Commercial Track Purchase

Commercial tracks.
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mclewis_13
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Commercial Track Purchase

Post by mclewis_13 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:58 pm

Good Afternoon,

I am new to the forum, HOWDY! I am a commander at a smaller AWANA club and we had our first grand prix last year on a borrowed track that I think was older than I am. It worked flawlessly, but this year I want to get a track of our very own.

I want to purchase a new track and timing system with hook up to a computer connected to a projector in order to put it up on a projection screen.

I have read quite a bit through your forum and it seems that I am having a hard time finding a timing system that I know will work perfectly with the AWANA Grand Prix track. Should I forgo getting the official AWANA track and go with an outside company that sells a timer that goes a long with it?

Money isn't an issue with the club as we are well funded. I want to be a good steward with what I have been given and want to get a high quality long lasting system that will supply the club with fun for years to come.

I appreciate any input.

Thanks!



Speedster
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Re: Commercial Track Purchase

Post by Speedster » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:49 pm

mclewis_13 Welcome to Derbttalk

We have a 35', 4 lane "Best" track, Champ timer, Grand Prix Race Manager Software, and a remote start button. While I prefer the 35' track I think we are going to extend it to the 42' setup. That will be fine but everything will take a little longer.
We use the "Best" track for Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Commodore Perry District Race which is in the Erie Council. Once the Best track is assembled the 1st time it can then be set up and taken down very quickly. The track can be widened and lengthened at any time. The track is very popular and that is why I have a 2 lane "Best" track in my garage. The Champ timer was built for the Best track and it mounts very easily. Best track will punch the holes for you.

Any questions you have regarding software can be answered by Randy Lisano, the gentleman who owns this website. Randy Lisano recently raced 500 Girl Scouts across the U.S. for the Ford Motor Company. Ford used The Best track with Randy's software. I had the privilege of attending the Detroit race and the race was run flawlessly.

I Loved your sentence where you said, "Money isn't an issue". I've been involved with the Pinewood Derby for 35 years and that's the First time I have heard that. Your club is very Fortunate.
I wish you the Very Best.



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gpraceman
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Re: Commercial Track Purchase

Post by gpraceman » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:35 am

mclewis_13 wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:58 pm
I have read quite a bit through your forum and it seems that I am having a hard time finding a timing system that I know will work perfectly with the AWANA Grand Prix track. Should I forgo getting the official AWANA track and go with an outside company that sells a timer that goes a long with it?
The track that Awana sells is the Best Track. The other aluminum track on the market is the Micro Wizard Freedom track. Both are very good tracks. I have run many races on both tracks. Each has its pros and cons. So, it will depend on what features are important to you and how often you will use it.

With either of those two tracks, you can fit any of the most popular timing systems (Fast Track, NewBold, SmartLine/The Champ, or The Judge). All are good timers with good support, so it will really boil down to what features you want and what your budget is. The only type of timer that I don't recommend is one that doesn't have some type of finish order display on the timer. While you will use a computer to display results, computers are not 100% dependable, so in a lurch, you should be able to finish your race with old fashion pencil and paper. A timer with a nice finish order display is quite sufficient. You don't necessary need a timer that displays times, if you use race management software with a projection system.


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.

leerbennett
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Re: Commercial Track Purchase

Post by leerbennett » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:59 pm

Hi,

I have been running the Grand Prix for our church for six years with about 25 kids participating each year.
We are happy with the purchase of the track from Awana. I would NOT recommend getting a longer track, as some of our cars struggle to finish the 35' distance. We got one of the last RaceMaster timers via our Awana purchase, but this is no longer an option.
I definitely agree with Speedster's recommendation to get the GrandPrix Race Master software for running the presentation.
So best to pick a timer with good support from GPRM, see the https://grandprix-software-central.com/ ... patibility.
For our first year, I stuck to just using GPRM. In the second year I added Race Replay.
Race Replay worked best with sensors under the track, and no overhead finish line to block best-end-of-the-track video angle.
So a system to consider is the Transponder, with no overhead finish line and software compatible to the Champ timer.
http://www.newdirections.ws/trb.htm
I prefer to show an additional monitor with GPRM output over any of the hardware displays. However, you really need to practice and have confidence with the GPRM software to go without the backup of a hardware display.



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gpraceman
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Re: Commercial Track Purchase

Post by gpraceman » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:16 pm

leerbennett wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:59 pm
So a system to consider is the Transponder, with no overhead finish line and software compatible to the Champ timer.
http://www.newdirections.ws/trb.htm
I prefer to show an additional monitor with GPRM output over any of the hardware displays. However, you really need to practice and have confidence with the GPRM software to go without the backup of a hardware display.
It is not just a matter of trusting GPRM. You also have to trust the computer. Unfortunately, Murphy's Law can come into play. That is why I never recommend a timer that does not have some type of finish order display, unless it is for a test track. Personally, I would never run a race with a timer that doesn't have some type of finish display.


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.

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