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Trying a new track build.
#1

I am trying something new (to me), for my table top track layout and wanted to fish for some opinions about what I am trying to do.

I have posted previously about the evolution of my table top track.  I have not been happy about the latest attempt at building a new layout.  Issues with the braid not staying stuck down and also that I had to use magna braid and really did not want any magnetic advantage on this layout.

So I got thinking about how I could use my laser to help me out here and do something different.  I could design sections of track within the limits of my 30cm x 40cm laser bed and piece them together on the table.  Very much similar to a plastic track but more variety on corners and crossovers etc if I wanted to try something different.  

For the power lines I can use standard 1.2mm copper wire that is recessed into an engraved grove for it around the track.

My first test piece.

[Image: 15825258005412113795248.jpg]

So far I am pretty happy with the results and looking forwards to making more pieces and testing.  If this works out, I can try adding road textures like cobble stones with the same engraving process that does the power lines.

Any thoughts on this?

My DIY projects and failures at  https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/ 
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#2

Very interesting.

I guess the things you'll need to test fairly thoroughly are whether the wire works well as a power rail, and how to join the pieces together.
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#3

I like your idea of using a laser, but the dimensions of your laser bed is a limit compared to the commonly one-piece made wooden tracks.
I am afraid the 1.2mm copper wire will not stay down in the just 1 (or 1.2mm?) depth of its grove during temperature changes and its small contact area will cause extra braids wear.

But maybe I am wrong.
Please share your experiences here with us on SlotRacerOnline.

rallyhub Thumbup
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#4

Yes next step will be to try enough pieces for a small oval to see how good a contact is made for the power and any other issues.  For joining together I am thinking to just keep it simple and glue onto another sheet of mdf.  Thinking that I would probably fit the wires in at the end to make a single continuous line around the track.

Was thinking about wear on the braids, but may not be so bad as will just be on a 6' x 3' table, so no high speeds.  Wondering if the raised line may cause issues if tires drift over them.  But again may be negligible at the speeds on the table.

My DIY projects and failures at  https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/ 
[+] 1 member Likes dazee's post
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#5

Sticking on copper tape is so quick and easy that I don't see the point of trying to use an alternative in your situation. It would save another cut with the laser too. No problems with the level either, I'm sure you would have problems with the wire.
[+] 1 member Likes Gordon Steadman's post
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#6

That's a concept that is used in some HO track builds, using round steel rebar wire. The slots are routed in the track surface and then the wire is pushed down using a roller and heavy pressure. The width of the routed slots is slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire and the depth is just more than half the wire's thickness. The benefit of the wire is if it is laid in - ideally - one continuous piece around the track, thus giving excellent electric connectivity around the lap. Laying it in smaller lengths could be problematic in terms of conductivity and the ends snagging the braids.

I do agree with others who have pointed out that braid will wear on the smaller contact area - that's my experience running braids on standard HO track. The vertical rails cut through the braid. Although a round wire won't have the same 'cutting edge', what may also be a problem is the braid having much less contact area on the power rail. If the braid gets a bit crooked, it may lose contact altogether.

As for tyres crossing the raised wires, that isn't a major problem with the smaller HO cars (including those running without traction magnets) on HO track. If you are looking at giving the track a textured surface (which sounds very cool, by the way), I suspect the texture will have more impact than any raised rail.
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#7

(24th-Feb-20, 01:13 PM)woodcote Wrote:  The vertical rails cut through the braid. Although a round wire won't have the same 'cutting edge', what may also be a problem is the braid having much less contact area on the power rail. 
The very small contact area (theoretically only two lines) will also increase resistant between the braids and the round wires, resulting in an electric arc ("welding") between both parts. (As we all know, braids are not suitable for welding).

rallyhub Thumbup
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#8

Thank you all for the feedback.  It made me decide to do a little testing before digging in to make a whole bunch of pieces that could be used to make a track.

I had tried copper tape on one of my earlier versions of the table.  Perhaps I did not give it a fair chance and was put off by other issues that table had.  I will keep it in mind though to revisit it.  It would be better if copper tape in the right size was readily available here and I could practice with it and try, try again.  But sadly it seems tough to get hold of, or just darn expensive.

So I made a little circular track.  Tried some texture for the surface, didn't like it, so in future will keep the track smooth and just maybe a little wooden bridge in the design.  I made the grooves for the wire slightly smaller so that the wire has to be pressed in firmly.  This with the glue should made it quite reliable and sturdy.  So far it seems to be good.

[img=600x337.5]https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hDZcDYbG7Gs/XltTVnLK-QI/AAAAAAAAAho/kyizCNrzT7Ageca3fNXl1ho5WcnbQC4vQCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/20200301_115246.jpg[/img]

Put some new braids on the car and let it run for a couple of hours - slow enough not to fly off, but fast enough not to fall in the center.
[Image: 20200301_115224.jpg]

After a couple of hours, the braids not looking too bad.

[img=400x711.109375]https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZjawiEBVtyM/XltTiJ54X8I/AAAAAAAAAhs/3mH-5YpdDto1i9jRlhwLJCr61GUAs-EvQCPcBGAYYCw/s400/1583043421423-1953811929.jpg[/img]

For a quick test, I am quite happy with it.  Next step to triple check the measurements and try a bit bigger scale.  I'm tempted to bring the lines close to the slot so that 1/43 cars could be used too....

Short video of it over at https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/2020...esign.html

Cheers

My DIY projects and failures at  https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/ 
[+] 2 members Like dazee's post
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#9

(1st-Mar-20, 08:40 AM)dazee Wrote:  Trying that again to fix the pictures.

Thank you all for the feedback.  It made me decide to do a little testing before digging in to make a whole bunch of pieces that could be used to make a track.

I had tried copper tape on one of my earlier versions of the table.  Perhaps I did not give it a fair chance and was put off by other issues that table had.  I will keep it in mind though to revisit it.  It would be better if copper tape in the right size was readily available here and I could practice with it and try, try again.  But sadly it seems tough to get hold of, or just darn expensive.

So I made a little circular track.  Tried some texture for the surface, didn't like it, so in future will keep the track smooth and just maybe a little wooden bridge in the design.  I made the grooves for the wire slightly smaller so that the wire has to be pressed in firmly.  This with the glue should made it quite reliable and sturdy.  So far it seems to be good.

[Image: 20200301_115246.jpg]

Put some new braids on the car and let it run for a couple of hours - slow enough not to fly off, but fast enough not to fall in the center.
[Image: 20200301_115224.jpg]

After a couple of hours, the braids not looking too bad.

[Image: 1583043421423-1953811929.jpg]

For a quick test, I am quite happy with it.  Next step to triple check the measurements and try a bit bigger scale.  I'm tempted to bring the lines close to the slot so that 1/43 cars could be used too....

Short video of it over at https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/2020...esign.html

Cheers

My DIY projects and failures at  https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/ 
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#10

Work makes progress slow, but is nice to be working again so slow it is :)

I made a bunch of various pieces and spent some time moving bits around until I was happy, then started gluing.  Some fine adjustments for the final piece to ensure everything lined up and this part is now done.  Next weekend I plan to clean it all up, put a couple of slight elevation changes, and then paint.  it won't be too long before I can start getting power to it and run it.

[Image: 20200315_144414.jpg]

My DIY projects and failures at  https://dazee-projects.blogspot.com/ 
[+] 2 members Like dazee's post
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