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Dead strip in sectional track?

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  • Dead strip in sectional track?

    So I seen an auction at the old auction spot, for some old afx track, that is wired for timing. But it appears to be a dead strip. As each lane has a small cut out on two ends, leaving an exposed section of rail in the middle.

    I never thought of this, but I am making the assumption it would work...

    I always thought of dead strips just in routed tracks, never thinking of the possibility of doing them in sectional track.

    I see lots of people stress over reed switches and IR stuff and quirks of each. Doing more non mag racing than anything, this could be an easy solution for me.

    Anyone ever do this or have thoughts on it?

  • #2
    Yes, It does work. Tomy used it in the '80's for their DataRace sets that featured lap counting, lap times, and fueling pit stops. Not sure if dead strips are totally ideal for more modern track management systems. Check some SCI "threads" on that subject as I think there may be potential drawbacks.

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    • #3
      Yes a dead section will work on plastic track just as well as it will on a routed track.
      All the usual precautions about where to site the strips and the importance of what circuit they are connected to apply to both sorts of track.
      Some of the best modern race control systems are designed for dead strips.

      ALL detectors, be they dead strip, light bridge, light across the slot, split tape, reed switch, hall effect or whatever have their "quirks" - that is to say there are not necessarily obvious things that have to be right for them to work properly - that means
      There's always going to be examples of tracks with problems.
      There's always going to be guys who have lucked into a working solution without really understanding what they've done who'll insist its easy.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GT40 View Post
        Tomy used it in the '80's for their DataRace sets that featured lap counting, lap times, and fueling pit stops.
        I think the Tomy electronic units use reed switches, unless you're talking about a different one (the 2 I have here use reeds)

        And yes, there is someone on here that successfully uses HO deadstrips, needed a diode or something to stop volt spikes but nothing too complicated

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        • #5
          dead sections work however i hate them. you cannot go slow in dead sections because the car will get stuck. so you have to put them in high speed areas in that respect they are limited.

          Tyco used them on some lap counter terminal tracks with Pit stops. the problem is the dead sections are right before the pit stop sections so when you tried to slow down to activate the pit function you would get stuck with older cars unless they were high speed, high magnet down force cars that would stop on a dime.

          So for example if you made a track were the dead section was between curve areas you would constantly get stuck because you were slowing down for entering or exiting a turn. by comparison if you had a reed switch in place of the dead section you could maintain constant speed through that section with no loss of contact to the rail power.

          no trigger system is 100%.

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          • #6
            I agree with Dan on the inability to go slow through the dead-strip sections. To eliminate that problem, I think reed switch or light bridge is the way to go. But like Al said, every method has some considerations. Just gotta get through the "learning curve".

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            • #7
              I prefer dead sections, with the computer systems they can be small.

              you do want them in the middle of a straight so the car goes through at speed, but never really went slow on the main straight

              I like because if the car comes off(crashes) you know to add 1 lap to that car.
              if it comes off and you have a light bridge or reeds, did count on its lane?
              did it count on some one else's lane?

              at 1 time I had both a dead section and light bridge on my tomy track
              by itself you would never know there was a issue with the light system, but what i found is that in a race, once in a while the light system would miss 1 or 2 laps, that it!
              but the dead section would catch it. we think it may have been the paint job on some of the lexan bodies

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              • #8
                Oh you know what i figured out, why sometimes when using my old slot cars with a dead section if i went half speed the counter would not register. those use the old bronze wipers and they are pretty long, what was happening at lower speed the wiper was making contact on both sides of the dead section so the lap counter would never register the count because it never saw the car lift from the track for a split second. In that case it was either clip the wipers down, or increase the gap or give up on that lap counter when using old cars and just use the mechanical clicker for in the slot again

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                • #9
                  I still have both my 1980 Data Race set,and the 1979 Int. Grand Royale set,that came with the digital lap timer/counter.
                  They work very well and have never let me down.
                  I always installl the "6 dead track on the highest speed part of the track.I put it coming directly coming out of a corner once,and it worked miserably.The car always came to a halt,especially the inside lane,as that was going the slowest without a gaurd rail to ride.
                  Last edited by slippery1; 02-06-2012, 02:19 PM. Reason: spelling

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                  • #10
                    My track has had dead strips for 12 years and I have never had a problem with them. The ones on my track are four inches long with no guard strips. I have used both a TrikTrax stand alone conuter/timer and Trackmate with the dead strip option. Both systems are designed so that track voltage can't get to the electronics and burn something out. The dead strips can be as short as an inch and still work well. Dead strips are polarity sensitive, the cars will only count if they are moving slowly when the dead strips are hooked up backwards. The best place to put dead strips is in the middle of a long straight and not directly in front of a driver's station.

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                    • #11
                      Why not put them directly in front of a driver station? Are you assuming there's a tap there or something?

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                      • #12
                        If the dead strip is directly in front of a driver's station it is likely that someone will put his car down on it and have a stalled car. When that happens during a race it can ruin your whole day. Sometimes we do pitstops to clean tires and in the heat of battle it is easy to forget that the dead strip is there. If you are switching to dead strips from some other system and you only have one set of power taps it might be a good idea to add a second set of taps, especially if you run high powered cars.

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                        • #13
                          I did testing with trakmate when I 1st got it.
                          I was able to count without missing a lap down to 1" section
                          My dead section is 3"

                          i was using an unlimited car, figure if there was an issue, i would see it with it!

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