Time For Transponders

Club Racing topics.

Postby CGerber » Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:51 pm

I think that it is time for MiDiv to take a serious look at going with transponders for the 5 tracks that we have.

I know that AVRG will be using the transponder system at Hallett. I also know that MAM, Heartland and St Louis have the transponder loop. (I am not sure about Memphis).

I would like to find out what the readers of this Forum have to say... good and bad. I expect that I am opening up a can of worms, but I still want to hear both sides. Believe me, I have heard differing opinions on this issue. But I would like to get a general feeling of what I will be up against at the MiDiv convention.

FYI, direct wire transponders will cost approx $225 and the rechargeable transponder with charger will be approx $255. (This will be through MiDiv). Do you think this is too much for a one time outlay that should last for years?

Let the tongue lashing begin...
<span style='color:purple'><b><span style='font-family:Arial'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Candy Gerber</span></span></b><br><span style='font-family:Arial'></span><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Nebraska Region<br>Chief of T&S - MAM</span></span>
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Postby jigou » Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:38 am

For the record, a transponder through "regular" channels is in the neighborhood of $260 for direct-wire and $295 for rechargable - so we'd be looking at an OK deal via this route as well.

I'm with Chuck on the "embrace the technology" idea. Anyone running out of division needs to buy (or rent or borrow) a transponder as it is right now. Yes, there are other things I'd rather spend $200 on....but there's no getting around it, unless you never leave your back yard.

In speaking with our local Spec Miata drivers, I haven't run into serious resistance to the transponder idea yet - it's mostly been comments along the lines of "So why AREN'T we running them yet?"

The two big items of contention that I've heard and I'm sure you're aware of:
1. What's it cost for the T&S system? Who picks up that tab?
2. T&S backup - still needs full staffing.

Jarrod
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Postby CGerber » Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:37 am

Guest_grundy wrote: While we are on the subject of cost; would requiring transponders have any effect on reducing the number of workers required at an event? In this, and other discussion boards, there are several posts regarding the shortage of track workers and how to insure we have enough to run various events.

I have no issue with the cost of adding a transponder to my car. In fact I see many benefits. More accurate timing and scoring, faster posting of results and presumably less errors. Add to that the reduced burden on workers and it looks like a no brainer.

Oops! Let's not forget that requiring Transponders will also facilitate the new I-card option.

As for the reduction of required workers, in T&S, this would not necessarily be the case. Because the GCR requires T&S to manage 2 forms of timing/scoring. If we still run the manual backup with the transponders, it is will not necessarily reduce the need.

I do have to defend T&S workers. Hallett, for instance, ran transponders at their last event. They still had manual timers and their stop watch times were within .001 of the transponder times. So your comment of more accurate is not really true. I do agree that it is possible to have the results posted faster, depending on the track's design.
<span style='color:purple'><b><span style='font-family:Arial'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Candy Gerber</span></span></b><br><span style='font-family:Arial'></span><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Nebraska Region<br>Chief of T&S - MAM</span></span>
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Postby grundy » Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:52 am

Candy,

I'm not attacking T&S workers and I have no issue with the quality of their work. I do want to support anything that reduces the burden or demand we put on the folks that volunteer to work our races.
Mark Jeffery<br>IT7 #92<br>1985 Mazda RX7<br>Arkansas Region
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Postby Speed Raycer » Fri Oct 10, 2003 9:50 am

I'd have already bought a transponder, but now I have to buy new belts since the belts I have are suddenly no good anymore even though a year ago they were good for another3 years :rolleyes:

Embrace the technology or embrace it a little later when you have to buy one ASAP in order to race the next weekend ;)

Other than the $$$, whats the argument against them? Why hasn't the Division mandated it yet?
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Postby Dick Faxon » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:46 pm

:ph34r: I have been pushing for transponders for over a year -- it is time to do it. Last year at the convention I ran into strong opposition to the idea and it was not from drivers. Hopefully this year it can get done -- every one of our region's drivers that I have talked to are in favor of them.
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Postby Jack Kish » Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:32 am

The "Division" decisions are made by the RE's. They have the vote to mandate, or not. There isn't much time left before the MidDiv Convention. All of you who have an opinion on transponders should pass them on to your RE. He or she will then represent your region's wishes at the vote on transponders at the convention.
P.S. It would also greatly help to have your region's T&S folks opinions made known to the RE.
Thanks Candy for starting the thread.
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Postby CGerber » Thu Nov 13, 2003 5:32 pm

Rick Harris wrote: How about suggesting transponders for National class and leave out the Regional only competitors?

Being a new driver myself, I understand how all of the costs add up when you are starting up.

Now, with that said, I am going to put on my T&S hat, and say that it would be very difficult to separate out Regional from National drivers, especially if they are all in one group. Besides, the way the system works, it is an all or none thing.

Think of the purchase of a transponder as a set of tires. The benefit of this "set of tires" is that it will last a heck of a lot longer, than all of your other tires. :)

I do want to thank you for your input! However, the convention is Saturday, and the MiDiv Executive Committee will be getting my proposal to go with transponders. From there, it is up to them.
<span style='color:purple'><b><span style='font-family:Arial'><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Candy Gerber</span></span></b><br><span style='font-family:Arial'></span><span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Nebraska Region<br>Chief of T&S - MAM</span></span>
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Postby jkopp » Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:34 pm

I too will be "cutting my teeth" on the track next year in an AS Camaro. I've crewed for the last two years for an ITE and a CSR car. I have heard a little about the transponder setup but haven't looked into deeply. Is this the system that will allow us to use a Gameboy type device to track lap times and such? I overheard conversation about it at Hallet this year. If so, I can see major advantages to the system and look forward to the implementation of this technology. -Jeff
Jeff Kopp<br>#36 AS Camaro<br>K.C. Region<br>Crew Chief for Mike McGinley - #50 T1 Corvette
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Postby theenico » Tue Nov 18, 2003 7:16 pm

Is there any talk of Regions/the MIDIV buying a handfull to rent to drivers for a race. Specifically at drivers schools but definitely in general, because I know some people will show up that don't, for whatever reason, have one.
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Postby grundy » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:56 pm

Nico,

I beleive there will be some transponders for rent by the Division. There was some discussion about this at the convention. The original motion to require transponders was defeated. Kent Prather then made a motion to require AMB transponders for all cars in MiDiv for 2004. The how and where to acquire them was not part of the motion.
Mark Jeffery<br>IT7 #92<br>1985 Mazda RX7<br>Arkansas Region
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