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#655352 R4/10 motor announcement

Posted by Tom Thumb Hobbies on 25 October 2016 - 02:23 PM

Here we are with yet another motor issue in Retro racing. As an IRRA® BoD member I can assure you we are working towards a solution. Some of you wanted this "fixed" yesterday but I think you already know that's not feasible. We can not make a "knee jerk" reaction to this because it is at the core of our program. Act too fast, without all the information and without studying all the possibilities, and you often compound the problem. And for the conspiracy theorists out there, well don't you think we should wait for confirmation and all the evidence before we lynch Tim and JK? There will be a solution.
 
As a track owner and a Premiere Race host it is my responsibility to make my event as fair and fun as possible. To that end I will do what I think needs to be done, up to and including hand-outs in all classes, to make things as level as possible. I firmly believe the IRRA® will come up with a workable solution if this is indeed a major problem and not just a momentary blip. However we have no control over the Chinese manufacturers and little sway with JK. We simply don't have a big enough economic punch.
 
I personally believe there is no ulterior motive or greed agenda associated with this from JK. But we are at his mercy if any motor changes need to be made.
 
I'm posting this now so those that hate hand-outs will know that, as of now, hand-outs are a possibility at the R4/10. If that changes your mind and you won't attend then I'm sorry. I'm hoping that a solution is coming soon and this will be a non-issue.


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#627770 Something great that has nothing to do with results

Posted by wicked01 on 15 February 2016 - 08:05 PM

Some of you on Slotblog may know me; some may not, but I have been racing slot cars since the early '90s. I have traveled all over the south racing with my friends.

 

So a couple years ago after being out of slot cars for about five years I got my son into the hobby and he has developed a passion for slot cars more than I ever had. Recently i have really focused on building and showing him how to solder, how to adjust Retro and flexi cars, and the maintenance of the cars. He has been getting better every time we race and just loving slot cars, which is rare in our day and age of computers and gaming.

 

We attended a race this past weekend. We built him a brand new Can-Am car that my son was so proud of because it was the first one that he ever helped build. So he starts out by qualifying with the fastest time he ever turned and the car is really good. He starts the race so I go over to work on some other cars while he is running. I never looked at where he was running but he had told me he was running really good, so after the second or third heat someone came over and said your son is flying so I looked at the monitor and he was ahead by three or four laps! Then I started watching him and he continued to pull away, just driving the wheels off of the car.

 

The next heat I pitted the car, put it back on the track, and the heat started – all was well. My son made it about three or four laps when the magic smoke came trailing out of the car then quit. My son was devastated and I could not get him to calm down. I went to change the motor, because we had back-ups, but he still was really upset.

 

Then this is the part I wanted to share with everyone. A man I had never met him before (still do not no who he is) walked up, leaned over to my son, and said to him, "You were running a great race and i want you to have this brand new motor to replace the one you blew up." instantly my son was OK.

 

I got more pleasure from that one moment than I did the whole rest of the day and it really showed me one act of kindness at a slot car race made more of a impression on my son than if he would have won the race.

 

I want to thank that man, whoever you are, and just to let you know that's all he talks about since the race. You have made a lasting impression on my son...

 

Slot car racers are really great people.


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#626052 This will not help slot car racing

Posted by tonyp on 05 February 2016 - 10:39 AM

First off most big event slot car races(other than slot drag) have in the past not had cash awards. Doing so only will bring out the worst attitude and behavior.


Precisely the reason IRRA® was set up with no cash prizes and you will never see this happen at any off the major IRRA® Premier events. Several on the IRRA® Board lived through the money racing era and it was the most cutthroat, dirtiest racing. Get in my lane and you were walled. Anything for the evil bucks. We did not want to have racing for money, we rather want to have good racing between friends.


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#659381 Hawk Retro 7R7R balancing

Posted by JK Products on 28 November 2016 - 08:36 AM

Hi Bryan,
 

If you would have asked before posting, I would have explained that what you are seeing is exactly one of the process changes that results in lower variability.
 
As explained previously, JK Products Retro 7R and 7 motors are now 100% robotically computer balanced. They are the only motors in the industry that are 100% computer balanced. This is an internal processing/tolerance change, not a major product specification change. The IRRA® board was informed of this process improvement and other process tolerance improvements, all designed to reduce variability and make our motors the most consistent motors in the industry.

 

In the past, all our armatures were hand balanced, like some of our competitors. As you can imagine, this hand balancing was not nearly as consistent as an automated machine can be. Not only that, the automatic balancing can balance to a much tighter tolerance using much smaller corrections than are available using hand balancing. That is what you are seeing in your photograph. Notching for larger changes, and very small drill holes for even better balancing than ever before.

I will have a detailed balancing post on our Facebook page later today, including a video of the process that you might find interesting.
 
Finally, if anyone thinks they have found a problem with any of our products, please grant me the courtesy of contacting me first by email; I will always respond. If I don’t satisfy your concerns, feel free then to express them on social media.


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#675085 My final thoughts...

Posted by Tom Thumb Hobbies on 26 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

We are just about back to normal at the store. So much has to be broken down and moved to the warehouse that it takes a few days to rebuild. But after 10 years we have things down to a science.

 

Speaking of 10 years it’s hard to believe that this was the tenth anniversary of the R4. Wow. I don’t think many would have bet money on this “Retro” thing lasting 10 years. Let alone growing. But, there are some signs of the same kind of “decay” that has killed almost every other racing program in the past. It is our job to not let that happen. Stop and think if what you are doing is helping the hobby or just your program. Do what is right for the hobby and we will be talking about the 20th Anniversary of Retro someday.

 

The R4/10 went extremely well in my opinion. I have had almost exclusively positive comments about the weekend of racing. The few negatives have been in the form of constructive criticism and not just bitching. Always appreciated. In fact, I have had numerous “best R4 ever” and “don’t change the format next year” comments even from those who initially hated the hand-out idea.

 

After race directing about half of the heats and doing all of the qualifying I can say that the racing was closer than ever. Every last Main had multiple stints with wheel-to-wheel racing for position, often between three or more racers. The final results didn’t always show that but I guarantee that if you were involved you won’t soon forget. Was it because of the hand-out motors? I would like to think that had at least some part in it. Looking at the non-hand-out F-1 class the racing was close, but not as close as the others. I wasn’t expecting new faces at the top. But I was hoping for closer racing with less gap from top to bottom. We got that.

 

So, do I think my hand-out plan was a success? Yes, I think so. All of the doom and gloom predicted by the naysayers was unfounded. Some stayed away because of hand-outs. No problem. But others came because of them. And like it or not, new faces are just as important as the old.

 

The countless hours I spent planning this was vindicated I think. Things went off with only very minor glitches. But that only happened because of the tremendous amount of help we had from our local, and extended, racer families. Whoever coined the term “Lazy Locals” for my guys obviously has no idea what they are talking about. Without Eric Balicki (and his wife Melinda who basically loans him to me every March), Rick Starkey and Tina, Jim and Sherri Leezer, Earl Graybill, Jason Vicars, and Steve Johnson this would not have been possible. Bill Fulmer, who is best known for his photography, is irreplaceable in the tech line. Believe me he does far more than just take pictures. Thanks also need to go to Kyle Snyder who not only did well as a racer (congrats, dude) but helped out at the sales counter all week and to Greg Wells who assisted in tech and published his awesome race reports.

 

Then comes Cindy and Jessica. Without Cindy filling in for me in our normal store operations I wouldn’t have had the time to plan anything. Day to day operations, food preparations, daily cleaning. the list goes on and on. She willingly shoulders a heavy load. Truly a phenomenal lady. Impossible without her. And Jessica… what didn’t she do? No one worked harder than her during those three days. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be her dad. And not to forget Avery. Avery helped keep me sane during all this time. She is awesome!!

 

Bottom line… it was a lot of work but worth it. Lots of new faces and also returning friends. Records were broken and the racing was close. New friendships were made and old ones rekindled. Being a BoD member, a track owner, and a race host it sometimes feels like I’m constantly under attack no matter what I do. This year was the worst. But, you the racers as a group make it worthwhile to me. As I have said before, Retro is more than just the cars we race. It is the attitude we have while we do it. Don’t lose sight of that

.

Don’t forget to thank all the sponsors who generously donated money and merchandise to this event. I’ll be posting something separately later thanking them all but you already know who they were. Take a minute to send an email and say “Thanks.”

 

And let me do the same. Thank you to all that came and all that watched online. It was a pleasure to have you.


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#625790 Wing racer gone Retro! :)

Posted by Chubby on 04 February 2016 - 01:06 AM

So first off I want to say that I'm enjoying Retro racing so much. I never imagined it would be like it is and what it has become. I have had tons of help from everyone getting me some wins here and there and for that I'm very thankful.
 
I want to talk about some subjects that I catch on here and Facebook from time to time.  
 
I want to talk about the JK Retro Hawk. I see people talk good and bad about these motors, some things I have seen is you need 10 to get one good one. When I first read that from multiple people, I was kind of shocked. Are some motors better than others? Sure, every time, even when you custom-build $700 Group 7 motors that have identical specs.  
 
Now some of you may believe me or may not believe me, I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to tell you my experience with these motors. When I go to a race and, for example, I race two classes that day, I will buy two motors and put them in my cars, and break them in, in the car itself. I have yet to be underpowered IMO to a point where I lost a race, at least that I think.  
 
I honestly think that how you break them in is everything! I race these motors every week at my local shop (PJ Raceway) in three different classes and i cannot tell you how close racing is on a weekly basis. I'm not here to argue with anyone, I enjoy racing Retro very much and tend to get along with everyone and want to keep it that way.
 
But I cannot express myself any better when I say 8 out of 10 JK Retro Hawk motors can win a Premier Event. I'm totally shocked actually on how consistent they are from one another because how they're made and where they're made. These are motors that are nothing special spec-wise, which I'm sure we all can agree on.  
 
I think you need to be patient enough while breaking these motors in. I have had motors that in 10 laps are where I want them to be, and I have motors that take 100+ laps to be where I want them to be. Don't give up on the motors that don't run after 100+ laps; I've been in that situation a lot.  
 
Well, I think I'm done with this little rant, I feel better now.  :)
 
Thanks, guys 'n gals,
 
Chubby
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#646936 Chicagoland Raceway now in Westmont

Posted by MSwiss on 26 July 2016 - 07:22 PM

I'm happy to report that my landlord and I agreed to terms on a lease extention, earlier today, that will keep me in my current location, at least until April, 2019.


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#675837 New motor break-in

Posted by Matt Bruce on 31 March 2017 - 01:13 PM

If you want a fast effective way to break your Hawks in or any FK motor, try my Simple Green method.

 

Spray motor out with Pure to clean the factory grease and oil first. Then dunk motor in straight Simple Green cleaner at 3 to 4 volts for 5 to 10 seconds. Pull it out, check to see the brushes are across the comm, if not repeat for 5 second cycles till the brush is seated.

 

Some have hard and soft brushes so best to sneak up on it, but it doesn't take much time at all. Once the brush is seated, spray the motor out again to remove the Simple Green, blow it out dry, oil the shaft ends lightly, then either stick it in the car or if you have time, run on power supply at 2 to 3 volts for a few minutes then put it in car and run. Within a few laps it's ready to race.

 

Water break-in is OK but the Simple Green puts the entire process on steroids, gets the motor super clean, while providing a quick brush wear rate without ever glazing the comm.

 

Just remember 5 to 10 seconds is all you want, anything more and you are just wasting good brush wear for motor longevity.


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#675719 New motor break-in

Posted by Bryan Warmack on 30 March 2017 - 03:55 PM

Just a couple cents to throw in here from the Left Coast...

JK, please leave the brushes alone! The Hawk Retro 7R7R is just fine the way it is and at the recent Checkpoint Cup the racers found that they were more than fast enough, quite reliable, consistent, and a great deal for the money!
 
The constant changes, whether they have real or perceived advantages, aren't really necessary and just end up creating extra work for all the people in charge who are trying their best to insure a level playing field for everyone! :)
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#662417 Lack of kids racing will be the death of our hobby

Posted by havlicek on 22 December 2016 - 07:56 AM

These issues (and this has been gone over ad nauseum... but rightfully so in my opinion) are only made worse by an educational system that has purposely and even purposefully denigrated hands-on and "industrial" arts. We have been told for decades that the way to a brighter future for people was not with cutting torches, plumber's wrenches, linesman pliers or table saws... it was in "0s and 1s," banking, business administration, whatever. That sort of "education" had resulted in generations growing up being unfamiliar with... and uninterested in all sorts of "real" (as opposed to "virtual") activities.  

 

I don't see slot cars at all as a "kids hobby," I see it as, above all a mechanical hobby or a "tinkerer's hobby." Everything from art as in painting a body (anyone who has looked at a Noose or a Jairus body and doesn't see art isn't looking), to engineering in designing and building a great chassis, to electrical (making or even winding motors) are big parts of what's going on here.  

 

Of course, there's also the competitive aspect which has a natural appeal, but competitiveness isn't something that needs "advertising"...t hat's just "human."

 

Younger people today have been brought up and educated precisely not to get their hands dirty. They've been told that success is exactly the opposite and they should try to get to a place where they can have other people get their hands dirty for them. As a grade-schooler, I can still remember how much I looked forward to shop class, whether it was woodworking, metalworking, or electrical shop. No doubt that exposure, along with "band," helped shape me (for better or worse) as much as anything else. It's a sort of "criminal negligence" on the part of our educational system that this is mostly all gone now. Then again, children get almost no instruction in even something as basic (and proven to be beneficial) as penmanship either.  

 

The insurance companies and lawyers have won, but our children have lost, and this has directly impacted "slots" potential appeal.  

 

-john


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#677333 "Sano" Dave Fiedler, 1953-2015

Posted by MSwiss on 14 April 2017 - 10:41 AM

Sano Dave's Team banner, when he owned DJ's Hot Slots.
 
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#674362 R4/10 - great!

Posted by Cap Henry on 21 March 2017 - 08:13 AM

Thank you to the McMasters family and crew for another awesome R4!

 

First, Mike caught a lot of crap over the hand-out motors, but he did an awesome job and it seemed pretty flawless! I hope they keep the format next year, I really enjoyed it! Eric and Bill did an awesome job with tech!

It was great seeing so many people you only see once a year, the entire Bruce family, the Williams, Bobby Robinson and the Georgia Gang and Will Brinkley. I also got to pit with a great group of guys, between the Bennardos, Greg Fox, Steve Koepp, and Bud. I was always laughing! Rowdy and Matt also kept me laughing and out of trouble! LOL.

Thanks to all my sponsors that make everything possible. I couldn't do it without Parma, Precision Slot Cars, JDR, and Duffy HMI.

Congrats to Rick Starkey, Bud Bartos, and Ricky Jr on their wins, plus all the main winners! Can't wait til next year!!


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#662837 A big Santa surprise

Posted by havlicek on 25 December 2016 - 01:33 PM

Well, it seems Santa and my kids collaborated and got me a neat-o Grizzly 4x6 micro lathe:

grizzly.jpg
 
Jeepers, my son asked me what I'm going to make... to which I replied: "well, while figuring out how to use it, I'll definitely be making lots of squiggly metal turnings"!
 
Good golly Miss Molly, a micro mill, drill press and a bandsaw and I'll be in business. What "business"? Well, the business of figuring out things to make that I never thought of making, as well as how make things by machine I used to make by hand. :D  

Anywho, I figure there will be a lot of learning, broken tools and cursing (I am a carpenter after all, and we have our own dialect), all of which sounds like fun.
 
-john


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#656595 Motor consistency

Posted by havlicek on 03 November 2016 - 07:42 AM

I can take my time, wind and build ten motors, be as careful as I can doing them all the same, use the same basic components, do the same assembly... and wind up with noticeable variations (on the power supply anyway) between them.

 

I'd just like to inject a little dispassionate reality into the whole question around these things. Now, take that same premise, but apply it to a batch of maybe (?) a hundred thousand or so motors mass-produced to meet a low price point, and I find it shocking that the variations aren't huge!

 

Actually, the fact that some will buy a whole bunch of the "FK" Chinese motors to find one or two cherries only underscores how consistent (generally-speaking) the motors are.  

 

-john 


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#632006 Born at the right time?

Posted by idare2bdul on 14 March 2016 - 10:39 PM

Rehabbing from a hip replacement has given me way too much time to reflect on things and get bored while enduring slot car withdrawal. I got to thinking about what it is like to grow up today with all the tech toys and comparing them to slot cars and the toys of my youth. I graduated high school in 1965 so I'm older than the 'name," racers of the late 60's. My need for speed started with Schuco wind up cars and progressed to screaming 049 powered tether cars until I walked into my first slot car track as a kid. My brain said I was hooked, my budget often disagreed. There was a simple joy in just driving around the track, beating others in impromptu races just added to the enjoyment. Full size cars, motorcycles and the fairer sex, contributed to a long hiatus from slots till I walked into Monty Ohren's Crash and Burn in late1975. I started racing in actual competitions and Monty talked me into trying USRA in 1976. Along the way I have met a wide variety of people who I enjoyed racing with and a few I really enjoyed racing against. I suspect most slotbloggers have similar stories adjusted for when they started, their level of success and how they enjoy our hobby today.

 

I'd like to thank the people that run the tracks, the distributors and manufacturers that let us continue to enjoy our hobby. Special thanks to Cheater for giving us this forum for our addiction.


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#533974 A sponsor clarification...

Posted by Matt Bruce on 09 March 2014 - 11:33 AM

The problem, like with so many other things in this world, is social media. Facebook, Internet, it's all the same. Things get out of control in cyberspace, people say things a lot of times out of context. I see it in business everyday, emails and texts instead of picking up the phone or setting a meeting. A Ping pong match of 20 emails that could have all been avoided with one phone call.

 

While I can't comment really on Ron, I have never hid behind the fact that I as well as others want everyone racing together. That's not to say I disagree with multiple organizations because I do not. I have had conversations with Ron on the PHONE and on social media. Maybe he is lying to me, I don't think so, but he wants the same. There is no reason why organizations can't get along as long as they sit down and come up with a solution for working together. Honestly, the majority of racers, myself included, would and do race in both.

 

Dividing Retro is just so silly. Believing the BS that goes on social media creates its own roadblocks which both sides seem to listen to. Airing dirty laundry never helps any situation. Each one exploits each other's rules like some presidential campaign to really what end? Ron is a very prideful person as are the BoD. It does not surprise me with what is said over social media that neither wanna move off their mountains. For the sake of argument, if I were Ron I would have felt I was not welcome to sponsor or race either.

 

But on the other hand, reading social media and the non-constructive comments of the minions I can see why no one would have asked him. Either way, I personally have found in both business and life to get back to the basics. Look both in the eye, get back to shaking hands and using today's technology as a tool and not as something to hide behind. I think the time is passed for who said what and who thinks they are right and who thinks who is wrong. Some people just wanna watch the world burn. It's very easy to see who those people are watching social media.

 

Are we really that different that no common ground can be had? I think not. I see both sides and I understand very clearly how we got to this point. In the end it's about I was right and you are wrong meanwhile racers are left in the middle just really wanting to race together. We have all been friends for a long time and know the slot car landscape.

 

History tends to repeat itself. Retro is a chance to change that.


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#527337 Breaking news - not really ;)

Posted by Matt Bruce on 06 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

It will never change. Just like some so-called National Retro Championship will never work or mean anything, win or not.
 
The reason that is, is because everyone doesn't race under one banner. Next, nobody gets titles like "The Best" cause they win a race or a series. You can call it whatever you want, doesn't make a difference. Over time is what earns those titles, and not because you win this or that, it comes from those you race against and race with.
 
Nobody nowadays will ever support a true national series, and I mean one that encompasses both coasts as well as the north, the south, and the midwest. It's too expensive and would literally turn into the last man standing to make every race. Let whomever run whatever they want to satisfy their desire to call whomever the best. In the end, there will always be another race, scheduled somewhere else, using some other format, raced on some different track, using some other rules. There are those that will never be satisfied no matter what.
 
Traveling to Retro races all these years I've seen no one run them all, or win them all, or have enough time and money to even get to them all. Hello, hear what I just said, get to them ALL. It wasn't that long ago that you didn't have any kind of organized racing to argue about. Nobody races for money, nobody is reimbursed for money spent, nobody has a contract, nobody CARES.
 
Just because you win a race, does that make you the best? If Horky loses the next five Worlds won't change the minds of 99% of scale racers out there he is the man. Same goes for Paul G, Beuf, Ron Hershman, Duran Trigillo, Greg Gilbert, Paul Pfeiffer, the late Jon Laster, Howie Ursaner, Sandy Gross, Jan Limpach, the list is endless. In the end you are judged by your peers, win, lose, or draw.
 
I have a side in this bullchit, and that is the side to see us all racing together again. I'll tell ya, you can knock the guys in Cali, but when it comes down to it, they don't keep score, they don't have the choice of tracks the rest of us have, or motors or tires or bodies but they sure have a lot of fun.
 
There is no winner in this deal, and it will all go away soon enough. It grew to this point for one reason, we all got along. Until we find a way back to that, it will stall and die. Manufacturers will lose, raceways will lose, and racers will lose. It wasn't broke, but it's broke now.
 
So to the powers that be, FIX IT.
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#674721 JK Products YSNP Motor Protection System

Posted by JK Products on 23 March 2017 - 06:22 PM

As many saw at the R4, here is our new anti-tampering system. 

JK Products® is committed to making the fairest and best slot car racing possible. We continue to pursue a major quality improvement program with all of our products. Regarding our motors, we have dramatically reduced variability and strive to make each and every motor as consistent as possible.

 

While we will continue to improve our motors, we have now added another factor, protecting our motors from tampering. Introducing the first major step in JK Products® motor protection system, our new YSNP coating.
 
This was “secretly” introduced at the recent, highly-successful R4/10. Some believe that it is possible to open one of our Hawk™ 7 or Hawk™ Retro cans, modify the motor, and replace it without detection. While we think this would be very difficult without showing signs of tampering, we have developed a proprietary system that will make this pretty near impossible.
 
Using my background from my prior business (Color Change Corporation) and my education as a chemical engineer, I developed a photochromic coating that effectively seals the motor. This is far superior to the common tape system as it cannot be easily removed and replaced:
 
a) It is formulated for high adhesion to metal and is difficult to physically remove without leaving marks or using such high heat as to damage the motor and the color changing capability of the coating.
 
b) If the coating were somehow removed without leaving marks, it cannot be dissolved or re-constituted and replaced as the material would no longer change color.
 
c) Finally, no formulation like this is available anywhere else in the world.
 
As the Hawk™ 6 pictures show, it works extremely well in sealing the endbell for our Hawk™ and Hawk™ 6 motors, too. Again, a much more secure system than simple tape.
 
How does it work?
 
In the before pictures, it looks like a typical coating or glue (before). When you shine a UV light on it, it changes color within seconds (after). Once the UV light is removed, in a minute or so, it goes back to clear. We have the ability to make different colors as a further impediment to attempted workarounds on the coating.
 
Are there any restrictions?
 
The only one would be to not leave your motor outside in sunshine for a long time as the material will eventually stop changing color. But it’s fine to walk outside (in sunshine) and watch it change color as I’m sure many at the R4 have already figured out.
 
JK Products on Facebook
 
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#611691 Sano Dave Fiedler memorial service

Posted by Howie Ursaner on 10 October 2015 - 05:42 PM

At the Memorial there was an amazing painting by Steve Koepp done for Dave. It shows Dave walking away, with box and controller. 

 

davea2.jpg

 

 


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#586363 Jay Kisling, 1960-2015

Posted by Matt Bruce on 16 March 2015 - 11:15 AM

Gone way too soon. My family and I will miss Jay very much. One of the best for sure.

 

Jay is the guy who pushed me to be better as a slot racer. He gave no quarter and he asked for none. Never one to mince words, Jay told you how it is, straight up, and expected the same back. He was always good to my son, and both Sharon and I loved him for that.

 

It tore me up to see him in pain and I'm thankful he is now at peace. The world lost a special man. He was a little rough around the edges, but he had a big heart. That was Jay. Thank you for being you. Thanks for all your help, your support, and friendship all these years. We miss you. Godspeed, my friend.


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