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Old 2004.01.20, 12:38 PM   #1
lornecherry
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New Porta-Trax Ozite Mini-Z surface!

As many of you might now know, Ozite in conjunction with Porta-Trax has developed a new racing surface designed especially for small scale cars, such as the Mini-Z.

Although not yet officially released, I've answered sporadic questions and leaked some info on the forums, but until now have not been able to disclose all the details.

Below is an extensive "official" Q&A, some photos of the new surface, and comparisons with traditional Ozite racing carpet. Hopefully, this will answer the many emails we have received.


Q: What is the New Ozite Mini-Z Surface?

A: Ozite Mini-Z is a new roll-up racing surface developed jointly by Foss Manufacturing (the Ozite patent holder) and Porta-Trax to address the problems of traditional carpet tracks with respect to smaller scale cars. Ozite Mini-Z was developed over 18 months of R&D involving chemical engineers, R/C racing experts, commercial operators and a full-scale track engineer.

Q: How does this New Surface differ from Traditional Ozite Racing Carpet?

A: One side of the surface is the traditional Ozite racing carpet that is common at many indoor tracks. The reverse (flip side) is the new Mini-Z surface: If you look at the photo comparison, you will notice that the Mini-Z surface is less fibrous (no more carpet hairs caught in wheels). It also has a higher friction coefficient than carpet, or even foam rubber. In tests comparing regular Ozite, EVA foam rubber and the new Mini-Z surface, only the Mini-Z surface performed well with stock (very hard) tires.

For racers wanting to practice setups that they will use at their local club carpet track, they can flip the surface over and practice on the same Ozite carpet surface used at most indoor club tracks across North America. This gives the benefit and variety of two racing surfaces in a single track.

Q: What is the Ozite Mini-Z Surface made of?

A: It is Ozite coated with a patented pending material. However, it does not look or even feel like carpet; it has a unique surface texture that feels similar to asphalt.

Q: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages over the Foam Rubber Surface that is now so popular?

A: Porta-Trax has manufactured EVA foam rubber tracks for over three years, since originally exhibiting the first portable interlocking track in 2001. While we still make foam rubber tracks, the new Ozite Mini-Z surface represents the next level in performance and convenience … it is a product of customer feedback and what we have learned in the building of 400+ tracks.

Compared to our EVA foam rubber, Ozite Mini-Z has higher traction, no surface joints or irregularities, is more tolerant of heat and humidity extremes, offers roll-up convenience and is compatible with a wider variety of rail types. Setup time is also considerably less, as there is no “puzzle” pieces to assemble. This makes it ideal for hobbyists with limited space who need quickly store the track in order to use the space for other activities. Finally, there is greater tolerance to dust and dirt, as the Ozite surface tends to trap impurities, instead of having them cling to the surface because of static.

The only disadvantages that we have found is that the new surface is slightly more expensive than some discounted foam rubber tiles and it that it needs to be stored correctly to avoid creasing.

Q: I’ve heard that Ozite can Wrinkle or Crease easily and can become Bumpy with Respect to the Racing Surface?

A: All of the above is true if the surface is not stored properly. It needs to be rolled tight on a thick tube of at least 6” in diameter. When stored properly, Ozite will deploy flat and there will be no bumps in the racing surface. Most track systems or homemade rails will weight the surface enough to flatten the carpet after it has been rolled for a long period of time. We have tested this storage procedure for six months with our in-school racing program that required setup and take-down twice per week; the Ozite continually laid flat using our Porta-Trax QuickAttach rails.

Q: Is it Modular?

A: Yes. Run Velcro underneath to attach separate pieces of Ozite for a seamless joint. For hobbyist tracks, the surface is shipped split in half (rolled 5 or 6-foot wide on an 8-foot tube) and is quickly joined in the middle underneath. This allows it to be shipped or transported much easier and for it to be transported in any SUV, wagon of hatchback.

Q: When will Ozite Mini-Z be Available?

A: As we are in Canada, Porta-Trax is in the process of setting up US and worldwide distribution. The new surface should be available in the US early February. The surface will be sold through local hobby shops, select internet sites and direct. We are cautious however, not to use too many levels of distribution to inflate the price, especially considering the falling US dollar with respect to other currencies.

Q: How much does Ozite Mini-Z Cost?

A: An initial production run of 100,000 sq. yards allows us to reach a very affordable price point. We expect the new Ozite Mini-Z to retail for $5.99 per sq. yd with a street price of $4.99 to $5.25 per sq. yard. Thus, you could surface a 9’x12’ (12 sq. yd track) for about $60 + the storage tube. This is an acceptable price point for most hobbyists who want to make their own rails and will allow us to sell complete prefab track and rails for under $150.

The surface will be sold in 12-foot widths only (i.e. you 9x12, 16x12, 20x12 track); however we usually cut the size into two 6-foot widths for shipping purposes. (Dealers and distributors will be obligated to sell the 8’ hard storage tube with the Ozite to ensure proper storage.) The cost for that tube will be approximately $15 with metal end-caps. The tube also doubles as a storage container for track rails (see pictures below).

Q: I want to make my Own Rails or I already have Track Rails. Are they Compatible with the Ozite Mini-Z? What about options?

A: Yes! The unique surface will hold any rail firm if you attach a quality hook fastener (Velcro) to bottom of the rail. We've tested rails attached this way with a hopped-up 6-cell RS/4 Micor hitting the track wall at full speed, and the rails hold, with just enough flex to absorb shock. We have also tested the system with our own QuickAttach rail system, RoadDomes, and RCP foam barriers and they all work well with Velcro on the bottom. The only rail types that are not compatible are round PVC “plumbing pipe” type rails that may roll with the Velcro attached. However, you should not use any rounded surface for rails on a Mini-Z track, as the cars will continually catch under the rounded surface.

Porta-Trax has developed a special rail system for this surface (shown in the pictures) known as QuickAttach, based on our scale racing barriers used in commercial tracks. This rail system allows for endless layout variations, as it attaches anywhere on the track. (I will probably begin another thread regarding the rail system and Porta-Trax prefabricated tracks; I would like to keep this thread for questions about the new Ozite Mini-Z surface.)

Finally, expect a Mini-Z Monster/Overland course to be available as an overlay in mid February as well as a laser-enhanced single vehicle lap counter based on the economical Microsizer lap counter and the Kyosho start light system.

Q: How can I find out more?

A: We don’t currently have a web site for Porta-Trax yet. However, one is in development and will feature videos of the tracks, layouts suggestions and parts. Until the product’s official release, I will check the forums daily and try to answer your questions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20ft oval new ozite surface.jpg (41.4 KB, 255 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 12:41 PM   #2
lornecherry
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...this is the reverse side, with traditional Ozite racing carpet.
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File Type: jpg 20 ft oval with start med res.jpg (60.3 KB, 193 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 12:42 PM   #3
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...banked corners
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File Type: jpg banked corner low res.jpg (17.9 KB, 196 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 12:45 PM   #4
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The photo below shows two QuickAttach corner rails attached to the Ozite Mini-Z surface. The next photo is of the same rails, attached at a different radii ...thus you can form curves to any configuration.
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File Type: jpg quick-attach cornerral1.jpg (40.3 KB, 181 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 12:50 PM   #5
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...the same rails as iin the previous picture: The smaller rail is a prototype of our upcomming MicroSizer rail; the larger rail is the QuickAttach rail for Mini-Z or RS/4 Micro. The rails system will be available separately or as a prefab ket along with Ozite Mini-Z base.
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File Type: jpg qucikattach cornerail2.jpg (45.2 KB, 128 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 12:56 PM   #6
lornecherry
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...a hairpin corner using Hyperhobbies' RoadDome. The Ozite surface allows for multiple rail systems; in this case a Porta-Trax railed "wall" leading to an apex marker (the RoadDome) that can be driven over ...just like on a full-scale road course.

The inlay picture shows the Ozite surface rolled up on its storage tube. The track rails store inside the tube.
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File Type: jpg road dome.jpg (40.9 KB, 175 views)
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Old 2004.01.20, 01:12 PM   #7
arch2b
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WOW, now that is an faq

ok, please keep all comments related to this topic. i've seen other threads regarding tracks go all over the place....
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Old 2004.01.20, 01:31 PM   #8
NT2
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Lorne, regarding the attachment of the rails.
If I understood correctly they are attached with velcro allowing infinite configurations, will the attachment/removal of the velcro in the same place cause for the fibers to come loose over time and create fuzzy spots?
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Old 2004.01.20, 01:52 PM   #9
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What About Weight OF track

What is the weight of a 20 ft X 6ft track.
Thank you
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:00 PM   #10
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Surface Prep for track?

What surface do you need to lay track on?
Could you use it outside on patio, and what about on carpet?

I asked because i just bought a RCP track and am going to be useing it for a portable buisness, with RCP I almost need to purchase a trailer to move it around. If your track will work for me I could just put roll it and put it on a car rack Much Easier. My thought is your surface would have to be almost completly flat for track to lay on, something like wood. Please Reply Thanks
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:03 PM   #11
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i havent had much luck with velcro. you really need to use carpet tape to join seams, which doesnt make your track very portable but it will work if you have a permanent spot where you dont have to take the track apart.
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:18 PM   #12
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terraz you could mount the carpet to plywood and then join the plywood together with hinges. you could stack the plywood on top of your car to transport. you really need to mount the carpet to something solid to keep it from rinkling.
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:25 PM   #13
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Attach it to plywood

Attach it to plywood? I think for me the RCP track is still the answer. as it does not weigh near as much as plywood. and I can set it up with one person. Thank You for your Help on this. Brad
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:30 PM   #14
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If the rail were to have a L shape lip on the bottom for a magnet to lay down on.. I could source some magnets to hold the rails down to a piece of flat steel under the carpet? sandwich it down? this owuld prevent fiber damage with repetitive pulling of the velcro...


Fibers are the reason every one hates to use Ozite for Mini-Z tracks... even though the racing Ozite is SUPOSE to not give fibers off it still does...

I asume the one track in your photo was NOT stored propperly? its kinda wrinkled in that photo...

The advantage to foam tiles, why I decided to go back to them, after pondering many different materials.. is I can lay it out on grass area if I wanted too... this would be kinda uneven if layed on grass with out a sheet of wood or something under it...

note: (I still aint made my dang track).

All ozite tracks I have used Mini-Z on (2, and a few laps on a 3rd) have had VERY POOR traction... and these were supose to be Racing Facilities

And you can order ozite in the 12' wide rolls from Ozite .

However there is one advantage to using Ozite/Carpet type of track... you can Intentionaly make large hills, or wripples, by putting things under it... for overland obstacles...
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Old 2004.01.20, 02:44 PM   #15
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Draconious
[I asume the one track in your photo was NOT stored propperly? its kinda wrinkled in that photo...

depending on the temperature and the moisture all carpet will wrinkle as seen in the picture above. you really need to tape it down to something solid like wood or a concret floor. you will notice that when they install carpet in your house, the carpet installer uses a big tool to stretch the carpet and lock it into nail hooks around the edge of the room. this is to get the wrinkles out.

i like your magnet idea, you could use the magnets to stick your rails to the top of your car for transportation.
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