Track Building and BuyingFinish Line

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Hey All! I'm doing my best to get my track Redline Derby Ready so that when 2012 comes, I'll have a better chance at being selected as an official track! However, I badly need a finish line. I have no clue what sets come with a good one included though. I don't mind purchasing one, but if someone knows how to make a very good one, I wouldn't mind making one either!

Thanks!

The Rhode Island HW club uses a really nice one...

http://youtu.be/LgX1mWJM_74

Maybe someone there can provide you with the resources to build something similar?

It depends how many lanes you're going to have. The 2-lane finish line I use is from the V-Drop playset, but I know guys like JDC have a 4-lane finish line from another playset.

Hot Wheels playsets seem to go in and out of production pretty quickly so just keep your eye out in the stores and maybe look around eBay for some used sets.

Some of the bigger tracks will have electronic setups, like Jason in Texas and the Rhode Island club. If you have the means to get one, they're probably pretty good and far more accurate in some cases.

The nice thing about playset lines is that they attach directly to your orange track and you're pretty much done. Non-HW lines may require altering the track you already have, which can mean extra cost.

However, if you can design and figure out a DIY mechanical finish line, that's the holy grail if you ask me...something you can make that is reliable like a playset but made with simple parts from Home Depot.

Ran across this last night in how to build your own electronic scoring system.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Controlled-Finish-Line/

I got an Arduino board last year with intent to build my electronic finish line and got pretty far but I'm not good enough with soldering nor electronics to turn it into a completed project. I was using light sensors as my detector like they do. I'm a programmer so coding the logic was the easy part for me, the actual wires and LEDs and stuff was the hard part. Circuits confuse me and I can't read a schematic to save my life.

The Arduino is a fun little toy and pretty cheap too even if you just want to play around with electronics. I learned a lot by fiddling but didn't really follow through with it. One really cool part about the Arduino board is you can get with a USB or network cable so it can plug right into a laptop which means you could build an near-automated tracking system for your races.

I have some electronic kits fully assembled and ready to go.

You'll have to build a housing to fit your track but all of the hard stuff is done. They come fully complete with finish line electronics, Start line switch w/ cable and power adapter.

The finish lines use infra-red light sensors, so there is no damage from actuating a mechanical arm, and there are two styles available. There is the led light indicator and the digital scoreboard.

I have setups for two and four lane tracks in each version.

I have some electronic kits fully assembled and ready to go.

You'll have to build a housing to fit your track but all of the hard stuff is done. They come fully complete with finish line electronics, Start line switch w/ cable and power adapter.

The finish lines use infra-red light sensors, so there is no damage from actuating a mechanical arm, and there are two styles available. There is the led light indicator and the digital scoreboard.

I have setups for two and four lane tracks in each version.

This sounds amazing. Can I buy one? haha. I'm not too sure what you mean by building a housing to fit the track though. Also, does it calculate track time? Cause that would be sweet if it did.

I might just go with the V-Drop playset though. It's on Amazon for 45$, which is kind of pricey, but it comes with a starting gate too which might be handy.

The V-Drop starting gate won't really work on its own, it's kind of designed to work with their setup. Damn, $45 is quite pricey for that if all you need is the finish line...although it would come with track too. I wish Hot Wheels would re-release some of their playsets.

I have some electronic kits fully assembled and ready to go.

You'll have to build a housing to fit your track but all of the hard stuff is done. They come fully complete with finish line electronics, Start line switch w/ cable and power adapter.

The finish lines use infra-red light sensors, so there is no damage from actuating a mechanical arm, and there are two styles available. There is the led light indicator and the digital scoreboard.

I have setups for two and four lane tracks in each version.

Ohhh..tell me more. Drop me a PM if you are willing to sell anything there. Might make a good Xmas presents for the boys.

Finish line details posted on Texasdiecastracing.com

I have a two lane start gate I made when I first built my RDR designed track. I'm no longer using it, so if you're interested, I might be willing to part with it.
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

I have a two lane start gate I made when I first built my RDR designed track. I'm no longer using it, so if you're interested, I might be willing to part with it.
Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox


That is such a good looking start gate.

Thanks Jason.

I'm good on a starting gate. Mine is pretty good. Perhaps someone else will be interested though.

I might be putting the $10 giftcard towards the V-Drop playset and just getting that. I don't really have a whole lot of time to build a house for the electronics that Jason has... nor do I really have the expertise in building things. haha.

Man, i'm striking out. haha. Still need to find a finish line but I only know of two playsets with one in them, the v-drop playset and snake vs mongoose. Problem is, Snake vs Mongoose is $100 on Amazon and the 2 lane v-drop playset is out of stock now. :/ I was planning on waiting until after christmas to get the playset cause I knew i'd get another gift card (which I did) but now i'm sort of regretting it!

I looked on google and it seems I can still get the set for $40 on some random shady site, but thats $40 just for a finish line which is kinda eehh....

My only other option is this weird playset I found on Amazon but it has almost no information on it and i've never heard of it. I really don't know if I can take the finish line off of it or not... www.amazon.com/Wheels-Rumblers-S ... 8&sr=1-810

Any ideas? I have $35 of amazon gift cards at the moment so i'd much prefer to buy there.

Snake vs Mongoose is $100

I have the Snake Mongoose set and the finish line is almost total garbage (Well the starting line has two separate buttons. One for each lane. That kinda sucks too) . Everything else is pretty cool though.

I've been doing research on finish lines myself. Trying to figure out the least expensive/acurate way to go.


-I'm guessing a "break beam sensor" is what is needed at the end of the track, but all my searching of the internet has not led me to something "easy" in my search for the homemade finish line.

-Also as far as current Hot Wheels sets, there is that "Super 6-Lane Raceway" , I don't know anything about it, but it looks like a slightly more advance finish line on that thing. Those sets are going for around $40/50 post Christmas clearance. Hard to tell if it could be adapted to just 2 lanes though.

I still have some finishlines ready to go.

There are two and four lave versions as well as LED indicators and timed LCD scoreboards.

These are complete electronic kits. ** all of the electronics are completely assembled. You'll have to build a housing to attach the components to your track. Prices and options available by email. I don't want to turn Bryan's board into a swap meet, lol

Sorry Jason, waaaaaay out of my price range. : / I'm hoping to not spend over $30. That's seems to be highly unlikely at this point though.

I agree...when I did my finish line shopping $30 was my price point too. I'm lucky I found the V-Drop set when it still had a finish line and not a jump. And when it comes to finish lines it seems you're going to pay $50+ at which point you're almost buying a new track set.

I wish someone (hint, hint Mattel) would put out a < $30 good mechanical finish line only that attaches easily to my existing track. Even though playsets are already within that $30 price range, many don't have decent finish lines (if any at all) and even then, people looking for finishers feel like they're paying for stuff they don't need which, despite prices, can mean more in decision making.

One of these days someone will figure it out and will sell them for $25 online all day long. I wish The Judge people would make a mechanical variety rather than just focusing on electronic.

I agree Brian... I think at this point though, since its impossible to get a good finish line without spending rediculous amounts of money... I think you should do away with the rule that says that host tracks need to have one!

Mine start at $50

Face it, with the electronics involved you're not touching one for $30. There are some good kits out there but you have to be willing to put in the labor to build it, or pay the price to have one built. This is a very small corner of the world we live in, if you sold $25 finish lines you'd run out of customers real quick.

The electronic finish lines are way more accurate and with some of the races being as close as they are, you really need the accuracy.

I don't like the mechanical finish lines. The cars take a beating in the catch box as it is, they don't need another impact along the line. Especially with the open wheel cars.

I know the electronics take some time and effort...hence I haven't built one yet, and I know that makes them more expensive to build for resellers. I'm not trying to put down the cost of the fancy finish lines, I'm just saying I wish there was a lower end option. It's like you have to go big or go home.

If you just buy (or have) a bunch of orange track and want a finish line, there's no good options out there. The electronic lines are a kind of high barrier for entry into simple racing. The Judge lines are top quality and do the job well, not knockin those products at all, but if I just went to Home Depot and bought some boards, bought some track and want something to tell me a winner, I'm kind of out of luck.

And in terms of building your own, electronics just add another layer of complexity. If someone could engineer a mechanical finish line that is built with springs and wood that you can get a the hardware store, people could have some fun designing and building without the intimidation of soldering, programming and wiring.

There's always a market for middle of the road stuff. We can't all drive BMWs but most people don't want a Pinto either.

Brian,

I'm working on a design for a build your own mechanical gate.
Need to do some hardware shopping but i 'think' it will be fairly simple.
Plus my friend has a maker-bot so he can make plastic parts for me if needed.

Brian,

I'm working on a design for a build your own mechanical gate.
Need to do some hardware shopping but i 'think' it will be fairly simple.
Plus my friend has a maker-bot so he can make plastic parts for me if needed.

Weee. As long as this is reasonably priced/reasonably easy to make i'll be your best friend forever!

I'm not saying the mechanical stuff is shit, I'm just not a fan of the designs due to the fact you have another impact on the car. If there was a weighted plate in the track of maybe even a little feather trigger, I'd be a lot less opposed to using one.

And seriously, 50 bucks for a fully functioning finish line with accessories is a hell of a deal. My current finish line ( a Judge) was almost $400. Definitely stay away from the Judge finish lines though. The support sucks. if anything goes wrong, you'll be dealing with it on your own. I highly recommend Fast Track finish lines. They even took the time to get my judge running right. All of my finish lines are micro wizard components which is the company that makes the Fast Track finish lines.

And seriously, 50 bucks for a fully functioning finish line with accessories is a hell of a deal.

I agree. I suppose it's all relative though. The only reason I don't have a $50 finish line right now, is my wife most definitively will not think it's such a good deal.

-I mean $50 and anything Hot Wheels related is not going to go over well with the wife.

I agree. I suppose it's all relative though. The only reason I don't have a $50 finish line right now, is my wife most definitively will not think it's such a good deal.

-I mean $50 and anything Hot Wheels related is not going to go over well with the wife.

That's why I don't have one, lol

EBay right now two different 2 lane vintage finish line for buy it now around 10 each.

For a really good mechanical finish line, Just get the 4 lane raceway and use the last piece. Its spring loaded and it works really well. Just have to reverse the finish line piece (which is easy to pop off and reattach). Plus you have something in place that will work for up to four lanes, if you want to expand. I guess the only problem would be if your track doesn't match up with the connectors (spacing from side to side) on that finish line.

I think JDC uses this as well as me for my home track. I have never seen a car get damage from this mechanical finish line. The finish boxes amaze me sometimes with the way they bounce and damage cars when they hit them. That is what you need to be concerned with more so than a finish line. I can honestly say with my home track and with our 50 foot league track that uses an electronic finish line, I have never seen one single car get damage.

[from iowa s.c.]I think JDC uses this as well as me for my home track. I have never seen a car get damage from this mechanical finish line. The finish boxes amaze me sometimes with the way they bounce and damage cars when they hit them. That is what you need to be concerned with more so than a finish line. I can honestly say with my home track and with our 50 foot league track that uses an electronic finish line, I have never seen one single car get damage.


yes iowa...ditto on damage, i raced with a group, the stop box was detailed and compact,
some complained that the cars bounced back and hit the timing stuff at the finish line......well, when the car bounces back it has had the force transfered to it...the trick is to have the foam within the stop box "slide" to ABSORB the impact not transfer it, with this sliding style, baby bunjies will reset the system, separate bunjies and foam stop blocks within the box saves some protection for the other car[s]... i'll scratch up a rough print if any interest...
. this is a big deal with altered / modded racers, no bumpers, fenders etc.... kills the front wheels

I just have the track end with a (very very) small jump onto a blanket which slows the cars drastically. Most cars stop on that without hitting anything. Some of the faster ones will keep rolling but I have the end of the blanket bunched up so when they hit that they stop. Its a simple yet effective solution!

i use a rolled up towel, same principle as worpex... never had damage... but it doesn't look pro...

a towel placed under the end of the track and rolled over the top a bit works just fine

I have a 2" thick sponge at the end of mine, with a divider to keep the cars from hitting each other.
Seems to work nicely, just dampen the sponge when you're ready to race.

I'm typically racing in front of hundreds/thousands of people in a weekend, and running races like the show and go series where one scratch kills a car's ability to compete. In these situations, a rolled up towel just ain't cutting it. I have experimented with different types and thicknesses of foam stops to get my tracks where they are. My little two lane is perfect, but some of the foam blocks do wear out and need to be replaced. I'm pretty happy with the 8 lane track, but it can be better and will evolve as it goes. A high profile track can become a problem child very quickly. You get one person at a convention saying the track ruined his custom car and all of the custom racers split real quick. This isn't even starting to touch the issues with weighted open wheel cars.

Sometimes I wish it was as simple as rolling out a piece of track and throwing a towel over the end

For a contactless finish line why not a hd webcam aimed at the track. it can be fed to a lcd screen via a laptop. any disputes - go to the recorded finish.

Hi-tech, lo-buck.

welcome cdg,
simple ? .... i got a laptop 'cause they are easier to carry back to the geek squad at best buys...

If I had the room, a slight incline run out would be awesome for slowing down the cars. say 10-15' with a 6-12" rise.
Sponge or foam bumper at the end, then the cars would roll back.

Or how about a sand/gravel pit like a real drag track?

I vote for sand!

Sand... I don't see that going over very well. haha. Just imagine all the places in a hotwheels car it'll find its way into! The windshield, inside the wheels, in small crevices... While it sure stops the car great, it doesn't do much for the preserving the cars looks!

HAVE YOU LOOKED AT SOME OF THE H.D.S.2.PIX YOU'LD THINK IT WAS NASCAR...

If sands an option, then I say why not pudding?

If sands an option, then I say why not pudding?

mmm . . . pudding!

Diecast Cars, Hot Wheels, Matchbox

I think Jello would be better! The cars would slow down via bouncing around on soft and squishy jello goodness!

Rice and Beans.

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