I have built a 4'x8' test track to try out MagRacing ( http://magracing.co.uk ).
The following is a quote from Wes, the creator of the system...
MAGracing takes the best elements of both these systems and, with new technology and innovation, solves or improves
upon all of these shortcomings. The cars are guided basically by a magnet following a steel wire embedded in the track.
They can be steered from one side of the track to the other by radio control at selected but easily and cheaply fitted
lane change points. Speed is controlled by the pistol trigger and cars are powered by a single rechargeable Lithium ion
cell. Run times are in excess of 20 minutes using a single AAA cell which is inexpensive and quickly recharged. The
battery is located underneath the car, held in place by a magnet (patented) and, for a pit stop can be changed in less
than 5 seconds! There would normally be two guide wires around the track forming two lanes and up to 15 cars can be
raced together by selecting different radio frequencies. Cars can change lanes to overtake, can be steered to take the
fastest line through each turn by approaching in the outside lane, turning early to clip the apex and finishing back on
the outside of the track. They can also turn into the pit lane when required. All this on a track of only 7” (16cms) wide
with no slots, pick up tapes or lane change points to spoil its appearance.
The speed of the cars is much closer to scale speed ( perhaps 200mph!) so in action they look much more realistic
than slot cars or indeed 1/12 scale free running r/c cars. Because the front wheels steer, we again see greater realism.
When driven too quickly, the cars will either spin or understeer off the track. This is of benefit because, if the car runs
completely off the track, it cannot block following cars which often happens with digital slot racing. Cars are steerable
when away from the guide wire and can usually be steered back on to the track. Marshalling a car is easier than slot
racing as the car needs only to be placed on the track pointing in the right direction and it soon picks up a guide wire.
Ideally tracks should have a marshalling point guide on the outside of each turn so that the cars can be driven back
onto the track when the road is clear.
The idea of steering vehicles by magnet and guide wire is not new but what is new is this systems ability to change from
one guide wire route to another. This is achieved by removing a short length of the guide wire at the desired lane
change point and replacing it with a patented flat plate. At this point, it is then possible to change the direction of the
car by means of a radio controlled actuator in the car. This steering actuator turns the wheels just sufficiently for the car
to leave it's straight line course and to realign with another guide wire. This wire can then lead the car to the alternative
lane or to the fastest line route around the turn or to the pits lane, etc.. If the driver inadvertently turns the steering the
wrong way ( quite easy for a novice driver!), the car will not leave the track and crash but will continue straight ahead.
This track system is extremely simple and inexpensive to construct and maintain.
To change lanes or take the racing line, the steering wheel is turned before the l/c point is reached and held until the
car has turned.
A racing scenario would see up to six cars running on the two lanes. If two cars approach a turn side by side, the driver
in the outside lane must forego the fastest line route and stay in the outside lane. As well as looking more realistic,
speeds have been deliberately restricted to allow drivers time to make these decisions. Acceleration and braking rates
are also restricted nearer to scale to allow cars to race much more closely to each other. During a lap of a typical track,
Linford Two for instance, a driver has 12 lane change and racing line options to consider in approx 10 seconds in
addition to speed control and awareness of up to maybe 5 other cars on the track. Pit lanes are easy to include and
battery changes are a feature of longer races.
As in full size motor racing, it is necessary to learn the track . Small arrows are painted on the track to indicate where
the lane change points are but at racing speeds the driver must memorise these.
My little test track
Work has started on the big MagRacing track, stay tuned...
Click here to see the big track