Without the slot car track, all slot cars are nothing more than beautiful recreation of the actual model of cars on the road. The track is what gives the slot car reason to exist. The racetrack of slot cars clearly defines what slot cars are. The ‘slot’ in the name refers to the shallow groves or channels on the racetrack which guide the cars as they race.

What constitutes the slot car track?

The slot car track, just like the cars themselves, is made from plastic segments that are lined with two parallel steel rails. These rails are what guide the slot cars while on the track. As such, these rails run the entire length of the racetrack.

While both rails look very similar, the individual rails actually serve different purposes. One rail is for providing power to the car while the other is for keeping the car on the ground. The guide that is attached to the rail that keeps it grounded prevents the car from falling off of the track while the other connects it to the power source to keep the car running.

Not all slot car tracks are created equal. The usual tracks are often composed of relatively small numbers of longer sections while the less common ones comprise of many small individual sections clipped together to form race tracks of different lengths and sizes. For starters, most race tracks in the United States use the longer sections as their design allow for better power supply and lesser interruption with the power source. The lesser interruption, the better as the speed of the car depends entirely on the continuous stream of power to its motor.

How power supply in slot car tracks work?

The importance of continuous power supply to any racing slot car can’t be stressed enough. Interruption in power often causes the car to slow down, or worse, to stop working altogether.

The supply of power to the track comes from a device that is plugged to a nearby wall outlet. The power supply then receives power from the source on the outlet, converts it into direct current or DC, and supplies it to the car. The voltage that is typically received by the cars on the track usually ranges from 12 volts to 18 volts and 1 to 2 amps.

For more advanced slot lot cars though, drivers could add additional power to the race track to jazz up the performance of the car. This is done by pumping additional power to the track via individual power supplies for each racing lane. Doing so can increase the power of each lane by as much as 10 amps. Although this additional power generally increases the performance of each car, most cars require only up to 5 amps for enhanced performance.

This also poses the additional problem of modifying the powerbase, or the track segment where the power supply is attached, to regulate the additional power.