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Test Track recommendations.

Discussion in 'Ask The Pros' started by AJBinVA, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. AJBinVA

    AJBinVA Pinewood Ninja

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    So I am looking to purchase a test track to assist with testing/tuning for league racing and overall family entertainment.

    I will be getting a 42ft Besttrack but am looking for recommendations and reasoning behind the preffered number of lanes for a home test track.

    I was thinking 3-4 lanes would be ideal to test the aerodynamic effects on the cars in traffic and being that I'm extremely interested in Street Rod so a 2 lane may not allow side by side racing.

    Would a 2-lane track be just fine? (other then not being able to run two street rods side by side)
     
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  2. DerbyAddict

    DerbyAddict Hammering Axles

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    Hi AJ,

    Here's my first stab at providing advice on the site.

    2 lanes is good, 3-4 would be ideal. I was contemplating the same purchase until my Cub Scout Pack bought a new 4-lane 42' Best Track this year and I was asked if I could store it in my basement for the off season :) Its been setup for the past 2 months. The wife has to step over it to get to the fridge but no complaints yet.

    What I've noticed in testing is: 1 car doing a solo run you can get away with less steer and have straight runs. I get my fastest times this way, BUT..... running 2 cars side by side the cars still run straight, sometimes with a slight wobble but still within a couple thousands of the solo run. Once i get 3 or more cars on the track, the car(s) in the middle get tossed around and loose a lot of speed, .03 seconds or more. Once you add a little steer it'll run straight and fast in all lanes, not as fast as the solo run, but your average time will be better.

    If you go with a 2 lane track just remember that a little extra steer is needed so you don't get tossed around in the middle lanes. It's easy to go too aggressive and then wonder why your car didn't perform on race day. This happened to me and my son at Districts this year. Painful lesson, but now we know.
     
  3. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    I would say if your funds allow you to even think about a 3-4 lane track then yes... get at least a 3 lane. It’s good to see how things go in thick traffic.
    Then when you are done please send some of that $ my way would ya? ;):D
     
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  4. Reecedad

    Reecedad Council Champion

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    I have a three lane and find myself only using one lane
     
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  5. Charles Studer

    Charles Studer Workshop Leader Pro Racer

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    I have a single lane and find I am using only half of it....lol strange but true....
     
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  6. Gso125 Racing

    Gso125 Racing Rail Runner

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    Depends on what half lol
     
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  7. Chief

    Chief PWD Royalty

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    Make sure you have room to set it up...Mine is in pieces in my basement !! I have litterally NO where except outside in the yard to set it up and then it wouldnt be level haha so the only time, I get to use it is when we sponsor our scout races...
     
  8. HurriCrane Racing

    HurriCrane Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    I have a single lane best track and have done well with it. I would agree that you can get away with a bit less steer running alone. I will have a car wiggle in traffic once in a while as happened in the BASX race this weekend. Always helps to have a second car in the race.
     
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  9. flockshot

    flockshot Pinewood Ninja

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    I know that this is not recommended, or advisable, but I am making my own two lane test track. I happen to have some extruded aluminum for the 1/4 inch high center rail. I am using a 26 degree ramp with 21 3/4 inches of a 48 inch arc as the transition. It will be about 42 1/2 feet long made from one sheet of plywood (5 strips, 9 inches wide plus a 2 1/2 ft. transition made from scrap wood on hand). It will be optional to use as much length as we want too. My only cost is the plywood and hardware.
    The timer will be what many have seen on YouTube made from a inexpensive stop watch.
    With this track I hope to be able to do three things. One, determine which of 2 cars will run the fastest, and two, determine if the changes I am making are helping or not. The third thing is having a place for my grandsons to race their cars and have fun. I can't think of any better way to keep them interested in derby cars.

    I am still at the Scout car level in this hobby and my choices are either no track or make a track. I think my track will be both helpful and fun. We will see.
     
  10. AJBinVA

    AJBinVA Pinewood Ninja

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    Knowing that wiggles in traffic are a possibility do you tend to dial in a touch more steer from your best runs on the single lane or just run multiple cars and run it in its fastest trim?
     
  11. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley Pinewood Ninja

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    Watched your car wiggling live! Also it appeared to me the stager seemed to need more time on your cars to get them set. Is there anything to that? Or should I say anything you care to reveal :)!
     
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  12. Charles Studer

    Charles Studer Workshop Leader Pro Racer

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    Lol.....darn stagers
     
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  13. HurriCrane Racing

    HurriCrane Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    I like to run multiple cars when able. I had two proven cars in the BASX class and then one brand new car. It was the new car that wiggled. I'll have to review my notes on that car and increase the steer a bit before the next race.

    Each car is different...
     
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  14. HurriCrane Racing

    HurriCrane Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer 25+ Pro Race Wins! National Champion

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    A wiggling car can be detrimental to the cars around it. I felt bad that my new BASX beat the rails off the track. The extended time spent staging was an effort to find a position that would keep the car from wiggling. Even staged the car with the rear wheel tight to the rail to allow the other cars to get out ahead of my evil machine.
     
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  15. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids League Racer

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    Hey I am doing the same thing...
    Check these 2 links out...
    https://www.dfgtec.com/ timer for cheap but with good proven electronics. but this allows thou and ten-thou digits in a timer which is preferred.
    http://waynesthisandthat.com/pinewoodderbytrack track build and stop watch timer, though this timer only goes .1

    Bracketracer did a DIY build thread for a timer a few years back...
    http://www.pinewoodderbyonline.com/threads/diy-arduino-based-timer.3059/

    Hope that helps!
    Jimmy
     
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  16. DerbyDave

    DerbyDave Hammering Axles

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    I think you will be happy with your choice. I built one for about $60 all in and use it to make sure the cars are dialed in before we race. This is a huge advantage for the kids because they know where their car stands relative to previous cars that won (or didn’t) and they can decide to put more work in or chance it.

    And if you copy down their race times, plot them with times from your track and run a regression analysis. It’ll tell you what times on your track equate to on a 42’ BT or whatever track your pack uses
     
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  17. Reecedad

    Reecedad Council Champion

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    As long as the hill angle is the same
     
  18. DerbyDave

    DerbyDave Hammering Axles

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    Actually the test track angle doesn’t matter any more than any other variable. At least for purposes of predicting a race time from your test times. My test track drops from 37” over 8’ for about a 39 degree slope, which I think is much steeper than a BT. But I still know with 95% confidence where my kids’ race times will fall, +/- 0.013. This is good enough for scout races and it didn’t cost $1,000+

    All that said, a BT is on my wishlist!
     
  19. Reecedad

    Reecedad Council Champion

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    Yes I'd imagine that would be okay for scouts.
     
  20. Skywalker Racing

    Skywalker Racing Council Champion Pro Racer

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    HUGE variance for league racing
     

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