Untwisting the Twister
Our primary racetrack called “The Twister” was built by Ogilvie Custom Tracks in the early 90’s I believe. We purchased this track from a gentleman in Oregon who had bought it from the now defunct Raceway USA. Its been a fairly decent track with very few problems since we’ve owned it. One of the problems that has occurred was due to the wiring job that appears to have been patched together over the years. In short the wiring was a mess. It had dual small general purpose automotive relays, had a single power tap daisy chained to 3 locations and an antiquated race management software called SRT. We have been in the planning stages for quite some time to completely gut and rewire the track. When we decided to rewire the track we wanted to be sure it was done first class throughout. All connections are soldered and insulated — not merely crimped to lower resistance and improve long term durability. We used industrial relays capable of handling 10x the current a slot car motor could draw. These relays also have open contacts for easy maintenance and are double pole per relay allowing us not only redundancy but also additional current flow when necessary. The lanes are now supplied by 3 individual taps connected to copper bus bars, 2 per lane. We used heavy duty 10 gauge wire for each tap. We separated and rewired the 3 banks of power supplies providing as much as 350 amps of start-up power for high current motors. Each bank of power supplies contains 3 individual power units wired in series with #6 wire and connecting to the main power bus with #4 cable. We have purchased and installed the Lapmaster timing software and hardware which is much more modern and supported than our previous SRT system. We believe these changes will improve overall stability and prevent any future problems on the track. I would like to thank Tim Burgess and Tom Hansen for their assistance with the rewire project. We’re sure not all the bugs are worked out of the new system but we will continue to do our best to make improvements.