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AMB / MyLaps Transponders: Frequently Asked Questions

AMB / MyLaps Transponders: Frequently Asked Questions
AMB / MyLaps Transponder Systems help race organizers to provide reliable and accurate race results. The MyLaps website also provides a convenient way to post results quickly and easily for all to see. Recent changes in the product lineup have led to some confusion for racers.

Who is MyLaps? What happened to AMB?

Same company, same people. AMB simply changed their name to MyLaps several years ago. The AMB name is well-known to many racers, and many racing organizations still require "AMB Transponders." MyLaps was originally the name of AMB's website for posting race results. Now the products are branded as MyLaps, and the results website is now known as SpeedHive.

What is the X2 all about?

X2 is the second-generation MyLaps timing and scoring system, which is capable of more detailed information such as split times. Further enhancements like a real-time in-car race information system are pending. Some tracks are converting to the new X2 system, while others are keeping the original system for now. Any new tracks that are just getting set up with a MyLaps system will be installing the X2.

Can I still just buy a transponder?

No, the current X2 transponders all require a subscription. The initial purchase price of the X2 transponder is lower than the TranX equivalent, but the trade-off is a subscription fee. Subscriptions are available for 1, 2, or 5 years. Each subscription can be renewed for 1, 2, or 5 years -- you are not "locked" into renewing in 5-year increments. Also, as long as you keep the subscription current, your X2 transponder is covered by a factory warranty. (Note that you can renew a subscription after it lapses, but the warranty cannot be re-started.)

Why can't I buy a TranX 260?

The original TranX transponders are no longer available. Production of the TranX series was phased out a couple of years ago in order to focus on the new X2 transponders. We received the very last TranX 260s in 2015 and they sold out quickly. Sorry, there is no way for us to get more!

So what am I supposed to do? The rules say I need an AMB TranX 260!

Don't worry, the X2 system and X2 transponders are backwards-compatible. TranX and X2 transponders will both work with all existing AMB/MyLaps systems. Even if your rule book still specifies "AMB TranX", you can use a MyLaps X2 transponder. TranX transponders will communicate with the new X2 systems, and vice versa. The TranX transponders will not give you access to the advanced features of the X2 system (split times, real-time feedback, etc), but they will still work with either timing system.

Do I have to pay to use my old TranX now?

No. Existing non-subscription TranX transponders still do not require a subscription. MyLaps has no plans to deactivate the original TranX transponders. You can continue to use your existing TranX unit until it wears out.

When will that be?

Maybe not for several years. They are solid little units. We know of a couple that have survived fairly heavy impacts and are still in use 10 and 15 years later.

Why are there so many different X2 models?

MyLaps X2 Car Transponders are for auto racing or road racing motorcycles. They have a red stripe, a little car logo, and a little superbike logo. This model replaces the red TranX 260.

MyLaps X2 Kart Transponders are for kart racing. They have a yellow stripe and a kart logo. This model replaces the yellow TranX 160.

MyLaps X2 MX Transponders are for motocross and snocross (off-road) only. They have an orange stripe and a dirt bike logo. This model replaces the orange MX model.

Each type is available in either a rechargeable or direct-power (wired to your vehicle's power) version. Each comes complete with your choice of a 1, 2, or 5 year subscription.

Aren't they all the same? Can't I just use my kart transponder on my car?

No!

Car transponders (red stripe) are designed for high-speed vehicles (up to 161 mph). They get mounted 1 to 2 feet from the track surface on cars, or up to 4 feet high on motorcycles.

Kart transponders (yellow stripe) are designed for low-speed vehicles (up to 74 mph). They get mounted 6 to 12 inches from the track surface.

MX Transponders (orange stripe) are designed for low-speed vehicles (up to 74 mph) which might cross the timing loop in mid-air. They get mounted to the front fork tube, up to 4 feet from the ground.

Then I bought the wrong one. I thought they were all the same.

We wouldn't stock 15 different versions if they were.

As long as you haven't registered the transponder or activated the subscription, we can exchange it for the type you need.

How do I work the X2?

You will need a computer with a USB port and internet access to manage your subscription. Visit the MyLaps website, create an account, and download the free MyLaps Connect software to get started. Detailed instructions are included with the X2.

The X2 looks a lot more complicated than the TranX.

Yep. Whole lotta parts, huh. But it breaks down to just two basic parts: The X2 transponder (the silver thing with the stripe) and the RaceKey (the other silver thing with the LEDs), which lets the transponder communicate with your computer to manage your subscription. Everything else is just connectors.

What are all those cables about? Do all those parts go in the car?

If you have a rechargeable X2, only the transponder gets mounted on the vehicle. The rest of the kit is the RaceKey, which lets the X2 communicate with your computer, and a USB cable. You will only use those to charge the transponder and to manage your subscription.

If you have a direct-powered X2, buckle up. The transponder gets mounted on the vehicle like the old TranX (see below). The cable with connectors at both ends will run from the transponder to the RaceKey mount. The RaceKey mount gets mounted in the vehicle where you can see it (see below). The cable with a connector at just one end will run from the RaceKey mount to the vehicle's electrical system (Brown to +12v, Blue to negative; ignore the white and black wires). The RaceKey gets clipped into the RaceKey mount. The USB cable will only be used to manage your subscription.

What else do I need to know about mounting?

Some organizations specify where the transponder must be mounted. Check your rulebook.

The transponder needs an unobstructed "view" of the track surface. Mounting the transponder above a metal or carbon fiber panel will completely block the signal from reaching the receiving loops in the track. Fiberglass and plastic will partially block the signal, which is not much better.

The RaceKey mount (direct-power X2 only) should be mounted where it can be seen and accessed easily. The RaceKey displays the status of your subscription, so you don't want to have to take the car apart to see it. By the same token, it does not need to be directly in the driver's line of sight -- it's not a shift light. You also need to be able to mount and dismount the RaceKey from the mount to manage your subscription. Consider locating the mount on the center console next to the driver's hip, or near the shifter in a formula car.

Hey, my direct-power X2 doesn't work! The LED just stays red when I try to activate it.

This is a known (minor) issue with an easy work-around. The fix takes just a few seconds, and it's free.

Short story: The electrical contacts on the RaceKey mount don't always line up perfectly with the contacts on the RaceKey. When you slide the RaceKey into the RaceKey mount and lock it in place, the contacts might not touch.

Fortunately, you only need the contacts to touch when you first start the transponder. The RaceKey doesn't even need to be in the RaceKey mount when you're on track for the transponder to work.

The short video at the link below shows how easy it is to line up the contacts so you can activate your transponder:

MyLaps X2 Direct Powered Transponder Troubleshooting Video

What if I want to use the transponder in more than one vehicle?

You have two options, depending on the vehicles.

You can get a rechargeable transponder and add a second quick-release mounting bracket (sold separately). This is the best choice if neither vehicle has a 6, 12, or 16 volt electrical system. Unclip the transponder from one vehicle and clip it into the mount on the other vehicle.

You can get a direct power transponder and add a second quick-release mounting bracket (sold separately). This is best if at least one of the vehicles has a 6, 12, or 16 volt electrical system that you can tap into. Unclip the transponder and unplug it from the cable, and clip it into the mount on the other vehicle. All X2 transponders have an internal battery. The battery charges while the transponder is being used in direct power mode. Unplug it, and it works just like a rechargeable transponder. You can also use the RaceKey and USB cable to charge the transponder directly, just like a rechargeable unit.

Note that this only applies if both vehicles are similar (two cars, or a car and a road race motorcycle, or two karts, or two motocross bikes, or one MX bike and one snowmobile, etc). You still can't pop a yellow-stripe transponder off of your kart and expect it to work on your car!

What about other timing systems? Can my kid use my X2 in her Bandolero?

MyLaps transponders are not designed to communicate with any other brand of timing system. If the event entry form specifies an AMB or MyLaps transponder, then the X2 will work.

I bought an X2 last month but my car won't be ready until next year, have I wasted a year of the subscription?

Not necessarily. The subscription does not start on the day you order the X2, or the day you receive it, or even the day you open the package. The clock only starts ticking once you register the transponder on your MyLaps account.

Gee, a susbscription renewal would make a great gift.

Absolutely! That's why we offer MyLaps X2 Transponder Subscription Renewal Cards. Just pick the one that matches your transponder type and put that part number on your gift list.

But my mom likes to get her shopping done early. Like, in March.

Early-bird shopping is just fine. The renewal doesn't start until you activate it online, so the cards have an indefinite shelf life.

How do the renewal cards work?

They are a lot like gift cards. The card has a secret activation code hidden behind a scratch-off area. Log onto your MyLaps account and enter the code. Hint: Don't scratch off the card until you are about to use it. As long as the code hasn't been exposed, you can be sure the card hasn't been used. That means you can sell or trade unscratched cards.

I have a technical issue that isn't addressed here.

MyLaps North America has a support line that is available 24 hours a day: 678-816-4000 (press 2 for Motorized Sports, then press 1 for Support). They can handle issues ranging from malfuncioning transponders to subscription activation.

Buy MyLaps X2 Transponders:

MyLaps X2 Car Transponders for auto racing
MyLaps X2 Kart Transponders for kart racing
MyLaps X2 MX Transponders for motocross and snocross
MyLaps X2 Transponder Subscription Renewal Cards

More Information about X2 Transponders:

MyLaps X2 Direct Powered Transponder Troubleshooting Video

This article was first published on 4/26/2016.

It was most recently modified on 9/18/2019.