Help me invest $100 into "The Steele-Mill Speedway"

Steele_Mill_Racing Saturday, 2/6/2016

I negotiated (more like whined and complained) and I now have a good sized space in the house to keep my track set up all the time!  I'm really looking forward to finally getting things organized and rolling downhill more often!  I'm turning to the group to help me get the Steele-Mill Speedway set up!   

If you had a $100 budget, what would you add to your track or workspace to make it better, more functional, or more fun?

Here is what I already have: Some cars (duh...will buy more), sloppy starting gate is on the way here now thanks to Smitty!, 80ish feet of orange track, a bunch of HW stunt track stuff thanks to Santa...jumps curves loops etc, a Max Traxx finish line, 10' stainless steel ramp for 2 lane drag racing which also doubles as an open track(!), comfortable chairs/seating, a coffee table/workbench, internet access, a bluetooth speaker (for my tunes *air guitar solo), and a really good lighting setup for videos and pictures. Although modding cars is not in my immediate plans, as I do guitar repairs it looks like I already own all of the hand tools needed for doing simple mods (Vice, files, wire cutters, Dremel etc.).  I also have easy access to the kitchen so I don't need a fridge.  I'm in pretty good shape as is, but...I have $100...! 

About the name: I live in the Steele Creek area if Charlotte NC and my business is in the neighboring community of Fort Mill SC. So "Steele-Mill Speedway": 


HAHA That is north of me, other side of the City.  I don't get up there much.  When I do I will check it out for sure!

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Dadvball 2/6/16

I'd consider buying a 3D Bot two lane finish gate.  A number of guys including myself have tried the Max Traxx finish gate but have had issues with it registering the correct winner in a close race. On mine the left paddle has to be pushed further back to turn the light on, so in a race with the left car having a half car lead the right lane would light up. I think it's about $40. 

Looking forward to seeing some pics of your setup!

  • I saw those were popular here. I'll look into it! I got the MT one for $3 at TRU. Couldn't pass it up! — Steele_Mill_Racing
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72_Chevy_C10 2/6/16
Event coordinator

The Smitty starter and 3DBot finish is a great's what I use. You might want to consider buying drag tracks track sections...they come in 4-packs (eight feet). You'll have to adapt the 3DBot finish line to work.

I did a couple of hacks to my finish that I really need to write up...I use an old phone charger as my power source (just use the red and black wires, the white and green are for data)...and I but my Drag track right up to the finish, having removed the outer dividers from the 4 lane finish. For a 2 lane finish, you'd have to transition from Drag track to orange track to make it work.

Oh, if you can, you might want to put the track on a shelf or counter get it off the makes the video work much easier.

Good luck

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fordman 2/6/16

I make a "sloppy connector" that converts drag tracks to 2 lanes of orange track... pm me...

 note ; drag tracks lanes are 1/2" apart...if your orange sections are too short it will create a sharp angle between the drag tracks and the finish line...

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redlinederby 2/6/16
Site manager

Get a 3DBotMaker finish line and I think you're set. You have plenty of track, just keep it all the same brand for best consistent results.

The hard part ia not overthinking it. All you is a start, a hill and a finish. Its easy to go fancy from the start but I've found it better to improve over time. 

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redlinederby 2/6/16
Site manager

I'm maybe a bit biased but a shelf style track is a really good idea. Sturdy and easy access, even for kids. 

My build diary

  • I wish I could. As it's a bonus room the ceiling angles down with the pitch of the roof to about 3 feet from the floor. Not enough wall :( — Steele_Mill_Racing
  • well, hang it from the ceiling, and put 2 180* uturns at the low end to send them back to ya. — CrzyTrkrDude

Ordered the 3dbot 2 lane finish line.  $60 left...:)

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72_Chevy_C10 2/6/16
Event coordinator

Drag Tracks are probably the best racing surface...I would use them and get a Smitty adaptor (above) to go into the finish line with orange track.

You'd have to come up with a way to support the start gate, but the is easy enough...I run mine down a piece of 6" x .125' aluminum, 6' is a nice, gradual transition that way.

Jyst my 2 cents :)

I put my track down in the new room!  After closer inspection I think I DO have enough wall to have a shelf track!  I will research this a bit more!

  • the shelf track creates it's own car storage area beneath it... handy ! — fordman

I went out for a bit this afternoon and bought some cars.  It also gave me a chance to test out the new photography station at my speedway.  I have never really taken photography seriously before so these little cars have opened that door to me too.  Below is the link to my Diecast album on Photobucket. There are carded shots and loose cars.  I will have some time to take pictures of the track in the coming days too. 

  • You have a wide variety of cars there, eh? NICE STUFF! — CrzyTrkrDude
  • What happened to that Pick up on page 3 by the wagon?? — CrzyTrkrDude
  • Crzy: I think that was from a demolition derby set I got my kids a long time ago — Steele_Mill_Racing
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redlinederby 2/12/16
Site manager

Just get 2 white poster boards and a white (daylight) bulb for your photos, they'll come out pretty sharp. My setup is really simple and photos turn out great.

I don't know if you're using a real camera or your phone but if it's your phone, see if any photos filters are available for you (iPhones have some) and that can add some quick and easy fanciness to your shots...or just boost light levels and stuff.

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