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Trev in AUS

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  • Trev in AUS

    Hi SCI Members,

    I hail from inland downunder and have been avid Radio Control enthusiast for the last 10 years or so. Now with a 3yo grandson in the mix I was looking for something we could enjoy together. I have a large open shed space (16x7m) next to the house and it has been great for running drift cars, but he is far too young to handle those.

    So after New years I started exploring something car related that he could manage and from my AFX days when I was a boy, slot cars was the obvious choice. But I wanted to go bigger than HO this time as space was not an issue. I knew about Scaletrix which has been popular in Aus for years, but after searching track formats available I quickly discovered Carrera, which I did not know existed. However reading about Digital was the biggest surprise and I was completely taken by the added functions, being someone who loves tech. The more I read the more I was amazed, I felt like I had been living under a rock.
    6 cars on 2 lanes, selectable lane changing, pitstops, max speed & brake control, fuel simulation, data interface, ghost car, pace car - wow, so much more than the ole analogue systems. (No offence to those that still enjoy these)

    It was clear I could set something up that could be mild enough for a 3yo to handle, yet be ramped up to interest my 2 adult sons. Heck, even 'grandma' said she'd have a go!

    So the rest is now in the history books, purchasing the Carrera Retro Race set on a special New Years price, and thanks to Slot Shop & Armchair Racer, I now have over 20m of track. Finding certain items in stock has been an issue as the pitstop kit has been impossible to find (excluding those clearly price gouging)
    I ended up buying the pitstop section separately and using a right hand chicane as the entry and exit, plus a few single lane pieces to fill in the gaps. What I didn't know at the time is the special function of the pit in to ignore the ghost car, and the pace car options. So I may still have to get the kit eventually and run 2 pits.

    I found Slotman track designer and had great fun designing up variations bases on track available, especially as the list grew. My ultimate goal was to get enough track to build Suzuka and that's now been achieved and raced. For my grandson, I designed a track closer to an oval, or "Roval" as its now named, using only R3 and R4 curves to keep the pace high so he can full Throttle his Lightning McQueen around the entire track with the speed setting at 8/15. No plans for a table, we are just laying the track on the concrete floor and that's working out fine. Makes for easy reconfigurations.

    I am using Bruce's HssRms software and it adds so much more to the experience not to mention the unhuman act of keeping track of who is in what place after 40 laps or so.

    The wireless controllers where a must as the wired controllers were being dropped or pulled as someone hurriedly scurried off to reslot their car. We have now raced 5 cars at once in a family gathering and it was a hilarious, chaotic, and an enjoyable time for all. Priceless.

    Starting with the Retro Kit, I have developed a liking for the Ford Capri Zakspeed and have started to collect them. So far, Nos 4, 5 & 55 for those that know their Carrera. I have a couple of F1 cars now but refuse to race them as they are too special, they only come out for (very fast) demonstration laps occasionally.
    Not happy with the stock tyres I recently put tuning tyres on the Capris and now they run much more consistently than before with the right amount of traction vs slip for challenging driving, but nothing like a bit of dust pickup to make the tyres go "off" during those first few laps of the day despite a regimented pre-vacuum of the track. The stickytape cleaning method has been a great help!

    so that's my experience so far over the last few months, its been very enjoyable to break away from my previous hobbies for a while and finding something that appeals to all ages and genders.

    I initially joined this forum to ask some questions, plus there is a wealth of knowledge already here to read. Thanks for that.

    Last edited by trev63; 04-21-2019, 05:23 PM.

  • #2
    HeyTrev! Interesting post.

    Be sure to check out the Digital section of our forums, and the great advice there - particularly from Mr Flippant.

    I'm always delighted to see how our site (intended to promote slot car racing in the US & Canada primarily) is enjoyed by you blokes down under. Cheers, Paul


    • #3
      Trevor - Maate,

      I'm guessing that you're in the Sydney area...

      Welcome to the forum and the madness contained within...

      An analogue dude myself, but I can see the appeals of digital. If it gets the family in, that's great!

      Hopefully you'll learn a lot about our wonderful pastime here on SCI - I certainly have over the years, even from our renowned "El Damp One" ( the previous poster - we enjoy a good banter here )....

      Cheers, Tony.


      • #4
        Ah, a fellow Aussie. Gadday Tony.

        No, not from Sydney, despite my patronage of the local shops there. I live in a regional South West Qld town where there is not so much as a toy shop, let alone a hobby shop, so purchasing online is as good as it gets.

        Since this is my thread I might share a few things I like, found of interest, and things I have modded myself. You all probably have seen it all before so I don't expect you'll see or read anything new.

        Today I extended the "Roval" to the "Roval XT" layout with the extended inner section, now the grandson has returned home (4hrs away) after Easter. Still short of some border pieces but we'll make do for now.


        Having an Electrical background, I wanted to see how the voltage drop was affecting the track furthermost from the CU, so I installed a small Voltmeter on one rail.


        When all the cars were in the one lane that voltage would suffer much more than the other, which was predicted. So while booster cables was the answer, while I sourced that I wondered if placing an Adapter Straight (the one with 4 x power ports) assuming it would be bridging the 2 lanes together to even the voltage out.

        Well needless to say I was wrong, there was no bridge between the 2, as shown by no change in the drop.

        So my first Mod!! Add the 2 wires between the lanes. It worked a treat allowing both lanes to supply the cars no matter which lane/s they were in. In the track picture above you can make out the booster cable which I have since added, made up from a clip only pack. It all works together as the booster cable is a singular feed to one lane, thereby relying on the 2 adapter sections to share power between lanes. I don't expect to see dropouts or low voltage dips from now on and the little voltmeter supports that.


        and finally my long suffering Capri. My only criticism is the front stub axles seem to have worn very quickly. You can see the droop sitting on my 3D Printed Car Stand.
        I coated the front tyres with CA glue as recommended by someone in these pages, presumably to reduce any directional effect they may have, especially in slides - and toe out


        Talking of 3D printing, I have made up a collection of Carrera Track accessories if you are so inclined.

        Here my latest version of my favorite track, Suzuka


        and it in use in an earlier form

        well I hope you don't mind long posts

        Last edited by trev63; 04-22-2019, 01:01 AM.


        • #5
          Hi Trev . You've come to the right forum for all your Carrera needs. Lots of well informed folks here. Until you can pick up a proper pitlane entrance you can just put a piece of tape on your ghost car sensors so they don't change lanes. Run one car in each lane.


          • #6
            If you haven't already done so check out the digital section of the Auslot Forum. Lots of local content and home of the "Guru" of digital - aussieslotter.



            PS. you spelt g'day wrong, been in 'stralia long?
            Last edited by Sports Racer; 04-22-2019, 10:11 PM.


            • #7
              Hah. All my life and many generations before in ‘straya’ mate. Tru blu, dinkim!

              Auslot hey, will check it out.


              • #8
                Some Digital Goodness finally dropped my way. Now to try out some of the full Pit Lane features I have been reading about. and a couple of new cars to try as well.


                • #9
                  Nice track and new cars Trev! I like those 917's, I have a couple myself that still haven't made it out of the case.
                  Trev, have you thought about making 3D parts for others? I'm in need of a street lamp head - something that looks like this:
                  lightpole.jpg Would you be able to model it in 1/32 scale and post it up on your thingyverse? Or does anyone know where I can get them in 1/24 or1/32 scale?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dinglebery View Post
                    have you thought about making 3D parts for others?
                    Home 3D printing isn't commercially viable so no, I hadn't entertained the idea.
                    It is a great "tool" to have on the workbrench for making shapes that would be difficult and/or time consuming to otherwise manufacture.

                    I'd encourage you to try the very simple to use "TinkerCAD" to build your shape. If you threw some dimensions my way, I may have a quick bash at it, but you always get what you want design-wise if you do it yourself. i.e. do you want to it be hollow, take an LED, etc.

                    On the 917K topic, I was wondering what the thing that looked like a tire was sitting above the gearbox, not believing a purpose built race car would have such a thing, and after a quick google, found it actually was a spare (front) tire to meet regulations for LeMans, Incredible!


                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      I hope I am not the only one that takes a new car and adds some paintwork protection before hitting the track in anger. After my first car (the No.55 Capri) lost plenty of paintwork over the first couple of months racing I decided to at least attempt to preserve the new additions.

                      So with the 917Ks I received today I added clear insulation tape to the roof, and few other smaller pieces over some of the obvious wear points. The clear tape is quite durable, barely noticeable (especially when racing) ,easy to replace leaving no residue and leaves the paintwork intact.

                      But as with Digital racing there is always the inevitable front/rear end collision and with the exposed exhaust pipes proving to align perfectly to the nose of the following 917, it looked like a trouble area.

                      I grabbed some Silicon fuel tube, cut a bit to over-length and fitted the 2 pipes. Now I have bumpers which will hopefully save both cars from damage.

                      Makes the exhaust pipes more pronounces to boot, unintended bonus

                      Last edited by trev63; 05-20-2019, 04:22 AM.


                      • #12

                        Here is my latest layout and certainly a favorite so far. At 35m it includes a 180deg banked R4 turn 1 and a variety of challenges in the mid-field. It features clear polycarbonate barriers that separate the nested track with 3D printed barrier supports.



                        • #13
                          Hi Trev, hope you all down there are watching the Bathurst feed this is always great stuff.