As we announced trackside last week, and here on the website a couple of weeks ago, Launceston R/C are now very close to implementing transponder lap counting for our regular club racing. Click through for all the details including what and where to buy, and to leave your name for our bulk purchase.
Transponders give us accurate, reliable and trouble-free lap scoring – they’re great for competitors and race control alike. The system relies upon a small transponder fitted to each competitors car, with some additional hardware added to our race control computer to allow us to automatically detect your car as it crosses the start/finish line each time. It’s the same technology used in full sized motorsport (from the same company).
There are three transponder options available to you.
The first is the current unit produced by MyLaps (the company who manufacture the system we’ll buy). It’s called the RC4 Personal Transponder. You can buy them through hobby stores, or we will be doing a bulk purchase when we place the order for our system. Look to pay around $100-$120 new from a hobby store, or probably a little cheaper through our bulk purchase.
The second is the previous generation Personal Transponder from MyLaps (previously called AMB Timing). It will work 100% fine with our system. You won’t find these available new, but you can find them second hand. Look to pay about $60-$90 second hand. Some owners will have cut off the mounting tabs – it’s no problem, the transponder can readily be secured using double sided tape. It’s a little bigger than the new RC4 unit.
The third option is a transponder from English manufacturer MRT. It’s called the PTX. These units are cloned MyLaps/AMB units and designed to work in the same way. These are rare, but a little cheaper than the genuine items. You can buy them from the manufacturer, from some hobby shops, and second hand.
If you want to start looking to buy second hand (either the RC4, earlier AMB PT, or the MRT unit), any R/C forum will have options. In Australia the best place to look is on the Australian section of the excellent rctech.net forum site. Go here to find the Oz for sale section. It’s a very active forum, so you’ll need to check often. Look out for item headings that list transponders (or PT some will call them) but also for “getting out”, “lots of gear” or other similar headings implying someone is selling a whole load of parts. Personal transponder units sell very quickly, so if you see one, grab it fast. As it’s a second-hand market that isn’t controlled, we can’t guarantee either the quality of what you see there, or the sellers who advertise. It has a good reputation as a trustworthy site….but as always with second hand gear, it’s “buyer beware”. If in doubt, email Scott and I’ll tell you if I know anything about the particular seller.
Also check out the main ‘for sale’ section at rctech, but remember most of the items listed there are from the USA – so there will be postage and currency exchange considerations. Of course you can also keep an eye on ebay.
Remember that we’ll have a bulk buy coming up in the next few weeks that will be the cheapest way to buy a new unit. As soon as we have that pricing confirmed, we’ll announce it here and at club racing. Remember that the more of us that buy together, the better price we’ll be able to get.
If you have questions, or if you want to place your name down for our bulk-buy, leave a note in the comments section of this thread.
Remember too, that once we shift over to transponders, we can’t do manual lap counting. Everybody will be welcome to race with us, but you’ll need a transponder fitted to count laps. We understand that the cost of purchase can be a barrier to some people, but hope you can find a way to acquire a trandponder – it’s definitely for the best for the quality of what we’re doing at Launceston R/C.
The club will buy a number of transponders that will be available for rental (probably at $5 per week) – but a reminder that they’ll be prioritised for new and visiting drivers.
Please let me know if you need more information.