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Track Layout Concepts - Comments Needed

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  • #16
    Jim Honeycutt of Magnatech SRP sells copper-clad tinned magnetic braid. Copper-cladding greatly increases the conductivity of the braid, and adds corrosion resistance above and beyond the tin plating. I have used Jim's magnetic braid on all my magnet tracks and corrosion has never been a problem.

    The cladding process is different from plating. It is a mechanical process -- not electrical -- and deposits a much thicker layer of copper. But there is still plenty of steel underneath to provide the magnetic downforce.

    Jim also sells tinned copper braid. No magnetic downforce at all, tons of conductivity. Great product. Superb for gravity racing. My favorite.

    Ed Bianchi

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    • #17
      Thanks Ed - I will inquire Dan on what he uses.

      As for surface paints I was thinking of Rustoleum chalk paint. I used this on the pit scene and road scenes on my HO layout. I like the color and texture as a base for simulating asphalt road surfaces. I can use the aerosol for the slot and the roll the liquid on the main surface.

      But what is typically used for surface materials? Are there any other coatings on top of the paint for traction enhancement?

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      • #18
        Youíve come a long way in the project.
        My $0.02 worth - forget all about magnet running. Tuning and getting the cars to run better non-mag is very interesting. Also, youíre more of a driver with the cars. Magnet racing is much easier but normally greater speeds are involved which means much more damage when the magnets let go.

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        • #19
          I agree with Wicker Bill that non-magnet racing is more fun. But I will also say that it is easy to remove the traction magnets from 1/32nd scale cars. You might want to install steel braid so you have the option to run both magnet and non-magnet.

          Myself, I never race with traction magnets. I want to be able to work a corner. Traction magnets make driving binary. You are either quick through a corner or hard into the wall. No chance to pull it back in.

          As for racing surfaces, I have always used a gloss epoxy paint. Silicone tires work extremely well with a glossy surface, and my preference is to run silicones. I can't comment on how urethane, rubber or sponge do on a gloss surface. Dunno.

          I have also settled on painting the racing surface a light gray color. If you look out your window at the street, you will see that the asphalt is not black, it is light gray. Only very fresh asphalt is black. It quickly weathers to a light gray.

          And light gray is very easy on the eyes.

          Ed Bianchi





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          • #20
            I want the mag braid to give me options. Traction magnets are easily removed if I want mag-free.

            This is a photo of my HO pit scene where I used Rustoleum Chalk Paint in charcoal color. I think it will make a great base for simulating asphalt. And I think it will be good for all tire compounds based on what I dug up on internet searches.

            Pit Scene 002 by bonez 300

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            • #21
              A
              Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
              But I will also say that it is easy to remove the traction magnets from 1/32nd scale cars.

              Ed Bianchi
              True, but a lot the anglewinder cars out there are designed so the motor magnets attract the rails.
              Iíve recently been playing with a Carrera track. I was surprised how an Avant Slot Subaru stuck to the track. The car had no traction magnets but an anglewinder with strong motor magnets.

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              • #22
                It is possible to shield the magnetic field from the motor. Just mount a thin sheet of steel under the motor. The steel shield will provide an alternate path for the magnetic flux under the motor, and greatly reduce any magnetic traction.

                I'm not sure how thick the shield would need to be. I don't think it would have to be much thicker than the metal shell of the motor itself.

                Ed Bianchi

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                • #23
                  If you want to make the two lanes truly equal think about having different voltages to each lane, and also non-nesting the lanes.

                  Those two things will work much better than a crossover or equal lanes lengths, which don't work.

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                  • #24
                    Another option is to have better grip in what would normally be the slower lane. We have found that you get slightly better grip on satin polyurethane than on the flat latex paint that is often used on wood tracks. You could apply the polyurethane in one corner and see how the lap times go and then do another corner or two if necessary.

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                    • #25
                      Cracking call Rich.

                      Bottom Line: Build a track for maximum fun, uncompromised, then sort the uneven lanes

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                      • #26
                        All great comments. Many thanks.

                        I will calculate lane distances once I close in on the final configuration. Then look at options - including doing nothing since I am a recreational user. If I get serious with another racer we would rotate lanes anyway.

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