Slot Car Corner – Everything You Need to Know
Slot Car Corner in Quebec, Canada, is run by Christian Gingras (owner) and Dickie Pearson – two enthusiasts who share their love of this hobby with customers across North America.
Modern slot cars are powered by low-voltage electric motors installed within a track lane and controlled with hand-held controllers, just like model railroaders. Some enthusiasts even build elaborate tracks to resemble real-life racecourses for an authentic experience.
What is a slot car?
Slot cars are motorized miniature vehicles designed for racing on specially constructed tracks with grooves or slots that guide their travel. Drivers use hand-held controllers to manage the speed of low-voltage electric motors hidden within each slot car and negotiate turns without losing control and de-slotting from the track altogether. Some slot cars simulate highway traffic on scenic layouts, while others compete in racing challenges and club competitions.
There are three primary sizes of slot cars in current use, from small HO scale (1:76-1:87) up to larger 1/32 scale and 1:32 scale models. While HO-scale cars may be more widely available and suitable for home racetracks, larger-scale models offer more realism for severe enthusiasts and collectors.
Modern slot cars and tracks generally comprise plastic snap-together sections connected by plastic thread, which can be reconfigured into various race course layouts. They are powered by household electricity sent through a transformer to reduce voltage; current passes through metal strips along the track until reaching contacts along a round guide pin (commonly referred to as flag) on each car chassis where wire braids form circuits to supply power directly to its motor. At higher speeds, traction magnets may also be employed as additional downforce to keep cars securely attached to their respective tracks.
There are various slot car tracks and racing circuits, but most share one common feature – they consist of multiple track pieces joined together into a race course. A slot car drives on this race course thanks to a small pin or blade protruding from underneath its vehicle that fits into an opening in the track’s grooves; racing takes place along one lane of this track where drivers compete against each other without losing grip and spinning off (keeping Ian at Race Party busy with repairs!).
The pin collects electrical current from the track via copper metal contacts or braids, drawing current at increasing rates until it reaches maximum capacity and speeds up. A hand-held controller helps drivers regulate this system to control speed by regulating how much voltage enters.
Most home racetracks are constructed from plastic snap-together sections made of molded plastic, while competition tracks often utilize sheet materials like medium-density fiberboard or chipboard. A power supply plugs directly into the racetrack and inverts AC voltage into DC; then, power is distributed along its entire length through wires running across each track lane.
The chassis serves as the foundation of any automobile. It secures all other parts, with the body being fastened via two fixing points in the rear and one nearer the axle.
Most slot cars use chassis designed to run close to the track surface. This enables fast speeds while adding traction magnets may help ensure that it remains on track – though these features aren’t always used; some enthusiasts prefer racing without them.
Chassis designs have evolved significantly over time, and many types are available today, one being the center hinge chassis designed by UK racer Ian Fisher, which incorporates a longitudinal hinge at its core and two piano wire torsion bars to spring it. This allows the chassis to flex downward under braking or cornering forces, allowing it to stay rigid enough.
An integral component of any slot car is its motor, which can be adjusted to optimize performance or alter its aesthetic appearance. A high-quality engine such as an AW anglewinder or SW sidewinder would ensure optimal results; small-diameter wheels with low-profile tires for best results should also be prioritized for improved performance.
Slot cars use electric motors mounted at either the front, center, or rear of their vehicles to power their wheels. Axles connect these motors and transmit this energy from them.
Slot car motors collect electricity from metal strips on the track surface through an electrical conductor mounted beneath their vehicle’s guide (or “guide flag,” a rotating blade that extends from underneath). Wires from each motor then connect directly with contacts attached to hand controllers, which filter voltage levels; pulling on the throttle increases speed as more voltage comes through the wires coming off the motor – meaning faster cars!
Slot cars require an exceptional blend of eye-hand coordination. To prevent an unexpected off-track crash, some racers use lead weights or magnets as downforce aids; as driving skills progress, these aids become less and less necessary; some slot car enthusiasts even opt for racing without magnets or weights at all while running their cars as is; meanwhile, others upgrade to brushless motors for increased speed and better control.
New cars often have tires with uneven tread patterns, making them less effective at transferring power to the track. To remedy this situation, the tires need to be trued; to do this, you will require some sandpaper and the rear tires off of your car as this allows you to make them flat, increasing performance and contact with the track.
Tires are vital to creating an exciting slot car experience, playing an essential role in how well the vehicle drives. As such, selecting high-quality tires that will fit the rims properly is paramount – many opt for AJ’s Slip-On Silicone tires, which come in pairs or 6-packs for their HO scale slot cars and feature different diameter options that make them suitable for modern Tomy, Tyco and BSRT slot cars as well as vintage Aurora models.
Unsecured tires can easily dislodge during racing. Adherence to tires requires little more than standard household glues such as superglue or epoxy, making applying sealant easy. Apply it evenly around all tire surfaces; some suggest silicone spray for best adhesion results. Be careful not to overfill tires as this could make driving more difficult and might lead to sticking out from their rims, making driving impossible!
Slot cars provide an inexpensive, engaging hobby of racing miniature-scale model vehicles at miniature racetracks. Complete sets come complete with track pieces and controllers needed to get racing, while advanced enthusiasts may wish to purchase extra details such as scenery pieces, hand controllers, lap counters, and pit lanes for an enhanced experience. Join one of the numerous racing clubs available across the UK or internationally, where enthusiasts compete against one another!
Motors can be upgraded or replaced to improve performance on specific tracks or racing styles, with particular spec motors drawing more current at any given voltage setting, increasing car speed. Different chassis designs may improve stability, weight distribution, and handling. Bodies may even be painted to replicate real or fictional vehicles! Guide blades or pins may also be upgraded or replaced for improved contact and grip on track surfaces.
Scalextric offers more than track accessories; their Start cars are specially crafted for high impact and rough play at an economical price compared to their more expansive HO and 1:43 scale counterparts. Plus, conversion track section adaptors enable their compatibility with more extensive Sport track accessory pieces!