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Old 2007.09.20, 03:56 PM   #1
wcrotty
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New nextgen I-Lap lap counter.

Product review for I-Lap lap counter.

I just got in the new next generation I-Lap lap counting system in.

The new counter has some great features that drew me into buying the product.

Here are some pics before we start.

I-lap lap counter box
I-lap lap counter pieces
I-lap counter transponders
I-lap sensors
I-lap wires
I-lap transponder size vs quarter
I-lap decoder



- It piggy backs on the AMDrc protocol so it can use any software that supports the AMDrc counter. This is important for many reasons. Software that has been on the market has been tested and debugged for years and includes many features not included in the software of others (core/giroz) I use Alycat and love that software. ( it will run the race for you, call out everything you want......and also has a practice mode that calls laptimes for drivers. ) Alycat also has a forum that you can talk to the owner and voice fixes and features. But really the product has everything you would want and more.

Alycat - Has synthesized voice announcements, points series, html output, database and more!
Laps Free - A great full-feature free program worth checking out.
JLap Race Manager
BBK Timing software
SlyFox
and autoscore


- it utilizes the personal transponder features just like the AMDrc. So you can have one transponder for all your cars or one per car. Then you can use transponders as club transponders for people that don't want to buy them. ( I got 2 sets of 6 transponders for the club ones) You can race as many cars at once as you want.

- The transponders have a broad voltage range and shut off at 1.8 volts but should be at least 2.5v (no worries for modified cars running out of battery and not counting). And even if the the batteries lose connection by a huge crash the transponders have a quick boot up time so you will not have a chance to miss a lap. Also have protection diodes and voltage regulators on board so if for some reason it's hooked up backwards the board will not fry. Also if you hook it up to a 2 cell LiPo it will work fine. Each transponder is wrapped in a thick shrink wrap for protection.

- The connector that the transponder uses fits right into a (hitec) receiver for power. So the transponders can be used with 10th 12th 18th and mini-zs (with an adapter) We race 18th scale too and the transponders will work with the xrays and mini-z with no problem. We will be running 10th some times so it will work with them too. The transponder size is about 7/8 x 5/8" which is a little larger in length then the Giroz because of the transponder number on the circuit board.

- The timing bridge can expand up to 24 feet. (not that we need that)

- It plugs into a usb port but the cable between the sensors and decoder is a cat-5 cable and has been tested to work 150+ feet from the computer. (Theoretically it should be capable of 2000+ feet, no more computer must be right next to the track.) Short cat-5 cables between the sensors.

- support for the hardware is great. The owner puts his phone number all over the product information sheets so you can CALL him.

Introductory pricing.
Decoder $140 (Includes USB cable and 50' Cat5 cable)
Bridge Sensor $40 each. (Each covers up to 14.5" and includes a short Cat5 cable)
Transponders $38 each.

So for a 6 transponder system it would be $488. 1 decoder, 3 sensors, 6 transponders. Then run the free laps free software.
(retail for the giroz is 299 + 45.88x6 (transponders) = 574.28)

Setting up the counter was very easy. I removed the sensors and attached them to my bridge i built (i need to take pics of the bridge) that is 16 inches high. connected the short cat 3 cables between the sensors then connected the longer cat 5 cable between the last sensor and the decoder.

Before i plugged the decoder into the computer i grabbed the ZIP file for the drivers. extracted them to a folder. Then i plugged in the decoder to the USB port. Pointed the installation to the extracted folder and everything installed. Then i checked the device manager in windows to see what port it was using. ( it was using port 15 so i changed it in the advanced settings down to a lower one. port 4)

That completed the hardware installation.

For the transponder i added a female connector leads to the positive and negative terminals of my mini-z. Added a little velcro to the chassis and plugged in the transponder. The transponder has a cool blue LED that blinks when it's on. For Xrays just plug into the receiver and then vlecro down and you are done.


Female servo leads (just remove the yellow wire)

Now for Alycat. I just changed the preferences to the AMBrc setting and set the com to 4 and everything was done. I added the numbers of the transponders to the club transponders for 1-6. It was very simple to set up and get running. I turned on the transponder test mode and checked out my transponders to see if they counted, then went to practice mode to do some laps and alycat called out ever lap time.

So far i have run a few test races and in 2 weeks the race track will be in full gear running the system.

www.rclapcounter.com is the website but it's not updated with the new system just yet.

Just send Craig an email at cs@rclapcounter.com and tell him Bill sent ya.
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Last edited by wcrotty; 2007.09.21 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 2007.09.20, 04:00 PM   #2
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Good write-up... highly informative!

Just curious... what track do you race at?
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Old 2007.09.20, 04:05 PM   #3
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thanks

My dad and i used to run our own hobby shop. He sold his building and we had to shut it down.

Now we race in rochester NH at MnMhobbies

http://www.myspace.com/mnmhobbies
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Old 2007.09.24, 04:04 PM   #4
Tom Thumb Hobby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcrotty
thanks

My dad and i used to run our own hobby shop. He sold his building and we had to shut it down.

Now we race in rochester NH at MnMhobbies

http://www.myspace.com/mnmhobbies
Thanks for the review. I have been looking to replace my CORE system. Question......do you think the transponders would fit in a Micro-T? Thanks.
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Old 2007.09.24, 04:30 PM   #5
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I will give it a try when i get a chance. My transponders are up at the shop and i can't make it until Saturday.
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Old 2007.10.07, 05:46 PM   #6
stuZ
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can the sensors read the transponder through mini-z windows?
I looked at the site, and noticed that in the photos of the mini-z setup, the cars had no windows.
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Old 2007.10.07, 05:58 PM   #7
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Yes then can go through the window. In fact it can even go through water based lexan paint. The new ready to run xray has a full painted body even the windows. The transponder is put under the body and it still worked perfect.

Craig from I-lap said this would work but this was the first time i tried it and it worked. He did say it will not go through stickers though.
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Old 2007.10.07, 07:18 PM   #8
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I am not sure which photo you saw, those may have been X-Mods. The windows on those are solid molded with the same colored plastic as the rest of the body and painted over with black. The translucent Mini-Z windows work fine.
Our official position has always been it should be under a clear part of the shell, but we have so far verified perfect operation through Losi and Associated RTR's as well as Carisma M14's. Where I race, a bunch of guys have shells painted with water based paints and those are fine too. This is with 10th scale outdoors in direct sunlight as well.
Be careful not to put it under a sticker. Some cars are painted one color with stickers for the windows, on those we put it under the roof or hood.

Craig
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Old 2007.10.09, 08:07 AM   #9
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That would be nice. No more “accidentally” ripped core transponders.
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Old 2007.10.09, 09:12 AM   #10
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sounds very robust. hard to argue with that kind of performance.
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Old 2007.10.09, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeOz
That would be nice. No more “accidentally” ripped core transponders.
We have been running core since it come out, know ones has ever ripped any of them.

I'm curious how this happens? I've had the same one in my car for 2+ years
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Old 2007.10.09, 10:43 AM   #12
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does the sytem rely on line of site? it won't transmit through a sticker?
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Old 2007.10.09, 11:58 AM   #13
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Yes the system is line of site like the giro system. It uses IR technology. You can see the transponder in the window of my AWD in this pic.

http://mini-zracer.com/mini-zgallery...cat=500&page=1
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Old 2007.10.09, 12:08 PM   #14
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Here are the transponders in both my Mr-02 and AWD

In the AWD i have the transponder without the supercap on the top. This gives a lower profile to the transponder.

In the Mr02 i have the transponder with the supercap on the top. This is a little higher profile but gives the transponder a short power backup. (about 20+ seconds)



AWD top view with low profile transponder

AWD side shot of the LP transponder

Mr02 top view with supercap

Mr02 side view with supercap

The transponders can be requested without the supercap for easier installation in the mini-z. That is how i will have all my transponders.
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Old 2007.10.09, 12:13 PM   #15
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Hi Brian,

I'll clarify what I wrote above.
The IR signal is very strong and will transmit through Mini-Z windows and many of the larger RTR vehicles with factory painted bodies. It will go through those paints, but they use thick, silver colored stickers covering the entire window areas. The stickers are thick enough to block the signal, that is why we put the transponders under the hood or roof area where it only has to go through paint.

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