GUIDE TO CAR RALLYE EQUIPMENT
by Bill Jonesi
I. TIME (CLOCKS)
1. WWV RECEIVER: Needed to accurately set your clock. The Timekube from Radio Shack is no longer available, however any short wave radio receiving 5, 10, and 15 MHZ will work ($30 and up).
Many clocks and watches are now available that automatically set themselves to the same radio frequencies. There are differences from model to model in terms of exactly when they change digits in relation to the "beep" on the WWV. The digits should be exactly finishing their change at the head of the "beep".
2. CLOCKS: If you are just starting out rallying a good digital wristwatch is probably good enough for now and most have stopwatches built in ($15-60). Hand held stopwatches or countdown egg timers are a help for some on-time systems ($10-30). Heuer clocks are still available if you want a mechanical hundredths reading clock ($150 and up).
3. SPECIAL CLOCKS: There are several digital hundredths reading clocks made for checkpoint use with multiple memories or count down features for Pan Am use. CP: Timewise ($190), Alfa ($125) (Zeron & Chronar used only). Count down: Monaco systems ($395). Monaco also offers software for use in pc's for rally timing. Click here for the Monaco website. (Accutron & CCS used only).
II. SPEED (CALCULATORS)
1. UNEQUIPPED CLASS: Don't bother with a slide rule (if you can find one) the Stevens wheel ($35) was specially designed for TSD calculations, or a book of tables: Bob Radford, Larry Reid, Mike Stimson, Gene Henderson ($20-40).
2. SORT OF EQUIPPED: (CHECK YOUR LOCAL RULES) Non-programmable calculators are better than the above equipment (if allowed in your class) and are also needed for use with computers ($5-25).
3. EQUIPPED CLASS: Programmable calculators ($50-300), Curta was the best of the mechanical calculators ($400-> used only), Turbokurta (TI74 with custom module) ($100), Laptop computers ($500-3000).
1. ODOMETERS: Halda Twin Master with two odometers or Halda Trip Master with one odometer are the best of the old mechanical odometers (used only $300).
2. CLASS B/U BOXES: (ODOMETER/CLOCK) Electronic devices with hundredths reading clock and adjustable odometer. Timewise ($500), or Alfa ($300/450 w/ driver display). (Zeron several models, used only).
3. PRO BOXES: (ODOMETER/CLOCK) Designed for use on Pro rallyes, they generally have the same features as a B-Box, plus some limited calculating ability which will put you into class A/E. Timewise ($500), Alfa ($300/450 w/ driver display) (Zeron several models, used only).
4. CLASS A/E BOXES: (COMPUTERS) , Timewise ($1000), and Alfa ($600) are generally the only new computers available. Chronar Meco was generally a Zeron clone ($725). Zeron was the dominate computer of the 70s and 80s with several models ($200-$600 used only). Some people have gone the home brew route, just remember the mechanical end (box, switches, display, etc.) is a lot harder than just writing the program ($200-400). Autonav, Halda speedpilot, Heuer/RoBo, Rallecomp, Tommy Box & Whitmore should be considered antiques. You would not be competitive with any of the other equipment but would still have to complete in the same class.
5. IMPULSE UNITS: (ODOMETER) Needed for mileage impulses for any of the above computers, B-boxes, or odometers: Darby Prodrive which uses three clamps to hold on to the edge of your road wheel ($400), Revere Jones & Alfa EZ-Pulse drives just bolt to the center of a hubcap or plate ($90-125), Curt Rich drive has a plate bolt up to modified lug nuts ($400). Hall effect wheel drive or mounts a magnet ('Rare Earth' is preferred) to your wheel and a sensor switch to the suspension ($30-90). Speedometer pickup uses a photo electric switch in a modified Halda T-gear (used only $150?).
1. READER BOARD: A reader board is absolutely necessary if you are going to be consistently competitive. The Stevens Rallye Reader ($60) was so good nobody gave it much competition, or you can build your own out of wood, electrical or plumbing supplies or plastic (about $20).
2. RALLYE KIT: Should include at least: pens, hiliters (several colors), tape, rubber bands, bungee cords, extra batteries, minutes per mile chart, reference material, etc. ($20-50)
3. CLIPBOARDS: If you want a double width clipboard, most art supply or +stationary stores carry one, which you can cut down to fit your car for about $20. For about $30 you can make a custom one out of Plexiglas. (Don't go any thicker than 1/8", you want it to crack if you are ever in an accident!)
4. MAPS: AAA has 70+ maps in N. Cal. and 30+ in S. Cal. (free with membership), Thomas guides ($15-30), Delorme map books ($15), etc. GPS (Global Positioning Systems) ($100-1200).
5. INTERIOR LIGHTS: Chartlite ($50), Hella or Osram gooseneck ($20-40), flashlights ($5-30).
6. EXTERIOR LIGHTS: Hand held spotlight ($15-40), good quality Quartz/Halogen headlight upgrades, fog lights or driving lights ($50-150)
7. POWER OUTLET SPLITTER: Several companies make two way splitters and three way boxes to power reader board, spot light, interior light, radar detector, etc. ($10-20). Always run power to computers directly from the battery, and with a fuse!
8. SPECIALTY EQUIPMENT: Compass ($5-300), and binoculars ($50-500) are needed for Pan Am rallyes and can sometimes be helpful on other types.
9. BOOKS ON RALLYING: The Road Rally Handbook by Clint Goss 1993 ($35) and How to Rally and Win by Houston Region SCCA ($10) are the only books still in print. Worth getting if you can find them: The Complete Rally Book by David Hebb 1979, Rallying to Win by Jean Calvin 1974.
Costs mentioned in this article are just estimated prices, especially on used equipment. Electronic equipment is generally prohibited on historic rallyes, big in England and growing in popularity in the US. Therefor the Curta, Halda, Heuer setup which was dominate in the 60s has caused prices of these pieces of equipment to raise in direct proportion to their scarcity.
V. SOURCE LIST FOR RALLYE
REVERE JONES - firstname.lastname@example.org (818)791-9433 / P.O. BOX 2881 COVINA, CA 91722
BOB RADFORD ENTERPRISES (815)398-0511 / 4969 BROOKVIEW RD, ROCKFORD, IL 61107
COMPETITION LIMITED - www.htnews.com/comptltd - (313)464-1458 / 2243 SOSNA DR, PINCKNEY, MI 48169
ARIZONA CURTA EXCHANGE - (602)892-7980 (Buys & sells Curtas)
JOE BOUCHER - email@example.com - (805)964-2113 / P.O. BOX 6325 SANTA BARBARA, CA 93160
GREG LESTER - (330)836-9003 Akron OH
GINGRAS RALLYSPORT - (612)263-0739 Elk River MN
CHRONAR SYSTEM - Ed Rachner - (206)481-0748 / 15202 164TH AVE NE, WOODINVILLE, WA 98072 Rallye computers, odometers and clocks.
SMALL SYSTEM SPECIALISTS (ALFA) - Mike Friedman - ALFA@Rally.cc - www.rally.cc - (603)895-9429 / 16 LINCOLN DR, RAYMOND NH 03077 Rallye computers, odometers and clocks.
TIMEWISE - Jack Christensen - firstname.lastname@example.org - (847)291-7275 / 1119 MIDWAY RD, NORTHBROOK, IL 60062 Rallye computers, odometers and clocks. Also repairs Zeron, Chronar, Curta, etc.
MONACO SYSTEMS - Paul McGaffey - - (818)993-3270 / Monte Carlo rallye clocks and pc rally timing software.
RALLY AMERICA! - Clint Goss - email@example.com - (203)454-1479 / 6 FIELDCREST RD, WESTPORT, CT 06880 Rallye publications and software.
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