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Old 03-26-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
voltdr
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Default Stage Lock

At the D4 race in Baytown this past weekend, we had trouble with the stage lock functioning properly. All of a sudden my car picked up .058 in 60' times and run .058 quicker at the finish, all the while being .06 slower in RT. This was due to the stage lock not releasing properly. One run I had it was .02 quicker. After going to the tower to ask about what the problem was, they investigated and decided to turn it off for the remainder of the race.I have sent our DD an email requesting that stage lock be turned off for all LORDS races forward.
If you would like to see this not used at the races, contact your DD and let them know how you feel. It can cause too many erratic time slips.
Dan Foley
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:11 PM   #2
Maverick
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Default Re: Stage Lock

I gripped about this last year. And it falls on deaf ears. Nobody cares. I don't believe it is right to have this function incorporated in the timing system. They do it for people who shallow stage, and rock back out of the stage beam. This keeps the stage light on, so they don't go red. Why don't they just stage properly, and change the numbers in the box? At the Gators they painted flat black paint on both sides of the racing surface to get rid of the shinny gloss. The guy setting it up, said the stage loc has been a problem at this track due to the surface of the starting line. People who don't complain about it are ok, with the purpose of the stage loc, and don't want it changed
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:20 PM   #3
Maverick
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Default Re: Stage Lock

There should only be three photo-sensors at the starting line, pre-stage, stage , and over stage
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:09 PM   #4
63corvette
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Default Re: Stage Lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
There should only be three photo-sensors at the starting line, pre-stage, stage , and over stage
There are not 3 performing the stage functions.
Only 2 photo electric cells perform the stage function. Prestage is just a warning you are near the fully stage position.
Stage lock is part of the computer program the way I understand it.
I do not like the blinking stage light and lost several times by being late or red because of it. Once in the final of a National Event due to that happening. Not my light blinking, just being thrown off by it. I can not ever remember blinking my stage light in 30 plus years of doing this.
Once the fully staged light comes and goes out the next function should be a red light however, that is not the way it works all the time.
NHRA should figure this out at all the tracks not just some of them and be consistent with its implementation across all the tracks/events. For all the event not just part of it.
Just My 2 Cents
Rick Cates

Last edited by 63corvette; 03-26-2018 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:57 PM   #5
Hacksaw
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Default Re: Stage Lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63corvette View Post
There are not 3 performing the stage functions.
Only 2 photo electric cells perform the stage function. Prestage is just a warning you are near the fully stage position.
Stage lock is part of the computer program the way I understand it.
I do not like the blinking stage light and lost several times by being late or red because of it. Once in the final of a National Event due to that happening. Not my light blinking, just being thrown off by it. I can not ever remember blinking my stage light in 30 plus years of doing this.
Once the fully staged light comes and goes out the next function should be a red light however, that is not the way it works all the time.
NHRA should figure this out at all the tracks not just some of them and be consistent with its implementation across all the tracks/events. For all the event not just part of it.
Just My 2 Cents
Rick Cates
Rick:: I, like most stage as shallow as I can and have blinked the stage light numerous times, unintentionally. Don't think I should be red lighted . Also don't really understand . Stage Lock. Does anybody ?
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:55 PM   #6
Maverick
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Default Re: Stage Lock

There are four sensors on the starting line. Prestage, stage lock, stage, and over stage or guard beam

Last edited by Maverick; 03-26-2018 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Stage Lock

Back in the '80s, the tiny front tires of my Pro ET rotary Mazda sometimes wouldn't light the pre-stage and stage lights at the same time. Probably a set-up issue with the photocells, but it used to piss me off- I would stage as shallow as I could, and would get called on the "no deep-stage" rule. I would have to back out and re-stage, to demonstrate that it was their equipment, and not my car.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:24 AM   #8
John DiBartolomeo
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Default Re: Stage Lock

Just my two cents but I think we should go back to flag starts. I'm sorry, but anytime you place more electronics in what is supposed to be a very simple system, you potentially cause problems. Look at what has happened in our lives with computers, cell phones, Alexa, etc. Maybe that's what makes "Street Outlaw-type" events popular. Pure and simplified.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:14 AM   #9
voltdr
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Default Re: Stage Lock

Maverick is correct, there are 4 beams. The way the stage lock functions is to keep the stage light on if your car backs up. The problem is, the stage lock has to release before the stage light turns off thereby starting the timers. In effect, you get more rollout than normal, your RT is slow, your 60' and 1320' is quicker. No one has been able to tell me how much back up the stage lock will allow, this then can cause erroneous times due to the different rollout due to stage lock. So you can appear to be late but run way too quick. The amount of the stage lock discrepancy is not consistent. I had one run in the gamblers race where I was about .025 late and ran out the back door to a 8.861, (opponent redlight). Not knowing the stage lock caused this issue, I dialed next round from the 8.86. The stage lock worked correctly the next round but I could only run 8.925.
Stage lock needs to be removed. Stage your carcorrectly or fix your car so it doesn't back up.
Dan
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:57 AM   #10
63corvette
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Default Re: Stage Lock

This is the defining of the starting line.
Maybe we are looking at this different for the same thing.
There are two beams with 2 senders and 2 receivers/reflectors for a total of 4 but not 4 beams crossing the individual lane. Only 2.
This was pasted from "Beards Reaction Time Clinic."

The Starting Line
The starting line is composed of two pair of photocells, one for each lane. The photocells detect your car when your tire interupts the light beam that crosses the lane. Tracks used to use bright lights and photocell receivers, but now many tracks are using the Compulink timing system which uses infrared beams. These beams are much better for drag racing. Drivers used to paint their wheels or put shoe polish on them to dull the bright, reflective surface. The old lights and photocell combination would sometimes pick up reflected light from the wheel, and then not "see" the tire. The infrared beams have no such problem. The timing system down the track uses a system of beams and reflectors, too. When the beam is complete (ie, the beam is reflected back to its origin), nothing is blocking it. When the cycle is broken, the beam has been interupted, and thus a tire has been sensed.

The two photocells are linked to the Tree: the Pre-Stage, and the Stage lights. When the car inches forward and blocks the first photocell, the Pre-Stage light comes on, indicating that the driver is close to the starting line. Most tracks have a rollout, or distance between the Pre-Stage and Stage beams of 6-8". The driver can now nudge the car forward until the car blocks the Stage beam, thus lighting the Stage bulbs on the Tree. This means that the driver is on the starting line, and is presumably ready to go.

I also stage as shallow as possible but I do not remember ever blinking the lights.
Some racers bump in using the transbrake and this causes the car to rock with the slack in the drive train which, in my opinion causes the blinking stage lights in most cases. I try not to let this bother me but it always seems to throw me off by not moving my stare to the starting lights. Just my problem I guess but it distracts me.
I am not sure how the stage lock system works. I do know it is part of the computer program and was an upgrade after the original program had been used for some time. I am not sure all tracks systems even have the upgrade or they choose not to use it. I just know at some races I see a car go red blinking the stage lights and other tracks it does not. I would just like to have the same game at all the races so I know what to expect.
By the way I am old enough and do remember when NHRA used a flagman to start the races.
My first races with NHRA was electronically timed but the starter noted and triggered the red light if you left to soon on the green and the finish line winner was judged by two officials. Each lane was timed individually and written on a card the size of a business card with a W or L indicating who won or lost. You received only your own time with a W or L. I still have a few of the cards and my first Class Win Trophy long before they were Wally's.
Just My 2 Cents
Rick Cates

Last edited by 63corvette; 03-27-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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