Track Building and BuyingSpatula starting gate, drop release style

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After our last few races, it left me thinking about tweaking the start box, due to the fact, if the gate wasn't opened fast enough a lower profile car would have the advantage out of the box over a taller body car. So, I went to a thrift store and bought a pancake flipper, and bolted it to the bottom of the track, and drilled a few holes to create a new starting system with pins that lower from the bottom of the track. This allows all the cars to leave evenly regardless of the height of the body work of each car. So with a push of the Nitro button the pins drop down and the cars start the race.

Pancake Flipper on bottom of track
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

Adjustable Pins to Hold the Cars
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

Nitro Button Shifter to Release Cars
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

A little eye candy to dress it up
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

So far the system seems to be working great, and I personally like the openness of the starting box so you can see the cars before they leave the gate.

Preacher

Haha, so you press down the "nitro" and that pushes the spatula down enough to let the cars go and easy flip back up...?...awesome. In fact, holy shit, that's awesome. This is the definition of DIY, way to go.

My only concern would be how well the flipper holds up after hundreds of releases...guess time will tell. But I guess if you have a limit on how far the flipper gets pushed that should help extend the life a bit. And hey, if it starts to get a little bent you just buy a new flipper, right?

I love this. Gonna try to make one of these when I get around to rebuilding my next track.

Haha, so you press down the "nitro" and that pushes the spatula down enough to let the cars go and easy flip back up...?...awesome. In fact, holy shit, that's awesome. This is the definition of DIY, way to go.

My only concern would be how well the flipper holds up after hundreds of releases...guess time will tell. But I guess if you have a limit on how far the flipper gets pushed that should help extend the life a bit. And hey, if it starts to get a little bent you just buy a new flipper, right?

I love this. Gonna try to make one of these when I get around to rebuilding my next track.

Yep...you got that right! Hey I only paid $1.99 for the Pancake Flipper, and it had a natural bend to it, and was resistant to 400 degrees. Plus as you stated, its only pushed down 1/2 inch and then releases but up...and the way I figure if it breaks or quits working...I'll just go and buy another one.

Preacher

Is the spatula plastic?

Is the spatula plastic?

Yeah...its a type of rubber/plastic material...but very flexible.

Preacher

How well does this work on cars with a higher body? Or a front end which is sloped upwards?

How well does this work on cars with a higher body? Or a front end which is sloped upwards?


It's adjustable for those car with higher body types. But the way it is set up now 97% of all cars will run just fine...but there will always be an exception...and for those cars, it just a matter of turning the screws a few turns to get the height right.

Preacher

Super-cool set up Preacher! The nitrous knob is a killer idea for a start mechanism! I guess that heat-resistant spatula will be necessary with all the flames shooting out of the car's exhausts

That's awesome Preacher. I've been messing around trying to come up with something similar, except for 4 lanes. You're absolutely right...its more satisfying having the cars right there in the open rather than behind a gate.

The nitrous knob is cool. I've actually been trying to work something out that looks like a gear shifter...even looked at a deaths head gearshift knob for it. Now all I need is some fuzzy dice and a plastic hula girl.

Btw...as long as your spatula automatically comes back to the straightened position...and is stored in the same position, it'll stay straight for a long long time.

That's awesome Preacher. I've been messing around trying to come up with something similar, except for 4 lanes. You're absolutely right...its more satisfying having the cars right there in the open rather than behind a gate.

The nitrous knob is cool. I've actually been trying to work something out that looks like a gear shifter...even looked at a deaths head gearshift knob for it. Now all I need is some fuzzy dice and a plastic hula girl.

Btw...as long as your spatula automatically comes back to the straightened position...and is stored in the same position, it'll stay straight for a long long time.

Yeah...I'm hoping that this will make the race just a little bit more interesting for everyone. And the Spatula seems flexible enough to keep its shape. I'll keep everyone posted how this system works out. Thanks for your comments.

Preacher

Too cool, nice job!

Short Video on how it works...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8hQQBt0tPw

Preacher

Lol. Love the soundtrack.

"I pity the fool that don't like no Hot Wheels"

Anyway, great vid and great idea. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

I love it, Preacher!

If there was an award for diecast racing innovations, yours would definately get my vote.

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