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Old 2007.06.07, 01:32 AM   #1
herman
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lapcounter comparison...

was wondering if any of you guys can help me out...

been doing some comparative costs between robitronic, i-lap and giro z... (see table below)

looking at a 4 transponder lap counting system:

robitronic is the cheapest. (set includes 4 receivers & 3 transponders 359.99 - and an extra transponder cost 39.99) total cost is 403.98
(price from tower hobbies)
kit - http://www2.************.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXRJC9&P=7

extra transponders - http://www2.************.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXPGL4&P=ML


i-lap costs 460 and includes 4 sensors and 4 transponders...

giro z's total cost is 565 (price from atomic mods...kit 389.99 + 4 transponders at 43.99 each)


for a 6 transponder lapcounting system:

robitronic is still the cheapest at 485.96
i-lap 556
giro-z 653.93

so going with costs, i guess robitronic would be the best bet...
there's a review on the robitronic lapcounter...
http://mini-zracing.com/blog/_archiv...0/1898903.html


robitronic
unit cost 359.99 (includes 3 transponders)
extra transponders 39.99
total cost
404 (4 transponder system)
445 (5 transponder system)
486 (6 transponder system)

ilap
unit cost 460 (includes 4 transponders)
extra transponders 45
total cost
460 (4 transponder system)
510 (5 transponder system)
556 (6 transponder system)

giro z
unit cost 389.99 (transponders not included)
transponders 43.99
566 (4 transponder system)
610 (5 transponder system)
654 (6 transponder system)


what do you guys think? any input would highly be appreciated...

next thing would be the software... any views as to which software will be pretty simple to use? thanks...

Last edited by herman; 2007.06.07 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 2007.06.29, 06:50 PM   #2
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Just wondering if anyone else had any input on this, I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm looking to get a lap timing system in hand by this fall so I can start kicking all your asses in HFAY.
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Old 2007.06.29, 09:29 PM   #3
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CORE is selling for $400 now. and the transponders are about $10 each. I think it's worth throwing into the mix.

Once you consider a 6 transponder system CORE comes in at $460 which becomes the cheapest in the list. The transponders are very light and easy for people to buy more than one. I have several, one for each of my cars. You can get glitching from CORE and sometimes we've had CORE crap out on us but the software is pretty good.

If you go with an IR system you will have a slightly more reliable counting system because IR won't be affected by fluorescent lights, WiFi, etc. I was not a big fan of the Giro-Z software.

Last edited by Spoon; 2007.06.30 at 07:27 AM. Reason: adding more info
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Old 2007.07.01, 12:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoon
CORE is selling for $400 now. and the transponders are about $10 each. I think it's worth throwing into the mix.
Kyosho finally release it or something?
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Old 2007.07.01, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoon
CORE is selling for $400 now. and the transponders are about $10 each. I think it's worth throwing into the mix.

Once you consider a 6 transponder system CORE comes in at $460 which becomes the cheapest in the list. The transponders are very light and easy for people to buy more than one. I have several, one for each of my cars. .
I just started racing mini z s and the track Action RC Speedway (Staten Island, NY) uses the core system. I have to say I am impressed with it.
The transponders are small and fit easily (under the body, held on w tape)
some guys even tape the them on the outside of the body. They work flawlessly. The unit has an audible beep when cars pass the loop under the rcp.....the starting and the finishes are computer prompted....
I think it is a great deal....
berm

Last edited by bermbuster; 2007.07.01 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 2007.07.01, 09:16 AM   #6
Spoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog4w
Kyosho finally release it or something?
Nah, not yet. Core has a few extra units available. go to the website (corespeedway.com) for more information.
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Old 2007.07.03, 02:17 AM   #7
herman
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Quote:
Core has a few extra units available
man... i thought core stopped making them... what is core customer support like?
and what software do they use?

thanks for any info...
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Old 2007.07.03, 06:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herman
man... i thought core stopped making them... what is core customer support like?
and what software do they use?

thanks for any info...
CORE has their own software. A few members here are very familiar with it. Search CORE here and check out www.corespeedway.com for a little more information.

The software is pretty good. It takes some time to get used to but I really like using it...except when it hangs.
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Old 2007.07.14, 01:02 AM   #9
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Just my $0.02...

Our club owns a core system and a giro-z system.

The core system has worked without incident for over a year. The Giro-z system is new to us, but also works flawlessly.


Loop/bridge size:

Core is 2 tiles only.

Giro Z comes with a 2 tile or 3 tile setup.

Advantage: Giro-z

Interference:

Core is RFID - it doesn't like metal. It also can cause a small glitch when driving over the loop. Not a big deal. Just put the loop in a strait when the glitch appears.

Giro-z is IR - if you are outside under the bright sun, you have to shade the bridge. If the bridge is too big you can loose line of sight to the car. Again, no big deal, strategic placement of the bridge is key. Ours is custom made from 1/2 inch aluminum.

Advantage: Giro-z

Transponders:

Here's the biggest diff IMHO and the reason we picked up a Giro-Z.

Core - cool idea. Driver data is stored on the transponder. Each driver has his/her own transponder for the event. Easy to register to race. Just show up, scan the car and you're ready. "Place and race". Down side, Each driver needs his/her own transponder. Try running a race with 50 guys. You have to pre-buy the transponders and hope they all get purchased from you.

Giro-z. club transponders. You only need enough for the amount of cars on the track. On a small track, you only need 3. We have 10. Up side, no limit to the number of drivers in an event. Down side, drivers have to install transponder before each heat and return them. No big deal, connection wires are installed on car. Transponder Velcros to car.

Advantage: Depends on your club.

Software:

Tough one: Core's is pretty good, and I don't have Lap-z completely figured out yet. I'm still on the fence, but so far I like what I see with Lap-z. I hear a new English manual is on the way.

Advantage: Giro-Z? Still looking into it, but I like lap-z so far.

Price:

Price between core and giro is about the same depending on how you look at transponders. Remember, you don't need personal transponders with Giro-Z.

Support:

Core - They are still around, but I don't know of a dedicated reseller that you can bug when you have an issue. This forum is usually the best support out there rite now. Maybe Kyosho will pick them up...

Giro-z. Both Kenon and Atomic resell state side. You can get either on the phone (Kenon = Skype) and ask questions. if they don't know, they will but the Giro-z guys.

Advantage: Giro-z

Bottom Line:

You just have to decided what you want to do. If it's a few guys, then both are an option and the core system may be the best for you. But if you want to run a large race, or you have a high turnover of club drivers, then in my opinion Giro-z has the advantage.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 2007.09.24, 01:06 AM   #10
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thanks for all the info...

hmm... here's an update for i-lap and a review by wcrotty...

http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26194


hi mods...
wondering if we could have a sticky for all lap counter info / reviews / tips or probably a whole section / thread dedicated to lap counters / lap counter support
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Old 2007.09.24, 01:16 AM   #11
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Update on the Giro-Z.

The Z-round software has gone under some major revisions. The new software enhancements include:

- A complete race management system: (no more FlaCo/ZRound combo)
- Enhanced printing
- Automated transponder distribution
- separate race management and lap timer windows - lets you mod the next heat while the race in in progress.
- A count down window to let drivers know when the next heat / main is.

Way too much more to list.
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Old 2007.09.24, 05:30 AM   #12
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the core does seem like the best deal cause the transponders are cheap and therefore each person can buy multiple ones
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Old 2007.09.24, 08:38 AM   #13
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feedback for rharris

i think giro-z has lots of potential but the drawbacks to me are significant enough that i would choose even a sketchy supported core over giro-z
advantage core:
1. software, ease of use. i have not tried the latest software from giro-z but the original stuff was difficult to say the least to get used to. core is as easy as winzip for example. even if you don't know what your doing, you can stumble your way thru well enough.
2. transponder costs. the way you presented them is a bit misleading. you can certainly make do with house transponders with core tags just as easily as you could with the giro-z tranponders. the significant cost savings is what allows you to have individual tags for each driver or car but this is by no means required. better yet, you have no wires it install or no power drain from the car. they are indeed 'place and race' just as you described.
advantage giro-z:
1. loop/bridge size. core is limited where as giro-z leaves you options. interference with both can be addressed just as you described.
2. support. it is true, giro-z is actively sold by many distributors. any shop that gets atomic for example can get giro-z i believe. it's still a foreign made product and retailers are going to point you to them for support which may not always be easy but you know your going to get a response period. thats comforting to know. what if anything kyosho does with core will tip the scales big time. until then if you want peice of mind on support, your spot on with giro-z. if your a do-it-yourselfer, then it matters not.

price is subjective and a harder argument to make now that core has dropped it's price and you can get a stripped down giro-z system. like you pointed out, cost of transponders is where it hits you either good or bad.

i have not read much into the i-lap stuff or other options although i know some have been reviewed here on mzr. i can tell you i will eagerly await further reviews from you (hopefully visual tutorials) for giro-z. it's a good product that just needs more exposure and understanding. am and spoon have posted some tid bits on dealing with the transponders. in the end i think more shops will options like giro-z which is why we need more inforamtion and user friendly data and reviews like your thank you for sharing.

to herman:
core has it's own support forum already. sadly, it's been left to forum members to respond it seems

i would love to have a giro-z representative to join for a giro-z specifc 'ask' forum. for 'support', giro-z already has systems inplace to deal with offical support issues. we would be happy to host an 'ask' forum for public questions/answers though but it should not replace the system they aready have in place. i'll certainly check into a forum for lap timers as well. if you know of any other manufacturers and interested in seeing them on mzr, please email them suggest they join
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Old 2007.09.24, 04:26 PM   #14
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Here is my $0.02 like rharris……but with the dollar crashing it’s more like $0.01 now.

Great job on the right up rharris. I would like to add to yours.


Our tracks owned a core systems (yes more then one), Finger system, and now i-lap.
--- For giro z I will used others information but I looked into it extensively ---

Loop/bridge size:

Core is 2 tiles only. ( They said it could be doubled by using 2 core systems but that never worked )

Giro z can be 2 tile or 3 tiles. ( Can this be expanded?)

I-lap can be from 14” up to 24 ‘

Interference:

Core is RFID - Chrome bodies will not work with it and lots of aluminum will cause it not to count. Also causes a glitch for cars, This is unacceptable in my book. You can move the counter around in the track to minimize the amount of glitch for some drivers but with the shore USB cables you are limited with that also. (Having a great battle between 2 drivers ruined by a glitch the counter causes is not fun) Side note: has anyone tried 27mhz FM with the system?

Giro-z is IR – No interference with the cars (rharris - if you are outside under the bright sun, you have to shade the bridge. If the bridge is too big you can loose line of sight to the car. Again, no big deal, strategic placement of the bridge is key. Ours is custom made from 1/2 inch aluminum.)

I-lap is IR – No interference with the cars and can be run in full sun with no problems.

Advantage: Giro-z & I-lap

Transponders:

Core – RF id tag used in each car. Every car needs it’s own transponder and at 10 bucks each that can add up when running 3-5 classes. Some people have figured out how to run just one per person but the software is not the easiest to figure that out. ALSO the biggest one here. Our club has had MANY RF id tags go bad for people. For me alone 50% of mine have stopped working. Again at 10 bucks a pop retail.

Giro-z – (again from rharris - club transponders. You only need enough for the amount of cars on the track. On a small track, you only need 3. We have 10. Up side, no limit to the number of drivers in an event. Down side, drivers have to install transponder before each heat and return them. No big deal, connection wires are installed on car. Transponder Velcro’s to car.) Transponder are from 1-24 unique numbers. Cost is $45.88 (rckenon)

I-Lap – Up side - drivers can chose from club transponders or personal transponders. Each transponder has a unique number. For a basement track you can have 3 transponders but the same 3 transponders would work at your club as personal transponders if they used I-lap. Made in the USA Downside – you have to install a connector in your car and Velcro. Also the cost is $38.

Advantage: I-lap

Software:

Core: upside - Easy to install. Some cool features. Easy to use. Scan and race feature is good for basement racint Downside – Really hard to run a big race. (Look at the problems we had at the PN worlds - unacceptable) Also no drag and drop feature for adding drivers. Again limited. Also missed laps during a race.

Giro-z: I have never used the software but from I read it’s still in it’s early stages. Downside: Requires a linux system.

I-lap: Upside: uses the AMBrc protocol and will run any software that supports it. Most professional and non professional software does. I can write up an a bunch more on the software side that just shows how great this feature is. So many ways you can go. For basement racing Alycat has a great free version, and laps free does too. For professional racing for big races there is software that has been run at every major rc event in the world. Price free – 1k+ (if needed). If I-lap would have been used at the PN worlds this past year they could have used the software the club had and used every day.

Advantage: I-lap (Hands down in my book)

Price:

Price is about the same for all 3 systems. I-lap transponders are a bit cheaper then Giro-z but can have the personal transponder feature as the core system.

Support:

Core: Has a forum but doesn’t visit it. Not sure if the software will be updated even for bug fixes. And if you say you have lap problems he just has you check the size of the loop. Problems at the PN worlds had no support when it had problems.

Giro-z: (again from rharris - Both Kenon and Atomic resell state side. You can get either on the phone (Kenon = Skype) and ask questions. if they don't know, they will but the Giro-z guys.)

I-lap: You get a direct line to I-lap and he is working on getting his forum running again (spam problems). For software all of the major lap counting software companies have very good support for their products.

Advantage: I-lap

Bottom Line:

I feel the I-lap counter is our best chance to get a cheaper solution for mini-z racing that all big events could use and home tracks. I really was hopping that the core system would have solved this problem but it fell short with the (glitcing, software limitations, support, loop size, distance from the track). Giro-z was a good next step but again the limitations are still there. (transponders 1-24 limitations, and software is home grown). Again I have done a lot of research on what counters and software are the best for the money. So far I think we have a winner IMO I-lap

Just my $0.01
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Old 2007.09.24, 04:55 PM   #15
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Just to add, and it is not just because we sell it but the Giro-Z software is really not as hard to use as people think. It is just designed from a European point of view, which is what confuses people originally. Basically what has to be understood is that the program runs each separate class in different windows, rather than everything in the same window under different directories, once you get over that, it is as easy, if not easier to use than CORE.

One thing that I do have to add to the Giro-Z lobbying is that it is rapidly becoming the world standard for Mini-Z racing. Sort of like AMB is for bigger scales.
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