As I have discussed in the last couple of posts my intent is to use magnets and dowels to pin the terrain to the modules of my micro RC race track. The initial inspiration for this system came from user ‘Healzonu’ on the Ultimate RC Forums and I have developed the concept further for use on my track. For those playing along at home, this is how you make the hole array for the first time in four easy steps.
Tools And Equipment
To do this you will need:
Two B1 sized plots/prints of the hole pattern template (see the printables page). You can do this with only one print if you want as the B1 layout only covers half of a module. You will have to flip it around to do the second half if you only use one print.
A drill bit corresponding the the size dowels/magnets you are intending to use. I actually used a 1/4″ bit for 6mm magnets to make the hole just slightly oversized.
Tape. Masking tape is best but almost any will do.
Now I have the idea for a magnetic dowel system to position the terrain the base modules need to have holes drilled in them. This array of holes is used to pin the terrain into the plywood with the dowels.
I intend on using 6mm diameter magnets and wood dowels for the job as a starting point. It is prudent to start with small holes and make them bigger if stronger magnets are required. I am also starting with a 50mm array of holes and the module will fit a 23 rows and 11 columns with this array size making a total of 253 holes.
Rather than mark out the array on the module using a pencil and a straight edge I have decided a little more accuracy is required, so back into the CAD system and a quick layout was generated for half the hole array that can be printed to a B1 sized layout. If you want to follow along at home a PDF of the hole pattern layout will be available on the printables page. You can get this printed anywhere that does roll size plan plots. I had mine done at Officeworks here in Australia but there are many place around the world that do it such as ‘Fed-Ex Office ‘ (Kinkos).
In my next post I will take you through the simple steps to using the hole pattern template.
Now that I have fixed the tie rod on my Losi Micro DT I have had a chance to test more layouts of the modular micro RC race track I am building. Here is a video of a number of track layouts using 5 or 6 modules. These layouts include:
Small Oval (5 modules)
b-Shape (5 modules)
L-Shape (5 modules)
C-Shape (6 modules)
Brickyard (6 modules)
It also shows the process for changing between two layouts and adding a module to the layout.
I have completed seven of the eight base modules for the micro RC race track and have finally gotten around to making a video of it, so let’s get straight into that…
It worked better than expected although the car wasn’t sliding on the plywood as it did in the earlier ‘Proof Of Concept’ test. I am not sure if that is because I have changed the trim settings on the transmitter, if the batteries are not getting a full charge or if having built up the track on the support it grips better for some crazy reason. The latter seems unlikely I would suggest.
My intent was to show a number of different layout options in that video but as you can see I broke a steering tie rod on the first layout so that was the end of filming. Reading around the forums I see it is possible to make tie rods for the Losi Micro Desert Truck and Micro-T using cable ties. I will give that a go as soon as possible and hopefully show you some more layouts before I start adding terrain to the modules.
As the build progresses of my modular micro RC race track continues I have been thinking of the layouts I can have with the number of base modules I am making. My intent is to have a total of 8 modules but you can make a fun and modular track with as few as 5 modules as my proof of concept video shows.
Here are a few ideas for micro RC track layouts using 5 modules.
So with the module size being determined it was off to the hardware store to start buying some materials and test the idea. I have picked up 8 of the 1200 x 600mm plywood boards in 7mm thickness.
At the time of buying the boards I still was not 100% convinced in my head the size was right, so when I got the boards home I decided to do a little test. I layed out 5 boards, the minimum I think you need to make a track, and tested my Losi Micro Desert Truck on the layout. Given the track system is also modular I tried a couple of other 5 board layouts. Here is a brief video showing the results with three different layouts: