Derby Magic Track in 2018

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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ciodude
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Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by ciodude » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 am

After a 15-year absence our local Back Diamond Girl Scout Council had a wildly successful Powder Puff Derby race. Expecting and planning for maybe 40 girls, we had over 160 girls racing! My four girls represented well, one earning third place for speed (for a block-shaped deer that proves aerodynamics plays a very small role in a winning car) and a most unique design award (three-headed dragoon with removeable wings). We had some cheap third-party block and wheel set and frankly they were pretty [crummy]. Wonky wheels I couldn’t do anything with other than try to lift the worst one and shallow slots that split. I was surprised they earned anything for speed (my other three girls placed 4th 5th and 6th, racing against each other). I worked the pit table, helping people bring cars up to or down to weight (we burned through what extra weights they bought and all of my personal non tungsten supplies in about 20 minutes (I swear we could have used about 100 lbs of weights!) and I saw BSA wheels, AWANA and at least two other types not like the kit my girls were given. That irked me, because I know we could have done a lot better with a “real” kit. I’ll post more on my girls’ racers in a bit.

They had two borrowed Cub Scout tracks (two lane plastic and three lane aluminum) and while they tried hard, management of the event, car handling and more was all done poorly. Cars were touched way too often (dragon ended up with a broken leg, lost spikes and more). But to give proper credit, for first timers, many parts were handled very well and there were no serious parent complaints and the girls had a fantastic time (the most important part). But we’ll work on improving all of that next year.

Having had such a successful race, the Council now wants to invest in a nice 6 lane track and is looking at Derby Magic track, timers, software, the whole nine yards. As my firm goes through its computer refresh this year, I promised I’d donate a laptop to the cause. I’ve been through the older comments and it looks like Derby Magic has made many improvements over the years. Yesterday’s race was my first experience with a plastic Derby Magic track. From the website the last major revision (from a assembly instruction point of view) was November 2012. I see where the frame could use some reinforcing and the stop section is brutal (for the faster cars). It also had a very low finish timer (an issue for my oldest daughters zip line racer since it was a whole half inch shorter than the 5” we were told to plan for). I am not sure the age of that track and it was a simple two lane. The photos on-line don’t show how the framework is modified to handle more lanes.

I’d love to hear from anyone with experience with the more modern version of the Derby magic tracks. Thanks in advance!

Jeff



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Vitamin K
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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by Vitamin K » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:40 pm

I've heard the concerns about the timer and the stop section before. I don't think the timer works with GPRM, which is a major what-the-heck?

Another complaint I heard was that the plastic tracks tend to build up static. Did you notice that at all?



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ciodude
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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by ciodude » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:42 pm

I'll look into the GPRM compatibility issue. I didn't notice any static when we raced yesterday no.



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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by Speedster » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:00 pm

I would stick with a 4 lane, 35' Best track, leveling kit, Champ timer, extra Brake section, Remote start switch and GrandPrix Race Manager software. The software will now operate with an Apple computer. It's an excellent investment and if you feel the need to widen it or lengthen it later on you can do that. If it ever should somehow become damaged, it can easily be repaired by replacing sections.
I wish you the Very Best.
Speedster



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gpraceman
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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:40 pm

ciodude wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:35 am
Having had such a successful race, the Council now wants to invest in a nice 6 lane track
Many organizations when they go to build or buy a track feel that more lanes is better. Well, that isn't necessarily the case. It takes more time to run each heat as you add track lanes. There are more cars to load to the track, to retrieve from the finish line and to put back in their assigned "parking spots". I recommend a track of no more than 4 lanes. Anything more will cost more (for track and timer) and will take up more storage space.
Vitamin K wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:40 pm
I don't think the timer works with GPRM, which is a major what-the-heck?
Unfortunately, that company has not wanted to partner with us so their timer can be supported by GPRM. Anyways, people have successfully used that timer with GPRM using the Custom Timer Interface and the instructions available on our downloads page.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by Speedster » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:11 am

ciodude, the Ford Fast Track races were run on a 4 lane Best track, Champ timer and GPRM software. I had the Good Fortune of being able to attend the Detroit race. There was very close to 100 Girl Scouts raced that day and it was a demonstration in efficiency. The lady sitting next to me said "How does the computer know how to do that?". I directed her to the guy running everything. Of course, it was Randy. Another benefit of the Best track is you can buy a one lane Best track and timer and tune cars before the race. That way you'll know from all the records you will have acquired whether your car is fast enough to be competitive or if you need to build another one. Won't that be FUN?



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Re: Derby Magic Track in 2018

Post by bobcatbrown520 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:45 pm

Our Pack bought a 42 foot 4 lane Best Track couple years ago complete with Champ Timer and GPRM software. Our District has a old wood/plastic 35 foot track some boy scouts built like 25 years ago with a timer. Our Pack is in our second year of using our track for the District Race and everyone loves it....no screws that fly off like the old track..nobody needing to write times down on paper. We choose best track due to their reputation and warranty.

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