LOCATING THE ISOLATED SECTION FOR THE COMPUTER LAP COUNTER HOOKUPS
You will want to put this in a section of your track that typically has the least number of deslots. Most places today locate this section where the cars will exit the high bank turn. Cars are at full speed and unlikely to deslot and miss the counter. If you don’t have a high bank, locate the isolated section midway down a back straightaway or near the end of the main straight. It is never advisable to install your isolated section in a short straight near the entrance to a turn, or in a turn itself.
Another place that’s not advisable is on the main straight anywhere near the driver station panels. No driver should be able to pick up his car and set it behind the counter. Unfortunately, there are some that will employ this tactic in an attempt to gain extra laps or win a race. (Thankfully, most modern computer software programs are programmed to recognize this and that lap will not count.)
While most commercial (as well as many home and club) tracks utilize the "isolated" section of track braid to count laps and lap times, you do encounter the occasional problem of having a car stop in this area during power-off conditions. The car must then be pushed across, but reassure the racers that their lap DID count because of the "minimum read" time setting on the computer which allows up to 2 or more seconds of "coast" time to insure that a car did actually cross the counter and the lap added to their total.
An important note on isolated sections… be sure to leave a gap of at least one-inch on both ends of the braid on the track to the braid on the isolated section. The spaces between the two portions of braid are far enough apart that you have assurance the guide flag braid completely breaks the circuit. (See Illustration #12.)
There are other ways to count laps, and one method, which doesn’t use a "dead" strip or isolated section, is one that utilizes "electric eyes" and an overhead light bar. We’ve seen systems where infrared sensors are mounted down in the slot and the laps counted and timed when the guide flag breaks the infrared beam.