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Origami track concept


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 12:11 AM

aka "Folding" Track Concept.

 

Since the current COVID19 situation prevents me from testing my cars because the track I usually frequent, does not currently allow track rental, I am now frustrated enough to seriously consider building my own 1/24 - 4 lane track.

 

For the past couple of weeks, I've gone over 'n over 'n over,  viewing the great home track projects shared here, and home track builds from all over the internet, attempting to find an idea to help me get started.

 

I have very limited garage/workshop space and the track project would require that it be portable and able to be put away without obstructing car storage space.

 

I searched Slotblog and came across this thread from way back,  that our illustrious Cruizin' Bob started in regards to "Refurbishing a Quickstart Track":

 

Thanks Bob!

 

http://slotblog.net/...ickstart-track/

 

 

I had never heard of this track before, but it sure got me excited, that as a 2 lane folded track, its dimensions are 2'x4' with a thickness of only 3 inches!

 

Being unfolded allows a footprint of a 2' x 4' x 12" track usage!

 

 

Here are pictures I believe to be from the original advertisement of the the track:

 

Quick Start Folding Track 2'x4'x12'_1.gif

 

Quick Start Folding Track 2'x4'x12'_2.gif

 

Quick Start Folding Track 2'x4'x12'_3.gif

 

 

This is a photo of the track after  C' Bob refurbished the track:

Quick Start Folding Track_Cruzin Bob.jpg

 

 

 

My idea of an "Origami" or folding track was influenced by the Quickstart 2 lane  track, but I prefer a 4 lane track, and if that is not feasible, at least a 3 lane.

 

I decided on 3 feet wide  x 4 feet long x 1/2" thick board as the folding sections - cogitating how may sections to use as well as the configuration.

 

The track would be placed on folding tables instead of the floor.

 

Track design layout would be determined after creating the folding track layout in full scale.

 

 

I mocked up a miniature model in 3" x 4"  board pieces, representing the actual 3 feet wide x 4 feet long sections.

 

I designed a way to put 5 sections in combination, to fold out and fold up, offering approximately 12 feet of straightaway, and the turns would be laid out on 3 feet x 6 feet sections, hoping that is enough surface area for a 4 lane hairpin turning radius?!

 

This is how the track would unfold - in sequence:

 

Folded up - ready to unfoldl:

Test Layout_1.jpg

 

Test Layout_2.jpg

 

Test Layout_3.jpg

 

 

Pulling Board #1 towards me:

Test Layout_4.jpg

 

 

Swinging boards #3 thru #5 to the left side of board #2:

Test Layout_5.jpg

 

 

Pushing boards #2 thru #5  away from me and down:

Test Layout_6.jpg

 

 

Flipping board #5 towards me and down:

Test Layout_7.jpg

 

 

Flipping boards #4 and #5, to the left and down:

Test Layout_8.jpg

 

 

 . . . and this is how the track board layout will look unfolded!

 

Folded up and put away, it should have a thickness of approximately 3 inches  (I'm accounting for hinges )! !

 

 

Now that I have this figured out, I need to design controller station placement and wiring without it disturbing too much space underneath the track to keep everything aligned and smooth.

 

I'm considering attaching the stations and terminal block on the side (board edges) and possibly making it detachable?!

 

Any thoughts/ideas suggestions on how to do that would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you for looking!

 

Ernie


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#2 Alchemist

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 12:21 AM

I wanted to express a big "Thank you" to my Slot Car Brother "MattD" for assisting me with track wiring schematics!

 

Thanks again MattD!

 

Your assistance is appreciated and valued! !

 

Ernie


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#3 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 11:25 AM

Have you considered 3d printed driver stations that slip over the edge of your track. A groove or pocket in the back could easily be done. With some planning they could be designed for a plug and play type set up where the station slides over the wiring connector or down on them.

The more I think about this, a pocket could be designed in the bottom of the station where it sits down in/on a second piece that is flush mounted into your track surface protecting the connections of both pieces during storage. You could even put a cap on the track side for more protection. PM me if this interests you.

 

Or use a simple electrical plug for a house. They have three prongs for red, white and black, only go in one way and both sides are readily available. The female side is a bit thicker than you track surface but that might be workable with your folding plans. The cover plate can be painted to match your lane color. If your driver stations are close enough, you could use one side of each plug for a lane. Then either put the male side on your controllers or use a box as I mentioned before.

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  • Tremendous Kieran (1).png

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#4 Alchemist

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 11:57 AM

Hi Brian,

 

I appreciate your suggestions and I like the ideas which I will take under consideration.

 

Thank you for taking the time to share them with me.

 

Ernie


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#5 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 03:09 PM

This really has my brain going. I won't get any work done today. LOL The quick "S" at the right side of the red station are only a 30 degree corners. It creates some space along the front straight for the removable driver boxes. The layout still uses 2x4 pieces on a 5 piece system.

Taking it one step further using locator pins and latches, this could become expandable between the blue/green or the red/purple sections.

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#6 Jay Guard

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 03:31 PM

This looks like a really great concept.  Seems like you could easily make the individual pieces 3' x 6' and maybe make the turns have a bit bigger radius, maybe even go to three lanes.  If you got two or three of those new folding plastic tables this would make a super easy to set-up track that could be put up in  a single car garage for a night of racing and then broken down.  Then load the folded up track onto a little wheeled dolly of some sort and move it all against the wall, seems like this would work great for a lot of guys.  It would then allow for a car to be put back in the garage.  Since this is an all flat track a CNC router could knock these out at a very reasonable price.  Only real question I have about what I'm seeing is how the sections are electrically connected to each other?  Do the braids just touch each other where the edges come together, seems like that might be a little iffy.


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#7 Thom

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 05:37 PM

My friend and local track builder Jim Silknitter had one that looked similar to the original and it worked great. I would borrow it for a week and take it to Royal Family Kids Camp for the kids to run on. Kids had soooooooo much fun I had to stop bringing it because they didnt want to stop racing and go to bed at night!

Jay, if I remember correctly the braids just touched when opened. I simply hooked up my small power supply and adjusted it so they didnt crash much.
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#8 Alchemist

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 08:30 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I sure appreciate everyone's input!

 

Brian, 

 

Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to provide the excellent rendering - Wow!  it's awesome.

 

Hi Jay,

 

I inquired with Cruizin' Bob about the connection between the sections.

 

He mentioned the braid dropped down into the opening, so it would make contact when opened out for use, just as Thom mentioned.

 

I agree with you Jay, that with this concept, you could easily make the boards whatever size you want making whatever footprint you desire!

 

That is what came to mind when I came across Quickstart's layout.

 

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts.

 

Brian - thank you again for your expertise and your time.

 

It is definitely valued!

 

Ernie


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#9 John Clinch

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 02:45 AM

Have you considered 3d printed driver stations that slip over the edge of your track. A groove or pocket in the back could easily be done. With some planning they could be designed for a plug and play type set up where the station slides over the wiring connector or down on them.

The more I think about this, a pocket could be designed in the bottom of the station where it sits down in/on a second piece that is flush mounted into your track surface protecting the connections of both pieces during storage. You could even put a cap on the track side for more protection. PM me if this interests you.

 

Or use a simple electrical plug for a house. They have three prongs for red, white and black, only go in one way and both sides are readily available. The female side is a bit thicker than you track surface but that might be workable with your folding plans. The cover plate can be painted to match your lane color. If your driver stations are close enough, you could use one side of each plug for a lane. Then either put the male side on your controllers or use a box as I mentioned before.

 

Here is another possible suggestion that might work, well it does work on my track wonderfully and easy to relocate:

https://www.mrslotca...-track-1?page=3
This shows the full modular system as developed by Peter at mrtrax.com which works fabulously and is so easy to assemble and disassemble and store by one person

 

Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
images and items are copyrighted to Peter Van Horrsen at mrtrax.com


#10 Alchemist

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:08 AM

Greetings John!

 

That looks to be a convenient setup - I like it!

 

Thanks for sharing and posting.

 

Ernie


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#11 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 02:41 PM

 

 

Here is another possible suggestion that might work, well it does work on my track wonderfully and easy to relocate:

https://www.mrslotca...-track-1?page=3
This shows the full modular system as developed by Peter at mrtrax.com which works fabulously and is so easy to assemble and disassemble and store by one person

 

Mr-Trax-4-L-CP-Controller-Panel-Lanes-1-
 
 

 

Those would be easy enough to print or build. They could be printed as single for distancing and in lane colors too. Lots of options......


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#12 MattD

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 05:10 PM

This is wearing me out.   Cut 3- 4 X 4 pieces of 1/2 mdf.  Get any kind of latch/lock at Home Depot and use them to lock together at each joint on each  side.   Put them together and rout your track or have it cnc routed.   If this is just an experimental/play track, rout the slot and use copper tape for the conductor.  Wrap the tape down at each joint wind it up to make a pad that will hit the same pad on the adjacent panel.  When you clamp panels together, you will get a circuit where the pads touch, but there will no solid connection between panels.   Wiring and controllers are no big issue.   Just solder or screw your track leads to the tape and run them out bottom, then make whatever connections you need and run a car.  You will just have 3 standalone panels that can go on the floor or on a folding table.  Other guys may have some advice on doing this that is easier than my directions.

 

Sometimes the hardest part is starting.  If you screw up it's just wood,   Either patch or cut another piece.    This is actually a pretty easy project.  .


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#13 eshorer

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

Interesting stuff. If I were to replace my Mini King (18'x8' 4 lane built by Bob Scott) I would want to have a modular flat track, with either 3x3 or 4x4 sections that could be moved around to create a variety of race circuits. It would seem that this could be incorporated into a design that could be easily taken apart and stacked somewhere, if space was an issue. I also like the ideal of putting it on a "wall table" that comes out using garage door springs. Think "garage door meets Murphy bed." 

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#14 MSwiss

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 07:14 PM

This is wearing me out.   Cut 3- 4 X 4 pieces of 1/2 mdf.  Get any kind of latch/lock at Home Depot and use them to lock together at each joint on each  side.   Put them together and rout your track or have it cnc routed.   If this is just an experimental/play track, rout the slot and use copper tape for the conductor.  Wrap the tape down at each joint wind it up to make a pad that will hit the same pad on the adjacent panel.  When you clamp panels together, you will get a circuit where the pads touch, but there will no solid connection between panels.   Wiring and controllers are no big issue.   Just solder or screw your track leads to the tape and run them out bottom, then make whatever connections you need and run a car.  You will just have 3 standalone panels that can go on the floor or on a folding table.  Other guys may have some advice on doing this that is easier than my directions.

 

Sometimes the hardest part is starting.  If you screw up it's just wood,   Either patch or cut another piece.    This is actually a pretty easy project.  .

Reading Ernie's posts in the past, I think I can tell his take on this.

 

He wants to do something cool/trick/different.

 

I don't think "easy" is on his radar.


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#15 Alchemist

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:34 AM

"BINGO"! ! ! !    hahahaa

 

Thanks Mike!

 

 

Ernie


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