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Opinion on hairpin curve (Scalextric)

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  • Opinion on hairpin curve (Scalextric)

    Hello all, I have just set up an SSD layout and space is a bit of an issue. If I use a hairpin in the layout I can make it work much better in the space and have a longer track.
    (I also do HO scale in my office but the single piece tight hairpin that AFX makes is a real problem for some cars. I do use their tightest radius regular turn pretty much without any problems.)

    Which leads me to my question: is the Scalextric hairpin extension pack with the narrowed rails good, work, or is more trouble than its worth, or is just a set of R1 curves better? I know the inside lane on the narrow railed hairpin isn't as tight as the regular R1 (which looks like a real bear to get a car through). Not sure which one, if either, is worth the effort or money?

    Looking for experienced opinions before dropping the money on one or the other. My other option is to do an over pass but I have never been a fan of them unless they were built into a solid landscaping theme (which I do not have!).

  • #2
    They were worth it. I found it to be the lesser of two evils.


    • #3
      If you have the space for the mandatory narrowing straight sections, use the narrow hairpin. If you're doing a full 180 degree hairpin, the inside lane of a regular R1 is a beast.


      • #4
        I dislike the "squeeze" hairpins for a couple reasons.
        1) the 90/180 limitation is pretty annoying, plus the requirement for the squeeze sections leading into and out of it
        2) the "squeeze" that isn't really a squeeze makes you feel like you can make it through with two cars, even though it's rare to be able to.

        I'd rather it was a REAL squeeze, like the classic grand skid/curve chicane. Because then you know someone HAS to back off if you're both going to make it through.

        I used to have a squeeze hairpin on my track, and it was the source of way too many accidents. I don't need to add car interaction with digital racing. I have that in spades. I replaced the squeeze hairpin with regular R1 turns, and have never considered reverting. Any car that can make it through the inside of the squeeze, can just as easily make it through the inside of the R1.

        There's not a car I can't get around my track, which has 8 total pieces of R1 track in it, including the 180, a 90, and 90 degrees of R1 inside a couple R2 for a parabolic turn.

        Are R1 turns more of a challenge? Only if your main challenge is slowing down. Speed demons tend to dislike R1 turns.

        So, yes... use them. Make your track however you want, and challenge yourself with it. Have fun!


        • #5
          So far the only people who have responded to your question all live in the Seattle area...interesting

          I have a hairpin and an overpass on my SSD layout, and EB and Mr.F have both raced on it. I would try to avoid spending the money on the hairpin curve, if only because you have to use the long straights to lead in and out of the hairpin. And the track cost way more than the amount of play value it adds, in my opinion.

          Overpasses can be challenging, and the one on my track is especially troublesome. One of the guys in our digital group has a pretty brutal hump section that can send the cars 2 feet in the air if you aren't careful, I have a real love/hate relationship with his layout. But I honestly like "problem" areas on tracks as it adds to the realism of driving, opinion.

          And take it from a guy who also loves HO like you you will love your SSD stuff. My advice for you is to consider the things you liked most about HO and try to incorporate those into the design of your layout and leave the stuff you didn't like behind as best as possible.

          Most of all just have fun
          Last edited by carlosinseattle; 08-28-2014, 04:01 PM.


          • #6
            Well stated MrFlippant. I have used the squeeze track hairpin and the regular R1 on my Sport track. I liked both and both offered different challenges.

            The only real beef I ever had (other than going too fast) is Carerra cars have issues with their guide sticking.
            However elsewhere in the forum was a great note on how to modify them which I can say first hand, worked well.


            • #7
              Yes, some car makes use guides that have a hard time with the tight slot of Scalextric track, Carrera being the most egregious of them all. Thinned a bit, they can be made to work well. A Dremel type tool can be very useful for slot car stuff.


              • #8
                3 syllables confuses me.

                Egregious? Had to look that one up!


                • #9
                  Great comments

                  Thanks all for the comments!
                  This hairpin will be at the end of the second longest straight so the squeeze sections will not be a concern. I do however have concerns about ANOTHER spot on the track for contact between the cars. I think having lane changers gives my kids MORE than enough opportunity to crash and they are so competitive that neither will back out even if they are not the one with the edge. Needless to say, they will only be using the super resistant cars!.
                  On my HO layout they are not allowed to use the fragile F1 style cars because they are too fast and when they do crash, they break!
                  Currently in my SSD layout I have two cross over curve tracks that I am having to use since I am out of track at the moment. Pretty sure those will go once I have more curves to replace them.
                  That being said, I will probably just to with the standard R1s since that will alleviate the contact with the cars and it will be cheaper!
                  As far as overpasses go, I do not use them on my HO set up because it just makes the track flimsy and rickety. I also like not having the sight lines blocked by anything. I managed to squeeze over 60 ft of track on a 4x8 so it is plenty for good laps.
                  On the SSD, if there was a way to have my long back stretch raised up and then have the return come back underneath a part of it, I might do that but I haven't seen supports for Sport Track that do that.
                  Thanks again all!


                  • #10
                    Don't use hairpins if you expect the drivers to think.


                    • #11
                      To make a double-decker road like that, you have to come up with your own support system.
                      You can use the Elevated Crossover bridge pieces, but line them up parallel rather than have them cross over, and use as many of these as you need with half or full straight in between, but that can get expensive, and make the layout harder to match up, since they are an odd length.


                      • #12
                        I own plenty of R1 pieces. I used them at one tim and will again. I plan on using them in the pit lane to force slower driving. I gave up on them on my big track as they make the slowest point on the track. Using drone cars make them too slow everywhere else.

                        Cars run into each other enough, so forcing more, limits the uninterrupted drive time.

                        If I set up a 4 X 8 or 5 X 9 track, R1's are great.

                        Having fun is the most important part of slot cars.


                        • #13
                          It's all about what you like. On your track, speed seems to be what most people like.
                          R1 turns are great for slowing things down on any track. All the tracks in DRAWW have R1 turns in them, including the ones much bigger than mine, and all are much more than a 4x8 or 5x9. But, they are all used in different ways, so no track is the same.


                          • #14
                            I am not going to rush figuring out the best layout. My space is odd shaped and not as deep as I would like so I am going to experiment for a while to see what works best. All out speed is not going to be the order of the day as the longest straight is MAYBE 10ft and then the rest is shorter. I also want a pit lane eventually and to accomplish that I will have to have a hairpin to have enough room. Guess its time to start watching the Bay to see if someone is dumping 4 R1s!!


                            • #15
                              What size/shape is your space, again?