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  • Pinewood Derby Software

    I was wondering if anyone out there had or knows where I can find some pinewood derby race tracking software. Free is best.

    We are using a two lane track design, so if the one that you know of uses this design then it would be prefered. or something where the number of lanes can be picked.

  • #2
    I'm not aware of any freebies that are available. And, I have searched the world over. So if you find - please inform me.

    I've used Grand Prix and DerbyMaster with a FasTrack timer. Both worked equally well although Grand Prix has more bang for the buck. I think I would focus more on finding $50 as the money is well spent and spent only once.

    Comment


    • #3
      As you search look for Excel files that have been created and posted. One of our local Cubmasters used a great excel file yesterday. It worked really well. I'll ask him if he knows where he found it.

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      • #4
        Haven't asked the Cubmaster yet but my first search for "Pinewood Derby Spreadsheet" on Google brought up these two links.

        http://home1.gte.net/res06xo8/pine.htm

        http://www.scoutdb.org/pinewood/

        the second one looks just like what he used yesterday.
        the first one has a rain gutter regatta sheet that could be used for a two lane PWD track.

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        • #5
          When thinking of software I'm assuming you are using a timer? How do these excel sheets import or receive the timing info from your timer. Has he written some type of macro?

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          • #6
            He didn't know where he got it but here's another link to lots of PWD links: http://www.geocities.com/~PACK215/pwd-pwdsites.html

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            • #7
              Thanks folks. Some of these are the ones that I was looking for. I am going to take some time and look them over to find the one that I want to use.

              I also have another CM that is interested in the programs.

              I am going to get them together and show him the programs. He may be interested and he might be loaning me a track to use this year.

              Thanks again

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              • #8
                Sorry adamsdwa, I missed your earlier question about using a timer.
                No, we didn't have a timer.
                We had an electric eye gate that discrimnated by which car broke the link in order 1-4. We then entered the finish place for each race on the spreadsheet. After each car in a heat had had one run in each lane the spreadsheet gave us an overall place order for each car.

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                • #9
                  We have a small pack and leadship seems to change hands over year. I am hoping these issues will go away in a year or so. We are low tech for sure, wooden track, and eye balling the finish. I have been involued in darts tourneys for years and they use a round robin sheet. Everyone races everyone in your den, count up the total number of wins, and a den winner is choosen, we have only 2 lane track which is old, but this method seems best to me for beginning and maybe move onto something better in the future. Any imput???

                  Thanks
                  Namu

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                  • #10
                    "Free is best."

                    Well, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. With commercial software you are not only paying for the license to use the software, you are also paying to get support if you have questions on using the software and especially if you run into any problems. Can you get that support with freeware or shareware? Possibly, but often times not.

                    The race management software in this market is quite affordable, so you should check it out.

                    GrandPrix Race Manager - http://grandprix-software-central.com/gprm/ (software my company offers)
                    DerbyMaster - http://www.enterprisingideas.com/derbymaster/
                    RaceTender - http://www.racetender.com/

                    Try out the demo for each and decide which will work out best for your race.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have two comments:

                      1) DerbyMaster is $49 and works great, so I'm not sure why I would suffer through a lesser freeware or shareware tool. If it was $200+, sure, but for $49 (and our pack has been using an old version for years, for our original $49) why bother.

                      2) The general comment made by gpraceman2:

                      > Well, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for.
                      > With commercial software you are not only paying for
                      > the license to use the software, you are also paying
                      > to get support if you have questions on using the
                      > software and especially if you run into any problems.
                      > Can you get that support with freeware or shareware?
                      > Possibly, but often times not.

                      I'll just say, that as a guy who runs 10's of thousands of computers running overnight modeling runs for trillions of dollars of securities, we use a lot of open source (aka free) software, because not only is it sometimes better, but the support we get from the developers (whom we do not pay) far outshines any support we get from commercial software (whom we do pay).

                      -Melg

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                      • #12
                        > I'll just say, that as a guy who runs 10's of thousands of computers running
                        > overnight modeling runs for trillions of dollars of securities, we use a lot of
                        > open source (aka free) software, because not only is it sometimes better, but the
                        > support we get from the developers (whom we do not pay) far outshines any support
                        > we get from commercial software (whom we do pay).

                        That can be true for some software, sometimes as you indicated, but not all times. It depends on the market, the software and the size of the user base.

                        For the Pinewood Derby market, many of these freeware or shareware programs are developed by people for their own race and then put out on the public domain. That is laudable. However, when their boys move on to Boy Scouts, out of scouts altogether, or they just have the busyness of life creep in, getting support for these apps can be very hit or miss. So, in this market, I do think that old adage is more true than not, since a good part of a good app is getting support for it.

                        Also, I cannot speak for the other commercial PWD software companies, but our derby software business is our full-time job. We pride ourselves in providing good software products and being there to provide support for them when needed.

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                        • #13
                          Where we do agree is that the commercial PWD software seems so good, and is so reasonably priced ($59 for Grand Prix Race Manager, $49 for Derby Master) that this is a case when you might as well buy well-supported commercial software.

                          -Melg

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                          • #14
                            I was just looking for somethign that was free and easy to work with. I found it and there are two different ways that we can do this. I talked with some of the parents on how we should do the races, and for the sake of providing the boys with more race time we are going to use the point based system that allows for more heats, instead of the double elimination. This way if a new boy has a car that is not doing so hot, he can still have a chance at multiple races and enjoy watching his car run down the track.

                            I also asked about free because we are very low budget. Don't exactly have the money to go out and buy software. If it is free and I can run it on my laptop then great. We are using a borrowed track and judges will be watching for the winners.

                            That is why I asked about free.

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                            • #15
                              If your are looking for free and open source race software Race Track, found here http://racemanager.sourceforge.net/ , may be worth a try I just found it and have yet to try it out. It looks pretty nice but again you'll have to try it out to see and Hey since it's free it doesn't hurt to try. It doesn't seem to be a very active project but it would only take a little java experience to get it going again.

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