Slot Car Racing For Beginners

Slot cars have been around for decades and kids of all ages have, in one way or another, experienced the thrill of racing miniature models of their favorite cars, whether by watching adults race slot cars or by growing up racing the cars themselves. But not everybody is very familiar with the hobby because in as much as gaming and sports goes, children nowadays are more computer-game-oriented.

So what is slot car racing?

Slot car racing is a spare time activity or a sport, dependent on which side of the coin you are looking. Presently, it is largely thought about an interest among people who were born during the earlier decades. In the sixties, although, it is widely thought of as a sport, somewhat in the league of baseball, bowling, and basketball. During the earlier decades, both children and adults are active in the sports. Huge commercial raceways dot nearly all urban centers, just as they do now with bowling facilities. Regrettably, as with most fad sports, this one died its natural death. But it was never really forgotten as evidenced by the truth that slot racing nowadays is experiencing revival in popularity.

The New and The Old

When it was initially introduced to the populace, slot racing was the sports of the sons of the moneyed. The raceways in addition to the model cars are very very expensive, therefore it started slow. But the public soon acquired the habit when less costly model cars and raceways became accessible to. Its Golden Age began and ended during the sixties to seventies. It is merely now that people are rediscovering slot car racing.

The classic style of slot racing contains model cars produced with timber or plastic that are powered by electricity. This is viewed the conventional slot cars.

In this sort of slot racing, cars race in a single line. The amount of cars that are raced during a lone ‘competition’ relies on the number of lanes available. Say when the raceway only has 2 lines, only 2 cars are permitted to compete. Whenever the’re 4 lanes, 4 cars are allowed for completion, and so on. Because variations in the normal speed of the slot car are affected by the position of the lanes, most races are broken into heats wherein drivers switch lanes to equalize any limitations a prerequisite off each lane. Being the conventional or classic mode of slot racing, this is the more favorite used among race sets throughout the world.

The newer kind of racing is the digital slot car racing. This allows for 2 to 8 drivers to competing in 2-lane tracks. Unlike with the conventional mode of racing, this one permits better control of the lane in addition to the car. Any or all of the drivers can race in one lane simultaneously, therefore providing better competition and real race-like appeal.

Why you should race?

Slot car racing is many different things to several people. Some individuals race for fun, others as a spare time activity and others for money prizes. For starters, slot car racing is purely for the satisfaction of one’s innate sense for racing.

Slot Car Racing – Overview

Slot car racing was popularized in the 1960s although the hobby has been around a few decades earlier. The first commercial slot cars were made during 1912 by an American company called Lionel. From then on, it was only a point of time until mass output of slot cars were fully realized.

Several decades after the first slot cars were produced, people are rediscovering the hobby.

Slot Car Scales

Slot cars are essentially miniature versions of actual models of car. The only difference these have with other commercially available miniature models is the fact that it is a specialized toy that requires specialized tracks.

While slot cars come in different scales, the hottest fall into the 1:24, 1:32, and HO scales. These designations indicate the number of units in length that is represented by a unit in the actual model. Say, the largest scale is the 1:24 scale. This shows that for every 24 ins or millimeters on the actual model, there is 1 unit represented on the scaled down version. The same is true with other scales.

One should take note that the HO scale is a generic scale that covers from 1:64 to 1:87 scales. In this scale, slot cars would often measure anywhere from 2.5 ins to 3.5 ins, making them the most commonly raced slot cars in home racetracks. Larger scales are often impractical to race in home racetracks thanks to their overall size. Therefore, they are often commonly seen in hobby clubs and shops in addition to commercial tracks.

Slot Car Components

Slot cars, similar to real race cars, are derived from many various components.

The shell of the slot car represents the outer of the motor car it was duplicated from. Most commercially accessible slot cars have decent detailing which in some manner represent the particulars of the actual model. High-end slot cars, alternatively, often have intricate details.

The motor of the vehicle, although not exactly the component that gives it its power, is what it uses to process the power it receives from the rails on the track. This is oftentimes coupled to the chassis to gain better control of the car’s body.

The guide is that small plastic component that hinges to the rail or ‘slot’ on the track. This is partially what gives the slot car its name.

The gears, , are the components of the automobile that dictate how the vehicle would perform.

An alternative ingredient of the vehicle is the magnet. This is attached anywhere on the automobile, giving it the downforce to keep it stable.

Slot Car Track

As was mentioned previously, slot cars run on special racetracks called slot car tracks. These are usually made of plastic, cardboard or wood and have layouts that can resemble actual racetracks made use of in popular racing tournaments. Such layouts are specially designed by the builder.

Although looking somewhat like other miniature racetracks, slot car tracks are distinctive from common racetracks as these have parallel rails that run throughout the entire track. The parallel rails have two different purposes – one keeps the motor car coupled to the ground while the other gives it the power to run.

Individual components of the track can be bought in various slot car shops. Nevertheless, these can likewise be made from scratch using common materials used for creating slot car racetracks.


History Of Slot Cars In Details

Does your kid enjoy racing? To let him experience the joy and excitement of being on a race track without in fact driving a genuine race automobile, you ought to think about purchasing him a slot car set. Slot cars are replicas of actual cars with bodies manufactured purposely for miniature racing. While there are commercially accessible slot cars of various sizes and types, some racers still prefer to create their own individual models from basic parts and materials. But how and where did slot automobiles originated?

The primary slot cars to hit the marketplace had been built by Lionel Corporation. This design, which appeared on Lionel’s catalog in 1912, draws it energy from a toy train rail that was set from the wide slot between the rails. Racers can adjust the speed of their vehicle by governing the switch positioned on the track’s power. This initial design has very much in resemblance to modern slot cars and trucks, but independent speed control was provided only as an option way previously. Manufacture of this toy set was stopped right after 1915.


In late 1930s, hobbyist use relatively big type cars with 1:16 to 1:18 scales. These vehicles derived their energy from miniature internal combustion engines that have been firstly equipped with spark-ignition that was later on substituted for glow plug engines. Since there was no means for the player to master the car’s speed and steering, this type of auto was mainly a mechanic’s hobby.


In 1940s, British fans commence experimenting controllable electric automobiles that feature hand-built motors.


In 1954, the Southport type Engineering Society in United Kingdom was dared by a patent-holder to use rail-guided gas-car exhibition on raising funds. So its staff produced an electric racecourse with six-lane layout and measuring 60 feet extended. This course is created for 1:32 rail-guided automobiles which are considered as the ancestors of slot racing cars.

Inspired by the said layout from Southport, some US and UK clubs begin racing electric cars and trucks assisted by center rails in 1955 to 1956. These rails had been right after replaced by slots on the track surface and autos raced on these tracks are named slot vehicles. In 1957, Minimodels has developed a famous line of slot-guided cars known as Scalextric. Victory Industries also established the VIP line. The Scaletrix became an instantaneous hit, causing engineers and some companies like Aurora Plastics Corporation to produce HO vibrator sets. These small cars dumbfounded the populace as their price and size finest suit the requirements of average consumers.


It was in the 1960s the moment slot cars became very much trendy. In 1963, following manufacturing a million and a half units, Aurora created flat-commutator motor to replace the vibrator autos. From this, the best-selling slot car in history, known as Aurora Thunderjet-500, was made. The Thunderjets, along with their upgraded versions, took over the marketplace for around a decade.


It was in late 1970s when the slot vehicle craze sputtered out.

By employing computer-aided designing, far more precise and genuine models have been produced in 1990s. And in 2004, the digital handle systems which have modernized product railroading, commence appearing in 1:32 slot vehicles. Such systems offer racers with the skills to race multiple vehicles in each lane, and to enjoy a lot more realistic racing knowledge.


Which Slot Car Best Fits You?

There would not have been a alternative if we were living in the sixties. But as it is, slot car racers are polarized between adhering to the traditional system used by conventional slot cars and the modern appeal of digital slot cars. Here, we will walk you through the differences between the 2 sorts of slot cars. Let’s begin.

Conventional Slot Cars

Conventional slot cars are the traditional slot cars. These root from the earliest types of cars released during the 60s. As such, they close to pick up from the technologies used by their earlier predecessors and therefore stick with the true slot cars. Although generally fun, conventional cars lack the same sort of technology applied with its modern cousins.

Digital Slot Cars

Digital slot cars, alternatively, are the new types of slot cars. Among the notable differences between the types are the proportions of digital slot car tracks to allow several cars to race on 2-lane tracks ( therefore cars can alter lanes during the course of the race), better manageability of the vehicle during the race because of the integration of precise breaking systems ( that are lacking with the conventional models) and the overall improved control over the vehicle.

Interestingly, in spite of the merits offered by digital slot cars, most enthusiasts choose to good old fashioned way of racing conventional cars. For a few reason, the digital ones just don’t have the identical appeal as their predecessors.

When choosing between conventional and digital slot cars, a few important aspects should be thought about.

Space: The amount of space you can utilize for your slot car track largely determines which type you should be utilizing. Because conventional cars require individual lanes (remember they are stuck in the same lane during the entire course), the tracks they need require heaps of space. If you is able to afford space, you can opt for conventional cars. If you can’t, the digital ones can better suit you.

Nevertheless, another major consideration with space is the amount of drivers who would use the track. If you are simply driving with your son as recreation, a conventional track may still work for you. Just use 2 lanes and you’re good to drive traditional slot cars without caring about selecting some of too much space. Yet, if other slot car drivers frequent your track, it is best to stick to digital cars. These are best for smaller spaces.

Cost: Slot car racing is a relatively expensive hobby. And its gets more expensive with digital slot cars.

In the main, digital slot car sets and tracks are more costly than the conventional sets. This is because there’s just too much electronics involved. Although, since you only need a set for a 2-lane track, you need not buy as much track as you would if you are building yourself a conventional track.

Complexity: Your knowledge as a driver are very important when choosing which variety to buy. Digital slot cars need you to live through some learning curve as this will force you to learn the tricks of changing lanes as well as other things. With that said, it is way easier to drive conventional cars.

Other factors that you should consider are expandability of the racetrack, convertibility of the track along with aftermarket value of your motorcar, in case you are planning to sell your cars sooner or later.


Slot Cars – Basic Information


If you care about speed but you didn’t like the idea of risking the way you live in driving a genuine race car at incredibly high speeds, then you should purchase a slot car set. Included in such set are all the required components needed in setting up the race track out of the box. If you require extra track pieces, controllers, car bodies, and other additional accessories, you can buy them too.

History of Slot Cars

Slots cars first appeared in early 20th century and immediately became famous not simply with children but also with youngsters and adults. Early designs are established on a raised rail which was embedded in the track and players in the past don’t have complete control over the speed of the vehicle. After some alterations, slot cars in 1930s came furnished with small car engines. As time passed by, slot cars were then powered by flow.

There was a move in the 1950s to improve the tracks by utilizing grooves instead of raised track. With the current flowing through the groove, the speed of the automobile are now able to be managed by utilizing a hand-held remote control for every car set up on the track. With these innovations, it became possible for several individuals to enjoy slot car racing using the same track.

Owing to the refinements made on slot cars, slot car racing also became popular. More and more producers start offering slot car sets with a few cars and a track that may be enhanced using accessory kits. In 1960 s, a broad variety of slot cars and track configurations appear, providing slot car racers more options to work alongside.

Slot Car Scales

For serious competition, there are three common slot car scales or sizes. These are: 1:24 scale, 1:32 scale, and HO. The biggest cars employed in slot car racing are 1:24 scale cars, which come seven to eight inches long. These cars need a huge course so it’s really impractical for home use.

More worthwhile for home race courses are the smaller 1:32 scale cars that are five to six ins long. But they are also popularly raced on commercial tracks located in clubs or in hobby shops. HO-sized slot cars, on the other hand, have different scales from 1:87 to 1:64. Regardless of their sizes, these cars all run on a track with the same width. The size of a regular HO slot car is from 2.5 to 3.5 inches.

Slot Car Racing Tracks And Track Layout

Slot Car Racing Tack

Household Racetracks

Racetracks for house use are constructed applying injection-molded plastic snapped together to form tracks. Such courses are dubbed as plastic tracks. Property tracks generally have features that improve the racing challenge. Among such functions are slots that wiggle or join lanes together, airborne jumps, bumps, and uneven surfaces. These features are typically found on toy tracks.


Tracks for Competition

Race tracks employed for significant competition are constructed by hands and are known as routed tracks. In such tracks, guide slots used for the whole racecourse are sliced into a couple of big sheets to provide smooth surface which enables slot vehicles to perform at their very best. Tracks for competitions are produced very much like road courses with twists and turns even though ovals and trapezoidal ovals are commonly employed.


Tracks for formal slot car or truck racing competitions can be constructed with banked corners and might connect one particular portion to a different without employing trick configurations. Among the common tracks used for slot vehicle racing are:


• 1:24 Scale tracks

These tracks, which are employed for competitions, are usually six to eight lane routed tracks with retaining walls which are comprised of wood or flexible plastic. The said tracks are normally seen in commercial racing centers.


• HO Scale tracks

These competition tracks are normally 60 to 100 feet long and four to six lanes wide.

Slot cars tracks are powered by an energy supply that’s plugged into a wall outlet. The power supply converts the alternating electric current (AC) coming from the wall outlet into direct current (DC). The voltage supplied to the track commonly ranges from twelve to eighteen volts and one or two amps. Slot car racers could raise the electrical power supplied towards the track by using separate energy supplies for every single racing lane. If additional electrical power supplies are required, the powerbase often times need modification to deal with the additional electrical power utilized.


Track Layout

While a great many slot car racers focus on upgrading and modifying their cars to improve their speed and racing performance, some spend their time producing elaborate tracks with landscape gardening and other details. There are as a matter of fact, an assortment of special Track segments that can be added to a race track to realize a much more competitive racing. There are track pieces created to bring cars closer to each other, forcing the racer to increase speed so his car can run ahead of the other car or truck or to steer clear of the dangers of becoming pushed or interrupted. There are also pieces that make sharp turns and inclines, forcing the racer to think as to when the right time to slow down or to speed up is.

The current advancements in slot car racing are the digital tracks which enable racers to transfer from a single lane to one more. Digital tracks and slot vehicles typically employ microchips that make it feasible for various racers to run on the same lane.


All About Hybrid-Car Battery Packs

Those considering purchasing a hybrid car may be a little concerned about what’s under the hood. Hybrid cars have battery-powered motors. Since a battery-powered motor is not something that typically comes to mind when people think about what’s under the hood of a car, it’s a good idea to get a good understanding of the hybrid-car battery-pack. Below are a few facts about it.

Battery packs in hybrid cars do not need to be replaced

Made to last over the lifetime of the vehicle, a hybrid car’s warranty covers the battery for a time period that lasts between eight and ten years. In terms of mileage, a battery pack is expected to last between 150, 000 and 200,000 miles, and it probably lasts longer than that.

Battery toxicity is a concern, but not a major concern

Hybrid cars use NiMH batteries, not the rechargeable nickel cadmium. Nickel cadmium batteries are usually detrimental to the environment, but the NiMH batteries that are used in hybrid cars are fully recyclable.

Hybrid batteries contain hundreds of cells

Hundreds of cells means that hybrid cars have a lot of complexity going on underneath their hoods, and complexity does usually mean expensive, but with the generous warranty car manufacturers are giving on these cars, there is little involved in purchasing a hybrid.

The numbers of battery failures in hybrids have been really low

When I say low, I mean really low. If failure happens, it’s probably before the cars even get off the lot. Toyota has even said that some of its original Prius models have packs that have gone over 300,000 miles.

The cost of replacing hybrid batteries isn’t even an issue

It isn’t an issue because the battery packs in hybrid cars are built to last. The Department of Energy looked into hybrid vehicles, but stopped its test when the capacity was “just like new” after 160,000 miles. So no one really seems to know for sure what it costs to replace the battery pack in a hybrid car.

The battery packs in hybrid cars are evolving

If we look further into the future, the next generation of hybrid batteries is in the works. The goal: To discover a technology that gives lots of power, lasts for the hybrid car’s lifetime, and costs less to make.

If the battery pack in your hybrid car does run out, there is a solution

Toyota has put out some advice on what to do if your hybrid battery should run out after the warranty has ended. The advice is to recondition the battery. The solution works well because if something goes wrong, the problem lies within only one of the 28 modules that the battery is made up of. So if you simply replace the problematic module with one that matches the chemistry of the other 27 modules, your hybrid car’s battery should be in good shape. You can find a match by getting a battery pack from another car that has a similar mileage and age.

All About Plug-In Hybrid Cars

Known as the eco-friendly car, hybrid cars that you plug in are considered symbols of the advanced future. The savings on gas adds up to the tune of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the car. Right now, plug-in hybrids are available to the buying public, though, regular hybrid cars are the dominant money-saving choice available to consumers, so many people might want to know all about plug-in hybrid cars.

As early as 1899, hybrid cars were being produced. The producer of these fascinating cars in those early years was Lohner-Porsche. These hybrid cars had to be charged externally.

In 1969, there was a July issue of Popular science. This issue featured an article on a plug-in hybrid manufactured by General Motors. The concept was that this plug-in hybrid car was a vehicle meant for traveling average distances. Called the General Motors XP-883, it had six 12-volt lead batteries located in the trunk area. And it was meant to be plugged into a standard 110-volt socket for recharging, and the fuel tank could hold about 10 liters.

In September of 2004, the California Cars initiative made a 2004 Toyota Prius prototype into what it called a PRIUS+, the difference being that the converted model had an add-on — there were 130 kg of lead-acid batteries onboard.

Ford motor company says it plans to sell plug-in hybrids in about the next five to ten years. Everything depends on improvements made to lithium ion batteries. So don’t you want to drive of these hybrid cars? With a plugin hybrid car, you’ll be the envy of your friends who are just driving regular hybrid cars. You’ll be able to travel on and on without looking for an Exxon or Texaco station.

And these types of hybrid cars aren’t waiting for someone to bring them out on the auto showroom floor. Somehow, these hybrid cars have infiltrated themselves into the media. That’s why people just love hybrid cars in general. And when you think about a plug-in hybrid, you can hardly believe what advances auto manufacturers are making these days.

It is said that there is a global demand for hybrid cars that is unbelievable. In fact, the demand is expected to grow. Therefore, it is expected that more than 1 million vehicles will be produced annually. And if some of these hybrid cars were made so that they could run on electricity alone, there would be an even greater increase in demand.

But in terms of plug-hybrids, some people may not even believe these hybrid cars are really coming out since what they will be able to do is so awe-inspiring. But plug-in hybrids are definitely on their way. Supposedly, Daimler Chrysler is about to come out with 100 delivery vans that can go 20 miles just on electricity. So get ready, plug-in hybrid cars are definitely coming to an auto dealer near you.

All About Hybrid Cars

It’s probably not a news flash that gas doesn’t seem to be getting any cheaper. People all over are asking what they can do about the rise in price, and often the answer is to choose a different vehicle. That’s simple, right? But what kind of vehicle should you choose? Just maybe, you should try a hybrid car.

The hybrid cars are the talk of the town these days. They come in great colors, sleek styles, and they will make your commute less expensive. When you look at those characteristics of a hybrid car, how could you not choose to run to the car dealer right now and pick one up? Well, we all wish we could do just that, but before you run out, maybe you should learn a bit more about these cars.

A hybrid car is a vehicle that is run on electricity. A combination of a conventional propulsion system and a rechargeable energy storage system that is onboard the vehicle work together to give the vehicle better fuel economy than cars that run strictly on gasoline.

Hybrid cars are unlike battery electric vehicles because the batteries used in hybrid cars do not have to be charged by an external source. Instead, in order to get a charge, kinetic energy is generated by way of regenerative braking. Furthermore, some hybrid cars make use of their own combustion engine to create electricity. The combustion engine does this by spinning an electrical generator. The spinning does one of two things. It can either recharge the battery or in a more direct way, it can give power to an electric motor. This motor is what then drives the vehicle.

Therefore, because this fuel-economizing vehicle can generate its own electricity, it is very different from a vehicle that is run strictly on batteries. But, there is no waiting while your car charges up outside in the garage before you go to work. All you have to do is get into the car and ride.

It is true that some people have experimented with electrical vehicles in the past. However, the introduction of the hybrid car outdid these types of cars when it came on the scene.

Because the hybrid car is so innovative in the way it powers itself and the way it is able to save travelers money on fuel, it’s called the car of the future. At least that’s what some automakers believe, and many consumers agree with them. The next wave of the automotive market, Hybrid cars continue to be purchased by customers as the years go on.

So if you want a car that saves on gas and will make you the talk of town, perhaps you should invest in a hybrid car.

And you might find yourself tired of just pulling over at local gas stations to fuel up. If that’s the case, you have another reason to think about purchasing a hybrid car. So get on over to the car dealer. It could be the best decision of your future.

Slot Car and Slot Car Racing Sets

In case you, like many a younger boy (and woman), once dreamed of being a race auto motor driver, its a safe bet that the nearest you came was racing Scalextric slot cars. Slot car racing is a passion that appeals to each young and old (it never dies, it merely gets filed away until you’re old enough to know better!) and has been so for a few years now, due to the enduring appeal and fantastic array of Scalextric slot vehicles, tracks and ready made sets.

Scalextric first hit the market in the late 1950s in the UK, providing boys with toys that had been each exciting and related to the rising curiosity in motor racing throughout the world. The basic idea has changed little since then, and models from the early days (hotly collected and valuable today) will run on a contemporary track without modification.

Slot car racing is as popular now as ever, maybe more because of the worldwide fascination with something quick and on wheels and the variety of track and units out there is just great, with new styles and models, with ideas added to the range every season. While the usual track allows two cars to race on individual lanes, a brand new innovation for the twenty first century, often known as Sport Digital, permits several cars to run on one track, and to change lanes by means of a particular handset, giving higher scope for competition and delight, and adding to the various Slot Car clubs and championships that have been already prevalent internationally and in the USA.

Whereas a UK invention and with a comprehensive range of models and units focusing on Formulation One and other European based mostly classes of motor racing. Scalextric has a large following in the USA. Indycar, NASCAR and lots of other US based mostly races are represented and in actual fact the USA has seen the fastest development in this fantastically fun pastime. Scalextric really encourages various manufacturers who deal in additional specialist fashions, and therefore the US market is nicely catered for. The manufacturer Fly as an example, make a variety of US primarily based fashions including the endurance racing Corvette, while MRRC can provide a set of Chaparral racing cars, evoking the spirit of the good American racing groups of the 1960s.

Indy vehicles, NASCAR and others are all accessible from a wide range of suppliers, so that you can construct you personal with a simple equipment, plain body and highly effective motor, and paint it to match the model you wish to emulate. The range of track is simply superb, permitting the replica of real tracks internationally and the creation of your own, and a choice of very good slot automobile units, from single seaters, by way of Moto GP, to highway automobiles and varied others, provides the Slot Automotive enthusiast a alternative that’s unequalled on this sphere of hobbying. Scalextric is so properly established that the range of accessories, tyres, our bodies, body parts, and trackside grandstands, Armco and pit equipment, enables one to construct an accurate duplicate of a race track, and provides hours of enjoyable competition between family and buddies for years to come.

Shopping for low cost slot car sets in the age of the web has never been simpler, the web has offered a huge range of retailers, clubs and fanatics to come collectively and make it easier for even complete freshmen to search out the right set for their own situation. These sites present the informal viewer with entry to all sorts of video and data to help with their slot car decision making.