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  #1  
Old 06-04-2009, 10:14 AM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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RealTracks Traction Tests

I wanted a baseline for times running my Kyosho dNaNos on the stock RealTracks TrackPack 20 setup before I try an idea I have to get more traction on the race surface. I have been trying to figure out what track surface I am going to use at Mini Speedway for the dNaNos and the new FlatTrack version of the RealTracks is in the running especially if my traction increasing idea works.

So, I shot a couple of minutes of video to watch the cars and to time the laps. The video shows just how touchy the cars are when I get on the power a little too much. It is a hair-trigger type thing. I think some folks would like the fairly realistic way the cars lose traction but I really want to explore the speed of the dNaNos a bit more so I will be attempting to increase the traction of the RealTracks surface. My goal is to simulate the feeling I get running my Mini-Zs on the 50cm RCP track.

When I originally got the TrackPack 20 almost a year ago I was running Epoch cars and the traction of the RealTracks surface was decent for the performance offered by my stock Epochs. However, when I got my first dNaNo it was clear that the new Mini Kyosho had a ton more power than could be put down effectively on the RealTracks race surface.

When running my Porsche 917K on stock RealTrack it is hard to put the power down even with the KT-18 transmitter in training mode to tame the power delivery. Average laps were about 6.1 seconds with a couple of 5.7 second laps.

Running my Mazda 787B with the KO Propo EX1-UR turned down to 24% on the throttle I was a bit less consistent for this test but the fastest laps were 5.5 seconds with an average right around 6.1 seconds as well.

Video of the dNaNo Porsche 917K

Video of the dNaNo Mazda 787B

On with the track surface modification in which I apply thinned Household Goop to the track surface! Viva la traction!
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2009, 10:59 AM
RCP-Tracks, Inc RCP-Tracks, Inc is offline
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I spent a good portion of last year testing a variety of plastic and hard surfaces specifically for the upcoming release of the dNaNo. I used a variety of home brew traction compounds ranging from orange juice to apple cider. I poured the contents into a spray bottle and lightly coated the surface. This process yielded great temporary grip for the small scale RC cars, but it had it's major downfall.

Applying the traction compound to the track allowed the tires to become like magnets. The tires became incredibly sticky and would pick up any dust, hair or dirt from the track, just in a few laps. Even the slightest bit of dirt or hair stuck to a dNaNo tire would cause the car to vibrate dramatically. It was so bad, you would need to pick up the car and clean the tires with water or some other substance. After just a few more laps, the car would then become un-drivable again, until cleaning of the tires was completed. The added traction compound would also build up in the small tiny axles and cause the front tires to not spin freely. With the small dNaNo, just the slightest bit of resistance on the front wheels would make the car undriveable in the turns.

Although the traction compound did give the cars great grip, it was short lived after a few laps of the car picking up the dirt and dust. If you can find something that would become sticky on the plastic track, but would not build up on the tires and axles, that would be your best.

Last edited by RCP-Tracks, Inc; 06-04-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:05 AM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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Look no further for the "Magic Mix" this is not a temporary compound. It is as permanent as it gets. I have been using the same basic mixture in RC airplane applications for years. If fact, it is so tough that in mid-airs the underlying structure breaks while the Goop mixture holds the outer skin together. If you are the "experimenting" type don't over look this.

Greg
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:09 AM
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I thought I'd also mention that in over 1000 laps on this new surface with my dNaNos they have NOT picked up a speck of dirt. They are as clean as when they came out of the box.

FYI, I Love RCP track too. I have over 6-Wide L's worth at the shop and while I really like it for Mini-Zs it does create some dust that, over time, needs cleaning on the dNaNos.

Don't even get me started on carpet!
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  #5  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:13 AM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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As I mentioned in a preiously I want to improve the traction of my RealTracks race track to better suit the power of my dNaNos. I feel the stock surface, while great for low power cars like the Epoch, is too slippery for the dNaNo.

For the new surface I am going to use thinned Household Goop (Plumber's Goop is the same thing as far as I can tell so get which ever is cheaper). I use Toluene to thin the Goop to about Maple Syrup consistency. It takes a while to mix and I let the mixture sit for a while between mixings so the Goop will dissolve in the Toluene. BTW, this is a thing you want to do either outside or in a place with good ventilation. If you do it at home and are married, prepare for a confrontation! The fumes are not something you want to huff! Probably a good idea to wear gloves too.

Before I applied the Goop mixture I used Alcohol to clean the RealTracks tiles. Toluene is a good solvent but it does affect the RealTracks plastic if it is allowed to pool and rubbed. It does not immediately dissolve the surface but to be safe I am only using it in the final application of the Goop. I suspect that the Toluene would also remove any painted stripes. Even the Alcohol removed a little.

After the Alcohol dried I used blue painter's tape to mask off the connecting tabs so assembling the track would still be easy.

I used a small foam roller to spread a thin but even coat of mixed material on the top of the RealTracks surface and worked the roller enough to get some small bubbles in the Goop mixture and then set the track piece aside to dry. BTW, I did try applying the mixture on the underside of the track to check compatibility and was pleased with the result so I went ahead and applied it to the actual running surface.

One tube of Goop and about 4 or 5 ounces of Toluene did a dozen RealTacks tiles. I ended up using almost two tubes total and about 7 ounces of Toluene for the entire RealTracks TrackPack 20 set.

After I had all the track parts coated I left them in the shop overnight. The Goop mixture actually dries to the touch on about an hour but the solvent takes longer to totally dissolve and the associated odor is persistent as well!

I guess I should add a disclaimer here: This mod is not reversible. From my tests it does not ruin the track but you will not be able to remove the Goop once it is applied. Except for the added traction you will hardly notice it is on the track.

On with the driving. Check out the next article as I discover if all this rig-a-ma-role was worth it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg realtrack-892.jpg (108.5 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg realtrack-891.jpg (96.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg realtrack-890.jpg (106.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg realtrack-889.jpg (96.8 KB, 22 views)
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:17 AM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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First of the results are GREAT! The surface has more traction without being silly sticky.

Test car dNaNo Mazda 787B. This car is set up with my EX-1UR radio and is a bit easier to control than a dNaNo running with the stock KT-18. So, how did the Mazda fair? In the previous test on a stock RealTracks surface the Mazda was touchy even with the stickiest tires I could put on the back. The car, even at 24% on the throttle would easily break loose and swap ends. The best lap I ran was 5.7 seconds and the average lap was about 6.1 seconds. Not bad but I wanted more.

After the track prep as outlined here the lap times were down to an average of about 4.3 seconds with a fast lap of 4.0 seconds. Even the slowest lap with a couple of wall scrapes was 5.1 seconds, over a half second faster that the fastest lap before the track mod. That is super! In addition the car was more predictable and consistent.

I also switched the front tires on the Mazda back from the softer versions I had been running to the stock Mazda front tire which is a #50 and it seems to work well. I think I'll try a #40 to see if I can balance the car a bit more. There is a little tendency for the back to come out under power still but I have increased the throttle to 38% from 24% so there is quite a bit more power there.

Video of the Mazda 787B on the modified RealTracks surface.

Test car dNaNo Porsche 917K. This car is newer than the Mazda and I am using the stock KT-18 transmitter running in training mode to tame the throttle. I am also running stock tires on this car. On the un-modified track surface even the training mode was more than enough to break the tires loose and do donuts.

The results with the Porsche are even more impressive to me. Maybe because I drove this car second and was learning the new, grippier track more I was able to better the Mazda times by a good margin. Maybe the Porsche is just set up better for this track. Anyway, the average lap time, even with a few more wall biffs than with the Mazda was 4.2 seconds. and there were two laps at 3.8 seconds. Yeah!

Video of the Porsche 917K on the modified RealTracks surface.

So the quest to find more traction out of the RealTracks surface is an unqualified success!

As for durability only time will tell but after over 1000 laps the surface is perfect. The Goop mixture has amazing grip and, on the test patch on the underside of the track. I could not get it off without using a razor and actually scraping the plastic of the track.
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:19 AM
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very interesting project you have going. i will be following this closely

i also happen to have some realtracks and my mini-z seems to do ok on the very small portion i have laid on on the floor. i ran a stock dnano on this same small portion which also did ok. i agree that anything with some high speed will require more grip from either tires and or track.

what tires were you using for these test? testing tire combinations is going to be much cheaper and easier than modifying the track surface.

Last edited by arch2b; 06-04-2009 at 11:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:46 AM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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Arch,

Actually, with the surface now modified, the stock tires seem to do really well. I may go slightly softer on the Mazda, from a 50 to a 40, but the Porsche is dead on great handling.

For what it is worth this entire modification to all 20 track pieces has cost me about 3 hours of time and $15 in materials. Frankly, I could never go back to the stock surface again.
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2009, 11:52 AM
RCP-Tracks, Inc RCP-Tracks, Inc is offline
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Looks great. You may want to try a foam tire on the stock surface. I don't know anyone who makes one for the dNaNo just yet, but it should give you the best results against the plastic surface.
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:09 PM
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yep, i was going to suggest foam tires as well.

i'm glad you found a treatment that works and that you are happy with. as for others, i would suggest testing tire changes before altering the track surface permanently.

what would be an interesting twist on your finding would be to only modify the inside track line in portions to give added traction to portions of the track where it's needed most and give a very realistic look. if you have any left over tiles, i would suggest trying that. i'd be very interested to see it in pictures too.
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:31 PM
schmenzer schmenzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arch2b View Post
yep, i was going to suggest foam tires as well.

what would be an interesting twist on your finding would be to only modify the inside track line in portions to give added traction to portions of the track where it's needed most and give a very realistic look. if you have any left over tiles, i would suggest trying that. i'd be very interested to see it in pictures too.
>> I'd love to test foam too. I wonder if slot car tires could be modded at least to test. Me thinks a trip to ebay may be in order.

>> Yeah! I actually thought of applying the Goop to the racing line too. If it has better traction that would be sweet. If I can figure out a way to consistently feather the application so the traction drop is not abrupt, that would be really cool. Got some flat track coming. If I can think of a way to do it I may try it.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2009, 03:27 PM
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Again, great job Greg, innovative, and thinking outside the box. I agree about the dNaNo’s speed. RealTracks was originally designed for the Epoch’s. With the Epochs tires and speed the surface met our design objectives. After all, RealTracks was designed to offer a scale driving experience and to slow things down so the racing line became import for the average driver with average hand eye coordination. Now with the performance of the dNaNo and the fact that RealTracks is appealing to more traditional and experienced RC racers we have to redefine that design objective to provide a surface and tire combination that provides greater traction. We are getting ready to conduct comprehensive tire and set-up testing for the dNaNos and Mini-Zs. Just as you said Arch2B, our goal is to provide the increased traction through tire composition. Tire contact patch becomes more critical with RealTracks hard surface than it does with traditional foam and carpet tracks. Tire development has focused and progressed very well for foam and carpet tracks. Since RealTracks surface is similar to slot car track, our testing is initially focusing on those particular compounds. We will get the COTS and prototype tires out for testing just as we did during track development. Thanks again Greg for your hard work and sharing it with us. Even though most RealTracks users are new to RC racing please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us here.

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  #13  
Old 06-04-2009, 05:48 PM
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i'll be running full out racing tests in 2 week. having not run slot cars in about 25 years, what are the shore numbers your looking at? this will help us properly select tires for both mini-z and well, i don't have any dnano tires to test other than stock.

i'd rather focus on tire selection first before playing with surface treatments.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2009, 08:05 PM
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Arch,
We are just starting this research and are still gathering resources and moding some rims to accept some standard 1/24th and 1/43rd slot tires. I can’t really make a recommendation from the limited foam tire testing I have done so far. The shore numbers run like the degree numbers for the RC tires if you recall. I don't want to discount urethane and silicone yet. We use roller blade wheels to power feed raw material in the manufacture of RealTracks and it grips really well. Did you get that skid pad video with the timing system?
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Last edited by RealTracks; 06-05-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:53 PM
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Greg got me curious about lap times. I pulled out some 16” Flat Track and set up his same layout. I am an average driver. The dNaNo tires are stock. Now to be fair, Flat Track is 1.5” wider than the standard track. I was able to pull consistent 4.2’s with a 3.79 best. I am running the Mazda with the mid motor. My car and tires appear to handle completely different than yours. I will try and take some video and get it up tonight with the timer in the shot. My tires are well worn and I am wondering if that affects performance. I did have a few European customers who initially reported they thought the surface was slick and both responded a few days later that the cars were “gripping up really well now”. I have some more dnano tires on the way and I am anxious to compare the profiles. I seem to recall they were very rounded when new.

Here is a quick skid pad test:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4CyTKoLICI
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Last edited by RealTracks; 06-05-2009 at 02:56 PM.
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