Derby Magic Drag Racing Setup

Other race electronics and general electronics discussions.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4844
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO

Derby Magic Drag Racing Setup

Post by gpraceman » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:42 pm

Derby Magic recently announced that they have a new drag racing system. It includes a light tree, start gate (with a solenoid on each lane) and their race management software. It looks interesting.

The solenoids can act independently, so each racer has control over the release of their car. I would have to assume that there is a lockout so a racer cannot release their gate before the lights on the tree hit green. They also state that all of the solenoids can be triggered simultaneously, for a normal race. I do have reservations on that feature. Will all of the solenoids react just as quickly, even after years of operation? Solenoids can get "sticky", so you don't want one releasing even slightly before another. I also have reservations about a start pin that pulls straight down. Will that affect cars with a bit sticky of a front end (paint still tacky)?

I guess this system is to compete against Best Track's convertible split start gate and light tree. Maybe "compete against" is the wrong phrase, as each system would take modification to fit on a different brand of track. Anyways, the split gate does have the advantage over the Derby Magic gate, as you can physically lock the gates together, to act truly as one gate. However, the Derby Magic gate has the advantage that each lane is solenoid controlled. With the Best Track gate, it is really just two gates, even on a track with 3 or more lanes. Best Track's design is patented. I would hope that the Derby Magic design doesn't violate that patent. The two systems do have significantly different designs, so that would not seem to be an issue, but I haven't really read the patent.

As far as the light tree goes, the Derby Magic unit looks very similar to other "pole style" trees made by Micro Wizard and New Directions. The Best Track light tree wins hands down for looking more like a real light tree. However, it comes with a hefty price tag.

So, this begs the question. Is such a system, with independent start gates, too gimmicky or are people interested in buying one compatible with their track? Would you run a kids race in that format? For an adult race, I could see that being fun, but not so sure I would do a kids race that way. The Best Track system has been out for a while now, but I haven't really heard a buzz about people doing that style of racing.

Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

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.

Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:48 pm
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Derby Magic Drag Racing Setup

Post by Speedster » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:21 am

I think this set up would be a real Crowd Pleaser if it was set up at District races as a Fun track where anyone could race.
I wouldn't recommend it for regulation races. We use the KISS method - "Keep It Simple".

Pine Head
Pine Head
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:08 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Derby Magic Drag Racing Setup

Post by bracketracer » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:10 am

I don't care for having the pins pull straight down either, it will favor a car with a higher nose also besides the sticky nose issue. May only be a few thousandths but it won't be a fair race. I would let people race on it just for fun but not for a scout race.

Post Reply