a few weeks ago i got into drag racing Ho scale. I went out and bought a AW drag strip track and it quickly got out of control. This was something i had not done before and i became involved in it.
So SouthLyonBen and i had been talking over PM and i got inspired to try something different.
I took a set of Tyco Pro 4 speed controllers.
And i hooked them up to the drag strip track and just tried them out. Well i thought it was interesting. I read on Riggins slot car site in Tyco history that the original design of the 4 speed shifter was in fact for drag racing. the description of the original design Involved Diodes.
They basically setup the track so different sections had different voltage polarity, So you had to shift through the different sections of track to avoid the car loosing power and slowing down.
a design like that is involved and it requires modification to the car chassis and while i have tons of TCR parts and could cobble together something you couldn't use a normal slot car on the track, the set would be customized just for 2 cars on that drag track. you would not be able to take the car from the race track to the drag track....
I felt there had to be a way to have the 4 speed effect, but it needed to be more complex because there was nothing to stop you from starting in 4th gear from the starting line.
This meant i needed to design a resistor logic board.
now this project is still on going but lets see what you think.
ok so step one, lets show the concept. i needed to create a universal connector for the AW track to tie the wires into, that was easy.
So problem 1: the tyco 4 speed is a 90 ohm controller designed to work on 18 volts
the AW drag strip uses 40 ohm controllers and works off 13.5 volts.
If you try to use the 90 ohm controller with the magnatraction cars they will not move until you are in 4th gear.
problem 2: so i need to redesign the shifters, they will need to feed 4 wires plus common ground for each player.
problem 3: the track needs to be broken into 4 sections that are discontinuous to each other, But continuous to the car.
problem 4: the design must not ruin any of the special track pieces like the dead track sections and the start and finish line
problem 5: the design must be reversible and easy to setup.
lets gear started:
gut the controllers, but DO NOT modify them so i can change them back at any time
build the 4 port controller switch. the finger board retains the common ground as originally designed.
start the wiring.
hack into 3 15" normal track sections with power signal wires.
learn from the design and issues. Issues with magnatration cars, changed ohm range, from 40 to 15 broken into sections.
larger scale test
success works, still has issues.
Found out now if you hold the car in gear 1 it acts like a novice automatic transmission with a sloppy shift.
gear 2 the automatic is faster,,, gear 3 faster gear 4 perfect shifting from the logic of the resistor board.
cheating is stopped if you start in any gear but 1 the car moves slowly just like a real car starting in a gear that is too high.
as the car passes each section the next gear unlocks into a lower ohm setting.
So you can hold a car in a gear and race or you can shift gears and have the potential to go faster if your shift is perfect.
Learned from this that the automatic shifting is still too perfect and the board needed a penalty for not shifting gears
So i started modifying the board again and got a working version 4 of the board, but now i thought the penalty was too much for magnet cars at 13.5 volts so i would change the resistor penalty again and then run the non mag cars at say 9 volts instead. The cars are lightening quick so its hard to gauge the effect. but it does work.....
as i have time i'll work on it some more, but i figured i'd see what you guys think.
I shot more video showing it working but i want to make a video when i gets more refined.
now you can also customize the shift points as you wish. you could use 9" track,6" track and make the gear lock outs as short or as long as you wish. you can even handicap one lane over another and have different shift points for players. The only pieces changed were 3 normal 15" AW track pieces, the entire setup unplugs in maybe 1 minute and sets up in the same amount of time. the return track becomes setup to only allow 1st gear which is actaully pretty realistic.
anyhoo comments suggestions.