Drag Tracks fix ? ...

model40fan Monday, 11/3/2014

I lack the electrical skills to "fix" the older Drag Tracks and Expert Racers sets... They add reaction time to the elapsed time... I bought a bag of photo cells, had a spare phone cable, then I had a buddy solder and shrink wrap them together... The DT starter units [pedals] use a standard 2 wire phone jack and wire set up... The idea was to start the timer and launch the cars with the green light...But the green LED was not bright enough, but a flash light started the cars with no problem....

  Is there a more sensitive photo cell ? ... or a brighter LED option... the guts of the DT xmas tree unit are a circuit board [out of my league] so the sensitive photo cell is the easier "fix"... if we can "fix" them it could give us a whole new look at racing with a fair timer, road courses, stunts, and to set the brackets by the cars times in the previous heet...

cheap if we can do it... rocket scientists or engineers to the front ! ... could help a bunch of the racers...


View member profile
model40fan 11/8/14

Bought a "photocell" and a "photo electric switch"... Any one ever mess with these ? ... Logic says the PES would be faster as they use PCs in motion detectors...

 I have some chrome duct tape I will try and completely cover everything but the green lights trying to take advantage of any light possible... With the switch in a white tube with all outside light blocked out...Maybe the combination of direct and reflected light may trigger the start...

Waiting for them to arrive in the mail...

View member profile
redlinederby 11/8/14
Site manager

I tried to make an electric finish with the light sensors...it worked pretty well unless there was a lot of ambient light in the room...which at the time was not good in my case, so I scrapped the idea. But now that my track will be in a place with consistent lighting, I might have to revisit. I have a MicroWizard too somewhere that I think I might try to configure.

View member profile
model40fan 11/9/14

ebay shipping notice... a couple bucks didn't buy me [1] it bought me [10] if it works i'll share...

View member profile
Dadvball 11/10/14

Can't help you Smitty as electrical and me don't mix.

Brian, did you have top and bottom sensors with a hole in the track for the beam to pass through, and when the car passed through the beam it indicated the winner?  I'm curious because I just made an adjustment on the LJLRC track at the recommendation of the people that made our finish line (Micro Wizard I think?).  We had a hole that had been modified over the years to the point it was about 1/2" in diameter.  They said the hole in the track shouldn't be any bigger than 1/16", which I thought would be to small.  Too big a hole and there could be problems like you said with the ambient light in the room.  So I cut the track just past the hole, measured, and drilled a 1/16" hole in both tracks.  Our track is Velcroed to the base so we started at the bottom and lined up the new hole over the sensor.  We had the timer plugged in so it would give us a reading once we had the hole lined up correctly over the bottom sensor.  

One of the things it would help correct with the hole now being so small was also the number of ties we would get.  So, once we were done, we ran two cars down the tracks, swapping lanes each time, 4 times.  Three of the four races ended in a tie!  Go figure!  Of the over 600 cars we ran yesterday we still have a few ties, and even had 2 ties in 3 races for the Wagon War final race.  Overall we're happy with how it came out, plus it looks much better not having that huge hole in the track.

View member profile
model40fan 11/13/14

Set up the starter, finish and 1 pedal, I used a 2" section of white PVC tube, chrome taped everything around the 2 green lights, taped the PVC tube to the xmas tree with the green lights centered, punched a small hole, inserted the photocell... nuthin'... better luck with the photo electric switches .

held the cell [red] 6" from a 60 watt bulb... click !

View member profile
model40fan 11/22/14

just got the photoelectric switches in the mail... duh. 4 leads ? anyone know if I can combine 2 on each side ?

... tried the little buggers and nothing at all... I give up !

to join the conversation or sign-up now