Hi, we're looking to upgrade our track a bit. We've gone through wooden barricades, and are now using plastic downspout held to the carpet with velcro. (a great low buck solution, btw)
We're now looking to upgrade to something a little more "professional." We've looked at the CRC stuff, and I've seen the Road Dome product online, but I'm wondering if there are any other alternatives.
Our basic needs are quick set up and tear down, and rounded, rather than 90 degree corners.
The easiest simple setup for the track sides are 4 x 4 boards--with a 8" section out of the end-- same on both ends--then the board can "overlap" each other when laid end to end--drill a vertical hole through both boards and pin them together with a large nail. For the turns at the end of a aboard-- use plow disks. Simple, cheap, effective. Look at the 1/5 scale page for LARCRC and you'll find some pics of the track---the inner boards are what I"m proposing.
No other alternatives as far as I know. I personally use the Road rails and love them but would only consider them if you're running stock class racing. We run RCGT and everyone likes them. The CRC track does look good. Have you ruled out getting PVC pipe? There has to be a thread on how to bend PVC somewhere in the rctech archive. The basics are that you can use whats called a "hot box". Plumbers use it to heat the pipe and then bend it without crimping it.
Our primary classes are Tamiya Mini and TT-01. We also have the occasional touring/12th scale night. The only thing that holds us back from the CRC system is cost. The PVC downspouts we use now are incredibly cheap per foot, but don't allow for good corners with a nice radius.
We considered PVC pipe, but it has the tendency to grab the nose of the car and jam it into the carpet.
I'm thinking now that if we could just find a decent system for creating corners we could be in good shape and still maintain our budget.
My local club uses 3x3 PVC drainpipe for the straights. Then plastic strip for the corners, which plugs into the piping with bits of 3x3 timber.
Another club I race at does the same thing with the straights, but for the corners, they have hosepipe, wrapped in pipe lagging, then plastic strip. Works really well, as when hit hard it takes some of the impact away.
With all due respect to RobK, the Road Rail system has been good for many club tracks around the country. Yes, you can get airborne if precautions aren't taken. By using another rail attached upside down to the top of an existing rail all chances of getting air are gone. Do this in places where jumping a rail would cause a problem for other traffic. As for radius turns...next best thing to formed PVC. Easy to make radius turns. For your type of racing they would be great.
I have seen big boat mooring line used for tracks (it was like 3" diameter I think). They got it used or free from a ship yard or something. Easy to make smooth corners, easy set up and tear down and heavy enough not to move much. Just throwing it out there.
"Almost Live Race Coverage": www.johnnyboy.ca
if you cut 3 of the 4 sides out of sections of the downspout you should be able to bend it to create corners. I havent done it personally, we are using pvc, but one of the tracks in Washington uses vinyl fence material and cuts 2-3 sides out in sections they need to bend, and it looks pretty good. Downspout definately cheaper though.
At H30, we're going with downspout in the new year. Square sides and very forgiving. We have PVC now, but it's tough on 1:12 scales and is hard to secure to the carpet. We have a bunch of metal plates with posts and velcro that jab through the pipe and hold it in place. The only problem is that the pipe wants to grab the cars as it is, and the extra 1/8" that it's elevated makes it worse. It's not as bad for sedans, but we like our pan cars, too.
I think the downspout will be great. It sounds like you need a corner solution more than barrier change. We'll be using a combination of dots and high density plastic.