Drag Track starting gate question

Dadvball Monday, 1/11/2016

The drop pins in both lanes don't seem to be staying down long enough and pop back up right away not releasing the cars.  I've tried pushing and quickly releasing the pedal and also holding it for a second or two and it doesn't make any difference.  I'm doing it by hand but doing it by foot didn't matter  

Any suggestions as I don't know if there's a trick to operating the pedals.


View member profile
Rusty 1/11/16

One of the design flaws of the system.Along with other flaws.I've had three of these and none worked as they should.

That being said I believe that some here have worked on these to help correct this issue.Hopeful they will chime in here.

good luck.


View member profile
72_Chevy_C10 1/11/16
Event coordinator

Traction Event and 2Seven have both worked on DT tracks...I just did away with the original start gate and finish, and use a Smitty starter and a 3DBot finish :)

Do you have the wall outlet power supply?  This cured 90% of my release issues. Bottom line the solenoids are weak/inefficient. Also see definition of cheap in the dictionary. I have had my apart a few times to align the drop pin linkage, and such. Be careful if you open up the unit...Cheap wiring, solder welds... you name it...

Cars with low fronts makes the pin drag the full length of the pin. Lots of friction here (remember those cheap solenoids) this is made worse with cars heavier than 75g, and steep drop angles. That weak solenoid needs to overcome those forces to release the cars. You can try to "stage" the pins, or slide them down the front of the cars to help with this. I decreased my drop angle, and backed off hosting races with heavy race cars +75g

I do like the track, easy to get straight, level, and fair lanes.  Also the track is tapered so there is no bump where the sections join like with traditional orange track. 

As Rusty said this system has flaws, but for a time it was the least expensive way to get and electronic start/finish line.   

feel free to give me a call if you want more...

View member profile
fordman 1/11/16

never had any problem with the pins popping up too soon...[ expert racers set]

  just a thought, did you use the correct ac adaptor ? ... too much juice may cause quick returns...

too weak may not have the juice to hold it down long enough...

my $0.02 ...

  • try the 4 C batteries trick... — fordman
  • What's the 4C battery trick? — Dadvball
  • use [4] C size batteries, they install from underneath with 1 screw... — fordman
View member profile
Dadvball 1/11/16

Thanks for the replies guys. I don't have a power adapter so it's running on fresh batteries.  I've had it for a year but just set it up finally two days ago. Worked great the first 8 or so races. 

I don't know how much power it draws off the batteries but I don't think these are alkaline which may or may not make a difference. 

View member profile
72_Chevy_C10 1/11/16
Event coordinator

I have a power supply I can send you, Bill...I don't use it anymore

View member profile
aircooled 1/11/16

I had to exchange mine 3 times to get one I could work with. I took my starting gate apart and worked on the pins, polishing them and get things lined up so the pins would drop straight down.  I'm currently having a problem with one of the foot release's.  I haven't taken one apart but that is about to change.  Overall using a power supply it works real good. I'm currently running a 100g car and the release pins are doing fine.  As mentioned before real low cars can be a problem with the release pins. 

  • i spliced on spring loaded 12v starter buttons and use my thumb to start them... — fordman
View member profile
2seven 1/13/16

I have had a total of 4 Drag Track systems sent to me just to get one working unit (knock on wood). I would evaluate and scavenge parts off each system sent to build one good one, then send the bum parts back.

To ensure the pins are the same height I had wrapped a small piece of tape around a machinist ruler, I place it up to the pins and push them down so they are the same height. All in a effort for fairness!

Think of the care we take when using this system and it was geared to sell for kids to play with???? I know as a child I would have had this broken in NO time.


  • Kids aren't as worried about fairness. My kid is just happy to see the car roll down a hill. — redlinederby
  • at events they just want to press the button and see the lights come on... — fordman
View member profile
Dadvball 1/13/16

Thanks for the comments guys. I think my problem is not having the power adapter. The batteries I'm using are standard duty, not alkaline. After several races where everything was fine, I started having problems with the pins not staying dropped. Now that I understand the system better, the solenoids need power to hold the pins down. If the battery is losing power as its being used it probably doesn't have enough to hold the solenoid. 

I tried again last night with the same batteries and ran two races with no problems. Then only one pin would hold for four races, then neither. 

I think I'll take Chris up on his offer for the adapter. Thanks Chris!

to join the conversation or sign-up now