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Posts posted by shodan

  1. Well I seem to have achieved success,  thanks for your help Phil.

    Added caps across the lanes (104's from scx cars, easiest to harvest )
    Extended ground wires back to arduino

    These fixes resolved most issues however I was still getting occasional wrong lane laps- the final piece of the puzzle was to cover a fluorescent light mounted on a wall near the track.

  2. Hi All,

    As per title I need some help- I'm getting false laps counted during use. Most of the time the system seems to work well, with the occasional short lap getting triggered. And very occasionally, laps being triggered on a different lane. Frustrating.

    I've got 5mm ZD1945 emitters in the timing gantry,  and ZD1950 IR transistors in holes in the track next to the braid. The transistors are connected to a genuine Arduino Uno. I've used decent quality silicone wires back to the arduino in my track control box in a run of perhaps ~1100mm long. The grounds for the transistors are joined at ~300mm in that length (so 6 wires for 300mm, then 4 wires for the remainder).

    Control box:

    I was getting a lot of false laps triggered and partially resolved that by dropping the sensors lower into their holes in the track, but I'd appreciate input on how to make the system flawless if possible..

    Does powering the arduino separately help?

    Are there improvements I could make to the circuitry?

    Could I put the sensors in the gantry to remove as much ambient light triggering as possible?

  3. On 10/26/2020 at 7:43 PM, knoath said:

    Wow!!! Your detail work is impressive mate! Well done!

    Cheers Dick. I enjoy the process of building elements up, just have to chip away on a section at a time

    On 10/27/2020 at 4:38 AM, SlotsNZ said:

    You would find that if you were actually doing dark driving, that you quickly adapt - both with eyes adjusting to low light levels, AND simply to driving a section with limited light.
    So just give it a go sometime, you will likely find it works out just fine

    Yeah that was my general thinking too re adapting to the light levels.

    Had a bit of a session last night, first in a while. We found that it was fine for racing but it was definitely easier to track cars with light kits (obviously) compared to unlit ones.

    So while it's currently doable I think I'm going to add a few more :)








    • Like 1

  4. 14 hours ago, SlotsNZ said:

    Looking cracking mate


    10 hours ago, Shaynus said:

    Top notch ideas and execution there!


    Thanks gents. I'm mostly satisfied with the lighting so far although my concern is the bank does not get enough light, but perhaps the reduced visibility will encourage drivers to ease off a little.

    Given the camber angle it's not common to deslot there under normal driving conditions, except for the fastest cars with which you do need to back off a bit.

    An option is to mount some LEDs hidden behind the monitor, pointing down.


  5. Next phase:
    I was tossing up between signage and lighting but as I can't get the printing done for the signage, lighting won.

    The design I scribbled way back in 2011 has remained in my head, continuing the modern and industrial theme. It was time to finalise it for production based on the prototype- I decided to add some height and reduce the head angle from 45 to 40. Months ago I'd ordered some plastic H beam stock, enough to do 15 light poles. Of these 8 would be double headed.

    I wanted nice bright LEDs, enough light to race the cars without ambient support but not completely flooding the track. Ended up choosing a 5mm high-CRI model from Yuji rated at 8 lumen/15k mcd with a 45° view angle. They draw up to 30ma. The lights are on a separate 12vdc psu.

    Each light is removable and modular so the wiring would be done in parallel with a resistor for each LED. Decided to use JST connectors- cheap and only plug in one way. Perfect.






    First started milling up the plastic with a rotary tool mounted to a holder with compound table which made easy work getting clean consistent angles.



    For the lenses I used some 9mm perspex I had laying around. I ripped a strip of this on my table saw and crosscut some small sections.

    The light heads were assembled and welded together, then I drilled out the hole to accept the LED. I decided to punch all the way through to eliminate any dispersion underneath and simplify the drilling operations...



    Then the heads welded to the poles



    Welding the clean cuts together gave an excellent bond, seamless on most of them after a brief file



    Finally the bases with flange to mount onto the table. I didn't have access to a 3d printer but that would be the way to go



    Assembled one to test the height, just to make sure.. It's a little taller than the plywood test rig



    Happy with that so onto the base gussets



    Next- prepping material for wire cutting and stripping, soldering...



    LEDs mounted through the back of the head so the flange holds them in place



    Positioned resistors to be hidden by the base




    One down, 14 to go...






    In order to finish the installation I had to build the hairpin island I'd been planning for a while. I wasn't happy with it all flat, just looked wrong.

    Cut the island shape out of mdf, with a ply base



    Decided to use blue xps for the walls. First time using it, I've had some kicking around for a while.

    It might be possible to use 3mm mdf but it seemed like it would be a lot of effort, based on my previous experience



    Initial pass with a hot wire cutter. This left a lot of ripples so I think it's underpowered for this stuff.



    But the stuff can be shaped with common tools so no big deal. Creates a huge mess though, be warned!



    The reference I used was a tutorial that recommended poly filla for the surface protection but I only had builders bog. I don't recommend it, couldn't get a nice finish.

    Not a problem in this application however as I liked the resulting rough look. Primed and spray painted in the same colour as the rest.

    For some extra detail I scribed in some lines on the section of base plate to resemble gutter areas and carved a drain near the end.



    Finally got everything wired up.

    Sorry for the potato pic but I've misplaced my DSLR battery charger.... I'll find it and redeem myself :D



    More lighting to come, see you soon...


    • Like 1

  6. On 9/5/2020 at 8:59 AM, knoath said:

    G'day Bry! That looks fantastic! 

    Awesome to see you're still into it, it's amazing what a decade away can do! I'm currently (slowly) building a new track too.

    Dick! good to see you're still kicking my man. Come race some cars when lockdown is over bud.

    Yeah had a long break but I'm back baby..

    New track hey- what progress have you made?


    On 9/5/2020 at 9:52 AM, SlotsNZ said:



    Please don't bring that filth into my thread Mark


    On 9/10/2020 at 9:00 PM, Mobbzee said:

    Nicely refreshed .... 

    looking good

    Cheers Paul. Long time mate hope you're well?

    Yes- very happy with the progress now

    • Like 1

  7. Following on from my last post- here's a pic to illustrate the squeeze better:



    So, September update: The work continues... after resting on my laurels for a while and enjoying some good racing with a few folk, it was time to get on with it. First task was to add some texture and weathering over the base coat to the concrete surfaces... of which there are a lot.


    Mixed up many shades of gray to add mottling to the concrete- not sure if I got to fifty :lol:


    (thanks to @Farrout for contributing to this image , check out his track if you haven't already )


    First by mottling the base with different grays..



    Long process!



    Then dry brushing followed by a dark wash to blend the shades together



    Then panel lining and grime streaks



    I used as much reference as possible for these. Wasn't sure how it would pan out, but after many hours.. starting to pay off!



    You could just go on and on. I still need to do the infill ground areas, but all vertical surfaces apart from the support pillars are complete.




    After the first texturing and weathering pass was completed, it was time to move on to marking apexes and walls.

    No pictures of the prep work but it was epic. It took me 5 days(!) to mask up by hand, then 1.5 hours to cover the track surface, then 20 minutes of actual painting using quality Montana spray paint.

    But the results speak for themselves:





    Custom chevron pattern for the wall edges:



    I was a little lax with my masking and got some overspray of the yellow on a couple of sections, which you can see to the right of this pic.





    Added some detail to the gantry to reinforce and complete the structure. Base-coated it in Tamiya gun metal gray for a nice metallic look.



    And finally- a lighting test.



    • Like 1

  8. Thanks miveson.

    End to end the track is ~5700 (the frame is slightly longer) and it's 1800 wide. Just fits in my double garage.

    Lane spacing varies from 85-105 around the track, except for the centre squeeze section shown below which extends for ~2300.



    The smallest radii are the hairpins of course, orange lane gets down to approximately 260. The only constant radii are the banked curve and the 180 degree sweeper at the other end, everything else is compound.


  9. As is tradition works have slowed due to racing activities. Track is building grip steadily. Decent lap is ~6s; fast is under 5.6

    Record holder as of 2 June- 5.428 (Blue) - NSR C7R on MJKs.






    There's been a lot of my time spent dialing in Race Coordinator to look better, firstly learning XAML on the fly to improve the Race Day display. Then I discovered RC Live which is great- spent some time modifying its html, css and javascript to suit my needs.  Having race control call buttons in software is neat too.

    While the coconut water box supported the pc just fine it wasn't ideally positioned, blocking sight lines in the middle hairpin. Resolved that with a stand to raise it up higher and moved  into the sweeper end. Attached an old monitor to the shelf over the bank for results display.

    Middle lane colour updated with blue replacing the old purple as it was too hard to see. New lane marker dots added

    Orange is the hardest to drive quickly with the slowest radius through both hairpins, Green the fastest. Blue easiest for noobs with more space to slide in both directions.




    Architect in to do planning for the garage/workshop building



    Floorplan drafted



    Also managed to obtain one of these, much nicer model than the NSR. Had to buy a Carrera digital version.



    Now just waiting for the chassis to be delivered.

  10. On 6/3/2020 at 1:45 PM, mtpanorama said:


    Hi, good to see you back, it has been a while.  What Ninco call a slot cars these days is nothing like they used to make, they are more into RC stuff I think.


    Hey Chris, thanks for dropping in mate. I read somewhere they've moved onto making drones..  a pity to see one of the stalwarts of the scene move on but such is life. Their exit seems to have given Policar track a big boost as they replace the club tracks in Europe etc.

    On 6/4/2020 at 9:25 AM, gref said:

    Hey Bry, long time! I too have been out of the game for a while now. Still have all my cars, but practically gave my track away due to circumstances. Do you plan to keep it or move it on now? I'd love to build another track and my wife actually encouraged me to do so. Just don't have the room at the moment

    Hey Shane! Very long time mate, I hope you're well bud. Can I ask what forced you to give away Grefhurst v2- was it the space issue? I'm in Pascoe Vale these days, why don't you pack some cars and come down some time? Maybe we should have a small V32 reunion :D

    I'll be keeping the track for a little while before I move it on, still some more work to be done on it and racing to be had. Having said that I'm already starting to plan the next track haha- it will be routed Scorpius digital.





  11. Dry times indeed mate. Nice to see you're still sniffing around the traps.

    I've been pulling out cars that haven't seen the light of day for awhile- ahhh yes I put this away broken, oh and this one needs tyres... As for new toys- looking for a Carrera C7R #3 in the factory yellow, to be paired with a 3dp chassis. Has Ninco gotten out of slot cars? I don't see their cars for sale any more

  12. Hi All, it has been a while between drinks.. seems a bit quiet around here!

    Back for another update.

    So I've been out of the game for a while. Late last year I was in my garage, contemplating the future of the track, wondering if I should get rid of it. Life had moved me in other directions for  a while just after the initial build, and I never really developed it much further. Plus there were issues from the original design to be addressed.

    Decided that before I moved it on, I would refresh and finish it to the standard I'd had in my head over the years.

    So there were a few things to be dealt with:

    • Track pieces were starting to come out of alignment
    • Braid at the ends of pieces was coming unstuck
    • Wiring was done in a restrictive way plus rms interface was not integrated
    • Insufficient barrier coverage to prevent cars shooting off
    • I didn't want a ribbon track any more
    • Wear and tear from many years of abuse and neglect

    So what to do- also, it must still meet it's original design goal of being able to be disassembled.


    Connecting track pieces

    I dealt with the most pressing problem first: recognising that tension was pulling the track pieces around and causing the bolts that went through the mdf to stretch the holes. The normal of response of apply more torque only embedded the bolt heads deeper into the track. Additionally, it was tedious to assemble- putting the bolts through and then add washers and do up the butterflies. The solution was to firstly to retain tension in the trouble spots with the use of latches. These spots were isolated to the connections to the banked corner and the middle hairpin. The second step involved replacing all the bolt through connections with machine screws and threaded inserts. I also took the opportunity to reduce or add fasteners to each join- joints under tension required more,  flat(ish) sections of track or not under tension required less. 


    To solve the lifting braid issue, every piece now terminates in a terminal block so that the braid is always under tension. Wires with automotive bullet connectors then connect to those.

    For the track wiring, I decided to relocate all electrical switching etc and the rms connections to a dedicated base unit with the controller ports built in.

    Scale construction

    The overall theme is a industrial, concrete jungle. I want it to look like a former testing facility/ proving grounds. Kind of like the old Fiat Lingotto factory track mixed with the Toyota Technical Centre in Shimoyama. So I would need infield concrete areas and scale concrete barrier walls for a start, plus I wanted to add a mini-pitlane and paddock/staging area at the sweeper turn end.

    I decided to retain the existing PVC barriers, and add some scaled walls to interior sections. For the rest of the circuit I would add new PVC barriers as required.



    Recent lockdown times have given me some freedom to smash out a lot of tasks. Here's some progress shots:


    First job- strip and fix the centre frame that I sat on and cracked years ago. Note dodgy repair, the track still functioned but I couldn't leave it as it was



    New beam with ply reinforcement



    I found that the supports for the middle hairpin no longer mounted to the frame so these were re-done. Took the opportunity to make the angles and elevation more aggressive, which also produced more ideal transitions between the sections connecting to it.



    Then onto reshaping the inner curve to suit a barrier. The original shape always bothered me anyway



    Filling and sanding



    Adding mdf walls, two layers plus a third 'skirting' layer, plus masking of the braid in readiness for paint



    Then reshaped the end hairpin. Infill was added afterward.



    Barrier wall added. You can also see one of the scribed edges here



    The entire track was sanding back along the edges in preparation for edge scribing



    Outer edges made perpendicular to the ground so that barriers will mount upright. In the foreground is one of the mounts I made to attach a barrier to the inner edge of the banked curve



    Sweeper barriers added. These pieces are all modular, so they can be removed for painting and disassembly. A pain to make, learned a lot about formwork. You can see the start of the mini pit and staging area going in



    Trimmed down to size



    Mini pit development. Had to fit in perfectly with existing track



    A few slots for cars to sit





    Masking braid for paint. tedious job



    Decided to stick with the classic finish



    Track undercoat done + concrete edges painted



    Finished the rest of the infield area with scribed panel lines for the concrete



    Edge masking then onto the first coat. You can see the latches at the ends of the bank joins here



    Second coat mid-cure. Texture is.. 20 grit? 10 grit? :lol:



    Fresh coat of paint for the frame



    The pinkish-brown joy of sanding Ferrodor. A shame to lose the pristine deep asphalt colour of the raw finish but has to be done



    Finally back in one piece with masking tape removed



    Starting to look like something now



    Original pvc barriers reinstalled. One had to be straightened with a heat gun after warping from years under a tarp in the sun..



    New barriers added




    New Control box with per-lane XLR connections, reverse switches and relay bypass switches. Also switches to turn IR transmitters off and another for future expansion





    Components for new gantry with start lights



    Test fit



    Primed and LEDs installed with modular plug



    Finally, as of last week, up and running... Eastside Raceway Mk2



    More to come soon!


  13. I've tried some bearings and I don't think they offer noticeable benefit over good bushes.


    I have taken to using RRSS victors bushings, which feature a floating spherical bush a la slot.it.

    These don't feel faster or seem to go faster under testing, but they do smooth out a car- both cars I have fitted them to seem to be very quiet too.



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