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My First HO Routed Copper Tape Track

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  • #31

    I also added an old gas station light to the track. Sure helps.


    • #32
      Home Made Dyno

      I made a dyno out of a cigar box and spare parts.
      I got the Arduino board to talk to Python so I can get live data.
      Before you can start testing you must enter the tire dia. (mm)
      This was a lot of fun to build. I will be adding a data logger board and a DC Current board soon.


      • #33
        Re-Wound Armatures

        Just comparing my 9 ohm re-wound armature (in the J Car) to one I got on the internet which reads 7 ohms. (in the 1954 SL) I made a resin cast. It looks good from afar.
        Lanes are set at 18 volts.
        Both have Dash magnets.
        Both have the same rear tires. Not sure I want to say what tires I am using. I like them better than anything I have tried.




        • #34
          Checker Cab

          Resin Cast Checker Cab on a Tyco chassis. Pick up shoes are "hammered flat" solid core copper wire with motor wire soldered to the ends. The flattened copper makes good contact with the brush housings without solder. Body is held on by two small patches of Velcro. 1000% fun.



          • #35
            Metal Bodies

            I read somewhere months ago on this site where someone was using die cast metal bodies. I scoffed - Until last Saturday night. There was nothing on TV and I was board. So I decided to run one of the 1/43 cars. I picked the Carrera 68 Mustang - I remembered it was horrible on my track because my track offers zero magnetic attraction. Then I remembered the metal body posts, then remembered I have a 1969 LTD Tootsie toy that might fit and it does fit. And it runs better with the extra weight. It is not fast but is very fun. Lots of off throttle coast.

            I had so much fun I decided to make two more metal body 1/43 slot cars with COE trucks I have. They are a challenge and a blast to drive too.


            • #36
              Got board - broke out the bond and router and changed some sections of the track.
              I straightened out a couple of corner exits and added two squeeze sections. A 6 foot section of plastic "L" molding was used as a router guide and is far from perfect. I wont use that again.
              I felt the track was to uniform and needed some "cattle trail" in it. LOL. If I get the wide sweeping turn just right it is sideways heaven.

              The Hutchins Hustler made the track nice and flat.


              • #37

                Now that you have had the layout for a while, how has the copper tape held up?

                Is it easily damaged by cars deslotting and the guide pins running over it?




                • #38
                  Hi Bruce,

                  De-slots and crashing does not damage it at all. But when I carelessly set a wrench down on it - it can be damaged. But it easily repaired with a short section of tape soldered in. I have about a half dozen solder repairs in it so far LOL. Some are from cracks due to expansion and contraction. The track is in my non climate controlled shop. Even in this harsh environment it has held up well. Magnetic traction assist smacks of give up.

                  Last edited by TXCurbster; 02-24-2017, 06:55 PM.


                  • #39
                    Rev. 3

                    Repainted the track with flat exterior latex I had left over from painting the house. I read a lot of folks use latex paint so I gave it a go.

                    The grip in better. So much so I have to relearn the corner speed. Now the cars with hi grip tires will tip in the corners and de-slot. T-Jets with the skinny tires love it though.

                    I Also re-routed the inner loop, the short straight and the corner leading to the back stretch.

                    I tried a hula-hoop as a guide for the inner loop. It is hula-poop. So I went back to my home made compass for the other corner. But still, the irregularities do not hamper the fun. I like how I can gradually increase speed throughout the long inner loop.

                    The verdict: I like latex better.

                    Last edited by TXCurbster; 03-13-2017, 02:01 PM.


                    • #40
                      When I get an idea, I have to try it or I can't sleep. It's how I learn. This one is a learning curve.
                      I decided to re-cut the slot at the end of one corner where I spin-out a lot. (red dots) I cut the slot to move in the direction of the spin. It does help.. a little. The car comes out of the corner with a good set on the short straight. (blue dots) I will probably do this on my next track too but just in one corner. I just had to experiment. I cant help it


                      • #41
                        This is Ed Bianchi's Alliance Park routed road course. It has braids rather than copper tape, but the same cars will run well on both. Gravity cars are normally run at 12 volts. Cars that normally have traction magnets will usually need weights both in the front and back.

                        You can repair breaks in copper tape without soldering. Just lay an inch or so of new tape over the break and punch holes with an X-acto knife or a wire nail through both layers to make the connections.
                        Last edited by RichD; 03-14-2017, 11:00 AM.


                        • #42
                          Thanks Rich. Appreciate the advice,

                          Ed's track is awesome!

                          I will try the x-acto method.
                          Also explains why the Tyco cars run so well with diecast metal bodies.
                          T-Jets are fun at 18V like 1100 HP Pinto but I agree 12v is the sweet spot.

                          After many laps on the new paint the track is wearing in nice. Not as treacherous in the corners.


                          • #43
                            X-Acto worked. Poked several times then rubbed it smooth with the butt end on the X-acto handle.


                            • #44
                              This copper taped 1/32nd track was taken apart and moved. If I recall correctly there were about a dozen sections. After the track was reassembled the method that posted was used to repair the joints.


                              • #45
                                The Alliance Park track was originally built -- in the 1990's -- with 1/8" wide copper tape. It worked fine for about a decade. I never had any issues with it.

                                The track went into storage about 2006. It was resurrected last year. The copper tape was still good, but I decided to upgrade it to braid.

                                The downside of copper tape is your car must have a Slide Guide with Pickup Wire, or some similar system with braid or wire for pickup. Regular 'hard' pickups just don't work.

                                It's a shame, really, because in so many other ways copper tape is a wonderful option for the custom track builder. It's cheap, quick and easy to apply. It's easy to maintain and durable. Also, it's a better conductor than rail -- you don't need jumpers on a modest-sized track -- and you don't have to scrub oxide off it.

                                For 1/32nd scale racing it is a practical and popular option. It's just a shame that HO cars have never made the upgrade to braid/wire pickups.

                                For now braid is the best option for custom HO tracks. All cars work on it, and you have the option to go with magnetic or non-magnetic braid. You do have to build in some 'reveal' for braid if you want hard pickups to work on it.

                                That's touchy. I rout my braid reliefs to be 0.017 inches deep, plus or minus 0.002 inches. Yeah! Plus or minus two thousandths of an inch! Not exactly woodworking tolerances, but if you set up your router VERY carefully, perfectly achievable.

                                Ed Bianchi
                                Last edited by HO RacePro; 04-01-2017, 03:55 AM.