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Different power sources pros and cons


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#1 Dt38k

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 11:59 PM

Just bought a nice drag strip, home built by a perfectionist and supplied with a Trackmate Drag Pro kit. The owner passed away in August so I can't pick his brain on the set-up.

There was a board that had digital capacitors wired in series and battery clamps at the ends like jumper cable clamps. One lane had a 2.5 farad and a 500k, the other had two 1 farad and one 500k.

I would rather go power supply, since this will be bracket racing only and shouldn't need that high of amperage that comes with high amp cranking power truck batteries that I'm sure a lot of tracks use from what I've read for the power house dragsters.

Don't know how to forward pictures yet, but more than likely, some of your get the picture of what I have
Randy Phillippe




#2 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 06:22 PM

Did you get a Trackmate manual with the puzzle?  You need it to finish putting it together.  Usually, the photocells and timing is controlled by the Trackmate and the dragstrip running power only has a on/off relay that can turn power on.  A dragstrip is 'started' by the lights, so the track power can be 'on' all of the time.  What IS important is to isolate each lane to make the power equally available for each lane.  Whoever pulls the trigger FIRST gets the load of power from the capacitors if it is NOT separately done.

 

Last I heard, 16.0 - 16.2 Volts DC is the voltage to race on for dragstrips in 1/24 - 1/32 scale.  Some tracks can go overboard with monster welding cable wiring and massive amperage power supplies.  Launch power can easily exceed 40 AMPs per lane.  This level of power can be provided by many different sources: auto/truck batteries or AC/DC power supplies.  Many raceways have used the Iota 90 amp RV power supply with the output turned up high.  When I built my first 21st century strip, I used one of these to charge my battery pack of 6 wet-cell batteries.  I got three 6 volt and three 8 volt batteries.  Wire one 6 & one 8 in series; they measure 16 output on the meter. Then wire those pairs of batteries in parallel and you have all the amps you can ever use.

 

Another great alternative is the use of the high amperage 'server power supplies'.  These are normally 5 Volt DC output, but can be fine tuned a volt or two up or down.  Wire three of these in series on a 220 VAC input circuit.  Usually end up with 300 amps available.  This is the 'modern' way to power commercial slot car tracks that the building inspectors find acceptable..


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Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

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60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America

#3 Dt38k

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 11:13 PM

Hi Larry
This track was up and running before he closed the business, you can see it pictured on flicker under "slots of fun"
I did locate some trackmate papers, none being drawings, only step by step instructions on set up regarding the software and when to hook up the plugs
There is mention of wiring two control boards with 16 screws each, for the tree, which then plug into the I/0 boards in the computer under 278 and 3BC
The building had been broken into and the youths stole all the slot cars and apparently the tree and the boards which were probably attached to each other when the tree was removed from the track before being put into storage
Daniel from trackmate, emailed me and said this system is old and no longer supported and that I need to buy their new system which is the drag pro 3000
Now I'm really confused, the board under the track is a drag pro 3000 and the track has photocell sensors which is their latest design
I was just preparing to post again, concentrating on locating someone that has one of these systems running that might be able to walk me through their system, or send me copies of the papers that I can't locate
Randy Phillippe

#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 12:28 AM

If your parts can be identified as the new ones, then all of Dan's current parts should work to replace the missing parts. See: Trackmateracing.com.

 

He should be able to supply documentation. I have a manual and experience in Jon Sojak's Dragtrax/Trik Trax systems which ran in pre-8086 technology.

 

The early Trackmate might be similar, but I never had the opportunity to compare them.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

USRA 2011 member #025-2
USSCA 2015 member
Great Lakes Slot Car Club member
60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America

#5 Dt38k

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 12:43 AM

I have some of the Trik Trax parts, several sensor boards and two boxes, but not the main one with the touch key pad

I've been on the phone with Dan and have texted him pictures of what I have on the current Drag Pro 3000 version
Where I got confused, and then also confused him, was that I actually have two systems, but only had an installation manual on the earlier Drag Pro system and thought it was for the 3000 system that has the red control board which is attached to the track I bought

As for the sensor boards that attach under the track, Trackmate's look like the same design to the Trik Trax ones I have. The earlier version I have from Trackmate, so I think, is newer than what Dan has explained to me since the manual is dated 2005 and the tower has USB ports, which I thought was after the DOS type computers were phased out

I'm just not that knowledgeable on computers to know if that is one way to tell one from the other.

I have no computer or I\O boards for the 3000 but Dan is going to fix me up there and also with a tree, which will make it complete.

I would need the two control boards that have 16 screws that plug into the computer and then attach to the sensors and tree, but I'm not sure he has these, but am hoping he does or at least might be able to supply a schematic so I can build them myself.

I'll keep you posted.
Randy Phillippe

#6 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 01:13 PM

Check the files:  trackmateracing.com/manuals/dp3000-manual


Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

USRA 2011 member #025-2
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Great Lakes Slot Car Club member
60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America

#7 Excapt

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:44 PM

On my quarter mile i run a power supply for each lane and a 1farad capacitor with each lane we used bulldog 90 amp supply from rivergate distributing running at 16.0 volts maybe overkill bit this way if you have someone with a better motor that draws more amps it doesn't take power away from his opponet and we use trackmate as our program
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Wayne Beers
Slots-A-Lot Raceway
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Franklin Square, New York 11010
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