Getting To Know Slot Cars
If you love cars and get off on speed as much as I do, you would do well to try slot car racing. Slot cars have been popular since the late 1950s, and despite the proliferation of many other hobbies ever since, slot car racing is still very much in the mainstream. The fun factor and the customization possibilities involved in slot car racing simply give the sport an immediate appeal to many car and toy enthusiasts.
Slot car racing is an exciting prospect, sure, but being successful with it also involves a meticulous eye for detail and a propensity to mechanics. And in this article, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of how slot cars work in order to steer you in the right direction.
First, what is a slot car? Quite simply, it is a miniature car that can run on a fixed track. These tracks are not different from real racetracks, except that they are in miniature form. As the term “slot” implies, a shallow groove is laid out on the full length of a track to guide the slot car as it does its rounds. This groove is formed between two metal rails that are in close proximity with each other and is responsible for keeping the slot cars in place.
Of course, speed for speed’s sake is not enough to win a race. Each participant uses his own controller to administer the amount of speed needed to move past opponents and keep his car on the tracks. Anticipating sharp turns, inclines, and dives come into play here; hence, the slightest mistake can send your slot car tumbling off the tracks and cause you to lose the race.
Most slot cars have magnets installed to the front and the back since the downward force they provide can help in keeping them glued on the metal rungs. This, however, doesn’t guarantee that the cars won’t tumble into oblivion due to sharp turns. Most modern cars, on the other hand, use a sort of microchip to allow them to operate the same way as another car and make it possible to switch lanes at pre-determined points on the track.
Almost all components of a car can be upgraded and modified according to the owner’s preferences. Before heading out on a competition, one has to investigate the particular tracks involved in order to make the necessary adjustments. For example, the speed gauge of the controller has to be toned down when the track doesn’t have many sharp turns.
Lastly, a slot car track is made up of plastic segments. Each lane has two steel rails, with one of them producing the power needed to move the car and the other providing the ground. The tracks absorb power from a power supply that plugs into a wall outlet. This power sends the electric current to enable the car to move.
There’s no sign that slot cars are going to lose their popularity any time soon. Slot car racing is definitely worth trying, and it’s not a bad idea to go out and buy a slot car as soon as you can.