Getting involved in any level of motorsport can be confusing and at times a bit daunting. Before you take on a competitive event you must have all your equipment in place so you can pass scrutineering. Helmet – check, race suit – check, gloves – check, but have you remembered to organise your timing module?!
Every competitor must carry a Transponder (timing module) so that Smart Timing, who are contracted to by SLS, can record your lap times to within a fraction of a second. Ian Sharp from Smart Timing has kindly written an educational piece to help you make the right decisions when purchasing or renting a transponder in 2016!
Transponders | Make the right choice!
Timing at all Super Lap Scotland events is by electronic competitor identification modules (transponders) and light beam timing systems operated by MSA Licensed Timekeepers. Each Competitor is responsible for having their vehicle fitted with a working transponder and for submitting the identification number of that transponder on their entry form. Failure to do so can lead to a Competitor not being classified on any event results. When a car is double entered each Competitor must fit and register on their entry form their individual transponder identification numbers, two Competitors cannot use the same transponder at an event!!
A number of transponders are available for hire from SMART Timing at each event but if Competitors are intending to register and compete in the full Championship it is recommended that they buy and fit their own transponder to their vehicle. Once bought a direct powered transponder can be moved from car to car as you progress through the Classes or into other forms of motor racing, unlike the rechargeable units there are no elements to the direct powered transponder which will diminish and require replacement over time.
The nationally required transponder is an AMB TranX260 Direct Powered Transponder, from 2015 this became a MyLaps X2 Transponder Car in either direct powered or rechargeable configuration. SMART Timing have some TranX260 direct powered transponders for sale to Competitors with X2 units becoming available later in the season. The recommendation is for Competitors to fit a direct powered transponder to their car as these give a number of benefits over re-chargeable units. Direct powered transponders remove the issue of Competitors forgetting to charge their transponders before an event, once correctly fitted they can be left to do their job with no further work where rechargeable transponders need to be removed, fully charged and much more importantly re-fitted before each event.
An internet search will bring forward a number of Suppliers and auction sites for AMB / MyLaps transponders. Competitors are free to purchase their transponder from any source but be cautious if thinking about buying any second hand rechargeable transponders from the internet, the likely reason for the sale is that the unit is reaching the end of its battery life and replacing the batteries can be expensive! There are third party Companies who will replace batteries in rechargeable transponders but to date SMART Timing have yet to see a fully successful third party battery replacement.
Internet searches will also bring up TranX160 transponders for sale, these were provided primarily for short circuit Karting and work at lower speeds across the timing loops, they are not suitable for Super Lap Scotland with the high speeds across the track loops.
Another option which may be of interest to some Competitors is a MyLaps transponder on a subscription format in either direct powered (X2 Car Direct Powered Subscription) or rechargeable (X2 Car Rechargeable Subscription) configuration with subscription terms available over a 1, 2 or 5 year term payment. The demonstration unit SMART Timing had for assessment was used by Mark Dawson through the 2013 season and a number of the bike racers at Knockhill, East Fortune use these subscription transponders without issue. The subscription transponder is available direct from MyLaps (www.mylaps.com).
If Competitors need any further information or advice on approved types of transponders, sources of supply and the required location and fitting of transponders contact please contact SMART Timing (www.smart-timing.co.uk)
By: Ian Sharp of Smart Timing
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