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Speed regulation for eight-lane King track


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#1 Rich Goucher

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:00 AM

Hi,

 

Have an older, newly installed King, eight lanes, using Trackmate system (going to Lapmaster eventually).

 

Any advice on hooking up a speed regulator to cut down track power for kids/inexperienced racers?

Have seen a few with dimmer switches, etc., just could use a little wiring schematic or concept for implementing.

 

No need to regulate specific lanes, all eight at once would be fine.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 Dominator

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 08:26 AM

What kind of power supplies are they?

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#3 old & gray

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:41 AM

Rather than try to adjust the voltage on the track supply, you could install a smaller power supply set to a lower voltage. You would use an A-B switch in the track power line to choose between the supplies.

 

If you need help setting things up I'm just around the corner.


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Bob Schlain

#4 MSwiss

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:51 AM

On both my tracks, along with the high amperage, high voltage, power supplies, I have the option to switch to a Mastech 1550EX or 3050EX.
They are both 50 amp. They are totally variable, but they control the whole track.
The 1550EX is a pretty reasonable $289.

I also have eight smaller 10 amp units, I plan to install on my King, to individually control each lane, but it's going to require some wiring mods.


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#5 airhead

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 12:11 PM

​We have a fourth controller post with a resistor at 6v for the kids.

 

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IMG_2903.JPG


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#6 Mr. Hollywood

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:10 PM

At the Slot Car Cave in SC he has a fourth lug that the kids hook up to instead for half power.

 

He also has one of those big red easy buttons from Staples I think wired up as a kill switch so he can marshal and stop power. That was easy. Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

Just a couple of ideas. 


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#7 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:13 PM

I added a fourth (gray post) to several of the tracks I had for rental use. I started to use the resistor between the white and the gray post. It helped with Whisperjet with 16D and 36D motors, softened brakes, and made the drive belts last longer. 

 

As soon as motors changed over to Falcon type, I found the resistors eliminated the brakes and started incorporating four in-series 3 (or more) amp diodes to drop voltage about 3 volts. This works much better than the resistor.

 

Those six (+?) tracks are scattered all over the country now. The diodes can be put in the controller handle, but air cooling under the track makes more sense to me.


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#8 Rich Goucher

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for the input, guys. Have directions to go in.
Rich Goucher
 
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#9 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 10:27 AM

We used to make a complete individual lane power regulating system that used power transistors and 2 sets of track relays .  A control panel was mounted behind the store sales counter that had a switch to go from full power to regulated power and eight 0-100 ohm pots. We tried using a big single unit to adjust the whole track but it was not practical except for birthday parties . With individual lane control, it was easy to match power to the skill level of people on the track when it was just being used for general rentals. This worked very well.Transistors would occasionally fry and the pots wore out but replacement parts are cheap and available. The advantage with a system like this is the track is always powered by the same source of power and it does not matter if it is a battery/charger setup or any kind of power supply. Under the track everything was mounted on a board near the drivers panel and all the wiring ran from there .There was also a fan that kept the transistors cool. On the tracks in our own raceway, we had a switch on the busiest corner that the marshall flipped instead of using a track call. The cars would crawl around under caution until everyone was back on and no passing was allowed just like on a 1:1 track.When I get some time I will put a diagram and prt#s in the home track thread. I may someday start building and selling these again but I have been too busy lately.     


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#10 A. J. Hoyt

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:06 AM

"I also have eight smaller 10 amp units, I plan to install on my King, to individually control each lane, but it's going to require some wiring mods."

 

I like the modularity of Mike's idea. I wonder, since it's coming from the same power from the wall, if this would isolate the power surge that I seem to feel when a bunch of cars pile up in a crash and are no longer drawing power from a single supply (I might be imagining it as it is rare - I am usually collected in or the cause of the pile-up). Electrically savvy people, please weigh it.

 

With quick hook-ups and a couple of spare power units already under the track, you have a quick response repair at hand if one unit fails. Usually, only a few laps are lost if one fails and it is quickly diagnosed - we have all experienced being the unfortunate soul that discovers lifted braid or something else wrong with their specific lane...

 

If the eight separate power units are all adjustable, you could "tune" it to each particular lane and it evens out as all racers run all the lanes - I seem to feel that, too, as some lanes sometimes just feel "snappier" than others anywhere I race, always with a single power supply, of course. When it is the same lane(s) week after week (and other racers feel it, too), there has to be something to it and not just my imagination. Again, the experts should weigh in.

 

Keep it in the slot (and look out for those power surges :) ),

 

AJ


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#11 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:25 AM

Tranformer based power supplies cause surging when one or two cars fall off. You can solve this by adding a battery in paralell.Or spend the money and buy some transistor switching power supplies like a Bulldog or unit similar. One 75 amp unit will power everything up to Group 12 cars without surging . Two 75 amp units and a battery will power anything.From a track builders perspective, eight individual power supplies is just too expensive. We tried rental car systems made by other people but they just did not cut it for a variety of reasons.The parts to build a system like ours were very cheap in comparison. We use to put this on a track as a 500.00 option. And lanes that have less power than other lanes can usually be solved by adding another tap or just by crawling under and checking connections.    



#12 MSwiss

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 01:55 PM

Rich,
A lot is predicated by amount of use, and amount of supervision.

If it's for a couple times a month, with plenty of supervision, resistors and a 4th terminal might be OK, but if not, I would skip it.

If you are open to the public, you can't have the resistor where the kid can easily access it.

It's going to get real hot.

And knowing how a kids brain works, that 4th terminal is an invitation to experiment with different hookup combinations.
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Mike Swiss
 
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#13 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 08:17 PM

I just ordered off of ebay some motorola power transistors so I can make up a power reducing system. I need to re engineer my original design because I only found some rough sketches in with Brians stuff and not the complete diagram that would save me some work. The supplier we used to deal with no longer carries these transistors but there seems to be lots available on ebay and other sites. Once I get a working prototype I will draw up a diagram so people can make them up themselves. 


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#14 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:23 PM

IMG_5876.JPG IMG_5877.JPG IMG_5878.JPG IMG_5879.JPG I got some transistors and put together a simple power regulator so I could make a wiring diagram so people can make their own systems. Parts used are:

Motorola power transistor part# MJ11015

100 ohm variable resistor or pot for short

12 ohm resistor

heat sink to mount transistor

18 awg wire or larger your preference

This is a very simplified diagram of what you need to control a single lane of any slot car track. You will need 8 of these units. To control a track that is used primarily for rentals or racing low powered cars you could put one of these units on each lane by cutting the wire that goes from the output of each relay to the white post and putting a unit in between. Get the biggest heat sink you can find for your transistor and you should avoid the need for fans. You can power the track with power supplies, batteries a combination of both whatever you want. You will not get surging unless you have just a transformer based power supply. These transistors are not voltage sensitive as long as it is DC of course. I have never tried but Brian Crosby said they could handle 40 volts DC input.

   We used to sell a very elaborate system as an option for our tracks. This incorporated 8 of these units ganged together and mounted on a central power distribution board with 16 relays, a hi/lo switch and 8 pots mounted remotely behind the sales counter or at the race directors podium. We only charged 500.00 for this and very few of our tracks went out the door without this option. For the labour involved it was not a money maker for us but made a track much more practical for birthday parties and rental cars.

    A little history of this system: Back in the early 90's I was contracted by BSCRA in the UK to design and build a track for the ISRA worlds to be held in Northumberland in (at the time, maybe still true) Europe's largest indoor shopping mall. Someone came up with the idea of a slightly larger American Black track with an elongated donut and I drew up and built the first UK black track. I think it worked out to be 105 feet or so. It also had something that most of the scale racers think of as sacrelidge: A banked turn. I asked before I built it if they cared and no one seemed to mind. To make a long story pointless, I came home after the race meet with a brand new SCD controller. Brian and I were frustrated that we had no viable power controllers available to us and then I thought of the controller I had bought. It easily controlled Eurosport cars powered by G7 style motors so I thought we could reverse engineer it to make a power controller. Luckily the printing was still on the transistor so we were able to figure it all out.

    So now that you are all completely bored a few tips: there is no negative input to this system. It breaks the positive wire only. You do not have to use a 12 ohm resistor for bridging the transistor. You can vary the sensitivity by raising the resistance there. With a 12 ohm resistor, you can stop a car dead with the pot. More resistance, less control. The resistor does not get hot (except by convection when the transistor really heats up) and neither does the pot. The pot does not use its resistance to control the power, it is just a signal device. If you are going to go whole hog and build a 16 relay system with a hi/lo switch you need to put diodes on your relays to prevent back feeds. I will draw up a wiring diagram for that system but not for a while. That will be a lot of work.   



#15 MikeC

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:53 PM

Check with Howard at Thirdeye Technologies.  He built a couple of panels that variably control the track power for two of our tracks.


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#16 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:05 AM

Why buy when you can build yourself ?



#17 MikeC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:50 AM

Some don't like to build.  I do.  But not everyone does.  I know whatever it was he built is pretty slick with how it works...  Wish I had pics and more details, but I don't.


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#18 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:49 AM

I did not see anything on the website. Probably just something he builds if he gets a request. But at least this is a source, good information.

     One thing I forgot to mention is that the maximum output from a system like this is 12 volts. On our own tracks we never had a failure, but on customer tracks transistors sometimes failed and pots too. Not too often to get a lot of complaints but if you are going to do this make it with the piece of terminal strip shown in the picture so you can swap out the transistor easily. Soldering while you are laying on your back under a track is not fun.

      The only thing I can think of that may have caused the failures was running a track on low power with a lane turned up to max power and running a 27 or 7 around with glue. That  situation never occurred at our own raceway. This would definitely overload the transistor. Our  system could only give all lanes individually regulated or all lanes full power.

       The other cause was fan failure. With the modular system there was a fan to cool the 8 heat sinks. When you use a system like this, make sure the fan comes on.

       You can probably get everything you need on the cheap from an electronics surplus store. There isn't one near me so I sourced transistors on Ebay. I do not know if these transistors are even in production any more, but there are lots available it seems.



#19 Samiam

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:27 AM

I could swear someone was selling a unit here but I can't find it now. :dash2:


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#20 boxerdog

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

It was pretty recent too....

 

http://slotblog.net/...ower-regulator/


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#21 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:42 AM

That is one of our units from one of the Nascar Speed Park (I think it was called that) tracks. Looks complete and lots of spare parts.



#22 MikeC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:28 PM

You are correct, Steve.  It's not on his site and is something he built on request from our track owner.  I spoke with him during a race last month over dinner, and mentioned I'd seen threads like this recently and asked if he would be interested in having people referred to him.  He said he would.  He doesn't frequent any of the forums online...


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#23 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:39 PM

This thread is in the technical zone so it should be easy for people to find the link. Thanks for the info Mike



#24 airhead

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 04:43 PM

​Mr. Holly Wood,  You said something about a stop button , this is what we use when  practicing, the stop button has a keyed switch to turn it off when racing.

 

It works better than hollering,  hold it on blue.

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