together in time.

You've got a plan and a good head start, can't wait to see your progression as you get into it, well good luck and keep us posted with pic's.

Tycoarm/Tycosaur
 

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Scafremon said:
When you say ‘don’t use more then one in a corner’, do you mean not to use two 90’s to form a 180 degree turn, or something else? .
Yes, don't make a 180 degree turn with 2 90 degree 9" corners. It will be ugly..... Just fair warning. I was trying to be frugal also, and the worst joints are the 90 degree 9" corners. Now I want to replace all of my 90 degree corners now that my track is done..... Hindsight is 20/20...

Scafremon said:
. Is the gap you are referring to a gap that is created between the inside and outside track pieces, or somewhere else? Based on something I read at Greg Braun’s site, I was thinking I would try and maintain the 1/8” gap between inside/outside tracks for the complete layout.
.
I have no idea where this 1/8" gap is supposed to be. Make the track lanes and joints as tight as possible. Try not to leave gaps anywhere. Although that is pretty much impossible. You will end up with gaps in a few places.

Here's another tip, think somebody else mentioned it earlier, but it's worth repeating. The 15" straights....aren't perfectly straight. If you take two of them and place them side by side, they will fit tightly together if placed side by side like AB, but if you put them together like BA, you will see a gap in the center.. Hope that made sense. Go try it and you'll see. Just something to be aware of..............
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks bunches for the input!

I straightened out that one run as suggested, but then added some curves to the short straight beside it. I want to try one set of squigglies, plus, it helps to use track pieces I have.

I had envisioned drivers stations on the ‘inside’ of the “L”, but then read a tip to put them on the outside, to allow clear view of the track for all. I think that makes a lot of sense. It’s also what led me to start thinking about ‘lane selectable’ driver stations, and putting stations on all sides. (Not sure about actually doing that yet – need more knowledge on wiring issues).

After buying two boxed sets (4-Lane SI and 2-Lane Big Block) I was bummed to realize I still need to buy another 50 plus pieces of track for this layout…and likewise, I have about 50 or so pieces that I am not using. That’s why I decided to go ahead and use 18’s, since I have to buy track anyway.

Thanks for the tips on the 90 deg 9’s and the 15” straights. I noticed I do have a couple 180 turns made of (2) 9” 90s, so I will rethink those.

The borders and aprons look great Tycoarm, as do the layouts. I was shopping saws last night online (band and scroll), and I’ve got a feeling my borders are going to resemble yours.

Attached is my current design – 2 revisions since I posted previous design. I’ve added a couple things suggested here, and also tried to get straight pieces over my table split.

One more thing I was considering: With the Big Block set I got one set of 12” banked curves. I think Tomy has a complementary set of banks (either 9” or 15”) for a 4-lane track, but was wondering about using the banks for the 2 outside lanes, and then having the inside lanes lie flat on 9” curves. Any thoughts on that?
 

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