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Thread: Just A Bit of History

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Just A Bit of History

    Received this with my 69 track. What can people tell me about it. I want to put a plaque on it.

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    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 01-08-2017 at 07:40 PM. Reason: pasted image

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    Never had one of those, but the 'Miniature Grand Prix' was a small franchise of the 1960's that was marketed out of California after starting out as the 'Miniature Grand National' Raceway company from (I believe) North Carolina. It was much smaller than the 'American' track franchising group. I raced at one of the franchises in the 1963-1965 timeframe in Wheaton, IL and that store operated from 1960-1967. With Jerry Kulich's help, THAT track was rediscovered in 1992 and I renovated it for my first raceway and used the track until about 1999 at Ramcat Raceway and later at Paradise Raceway in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

    The timers are common electric clock timers, usually one hour as used for lights or heaters. Switch does not care if it turns AC or DC on. Made a bunch of them over the years.

    My track had a different power system and coin boxes when I resurrected it. I imagine several versions were made for different store needs. Your box appears to be a power supply and individual lane clock timer controls. My track had separate power for two lanes at a time with the coin box turning them on and off. I have not seen too much info as to the variety of tracks that the franchise MAY have offered, but I think there may have been a smaller variety than American offered. One interesting note - they were open bottom tracks that sat on the ribs for leg support - not closed bottom like American.
    Last edited by Ramcatlarry; 01-09-2017 at 09:56 PM.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    60 year pin 1959-2019
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2019 member
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 &
    1/32 - Great Lakes Slot Car Club
    retired raceway owner 1992-2007
    Omni/Cidex service center

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    15
    The box states power supply and may have contained one in the past. If so, it was removed sometime along the way. It currently contains just the wiring for track control. It looks like it controlled relays, just like the current systems do. If so, then the actual power supply could have been external, just like most current systems. Of course, under that line of thought, power supply, and relays could have also been mounted inside, but I don't see any evidence that that was so. Also, if everything was internal, the hole to bring the power to the tracks is way to small to carry the guage of wires required to power the track. A couple of the controller resistors could be replaced, but I doubt that I would find replacements for them.

    I am currently looking for a track to replace the 69 track. If I do, I may later set it up separately and try to hook up this controller. But that is for another time.

    Thanks for the info. Any other thoughts out there?
    Last edited by Vance; 01-09-2017 at 02:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    2,319
    My MGP and the original American tracks that I had the chance to examine the wiring harnesses were usually wired with #14 stranded copper. The lane timers could have been very small wires to the relay boards. Mine had four amp power supplies for every two lanes...and maybe two taps per lane. We ALWAYS had power issues in those early days with the Pittmans sucking power from the wimpier powered cars.

    As far as I know, My track made a burn pile after I could not pay storage fees.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    60 year pin 1959-2019
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2019 member
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 &
    1/32 - Great Lakes Slot Car Club
    retired raceway owner 1992-2007
    Omni/Cidex service center

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    34
    Made we draw on vintage memories, At the Grand Prix raceways in St Louis I seem to recall the first method was the track had power and you were given a RCA phone style plug to put in jack on track for power (didnt know what power source was then ,only 14) they just used time punch cards for record and charges. They upgraded to the system above system and I recall the first "official" race, with all switches set to max, when the race start the power draw was such that all the cars started off slow! What ever the power arrangement was didnt handle the "start" of a race of 8 cars! They did get it figured out . just vintage memory!
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Except for bears, Bears will kill you !

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    I think this switch box would be compatible with the track mounted coin switches. The timers have an 'ON' position as well as a 'timed ON' spring wound dial. This allows the proprietor to 'turn ON' certain lanes to be controlled by the rental user by inserting coins as well as blocking lanes from use.

    My old track power was 4 amp transformers for a pair of lanes - an average 2 amps per lane. That is about the same power as most plastic track sets offer. Today, a MINIMUM of TEN amps per lane is used on a commercial track. Cobalt wing cars will draw over 30 amps from a standing start.

    Most communities have enacted 'coin operated amusement taxes' that make coin boxes obsolete. The proprietor just charges rent over the counter by time or event. Many shops today just charge a flat daily fee for racers to practice as long as they want to. Family 'walk-ins' usually would rather have a start and stop time in order to get the kids to their next destination.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    60 year pin 1959-2019
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2019 member
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 &
    1/32 - Great Lakes Slot Car Club
    retired raceway owner 1992-2007
    Omni/Cidex service center

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    564
    Larry Kelly, the living breathing slot car legend and historian!
    Why do I do this to myself?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    34
    Another foto of a vintage power system I recall



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    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 03-16-2017 at 12:01 AM. Reason: pasted image
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Except for bears, Bears will kill you !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,319
    Now THAT one has a transformer inside as well as the lane timers.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    60 year pin 1959-2019
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2019 member
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 &
    1/32 - Great Lakes Slot Car Club
    retired raceway owner 1992-2007
    Omni/Cidex service center

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