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Denney's New Track


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#41 Denney

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:08 AM

We used to run cars up to 150g on the last track at 13.8v. This track is longer but tighter instead of shorter but more flowing. Hopefully it works out alright. If not, well, I'll work it out when the time comes. :D

#42 gzminiz

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 07:49 AM

it is relatively easy to drop the voltage (don't have to make it variable) with a simple voltage divider (http://en.wikipedia....Voltage_divider) if you find 13.8 is to much. How much was the power supply? Might go with the same thing

#43 kalbfellp

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 08:11 AM

This could mean that the Tassie guys won't have the heaviest cars around!

#44 Denney

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:40 AM

@gzminiz: The power supply was $99 from Dick Smith: http://www.dse.com.au/cgi-bin/dse.storefro...n/product/Q1755

#45 Denney

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:56 PM

Sorry for the lack of updates but I've just been so sidetracked with this track. Basically I've managed to turn the hunk of MDF into a functional slot car track. I painted the slots white for lane 1 and red for lane 2. I then painted the table top and then taped up the lanes.

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I had planned to make my copper tape laying thingmabob but it didn't work out as planned so I laid the tape manually. It was actually quite simple and quick and it meant that I had one piece of copper tape running the length of the track. There are a total of 12 power taps around the track. A little overkill but if the tape breaks on a join between the boards, it won't be an issue.

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The wiring is all labelled underneath the table and each power tap runs to a central core of 4 wires running back to the front of the board. These wires will then connect to the controllers, relays and switches. The Phidget board arrived the other day and I gave it a quick test on my PC and it works perfectly. I bought a cheap computer off eBay tonight so I should have a PC running sometime next week.

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For now, I've hooked up the controllers temporarily so I can test the circuit. It runs quite smoothly after the first few laps of getting used to it. I much prefer it to my last track. As usual, more photos on my blog and gallery.

#46 Denney

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:43 PM

Presenting Warril Park Raceway!

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The last few days have seen the track completed and lap timing working a treat. The track times are around the 9 to 10 second mark but there is plenty of room for improvement on those times.

Here is the Phidget interface I have been talking about:

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I mounted the Phidget card along with power control and the relay to what I call the computer control plate:

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I then built the 4 controller stations (2 per lane). There is a direction switch on each one along with a brake on/off switch. I would like to replace this switch with a rotary switch at some point. The reason for two controller stations is so that you can control a car in either lane from either end of the table. It makes marshalling much easier. Doing this also required a switch panel at the computer control station to select which controller station is in use.

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I added a track call button to both sets of controller stations. Here is an overview of the computer control station:

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The light bridge is an infra-red based sensor system that is hooked up to the Phidget input. I added 10 LED's to the top (5 red, 3 yellow and 2 green) to indicate various things like low fuel and first place etc.

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With that done I can work on the little scenery I plan to have. I want to break up the board by having lines marked on the sides of the road and grassy areas painted. I also want to hook up track lighting at some stage.

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The next thing to do is to tidy up some of my wiring and possibly rebuild the controller station boards to be a little more, um, stable. They tend to bend quite a bit at the moment when pushing the controller plugs in and out. As usual, more photos in my gallery.

#47 Denney

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:17 PM

Hey guys, tonight I painted the grass areas around the track. They look OK for now but will look better once I get some scenic stuff on them (something like Woodland Scenics). I will do the ripple strips tomorrow as I'm still a little unsure as to the best way to paint them.

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I also bought a whole bunch of stuff from Jaycar today because I want to re-model the drivers stations. I have the new fuses ready to be wired in and also have a couple of rotary switches and a stack of diodes for the adjustable power (choke?) and adjustable brake.

I found a cheap sound card and put it in the lap timing PC so we finally have some noise other than the motors! I'm also considering Ultimate Racer 3.0 over PC Lap Counter. Mainly due to the car maintenance and detailed statistics and history features. It's also a little easier to use.

#48 bandit

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:34 PM

Congrats on a job well done Denney,tight winding circuit would be nice to drive on.Cheers colin.

#49 lenny broke

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 11:46 AM

Hi Denney
can i offer some advice please
I would not use the male 3 pin electrical plugs if I were you . too easy for little slot racers to you plug hand controllers into a GPO (general power outlet).
Clipsal do a recessed outlet plug with male pins that sit in a escutcheon that would almost be flush with with thw side panel. price about $12-15 available from most electrical wholesalers.
Here's a link, scroll to bottom of the page

clipsal webpage
these are a almost universal fitting at most commercial raceways and many hometracks
Cheers Al
ps Oops I just notice you're using round earth pin plugs.

Edited by lenny broke, 13 May 2009 - 12:01 PM.


#50 Denney

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:39 PM

@lenny broke: I made sure to get the round earth pin to prevent those issues and the local commercial tracks around here use those plugs as well so it's all good.

I've completed the ripple strips now and the track is really coming together. I had to screw the borders on because glue and nails didn't stop them from popping off when people continually lean on them.

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The ripple strips are paper stencils rolled on with white paint. I then used red enamel with a foam brush to draw on the stripes. The enamel gives the strips a rippled effect and contour that works nicely. Once they get a little worn and dirty, they shouldn't be so glarish...

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I also gave the track some identity with writing on the light bridge.

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Next up is the new remodeled drivers stations and clean-up on the wiring. I hope to have it completed by next weekend and get the computer set-up with the track, drivers and cars so we can start keeping some of the stats. I managed to pull a 7.710 tonight which is down from the 9.9 that we started with. Very pleased.

#51 vortex

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:58 AM

What did you paint the track surface with?

#52 Denney

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:26 AM

@vortex: The track surface is standard old trade paint from Bunnings with a grey tint. The trade paint is a lot thicker and nicer to work with than the standard acrylic paint (like Dulux, Taubmans, etc.). Using a roller to paint the table top also helped with the grip and I haven't had much of an issue with grip at all.

#53 Denney

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 12:39 PM

Well it seems that I have more fun building these things rather than racing them. The previous track we built I ended up selling and I'm considering selling this one as well. So, I have 2 questions...

1. Would there be a market for building these things?

2. Is anyone interested in buying the current track?

If you want to buy my current track, you can make an offer. I probably won't sell it with the Phidget interface (it costed $200 alone) or power supply (another $100) but if the price is right, I will include anything. All the wiring for the computer can be very easily connected to the table because all wires are terminated with a terminal block. If someone wants a ballpark figure, I'd probably look at around $700 but will take the best offer and very flexible with the "included" extras. :nice:

The track comes apart and can be put in the back of a sedan with the back seat down. If you have a station wagon or ute, to easy. Everything is labelled and I can provide an "instruction" book if you want. Basically, after I built this thing, I never really played with it at all!

So, to recap, all you need to supply is the controllers, power supply and computer + connection if you want to time laps. Quite simple and runs great.

#54 gzminiz

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 01:50 PM

what race software did you use? I was thinking about setting up some low fuel lights and what not. Rather not shell out $200 for an usb interface though. Was hoping a simple parallel connection using closed/open to signal would suffice. Just wondering how you did it and with what software

#55 Denney

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 02:55 PM

I use Ultimate Racer 3.0 for the timing. Supports fuel, different lights and the new version (coming soon) will support quite a few new features. You can connect a parallel interface to it along with quite a few other interfaces.

http://www.uracerweb.org/

#56 gzminiz

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 03:18 PM

awesome.... looks like the go





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