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Old 08-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #76
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If they had a "product" I wouldn't have a problem......but they don't. They have a "clone" of another product! This may ultimately drive the price of the AMB decoder even higher. I hear though the grapevine they have a new decoder due out at the end of the year. What happens if this is because of the cloning? We all may have to send in our decoders for an upgrade and trade in our PT’s for new ones.

At least Robitronic and Ilap designed and marketed the total package…. decoder, transponder, loop, etc.

Ethical would be for them to develop and market their own system!
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:10 PM   #77
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:37 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Bob Malphurs View Post
If they had a "product" I wouldn't have a problem......but they don't. They have a "clone" of another product! This may ultimately drive the price of the AMB decoder even higher. I hear though the grapevine they have a new decoder due out at the end of the year. What happens if this is because of the cloning? We all may have to send in our decoders for an upgrade and trade in our PT’s for new ones.

At least Robitronic and Ilap designed and marketed the total package…. decoder, transponder, loop, etc.

Ethical would be for them to develop and market their own system!
Ok so all those IBM clones back in the early PC days were not ethical or a valid product either? Competition breeds innovation and drives prices down not up. If AMB does come out with a new decoder then it will likely be backward compatible with the previous systems and transponders. Almost all of their new decoders have been.

Ilap and Robitronic marketing a completely new system is like trying to get Linux to take over the home PC market from Windows...it's not going to happen. They may make a small impact in the market but not enough to make a difference. AMB like Windows is so firmly entrenched in the market it makes more sense to make a compatible system then it does to make one that very few tracks will ever use.

AMB deliberately makes their system difficult to make products that work with it. They charge software developers and make them sign a non-disclosure agreement to be able to get the codes necessary to make a lap counting software work with their system. Practices like that are what keeps a strangle hold on the market. How is that any more ethical then someone being smart enough to come up with a competitive product?
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:14 AM   #79
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Regarding decoders, through the grapevine I've heard there are 'issues' with the new AMBrc3 decoders, people are avoiding buying them and not upgrading they prefer to buy the original AMBrc decoders. How about we do a quick survey.. would clubs sell their existing (heavily invested) AMB system to switch to a new more advanced and accurate timing system costing a fraction of current AMB prices?.. how many would switch? It's got nothing to do with ethics, it's market forces, supply and demand it's basic economics that decides what products get developed.

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The question I have is when does the discount for letting you keep our PT come into play? On the first cloned PTX or the second purchased? And what is the discount? ... 25% or 50%... guess I've seen both mentioned before somewhere.
The 25% discount is on the second one when you buy two (no trade in). Often a spare is ordered at the same time, two works out at $126US. We get quite a few AMB transponders with a break in the lead close to the transponder and also often the case is old and damaged too, for these a trade in is a good deal. The trade in price is 50% off the second one when you buy two, 25% off when you buy one. Any additonal transponders ordered are at the normal price (with or without a trade in) shipping is only free on single orders. The above is for cloned transponders, we do have Custom ID PTX transponders available if you don't have a PT already or don't want a cloned version. Details are at www.rclaps.com
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:22 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by InspGadgt View Post
AMB deliberately makes their system difficult to make products that work with it. They charge software developers and make them sign a non-disclosure agreement to be able to get the codes necessary to make a lap counting software work with their system. Practices like that are what keeps a strangle hold on the market. How is that any more ethical then someone being smart enough to come up with a competitive product?
Of course they would make it difficult someone to reproduce "their" product! Their product consists basically of two things; decoders and transponders. I think they deserve and expect the right to have the exclusive on their product. These products didn't magically appear overnight like a beanstalk and they came back the same day with the hen that lays golden eggs. It was by years of R&D, marketing, and ambition, not to mention the patent. At any time during this period anybody could have "competed" with them for the market, but no one did. So they became the standard, and a good one at that!

As for AMB charging software developers for the codes is completely false. I happen to have helped with the design, distribution and tech support of a R/C race management software since 1999. AMB never charged for anything, rather they encouraged and assisted in the development. And it would be foolish for them not to have a "non-disclosure agreement"! They even loaned their hardware to us at no charge for our R&D. Heck, they even paid for the shipping! Not only us but most of the leading software’s developers as well!
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:04 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Terry_S View Post
Regarding decoders, through the grapevine I've heard there are 'issues' with the new AMBrc3 decoders, people are avoiding buying them and not upgrading they prefer to buy the original AMBrc decoders. How about we do a quick survey.. would clubs sell their existing (heavily invested) AMB system to switch to a new more advanced and accurate timing system costing a fraction of current AMB prices?.. how many would switch? It's got nothing to do with ethics, it's market forces, supply and demand it's basic economics that decides what products get developed.



The 25% discount is on the second one when you buy two (no trade in). Often a spare is ordered at the same time, two works out at $126US. We get quite a few AMB transponders with a break in the lead close to the transponder and also often the case is old and damaged too, for these a trade in is a good deal. The trade in price is 50% off the second one when you buy two, 25% off when you buy one. Any additonal transponders ordered are at the normal price (with or without a trade in) shipping is only free on single orders. The above is for cloned transponders, we do have Custom ID PTX transponders available if you don't have a PT already or don't want a cloned version. Details are at www.rclaps.com
I tested extensively with the AMBrc3 for several months to make our software work with the new TCIP protocol, both in lab and racing scenarios. We had just one minor with problem that related to firmware. The biggest problem I saw was they dropped the USB and kept the RJ232 ports.

Don't get me wrong....I agree that AMB is over priced! And their R/C line is the least expensive of their line of products! You should see the prices of their other systems like karts, bikes, 1:1 racing, etc.

Now if someone was to develop a new lap-counting system (I'm talking decoder, transponders, etc.) that works as good as the AMBrc, I think clubs, tracks, whatever would be on it like a frog on a junebug! I don't think they're going just jump up and dump there existing AMBrc's that work flawlessly, but rather the new clubs/tracks and those that are still using the older AMB20's at first. It would take some time perhaps years, but they will go for the better value.

We would more then happy to support any type of lap-counting system in our software!
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:43 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Malphurs View Post
If they had a "product" I wouldn't have a problem......but they don't. They have a "clone" of another product! This may ultimately drive the price of the AMB decoder even higher. I hear though the grapevine they have a new decoder due out at the end of the year. What happens if this is because of the cloning? We all may have to send in our decoders for an upgrade and trade in our PT’s for new ones.

At least Robitronic and Ilap designed and marketed the total package…. decoder, transponder, loop, etc.

Ethical would be for them to develop and market their own system!
Do you know anything on the MRT transponders or do you just suppose anything?
A lot of factories in China are making cheap copies of nearly everything with low quality, yes here you could talk of ethical and things. But if you really compare MRT transponders with AMB you will find differences. MRT transponders are using cloned ID´s but beside that they offer some features not found with the AMB ones. Just talk of function at low voltage, very small size, user replacable servowire and baseplate.
If you still think the MRT transponders are just copies, why do the AMB don´t offer these features?
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:39 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Malphurs View Post
Of course they would make it difficult someone to reproduce "their" product! Their product consists basically of two things; decoders and transponders. I think they deserve and expect the right to have the exclusive on their product. These products didn't magically appear overnight like a beanstalk and they came back the same day with the hen that lays golden eggs. It was by years of R&D, marketing, and ambition, not to mention the patent. At any time during this period anybody could have "competed" with them for the market, but no one did. So they became the standard, and a good one at that!

As for AMB charging software developers for the codes is completely false. I happen to have helped with the design, distribution and tech support of a R/C race management software since 1999. AMB never charged for anything, rather they encouraged and assisted in the development. And it would be foolish for them not to have a "non-disclosure agreement"! They even loaned their hardware to us at no charge for our R&D. Heck, they even paid for the shipping! Not only us but most of the leading software’s developers as well!
I don't hold it against them...they are just covering their assets which any company would do. However it is bordering on monopoly practices which are illegal and no more or less ethical then cloning a PT or an IBM computer as I mentioned earlier.

I may be wrong on the charging, I'm not a software developer. I do remember one talking about it many years ago here on this forum.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:15 PM   #84
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I'm not trying to start a big debate on this, though it looks like I have.

What confuses me is if this company MRT has knowledge and skill to do what they are doing with transponders, then why don't they do a decoder as well?

I recently read this article about Betamax vs VHS. I was particularly intrigued by the last sentence in the article!READ Seems like it could apply to lap-counting hardware. The VCR's both used magnetic tape, both worked off the same principle but in the end VHS won out because it was cheaper to manufacture. What we have now is just someone making a different tape for the Betamax.

What alarms me is AMB may take action against these clones! I not talking legal action (which may be pending) but one that could affect PT's and PTX's users alike. Now that would really suck, especially since they have this monopoly!

Last edited by Bob Malphurs; 08-14-2008 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #85
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:08 PM   #86
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To do that they would have to completely change the way their transponders work which would make it incompatible with any of their other products. That's not likely to happen. Even if they did come out with a new decoder tracks are not likely to buy a new one until their old one breaks. Which is why alternative complete systems have such a small impact on the market. Few if any tracks will change from an AMB system to an alternate system until theirs breaks. By then so many of their racers will allready have AMB transponders or clones that to change to another system would not make sense. So the only market these new systems can hope to gain is in new tracks. And even then you'll still see a large percentage of new tracks go with AMB because it is a known brand that many people allready have transponders for.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:13 PM   #87
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so sort of back on topic figured i would ask the american customers...i just ordered a custom made PTX non clone about how long does it take for them to make it and for it to arive at my door in the united states?
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:57 PM   #88
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I just placed my order within the last 6 weeks. It took about 2 1/2 weeks from the time I took my PT to the USPS to the time USPS was at my door asking for a signature delivering my PT and the PTXs.
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:34 PM   #89
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Just stopping in to say that I got to test the PTX tonight in my club race and it work flawlessly..it didn't miss a single lap were my AMB missed 1 lap


Thanks for the Great Product
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #90
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How about hand out transponders?

Our club is very small and we're using AMB20.... there's a chance that we might be able to get an AMBrc decoder (w/o transponders).

So why not come out with a Rechargeable Transponders?

I'm sure that there are many clubs around who would like some replacements.

Just an opinion.
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