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  • HO RacePro
    started a topic HO n20

    HO n20

    Back in 1994 (Yes! 25 years ago!) I tried to introduce improved HO slotcars and tracks. I wanted to make it inexpensive and easy to race on smooth, swoopy routed tracks with copper tape for power conductors. The idea was that clickety-clack plastic track with rails for power conductors was holding back HO slot racing as a hobby. That is where the Slide Guide came from.

    I guess I don't learn too quick. Here it is 25 years later and I'm going to try again.

    What I am proposing is a new class of HO racing, which I am calling "HO N20". It is another attempt to make it a whole lot easier to make routed HO slot tracks a cheaper, easier, better option, and to make new cars easy to produce in quantity, or custom fabricate.

    What has held back new HO cars are the motors and the pickups. The oversize motors had to be integrated into the chassis -- a complex design and production challenge -- and the pickups were also complex and finicky. But today it is possible to buy high-performance HO motors in a compact, standard "N20" package, and there are a number of options for Slide Guides and slide-guide-like guide shoes -- many 3D printed.

    By standardizing on an N20 motor many of the complex issues in chassis design go away. Much simpler chassis in any number of configurations become possible. And all of the fussing with motor configurations and tuning go away also. You just buy an N20 motor and plug it in.

    By going to a slide-guide-style pickup system you eliminate the fussy complexity of spring-loaded pickups, and make it possible to use copper tape for the power conductors on a track. Copper tape works wonderfully for slot racing -- witness all of the 1/32nd scale tracks that use it. It is cheap to buy, easy to apply, and extremely low maintenance. But it requires cars with braid or wire pickups. Hard pickups just don't work. So, Slide Guides.

    Also, note that by going to copper tape traction magnets become useless. Lift-pin tech inspection goes away. Gravity racing only. The magnet racing nightmare is finally over!

    So where do you get the routed slot tracks? You could build them yourself, or you could buy them from a woodworking shop with a CNC router. Pre-designed track plans with the necessary CNC program could be available online, similar to Shapeways or other 3D print design sites. Or you could create a CAD file to hand to the shop for translation into CNC instructions. Or you might even buy one from someone who has decided to turn his hobby into a sideline business.

    Slide Guides? Buy 'em, build 'em, or 3D print 'em. I really don't care. I never patented the design. It is my gift to the hobby.

    Chassis? Roll your own, print them, or buy them from garage-shop fabricators. A whole new world of design possibilities exists.

    Here we are, 50-plus years on from the birth of HO racing, and we are still saddled with the design compromises that toy manufacturers made deep in the last century. I have no illusions about the likelihood my proposal will catch fire, but maybe I can start a conversation.

    Ed Bianchi

  • RichD
    replied
    Possibly not, a Google search did not turn up anything, I did find FF-M20 motors.

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    Originally posted by RichD View Post
    For motors with carbon brushes the numbers would be FC-N20 and FC-M20.
    If you find a M20 with carbon brushes, let me know. I don't think they exist.

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    I had a nice chart for this type of motor filed away someplace, I have not been able to find it. There is lots of info here: https://www.mabuchi-motor.com/produc...ignations.html
    M or N would refer to the armature diameter and 20 would refer to the size of the case.
    Here is an FF-N20: https://product.mabuchi-motor.com/re...l?t=1554132633 and here is an FF-M20: https://product.mabuchi-motor.com/re...l?t=1554132633
    For motors with carbon brushes the numbers would be FC-N20 and FC-M20.

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    The M20 motors I am using have arms that are 3.5 - 3.8 ohms. M20 motors do not have carbon based brushes. They are metal fingers. There are neo and rare earth magnets available, but work needs to be done to match motor to magnets.

    Leave a comment:


  • HO RacePro
    replied
    Okay, I found some information online...

    An M20 can is 15mm long, 10mm wide and 8mm high.

    An N20 can is 15mm long, 12mm wide and 10mm high.

    So the N20 is a larger motor -- larger by 2mm in width and height. Both motors have the classic can geometry, with two flat sides and two round sides.

    There is also an M10 motor, with the same width and height as an M20, but a shorter 12mm long can.

    Shaft diameters seem to be 1mm as a standard. Shaft length can vary. There are some of these motors with dual shafts, that is, the armature shaft extends out both ends of the motor.

    There also seem to be "dash" designations for these motors. "-ULV", "-LV", "-MV", "-HV" and "-UHV". At a guess these stand for "Ultra-Low Voltage", "Low Voltage", "Medium Voltage", "High Voltage", and "Ultra-HIgh Voltage". Again, that is a guess.

    Aside from the voltage rating of the motor -- determined by the armature winding -- I haven't yet seen any nomenclature that calls out the internals of these motors. Specifically, the kinds of brushes or magnets. I do know you can get N20 motors with carbon brushes and rare-earth magnets, which I consider to be the premium setup. Some N20 motors come with holes in the can to provide cooling. But there are N20 and M20 motors that come with "precious metal" brushes. I consider these to be inferior to carbon brushes. I believe carbon brushes can stand up to surge-currents better, and have a longer service life. But that is just my impression, based on a few experiences with "precious metal" brushes.

    I don't know if there are variations in the types of rare-earth magnets available, or what their characteristics might be.

    I found some test results listed online for a number of different micromotors. (See the tables attached to the link, below.)

    https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...r-Micro-Motors

    The tests at 7.0 volts are the most relevant for us. The motors I have been using are rated at 7.2 volts, but seem perfectly happy on 12.0 volts.

    The power and efficiency ratings of M20 and N20 motors, as listed, seem to be very close. It is very possible both M and N motors could compete in the same class. The slightly lower center of gravity of the M motors might compensate for their potentially lower power (due to a smaller diameter armature.)

    I'm sure there is more to learn here. But this is a start.

    Ed Bianchi
    Last edited by HO RacePro; 04-01-2019, 08:26 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • HO RacePro
    replied
    N20's? M20's? Now I'm confused.

    Is there somewhere to find a definition for what constitutes an N20 or an M20? And are there any other such standards?

    Ed Bianchi

    Leave a comment:


  • SouthShoreRacing
    replied
    Originally posted by RichD View Post
    I still have not found out if the HOST motors are N20s.
    HOST motors are M20s. Most Gravity builders, including myself, are using the M20 motor. The N20 is ok for an inline setup, but I prefer the M20 or M10 for a siderwider or anglewinder setup.

    Leave a comment:


  • NicoRosberg.
    replied
    I don't think anyone is whining or whinging, they seem quite happy with the status quo.

    Leave a comment:


  • HO RacePro
    replied
    The investment required to produce a series of standard N20 motors is probably modest compared to what folks -- including myself -- have invested in tracks and equipment over time. Sure, everybody is waiting for someone else to go first, but all the whining (whinging) about the lack of motors isn't appropriate. If you want something bad enough you pony up. And all those folks who have been frustrated trying to find good motors can buy them off you at a 300% markup. That is what's called a business opportunity.

    Myself, I haven't found motor availability to be an insurmountable problem. I've bought some duds trying to find appropriate motors. When I did find a good motor I spent some time and money on eBay and Amazon buying a supply. That worked.

    Historically I've been disconcerted by the lengths people have gone to trying to cherry-pick motors. Some have bought hundreds of T-Jet armatures trying to find a few that perform markedly better than the rest. My perception -- not backed by any statistical research -- is there is more consistent quality in any one spec of N20 motors than is typical in slotcar motors. Leastwise, I have never had to throw away any of my preferred spec N20 motors because they were dogs. I can't say that for the open-frame Tomy Turbo motors I used to rely on for my Rattler cars. I have probably at least 50 of them that couldn't make the scratch. Fact is, the Rattler series has pretty much come to an end because I can't get a reliable supply of good motors.

    More than once I've thought of putting out a motor spec for bid, just so I can get a reliable supply. But I've never been motivated enough to actually create a spec and solicit bids. Which shows I've not been serious, and all I've said about the subject is little more than speculation.

    So we're still waiting for me, or somebody else, to get off their duff and get some numbers. Until then we are just waving our hands.

    Ed Bianchi

    Leave a comment:


  • NicoRosberg.
    replied
    That is in line with what I was saying earlier. One just cannot trust the motors are the same.

    Viper are offering to end the crapshoot, but the gravity guys who use N20s were not interested when you approached them, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • RichD
    replied
    My concern is that while you can always get N20 motors you can't necessarily get the same N20 motor. The bag that the motors that I ordered came in was marked Fashion Worlds Micro motor 9457. A Google search for Fashion Worlds Micro motor did not turn up the same type of motor. A second search for Micro motor 9457 turned up a couple of hits for the same motor from a different supplier, but they had run out.
    I still have not found out if the HOST motors are N20s.
    I am not convinced that a race series where the motors are a total crapshoot is going to work out. A standard motor is what is needed. If you want to get motors from a Chinese company you would probably have to order at least a thousand of them, but probably the number would be as high as ten thousand, that would take a big investment. You might get the motors for a buck each and resell them for $2-3 or maybe more, but it would still take a while to break even. If that did not work out you would end up dumping the motors on eBay.

    Leave a comment:


  • NicoRosberg.
    replied
    Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
    My point is, if HO N20 ever gets off the ground, motors should not hold it back.

    Ed Bianchi
    If you are serious about those kinds of numbers, and that kind of investment, you should speak to the Cronins at Viper Racing.

    Dan has partly-developed a racing N20, and is quite a long way into the process. But the project is on hold because the interest does not seem to be there.

    I contacted several groups who race the Mega-G+, where the concern is that the lack of replacement motors will soon become an issue, but could not get any to commit to buying even $500 worth, despite Viper's deservedly stellar reputation for producing cracking stuff. I believe that Rich D spoke to the gravity guys, with similar results.

    There is of course already a chassis that uses braids and N20s, the SL and BW family of chassis from HWP. I contacted some owners and builders of these to tell them of the new motor. Whilst there was interest, not enough to invest in what Dan would need to see to get the project over the line.

    Maybe you and he are each the guy the other is looking for?

    Leave a comment:


  • gmcullan
    replied
    I've done some building with N30 motors. Stout little critters with gobs of power. Might be great with magnetic traction assist, but way too much omph for the nonmagnetic braid tracks that we race upon.

    Leave a comment:


  • HObro
    replied
    I'm certainly enjoying the topic, has anyone of you folks fiddled with the N30 motors? I jammed one in a Tyco chassis a year or so back...thanks!

    Leave a comment:

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