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The Policar (Slot.it) Track System

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In December of 2017 Policar; a part of Slot.it, announced that they would begin production of a track system meeting

the requirements of European clubs, which race mainly on plastic tracks; as well as a top quality option for home tracks.

The track has 90mm lane spacing - the same as Ninco track.

 

 

p008-4b.jpg

 

Ninco has been the most widely used club track, and the Policar track has a textured, but less abrasive surface perfectly suited

for grip when racing without traction magnets, and forgiving in dusty environments. The track is made from a rigid plastic which

will not warp, and the plastic slot liner inside the rails will not fold inwards or close up at the joints. There is an adapter track

between the two systems. Having seen prototypes when I visited Galileo Engineering (Slot.it) earlier in 2017, I can attest that

they have adopted the best aspects of other track systems, and improved joining methods, surface, and plastic composition.

 

- Textured surface scrubs dust from tyres to maintain better grip than smooth tracks in dusty conditions

- Note the rail liner, and flat racing surface - the rails are not "raised"

track.jpg

 

- Rigid plastic that will not warp or buckle with temperature change.

 

p008-4b.jpg

 

 

- Slot depth 8.5mm will take Slot.it wood guides

- 90mm lane spacing

spacing.jpg

 

- Robust electric connection, easy to use, secure clipping system, and lined slot which will not close up at the joints

The electrical connection is very good, and the steel rails are rust resistant stainless steel.

 

rails.jpg

 

- 60mm wide border sections gives 105mm from slot centre to guard rail, great for non magnet racing

rail.jpg

 

- Robust guard rails that clip above and below track

 

The joining system is easy to use for smaller hands, and very good, but these clips provide additional security for

locking sections together longitudinally in more permanent layouts

 

p076-20b.jpg

The clips pictured below in orange and red securely lock 4, 6 and 8 lane systems together laterally to eliminate gaps

clips-1.jpg

 

 

They have designed the geometry, so that a layout can have the turns altered, while retaining the main structure,

as the geometry of the various curves simply requires the addition or subtraction of half straight pieces to restore

continuity.

See R1 at top, through to R4 at bottom.

Initial track will be 4 lane (R1 and R2), expanded to 8 lane at the end of the year.

 

1-layout.jpg

This will be a real bonus for people who like to experiment with track alterations.

 

In 2019, digital track pieces will be added.

 

digital-1.jpg

There is additional detail in the document at this link "WhyPolicar"

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Any idea on cost?


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Any idea on cost?

 

I have ex-origin pricing, but until we come to assemble an LCL of stock, I won't know exactly how the economics work out.

My initial thoughts on ex-origin were that it will be workable for our markets.

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I Imagine that they will be available, as with other brands, in a basic and larger kit form as a base layout to be expanded on


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

http://www.facebook.com/Rallyproxy2017

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Mark has any one thought of double, (or triple length), straight pieces to eliminate joins.

I can appreciate that the extra/larger tooling cost my make it a non starter, just wondering, I'm tracked out unless a large shed appears next door.

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I Imagine that they will be available, as with other brands, in a basic and larger kit form as a base layout to be expanded on

 

I guess so Gary.

The pic below is the first teaser of the sets. They are due about December - 2 months after plain track. Other than that, I don't know any set detail.

brz.png

 

Those of us who race on wood may think “well big deal, who cares, that’s Europe” or “that’s home racers not us

But this will be the nearest thing to wood racing for those who are unable to build or store a permanent layout. I think the mild

texturing of the surface negates downsides sometimes attributed to Ninco, while maintaining the ability to scrub tyres in use, while

running in dusty environments. - That is probably even more true in Oz than here, given the historic broad use of ferrodor.

It SHOULD suit urethane tyres very well - something I'll be testing as soon as I get my hands on some product.

 

It also gives a reliable familiar brand to push towards the home market with, and ultimately grow our hobby, and an easy entry

point for individuals or clubs with limited handyman skills to build a track.

I am excited for what this can represent, especially with Scalextric UK in their well documented financial difficulties; the NZ Carrera

distributor having gone bust and a new company appointed this year, the limited activity of Ninco, and the ongoing legal

uncertainties surrounding SCX distribution long term.

 

So I am very pleased to see this hit the market.

 

And of course, the other new player in track is ScaleAuto, who are getting close with their 100mm lane system, aimed maybe more

at the 1/24th market in Germany, and in Spain where they sell so much of their 1/24th car product.

 

Peter - I expect the limited market for very long straights simply rules them out from a perspective of tooling cost and production

run size - and distribution of pieces over a metre long is also problematical.

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I have some 584mm scalextric straights and they are great.


2019 NZ RTR Nationals Gt 3rd

2017 NZ RTR Nationals NSR Classic 2nd

2017 NZ RTR Nationals Group C 3rd

2017 NSR Classic Challenge 3rd

2015 NSR Classic Challenge 2nd

2014 NSR Classic Challenge 3rd

2015 Garden City Invitation Overall Champion

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Overnight, I received another tech data sheet which I had requested to get exact radii for creating a track design library in Ultimate Racer.

It also contained advice that the rails are stainless steel, that should keep the oxygen molecules out in the atmosphere where they belong :)

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I have written the basic track design definition files for "Ultimate Racer" [ http://www.uracerweb.org/ ] for this track system, and Pierrick will include them in UR40 when it is released.

They cover circuits of up to 10 lanes, as there will in time be an R5 radius curve.

There is still a bit of a bug in the border settings, I'll kick that around with him when I get a chance.

 

If anyone wants to get into designing circuits with Policar track, message me your details and I will send you the three files which can just be cut and pasted into the Library directory of UR30.

 

Here's a PDF with actual dimensions for anyone wanting the exact size data.

 

And a comparison with some other track systems. I have offset Carrera one radius, to show a more even comparison between brands, as Carrera R1 is pretty close to everyone else's R2

 

TrackSystemDiameters.jpg

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Sounds exciting for those who like 90mm spacing track, but with the upcoming release of the new Scaleauto 100mm spacing track system I wonder if there will be too many new track systems competing for the global slot car market. Having said that, I hope the two might do well in different localised markets. Format wars anyone?

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Internationally I think the two will sort themselves out by some sort of natural delineation. ScaleAuto are the largest makers of 1/24th RTR cars for more serious hobbyists (as opposed to Carrera whose product is aimed more at the toy/home market) First pictures I have seen of their product is that it also is going to be very good, but will be aimed more at 1/24th in Germany and Spain. - The ScaleAuto people are regularly in Germany for 1/24th events they organise, and the odd one in Italy. I think the larger footprint it requires, will be a limiting factor for the home environment there, as it will in our markets.

 

Slot.it/Policar will become the go-to product for most 1/32nd, as it piggybacks onto the large installed Ninco user-base. Other than Germany and UK, Ninco has been the go-to track system for clubs around the continent for most of the past 20 years, with SCX holding somewhat less than Ninco in Spanish clubs

- Old figures I had were 95 clubs in the greater Barcelona area, and 1,500 in the Spanish Slot Federation - will be less now since the last financial meltdown, but it gives you some idea of the scale of the market.

 

For our markets, which are very small, getting any set product other than Carrera and Scalextric, which are established with long time importers, into mainline hobby or toy stores is quite an ask.

I know the Ninco distributors which are a general hobby supplier, have been able to use their overall market position to have some success, but with the increasing dominance of the big box retailers, nothing is easy.

 

I think it is very good that two strong hobby producers are stepping up into the track market.

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Looks very promising my Carrera is getting pretty old now and needs either new parts or replacing and the Policar seems to be in the frame as far as i,m concerned , it will come down to price in the end so watching this with great interest.

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Looks very promising my Carrera is getting pretty old now and needs either new parts or replacing and the Policar seems to be in the frame as far as i,m concerned , it will come down to price in the end so watching this with great interest.

 

What's there to go wrong with Carrera track? Apart from fading or accidental damage? I have a mix of new Carrera and some 2010/2011 manufactured stuff and the older stuff is tighter on the manufacturing tolerances than the newer stuff.

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Nothing substantial Slotspeed had a lot of use over the last 5 years and its in the garage ,rails are getting a bit worn and the joins are not a flat as they once were, thinking of getting some new track, so thought i would have a look at Policar price wise in comparison .

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What is wearing with regards to the rails? The joins? Or are they getting bent up a bit from changing the track around? They are a stainless alloy, so I am surprised to hear of wear. The one thing that annoys me about Carrera is the raised rails. I think its supposed to be about 0.3mm above the height of the plastic (that's what my old 2010/2011 bits of track are) but my newer track pieces vary from 0.3mm to 0.7mm. This is most annoying but I live with it. It definitely causes the occasional deslot when one of the cars gets very sideways and hits the rail on the outer lane. And calls for a certain driving style that would otherwise not have been called for if the rails were flush when getting sideways sometimes. I think the raised rails are supposed to be for better magnetic attraction to the standard magnet cars.

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it is interesting to see that there is a difference in radii between the policar and the ninco. I thought that policar was going to be a substitute for ninco track pieces, but I was wrong.

Would be nice if the policar R3, R4 and R5 would come as 22,5 degrees and not as 45.


Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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I think you will find in time additional pieces will come available.

I don't think the intention was ever to mimic Ninco.

Getting more usable R1 radii, and creating the principle of being able to swap radii via adding / subtracting half straights has more value.

They have designed the geometry, so that a layout can have the turns altered, while retaining the main structure,

as the geometry of the various curves simply requires the addition or subtraction of half straight pieces to restore continuity.

See R1 at top, through to R4 at bottom.

 

 

1-layout.jpg

This will be a real bonus for people who like to experiment with track alterations.

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To be honest with you, this idea to use constant radii in a bend is not that appealing.

The most basic rule in designing plastic layouts that have a nice flow (see threads on SF International) is to use different radii pieces to make each corner unique and the layout more interesting.

So having such geometry does not really add much. Variety in radii and angle degrees (45, 22.5, even an 11.25) would add more value.


Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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To be honest with you, this idea to use constant radii in a bend is not that appealing.

The most basic rule in designing plastic layouts that have a nice flow (see threads on SF International) is to use different radii pieces to make each corner unique and the layout more interesting.

So having such geometry does not really add much. Variety in radii and angle degrees (45, 22.5, even an 11.25) would add more value.

 

I think you missed the point of this - the idea of being able to swap out different radii curves is so that overall, it is much easier to redesign a circuit while leaving the bulk of it in place - everything will match up.

Regardless of whether parts of the circuit, are, and may remain either constant or changing radii with an apex, others parts of the circuit can be made to easily join up without starting on the whole design from scratch trying to make them match up.

 

This doesn't limit design in any way, it just creates additional ease of design changes.

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Maybe I need to make my point blunder: in all these years of designing plastic layouts (or following someone else track design process) I have never had the need of saying (or read someone saying) "oh, I would love to be able to swap my constant 90 degree radius curve R1 for a constant 90 degree radius curve R2 (or R3, or R4, etc) but unfortunately the geometry of my brand of choice track does not allow me to do that!".

 

Anyway, this "feature" does not preclude to create an interesting layout provided there are more radii available. Knowing that this is a slot.it product, I am quite confident that they will listen to what the serious hobbyists need.


Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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Nope Gio, you still missed what I was saying.

I wasn't simply saying you can substitute an R2 for an R1 and a couple of half straights.

I was explaining that you can take out a whole chunk out of a design, build new combinations of part of the overall layout, knowing that at some point you can easily, accurately reconnect it to the remainder BECAUSE the type of geometry will always line up accurately, not creating those annoying gaps where you can't get accurate connection and would need all sorts of 70, 125mm straights etc.

That's quite important and useful as time saving as well, if the remainder is screwed down, has a lot of power taps etc

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Mark, are you saying that this would work for any corner (no matter what the degree is covering) and even with a combination of pieces with different radii?

I can see it working for a 90 degree corner, where you can use all R1 (2 R1 of 45 degree), all R2 (2 R2 of 45 degree), and so on.

But I cannot see working for say a corner of 112,5 degree composed of different curve pieces (say 2 R3 of 45 degree and 1 R4 of 22,5 degree)...but I might be wrong.


Cheers

G

 

"I am an expert at the top of my field when mowing the lawn".

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