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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I go out to my local drag strip I see the drivers of some pretty fast cars doing something and I can't figure out what they are doing or what it is they are using. These cars will run low 6's or in the 5's or better (in the 1/8 that is). When they pull up to the line and after both cars stage (I.E. they light up both the staging bulbs) I'll see some of them let go of somthing and their hand comes flying away from it as fast as they can make it go. I know they are letting off of a button of some kind but I just don't know what it is or what they are doing. I also notice that they cut a very good light everytime. Most of the time it is a 0.00 or 0,01 light. I know these people aren't that good all of the time (or maybe it is just me that isn't that good so it is hard for me get that kind of consistency at cutting the light that good over and over). What the heck are they using or that makes their launch times so consistent? Their hand will either fly away from the steering wheel or up from the shifter. It is evident that they are doing it on purpose and as fast as they can. What the heck are they using or doing? I know iti s controling their launch some how but I can't find anything in the Summit catalog that seems to allow for such a consistent launch. I know I've said this before but I don't know ANYBODY that does this stuff. Well OK 1 guy but I've inspired him so I have nobody to teach me this stuff. Just Car Craft and Hot Rod magazine so you already know how far in the hole that I am. Help me out and teach me. What are they doing? Thanks!
 

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Sure sounds like a trans brake/delay box. I would stay away from those classes that allow them as it puts us foot brake racers on the trailer very easily.

Last gamblers race I cut a .034 light and .03 over the dial and didn't have a shot against my electronic assisted opponent.
 

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button

yeah seen that too, :) looks like they been shocked or something/// just getting off the button to grab the shifter. Suppose if i ever go that route it`ll be on the shifter....Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah seen that too, :) looks like they been shocked or something/// just getting off the button to grab the shifter. Suppose if i ever go that route it`ll be on the shifter....Bill
So after both cars stage and the staging lights are lit is there a set amount of time before you get the green light? I thought that was controlled by the starter. I'll see him look under the cars for leaks and stuff like that. Then if everything looks good he will trigger the Christmas tree to do it's thing? Am I wrong about this or does he control it only for certain classes? Or does he not control it at all once both people stage?

THis almost seems like it would be harder to launch what way. At least with the Christmas tree you get to see the yellow's flash and then the green. If they are releasing off the staging bulbs there is not warning or fixed amount of time before both are staged. But then again they are cutting 0.00's. So what do I know.. Thanks for the replies and furthering my drag race education! I appreciate it. I thought that maybe they were letting go of a line lock or something. And it looked like it was damn hot with the way they let go. They couldn't let go fast enough!
 

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timers

Can’t believe no one has tried to answer your question so here ya go. There are many variable ways to control the launch but all are done with a timer wired between the trans brake switch and the transbrake it’s self. Timers themselves range from vary basic to the most complex. Price dictates features. It makes all trees a pro tree; you leave on the top bulb. Typically you would have 1.100 sec delay for a .500 full tree. If you consistently go .050 on the tree then you would take .040 out of the timer to read 1.060 and have consistent .010 lights. Now, your dialed 8.50 and your opponent is dialed 10.50. You put each of those numbers in the timer, you let go on his top bulb the timer knows to add 2.0 sec to the 1.06 delay for a total of 3.060 seconds delay. If you configure your timer for two hits you can hit the switch again before your top bulb comes on and the timer will release the brake on the quicker of the two releases. Many tracks today use cross talk, same scenario but this time both top bulbs come one at the same time and the faster cars bulb would stay lit for two seconds before going to the second and third bulb. This eliminates the faster car getting two shots at the tree. This is as basic of an explanation I can make and as I said timers can get complexed and control many futures on the race car all associated with the release of the trans brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. This is helping but I'm still a little lost. When you say "leave off the top bulb" that doesn't make any sense to me and here is why. Initially hen the racers pull up. They light the very top bulb. I thought that was a prestage bulb telling you that you are getting close. You then have to pull up farther to light the second set of yellow stage bulbs. When both sets are lit you are then staged. But the time it takes the driver to pull up to light the second set of staging bulbs is arbitray. It just depends on how fast the guy pulls forward to light the second set of staging bulbs. So I'm not sure how "leaving off the top bulb" would work when there can be a different amount of time depending how fast the other guy pulls up to light the second set of staging bulbs.

Or are you taling about the first yellow bulbs when the tree starts counting down? Again this would seem really hard to do on a pro tree because there would be no warning ights. Just a yellow light coming on first.

Thanks for helping. I know I'm lost on this but would really like to understand it.
 

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"Leaving off the top bulb" is letting go of the transbrake button when the first amber after the stage light comes on. There is a varied amount of time between those bulbs (the stage and the next amber). The time between each bulb at that point is usually .5 on a full tree or .4 on a Pro tree, though there can be some variances for particular classes.

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK. Don't mean to sound stupid here but... I'm guessing that the amber lights are the lights that actually count down to the green light once you are staged?

I know that may sound dumb but I'm color blind. I know the top sets of stage lights are yellow. And I thought the bulbs that counted down to the green were yellow as well. ...but maybe not. It wouldn't be the first time that I got a color wrong. ..oopps.

Between all the explanations I think I got it now. It does make sense now that I know what the top bulb is. I was thinking that the top buld was the staging bulb(s). And that made no sense to me on how that would work.
 

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lights

It will make a little more sense if u go online and have a fast comp that will keep up with action u`ll see where these guys first pullup first light comes on to get timing system ready then pull forward that will be your stage light after that timer starts counting down depending on class ur running obviously u don`t want to wait till it turns green :rolleyes: ur trying to be in motion which ur trying to leave as close to it but not red lighting//// best i can explain it i`m sure if i didn`t get it right somebody will be on my case ....;) bill
 

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Yes, leaving off the bulb is not releasing the transbrake button when the staging lights come on, but when the 1st amber light that counts down to the green. After both cars are staged and both staging bulbs come on, the starter or someone else triggers the tree to countdown to green. The time it take from that 1st amber to when it hits green is constant and if you set your delay and release as soon as the 1st bulb lights, then you can get that 0.0 or 0.1 time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK. I get it. It makes perfect sense now. I guess the guys that use such a system can even build in their reaction time to the 1st amber light. Obviously they aren't going to get off their button at the very moment the 1st amber light comes on. There will be a small delay in their reaction time so I guess that they can accomodate for that as well.

Would this kind of thing be done with a fancy iginition box like the high end MSD boxes? Or what electronics are they using for this?
 

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IMHO it's a legal form of cheating! That is why I run No-box class. The track I run at didn't allow them for years but had to make exceptions to get some big classes into to keep the gates open:(.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't plan on running one either. But while I was sitting right on the starting line I could see these guys doing this and I didn't have a clue what they were doing. It was almost like they were trying to drop a hot potato they were pulling their hands away so fast. I could see how it could really help you cut a good light. But I can also see the art of the sport going right out the window with such help. I guess in this case I'd rather be good than be rich. Because those are some expensive boxes!! I was checking them out from the link that the one guy posted on this thread. Lots of capabilities but they really don't make the car any faster. Just more consistent.
 

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Hittin' the throttle enhancer button right before you turn on the stage bulbs..............you will find one very beneficial when you have a fast BBF car...........I know I do..............;)



And if you think a delay box is a tool to make hittin the tree easier you gotta nuther thing comin'......................
 

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That is the point of the box, consistency. I have seen the winning car run within a hundreth or 2 of their dial race after race.

As you can see these boxes evoke very strong debates.

Some folks like em' some don't.

Clay
 

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They say it is easier for the human eye to react to the first light coming on, than it is the third one. That is the advantage to running a box. Im sure if you watch closely they are releasing that button when the top amber is coming on, not when they are both staged. Then depending on the tree times, .400 or .500 between bulbs, you can put time in or take time out of the box to fine tune your reaction times. I myself don't have a box, but the guys in the class above me are deadly! Consistent .00s all day long.
 

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Maverick summed it up pretty well, you can react better to the light with a box, let go at the first flash of yellow. Foot braking requires timing the last bulb, depending on how the car reacts, that can be tough.
Many people bad mouth boxes, but face it, our sport would have less participants without them. Less racers, less pay-outs. There are plenty of good foot brakers out there, that part of the sport will never go away, and there will always be separate classes. If you are good at it, you have no use for a box, if you suck and don't use a box, you will eventually quit. Boxes equalize the field so everyone can be competitive in a race car.
Before you go thinking I'm weak and have to have a box, I do race two cars, one with, one without, and have been to the "Winner's Circle" with both, and finished Top 10 in both.
 
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