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Track power loss question


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#1 gatormark

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:48 AM

While at the track the other night I did my usual routine, started out running my three GTPs and marked the times,same with my Gr F cars and also with my Gr 12s. As the night wore on and we had 5 racers on the track I noticed the times falling off, say 3 to 4 tenths. Other racers have complained about this in the past and there were a few others scratching their heads the other night as their cars were slowing. This track has two truck batteries and a charger that keep them up. NOW, is there an amperage issue here? The voltage on the charger says its keeping the batteries at 13.8 which is where we like to run. We need some good info here please,


Mark Conner




#2 smichslot

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:13 AM

It might be the batteries/power-supplies, but it might also be the resistance in the track-wiring, especially if there is wiring that is common to all lanes.

Try to make some measurements by loading each lane with a significant current, i.e. 10A. Make the measurements with and without load with a cheap volt-meter just to get an indication. It's not rocket science.

 

 

 

Steen

 

 

figW.jpg


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#3 slotcarone

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:16 AM

If this does not usually happen check the water in the batteries and make sure they are full.


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#4 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:36 PM

How stout is the track wiring?  Some built tracks have one or two taps of 12 ga stranded wire and others could have five or more of even bigger wire.  I like the power taps at those points of the track where you normally have the trigger pulled full.  My King ended up with 7 taps and I doubled up on the wiring to double 12ga for each tap.  This level is most important with cobalt motors or anything over grp 12.  Most track braid is equal to 12 ga stranded wire.


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#5 David Rees

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

How old are the batteries ?



#6 MSwiss

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 03:54 PM

It might be the batteries/power-supplies, but it might also be the resistance in the track-wiring, especially if there is wiring that is common to all lanes.
Try to make some measurements by loading each lane with a significant current, i.e. 10A. Make the measurements with and without load with a cheap volt-meter just to get an indication. It's not rocket science.
 
 
 
Steen
 
 
attachicon.giffigW.jpg

Steen,
My track is wired the wrong way, according to your drawing, but yet no one ever complains about my power.

My track set World records for single lap, and more pertinent in this case, World records for lap totals, from day 1.

A pic of my set-up.
 
That red "wire" is a 5 ft. piece of 00, that runs from the 220+ amp Astec power supply set-up.
 
A short run of double 4 AWG runs to where the single 4 AWG, branches off, and goes to the mercury relays.
 
There is also a short run of 4 AWG, that connects the 4 right lanes, to the left 4 lanes.
 
And the old qualifying lane , Orange, has double 4 AWG feeding to the relay.
 
20171222_144428-1.jpg


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#7 smichslot

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 06:58 AM

Mike,

 

For sure you can do it the "wrong way" if all the common wiring is as heavy as the wiring you are using. The problem comes when the common wiring is "thin" and several time longer than what you are using.

And when qualifying there is never a problem, as there is only one car on the track. Many issues pop up when there are several cars on the track. Probably not on your track (and in all honesty, very rarely on the well-powered wing-car-tracks) but very often and less endowed tracks, and often many flat tracks.

 

Steen


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#8 slotcarone

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 08:48 AM

Like I asked earlier Mark, have you checked the water in the batteries? One low cell below the plates will bring the whole battery down power wise. Sounds like this could be the problem. :)


Mike Katz

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#9 Steve Ogilvie

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:30 PM

If the power falls off the longer you run on a track it is because the batteries could be reaching the end of their lifespan but more than likely it is because of using a battery charger instead of a 75A or more  power supply .With a power supply the batteries only supply power when surging occurs like when multiple cars hit a glue zone at once. The rest of the time the power supply is feeding all the cars and keeping the batteries charged up. Once the batteries drop down below 13.6 volts or so a charger can't keep up and you will end up at about 12 volts or so as the charger finds its comfort zone. Notice what Mike Swiss powers his track with.


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#10 Bazzie

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:24 PM

Correct Steve, and more specifically, battery chargers will usually supply much less current than 6 or 8 g12 cars can draw, so the batteries will start discharging, and the voltage will drop. Depending on number of lanes and class of motors/cars you would need a PSU of 75-150A


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#11 MSwiss

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:41 PM

With moving from an industrial spot, to a regular retail one, in early 2010, I haven't had batteries for 8 years, and I don't miss them a bit.

The only thing worse than batteries, is batteries under an infield.

You haven't lived until you are wedged under an infield, with a 7/16" wrench across a positive and negative terminal of a couple of 1400 CCA, 8D, truck batteries.
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Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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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) 
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Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#12 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

I put my batteries in vented, wheeled boxes so that I could roll them out to me to check every week....before going to all AC/DC power supplies.


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

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#13 Samiam

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 11:47 AM

  There is a good reason having lead acid batteries in a place of business is not code. If anybody has ever witnessed a battery explosion they would switch to all power supply in a heart beat.


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