Today I am writing a review of the start gate I received in the mail today - the JLH Krafts 2-Shot. Shipping was faster than expected and the base cost was $15 with $4.84 shipping (USD), a great deal at $5 cheaper than 3dBotMaker's 2-lane gate. When I opened the package, I was greeted by the gate in a nice plastic bag. Digging deeper into the manila envelope, I saw a complimentary car. Mine was an orange Monteracer. The included car was not mentioned and I was happy to receive it.
Pictured is the gate with the car. The print quality was alright, though nowhere near 3d's. I also own one of his gates so this review may contain a lot of comparing.
Next, I'll be diving deeper into the features of the gate, starting with the start gate mechanism itself. It was a little flap that was held perpendicular to the base of the gate by a couple of magnets. There was a tiny nub on one side that you could push down to start the cars. It worked, but the magnets were weak, and I found that once I had about 3 cars in the gate it didn't stay up by itself anymore. Not a problem for drag racing, but for Fat Track, I had to hold the flap up. This could get awkward.
By comparison, 3d's 2-lane gate can hold 12 cars comfortably.
I also noticed that there's no way to start the gate with a string, as the nub is too small to drill a hole in and no hole is present to loop string through. If you're planning to film your races, your hand will be in the footage. You can also see that if your track starts with the cars traveling left-right then you will have to reach around to start the gate.
You can see in this photo that the gate has two little half-Hot-Wheels-blue-connector things to join track - on both sides of the gate. The cars sit much closer to the "ground" than they do in 3d's gate, which can be good or bad. The lanes are also much farther apart, but I haven't tried connencting the gate directly to Augmoto or Crash Racers track.
The lanes were a little wide, which is good for fitting different/bigger cars, but I found that due to the way the gate works, the lane divider couldn't be continued all the way to orange track - there was a small gap when the gate was down. This led to some cars drifting out of their lane and crashing when the orange track started. Not good for fairness.
Here you can sorta see what I mean.
The gate also has two little holes - one in each lane - for screws to fasten the gate to something. I wouldn't reccomend this, however, because when you flip the flap to start the cars, the bottom of the flap rubs on the surface the gate is on. It seems that this part of the gate was meant to be suspended in the air, but it isn't, and there's no way to clamp the gate to anything so that it is.
Overall, I'll be using this gate on my second track (coming soon to the track directory!) because 3d doesn't make his anymore. His mechanism was smoother, the gate looked better, and it could hold more cars. This one is just a little rough and doesn't work close to as well. The price was definitely too good to be true, even with the free car. I hope Slanman can live up to 3d's legacy better.