HO Slot Cars & Traditional Slot Cars
Do you know the difference between HO slot cars, and traditional ones? Slot cars are powered small vehicles guided by a slot or groove set in the tracks they run on. A pin or blade on the bottom of traditional models keep car in the slot. To make the car run, metal strips next to the slot deliver power to the car motor. The power is picked up by contacts found beside the guide flag. The contacts are under the front portion of the slot car. The racer controls the voltage via a resistor in the hand controller.
This is an example of a popular HO slot car set, including 30 feet of track and and 10 different layout options.
How HO Slot Cars Stay On Track
HO slot cars operate in a similar way. The only difference is, the current is transported through thin metal rails that you can hardly see and that are located above the track surface. They are also farther away from the slot. These cars usually have electrical contacts dubbed “pick up shoes”. The shoes are installed on the chassis of the car. The shoes usually have round guide pins instead of the swiveling flag of traditional models.
Today, traction magnets deliver down force. These help hold the car in the track especially, when it is running at higher speeds. Some slot car racers believe that magnet-free racing is more challenging. What do you think? Have you tried both kinds of racing?
Tips For Slot Car Racers
For serious slot car racers, here are some tips that are sure to help you increase your speed on the track:
1. Maintain the cleanliness of your slot.
It is well worth the time and effort to keep your slot clean. You can do this by detaching the body and inspecting the car’s chassis. Do this on a regular basis for best performance. Pick up shoes should be clean and float freely. Also, don’t forget to inspect the wheel hubs to be sure they do not rub on the car’s chassis. Spin the tires to see if there are bent axles. If you notice any worn components, you should replace them long before they break. Following these best maintenance practices will ensure longevity and top performance of your slot cars.
2. Use oil in moderation.
Oil keeps the chassis and motor of your car lubricated but use only the right amount. For your chassis’ axle bearings, a small drop at every bearing is sufficient enough to keep it spinning. You’ll also need a drop of oil in the front and rear motor end bells to keep the armature lubricated.
3. Choose only one slot car.
Avoid switching slot cars and chassis frequently. By using only one car, you can be familiar with its handling characteristics, making it easy for you to tweak it to your preference.
By spending more time on your chosen chassis, it will be easier for you to develop some techniques and tricks that make your car perform better than its rivals. Run your slot car on all the lanes, especially those inner lanes with very tight turns. Do this regularly. A lot of practice makes you know your chassis more as well as its exceptional characteristics. It is also through practicing that you’ll be able to find out chassis and motor problems long before the serious competition.
Almost all the tips involved in improving your car’s speed are free. Other cost-effective ways of enhancing the performance of your HO slot cars is replacing rear tires and giving the pick up shoes an upgrade.