Track transitions, solving the problem
A recent comment over in the blog got me thinking about the problem that is the track transition, the part when the track changes from downhill drop to the straight away track.
I know we've talked about this part throughout several threads here, but thought a dedicated thread might be a better resource.
The transition is the toughest part of a track to keep consistent and thus fair to all cars. If both lanes (or more) aren't all bending the same way then one lane will probably gain/lose speed. This also means the transition needs a little give as possible so that cars don't lose their energy when they hit that spot. You want the car's energy to transfer into forward motion, not downward motion when it hits a "soft" spot in the track.
Keep the lanes on the level is also a challenge. Keeping the angle of bend is tough but then making sure one track isn't leaning more left/right than the other can be hard too. I guess it's not so bad if all lanes exhibit the same trouble, at least then it's fair.
Anyway, I think it'd be great if you could share your solutions for having a fair transition in your track.
- Track building
- More in Tracks
Okay Brian, now that you're familiar with the wooden tab system I use, I'll also tell you that my transition is super consistent because I use adhesive velcro on the wooden tabs directly above and below the transition on each of my lanes which keeps the track secure in that area and because I can make slight adjustments with the velcro, all of the lanes can be made identical (exact same curvature with little if any give).
The wooden tabs are light colored and seen beneath the arrows of the track and the velcro is attached just beyond that opening so you can't see them, but you get the idea right?
As you'll notice in the video I posted earlier the transition is very smooth and I haven't had a problem with inconsistencies.
I've had pretty good luck now that I moved to the seamless track, but I know not all of you have that luxury.
I usually run my track with a 6" riser at the transition, so the transition isn't so severe.
I also use velcro to attach the track to the boards, use a piece about 3-4 inches from the hinge point on either side, that tends to keep the transition equal on both sides. I've not had any problems with this part of my track since.
Last night I took out the 6" block and ran it that way...much faster cars and still didn't have any issues with cars coming off.
I'll take some pictures when I get home tonight to show my set up.