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Your power supply/controller choice lessons?


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#1 Steelhat

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 06:10 PM

New member and my first time post:

 

It is time to purchase my “lifetime power system”, for my next and later 1:32 analog home tracks. Here’s the cars and tracks I plan on using:

 

Cars: stock, and modified Fly, Scalextric, and similar. I enjoy something that can almost resemble full-scale racing, so I am not into wedges or hyper cars.

 

Track: Scalextric (vintage and new)

Number of lanes: 2, for the next few years at least.

 

Layout: Track will be taken apart and stored between run nights. We live in an apartment, and I will be setting the track up in a room in the clubhouse for informal run nights.

 

After years of running cheap factory power adapters and controllers, I want to take the plunge and purchase the components to make a system that will work and serve for years. That is why I call this project my “lifetime power system” (including controllers).

Maybe in the future, I will switch to digital operation, but for the foreseeable future it will analog.

 

I would like total investment for power supply and two controllers to be between $500 and $800. Above that investment, I would like two club controllers to share with guests.

 

What controller makes a great spare?

 

I solder well, but don’t want to build individual components.

Polarity: How do I decide between Positive or Negative components?

 

Solder correct connectors onto wiring, in place of banana plugs?

 

What other decisions are important?

 

So, what have you tried and regretted?

What have you tried in 1:32 electrics and loved?

 

Bonus question: I see in one of the 2009 publications that the Brits use a transistor and relay box with cooling fan on top and it also includes fuses. This box is apparently between the power supply and the controller. Is this needed? Should I plan for this?

 

Many thanks,

Steelhat Hal

Richmond, Va


Hal Davidson




#2 MSwiss

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:04 PM

I'm not real familiar with good controllers for 1/32, though my 3rd Eye Hitman FET seems to work great, when I run a Slot-It car, around my 117 ft. commercial road course.

 

They retail for $275, but unfortunately, are hard to get, at the moment, because the maker has recently moved.

 

For a power supply, here's what you want, if you don't need over 15V.(edit - I just checked the one I have, and it goes up to 17.1V.)

 

Fully adjustable.

 

http://www.mastechpo...protection.html


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#3 Mattb

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:21 PM

Hard wire the track for positive polarity, get a couple Professor Motor econo positive polarity controllers, and this power supply which has worked well for me the last few years.

 

 https://www.ebay.com...7gAAOSwehZZ594K


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Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:37 PM

With over ten years of residential and public club racing with 1/32 analog homeset cars and another ten years in the commercial raceway operations, I have some valid functioning input.

 

Power supplies that are complicated to set up and have many exposed electrical contacts can be hazards for kids, pets, and other accidental encounters.  Our club use the Pyramid brand of adjustable power supplies with a display gauge and tuning knob.  The need for voltage adjustability is vital for visiting beginners to racing as well as being able to reset a "standard" voltage for record race events.  Experience has shown that a minimum of five amps per lane to be powered is a purchase goal - such as four lanes/ 20 amp output minimum.  Commercial tracks require upwards of ten amps per lane for use with their more powerful motors.  A higher amp output capability does not mean that the unit will consume more wall electricity. Getting a larger unit only gives you future flexibility.  (About $75 - 150 for the power) CB radio base power.

 

Track wiring.  I have seen a lot of small tracks wired with phone or bell wiring that had problems.  Those problems are easily solved by upgrading the wire to stranded 14 - 16 gauge wire.  Terminal strips or soldering of connections helps cure a lot of issues.  Positive on the right braid/rail in the direction of travel is the most common worldwide system.  Avoid the impulse to make it bidirectional.  (Hardware or lumber yard electrical supplies)

 

Controllers.  Our club does not allow drivers to bring their own controllers.  We use 'house controllers' - same for everyone. No adjustable anything.  Get a couple of spares to cover maintenance issues.  The modern Professor Motor transistor controllers are quite dependable.  Their older diode controllers work just as well. ALL of his controllers can be customized to different motors and track voltages - example 18 volt HO and Carrera controllers give a different feel than the low voltage models.  Match your set.    (About $60/controller)

 

Timing Systems.  A lot has happened since the 1988 computerization of slot car tracks.  A good modern system does not need to be wired to the web.  The current Trackmate system takes care of small tracks quite well.  Dead strip or led sensors are not hard to add to plastic track.  Current models include track relays.   (About $300 for a system.) Add your old laptop.


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

USRA 2017 member #404
USSCA  member

Host 2006 ISRA/USA
Great Lakes Slot Car Club member
60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America


#5 BugleBoy10

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 11:16 AM

I did quite a bit of research before building my track, and a lot of people were very happy with the Pyramid PS26KX power supply. It's reasonably priced, and at 22a/6-15v can run most 4 lane tracks with no problem. You can't have too many amps available, so if you have any plans to expand later, this is probably the way to go. I had also considered getting a 2a/3-15v power supply from Trackmate for each individual lane. That would allow you to adjust the power for each lane in case you have newbies and experts on the track together, but I decided against it just because it makes matching the volts complicated when you want to race.


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Brian Blanchard

#6 Steelhat

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:33 AM

Thanks, all!

I am going through these posts and making lists.

 

If anyone has move experiences and ideas, please reply.

 

Many thanks. This is going to be a fun project.

 

Steelhat Hal


Hal Davidson

#7 mike1972chev

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:25 AM

I am following this also Steelhat. I have my home track I am setting up for my WOMPS that has no good power supply or controllers yet. 


Michael J. Boruff


#8 Mattb

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:37 AM

 https://www.ebay.com...7gAAOSwehZZ594K

 

Under $60 shipped to your home, over 30 amps.  I have been using one of these for 5 years or more.   Plenty of amps and adjustable from 9-13 vdc.   Maybe the wiring panel looks intimidating, but it is very simple to hook up.


Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#9 MSwiss

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:52 AM

The above is great value, if the voltage range will work for you. The beauty of the Mastech, is you can go low enough, that 3 year olds can race.

Also,you can always see the exact voltage you are on.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.






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