Application Note

A Better Illuminator Installation for BestTrack

The illuminator for the BestTrack is frankly a compromise between the best solution,
and what Judge customers are normally able to accomplish at their location. These
instructions show how to improve the installation of your illuminators. You will need
soldering skills, and the ability to drill accurately located holes in your track.

This is the standard illuminator supplied with the BestTrack Judge.

Note that assembly consists of small circuit cards connected by cables that loop from lane to lane beneath the track. The assembly is subject to damage if the loops are accidently snagged during storage or transit.

By burying the wiring within the track, the illuminators are protected from damage.

To retrofit your BestTrack, first use a soldering iron to remove all existing wiring. Leave the boards in place.

Clip off the soldered part of the removed wires, pull them out from their jackets. and set aside.

Then, number all the track lanes beginning with Number 1 as the left-most lane, as defined by the driver of the car coming down the track. Note that the direction of the car's travel is from the top of the photo to the bottom. You will be disassembling the track, and it is important that you reassemble it the same way.

Stick small pieces of masking tape on the track's two outside edges: Lane 1 and the highest number lane. This will remind you not to drill holes in them.

Disassemble the finish line track section into individual lanes.

Next, drill a 1/8" diameter pilot hole through all interior sidewalls, making sure that they line up with each other. This takes precise measurements, locating the hole centers exactly the same distance from the ends of the lanes.

It is vital that all hole centers are the same distance from the ends. It is NOT vital that they be exactly under the finish line

Vertically, locate all hole centers exactly 0.60 inch above the bottom edge of the track See drawing below. Use a center punch for precision.

A drill press is much better than a hand drill.

Enlarge all holes to 1/4" diameter. Making a pilot hole first makes drilling much easier.

Locate all holes exactly 0.60 inches above track bottom.

Finally, make a 1/4" hole on outside sidewall of Lane 1 to mount the connector shown here.

Locate this hole three inches uphill or downhill from the finish line so that it does not interfere with the mounting blocks.

Deburr all holes. The sharp edges can cut through the wiring insulation and cause a short circuit. Deburring can be done by carving off the burrs with a utility knife. It can also be done by hand-twisting a large diameter drill bit. It can also be done by a countersink drill bit.

Mount the connector on Lane 1 using the supplied nut.

Now, reassemble the track, and then solder in the wires.

All boards are interconnected by black wires attached to the board pattern marked "COM"

All boards are interconnected by red wires attached to the pattern marked "+V"

The red and black wire from the connector goes to +V and COM of Lane 1, respectively.

A green wire connects the unmarked center patterns between the +V and COM patterns.

Yellow wires are not used.

This photo illustrates the wiring more clearly.

It shows a 3 Lane track, but the photo applies to any number of lanes.

All of the boards are slightly different, and not interchangible, so they are identified by Lane Numbers on little labels if you get the components for a new installation.

The black cable is the external connection between
the Judge and the illuminators.


If you wish to retrofit your BestTrack, send $5.00 for the black cable and connector as shown in photo above.

If you are buying a new Judge, let us know you want to bury your cables according to the instructions above. We will
include with your order the cable and separate numbered lane boards as shown in Photo 6, along with wire and solder.
There is no charge for the components in this case.