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Surviving the crashes


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#1 rvec

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:47 PM

For the last few weeks I have been thinking about ways to minimize potential plastic body damage resulting from crashes on the lead-on and main straightaway at Electron Raceway. This area of the track has been the scene of a few serious wrecks. The worst case scenario has been the launching of one or more vehicles over the crash wall and onto the floor. The resulting wrecks have been unkind to the plastic model bodies we utilize. Below is an image of the latest victim.
 

GT40_Wreck.jpg




I decided that the best and easiest solution was to add several inches to the height of the crash wall by using one eighth inch hardboard and attaching it to the outside of the existing low crash wall. The one eighth inch hardboard would be easy to bend and cut into the desired shape. My intent was to order a 4X8 sheet from a local big box home improvement store on-line for store pick-up. I turned on my computer and was greeted by the following screen.
 

Msg1.jpg




This was troubling to say the least. I clicked on the F2 button and was taken to a screen with several diagnostic options. I first checked the memory and the diagnostic gave it a passing grade. So far, so good. Maybe there is still hope, I thought. Then I ran a diagnostic on the hard drive. My heart sank as I looked at following screen.
 

Msg2.jpg




Oh my gosh, this computer contained all of my personal files and most importantly, a slot-racing database that contained more than 500 races over the span of several years. This data included race results by driver, class, and vehicle for laps, fast laps, and more. The database was the source of statistics of all kinds including lap and fast lap records, driver performance and much more. Now I was really worried. Fortunately, I had a back-up on an external hard-drive; however, I had never tried to restore back-up information to a computer and was concerned that the restore might not actually work.

I called Technical Support for my computer and they soon concluded that my hard-drive was in fact blown and that I needed to send my computer in for service. No charge because the machine was still under warranty, but I would have to wait for about three weeks to get it back. Then I would have to reload the operating system, applications and back-up data from the external hard-drive. What a pain, and time consuming to boot.

Best case scenario is that I am able to reload all of the applications and data from the external hard drive. The only minor irritation is that race reports will be a bit sketchy without use of the database. Worst case will be the loss of lots of personal files and slot-racing data (I do have an old copy of the database so all will not be lost). Only time will tell. Stay tuned for updates!

Rich Vecchio





#2 stevphens

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:24 PM

I raised my walls with plastic fascia from Lowe's. See photo:

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Rick Stevens

#3 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:32 PM

Working in IT I've had my share of failed hard drives to deal with. I've had decent luck using various hard drive recovery services. Costs have dropped significantly over the years. Expect to pay under $400

Those who work for a living are being quickly overwhelmed by those who vote for a living.

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."
-David Parrotta


#4 Pappy

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:01 PM

I would use 1/8" baltic birch plywood for my sidewalls. It's hard, durable and if you cut it the right direction it bends easily.  Comes in 5' x 5' sheets


Jim "Butch" Dunaway
 
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When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It is difficult only for the others.
It's the same when you are stupid.

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#5 MSwiss

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:20 PM

If you can afford it, use 3/32" polycarbonate.

 

It's easy to bend, but stiff enough, it doesn't fold over nearly as easy, as the thinner vinyl fascia, I have also used.

 

It's worked great on my King, for both vacuformed, and hardbodies.

 

Cars get ridered into it regularly, without any damage.

 

Ideally, mount it with some give.


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.


#6 elvis44102

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:05 PM

if you still have the PC you can simply hook the drive up as a slave drive and get all the data off  


John Wisneski

#7 Mbloes

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:50 PM

I like how the thread is a combination of IT advice and crash wall advice.


Mike Bloes

#8 rvec

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for all of your comments and advice. Now for an update

As I mentioned in the original post, I regularly back-up my hard drive to a Seagate External drive. I noticed that the last back-up to drive was done on 1/18/18. I also mentioned that I had not used the restore feature of the Seagate external drive and was concerned that it would not work. While my "broken" computer is being fixed, I am using another machine and tried to restore important files. The restore worked quite well. I restored my slot car database, some financial data and a few other files that I use frequently from the external drive to my old machine. Everything worked well and I am sure that I can restore all of my files to the new machine after it is fixed. So, one crash survived.

On the crash wall front, I purchase a 4X8 sheet of 1/8 hardboard from Lowes for about $13. I is prefinished white on one side so I will not have to paint. It bends easily and I hope to have it installed in the next week or so before our next race.

I'll update this thread as time progresses but so far no disasters!!!!
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Rich Vecchio


#9 rvec

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:06 PM

Update and plug

One more thing I would like to mention about the computer. We always buy our electronics at Costco. They add two years to the factory warranty of electronics purchased. The computer that crashed was nearly two years old. It took about an hour and a half to get the issue resolved. Before they take the device in for service, you must go through their concierge service. They try to diagnose the problem. When they determined the disk was blown they took it in to be fixed. The concierge service can be used for the life of the electronic device. They will try to diagnose and fix the problem if they can. If it is determined that it is hardware issue and it is out of the Costco warranty you are out of luck, but sometimes the problems are software related and can be addressed at no charge.

The Concierge service is by no means perfect. Staff varies in ability and the time it takes to diagnose the problem is, in my opinion too long. But, I ask myself what is better? Throw away the device or spend 1-3 hours on the phone with the rep in order to get it fixed.

Rich Vecchio


#10 rvec

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:29 PM

Update on Crash Walls

I finished the new crash walls. Here are few images
 

T1.jpg

T2.jpg


Rich Vecchio


#11 MSwiss

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:35 PM

How thick are the existing walls below it?

 

Made out of what material?


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.


#12 rvec

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:39 PM

How thick are the existing walls below it?
 
Made out of what material?


1/4 or 3/8 inch hardboard

Rich Vecchio


#13 MSwiss

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:47 PM

If you are serious about preventing body damage, route off the part of the wall that extends above the track surface, and install the 3/32" Lexan®.


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.


#14 rvec

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:49 PM

If you are serious about preventing body damage, route off the part of the wall that extends above the track surface, and install the 3/32" Lexan®.


Lexan could be the best answer. I will try out my quick fix first. Thanks
Rich

Rich Vecchio


#15 MSwiss

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:57 PM

You won't believe the difference.

 

My hardbody guys survive King track speeds, ridered into the wall, with just bumpers getting knocked off.

 

They go to other tracks, with conventional walls, and come back with cars that look like your Ford GT, or worse.

 

Slot car racing's great mystery, why the tracks are designed more for ease of moving, vs. preventing damage, once set up.


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.


#16 spudboy

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 03:09 PM

Whoa, pardon me Mike?  Slot car tracks are designed for "ease of moving"?  It seems to me they are a *b!+ch* to move around and not the least bit "portable".  I must be misunderstanding your post.


Nate "spudboy" Bemis

#17 n9949y

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 04:34 PM

We at Pelican Park have been racing 1/24th hard bodied cars every week since 1987. Outside track walls are common plywood. At the outside of a couple of turns keeping the model scenery accurate we've placed a line of model tires that as in the 1:1 world save bodies. Our cars are sometime shunted into walls and other scenery without too much damage, though sometimes bodies are cracked and split. A common body damage arises when one car de-slots or is shunted into an adjacent lane where it's rear ended by another. Broken bodies are a part of racing. We race open wheel cars in our Monza class; sometimes these cars in crashes or touch another car's open wheel are knocked over the track walls landing on the floor. Long ago we covered the entire concrete floor of our shop with a rug which mitigates damages done to"flying" cars.

 

We use Devcon Plastic Welder to bind cracks and replace parts completely broken off bodies. Devcon Plastic Welder is NOT a resin based substance.  Rather it is an  Acrylate  adhesive with its chemical components made up of Methacrylic acid and Methyl Methacrylate.   Devcon Plastic Welder is a strong structural adhesive formulated for bonding similar and dissimilar materials as well as unprepared metals. Whew, does the stuff smell! The adhesive chemically binds with plastics; one  can feel some heat on the plastic being repaired as the welder reacts to the plastic. I've used the adhesive to reform shattered body parts and for sculpturing missing body parts. Because it chemically bonds with plastic some of my cars have withstood racing accidents for 10 years.

 

"Systematic destruction of our works of art." Repair as we can- as Rich has vividly shown at the beginning of this thread.

 

By the way, Rich, thanks for sharing your challenges with your hard drive. Compelled me to go straight away to Costco to buy a WD external hard drive. Immediately backed up my 4 yr old HP desk-top internal drive.


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#18 Mattb

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 05:53 PM

The extended warranty also applies to most credit cards.   Good to use your card for most purchases to get the extra protection.  

 

We give bonus points if you crash  with somebody and they end up on the floor.   We just laugh about!


Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#19 rvec

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 05:59 PM

Todd,
Smart move to back up to an external device. Frankly, my wife was the prime mover for the Seagate external drive and boy am I grateful.

I have also been using Devcon plastic welder to repair wounded plastic models. It is a good product. below is an image of the "fixed" GT-40. Should be good for another 10 years. Also shown below is a new GT40.
 

GT40_Rep.jpg

GT40_new.jpg


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Rich Vecchio


#20 rvec

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 06:04 PM

Matt,
Even though we put a lot of work into our hard body cars, it is inevitable that they will sustain crash damage. It is just a matter of when. We just use plastic welder and/or assemble a new body. That's racing. I am not sure if we "laugh" but we don't cry either. As Tom Hanks said, "There is no crying in slot car racing" or something to that effect

Rich Vecchio


#21 MSwiss

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 02:13 PM

Whoa, pardon me Mike?  Slot car tracks are designed for "ease of moving"?  It seems to me they are a *b!+ch* to move around and not the least bit "portable".  I must be misunderstanding your post.

When I first built my King, and was having success with my soft walls, someone asked Gary Gerding if he was going to go with them.

 

His answer was he build's the tracks in his facility, and he needed the hard walls, to help hold everything together solid, so they were easier to transport.


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.


#22 spudboy

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 10:01 PM

Gotcha Mike, thanks.


Nate "spudboy" Bemis





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