Easy way to build a simple RC track on a budget

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Introduction

There are many varieties of RC cars out there but they are all divided into groups of two, on-road and off-road. Yet if you want to release the full potential of their creation, a track (trail) will be required to put your RCs on the test, or even compete with others. Usually, you will have to drive to your local tracks, in order to test run your superb racers.

Despite local tracks can provide a great experience for you, some people may not be able to travel for a long distance to reach a venue.  It is especially true in Europe and USA.  Big countries usually have race tracks, each is far away from each other.    As a result, some are even not convenient enough to access by public transport. This may reduce the interest of people investing in this hobby.

In order to satisfy RC enthusiasts, they start building their own RC track in their backyard and the result is astonishing. The quality of the track can compete with public RC tracks. They are full of details such as obstacles, bridges, buildings, vegetation or even involve muddy water. While you are still thinking about how they can do such a good job, here’s how you can follow these people’s footsteps to create a simple RC track with simple money.

Knowing your RC’s needs:

As mentioned above, there are two types of RCs so knowing what each class needs is very crucial on building what you want.

Surface Finish

This depends on the types of RC you have. For on-road cars, such as touring, drift cars or even monster trucks, they usually run on polished concrete, tiles, tarmacadam and carpet surface for the best performance. As drift cars require slippery surface while touring cars run on a surface which has more grip. However, it is a different story for off-road since terrain may differ from the weather, so when you are building the trail, it is important to consider the possibilities of potential damage so you make require stronger materials to reinforce the terrain.

Decorations

If you are on a budget, but still want to make your track look stylish. Decorations may be considered. For examples, lights, buildings (gas station, garage) can be added to drift tracks to provide a more scale look as touring track seems to require fewer details so it may not require any since decorations will be destroyed by high-speed RCs with ease. For off-road vehicles, feel free to decorate your track if you have a crawler type RC since most people like to play their creation on scale speed so the track may need to be more realistic. However, you may own a stadium truck or a buggy, then you may want to keep the track challenging in order to practice your skills.

Curves

A track must include turns to keep the fun unless it is a drag strip. A well-designed track should include challenging sections with different curve sizes, providing room for you to improve your skills and tricks. Yet this will work for every type of RCs since you have to consider the way you make the track more interesting to play. The variables include curved angles, different width of curves or even the altitude of the curve.

Drivability

You can make adjustments on your newly designed track, testing it with your vehicles. As long as the vehicle type matches the track, you can determine the risk potential of your newly designed track with ease. This is what you may encounter during the testing; the mud water section for your RC crawler may be too deep to let the vehicle go through or the corner is too sudden for your touring car,  forcing it to lose traction etc.

Maintenance

On an on-road track, you have to keep it clean and tidy in order to keep the condition at its best so you can always maximize your skills every time you start practicing. The basics are to keep it off from dust, mud, sand, and leaves. However, you may not remove these elements on an off-road track to keep it challenging. This may take some time to protect it from wearing down. But the end of the day you will appreciate the quality you will achieve.

Building up a race track for on-road vehicles

For this type of vehicles, you may want to keep the track smooth to maintain the smoothness of the race or meetup or even own use since these type of vehicles have low ground clearance so keeping rocks and leaves out of the track will certainly keeping the vehicle stable while keeping the track condition excellent.

What do you need to start building up your on-road track

What you will need:

  1. A draft of the track layout
  2. Materials for the track wall (or decorations): wood sticks, polymer fiber sticks, (cardboard, light sets, polystyrene blocks, colored papers, etc.)
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Your basic crafting tools: tape, scissors, glue, screwdriver set

Steps:

  1. Draft yourself a track layout, you only have to design the route since this is a concept so track width is not an issue yet but you will have to determine this element later.
  2. Fit your concept layout on the acquired space using different materials such as wood sticks or fiber sticks as track walls. While you are trying to dig into your design, measurements need to be done in order to fit your drawings into real life.
  3. Clean up the occupied space of the track before mounting the track walls in place since it might have small materials spread all over the space so giving it a good clean will definitely help during the whole building process.
  4. Test running it with your RC and do adjustments with it since you are setting up the track specs such as track width, curve bending and apexes.
  5. You may add decorates depend on the track type you are building, as mentioned above, adding decorations on a touring car track layout is not recommended.
  6. Invite your friends to come over to drive it to see if it’s really good. After all of the above steps, your backyard/ front yard track is ready to rock and roll.

 

Fig. 1-2 I pay a visit to a drift track in Wakefield, UK.

How to increase the difficulty of the track?

  1. Increase the number of curves
  2. Forming different types of curves such as S-curves, late apex corners, etc.
  3. Adding attitude
  4. Different size of curves

Building up a race track for off-road vehicles

This genre can be full of imagination but it can be similar to on-road tracks too. As the main categories for this genre is rock crawling and buggy/ truggy racing, so it won’t be hard to decide which side you actually want to build. As you may on a budget, it is not necessary to dig up your backyard since it required machinery to accomplish. So the things you are aiming to build can be obstacles such as bridges, balance boards and slopes with different gradients. Maintenance cost is usually low since you can scavenge materials from unused wood blocks and piles so you don’t have to worry about spending loads of money on decorations instead on your vehicle.

What you will need to start with:

  1. A draft of the layout and obstacles you will add
  2. Basic tools: hammer, tape, super glue, bench saw
  3. Materials: wood blacks and piles, nails, light sets

Note: Buggy/ Truggy tracks are not recommended to build as a starter build since you may have to dig up dirt from your backyard to create jumps which will increase your cost so the following steps are for building a basic crawler track.

Steps:

  1. Decide what kind of objects you want to put in the track. As bridges, you can build it entirely with wood but if you want something more creative, you may try to use a net as a connection between the two ends. This is all about your creativity so feel free to try anything you can find around your house.
  2. Decide where to put them the best. As a reminder, if you craft the objects carefully, you may move the objects around easily and benefits you when you decide to change the layout of the track.
  3. Craft your decorations with your creativity since there is no limit on the scale side
  4. Fit them into the area you acquired, remember to follow your draft in the first place, then you can adjust it by deciding if the objects are too close together or whether the objects are oversize for the area.
  5. A testing session with your vehicle, as you are aiming to have fun in this hobby, you just have to make sure your vehicle can overcome the terrain you have created while you can decorate the track from leaves, branches, and dirt so your track can look more scale like.

(Starting with small numbers of obstacles is recommended since you can always add more instead of over making them causing inadequate space to store them.)

How to increase the difficulty of your track?

  1. Increase the gradient of the slope
  2. Adding water-mud puddle section
  3. Use of the unstable character of materials such as using a net between two points; some vehicles may have a chance to fall over if they are not well balanced enough
  4. Adding interactive elements like balance boards and having a water pudding under a broken bridge that you can still drive through it

Fig. 3-4 A crawling track in Wakefield, UK

 

Summary:

Building a track can be fun if you have done it right, remember don’t rush it, it will come together eventually. You may want to do it step by step like mentioned above.

Even you do not want to build a race track, you might want to order some cones to practice your driving skills in your neighborhood.

Items for Building A Simple Track

While surfing the net today, I found a website that has all the necessary tools/items for building a simple track. You can go there to order the items to build your first RC track.

Thanks for reading this post.

 

Author:

I am Kelvin Wong. I started playing RC since 2015 with a Tamiya M-05 as my first RC car. Then I start self-learning on tuning four-link suspension trophy trucks with an Axial Yeti Trophy Truck and I have certainly learned a lot from that chassis. Then, I bought two Tamiya TT02s, Traxxas XO-1, HPI WR8, and an MST FXX-D to see what path suits me the most

I currently own a Yokomo YD-2 plus, XPress XQ1S and Axial EXO Terra Buggy.

I mostly enjoy doing drift trains, drift tandems and jumping ramps with a well-tuned buggy

My Instagram: kelvin_x_yd2

 

 

Edited by Carlos Santos, your webmaster

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