My-Chron Light MCL Lap timer
One of the keys in obtaining faster lap times is being able to have an accurate lap time reading. A stop-watch is cheap and somewhat effective, but they are unreliable and are very subjective. Plus then you have to find a volunteer to time you, and results will vary from lap to lap and race to race.
AimSports manufactures a number of different lap timing and data acquisition systems for a variety of motorsports. Labeled as "The world's smallest and best selling lap timer", I picked up the My-Chron Light lap timer.
When it arrived, I opened the tiny box (about 10"L X 8"W X 3"H) just to find some packing peanuts and an even smaller box! The inside box is about (8" X 6" X 2"). I immediately thought "What? doesn't it include the sending beacon?". I never thought that these things were this small. They're TINY!
So what's in the box?
Lap timer with optical sensor
Infrared Beacon transmitter
12v external power supply cable
To give you an idea as to the size (2.3" x 1.7" x .7" and it only weighs 3oz.), here is a shot with of the timer with a STANDARD business card to the right and an Altoids tin above it. You can see that the timer is SMALLER than the both of them!
Here is a shot of the timer and beacon with the business card and Altoids tin as a reference.
Here are the features which this timer boasts:
Huge 480 Lap Memory
Up to 9 split times
1/100 Second accuracy
Optical or Magnetic Beacon receiver
Long Life coin cell batteries
Easy to read display
Large 12mm numerals
Hands free operation
1 year warranty
The unit is made in Italy and I'm guessing the instructions were written there as well and translated from Italian to English without much intervention. There are a couple of errors which make you think when you read them, but all in all it isn't rocket science here.
The timer is completely a plug-and-play operation. There are a few cool settings which you can use to suit your own tastes though. Here they are in a nutshell.
Beacon Obscuring Time: This is the amount of time before the receiver will accept a new beacon signal after receiving one. Why is it important? Well, if there are 6 beacons set up at the track, you may only want one overall lap time to register. Simply set the timer just under what you believe your fastest lap time will be and you'll be set. For example, if you're turning 1:18 laps, set the beacon obscuring time for 1:08.
Visualization Lap time: This function sets the length of time which the display shows the last lap time.
Split Number: This function will allow you to use multiple beacons and effectively "split" a lap up to 9 times. This is useful for checking progress through various sections of a track.
Timer Feature: This will allow you to see the time in 2 modes, either the standard mode where the time displays statically, or TIMER mode where the time scrolls 10 times per second.
Engine Working Time: This will log the total time of engine operation assuming the timer is on when the engine is.
Data Deletion: Just what it sounds like.
Installation is nothing more than sticking some velcro or double sided tape to the timer and mounting it over one of the gauges or somewhere that it will be easily visible while riding. Then placing some velcro on the beacon receiver and mounting it on the side of the bike, facing where the beacon will be placed (generally the inside of the track).
The instructions claim the cable distance from the display to receiver is 21.7", but I'm here to tell you that the person who measured that is seriously short changing his wife (or her husband has REALLY been lying to her). The distance on mine is 12" on the dot, but I'm glad. I have exactly enough cable to make it to both sides and don't have a bunch of extra to deal with.
The infrared beacon can either be powered by 8AA Alkaline batteries, or an external 12V battery. It has a standard camera thread in the bottom which is used to mount the beacon on a tri-pod. The beauty in this lap timer is that it is SO POPULAR that most people never bother to take out their beacon as someone else will usually already have one set up.
Here are some close-up shots of the timer and the beacon. I actually had to set the timer on my scanner to get a decent shot of it because my camera wouldn't focus up as close as I wanted to be.
So where can you pick one up?
Hi-Sideracing of course!
The MSRP on the timer is $229, but Terry from Hi-Side sells them under retail. He is also the LARGEST distributor of the My-Chron Light timer!
If you visit Terry from Hi-Sideracing, please tell him JeF4y sent you over. If you have any questions or comments about the timer, feel free to email me or talk to the folks at AIM Sports. Please let them know you read about their products here.