What people are asking us at ModelMotorist.Com.
Back in 1967/68 my father and I had built a large indoor aurora HO track running around a 12'x8' room in our basement.
That equipment was sold by my parents after I went to college but as I near retirement I am thinking about making another track for play with grandchildren.
I remember the Scottsboro layout from a slot car magazine of the time and think this is the right size and scope for the space I have available.
My dad and I expanded our layout from a Stirling Moss set I received for christmas by just going to our local hobby shop and buying extra track, transformers, etc as the design developed.
I live in Minneapolis and my question is: will it be possible to more or less recreate the scottsboro layout with existing Aurora or Aurora-esque equipment.
Can track, cars, transformers, etc. be purchased new or do I have to hunt about on eBay?
If it can be purchased new, where?
I've been to one hobby shop that appeared completely clueless to what I was talking about.
Thanks for your attention.
First off welcome back to the hobby.
Second as a former Minneapolis resident and frequent visitor I can recommend Scale Model Supply in St. Paul as the best in the cities.
Hobby Town and Hub Hobbies also sell HO.
I also feel I must point out that the HO Slot Car market is growing but the supply and distribution is miserable at best.
Third much has changed in the world of HO scale slot cars since your previous time.
Aurora is on their third generation of track.
TOMY AFX is the latest track style.
It is the best track connection of all brands made to date.
They make 6, 9, 12, 15 radii curves like Model Motoring - ThunderJet, but also make 3" hairpins and 18" radius curves.
The cars they make now days make the old ThunderJets look like Biplanes at a Super Sonic Jet race.
I do sell a layout book both here, http://jsquaredinc.com/web-content/bookI.jsp and
on eBay, http://www.ebay.com/itm/180503445617?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649.
Due to the large variety of vehicles that can be used on the same layout you will probably want to use the TOMY Tri-Power transformer which provides three different voltages at the slide of a switch.
This transformer is also good for helping people learn to drive the layout.
As a starting point I would suggest TOMY International Raceway.
It is a four lane set with a nice assortment of curve track sections.
If you have any more questions feel free to send another email.
Hope this is helpful.
Wow, the earth has cooled considerably since my last race.
Thanks very much for all the information.
I know the St. Paul store you mention although I've never visited.
Looks like I've got some catching up to do.
I'll check out your books as well and get back to you if I have further questions.
As an example of how much things have changed.
The new cars can be set on a section of track, turned upside down, even without power, they will stay on the track, just from magnetic effects.
Box stock cars range from about $20.00 for old style - to $40.00 for new box stock fast cars.
On the other hand if you want to get really crazy fast there are highly modified cars for up to $200.00 each.
There are also highly modified controllers that sell in the $100.00 to $300.00 range.
These are for the serious competition people and certainly are not required.
If you want to see some video of these "Nuts" go to you-tube and search HOPRA.
These guys run on "Brad Tracks" http://www.bradstracks.com/.
These are custom built to order layouts. BIG $$$.
As reentry to the hobby I would not recommend you start at that level.
If you want to start out on a lower budget, Auto World is 100% compatible with TOMY AFX.
Their quality control is mediocre so you may get some slightly defective product on occasion.
They make cars with the same chassis as what you grew up with. ThunderJet, AFX, 4-Gears, Big Rigs in original and Ultra G versions that have a couple of extra traction magnets.
TOMY makes TOMY Turbo, TOMY Super G, and the fastest box stock car to date the TOMY Mega G.
There are now several computerized lap count/time systems that hook to a computer or stand alone systems that do not need a computer.
Another warning, the same products are not supplied to the same countries.
They make some special stuff that is only for US or Canada or Europe or Australia.
So some things you may want may cost more to get shipped to you.
Hope I am not overwhelming you, but I thought you would like a basic background to help you start out on the right foot.
Here are a few of my pages you may want to look over before you get to far along.
And this one if you follow down a brand you will see what they have made for track sections.
Thanks Jerome, all good information!
I have a tyco magnum 440-x2 championship race set from around 1990.
all the pieces are in good condition however i have misplaced the track assembly instructions.
do you happen to have access to , or know where i can find a copy of these?
i could go at it without them but there are a lot of different track sizes and that could take days.
any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I looked through my massive pile of Tyco paperwork, but that is not one of the set-up sheets I have.
I do sell a layout book on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/180503445617?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2648
as well as on my own site http://jsquaredinc.com/web-content/bookI.jsp
but it is unlikely that these layouts will use exactly the tracks from the set you have.
Sorry I can't be more helpful.
i came across the instruction sheet for my racetrack at the above url.
it's listed as 6246 Lamborghini Championship.
Mine is the nite glow with corvette' instead of Lamborghini's, but it look's like the same layout.
bout to go give it a try and will let you know if it works.
thanks for your efforts.
The Lamborghini layout worked perfectly for my racetrack. Pass it on!!!
Glad to here you got it set up from a different set.
I have that one and will make a note that it is compatible when I post it.
I had an Aurora HO track back when they were new, with the vibrator cars.
Got tired of the road stuff and set it up for drag racing, split the track up in 4 section and build a switch for shifting.
Now fast forward about 50 years.
Started to search the Internet.
got me to think about doing it again.
Searched through the kids old stuff and found some Tyco sets.
Found enough straights for the drag strip.
Some single lane.
Found the issue that the Quick Click doesn't all fit together.
Some track is Hong Kong and some is Malaysia, some with walls, some without.
To mod the track to allow them to fit, do I just grind off some of the Tabs?
I thought that was it but haven't tried it yet.
My plan is to use the Tyco track, start on the single lane to allow a Christmas tree in the center.
Thinking of just doing an 1/8 mile now.
Still plan to use my vibrator cars, have 8.
enough for a bracket.
Thought maybe I could get the grand kids off the video game for awhile.
If you could help me out, I would appreciate it.
Thanks, Mike (Indiana)
Tyco made a lot of styles of slot car track.
Most can be connected directly others can not.
There is a 3" section of track for connecting single lane to dual lane tracks.
The tracks with walls (if slotted) is TRX (Team Racing) where one car drags an un-powered car behind it on a bungee cord.
Cutting a small notch in the wall on one side will allow it to connect with common tracks.
As far as multiple power connections on separate sections of the track.
It will be difficult to isolate the tracks from each other.
Another option is Auto World makes a drag race set that has a Christmas Tree starter track that does the countdown and fault detection but does not do timing.
Auto World track is 100% compatible with TOMY Aurora AFX track which has the best curve selection should you decide you want to make a challenging road course to return to the Christmas Tree.
Hope this is helpful.
Thanks for the replay.
I thought I just needed to grind off some extra material but then over the holidays I looked again and though I needed the notch.
Just going to have to try it and see what happens.
Won't be much loss if I screw up.
I did the Aurora track by just bending the connectors (easy).
I have looked at the Tyco and thought I could put a strip of electrical tape between the connectors and then snap them together.
If I have to remove the strips at the end of the track, no big deal either.
They weren't being used.
Wiring may be the big deal.
I have 3 power terminal tracks.
I will have to solder wires to the fourth one.
I know of the AW drag track and priced them on Ebay before.
May not be out of the question.
Tried to talk my younger son in to buying me one for Christmas but he didn't.
Just have a lever with 4 contacts for the shifter.
Nothing fancy but it worked.
I have thought about using the computer for the timing and all.
Got to save something to do after retirement.
Thanks again for your time.
Here are a couple of cheats to make modifying the Tyco track a little easier now that I know you have some Dremel skills.
Cut the electrical straps on the bottom of the terminal so there is just enough to slide a 1/4" electrical spade onto them.
This will allow dual transformers to be used so one car can not use more of the power than the other, then trim off the entire terminal knob from the terminal tracks.
This will make the setup look and behave better.
To isolate tracks from each other, connect them normally then push a tooth pick between the rail overlap and trim smooth.
The wide side of flat tooth picks will be harder to get started but will work better.
Use a steel pick to make the gap.
This is a little tricky, but I have done it the other way, pushed wire into the overlap to make a layout without terminal tracks, so you may want to do that for the fourth terminal track or just not use terminal tracks at all.
For the controllers see if you can find a pair of five position rotary selector switches with 90 degree travel.
Five position so you can have a neutral (unconnected) position.
Maybe a fan or mixer switch.
Voltage is not an issue since it is in the low voltage range.
Hey I like the toothpick hint.
I may have to try that!
I think I understand about the terminal pieces.
I would like that with the plug-in removed.
Back in the day, Dad had a couple of benches that I used to put the track on.
That is why I was going to an 1/8 miles length, so I could put in on one board and maybe not have to set it up each time.
Just add some length for shut-down.
I thought about using some double-throw, double pole toggle switches (to make like a 4-speed).
I would have to add some length but wondered about how to make them "fool-proof" (people overpowering them and breaking them).
Thanks again for your info.
So far this has been all in my head and while I search for stuff on the Net.
I had an old Eldon Christmas tree start that I redid with a separate tree with flashlight bulbs and used some old phone solenoids with wire tied into the track for the red lights.
Solenoids were wired in withe the first section of track.
Worked pretty good.
I found a lane winner schematic using relays (that I had to redo to make it work) that I would like to use.
But need to figure out some good sensors to use.
Don't like to use a light-bridge over the track.
I did build a LED tree to use this time.
The sensors and computer timing stuff may have to wait until I have more spare time. (this is getting me to thinking again)
Here is something else to consider for tree and timing.
Attached is an image of the terminal spade trick.
we have a ton of track and are getting back into racing.
what's a good way to clean the track and rails?
There are several schools of thought on the best way to clean track.
1. One of the most popular is 1000 grit sand paper wrapped around a block to keep it from scuffing the track surface.
2. is rubbing the rail with a softer than the rail metal like copper or nickel across the tops of the rails.
Make sure you do NOT have power to the tracks.
3. Is using a ink pen eraser the gritty white type.
4. wipe with 409 cleaner is fairly popular as is WD-40
5. Personally for track coming out of long storage I lightly drag a razor blade (opposite of a snow plow) then sand with 1000 grit Hone(abrasive stone).
After any of the above wipe down with rubbing alcohol, then wipe with a clean lint free cloth, then vacuum.
Citrus based cleaner, it will discolor the plastic.
Steel wool, it will stick to the cars magnets and burn if electrified.
Hope this is helpful.
I have a question of car to track compatibility.
I have a life-like track and only 2 cars.
I've been looking around and I see AFX, thunderjet, vintage or various other cars.
How do I know what cars I can use with my track?
My car have the 2 shoes and guide pin.
This page has answers to that question
Basically any HO slot cars except Matchbox, LJN and obviously slotless cars will work.
I was just reading through this communique as I was adding it to the FAQ page.
There is another style of vehicles you should avoid.
US1 trucking vehicles run on a lower than standard voltage (6.9v) and will burn out fairly fast on standard voltage.(12v-24v)
Also some Marchon Vehicles with Orange or Yellow chassis.
Hope you have not found that out the hard way.
Can you tell me where I might buy the Aurora Thunder jet to Speed-Lok track adapters?
Those have been out of production for a very long time.
These are the only ones I found recently.
Thanks much for the help.
There are a few really cool pieces of Speed-Lok track, but I would use as little Speed-Lok track as possible and add clips to the bottom of every connection.
The Speed-Lok connection is both fragile and weak.
I usually glue every seam when I use it in modules, just for security.
I have just purchased a new Aurora AFX race set, (4 lane) and I would like to be able to use the track from my old Tyco set.
I need an adaptor of the sort you show on your web site (nicely done, I should say!).
How much would you charge me to make 4 adaptor tracks?
I can send you the track, or you could use track that you have and charge me.
I understand that, after the transition, the track will be two lane, but I think that would be interesting, to split out and then return.
Making 4 lane to two lane and back to four lane is not possible with technology currently available in HO scale.
If you are talking about adding recent/current Tyco/Mattel to Tomy, adapters can be bought much cheaper than I would have to charge you to make some.
Auto World makes adapters (Auto World track is 100% compatible with Tomy) to Tyco/Mattel.
If I am miss understanding your objective please send the page links from ModelMotorist.Com-____Identification-Connection of the two track styles you want to connect together.,br>
Thanks for the quick reply.
I am not a skilled hobbyist, so my questions are quite basic.
My new 4 lane set is Aurora Tomy.
My old set says Marchon MR-1 on the bottom.
I believe it was Tyco AFX when I bought it 20 years ago.
I know I can't turn my old 2 lane into a 4-lane.
But I can split the four lane temporarily to 2 x 2 lane roads and then join them back together.
(I have done this with my existing 4 lane set, since it is really just 2 x 2 lane sets nested inside each other.
For example, I could split a straight section so that the two left lanes veered left and the two right lanes veered right and then come back together up ahead, or perhaps do a 360 degree overpass.
Marchon MR1 is an odd brand of track that has been out of production since 1994.
The only adapters that have been made to connect Marchon to another brand is to MicroScalextric which is even more limited in selection of track as Marchon.
MicroScalextric is European and shipping is outrageous plus the adapters are very hard to come by.
How much Marchon track do you have?
Is it worth trying to salvage it?
You might be better off selling the old Marchon and buying more AFX Tomy, a much better connection and selection of track.
OK. Thanks. This is helpful.
Do you think it would be worth it to fabricate adaptors (or pay you to make them..:))?
I basically have a full set of the Marchon, but I don't remember how many feet it was.
There was a loop-de-loop and quite a bit of track.
Here are directions to make an adapter from any brand to any brand http://modelmotorist.com/web-content/cusadapl.jsp
It is a fairly time consuming process.
The only advantage to keeping the Marchon is if you want single lane tracks in your layout.
This is a nearly complete list of the track sections made by Marchon.
This is a nearly complete list of the track sections made by Tomy AFX.
It would probably be close to $$$ to cover my time to make adapters for you.
Marchon only made 9" radius curves so it will be tough to use in a four lane layout.
Thanks for these thoughtful, helpful responses. I appreciate your input.
I'm purchasing a computrac set..Thanks for publishing the instructions and all the great info on your site!
I was wondering could you possibly send me a picture of the underside of the primary and secondary computrac terminal tracks?
The set doesn't come with them and I was wondering if I could modify a normal terminal track ?
...also if you would be so kind as to send me a pdf file of the computrac record sheet.
I realize this is an imposition but I have no other way to determine how to use these.
I would appreciate it greatly.
Will get back to you with the under side images.
But it is basically one lane's rail is split by about an 1/8 inch so power on the left and right are from different supplies.
If you go to the track or the controller page right click on the image of the form and print or copy/paste into another software to print.
Let me know if you have any trouble.
And thank you for the kinds words regarding the site.
If you go to the track section http://modelmotorist.com/web-content/tj9ctpt2l.jsp the top and bottom views are shown.
Notice there are two types of Computrac terminal track sections, this link is to the Primary.
Notice it is a common ground system, so reversing one lane will require customization.
Two consecutive isolated ground terminal tracks with the Computrac lane insolated between them will get the job done.
An infinite number of terminal tracks can be used as long as you wire them right and have gaps in the Computrac lane.
Thanks so much for your help!
Your welcome Billy
Were you able to print the form?
I'm going to try printing them at my church tonight (I don't have a printer) I'll let you know how it works out.
I have been a fan of your site for many years and have consulted it many times.
You do an invaluable service for the slot car community and we're indebted to you.
I just won a Computrac on ebay and was wondering if you have the instruction manual and even the paper score sheets that I can get a copy of.
I see you have the wiring diagram for it but that is coming with the set I got.
If you don't have this info do you know someone who does.
I do have those on the site if you go to the track section or controller and look at the images they are there.
You are the man.
Is that your Computrac?
I think those are cool and I don't even know what it does yet.
I just like it and I always wanted one.
It is a complicated thing to design and wire into a layout, but if the numerous terminal tracks are placed in the right places you can play with yourself.
Sorry thought that was funny.
It allows one controller to be over-ridden with two speed settings, 1 for straights, and 1 for curves.
Much better than a wheel controller or the Ghost Racer set from Tomy, but still not great.
I see with your pics that the instructions for the Computrac are on the flip side of the instructions for the set which is in the set I have coming.
I thought it was a seperate book.
I might set it up to see what it is like and if it works.
I see there are 4 terminal tracks for the system.
The directions from the Computrac are not as simple as they appear.
If you look closely at the Primary terminal track and the Secondary terminal tracks the far rail of both are split.
You can have an infinite number of Secondary terminals as long as it is an odd number.
If your layout is really large the Computrac lane will have an advantage due to more terminal tracks.
If you layout is large enough to need additional terminal tracks into the non-Computrac lane the wiring gets really crazy.
Interesting info on that Computrac.
I've just been searching your wonderful website and have a request.
I am trying to find a Tomy AFX intersection/crossroads track piece or an equivalent which I can then adapt to my Tomy AFX track.
I am located in Australia and have dealt with U.S sellers quite frequently through Ebay so payment via paypal is not a problem.
We have limited supplies here in Australia of older track and your help would be very much appreciated.
Glad you enjoy the site, check back frequently as the site continues to expand.
We do not sell any of the products shown on the site.
We are informational in nature until we start our own product line.
Supply and distribution have always been poor in electric H.O. vehicles.
Auto World is selling T-Jet + X-Traction sets with Tomy track, as well as Racemasters.
I don't know if Auto World is global or not, parts of Europe are getting Auto World sets,
but I don't know about down-under.
I have used e-bay to buy and sell, but I generally don't sell track, because I can't get enough.
My experiences with e-bay have been okay depending mostly on the person packing.
With the exception of Europe where the delivery system uses packages for pinball games.
I got an email from the Netherlands in which he said European shippers could not deliver a bowling ball packed in concrete with out damaging the ball.
Sorry I can't be more help at this time.
I'm getting back into HO slot car racing and am trying to build a layout.
I've noticed that there are many different styles of AFX track.
But the thing I?ve noticed is the model numbers.
I've seen some with 5003349, some with 25xx and some with 86xx.
What is the difference with these.
There are actually three different styles of Aurora H.O. slot car tracks.
1st made was Playcraft, Thunderjet and Thunderjet 500 (known as pin and joiner or lock and pin).
2nd AFX Speed-Lok tracks.
3rd TOMY AFX.
The main difference is the connection styles shown at the following addresses.
Thunderjet uses this connection and comes in Road (black), Sand (brown), and Snow (white) colored tracks.
AFX Speed-Lok uses the following connection and only comes in black.
TOMY AFX uses this connection and comes in Road (black) and Dirt (brown).
As far as molded numbers go, they represent changes in manufacturers and locations.
USA, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and China.
Thunderjet came in standard 2 lane, single lane, and Wide track ("O" Scale).
AFX came in 2 lane and single lane.
TOMY AFX comes in only 2 lane tracks.
Adapters for connecting all of these tracks styles together have been made, but are not easy to find anymore.
The real questions are:
Do you want a track for fun or as a collector show piece?
How many lanes do you want the track to have? 2,4,6,8, or more?
Do you want to run new fast cars (Magnetic) or old slow cars (Non-Magnetic)?
Will small children be using the track or just adults?
Do you need single lane tracks?
I would recommend avoiding AFX Speed-Lok tracks because the connection is WAY too fragile.
In our destructive connection testing TOMY AFX had the best results with no broken tracks.
Hope this is helpful, let me know if you have any other questions.
I use it almost daily to help me identify my long lost treasures and help rebuild them with your chassis diagrams.
Its been a indispensable tool.
I have a question pertaining to the orange Aurora sand track sections.
Do you know if they were made for certain sets and are the sand sections more valuable then the black ones due to rarity?
Thanks for the great site and any info you can tell me about the tracks and I look forward to the body identification gallery soon.
Keep up the great work and much appreciated.
I don't attempt to put value on any of the products, new or old, since there are several factors that determine the value of an item.
Rarity is probably number one but is also dependent on desirability, distribution, and several other factors which change daily.
As far as track rarity goes, the order is Black is common, then Sand, then Snow.
All were sold separately if you found the right store quick enough.
There were two maybe three Sand Van Sets which included Sand track.
There was one set that included Snow tracks with Bushwhacker Snowmobiles.
There are few tracks that have gained significantly in value, the Aurora Thunderjet intersection with working traffic light is probably top.
Generally speaking track is cheap, vehicles are not.
Hope this is helpful,
Glad you enjoy the site, tell all the people that you see.
Watch site update notices for changes to the site.
I was searching the internet & found yound your site.
Could you help me design a track if I give you a list of what I have?
I have like 2 1/2 ho track sets.
I see you have examples on your site and was just wondering if you could help.
Thanks for your time.
I really wish I had the time to design layouts for all the people who ask.
Generally speaking my objectives when designing a layout frequently are not the same as what most people want from a layout.
I like density, confusion, and a challenge to drive with a good dose of danger.
I frequently set up layouts that change traffic flow from side by side to head on and back because I enjoy driving in opposite directions while most people don't.
Danger tracks like squeezes, lane changes, intersections, and railroad crossings are some of my favorite track sections, while most people like a fast track for competition and/or time runs.
My suggestion is to set up a few sections of tracks you want in your layout, like; a spiral or two and a zig-zag and then try to connect them together.
When you get a circle, look for places to add in any remaining tracks.
Another option is to use a piece of graph paper and a compass
Almost all HO tracks are based on 3" increments, so if 1 square equals 3" then 1 square by three squares represents a nine inch straight.
Almost all curves are also based on 3" increments with the outside radius being the size (except Faller, and Marchon) and either 45 degree(1/8circle) or 90 degree (1/4circle) increments (except Faller), therefore three squares by three squares represents a 9" curve, the most common size curve.
This works well as long as you stay with 90 degree (1/4circle) increments in curves. Changing to 45 degrees (1/8circle) makes it a lot harder to draw.
I will be adding pages that display these techniques soon.
Hope this is helpful
I'm very much enterested in the prices on products from your website.
But can't seem to find any listed.
Aurora Brand Thunderjet Steering Wheel w/brakes Controller.
Aurora Brand DC2 Transformers
Aurora Brand DC1 Transformers
All of the Aurora Brand Thunderjet Single Lane Racetrack
Your help would be truly appreciated.
ModelMotorist.Com is an informational site and does not sell any products.
Since the price of these items are changing subject to the whims of the market, we do not attempt to price them.
Our parent company J Squared Inc. now sells H.O.T.rack Products.
The only suggestion I can offer is to hunt on e-bay (other auction sites) or look for a swap meet.
Hope you are finding the site enjoyable.
Keep your shoes on the rails.
is there a price for atlas adapter track to thunder jet and thunder jet to afx? thankyou
We are a strictly informational site, and since prices change on a whim we do not list pricing for any time period.
Those have been out of production for about 40 years and are not likely to be cheap.
Check your area for swap-meets or look on ebay is about all I can suggest.
If you find any swap meets in your area that I don't have listed on the site, please ask the people who are running it to send me information so I can list it on this site for others to utilize as well.
I have a question hoping you can help me with. I have the Skyfighter track set and when the plane is placed on the wheels it flys off the track I guess due
to weight. It goes around the track just fine without the plane on the wheels. Do you have any tips on this, thanks for any help you may offer.
The bodies are intended to be held on by magnetic force.
The objective of the set was to attempt to knock the other guy's body off
without loosing your own.
It sounds like the metal plate that is screwed to the inside the body is missing.
Or the body is not seating down far enough to make contact with the magnets.
Do you have guardrails or other obstructions?
Let me know if this helped
Could you please explain to me which cars were Flamethrowers and which had the lighted
chassis? I am in the process of accumulating some old cars, chassis, bodies, etc., and
it has been so long since I have been exposed to this stuff I forget.
I have seen Flamethrowers on eBay and even purchased a couple rebuilt chassis'. I know
the Porcshe 917, Ferrari 512 M were Flamethrowers, but what about the Superbirds?
What specifically was the difference in the body's lighting system?
Hope you can help.
Hi M Kelly
Sorry for the delay, too many irons in the fire.
The main difference is the light bulb on the chassis.
Many bodies had added plastic to hold the bulb and direct the light.
There are four bodies for blazin brakes cars that have a rear plastic bulb holder.
The Daytona is one of them (Superbirds were the same car from Plymouth).
There where some early CanAm cars that had only thin plastic windows for headlights.
I have begun uploading all of the catalogs from various manufacturers,
unfortunately it is part of the members only section of the site.
$20.00 one time fee for a Life-Time Membership.
Check out the Site Updates page and sample catalog.
There are and will be more benefits from membership as the site expands.
Sorry I can't be more specific but there are a lot of years and models of FlameThrowers.
There are also Cat's Eyes which allowed the lights to turn on and off by changing polarity of power.
Hope this is helpful
Is there an adapter for Life-Like to MR-1 Racing by Empire?
As far as I know there is no adapter to connect anything to MR-1 Empire/Marchon,
except for an adapter from MR-1 to MicroScalextric which I have not gotten a hold of yet.
You will need to make a custom adapter track if you really want to connect Life-Like to MR-1.
I recently bought some AW cars for our Micro Scalextric track(quite a few actually).
They dont run well at all however, stopping all the time. Do You know if this is a
mismatch or due to the cars or what? By the way I think the scalextric track is really
lousy, bad connections and conductivity seems bad. I got a high quality variable voltage
supply but that didnt help. Considering buying Life-like or AFX track or complete set....
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I am not sure what an AW cars are.
Does it have braided pickups or thin metal shoes?
Do other cars have trouble in the same spots?
Have you cleaned the track rails recently?
I'm betting on braided pickups these can be finicky to get adjusted.
One stray strand can hold up the entire braid.
If it has the thin metal shoe style pickups look for wear causing ruts
running the length of the shoes.
Whether braids or shoes are used, check if the contact surface is concaved,
if so the sides of the pickups can make contact with the track surface and
lift them from the rails, breaking contact.
The best way to check this is by placing the car on a loose piece of track
and look from the front of the car to see what the contact and clearances
are between the pickups, track surfaces and rail surfaces.
As far as track goes I have tried to break them all and Tomy track releases
just before it breaks. They also have the best selection of basic
tracks, but unfortunately are one the more expensive brands.
Most connection styles can be revived with a tiny pliers to bend weak spring
loads a little tighter, then lightly sand the rail connection surfaces with
fine (200+) grit sand paper as long as none of the plastic supporting the
rail has been broken behind the rails.
Let me know if this helps.
Thank You for Your reply and the very useful info. AW make reproductions of
the old magnatraction and tjet cars. Really cool musclecar bodies! I think
they were called Johnny Lightning earlier. I cleaned the track as You
adviced and the cars ran better. The springs for the pick-up shoes however,
seemed to be to soft so I bent the shoes slightly and that did the rest.
Still not very impressed with the Scalextric track and not many different
pieces available. Will check out the Tomy track. It is not available here in
Sweden but importing from USA is quite inexpensive now because of the
Once again thank You!
Glad I could help.
A lot of TOMY (newest AFX) is available pretty cheap on e-bay if
you are willing to gamble on used tracks and private sellers.
There are 220 Volt transformers available for TOMY layouts, but if
you have a nice power supply use it.
The best way I have found to wire any layout without using stock plugs
is to cut the straps below a terminal track and use a "Spade" wire
connector and slide it on the slightly bent stubs of the straps under a terminal track.
One other thing I forgot to mention is, if the guide pin is too long or debris is in the slot
this to can cause sputtering and stalling.
I have heard of people having too strong stock springs in the Johnny Lightning T-Jet
cars so the pin does not want to stay in the slot.
LOVED YOUR SITE, DO YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON AURORA BUS SYSTEMS ? PIC'S ECT.
No I have nothing on any of Aurora's Non-HO products.
Over the years I have seen some Buses, Tracks and Literature at Swap Meets but I have none.
Thank you for enjoying the site.
Do you have any idea whether the HO cars available in the US mostly e.g.
Tomy, Tyco, Life Like will run on the Micro Scalextric (Hornby) track sold in the UK?
It doesn't appear to be any different from their tracks, but I have been told that the 'rails'
might be too high.
The rail height of Microscalextric tracks are reasonable close to the same
height as everyone else tracks, the only cars you will have a problem with are Matchbox's slot cars.
Matchbox cars use a narrower standard for their rails so their pick-up shoes miss the
rails on everyone elses tracks.
The rail height of Microscalextric tracks is approximately 0.005 Inches
higher than Life-Like tracks or 0.1 Millimeter. Stock Aurora - Tyco - Life-Like vehicles
should not be a problem. A highly modified "Super Racer" may be a problem but I doubt it.
Rail height is not maintained to a critical tolerance meaning the height of the rails in
the same brand of track can vary significantly. If you do come across a vehicle that
drags on the rails, you can increase the tire size to compensate for the difference.
I have some track sections with no names or numbers on them, how do I find out who made these
sections of track?
The first step is to look through the
Identifications: Connection Style / Brand
pages to find what brand the track is. Then go to the
Identifications: Track pages
and select the brand to find out what section of track you have.
I have an old Atlas track layout and would like to expand it, do I have to find more Atlas tracks to
There is no easy answer to this question. The simplest thing to do
is stay with the same brand of tracks. The next simplest method is to go to
Compatibilities: Track to Track and see what brands of tracks connect
directly and what adapters tracks are available. The other option is to create
Custom Adapters to the brand of track that offers the selection of tracks
you want to use.
I'm from England and I'm trying to accumulate a large tcr track.
I've been buying the original Ideal tcr track and want to know if it's possible to incorporate the large banked corner from the Tyco tcr series.
Like you I'm very good at working with plastics and adhesives, particularly polystyrene sheet, and was wondering if anything could be done to match the two up.
Even better would be if you could provide some adapted sections.
I gather from your website that this simply is not possible, but however I am hopeful that possibly something could be done.
Any advice would be most welcomed.
Many thanks indeed.
Is this the Ideal TCR connection you have?
The connection Tyco TCR High Bank uses is this one.
The Tyco TCR High Bank track is what I refer to as a "Dead Track", meaning
it does not conduct electricity from the incoming side to the outgoing side.
So if you cut both ends of the Tyco High Bank flat and the ends of two pieces of
Ideal TCR long straight tracks flat, then you can glue them directly together.
Be sure to add something to the bottom of the connection to reduce the
chance of breakage from bending.
Because the High Bank is a "Dead Track" only 1 can be used in a layout
without additional terminal tracks being wired into the layout.
Try to place the Terminal track as close to the opposite side of the layout
to balance the power fading around the layout.
Adding additional terminal tracks is a good idea as the layout gets larger,
but is not as simple as it should be to do.
I have not done an example of adding terminal tracks to a Slotless Layouts.
I will do that in the future, since it is not quite the same as Slot Layout wiring.
If you want to use the rest of the track that comes with the High Bank curve set,
you will want to do something similar to the custom adapter example below.
Hope this is helpful.
Yes, this helps a lot, and I understand what you mean by dead track.
I'm also not too bad with a soldering iron, so I may just simply connect the two ends together with wire around the banked curve to allow electricity to flow
better throughout the whole length of track.
Brilliant, many many thanks indeed, and well done for a great website.
I was browsing your site, and it contains a lot of interesting information.
With reference to the Aurora steering wheel controllers with forward/reverse and brake, you note: ** Warning **
This is a reversing controller and requires an isloated ground terminal track. Using a reversing controller on a
layout with a common groung (typo (corrected)) terminal track will cause damage to your controllers and/or
transformer. I have never noticed a difference in terminal tracks. How can I identify a common ground terminal
If you look on the bottom side of the terminal tracks shown in these links:
This terminal track has three screws on the top and one of the connecting straps on the bottom connects to two rail (common ground).
The way this track was made one lane would go the opposite direction as the other, unless the magnets in one car are installed in the opposite direction.
This track has four screws and there are four straps on the bottom, one for each rail (isolated ground).
The screw count on the top is unreliable, always look at the bottom.
Some of the terminal tracks Aurora made had four screws but three straps on the bottom.
Some of the clip on terminals from Aurora also had four screws and three straps.
Jerome A Lepinski
Thank you very much for responding to my query. It all makes sense, I guess my only terminal track experience has been with the
isolated types. have a good weekend and I appreciate the knowledge.
And you get 12 Tips to extend the life and improve the performance of your valuable slot cars!
You also get Scale Distance Charts for all of the common Tracks available from most manufacturers.