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  • #91
    I appreciate your input Andy. You're always a source of of good information.

    Originally posted by woodcote View Post

    I've raced on BSTS and it is very smooth.
    I'm glad to hear that, as smoothness and less "clickity clack" is a big deal.

    Originally posted by woodcote View Post
    I've also built a lot of temporary tracks including BSTS and I can say that it can be a PITA - or more accurately, a pain in the thumb and forefinger. Those copper rods can be hard work to install and don't always connect. The track requires fine-tuning once connected.
    In all fairness, most tracks require fine tuning when being setup. There must be an easier way to deal with the copper rods rather than using your fingers.

    Originally posted by woodcote View Post
    A small section of borrowed BSTS was used for a couple of WHO club races and it did not make for a smooth set-up - as we only have 90 minutes to get everything running.
    Was this due to tying the BSTS sections odd shapes and radius turns with AFX track, or because you have to fight the BSTS itself? I would think that with vastly less connections ( I estimate a 1:3 ratio) to make than AFX track that it would be a trade off time wise.

    Originally posted by woodcote View Post
    A whole day (8 hour) set-up or a semi-permanent track which is altered every six months or so would be the ideal use for BSTS, in my opinion.
    You may be right, but 8 hours seems like a very long time to me to setup. I guess will find out soon enough.

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    • #92
      This is the first time that I have seen a close-up picture of a joint in the BSTS track. The system for the electrical connections is similar to a MaxTrax, except that MaxTrax uses stainless steel keys. For a permanent layout I am not sure that copper keys are the perfect way to go. When dissimilar metals are in contact galvanic corrosion is a possibility.
      The dog bones that hold the sections together must be great for holding them together, but inserting dozens of those must be time consuming. My experience has been that a layout may sometime need a little give in the joints to line up correctly, so possibly it would be necessary to omit the dog bones in at least a few places. My MaxTrax uses clamps to hold down the track sections.
      I do convert my track from a road course to an oval from time to time. When I remove track sections I just leave the keys attached wherever, that cuts down on the amount of time that I have to spend pressing them back in place. For a temporary track that needs to be transported you would want to remove the keys entirely. The stainless steel keys might be a little easier to deal with than copper keys.

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      • #93
        LOL. Now I'm thinking about copper rods, and damage to my thumb pressing in dogbones.

        Andy, I think I misunderstood when you said "A whole day (8 hour) set-up or a semi-permanent track which is altered every six months or so would be the ideal use for BSTS, in my opinion." I thought you meant it would take 8 hours to setup the circuit.

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        • #94
          It is counter-intuitive that a hundred or so of pieces of AFX track are quicker to put together than a couple of dozen BSTS pieces, but that's how it is. Building AFX track is like putting together Lego - and BSTS is more like Meccano (if you have that in the US). It probably helps that I can put together AFX track pieces without really engaging many brain cells, as I've done it so often (like Lego) - whereas BSTS (and Meccano) needs my full concentration, more individual steps and finer motor skills.



          Say I was thinking about building a 150-foot BSTS track. If it was a temporary set-up, I'd want a small team of trained BSTS builders and a good 4-6 hours. On my own, I'd want a full day. It is methodical, laborious work - even with a tool for the copper bits. To build a semi-permanent layout that needs to survive 6 months, I'd want a full weekend (or two). There is all the wiring to do, testing the track, trouble-shooting power issues, tweaking joins and levelling the track etc. In my experience, none of that is any less with BSTS than with AFX. At least with AFX you can simply replace a problematic group of track pieces. With BSTS you need to identify and solve an issue, unless you have spares for every type of track piece in the layout. And if you can't solve it, the clock is ticking and racers are waiting...



          Rich - the stainless steel keys on my MaxTrax feel a lot more solid (although were tricky to get in the tightest turns) and they line everything up perfectly - their role is structural as well as conductive (I have drilled through my track to attach it to the baseboard). The dog bones on BSTS aren't very time consuming to fit - the eight copper rods per join are, even with a tool. I don't remember seeing any corrosion, but I agree it is possible in theory. I also expected the soft Sintra of the BSTS to get damaged with harder metal tools being used on it. Although there was superficial damage from quite early on, it seems to have held up well overall - although it is over a year since I saw it up close at the AFX endurance race. I don't know how much maintenance Andy W does on it, but I am sure he is meticulous with keeping it in top condition.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by woodcote View Post
            Say I was thinking about building a 150-foot BSTS track. If it was a temporary set-up, I'd want a small team of trained BSTS builders and a good 4-6 hours. On my own, I'd want a full day. It is methodical, laborious work - even with a tool for the copper bits. To build a semi-permanent layout that needs to survive 6 months, I'd want a full weekend (or two). There is all the wiring to do, testing the track, trouble-shooting power issues, tweaking joins and levelling the track etc. In my experience, none of that is any less with BSTS than with AFX. At least with AFX you can simply replace a problematic group of track pieces. With BSTS you need to identify and solve an issue, unless you have spares for every type of track piece in the layout. And if you can't solve it, the clock is ticking and racers are waiting...
            You make it sound like a daunting task, and perhaps it, but I'm not easily dissuaded by potential problems. Being of generally positive nature, I always see the potential of the thing, problems are solvable. Most of the issues you point out are, as you know, SOP when building big tracks. When my track arrives, I'll tinker with it and find ways to cut down on build time.

            The REAL problem is, the ability to build routed big tracks is too alluring - problems be ****ed! And its all the fault of you bloody Brits with your big tracks, your BSTS sections, and huge LeMans and Rockingham circuits. I saw all that stuff, and said to myself THATS the way you do it! If it wasn't for guys named Player, Walpole, and Sismey, I might still have some semblance of sanity, and wouldn't be spending a small fortune on all of this ridiculousness.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Backmarker View Post
              I'm not easily dissuaded by potential problems. Being of generally positive nature, I always see the potential of the thing, problems are solvable.
              Now, that's the attitude!

              Really enjoyed your post, eh? Maybe you should even consider doing it yourself ...

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              • #97
                Haha, I would have been disappointed if I didn't get an "eh?" out of you. Been to Vancouver and Victoria many times, and my daughter lives in Toronto.... now she's a crazy Canuck too.

                I have looked at doing my own routing and seriously considered it. Now thats a real daunting task!
                Last edited by Backmarker; 02-16-2019, 06:41 PM.

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                • #98
                  Unless you are planning on going into the track building business or making numerous personal tracks it seems you would be much farther ahead to just get the track routed for you.

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                  • #99
                    Hey Bob, was beginning to wonder where you were.

                    I've commissioned Brad Bowman to build the track. Building it on my own is much more than I want to tackle. I know there are those that build their own, and I admire them for it, but I would hate to invest in the tools and material and screw it all up. better to have someone who knows what they doing handle it.

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                    • I hear you on that one! I've got the material for an HO drag strip but I think i want to get it CNC machined rather than screw it up myself. I'll attempt fitting the rails though.

                      I'm going to be trying to route a 1/32nd 3 lane which I feel i could manage but HO is so much more complicated with the 3 slots per lane.

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                      • If I knew anything about CAD, I might have attempted it, and had it CNC routed. But I have no desire to purchase software and go through the extreme learning curve of CAD. I'm pretty sure that those who build routed tracks for a living have an extensive library of CAD designs for various curve radii and everything else they need.

                        Have you seen some of the videos put out by Viper of their CNC machine at work routing a new track? Pretty cool stuff.

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                        • Has anybody looked into using MaxTrax for big layouts? It can be purchased in 4 or 6 lane configuration, there is a large offering of different length sections and different radius curves. You get the surface of a routed track in sections.

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                          • This is news to me. When I last viewed their site (which admittedly was some time ago) I didn't see sectional track offered.

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                            • I have seen pictures of a 240 foot six lane MaxTrax that was located in a shop in Florida.

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                              • Originally posted by Backmarker View Post
                                This is news to me. When I last viewed their site (which admittedly was some time ago) I didn't see sectional track offered.
                                Strange. It's always been sectional, large sections, but sectional. My track is MaxTrax and have track for 2 different configurations. If you check out the South Shore Speedway on the following link, there are some pictures of my track.

                                http://marcne.com/marc/wp/?page_id=1645

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