Tuning the ALFA 33 for board

Squeezing out those last few tenths

Tuning the ALFA 33 for board

Postby wixwacing » Thu 11 Dec, 2008 11:24 pm

I have recently had a PM from a board member regarding the Slot it Alfa 33. Even though I never fully developed mine I decided to print a few general tips for board track set up.

The simple method is to get the rear tyres right first. This is a very able model out of the box for board. Board track surfaces vary from shiney to very grippy, depending on the track owners preference so it would be correct to say there won't be a universal tyre. MJK or Ortmanns would be a good starting point and probably the most versatile. Pick one that isn't too loose on the hub or you might find you need to glue them on (messy and tedious).

Some of the softer Slot.it or NSR tyres work well too. Even the latest Ninco tyres have something to offer! Once you feel you have the best tyre for your purposes, start weighting the model (if allowed). First problem to overcome is the lightness of the front. Try about 8 to 10 grams as a start just behind the front axle line. This will keep the nose down during hard acceleration and will also discourage understeer deslots at higher speeds. After this, add weight carefully slightly behind a centre line between the front and rear axle. The interor detail may well get in the way here!! Choices to be made! Mmmmmm?

How much weight? This will be trial and error. Try to keep the final weight below the 90/95 gram mark for technical tracks, and for bigger, faster tracks with long straights you may well need to cross the 100 gram mark. Maybe as much as 115 grams or more on the huge six and eight laners!!!

You will know when you are getting near the 'sweet spot' as far as weight is concerned. Not enough weight will see the model fast but twitchy in a race situation and a model with too much weight will drive well but feel a bit like a brick. Loss of acceleration and extended braking distances will come at a cost of valuable tenths. When setting the model up, try discretely to run alongside someone during a practice session. When setting models up in a non contest situation you can be comfortable with the finished setup but in the heat of a race and on the ragged edge the model may well demonstrate some traits you weren't expecting.

On a technical circuit I would address the front wheel drag situation. Either run a split front axle (again if allowed) or run low grip front tyres. These can be either hard tyres from an old model, ribbed tyres, or tyres simply painted with nail acrylic. With a model this wide it isn't as neccesary to have full front wheel contact as it is a very stable model in 'tripod' set up.

Lastly, if you don't have a track at home (like me) you need to experiment with set up and practice as much as you can on the intended track(s). Remember. A well set up model is only going to be 50% of the battle!! Drive all lanes and get to know the bad spots, and if you keep deslotting, you are trying to drive the model faster than it will go, so, it's back off or back to the drawing board!
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