Tag Archives: modular

Making The Hole Array For The Terrain Magnetic Dowels

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 theĀ  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.
  • Scissors.
  • A drill.
  • 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.

Equipment_Required Continue reading Making The Hole Array For The Terrain Magnetic Dowels

Hole Layout For Magnetic Terrain Dowels

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).

LivingRoomRaceway.com-micro-RC-1200x600-magnet-hole-patternIn my next post I will take you through the simple steps to using the hole pattern template.

Magnetic Dowels For Modular Terrain

When I first started planning my modular track for micro RC cars I was going to affix terrain to each module directly so each module was set. I really wanted to have the terrain as modular but I hadn’t come up with a way of doing that other than wood dowels which I didn’t think was robust.

In presenting the first video of the completed modules on a forum one user had a suggestion…rare earth magnets. That was the inspiration I needed. I was concerned that rare earth magnets still wouldn’t quite work through the module’s plywood unless the were very strong and a few small test magnets proved that. My ‘Design For Six Sigma’ ideation kicked in and I Pughed in my brain (in joke for my work colleagues). Hybridising dowels and magnets was the way to go.

Here is a quick sketch of the intent of the system.

LivingRoomRaceway-5926The base modules that are to carry terrain will be drilled with an array of holes while the terrain will have steel inserts. The rare earth magnets can then be used as repositionable dowels attached to the terrain pieces, whatever they may be.


Multiple Track Layouts Of The Micro RC Track

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.


Micro RC Race Track Build Progress – Lane Markers Complete

Well, not quite, but the hard bit is complete at least. The lane markers have been slotted and mitred with the only remaining step being a coat of paint. I will show some details of the slots and mitres in a separate post.

Here are a couple of pictures that show a 600mm and a 1200mm lane marker coming together at a corner.

Micro_RC_Lane_marker_mitre_01 Micro_RC_Lane_marker_mitre_02

I plan on doing a little test run on the flat track with different layouts. After that it will be on to terrain and textures.

Modular Micro RC Track Layouts With 5 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.

5_Board_Layouts_web_1 5_Board_Layouts_web_6 5_Board_Layouts_web_5 5_Board_Layouts_web_4 5_Board_Layouts_web_3 5_Board_Layouts_web_2

Micro RC Race Track Build Progress

It’s been a little while since I posted here but rest assured, the Micro RC race track build is progressing. I have finished building seven of the eight base boards. The only reason I didn’t finish the eigth is one of the pieces of wood for the support structure was not straight. The base boards now just need the holes drilled for the lane marker dowels which I have done on one board as a test.

Here’s a few little pics of the lane markers on the base board as a work in progress.

The next steps are to finish the slots on the last few lane markers, mitre the lanes marker ends and add the dowel holes to the base boards.

Micro_RC_Lane_Marker_End Micro_RC_Lane_Marker_on_board Micro_RC_track_lane_marker