New Directions

900 Echols Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180    703-319-0840

High Performance, Affordable Accessories for
Pinewood Derby, Hot Wheels, Soapbox Derby, and other racing formats.



Jewkes ESS Upgrades allow computer and light tree compatiblity.

GLB Remote Start Gate

Instructions for GLB

Other Products for BestTrack

Light Trees






It is not often that a merchant will advise you that his product is worthless and to NOT buy it.
But this is a special situation that cries out for honesty.

We at New Directions are in competition with BestTrack on three products, namely, finish lines, remote start gates, and light trees.

When you compare specifications you will find our products are generally more innovative, flexible, and have a wider range of connectivity and function. At a much lower price.

This has inspired BestTrack to take steps that are considered somewhat sketchy, certainly in a market which caters to organizations where honesty, fair play and role model for youth are central themes.

We both promote remote start devices that pull the start gate lever by a solenoid. Their's is the ESS, ($199) and our's is the GLB ($129).

To get you to pass up the GLB and purchase the ESS, BestTrack makes a clever, weird, but surprisingly effective claim. They tell you that if you accidently plug our GLB power supply into the Champ, the Champ will burn out and your warranty will be void.

The Champ Owner Manual, as well as multiple BestTrack web site pages, contain warnings of burnout if you accidently plug the GLB power supply into the Champ.

That's pretty scary. Better avoid any chance of mixing up the power supplies and get the ESS?

Yes! And if you hadn't figured it out for yourself, the salesperson on the phone at BestTrack will make sure you get that message.

But will the Champ really burn out? Absolutely not!

The Champ is like all other equipment sold in the consumer market. It will accept any voltage up to 35 volts. It has to, in order to be compliant with IEEE and IEC Standards, and to survive in the real world. If plugging in the wrong adaptor meant burnout, the landfills would be overflowing with equipment, and you would be hearing about it. It is just common sense.

We obtained a Champ, took it apart, traced the circuits, drew up the schematics, identified and looked up all components that are connected to the input power. Everything looked solid. The Champ is well-designed.

We plugged it into our lab power supply and brought it up immediately to 24 volts. Then, we gradually took it up to 35 volts while measuring component temperatures with IR thermography. No problem. We held it at 35 volts for 48 hours. The Champ did just fine. It is IEEE-compliant.

Hi. I'm John Shreffler, Owner of New Directions. I am retired from a 46 year career in circuit design for military, industrial and consumer equipment. The Champ works fine on anything from 12 to 35 volts. But I understand the hesitation you may feel, and offer the service described below.

We will remove the 2.1mm connector from our GLB power supply cable, and replace it with a 2.5mm connector.

We will also install a mating 2.5mm socket on the GLB.

The Champ and the GLB will then be physically incompatible with each other.

It will be impossible to power the Champ with the GLB supply, and vice versa.

Price: $20

Value: $0

Peace of Mind:

Why is BestTrack so intent on getting you to buy the ESS? So intent, in fact, that they would falsely claim their own finish line is so poorly designed it cannot meet the most basic equipment standards, and will go up in smoke the first time you make a common mistake? That is the funny part. It is because they are about to introduce a Light Tree called the DragMaster that ...... that ............wait for it ....... only works with the ESS! They specifically designed the Dragmaster for exclusivity to prevent you from buying a New Directions Light Tree. Welcome to the whacky world of competition.

BestTrack's attempt at Exclusivity Engineering in this case did not work out so well. Because we have just introduced the LT4-ESS that works perfectly with the ESS. Plus, for those who already have the ESS, we offer inexpensive modifications that make the ESS work with our wildly popular LT3 Light Tree.

So, you DO have choices after all. And your choices include getting the much less expensive GLB, since it in fact poses no threat to the Champ. And if you have the slightest doubt about that, ask us to change the connectors so it is impossible to make a mistake.

We at New Directions do not believe in Exclusivity Engineering. We feel the Pinewood market is best served by interoperability across all product lines. That way, organizations have the maximum number of choices for their derby needs. We serve our customers, we don't manipulate them.


Other Products for BestTrack












IEEE and IEC Design Standards for Low Voltage (defined as zero to 35 Volts) consumer equipment with detachable power supplies of the type used in the Pinewood market are simple and include:

1. No vendor may market power supplies that generate more than 35 volts, and

2. All vendors must accept voltages of 35 volts applied to their own equipment.

If every manufacturer observes these simple rules, nobody's equipment will be harmed by accidently being powered incorrectly. These are common sense rules that manufacturers universally follow. All equipment currently on the Pinewood market is IEEE compliant in this important respect.