UK’s RaceTech upgrades fleet with close to 40 Cartoni fluid heads
For more than 70 years, RaceTech has been trusted to keep British racing at the forefront of global broadcast technology. With its origins as the premiere ‘race finish’ recording company in 1946, RaceTech has a legacy of innovation, which has included the pioneering development of horseracing’s first photofinish system and the introduction of full high definition broadcast and state of the art racecourse AV installations. In January 2019, RaceTech continued this legacy of providing the premiere equipment for horseracing with the introduction of Cartoni camera supports to their Outside Broadcast (OB fleet).
After extensive field testing, Racetech decided to upgrade their existing fleet with twenty-five Master 65 fluid heads, twelve Focus 18 lightweight systems along with a RaceTech designed three-way leveler for hoist operation. The Cartoni Master 65 heads are the ideal partner for outside broadcast with bulky box lenses. Featuring Cartoni’s patented drag system, the Master 65 can handle payloads of up to 65 kg and is capable of nearly freewheeling to precise movements – making it a perfect choice for sports applications. RaceTech also added the Focus 18 system, a lightweight tripod system for camera operators on the go. The Focus 18 can handle payloads of up to 18kg.
“After extensive field testing, we found the Cartoni products to be a perfect choice. In this application, we need gear that is robust, and performs reliably and consistently. We found the Cartoni products matched our needs in this respect and were capable of supporting a variety of camera combinations, including our 107x 4K Fuji lenses,” explained RaceTech’s Engineering Manager Chris Clark.
Field testing was conducted over several months in various locations across the UK. Cartoni had a very responsive approach to RaceTech’s requirements for simplicity and speed of set up in all weather conditions. RaceTech wanted to simplify their inventory and maintain accessory interchangeability across their extensive range of camera supports. They were delighted that the Cartoni pan bars and wedge plates, attachments to 4-bolt scaffold pods were designed to be completely interchangeable with their old heads.
RaceTech wanted to minimize spare part support so their expectation was a single camera pan & tilt head system which could support the 107x Fuji combination but also the smaller and lighter AH46x Fuji units. Engineering Manager Chris Clark and Workshop supervisor Alan Wake were adamant about this element of the project. The Cartoni design engineers created a single torsional counterbalance spring which would find the optimum center of gravity position when supporting both payloads.
Local service support was another critical factor in Racetech’s decision-making process. Although Cartoni is manufactured and designed in Rome, Italy, RaceTech would also benefit from working closing with Octica, one of Cartoni’s key UK partners, located within a short drive from RaceTech facility in Raynes Park. Additionally, the Cartoni Master 65’s and Focus 18 fluid heads are covered by an industry-best five (5) year warranty primarily because each component is machined from solid billets of aluminum, exceptionally strong and robust.
Cartoni showed how a smaller family-owned business can be adaptable and faster to react as RaceTech had an urgent need for 3-way levelers for use on their hoists ( see photos below) The 3 way levelers had been designed and built by RaceTech but due to resource issues and urgent requirement for the new OB truck project they approached Cartoni for help. Without any hesitation, Elisabetta Cartoni, the owner and CEO, gave an immediate decision for Cartoni to create new technical drawings from RaceTech files and design a newer version with improved features.
RaceTech is the leading technical facilities company providing innovative solutions to the UK horse racing industry since 1946.
RaceTech first developed photofinish technology in the 1940s and is still dedicated to providing leading edge technology for raceday solutions including the operation and maintenance of audio visual systems, closed circuit television, public address and radio communications.
Its Outside Broadcast Units supply HD pictures for terrestrial and satellite broadcast, and provide coverage for every horse race run in Britain for the sport’s integrity service, it is scheduled to cover 1500 race fixtures this year. In addition, the company pioneered the introduction of starting stalls to Flat racing in the UK which it continues to manage and operate. Recent innovations include multimillion-pound investment into HD Technology. RaceTech is proud to support Pony Racing encouraging the jockeys of the future. For more information: www.racetech.co.uk