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Old 04-14-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Track Building Tips for 1/18 and 1/14 scale

Hi I'm looking ideas and tips on how to build indoor and/or outdoor tracks for on road 1/18 and 1/14 scale.

I'm interested because I have some warehouse space at my work which is free for friendly out of hours racing. Just need to build the track markers but it's all gotta knock down easily at the end of the nights racing.

The floor is concrete, it's smooth but not a burnished finish like some super smooth concrete floors.

I have tried taping the track down with red and white fragile tape but that's no good cause it usually won't stick unless it's super clean.


Some basics I'd like to know more on:

1. Whats a good width and total length?
2. What's a good cheap material to make the lane marking dividers. I think you gotta have close to 100meters of lane marking if you take the inside and outside of the lane into the measurement so the cost per/m has to be low or free? LOL.
3. How do you stop the lane markers from moving when a car hits it?
4. Anything else you might think is important information.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:29 AM   #2
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Once you find your material, velcro works well on the bottom of the boards/lane markers to keep them in place.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:20 AM   #3
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What about some super long water hoses? You could just make some dividers up using 4x4 wood.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:50 AM   #4
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Yeah water hoses sounds good. It makes packing up easy. just roll it up eh.
Although it won't look like an official setup and could get knocked out of shape easily if it's too light.

Wonder what the fire protection companies do with all those suspect and uncertifiable fire hose reels? That type of hose would be a lot better than your regular garden hose variety.
It's quite heavy and you could even fill it with sand to get some extra weight.
Might get on the phone and see what I can find.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:36 AM   #5
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The best type of track marker is the good old square PVC drain pipe, very light weight, easy to lay track with and unlike hose pipes its more forgiving on the car when you hit them.. To join the pipes together use a timber block that slides inside the pipes and screw, simple as that.

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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I've successfully used 1.5 inch PVC pipe. Here in the US, we get 1inchx2inch lumber, 8 feet long. Cut 12 inch sections. Place the section inside the PVC ( it fits snuggly), and use drywall screws to make a joint. For curves where two pieces of pipe meet use clear silicone tubing instead of the lumber. There's a specific diameter that also fit's snuggly inside the pipe. I made home made sandbags to place on the pipe to keep it from moving. Take a ziplock freezer bag, fill with peagravel and zip the bag closed. Place that bag inside of a 30 inch x 30 inch piece of rip stop painters tarp. Fold the tarp over the ziplock bag and tape it up with duct tape.

If you like this kind of track you can make a jig to bend PVC to make curved fittings. To use the jig you cut your pipe to say 20 inches, place caps on either end to make it airtight and heat the pipe up and bend it in the jig to any angle you need. The capped ends keep the pipe from crinkling when bent.

There's a few photos here:

http://strictlyrc.net/

Not sure what your budget is but for lap timing we use Alycat race timing software:

http://www.alycat.com

Alycat is an Aussie company. You can use the software and not use a timing hardware system but you'd need someone to push keys ona computer as cars go by.

And we use I-LapRC race timing hardware:

http://www.rclapcounter.com

Sounds like you'll be racing on bare concrete. If so I'd suggest vacuuming and giving your race area a damp mop to get rid of any dust on the surface before racing.

Have fun!!!
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:34 AM   #7
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Hey..another cheap idea is Dollar Store plastic dinner plates. Of course if you just use the plates which is fine for a small group of people just remember you don't have a barrier system that keeps anyone from jumping into another lane....

Take the dinner plate eating side up, place a 1/8th inch bead of caulk all the ay around the rim of the plate. Let it cure overnight. Once cured spray paint the backside of plate your favorite color.

The siliconed plates become non-skid and will work great on concrete. You can make a layout in about 5 minutes.

Create lanes 4 feet to 5 feet wide if you have that kind of space. That's fine for 1/18th scale and 1/14th scale.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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RCP is popular for slightly smaller cars, but seems to work okay for the bigger ones as well. It's basically those foam/rubber tiles you on gym floors, but it's got a nice finish on it and some cool foam barriers to drive up the price.

But, what you can do is buy some of those foam mats for cheap (getrung.com) and instead of using the finished side, use the unfinished side, which yields tons of grip. Garden hose or PVC works well. I used this setup on my basement track for a while and had a good time with it. Plus, they're easy to pickup and lay back down. The garden hose is constantly trying to curl back up, though. Here's an old video of the track I had in my basement.

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


And lastly, don't overlook that CRC sells Ozite carpet in half-width rolls for a reasonable price. They're also cheaper to ship since they don't require freight. A little pricey up front, but it'll last you forever.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #9
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The OP is in Australia. I wonder if there's an Ozite racing carpet distributor on that continent?
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks to all who've replied. Awesome ideas. I'm sure we'll be up and running soon.

As I mentioned before, we're on a tight budget so the track will have to remain smooth concrete for now plus it's just informal racing which is just a step above bashing but definitely nothing like a formal competition. It's pretty good if we mop the concrete first and use stock motors with traction compound on the rubber tyres. The brushless setups are not much quicker due to wheelspin but that's ok cause most of my mates have agreed that we'll stick to stock setups on the RC18r cars. Perhaps the 1/14 sportworks recoils will do better with the brushless motors. We all bought one of these recently as a local store were selling a tonne of the Recoils for $90AU. Thats about $60 USD for a carbon fibre chassis race roller with a bodyshell and tyres. None of us could resist and most of us bought two.

I'm leaning toward the pvc pipe idea for the straight lengths and possibly some flexible hose of the "free or very cheap" variety for the large radius bends. Will have a go at bending the pvc on the internal, short radius, barriers. (My brother is a plumber so I might be able to score some pipe from him).

Lap timing will obviously be another hurdle. Depends how serious it all gets. One of the gang does have access to borrow a transponder setup from the hobby store he manages but that is not guaranteed every time we meet up for example if he can't make it so the plan is to just get the track made and see what happens. At the very least it would be great to have a place to get some wheel time and practice laps.

Using the timber dowels as joiners is a great idea too. Thanks guys. More pics, more pics.
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Last edited by eXraycer; 04-14-2009 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagokenji View Post
I've successfully used 1.5 inch PVC pipe. Here in the US, we get 1inchx2inch lumber, 8 feet long. Cut 12 inch sections. Place the section inside the PVC ( it fits snuggly), and use drywall screws to make a joint. For curves where two pieces of pipe meet use clear silicone tubing instead of the lumber. There's a specific diameter that also fit's snuggly inside the pipe. I made home made sandbags to place on the pipe to keep it from moving. Take a ziplock freezer bag, fill with peagravel and zip the bag closed. Place that bag inside of a 30 inch x 30 inch piece of rip stop painters tarp. Fold the tarp over the ziplock bag and tape it up with duct tape.

If you like this kind of track you can make a jig to bend PVC to make curved fittings. To use the jig you cut your pipe to say 20 inches, place caps on either end to make it airtight and heat the pipe up and bend it in the jig to any angle you need. The capped ends keep the pipe from crinkling when bent.

There's a few photos here:

http://strictlyrc.net/

Not sure what your budget is but for lap timing we use Alycat race timing software:

http://www.alycat.com

Alycat is an Aussie company. You can use the software and not use a timing hardware system but you'd need someone to push keys ona computer as cars go by.

And we use I-LapRC race timing hardware:

http://www.rclapcounter.com

Sounds like you'll be racing on bare concrete. If so I'd suggest vacuuming and giving your race area a damp mop to get rid of any dust on the surface before racing.

Have fun!!!
Thanks for the links, The I-LapRC looks good and affordable. The transponders are cheap too but the sensor bridge modules only cover 14.5inches of track, so you gotta buy about 4 lengths at $40 each. Is that right? I guess it's not that exxy$ compared to other systems out there.

The only prob I see is that the system won't recognise AMB transponders which a lot of us already own so we gotta keep swapping transponders with each other unless we buy our own. Not sure if any budget systems do though?
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:16 AM   #12
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I built a track from old ships mooring line...... very easy on the cars and stays pretty much where you put it !
see the photos on rc-international-speedways.com under temp track
rc-international-speedways.com/Temporary_Track.php

call the local port authority up and see if they have any old stuff for free..

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Old 04-15-2009, 06:19 AM   #13
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Ohhhh and for a timing system.. you can not beat I lap... I have them on my tracks and they work puuuurrrrrrfectly.

Call +1 630 890 9776 and tell him Phil sent you.........

The service is superb and the product is brilliant !
The free soft ware that comes with it works a treat as well.


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Old 04-15-2009, 06:23 AM   #14
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Thinking all the time.....

track length i have is 100 M... lane width is 2.5 m... 330ft x 8 ft

As an Aussie living in the USA if you need anything you can email me or call me and if i can help i will.

[email protected] dot com +1 912 695 2449
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil @ RCIS View Post
Thinking all the time.....

track length i have is 100 M... lane width is 2.5 m... 330ft x 8 ft

As an Aussie living in the USA if you need anything you can email me or call me and if i can help i will.

[email protected] dot com +1 912 695 2449
Thanks Phil I appreciate the offer. The mooring line is a great idea. That setup of yours looks great. We're in the middle of sourcing 40mm diameter PVC drainage pipe. "Freebie". Gonna use that for the straights in 3m lengths for manageability, glue cork plugs inside about 6inches from the ends so we can still use dowel connectors and fill with sand to give it some weight. I'm thinking that the Mooring line would work perfect for the large radius bends if I can get my hands on some.
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