Does anyone out there have experience with on-track race light systems or recommendations on a system? I’m exploring what’s out there on behalf of my local track and see this from Pixel timing and Race America.
Looking at race America more seriously as they and we are in California.
Also curious if anyone has alternative suggestions for a solution like this. It’s tempting to attempt a custom build using Programmable LED’s but I’m not that far along in my research.
The underlying theme is seeking advice from those that have experience managing a local club/track and learning from what works or hasn’t worked for others.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Are you looking from a rental karting perspective, or competition karting?
SMS also does a system, that can be automated. Small transponder on each kart talking to receptors around the track. It picks up stopped karts and automatically yellow flags the sector before and green after
No rentals, purely intended for loosely organized track days, and race days in order to have clear and consistent signaling out on track.
I take it you’re referring to this system?
Seems to be dependent on their software, which probably wouldn’t be a fit as we’re using Mylaps Orbit.
At DKC in Dallas, they have a remote system they deploy for club races. It is basically a stand alone corner flag light stand like they use in F1. They also have a permanent Starting Light Bar over the start/finish line. From a main board, they can flip a switch and put out a caution flag for any given corner. The stands looks similar in shape to the construction flat cones with a wide base. They are equipped with Green, Yellow and Red LED lights. There are no wires, so I think they run off internal batteries and remote activation. Next time I am there, I will ask Mike Jones about them and try to report back.
Thanks, that sounds just like what we’re looking for.
Yes and yes it is, it’s only good really for rentals. And it’s pricey.
My club has a set of Race America lights.
Pricy at the time and I have not been real impressed with their after sale service.
As part of the system purchase we received a computer + program to operate them, which has become buggy over the years. The only apparent fix is to buy another version of the program for a significant percentage of the original system price, according to the supplier in our country.
Which I dont think is fair, and we certainly can’t afford at the moment.
Another club I know of has bought a Race America system and have had issues with them.
One of which is that one of the LED Diodes that makes the colours has been removed, compared to our older system.
The lights Display the colours Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green. When the Green is Displayed it uses the Yellow and Blue LED’s to make the colour. Not an issue when looking directly at the Green light but at any other angle it will either look Yellow, or Blue. Which is obviously a bit of an issue.
Race America’s response to the club was basically that they had to deal with the issue themselves, which I don’t think that is an appropriate response considering the system they bought would have cost upwards of AU$20,000
That’s not a good endorsement for the lights, I guess, but aside from that they have been pretty good for us.
They are wireless, meaning the flag operator can sit in the tower with the other officials, which is a big plus. Rechargeable batteries, portable.
Maybe being in the same country as the manufacturer will mean you have better luck with after sales service then we did.
Thanks, really appreciate those details. I spoke to the owner I believe, and we’re only a few hours away from them, which is one reason they lead the comparison race for us.
The quote I received for a fairly basic system of a few basic battery-powered lights and hand controller is a reasonable 3.2k US, but the only downside is that they’re commanded globally. Meaning all lights would display the same selected color. This is the case unless managed by the software integrated with orbit, at additional cost, or by purchasing multiple handsets.
Either way, hearing about buggy hardware is worth keeping in mind as we evaluate options.
If you don’t need a wireless system I have always thought that buying a few different colours of LEDs (which have become really cheap of the years) and wiring some sort of multi core wire out to the circuit to run the light system, might be way cheaper then buying a wireless system from a manufacturer.
I mean you can get a truck tail light for under $50 (colours red yellow and white) plus another light for $20. You would have to find or make Green and Blue. so say $80 for the whole signal itself.
5 core wire x 100M (4 signal and 1 earth) $120
call it $100 per channel for wire fittings,
The control board would be the hardest to make over estimate $1000
We have a 4 light system so our setup would cost around $AU2500, even at twice the price it would be 10K cheaper then our wireless setup.
All prices I just found off ebay