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What tips and tricks do you have for helping younger drivers to get started with slot cars? More importantly, to avoid highspeed crashes to Dad's pride and joy?

 

The idea behind this came from a visit to a slot-car shop on the weekend. Another customer, just getting back into slot-cars, mentioned he was a little concerned about his 3 year old crashing his cars, yet he'd like his son to race with him.

 

One trick I've used is to put lengths of sticky tape over the slot rails before turns. This forces the car to slow even if junior and his friends still have the controller at full speed.

 

Kids tend to watch the car rather than look ahead so the car arrives at the turn way too fast and its too late to brake before they realise. The sticky tape helps keep Mum and Dad's sanity while minimising damage. After a while, you use shorter lengths of tape, to let the car deslot gently if junior forgets to brake. Eventually, you won't need the tape. You may need to experiment a little to get it right, but its a much cheaper alternative to variable voltage power supplies.

 

 

 

Any other tips for junior drivers?


There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't

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Top idea, bump.

 

And I don't think its just kids who would benefit from that idea. My mates, after a few beers, tend to drive a bit over zealous.


"I spent most of my money on beer, women and slot cars. The rest I just wasted."

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I just turn down the voltage till I get to a point where kids can negotiate the corner even with the hand control trigger fully depressed.

I also make sure my prized cars are locked away well before the little monsters arrive.

 

Charlie

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:angry: The easiest way if you don't have variable power supply is to either drill small holes in the controller trigger and put a split pin in it or pull the controller apart and tape the top end of the resistor. Adjust until they can pass the trickiest parts without deslotting.

 

If you give them "CALM" voice instructions until they get the gist they will be fine.

 

I did this with my 3 year old grandson for a couple of weeks and now he races on his own.

 

I also bought him an SCX Junior Cup set ($80), so he can practice.

 

But the good toys still live in the cupboard when they come to play.

 

Cheers

rally :P


CHEERS

 

GARRY

 

 

HOKEY POKEY ANONYMOUS ....... A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN TURN YOURSELF AROUND

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I don't have any young kids of my own to get into slot cars but my girlfriend is getting interested in them and shes in a similar situation. She hasn't go the idea of braking yet so she either breaks way too earlier and too much or she doesn't break at all.

 

I gave her my GT 40 (scalexric) to uses it has a magnet and theres basically nothing she can break off it. I normally give her the 75 ohm ninco controls which are good for begineers, also fences and soft objects around corners help from cars fly across the table or over the edge.

 

IT department

Michael


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All of the above ideas are great. However, if you don't have variable power supplies, soldering irons or drills just grab the postie next time you see him and ask for a couple of those big red rubber bands they use for holding the bundles of letters together and wind one or two over the controller handle behind the trigger, this will stop it being depressed all the way and as the budding young racer start to get the hang of things you gradually reduce the number of winds.

 

Another alternative if you do have a soldering iron is to solder in a couple of diodes in series onto the power wire inside the controller. These are available from Dick Smiths for less than a dollar each. The diodes just reduce the amount of power going into the controller.

 

I have some of my hire controllers wired this way for use on the braided timber tracks which i give to real young kids who are just learning and want to race with the big kids and believe me it saves a lot of frustration!

 

If you want to go the diode way, email me and i will let you know the catalogue no. for the diodes as i can't remember it offhand, i just need to check one of the controllers. :D

 

Regards, Chris

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Thanks for the great ideas everyone. I've pinned this thread because these ideas and any others that get added here deserve to be retained. I particularly like how cheap and yet how effective some of these ideas are. Aussie ingenuity at work.

 

I'd like to think that sometime soon we would have a forum area for beginners with tips, advice, FAQ's etc just like this, to help newcomers with the questions and advice we collectively learnt the hard way.

 

Cheers and thanks again

Glenn.

 

 

PS a couple of you mentioned using diodes. Devious Dave mentioned at our last Willmot race a similar use for diodes. A friend of his in the US belongs to a race group that uses diode strips for handicapping over their race series. So a very similar concept to what has been proposed here but used for a very different purpose.


There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't

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I let them use an SCX F1 with magnet. My daughter learnt using an SCX Audi GTO and then an SCX F1.

 

Jacob is a bit too old for those cars but he used to sit on my knee and watch the cars go around. Maybe that is why my wife bought me my first track. I was happy babysitting.

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What tips and tricks do you have for helping younger drivers to get started with slot cars? More importantly, to avoid highspeed crashes to Dad's pride and joy?

 

The idea behind this came from a visit to a slot-car shop on the weekend. Another customer, just getting back into slot-cars, mentioned he was a little concerned about his 3 year old crashing his cars, yet he'd like his son to race with him.

 

One trick I've used is to put lengths of sticky tape over the slot rails before turns. This forces the car to slow even if junior and his friends still have the controller at full speed.

 

Kids tend to watch the car rather than look ahead so the car arrives at the turn way too fast and its too late to brake before they realise. The sticky tape helps keep Mum and Dad's sanity while minimising damage. After a while, you use shorter lengths of tape, to let the car deslot gently if junior forgets to brake. Eventually, you won't need the tape. You may need to experiment a little to get it right, but its a much cheaper alternative to variable voltage power supplies.

 

 

 

Any other tips for junior drivers?

Heyo all,

 

If you dont feel like modifying the car or controller, perhaps build a high speed track such as a oval with banked curves (similar to the nascar circuits in the US) that way the cars can go full pelt.

 

cya

Rene

 

ps i like the sticky tape before the corners idea! :o


An unmodified car is like a blank sheet of paper, aching to be drawn on.

 

Ren's 3 lane routed track with analogue pits and 2 car sudden death.

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my three year old has compleate acsess to my entire slot car box and my home track she also loves to come with me to my club to "race" there for the only way i found to be able to achive any control on so many diffrent tracks is to built a verible speed controler using a normal controler and a mini drill speed adjuster unit from dicksmith electronics costs about $ 20.00 you will also need a box to put it in costs about $5.00 from dickys as well

you must have the track wired as positive not negative or the unit will not work as it reqires a 12 volt supply

 

other idea is just to use a high rated pot. from most electronics shop .....be awere the first one i built got a bit warm after about 10 min use

 

 

i personaly would spend a few dollars extra for a lot better unit

 

 

if you want more info email me

gbj@picknowl.com.au

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My theory is get them an older brother 'cause they don't want to be humiliated!

 

My boy is about 2 & a half and a bit. His brother is 8ish, Luke had one go & wouldn't try it again 'cause of that factor until he'd sat & watched how we drive so he wouldn't lose & feel stupid. When he decided he wanted his next go he whipped my erm.. bottom? I figured him out though - had to wait to get lapped & try to hang about long enough to get him confuzzled about which is his car!

 

(but seriously :( ) My plan is to get something cheap & indestructable like the Audi / Boxster Scaley have bought out for the digital sets or artin cars look similar. Not too much cost - not too much detail & if you can't superglue it back together you have a donor motor for some kit-bashing. :)

 

(Although the last car I bought him was a fly Panoz on sale for forty bucks. It flew off the end of the straight the other day & tried to insert itself in the cat's arse. Luke was annoyed 'cause he crashed. The cat was somewhat annoyed having been stretching at the time - yes - the cat stretch front legs forward bum in the air. I was lying on the floor in tears. It's a tough life but someone has to do it!) B)


Captain's log: We are enroute to some planet whose name I cannot pronounce to do something really complicated that I don't understand.

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wow, so many ideas I never thought of.

 

I am lucky I guess, Tiny and I started racing when he was about 3, maybe less. He was just a very careful thoughtful kid and is really quite good. It's his friends now I have to worry about, track is off limits unless there is a adult present.

 

Variable power supply to me is the best. I also like that any guest racer can tune the feel to his liking. In other words, it benefits the young racers as well as the old.

 

thats not what I hit reply for though. The Scalextric drifters are really quite a lot of fun. they have a rotating guide and a rectifier in the car. They always go forward, you cant put them on the wrong way. Braids are wrapped around the guide, so if they drag it backwards, it wont kink up the braids. Did I mention these cars are fun ???

 

If two "old kids" with these drifters get at it, you will soon find yourselves in a very fun game of cat and mouse. Plus the cars are tough as nails, nothing to break off really. And, they are cheaper than a regular scalextric.

 

so, spending money on a variable supply and/ or the scaley drifters, benefits the youngsters, and benefits the grown up kids too.

 

John

 

Pretzel City Speedway

Freeport IL USA

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Hi all, this is my first post here and what a great place to start!

 

I've been back into slots for about 2 years after a 25+ year absence, returning now with kids of my own - 4 & 7 year old girls. We run AFX gear and for what it's worth this is what I did to ease the kids into it.

 

When I first got the set I had all sorts of ideas about how to tame the cars, the power supply etc etc but in the end I just decided to leave everything as it was and just spend the time teaching them.

 

The first thing was obviously speed control and that "pedal to the metal" was not going to work for them. Gently working the control with their finger and mine on it, taught them quickly that easing the power on worked best. Our 4 year old can run up 20-30 laps on a very large layout with SG+ cars without a deslot (I realise the SG+ has great traction mags but full throttle will still send it off). Our 7 year old can do the same and is now exploring changing speeds for various sections of the track.

 

Next came respect for the gear. When deslots happenened "don't throw the controller to the floor and stomp all over the track to fetch the car". They have both learnt to place the controller down gently, and carefully negotiate the track to fetch the car while the other driver ceases racing and waits for them to re-slot the car.

 

I guess after that they were pretty right to race for themselves so next came simple trouble shooting. Assuming the track and cars are in pretty good condition to start with, and put together properly there's only so much that can go wrong (usually). I might be in the kitchen making a coffee and hear "Daaad, the car's not working!!". I would ask if the car was actually in the slot properly. If the answer was yes I would ask if the power plug or controller plug had slipped out from the track. 9 times out of 10 these were the problems and I don't get asked anymore unless there is a problem they can't sort out yet, such as a popped axle etc.

 

I think Mexico2000 put it best in the 4th post by saying "calm" voice instructions. Teaching kids slot racing could very easily become frustrating if you let it. If you want to enjoy it, and want them to enjoy it, staying calm is the key. They will send the cars off the track at a million miles an hour, they will stomp on the track (assuming it's on the floor like ours) and they will argue. Expect it. You did it, I did, we all did. However, calm patience will win them over and teach them.

 

To sum it up, I reckon I spent about 6 hours in total, over numerous sessions, teaching them the basics. But that 6 hours was 100% dedicated to the task. Think about it, 6 hours of speed control and gear respect really sinks in. Going over and over and over the basics. If you freely give up the time, it will more than pay off. Give them stacks of track time and keep your best cars out of sight.

 

Hope this helps someone, cheers

Michael

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Hi all, this is my first post here and what a great place to start!

 

I've been back into slots for about 2 years after a 25+ year absence, returning now with kids of my own - 4 & 7 year old girls. We run AFX gear and for what it's worth this is what I did to ease the kids into it.

 

When I first got the set I had all sorts of ideas about how to tame the cars, the power supply etc etc but in the end I just decided to leave everything as it was and just spend the time teaching them.

 

The first thing was obviously speed control and that "pedal to the metal" was not going to work for them. Gently working the control with their finger and mine on it, taught them quickly that easing the power on worked best. Our 4 year old can run up 20-30 laps on a very large layout with SG+ cars without a deslot (I realise the SG+ has great traction mags but full throttle will still send it off). Our 7 year old can do the same and is now exploring changing speeds for various sections of the track.

 

Next came respect for the gear. When deslots happenened "don't throw the controller to the floor and stomp all over the track to fetch the car". They have both learnt to place the controller down gently, and carefully negotiate the track to fetch the car while the other driver ceases racing and waits for them to re-slot the car.

 

I guess after that they were pretty right to race for themselves so next came simple trouble shooting. Assuming the track and cars are in pretty good condition to start with, and put together properly there's only so much that can go wrong (usually). I might be in the kitchen making a coffee and hear "Daaad, the car's not working!!". I would ask if the car was actually in the slot properly. If the answer was yes I would ask if the power plug or controller plug had slipped out from the track. 9 times out of 10 these were the problems and I don't get asked anymore unless there is a problem they can't sort out yet, such as a popped axle etc.

 

I think Mexico2000 put it best in the 4th post by saying "calm" voice instructions. Teaching kids slot racing could very easily become frustrating if you let it. If you want to enjoy it, and want them to enjoy it, staying calm is the key. They will send the cars off the track at a million miles an hour, they will stomp on the track (assuming it's on the floor like ours) and they will argue. Expect it. You did it, I did, we all did. However, calm patience will win them over and teach them.

 

To sum it up, I reckon I spent about 6 hours in total, over numerous sessions, teaching them the basics. But that 6 hours was 100% dedicated to the task. Think about it, 6 hours of speed control and gear respect really sinks in. Going over and over and over the basics. If you freely give up the time, it will more than pay off. Give them stacks of track time and keep your best cars out of sight.

 

Hope this helps someone, cheers

Michael

 

Welcome to the boards Michael.

 

'calm' is definately a goodun. No good trying to show them it you're having "One of those" days is there? I've been trying to teach the 2yo to drive lately.. he loves it!


Captain's log: We are enroute to some planet whose name I cannot pronounce to do something really complicated that I don't understand.

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I think I'd rather be instructing a youngun under 8 than trying to deal with a 13 yo who thinks its funny to crash into barriers (and other cars) at excessive speeds. Even better if he succeeds in breaking something of someone elses. Double points if it's his big brother's cos the 15 yo is actually taking it seriously and driving well.

 

Of course the 13 yo then whinges that you won't buy him the expensive car he wants because you know it won't last the distance.

 

Though, strangely enough, his father both boys to MRE when last he went down for a visit. And in public the youngun drove very well. Ugh! Kids!!!

 

Embs


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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When our scalextric was set up on the carpet, my 8 year old son would play with his mate from up the road.

I simply banned them for a week if they went stupid. Seemed to do the trick. They looked at me so guilty in silence even if the car had the slightest off! ;)

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You should see when the 13 yo is banned so the 6 & 2 yo can play 'cause he's been misbehaving.. Tantrums.. ;)


Captain's log: We are enroute to some planet whose name I cannot pronounce to do something really complicated that I don't understand.

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Thanks for the welcome Eno. I reckon I'm going to like it around here from what I've seen so far.

 

To the posters with kids older than mine all I can say is.......my time will come I guess. While things are going really smoothly with the kids so far and I'm actually still enjoying them using the set, experience has shown me that anything and everything can go 180 degrees with kids at the drop of a hat. I guess if it all goes pear shaped I'll be resorting to giving the offender/s extended time away from the track. Hasn't happened yet but I'm sure it will.

 

Anyway, enough for now. Gotta thank all the punters who have put this board together and contributed. It's a top little hide-out.

 

Cheers, Michael. ;)

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I have a couple of grandsons, aged 3 & 2. Their existence has prompted me to get back into the slots. Which has been fun, researching, checking out the pro's & con's & all that.

 

Anyway I bought N-digital, & have 3 little (screwdriver controlled) trim pots in transit that I will solder into the controllers so I can introduce the little varmints to slot cars with the minimum of fuss & pain (to my cars).

 

It seemed like the easiest & cheapest solution to the problem at the time. Though from what I have read above I may have been able to get out of it even cheaper still. Great thread.


I used to be surprised that I was still surprised by my own stupidity, finding it strangely refreshing.

Well I don't now.

I'm over it!

 

Photos of my track in progress.

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The trim pots will not suit what you are going to do with them! There current rating will be too low. You need wire wound pots with ratings of around 3 amps. Several guys here use rotary switches with diodes soldered around the contacts to drop the voltage for the kids. The diodes drop the voltage around 0.6 for each diode. You will need around 3 volts drop,six diodes.


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The trim pots will not suit what you are going to do with them! There current rating will be too low. You need wire wound pots with ratings of around 3 amps. Several guys here use rotary switches with diodes soldered around the contacts to drop the voltage for the kids. The diodes drop the voltage around 0.6 for each diode. You will need around 3 volts drop,six diodes.

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

What I am buying is sold as a solution for the N-digital hand controllers, so I'm hopeful that they will work. Perhaps I shouldn't have called them trim pots. I haven't seen them yet & the photo I saw really wasn't good enough to show much detail. So it is most likely my error.

 

Anyway, when they do get here I'll post what they are & also whether they work or not.


I used to be surprised that I was still surprised by my own stupidity, finding it strangely refreshing.

Well I don't now.

I'm over it!

 

Photos of my track in progress.

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Even though the topic is for the mums and dads of junior racers, I have to post the opposite of what people are saying here. Unlike most of you guys who seem to be having their track and cars mucked by younguns, but being a youngun myself I can safely say it's my dad that actually does the mucking! Not in the common sense of crashing the cars but in his strange "ideas". He once thought the cars would run better after spraying silicon lubricant on the braids/brushes! Suffice to say they were filthy in three seconds. Just a funny thought really, some of us kids know alot about slot cars.

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Kids tend to watch the car rather than look ahead so the car arrives at the turn way too fast and its too late to brake before they realise. The sticky tape helps keep Mum and Dad's sanity while minimising damage. After a while, you use shorter lengths of tape, to let the car deslot gently if junior forgets to brake. Eventually, you won't need the tape. You may need to experiment a little to get it right, but its a much cheaper alternative to variable voltage power supplies.

 

 

 

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