High Down Force vs. Low Downforce
There is a lot of talk about how to run your traction magnets – high vs.. low downforce. A picture is worth a thousand words they say. Using a piece of special film that indicates magnetic fields, you can see how the orientation of the magnets interacts with the armature and the track.
The theory is that installing like-pole motor and traction magnet on each side of the car produces High Downforce. Swapping the traction magnets so they are the opposite polarity of the motor magnets creates Low Downforce or Motor Mode. The Motor Mode setup allows the traction magnets to push a magnetic field into the motor box thus acting on the armature.
The two photos below show what is going on in a typical Tyco 440×2. The traction magnets from the factory are both one polarity. As such it is impossible to create a high or low downforce situation. The car is split with one side high and one side low downforce. This also creates an unbalance magnetic field in the motor box. None of this is any problem, really. It is only a concern if you are trying to set your car up for competition and need that little extra bit at the margin. Several suppliers offer north/south polarity traction magnets for 440x2s so you can set your car up accordingly. All of my Venom Warp Level 42 and 52 Tyco 440×2 traction magnets are made north/south oriented.
The three photos below are of a Level 25 Modified car set up in High Downforce. The motor magnets are ceramic, the traction magnets are machined polymer. The film show distinct flux lines off the traction magnets onto the rails. The traction magnet face sticks to the side of the motor box.
The three photos below are of a Level 25 Modified car set up in Low Downforce. The motor magnets are ceramic, the traction magnets are machined polymer. The film shows the traction magnets’ flux lines pushing into the motor box. The traction magnet top sticks to the side of the motor box.