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.
I have scoured YouTube, searched websites high and low and posted on RC Car forums to try to get some direction.
The first reference I have found is from a website called Everything RC Cars. Their article indicates that for scales of 1:24 and smaller a 20″ (around 500mm) minimum lane width is required.
There is also the commercially made RCP tracks that have two different tile sizes available, 50cm and 30cm. The width of their track lanes are two tiles less the width of the bumpers making the lanes either 33″ (825mm) or 19″ (475mm) respectively. Here is a video of a Losi Micro Rally on the narrower version of the RCP track. As I understand, the vehicle in the video has a modification to the steering knuckles to making the turning circle tighter and the driver is quite experienced.
The other main reference I am using is a track that is in Action Hobbies in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Their current track which is aimed at using 1:24 Losi Micro SCTs is a total of 16′ x 8′ and has 4 lanes across. Their lane markers are very narrow making each lane about 2′ wide (600mm).
This track has been extended from the original track (video below) that was in the store, but I would say the lanes width has not changed.
So with the above benchmarking, watching many other YouTube videos and feedback on forums I went to the local hardware store to see what is available. Plywood was the focus but I also had a look at MDF and particle board. The cheaper BC face grade plywood hand a number of sizes ranging up to 1200 x 600mm as well as 2400 x 1200mm but there was no 1800 x 900mm plywood. I was looking at around the 7mm thickness. There was also 1800 x 900mm and 1200 x 600mm in MDF in a range of thicknesses from 3mm to 16mm. Particleboard was available in 1800 x 900mm.
The easiest size to work with from the above would be 1200 x 600mm non-structural plywood in 7mm thick and it looks to be about the most cost-effective at around AU$7 per sheet. The lane markers are still to be determined but I am looking at wood no more than 30mm wide giving me a lane around 540mm or 21.5″ wide.
With the 1200 x 600mm modules I believe can meet all of my requirements. The lane width will be over 20″, I can make track set-ups with up to 8 modules (or possibly more) in the space I have, the modules will fit in my wagon, SUV or trailer and the materials are cheap and readily available at my local hardware store…which is where I am now headed to make the purchase!