November 12, 2021 at 12:29 pm #20184
You’ll find a few pictures taken over the years from the inception of The Ring up to the present. Those of you familiar enough with this circuit may spot several additions to track that are missing from most of these pictures… enjoy!
All of the structures and nearly all of the trees (hemlocks, willow, aspen and others) are scratch built or hand made.
Originally the Koni triangle tower at the Start/Finish line was lit with a rice bulb but as with most of the lights including those in the pit lane they’ve burned out and must be replaced. Perhaps a move to LEDs is in order one day.
The start line has coloured LED lane markers embedded flush to the track surface which are still as bright as when they were installed – useful back when the Slot.It 2.4h enduros ran both evening and night rotations… originally the inside lane was blue but because I had a bag of green, yellow and red LEDS it was switched to green – not that it matters… I even forgot that.
Given the footprint of the room I’ve packed as much track as I think I could marshal comfortably. Several years back I did contemplate adding an extension to the existing circuit in the form of an upper level suspended immediately above the track but decided against that for multiple reasons – thankfully so.
If I were to reroute this circuit again I would do away with the squeeze and migrate to using a dead strip but I don’t think I would change anything else… Given that all three lane lengths are within 3/4 of an inch, there are an equal number of left and right corners, 3 1/2″ lane spacing throughout which is perfect for 1:32, a 19′ long straight with driver stations close together in the same location and every corner can be comfortably marshaled I’m not sure I could improve the current layout. At 72′ it is just enough of a challenge to reward both models that are set up properly and a skilled and consistent racing style.
Now that I am older the wooden stools at each of the marshaling posts are a luxury I cannot do without. I may still add three stools for the racers one day but it isn’t in the budget right now. Time will tell.
My two monitor system seems to work well enough without any ghosting and even though my eyes aren’t what they once were I still have no problem seeing the small font size while setting up heats. Not seeing what you are doing is just too frustrating.
I’ve always used the SlotTrak software (which is now freeware) since it allows so many choices setting up heats and together with my Trackmate timing hardware and my 20 year old notebook computer SlotTrak has been bullet proof. The only problems on a race night have been user induced… specifically me not correctly formatting the heats or screwing something or other up…
I used to enjoy chasing that faster lap, long race heats, hosting all day long enduro style racing events, iron fingers and hosting groups of 10 or 12 racers. Now I’m just fine and quite happy with slow but period correct scratch built models carefully and respectfully circling a clean, smooth and unproblematic track in a comfortable environment with shorter heats along with good company in a much smaller group – so much so that my next routed track (if there is one) will be just two lanes at most. We’ll see…
The perfect number of participants for racing at The Ring is 7 – 3 racers and 4 marshals. Any more and someone is just watching and not participating. Track calls can still be avoided with 6 participants but with 5 or fewer they become a necessity in certain areas. So for these reasons participation at The Ring will be capped at 7 for the foreseeable future – whether or not a cap is even needed may be moot since it has been quite some time since The Ring has even hosted as many as 7 builders…
November 13, 2021 at 10:34 am #20193
Nice trip down memory lane. I also remember quite enjoying the previous incarnation pictured in your avatar image.
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