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I need a long background for my track and have some scenic downloads from various places but where is a cheap place to get them printed. I am thinking of five at 3 feet long and about 2 feet high. Only place I found online is asking £12 each...so £60, is that the usual rate?

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I really like the Scalextric Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Ford Thunderbird. They are big and tough and perfect for digital racing. However, the Monte Carlo has a problem with lap counting in ARC Pro digital mode. This is something Dr_C has looked at both theoretically and in practice.

The Monte Carlo counts laps perfectly in the analogue mode of ARC Pro - and also with ARC Air, ARC One and other Scalextric analogue lap counters. It is only the digital mode of ARC Pro which is a problem - and I do find that it counts laps reliably on Red, Green and Blue but does miss some laps on Yellow, Orange and White. Basically, the higher the ID number (colours to the right on the powerbase), the greater the risk of missing laps.

The two-step lap counting mechanism involves a black coloured guide breaking a horizontal IR sensor in the track (used in analogue mode and with ARC Air and One). In digital mode, the powerbase then needs to know what car ID has crossed the line. A second vertical sensor immediately searches for the car ID via the digital chip's LED. This second sensor is a set distance behind the first and there is a very short window of searching for the ID. In practice, Dr_C has found that the optimum performance for the second sensor is when the rear edge of the guide to LED distance is in a range between 6mm and 14mm (10mm plus or minus 4mm) - and the absolute maximum is 24mm.

I measured the gaps on both the Thunderbird and the Monte Carlo...

   

The T-Bird is right on the money at 10.6mm. The Monte Carlo is 23.86mm, right on the limit - which explains the issues with lap counting.

   

The easiest fix I've come up with is to wrap some black PVC electrical tape around the guide so it trails back to 10.6mm in front of the LED - marked with the gold dot on the picture below.

   

The tape does add extra width to the guide and - if you will be modifying the car permanently to run exclusively on ARC Pro digital - you could sand down the guide a little on both sides to compensate. I haven't found problems on any of my Scalextric Sport track pieces (including Radius 1s), but the tape does clearly rub. If you have any track pieces that have been bent and the slot closed up at all, the wider guide is likely to get stuck and the slot must opened out again or you risk damaging the digital chip if you gun the motor to get past the blockage.

The first thing to do is to remove the braid plate. Then cut a long length of tape and attach it - one side at a time - to the guide blade, the bottom of the tape just above the slot for the braid plate and then stick the trailing ends together. It is important the tape is wrapped tightly around the front of the blade...

   

Then trim the tape level with the bottom of the guide blade (or top when the car is up-side-down!) and cut at the back in line with the gold dot marking 10.6mm from the LED...

   

Then re-fit the braid plate, which will require looping it over the tape extension at the rear of the guide...

   

We are then ready to race and count laps...

   

There is another issue with the LED being so far back which the guide extension will not solve. This impacts on both lap counting and lane changing. The LED must be directly over the slot to trigger the lane changer and lap counting sensors - any sideways movement of the rear wheels (out of a corner, fishtailing on a straight etc) will move the LED off the centre line - and the further back the LED is positioned from the guide pivot, the further off the centre line the LED will be. Slot.it suggest a maximum distance of 35mm from the guide pivot to the LED and the Monte Carlo is 33.4mm, the T-Bird only 20.14mm.

What this means is there must be at least one half straight between the exit of a corner and either a lane changer, pit entry or the ARC Pro powerbase - otherwise LED and sensor will not line up. This is good practice for any digital track design and running any digital cars. A full straight is even better - especially if running cars without traction magnets. The Monte Carlo will be more susceptible to missing sensors than the T-Bird, so that is important for the drivers to remember.

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I received a Pendle FB press release yesterday illustrating a bundle of new cars from Slot.it and Policar.

No idea how to link it to here, but the cars and liveries looked nice...

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This rather tasty picture of the first two liveries for the McLaren Elva appeared recently on the Thunderslot website. That certainly got me drooling in anticipation of the cars' imminent release.

On the left is the black and silver painted McLaren M1A-Oldsmobile that made its debut in September 1964 at the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport. Bruce McLaren drove the car in the same colour scheme (but with the #2 on the front and sides) at Riverside in the L.A. Times Grand Prix. He reverted to the #47 at Laguna Seca for the Monterey Grand Prix in October.

It was after Monterey that the car was repainted red and silver for the December 1964 Nassau Speed Week. I have only ever seen pictures and movie footage of the red M1A sporting the #5 at Nassau. In Eoin Young's biography of Bruce McLaren, it is mentioned the colour was chosen simply because they had a surplus supply of red paint at the workshop...

The start of 1965 saw the announcement that Elva Cars Ltd would build customer versions on the M1A at the Trojan factory in Rye, East Sussex. Twenty four Elva-McLaren Mk1s would be built, allowing McLaren to concentrate on racing and building prototypes - an arrangement that worked rather well. The factory paint scheme stayed red for 1965 and 1966, but from the start of 1965 the red was highlighted with white, rather than silver. Because of that, I am scratching my head a little about the the red #2 car in the picture. It certainly looks like the 1964 Riverside car, but is the wrong colour. And none of those 1964 cars raced with uncovered headlights - although that would become a common look for Elva Mk1s racing in Europe. I don't remember seeing a red #2 customer car that looked so much like the 1964 Riverside car, even down to the STP decals. And that does look like Bruce driving, doesn't it?

I know Giovanni has a love of the 1960s sports prototypes, so I'll be interested to hear more about the story of the red #2 car. It does look fabulous, even if it is not historically accurate. I'm also looking forward to seeing what customer Elva-McLaren Mk1 liveries follow. I have been tempted to buy the kit and build John Coombs' white Elva-McLaren Mk1 that Graham Hill raced at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in 1965... but I suspect that might be on the future release list at Thunderslot HQ in Erbusco.

The body is certainly wider than scale, but no more than the very nice George Turner model. To me, the Thunderslots are a near-perfect marriage of eye candy and racing pedigree.

   

The Thunderslot McLaren Elva has a familiar layout under the beautiful body. There's the Thunderslot MACH21 motor, giving 21,500 rpm at 12volts and 175 g/cm of torque. The motor is mounted in a slightly angled sidewinder orientation in a triangular pod. Both the pinion and spur gear are nylon, giving a very smooth mesh. The standard ratio is 11:32, with alternatives available as tuning parts. Rear wheels are aluminium air hubs, fronts are lightweight plastic. Plus there is the unique swooping Thunderslot guide.

The two cars will retail in the UK at £87.95 each - MRE and Pendles have them on pre-order for around £79. Having missed their scheduled December 2019 release date, they are expected very soon.

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Old hands probably know this already but here is a tip for the less experienced.

Most manufacturers use self tapping screws to fix the body to the chassis, repeated undoing and replacing them can eventually destroy the thread in the plastic because they try to cut a new one each time. Use the following method to avoid damage when reassembling your cars:
Insert screw and turn slowly anticlockwise until you hear and/or feel a click. It is now lined up with the start point of the original thread and can be tightened safely.

It is also a good idea to replace the stock screws with ones like these LINK or longer ones like these LINK. They have a thread-less shoulder at the top which helps achieve good body rock.

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New cars for 2020 from Slot.it and Policar have just been unveiled

Let's have a look at the brochures, starting with Slot.it...

   

CA48a - Maserati GT4 No.99 - NEW MODEL
CA43a - Maserati MC GT3 No.74 - NEW MODEL
CA43b - Maserati MC GT3 No.38 - NEW MODEL
CA47b - Nissan Skyline GT-R No.12 - NEW MODEL
CA47a - Nissan Skyline GT-R No.23 - NEW MODEL
CA47c - Nissan Skyline GT-R No.25 - NEW MODEL

   

CW23 - Calibra V6 DTM/ITC (1995-1996) No.7 - New Livery
CA40b - Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI DTM/ITC No.27 - New Livery
CA44b - Mercedes 190E DTM No.12 - New Livery
CA44c - Mercedes 190E DTM No.6 - New Livery
CA45b - Alfa Romeo155 V6 TI DTM/ITC No.18 - New Livery

   

CA46a - Chaparral 2F No.15 24h Daytona 1967 - NEW MODEL
CW24 - Porsche 956C LH No.3 24h Le Mans Winner 1983 - New Livery
CA03m - Porsche 962C LH - No.18 Le Mans 1988 - New Livery
CA28h - Nissan R89C No.24 Le Mans 1989 - New Livery
CA42a - Jaguar XJR10 No.60 IMSA - NEW MODEL
CA41c - Toyota 86C No.38 Le Mans 1989e - New Livery

   

CA39d - Lola B12/87 No..27 Lime Rock 2012 - New Livery
CA06i - Sauber C6 No.61 Norisring 1987 - New Livery
CA28g - R91VP No.25 Fuji 500Km 1991 - New Livery
CA34c - Porsche 962 CK6 No.10 Le Mans 1989 - New Livery
CA09i - Porsche 956 KH - No.14 Kyalami 1000Km 1983 - New Livery
CA23f - Porsche 911 GT1 EVO98 - No.5 FIA GT Silverstone 1998 - New Livery

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Not so successful experiment for sale:  
Scalextric Bentley GT3, lights and magnet removed, Scaleauto 30K S can motor, Slotingplus alloy rear wheels, glued and trued tyres, NSR gears, chassis weighted and Slot.it deep guide. Generally good bodily condition but one mirror missing. No box.
       

Insanely fast but virtually uncontrollable on a small track, guide will lift out of slot under hard acceleration despite weighted nose. Anybody want to try and tame it?

£25 + postage at cost

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Looking forward to this one on Saturday. LINK

Bells and hankies and sticks - English  lunacy at its finest, haven't missed one in 20 years!



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Policar CAR04d - March 701 #26 Jean-Pierre Jarier, Monza 1971

       

The latest Policar March 701 will be with UK retailers in the next few days. It is the fourth livery that Policar have produced on the 701 and the second using the revised chassis (ref: Policar PCS04t-a) that moves the guide position forward a few millimetres for improved handling.

       

The 701 was the first F1 car produced by March, designed by Robin Herd and Peter Wright for the 1970 season. The works March team campaigned three STP-sponsored cars for Chris Amon, Jo Siffert and Mario Andretti, Tyrrell developing two 701s for Jackie Stewart, Johnny Servoz-Gavin and François Cevert. Despite Stewart describing the 701 as "the most difficult F1 car I drove", both Amon and Stewart saw some  good results in the early part of the season, each picking up a win at the non-championship F1 races at Brands Hatch and Silverstone - and Stewart winning the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama. In all, the 701s scored one Grand Prix win, four second places and three third places during the 1970 Grand Prix season. However, Stewart switched to the new Tyrrell 001 for the final three races.

       

At the end of 1970, the works cars were sold off and private teams campaigned 701s in the South African, Tasman and British F1 series. Only three races in the 1971 Formula One World Championship saw 701s entered, the last of which was Jean-Pierre Jarier's Grand Prix debut at Monza. Having impressed for the Shell Arnold team in Formula Two, he was given a chance in Hubert Hahne's 701 that had failed to qualify at the previous year's Germany Grand Prix. Jarier qualified in twenty-fourth and last place, three-tenths behind Rolf Stommelen's Surtees. Jarier finished the race, albeit eight laps behind winner Peter Gethin and was not classified. That was the final Grand Prix appearance for the 701, but the first of 135 Grand Prix starts for Jarier.

       

The Policar model of the March 701 does look fabulous from all angles. The unique Policar motor and gearbox assembly achieves smooth power delivery and exceptional performance from the 23,000 rpm slim can 'DFV' motor. A brass 9-tooth pinion drives through a double-sided 25/16-tooth plastic gear and a final metal 17-tooth gear on the axle. Axles with 16 and 18-tooth gears are also available as spare parts. Although the cars are fitted with plastic rear hubs, Policar aluminium F1 rear wheels can be used, with correct wheel inserts for the March also available.

Reports suggest that the revised chassis has improved the handling of the 701 significantly and it is now competitive with the Policar Lotus 72. These two will, of course, be joined by the long-awaited Ferrari 312B2 a little later in the year. RRP for the Jarier March 701 is £59.95 - although both MRE and Pendle Slot Racing have the car on pre-order for just under £54.

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We are here in 2020 at Presto Park with a change to the direction of racing from Anti clockwise to clockwise.

We also welcome new member Ken Mason who joined us for this first race night of the year.

Happy birthday to Alf and thanks for the cake.

Following our practice night last week, there were some slight changes and improvements to the track to make it better for racing clockwise and many changes to the scenery.

Many thanks to Mike for his dedication to the club in keeping such a great track and the social side of this great club.

To last nights racing.

It was a challenge for everyone getting used to running the opposite way around, but most members have really enjoyed the challenge. With lap times showing that all members being able to improve with the extra fast guys being bought down to the average drivers level as the results will show.

The heats where very interesting and results being very varied.

Lyle stamped his dominance on this class as he has done for the past couple of years after a slow start, The only mechanical problem for the night was Keith who had a power supply cable pull out of the guide which bought his car to a stand still, This was rectified in time for the finals.

Very few incidents happened during the heats with some exciting close racing throughout the heats.

To the Finals

Final E

Only 3 drivers in this one, Iain M, Gordon and Tone.
The lights went out for 25 laps and it was a good clean race with minimal incidents and places swapped throughout till Gordon managed to take the lead.
The result for this final was:-
1. Gordon
2. Tone
3. Iain M

Final D
A full grid for this one includes :- Keith, Gordon, Alf and Ray
The start lights went out and the cars raced away with Alf and Ray going ahead for Gordon and Keith and after half distance an incident in the swerves allowed keith through into the lead.
The rest of the race was a quiet affair giving a result as follows :-
1. Keith
2. Ray
3. Alf
4. Gordon

Final C
Again a full grid comprising of Keith, Ian R, Andy, and Steve.
The lights went out for the 25 laps with Steve and Andy racing away into a lead with Ian chasing hard and catching them.
A very close race followed and many drivers setting personal bests.
The result was :-
1. Andy
2. Ian R
3. Steve
4. Keith


Final B
This final line up of Andy, Alan, James H, and Mike.
Last year this could have been an A final line up but they have been downgraded to this final.
The lights went out and the cars raced away very quick;ly , but stayed close for several laps before Alan managed to race away leaving the others to follow with minimal incidents the results was :-
1. Alan
2. James H
3. Mike
4. Andy

Final A
The big one of the night so on the grid we have Lyle, Ken, Alan, and Richard T.
The start was quick and close but a mistake by Richard put him behind and having to chase the main pack.
It was soon after quarter distance that Lyle managed to break away and after the 25 laps the top three managed to finish within half a lap of each other.
The result was :-
1. Lyle
2. Ken
3. Richard T
4. Alan

For the first night of racing clockwise it proved very successful and a great nights racing

Congrats to Alan for setting the fastest lap of the night and the lap record for the start of the season.

The nights results are :-

Lyle                      25

Ken                      23

Richard T             21

Alan                     20 + 1pt for fastest lap and new lap record 6.968 secs

James H              19

Mike                    18

Andy                    17

Ian R                    16

Steve                   15

Keith                    14

Ray                      13

Alf                        12

Gordon                11

Tone                    10

Iain M                    9



A great start to the new decade and year slot racing here in Norfolk is as strong as ever and the social benefits are great for all members.

Thanks to Mike and Averill for a great Club and to Ian R for helping to reverse the track ready for the new era of racing at Presto Park

Next week its Round 1 of our GT3 class

Look forward to seeing you all there.

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