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  • I just logged back here in search of an easier, cheaper way of getting a track that's better than afx and by jove ... that steel is revolutionary! My mind is blown and couldn't sleep last night after reading posts.

    Awesome work Charlie and thanks for posting the details and letting us in on your brilliant track.

    The other steel HO tracks in the wilds of the internet was on a hobbytalk forum - and very hard to google for. Not sure if it's okay by mods to post a link to it .. but the thread is here: http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=180536

    The lanes are completely separated though on that one.

    I'm sold, and now that you've posted the build details I'm sold on being able to build one. It looks a lot easier than traditional routed wooden track ?

    A self interested question -- have you run t-jets on it?

    I'm newb here so excuse the presumption ... but would it be useful to start a thread on 'steel HO tracks' now that routed tracks have their own sub forum?

    I've seen the future and it glints like steel.

    Comment


    • The way that this track adds voltage up, spanning the track with both hands could be quite dangerous and potentially LETHAL. This is especially true if your hands were wet with sweat. The only way to make this idea safe is to route a gap between each lane and the next. That way the track can be wired conventionally and be as safe as any other HO track.

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      • ..
        Last edited by StockTomyFTW; 12-08-2010, 11:21 AM.

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        • ..
          Last edited by StockTomyFTW; 12-08-2010, 11:21 AM.

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          • Hi everybody,

            I am very new to slot cars, I started looking at it a few days ago because I want to make some streets for my model Rail Road Layout. I came across this forum and this thread about making your own tracks. This is exactly what I am looking for.

            There are a bunch of different wires that is being used. Ive read that some people dont want magnetic rails, some do. Some say solid wire is quiet and better than braided and some say braided is fine.

            I found 2 wires that may interest everybody, let me know what you think. I know they will carry current well because that is what they were intended to do.

            Aluminum Electric Fence Wire


            Galvanized Electric Fence Wire

            Both of these wires are 14 gauge, which is .002 thicker than 1/16 which would give a friction fit. They are also solid wires. Both of the wires above come in 1/4 mile spools and are both under $40 a spool.

            Do you think these would work for the power rails?

            Comment


            • Hiya CMHN

              Thanks for the wire links.
              I wouldn't recommend any aluminium wire for power rails, as ali is not a good contact conductor due to it's natural oxide protective layer.

              A galvanized steel wire would work, most find it has too much magnetic pull for modern cars, would be worse if it's even bigger than 1/16" dia.

              There are some successful brass rail tracks out there, never looked at the cost but might be better than copper or magnabraid.
              Any non mag track might need the cars modded with added weights for better contact pressure, I had to do that when I made a copper wired (not braid) track.

              I've found the best option to be flat steel stitching wire, as have a few other track builders.
              It also closely resembles what's found in most brands of plastic track.
              Fairly cheap too

              Regarding scale, our "HO" cars are not 1/87, they are more like 1/72 wheelbase, and about 1/64 width for AFX and beyond.

              Tjets would be closest in scale to train HO.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jisp View Post
                Charlie, thanks for sharing details of your amazing track.........and I mean amazing! I have a feeling you will be "dissected" for every conceivable detail concerning the track and its construction.

                This static photo you provided is pure magic! Thanks again for sharing, Michael.


                loved the tight hairpin turn. did you route this? are there more photos? thanks.

                Comment


                • Alas....he pulled his track pics after the comments about the track voltage being lethal...which is laughible...

                  This is the track I mentioned in the other thread...and the 6 lane hairpin....

                  It's a thing of beauty isnt it...

                  The well worn tire groves speak for themselves...

                  BTW...it's a "steely"....the track surface itself is the "rail" used to feed the pickups...
                  Last edited by Crimnick; 06-18-2011, 11:43 AM. Reason: Edited for CTDurf

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Crimnick View Post
                    Alas....he pulled his track pics after the inane uniformed non electrician comments about the track voltage being lethal...which is laughible...

                    This is the track I mentioned in the other thread...and the 6 lane hairpin....

                    It's a thing of beauty isnt it...

                    The well worn tire groves speak for themselves...

                    BTW...it's a "steely"....the track surface itself is the "rail" used to feed the pickups...

                    that track is so bad ***! how the rest of the track?

                    Comment


                    • Rennie, ya gotta check it out. Crimnick is quite right about all the deleted posts, but there's good news...

                      Charlie graciously relented to much pestering by the many who marveled at the coolness of his unique creation and re-posted one of the videos.

                      It's a favorite of mine. Turn up the volume and enjoy it:

                      http://www.slotcarillustrated.com/po...9&postcount=47

                      It's a track with a steel surface instead of plastic or wood. Benefits are even magnetic attraction instead of just rails, a tiny bit of the surface, being magnetized; and the ability to make very tight lane spacing in corners; and last, ability to quick-reverse power and get a spun out car back in the race without a marshal.

                      Comment


                      • Hey Guys ! While I don't really have a dog in this fight so to speak I do have a comment for "Crimnick" . You know how you commented on the "inane uninformed non-electrician " comments on the possible lethality of the steel track ? Your inference was that the guy who made the comment didn't know what he was talking about . Did you consider posing a question about how he arrived at that conclusion before assuming he was clueless ? I say this because we might have all learned something that way and in the end that might have done someone some good .
                        I am pretty sure the post you were referring to was written by a guy who might know just a teensy bit about electricity . Ever notice the little symbol he uses next to his name ? There's a tip there . He designs , supervises and installs/tests control systems for nuclear power plants . You could say electrical engineering and electricity are his "thing"
                        Crimnick , I'm guessing that you aren't an HO guy . Not many HO racers don't know who he is or haven't at least heard of him . He has been a National level HO racer from at least as far back as the 70's He also designed and built one of the best wiperless electronic controllers out there , the M-Magic . And just in case that isn't enough he also used to make and produce the "MADD" line of Lexan bodies before he sold the line off .
                        It's easy in these forums to just blow somebody off . It's harder to follow up and chase the questions and answers . But , in the end , if we did more of the latter and less of the former we would learn all that much more .

                        Thanks,
                        Durf

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ctdurf View Post
                          Hey Guys ! While I don't really have a dog in this fight so to speak I do have a comment for "Crimnick" . You know how you commented on the "inane uninformed non-electrician " comments on the possible lethality of the steel track ? Your inference was that the guy who made the comment didn't know what he was talking about . Did you consider posing a question about how he arrived at that conclusion before assuming he was clueless ? I say this because we might have all learned something that way and in the end that might have done someone some good .
                          I am pretty sure the post you were referring to was written by a guy who might know just a teensy bit about electricity . Ever notice the little symbol he uses next to his name ? There's a tip there . He designs , supervises and installs/tests control systems for nuclear power plants . You could say electrical engineering and electricity are his "thing"
                          Crimnick , I'm guessing that you aren't an HO guy . Not many HO racers don't know who he is or haven't at least heard of him . He has been a National level HO racer from at least as far back as the 70's He also designed and built one of the best wiperless electronic controllers out there , the M-Magic . And just in case that isn't enough he also used to make and produce the "MADD" line of Lexan bodies before he sold the line off .
                          It's easy in these forums to just blow somebody off . It's harder to follow up and chase the questions and answers . But , in the end , if we did more of the latter and less of the former we would learn all that much more .

                          Thanks,
                          Durf
                          #1) We've been through this already.

                          #2) I'm a licensed electrician.

                          #3) I race storms.

                          #4) That track voltage is NOT lethal even in a worst case senario.

                          #5) I dont care who he is.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Rolls View Post
                            Rennie, ya gotta check it out. Crimnick is quite right about all the deleted posts, but there's good news...

                            Charlie graciously relented to much pestering by the many who marveled at the coolness of his unique creation and re-posted one of the videos.

                            It's a favorite of mine. Turn up the volume and enjoy it:

                            http://www.slotcarillustrated.com/po...9&postcount=47

                            It's a track with a steel surface instead of plastic or wood. Benefits are even magnetic attraction instead of just rails, a tiny bit of the surface, being magnetized; and the ability to make very tight lane spacing in corners; and last, ability to quick-reverse power and get a spun out car back in the race without a marshal.

                            thanks for the link. it looks like a really nice layout. i will check to see if there are any other videos from him.

                            Comment


                            • Good info here...

                              I've been toying with the idea of building my own routed HO scale track for some time... so glad I found this site and thread. I read through the entire thing, and the information and experiences shared by the builders is great! Thanks to everyone for their contributions. I look forward to sharing my my experiences and pics as I get through the design process and actually start to build. Thanks guys!

                              Comment


                              • MikeK, Good on ya for giving it a go! One tip I found helpful when I did my first track (apologies to anyone having a solution for this - haven't read all of the postings in this thread), if you're going to use the rebar tie wire for power rails, as outlined elsewhere here, it doesn't readily "tin" making it somewhat difficult to solder connections together. Where your track sections meet, run the free ends (give yourself approx. 3" at start and finish) down below the track surface and use butt connectors or wire nuts to secure the rails and power feeds together.

                                Best of luck -- looking forward to those pics!

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