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  • MT Tam I am
    started a topic Magnetless


    I am curious how others deal with lane changers and magless cars. I find that with more fish tailing I tend to miss the lane change and find a past lane change because I did not cross straight and redirect the lane changer.

    Relocating seems the simple solution but passing another car is usually decided at the beginning of the straight, not midway.

    Thank you in advance.

  • MrFlippant
    Steve is correct.
    Here's a copy of one of the pages on my site:

    What is there to designing a layout for SSD? More than you might think. There is one rule of thumb that has served SSD users well. It is based not only on fun racing, but also how the technology works and what enables the highest degree of reliability. All sensor tracks (lane change sensors, lap counters, etc) should be at the end of a straight, just before a turn, and NOT LESS than one standard straight after a turn. It is important to understand why, though. Here are a few reasons.

    1) A car that is coming out of a corner fast, whether it has magnets or not, can often have it's tail out in a drift. If this happens while the car passes a sensor, then the LED under the car that tells the track what to do will not be seen by the sensor in the track, and therefore the command will be missed. This can mean missed or accidental lane changing, or worse, missed laps! Don't put sensor tracks at the beginning of a straight, or in the middle of a sequence of turns.

    2) A car that is accelerating or is moving at high speed can deslot on a lane changer. For example, in a long straightaway, as everyone enjoys when they can set one up, if a car were to try and change lanes in the middle when it was going full speed, the sudden shift to one side would be like hitting a tight turn too fast, and the car will come out of the slot and crash. Putting the lane changers at the end of a straight means that the car is already slowing down for the upcoming turn and taking the lane change will be no problem.

    3) An accelerating car, or one at high speed, will actually have the nose up a little, and the guide will be slightly up in the slot. The lap counting tracks, such as the Digital Lap Counter or the 6 Car Powerbase, use a guide blade sensor as part of the counting system. If the blade is not nice and deep in the slot, and it doesn't properly cut the sensor beam, the lap will be missed. If the sensor track is placed in a braking zone, such as at the end of a long straight, or right before a tight turn (or both!), then the car will be slowing down, driving the guide as deeply into the slot as it can go, ensuring a reliable count when crossing the blade sensor. Replacing guide blades with deeper ones can also help this issue, but that can be expensive and time consuming. It's better to design your layout with this in consideration to avoid problems from the start.

    4) Finally, it makes good racing. The vast majority of overtaking/passing maneuvers in racing take place in the corners, where one driver takes a risk and brakes a little later, or cuts the corner a little sharper, or even takes the outside lane at the risk of losing the edge. Putting your lane changers in these prime overtaking locations makes for more realistic racing.

    In the end, it's up to you. I highly recommend using a track planning application for your computer, such as TrackPower or UltimateRacer3 on Windows, or RailModeller for Mac. These programs let you experiment with track virtually, making it much easier to see what you can fit in a given space with the track pieces at your disposal. It also saves wear and tear on the track connectors, which the next tip addresses. Note that while this tip applies to all Scalextric Digital slot cars, it's especially important for non-magnet car racing, where the cars are especially tail-happy, and rely on gravity alone to keep them on the track.

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  • sjw
    When running without magnets you will need more distance between the turn exit and lane changer sensors so the cars can straighten out.

    A good rule of thumb most here will recommend is at least a 1/2 to full straight after a turn before the sensors.

    You can also move your lane changers to the end of the straights to allow passing in the "braking zone".


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