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  Karting Background "Embedded systems specialists"
 
Want to know more about why we started on this product line and our design philosophy? You have come to the right spot.

Karting Passion

Our history starts with a passion for racing -- in particular, indoor kart racing. The lead engineer at MICROCode Consulting started indoor karting in 2005 and joined a karting league (at Sykart in Tigard Oregon). The passion to do well also led to frustration due to lack of information such as on-the-fly lap time and inability to obtain an electronic file of all of your lap times. In consultation with seasoned karting veterans, a new set of products is being developed. After two years of testing and refinement with a number of drivers, the first of these is now available to the general public.

Our continued passion has a big benefit to our customers. As avid users of the products we sell, new ideas and improvements are constantly being tested. Nearly all of these are in the Windows software or KTS firmware -- and that means you can download the updates as they are made available to further enhance the capability and usefulness of the Kart Timing System.


Common Components Keep Costs Low for the Kart Timing System

In numerous discussions with indoor kart racers, cost always comes up as the most important issue outside of functionality. As such, MICROCode Consulting has taken a radically different — some might say sensible — approach in creating the Kart Timing System.

Cost is determined by what parts are used and what it takes to fabricate each unit. Wherever possible, commonly available parts were used. For example, instead of designing a custom enclosure, a mass-produced electronics enclosure of the right size and shape was chosen instead, saving over 50 US$ per unit. Similarly, instead of fabricating a custom metal stand, the support system for the KTS Beacon is made entirely from resilient 1/2-inch PVC pipe, saving another 30 US$ per unit. (And, in fact, if you need to change the height outside of the range supported by our product, you only need visit your local hardware store to buy some additional pipe — cheaply!) We applied this philosophy throughout all aspects of the design. This is why the Kart Timing System can be offered for under half the price of similar products.

To be clear, using low-cost commonly available parts does take away some of the elegance of the product. It might not be as flashy, but it is functionally as powerful as we can make it. Moreover, low-cost does not mean cheap: we designed this product to last for years in the harsh shock and vibration environment of a portable unit used for racing. Holding straps can handle a hundred pounds of pressure. Quick-release clips can withstand over 10,000 on-off cycles. Units get dropped when carried to and from the kart and continue to work flawlessly. This is not a fragile electronic gadget but rather a serious driver tool that can withstand punishment.

After all, would you rather pay slighlty above $100 for a solid product, or $500 for a similar product that is a bit more sleek but perhaps a bit more fragile. As a fellow racer on a budget, I know which one most of you would choose!