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There should be a program for beginners to get clocks at a discounted rate I think this would boost the sport a little bit more to fresh minds. Would really help the sport grow grow
 

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Our teeny tiny local club started a 4H group for pigeon racing. Most of the kids race out of the big loft that the president of the club has, but 5 of the kids have their own lofts. Anyway, the prez was able to get some old style clocks- the non electronic ones- donated through the AU. It is a great way to get a new generation involved. This is the first year, but there are 20 kids involved, and they each got 5 babies from local members. They will have their own races for the time being, and will participate in showing their birds at the county fair. Seems to me we need more stuff like this going on to keep the sport vibrant. Also, a middle school down near Seattle has pigeon racing as part of their curriculum. They use it as one of those applied learning, multi disciplinary educational tools, where the kids can see how math, science, etc link together, and then also throw some english in with papers written on various topics, etc etc etc.

But, as for cheap clocks for us newbs, It seems like the only way is through the difficult to find used clocks.

The real question is why the heck they are so expensive in the first place? Electronics come down in price even as they have become more and more complex. So, why so much for a chip reader that is hooked up to a timer/computer ? Obviously they are not as mass produced as typical consumer products, but really, those things are overpriced by a lot.

Any Electronics Engineer with a spare couple of hours could redesign the whole system for cost effectiveness- as well as for taking advantage of the advances made in GPS technology, etc. We just need an E.E. that loves pigeon racing.....
 

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Our teeny tiny local club started a 4H group for pigeon racing. Most of the kids race out of the big loft that the president of the club has, but 5 of the kids have their own lofts. Anyway, the prez was able to get some old style clocks- the non electronic ones- donated through the AU. It is a great way to get a new generation involved. This is the first year, but there are 20 kids involved, and they each got 5 babies from local members. They will have their own races for the time being, and will participate in showing their birds at the county fair. Seems to me we need more stuff like this going on to keep the sport vibrant. Also, a middle school down near Seattle has pigeon racing as part of their curriculum. They use it as one of those applied learning, multi disciplinary educational tools, where the kids can see how math, science, etc link together, and then also throw some english in with papers written on various topics, etc etc etc.

But, as for cheap clocks for us newbs, It seems like the only way is through the difficult to find used clocks.

The real question is why the heck they are so expensive in the first place? Electronics come down in price even as they have become more and more complex. So, why so much for a chip reader that is hooked up to a timer/computer ? Obviously they are not as mass produced as typical consumer products, but really, those things are overpriced by a lot.

Any Electronics Engineer with a spare couple of hours could redesign the whole system for cost effectiveness- as well as for taking advantage of the advances made in GPS technology, etc. We just need an E.E. that loves pigeon racing.....

You are right there is no reason why they should be so expensive.

It would be nice if we could get everyone to go back to the old manual clocks until they agree to bring the price down to a more reasonable price for what it is. You can buy a whole computer, monitor and printer for what a new clock sells for.
 

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I heard a rumor that CBS has a less expensive electronic clock in the works as they realize the real money is in the bands and not the actual clock. Also heard that they might be accepting Unikon trade ins. Again this is just a rumor that I caught wind of.
 

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I think it would be safe to assume that the reason electronic clocks are so expensive is 1) it's a specialty item like was previously stated and 2) they have a large enough customer base that is willing to pay their prices. After all, something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Just my .02
 

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You recall the 2-bird timers in early 1900 were made in old USA. It looks like IF or AU could talk someone in making them here in USA. If a company in electronics could do this it would be great. I have both a manual and a e-clock. The e-clock helps when I can't be there and would help the working person as well as family guys who has kids ballgames, etc. I hope the rumor is true about CBS. There is money to be made in the chiprings. IMO
Barn Pigeon
 

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So here is what I have worked out with my club.

I am using junior T3. I bought the clock in Blackpool for $120 US. The printer is $130 US. I can get more clocks if folks are interested but the price will vary by the number of clocks in an order and the exchange rates at time of order.

The clocks are USED but thy work fine. Just make sure your club will accept the clocks. The AU does.
 

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The real question is why the heck they are so expensive in the first place? Supply and demand, if everyone wanted one they would be 9.95 at Walmart plus a 10.00 rebate and a 5 dollar gas card..
 

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The real question is why the heck they are so expensive in the first place? Supply and demand, if everyone wanted one they would be 9.95 at Walmart plus a 10.00 rebate and a 5 dollar gas card..
LOL- too true.

Still, even with supply and demand, if someone came out with a cheaper- and better option, there is enough worldwide demand that they could get everyone to switch over- esp if they made it backwards compatible with the software of the systems currently in use. So, to me it seems like "they" have us where they want us, and can set whatever price they want. And the prices they want are straight up highway robbery!

There is a local company that makes and refurbishes barcode scanners and such- maybe I'll get around to pitching a proposal to them one of these days.....
 

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Our club only uses Benzing's so the 2 choices are the really expensive model or the really, really expensive model. :) We tried to find one used for several months and did see one with accessories go on Ebay for about $900 which was still a deal but unfortunately couldn't scrape that much together for the birds at that time. But we saved up and after talking to a bunch of the older flyers we bit the bullet and bought the top of the line M-1 because even though it's our first year it sounds like it will serve us better in the long run. That's a big investment but one that will hopefully be well worth it...
 

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Well, the expense of the clock sure is an impediment to getting new people involved. I will be unlikely to be able to buy a clock this year, and will save up for next year, and use this year to learn the ropes some, road train, etc. And I will see if I can put my birds on the truck to see how they do- even though the results won't be officially clocked. At least it would give me a rough idea of how they are doing, and get the birds used to the routine in case I am able to fly OB next year.

But, at least our club has scrounged up the mechanical clocks for the 4H kids. How else would the kids be able to be involved? And how can the sport survive without getting young flyers involved?

Maybe the AU needs to advocate for a cheaper alternative; put out feelers to see if any electronics companies want to become the new industry standard.
 

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There already is a very inexpensive alternative. Don't use clocks at all, just do what they use to do in the good ole days, after you clock a bird, you take the countermark to the club secretary. There....you can't get any cheaper then that ! Instead of running it to the race secretary, one could use a communication device such as a telephone. I bet there are plenty of people out there with the latest iphone or workpad, whatever the hot item is. Take a picture of the inside of a countermark, and forward, there, solved that problem, now go recruit 10 new members now that the cost of a clock is no longer an issue. :cool:
 

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Our club only uses Benzing's so the 2 choices are the really expensive model or the really, really expensive model. :) We tried to find one used for several months and did see one with accessories go on Ebay for about $900 which was still a deal but unfortunately couldn't scrape that much together for the birds at that time. But we saved up and after talking to a bunch of the older flyers we bit the bullet and bought the top of the line M-1 because even though it's our first year it sounds like it will serve us better in the long run. That's a big investment but one that will hopefully be well worth it...
Good for you !! :) Now if you spread that over the next ten years, what does that work out to per week ? Pretty cheap entertainment !! :p
 

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Warren,
Never thought of it exactly that way but you're right. If you factor it over 5 years I guess it's only about the cost of one cup of coffee from Starbuck's each week... :D
 

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True....but starbucks doesn't expect you to buy that coffee all at once!
It is reasonable in the long run, but that doesn't change the fact that the clocks are seriously overpriced.
I'm all for the sending a photo of the countermark idea- but I doubt that would fly in the concourse. But is basically the same as my plan of putting my birds on the truck, and seeing how they stack up against the other birds by calculating the average speed and seeing how they would've placed if I had a clock.
I know where to get a clock for $400- which is great, but I need to make sure I pay my bills before I drop that much. A squeal of a deal, but still a little outta reach right now. Initial investment in birds and loft is all I can justify right this second. Then, a clock.
 

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Cheapest in use i'v heard is that race secretary puts number ring in pigeon leg that only secretary knows. When bird arrives home Send text messages (SMS) to secretary cellphone and time of sms is the official time. You of course lose some seconds / minutes, but thats the price of racing without ets.
 

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Does a junior T3 clock work with any system ?
The T3 is a manual clock with a digital timer. If your club allows manual clocks then ask the secretary if they will allow it.

So far this year the ETS have been nothing but trouble (we are using Unikon). Between bands failing, issues with communicating with the clock modules, and some random thing that says a bird is already basketed when there are several confirmations that all the bands were right, the only clocks that seem to be worth the hassle are the manuals. Add the expense (Warren this is one of the complaints I have) of these devices and I can not fathom a club mandating that you must use an ETS to race. Seems to be counter productive when looking to "grow" the sport.
 

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I can kind of relate in both ideas. I for one would feel safe that noone is cheating if only electronic clocks were used. I just dont trust the manual clocks, and especially when some guys (that you know can afford it) refuse to use an electronic clock. All that being said they are expensive. People in thier first year have ALOT of startup cost. Our club is cutting flying cost to the extreme for this very reason. We have a homemade trailer that a members son will pull, and only race out to 400 as a combine.
They started the last meeting like this,
$500 loft and supplies
$700 cheapest new clock
$100 ets bands
$200 to fly
= $1500 and never fed a bird or took him out the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I love this thread but I wonder why some company in the US are not doing this This could be a real winner cause all these clocks are made overseas.
there could even be app on the iphone
 
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