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#1
Ron Alan

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Starting last October, we are seeing what would seem to be out of the ordinary Transponder issues in Norcal. In 9 years I never had an issue, never moved my transponder location, suddenly my transponder would work in the hot pit but not on the track...this was at Sonoma last year. Crazy thing was we had 3 other SM"s and a couple E30's...all which had never had an issue before, not work consistently at this event. All cars have older hard wire transponders or the same vintage Battery style. Thought this was a Sonoma Loop issue!

 

Fast Forward to 2019...the pattern is repeating but now we are seeing this at every track! Sonoma, Thunderhill and Laguna have all had transponder issues...NASA, SCCA, CSRG cars that I'm aware of.

 

Obviously I'm aware of this because one of my 2 cars that raced last weekend was affected. In particular, we pinged in the hot pit on the out lap in qual...missed the 1st lap, pinged on lap 2(so we have 4 minute plus lap)then nothing lap 3 but hit again on lap 4(another 4 min plus lap). Luckily it hit on lap 5 and we qualed P5...PHEW! During our 1st race it missed on 1 lap at some point...so although we finished P5, Race Hero should us at 40ish! 

 

Last night I had a conversation with the owner of our local biggest arrive and drive shop...I think he can race 12-15 cars at once. In casual conversation, he asked if I had seen any transponder issues!!! He has had issues at every track with multiple transponders...all the hard wired variety! He has a hand full of the battery versions which he has had to use as back-ups. His latest was last weekend at Sonoma with CSRG(vintage group) and before that at Laguna with SCCA.

 

So, the point of this thread...is anyone else across the country seeing this? At 1st I was convinced it was just an issue with 1 track and their system...but now after multiple reports at different tracks maybe there is an issue with some of the older AMB transponders...just getting old??


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#2
Alberto

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Could also be an issue with the software they are using for T&S.  Did any of the tracks upgrade recently or apply a patch?


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#3
Peter Olivola

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The most common point of transponder failure is internal antenna breakage.  Ask what your signal strength is when they are getting hits.  If it's below 60% of optimum you probably have a broken antenna.



#4
Steve Scheifler

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Very unlikely to be a sudden rash of antenna failures. Not very likely to be reduced signal strength if hitting a bunch of hard-wired units and not including the new version. Two or more tracks without known changes to pavement, wiring etc. is also unlikely.

I wouldn’t start with intentional “tightening” of receiver software to obsolete marginal old (non-subscription) units but I’d certainly be asking if recent updates included something like “enhanced filtering for improved accuracy and reliability”.
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#5
chris haldeman

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I believe it was stated a few years ago that the old hard wired units will continue to be supported for a while. That told me there is an end to them. Sounds like the end is coming.
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#6
38bfast

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I believe it was stated a few years ago that the old hard wired units will continue to be supported for a while. That told me there is an end to them. Sounds like the end is coming.

That would really suck if they make the old ones not work. 


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#7
Michael Colangelo

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If what Chris says is what's going on, then it would appear to be a Timing & Scoring S/W issue.  Could another company write new T&S S/W to fully support the legacy transponders (since there are many thousands still being used) instead of being at the mercy of MyLaps/AMB? 

 

Also, my understanding is that Westhold has a hybrid system that can read both Westhold and AMB transponders (and maybe others). That might be a good option.



#8
Brandon

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The transponders are physical devices and subject to the environmental effects of their installed location and use. The fact some folks may be having regular issues could be due to devices themselves or, plausibly, T/S software changes.

 

Orbitz is the software which reads the transponders and (no surprise) is also owned by the same company which makes the transponders. With Orbitz software updates they could (and probably will) "tighten" the specifications they require to accurately read any particular device as it crosses the timing loops, more so if their newer devices have a higher capability to still be read with the narrowed spec.

 

If they can, it may be worthwhile to ask regions to begin including with qualifying sheets a signal strength column so you can track what you're experiencing and if there is a trend downward which could be addressed.

 

I've always had a funny feeling about AMB when they went to the subscription model for transponders while providing the still-terrible level of access to the laptimes they're purportedly collecting.


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#9
Andrew Cremins

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I don't think its our transponders getting old, Ron. Your's was 9 years old, mine was 5 years old (no problems mounted and wired in that location for the entire 5 years), Who else was it that first weekend, Justin who wasn't getting times? Very strange to all of them to have problems at the same time vs years of reliability.

 

I'm not ready to go all conspiracy theory, but if issues are extending out to other tracks, I'd put my money on some sort of software update causing the issue.

 

Sadly, I feel like until someone with one of those new, bleed you dry, subscription transponders doesn't work, we are unlikely to get much in the way of support from AMB... If there is any way we could transition to a different transponder provider that doesn't have this model, I would gladly pay more up front for the same product.


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#10
Ron Alan

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I don't think its our transponders getting old, Ron. Your's was 9 years old, mine was 5 years old (no problems mounted and wired in that location for the entire 5 years), Who else was it that first weekend, Justin who wasn't getting times? Very strange to all of them to have problems at the same time vs years of reliability.

 

I'm not ready to go all conspiracy theory, but if issues are extending out to other tracks, I'd put my money on some sort of software update causing the issue.

 

Sadly, I feel like until someone with one of those new, bleed you dry, subscription transponders doesn't work, we are unlikely to get much in the way of support from AMB... If there is any way we could transition to a different transponder provider that doesn't have this model, I would gladly pay more up front for the same product.

When this 1st happened(end of 2018)...the explanation we got was the Sonoma loop in particular has some integrity issues. The story I've heard is NASA has offered to replace the loop...but Sonoma has declined...and its been told to me its because NASCAR owns the loop...not Sonoma?? But now that we have seen issues at both Thunderhill and Laguna...it would make sense maybe it could be something other than each individual loop? 


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#11
Danny Steyn

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With regard to transponder issues, we havent been seeing any in the Majors / Super Tour Events, and many of us have really old wired AMB's


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#12
Justin Casey

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Yup, that entire weekend at Sonoma I wasn't getting any recorded lap times (wired, non-subscription transponder). 

Haven't experienced any issues since then. 

 

Typically, the only time I ever have experienced issues with timing & scoring was due to my previous transponder not being charged (old battery powered, non-subscription based go-kart transponder) or timing & scoring had reset their system. 

 

If the same company owns both the software that reads the signal from transponders and the company that physically makes the transponders, then its only a matter of time before they force the herd to adapt. It's unfortunately, the perfect business model. Reminds me of the Apple iPhone deteriorating battery "scandal" .


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#13
RazerX

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Ron, as you told me, my car did not pick up.  Wired transponder no subscription model.  Then it worked, I made no changes to it.  Unless looking under the car to ensure the light was on counts.... 


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#14
Ron Alan

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Ron, as you told me, my car did not pick up.  Wired transponder no subscription model.  Then it worked, I made no changes to it.  Unless looking under the car to ensure the light was on counts.... 

I had 5 laps total I believe during 3 different sessions not pick up...again, for me personally I had issues at 2 of our 3 local tracks. When others had issue at Laguna several weeks back I had none...same car and transponder! Point of this thread is to see if this is or starts occurring around the country. Funny thing is most will never know unless it happens to them! I wasn't aware of the cars at Laguna that had issues until weeks later when I had a random conversation! MOST only look at grid for times!

 

Lets hope this is truly a track thing(And NORCAL in particular) and not a sign of things to come!


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#15
Danny Steyn

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Funny thing is you will never know unless it happens to you! I wasn't aware of the cars at Laguna that had issues until weeks later when I had a random conversation!

 

Beg to differ Ron. I think you will if you look. Mylaps, Race Hero and Race Monitor show all driver's lap times recorded by transponder. I routinely go through the top 10-15 drivers, look a their times, their fast and slow times as well as their average times and standard deviation. The minute a transponder stops working you should see a missing lap time in the display. If you look at all cars that have run the Majors / Super Tour this season, go through the results, their lap times are ALL there, every one of them 


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#16
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Beg to differ Ron. I think you will if you look. Mylaps, Race Hero and Race Monitor show all driver's lap times recorded by transponder. I routinely go through the top 10-15 drivers, look a their times, their fast and slow times as well as their average times and standard deviation. The minute a transponder stops working you should see a missing lap time in the display. If you look at all cars that have run the Majors / Super Tour this season, go through the results, their lap times are ALL there, every one of them 

You realize you have a real problem don't you? There has to be support groups of some kind to address your addiction ? ;)  :hugegrin:


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#17
Richard Astacio

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You realize you have a real problem don't you? There has to be support groups of some kind to address your addiction ? ;)  :hugegrin:

 

I guess I need one also since I also do the same....Super Tour you can check sector times and well. 

 

Typically your car has the highest trap speed when its not raining :) 


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#18
Jim Drago

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I guess I need one also since I also do the same....Super Tour you can check sector times and well. 

 

Typically your car has the highest trap speed when its not raining :)

thanks a lot... You forced me to go look!  You are all nuts! :) ( it is pretty interesting to look at now that I am looking, great one more thing to waste time with)

 

 

Atlanta only on top speed weisenheimer :)

Lots of fast laps and segments though ;)


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#19
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thanks a lot... You forced me to go look!  You are all nuts! :) ( it is pretty interesting to look at now that I am looking, great one more thing to waste time with)

 

 

Atlanta only on top speed weisenheimer :)

Lots of fast laps and segments though ;)

How do you think we live streaming home boys figure out whose doing what to who. Can't figure nutting by lap time only. 


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#20
Martinracing98

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I guess I need one also since I also do the same....Super Tour you can check sector times and well. 

 

Typically your car has the highest trap speed when its not raining :)

Which one shows segment? I do not see it in Race Monitor






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