Here is a closer view of my Losi Micro Desert Truck running over the plaster terrain I have made for the modular micro RC track. As you can see there are a variety of molds I have used and a few of the castings have been further worked to ensure the micro RC cars could get over them and add some interest. From the slow motion you can really see how the vehicle works over the terrain.
Here is another view of my Losi Micro Desert Truck running on a 6 module layout that was the same as the onboard video from the previous post (with some minor adjustments).
You can see the terrain elements that I made with Plaster Of Paris on the left hand side. I will show you more on those features and how I made them in a later post.
It has been a little slow going making terrain so far but I have managed to make some moldings out of Plaster Of Paris. I have shaped a few of these moldings and left some in an as molded state to use as terrain on the track. There will be a separate post with details of how I made the terrain but, for now, I have made a video using my HobbyKing Wingcam onboard my Losi Micro Desert Truck. You can see the plaster terrain flashing by on one of the straights.
Things break on RC cars and Micro RC cars are no different to their bigger brothers despite their lower speeds and lighter weight (meaning less energy to deal with when hitting something). In testing a layout of my modular, micro RC race track I managed to break one of the Lexan tie rods on my Losi Micro Desert Truck.
I toyed with the idea of making some replacements out of zip ties or steel from a feeler gauge. That was going to take some time that I really don’t have so the better option was to buy some. I picked up three sets of Delrin tie rods (neutral, toe-in and toe-out) from The Toyz for under US$8 plus shipping to Australia and they arrived here in about a week. This is how you install them:
Progress on my track has been slow the last couple of weeks and my Losi Micro Desert Truck has also been out of action due to a broken steering tie rod. So while you’re waiting for the next update on my track, here is one of the benchmark tracks I have looked to for some inspiration in developing my own indoor micro RC race track.
The track includes a 6 foot triple and is overall a lot bigger than anything I can fit in my living room. The car running is a Losi Micro DT like mine but it has some modification including running a Li-Po battery which will make it faster than my standard Micro DT.
Whilst I do not intend on doing any modifications that increase the speed of my vehicle the YouTube user who made the video, DonRCjunky, also indicated that he has upgraded the shock absorbers and gearbox which might be good modifications to consider.
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.
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:
I think it shows that a 1200 x 600 module will be OK for the Micro Desert Truck. It would be interesting to see how the bigger 1:24 Losis (Micro SCT, Micro Rally or Micro Truggy) or a Kyosho MiniZ Buggy would handle it.
In developing the modular track concept the main problem I have faced so far is determining what size each module should be. For my mind the module size needs to consider:
- The minimum recommended lane width for Micro RC cars. This should consider cars such as my Losi Micro Desert Truck as well as vehicles such as the newer 1:24 Losi Micro vehicles and Kyosho MiniZ buggies.
- The available space of typical locations the track will be set-up. I am targeting my open plan living/dining room but other spaces people may utilise could be a garage or a basement.
- Transportability of the track. I would like to be able to put all of my modules in my trailer, a 6′ x 4′ fully enclosed box trailer, to take to other locations. I would also like to be able to put a few of my modules in the back of my wagon or small SUV if I wanted to take them to a friend’s house who also has the same module sizes so we can make a bigger track.
- Typical materials available. I would like to be able to utilise standard sized, cheap plywood sheets (or similar) from my local hardware store if possible. If not possible a minimal amount of cutting and wastage of purchased material would be desirable.
- Set-up, storage and pack-up of the track. Let’s face it, I am doing this so I can have my own track but it will be in the way if I leave it out. I also want to be able to set it up quickly when I want to race.