Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Discussions on buying or building timers, solenoid start gates, light trees, weigh scales, and other race related electronics.
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birddog
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Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by birddog » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:19 pm

We plan to upgrade our Pack's BestTrack and add an automatic start gate this year.

I am considering ESS and The Judge.

Do you have experience with either? What is your satisfaction with your purchase?

It seems the ESS markets their use on Mid-America tracks.

I wonder what the pro racing leagues use?

Any input appreciated.

thanks,

birddog



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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by gpraceman » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:33 pm

Do you want one that is manually triggered or via the computer?
birddog wrote:I wonder what the pro racing leagues use?
That would be better asked on the league forums. ;)


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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by MaxV » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:56 am

I have a Judge starting gate on a Freedom track. It works very well. Photo and writeup here:
http://www.maximum-velocity.com/nl/pine ... tm#feature



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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by birddog » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:00 am

gpraceman wrote:Do you want one that is manually triggered or via the computer?
Manually triggered is a must have. I know the Judge can be computer triggered and the ESS cannot. I envision letting the scouts press the button to start the race and having a button separate from the computer is best (don't want the kids near the computer keyboard).

A more important characteristic for me is to be able to add a light tree in the future. I know NewDirections offers a light tree, but I discovered that best track is designing one also, but it won't be available until later next year. I'm told the ESS will be compatible with the upcoming best track light tree.

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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by birddog » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:23 am

MaxV wrote:I have a Judge starting gate on a Freedom track. It works very well. Photo and writeup here:
http://www.maximum-velocity.com/nl/pine ... tm#feature
MaxV- I had actually read your article before posting. The great data in the article on standard deviation with and without start gates really shows some of the value a start gate can bring to add consistency to the heats!

thanks,

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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by Rfieldbuilds » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:21 am

I realize this topic is 6 months old. My personal experience correlates with Max V and I will say The Judge solenoid starting gate has helped us tremendously versus a manual spring loaded start gate. Call John and discuss. He was quite helpful to me and his system works well with the GPRM and Micro Wizard timing system our former leaders have employed.



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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by birddog » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:56 am

We have a best track and after talking with the Best track folks, I decided to purchase the ESS start gate from [no advertising for this vendor]. I've installed it (as well as the "Owen's Mod" for the best track starting lever), and it works great.

Our race is this coming Saturday and I can't wait to see the look on the Scouts faces as we tell them they each get to start one of the races this year.

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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by Rukkian » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:00 pm

Coming to this a little late, but we did purchase a new best track and the ESS starter last year. It has now been used for 3 races (pack, and district last year, and pack this year). We have the remote start button fastened to something at the finish line (one of our dads has a bunch of old parking meters that we used for decoration, so we just tape it to that). It is awesome, and we just say that whoever is in the green lane (lane closest to the button) gets to push it after a countdown each race. This lets the kids stay involved, and also gives each kid a chance to stand right next to the finish line while his car is in the closest lane. We don't have the boys stage the cars, as with a 6 lane elevated track, I fear there would be issues, but this allows the boys to stay involved, and they like to be able to officially start the race.



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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by birddog » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:01 pm

Thought I'd follow up and give an update on how the kids liked the new starting button.

We had each kid who raced in lane 1 push the button to start the race and since each kid races once in each lane, each kid got to start one race.

Everyone had fun with it and it was enjoyed by all.

Interesting that the younger kids (who happened to race first) all pushed the button on the last count (5-4-3-2-1, and they push it after the 1). By the time the Webelows II raced, we had a few kids who wanted to be funny by starting the race in mid count. They just laughed and laughed.

I think it was a good addition to our race this year and engaged the kids even more than in past years.

I'd like to do something similar for our District race this year, but at district we race everyone in one large group and I'm worried it might be hard to find the kid in lane 1 fast enough so that we are not waiting for kids to come out of the bleachers too often.

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Re: Purchasing an Automatic Start Gate

Post by Rukkian » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:33 pm

While our district had low turnout, we did do it last year. I would think, as long as the ondeck is showing, and you let them know to look at the next race, you may be able to pull it off.



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