21st Century Tracks

TRACK LAYOUT DESIGN TIPS

Never Designed Your Own Track Before?
No Problem!!

21st Century Tracks utilizes computer assisted design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology in producing every Track System and Designer Series Track Kit.  Each track layout literally starts from a blank computer screen!!

It's usually best to start from scratch when designing your own track layout.

Maintaining Scale Proportions

Use grid graph paper and note your chosen scale in the corner for reference. Keep a calculator handy for mathematical conversions (for example: 1":12").

First, draw the outline for the track table's perimeter.

Also, draw in the driver's panel in advance, allowing at least 24" for each driver's station.  For large tracks, you may want to employ a split driver's panel to allow room for a turn marshal.

Note the following approximate track widths, depending upon lane:

2 Lane - 5"
4 Lane - 8"
6 Lane - 11"
8 Lane - 14"

Track widths are based on 1.500" lane centers, and include ample runoff for both inside and outside lanes.

21st Century Tracks makes sure that track layouts are 100% compatible with all "H.O." type slot cars.

Practical Considerations

Even though slot cars inevitably crash, astute layout design will always include sufficient runoff room behind each turn and between opposing straights.

Runoff room not only allows the car's energy to dissipate and thereby minimizes equipment damage, but also helps minimize track calls by avoiding chain reaction, multiple crashes.

Turn marshal accessibility is always an important factor in track layout design. The extended length of the human arm is only about three feet.   Don't locate any turns outside a turn marshal's reach!!

Express Yourself

The combination of computer controlled slot routing, custom one-piece continuous rail, and genuine Formica brand laminates provide a uniquely "seamless" racing surface that can be run in both directions.

With a reverse polarity switch wired into the track wiring, every track layout can become two tracks in one !!  Make sure to visualize how well your track layout will work in either direction.

The main straight is usually located along the driver's panel, so that should be drawn in next.

Si nce 21st Century Tracks  has the flexibility to program vi rtually any possible layout, don't worry about either turn radii or lap length.   The specific geometry can always be calculated once your track layout is computerized.

Depending on your personal taste, don't forget to include sweepers, hairpins, esses, switchbacks, increasing/decreasing turns, chicanes, or keyholes in your track layout.  Even squeezed lanes are possible if you dare !!

If there are particular turn configurations that you want to feature in your layout, draw them in first and fill in the blanks later.

Since your track layout will be part of a permanent installation, make sure that your final design represents a "perpetual challenge" that will meet your particular taste.  Some builders have even made their own interchangeable modular tables to maintain flexibility.

From Start To Finish

Since magnetic reed switches and pre-located sockets are included in every Designer Series Track Kit, optimal lap counter location is where ever cars are not likely to de-slot, such as near the end of a long straight.

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