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I am finishing up a Pinewood Derby Software Program that I have been using and testing with the Pinewood Derbies that I have run over the past year and I want to know if there is interest in the community for an open source Derby Software?

I would also like to know if one already exists I have searched and found none. If there is iterest I will post it and make it freely available to anyone. I have also been working on Scout Advancement Tracking Software that I would like to open source as well. I think that with all of the Open Source projects going on in the world there should be a couple that are focused on scouting.



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It is in Java using Swing. I have tested it on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Red Hat Linux, Apple Power Books w/OSX all seem to run great.


I have also integrated Hypersonic a Java Database so that the Boys can register ahead of time and the race results can be saved.

The features that I have added so far are:

1) Registration for racers (Boy's name, Car Name)

2) Schedule (Input # of Lanes and Rounds and you get a race schedule i.e. who is in what lane for which heat) I followed Young and Pope Partial Perfect N (http://members.aol.com/StanDCmr/ppngen.html)

3) Integration with the Judge by New Directions a company that makes Timer Finish Lines

4) In addition to who is currently racing in what lane the race manager also shows who is on deck (going next and in which lane) as well as the previous results for the last several heats.


I plan on adding.

1) Sound effects. (ability to play any mp3, wav, midi file for crashes, music, sirens etc.)

2) More integration with other finish lines

3) More types of schedules (double elimination etc)

4) Multi Lingual (spanish, french, japanese, korean etc)

5) and more




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Do you have the capability to generate heats other than with the Perfect N system? I spent several hours studying that system a couple years ago. The limitation was -- and I'm quoting this from two-year-old memory -- 21 cars which generated several hundered heats. With 100 boys in our pack, even if we treated each rank as a separate race and ran them through the heat generator that way, we wound up with something on the order of 4800 heats.


Tell me if you can accommodate a bracketing system like this: we have a four-lane track and race four cars at a time. Cars are randomly assigned to flights, usually in the order in which they register. Each flight of four cars races four times, rotating across the track to even out any lane variances. (Even with a new aluminum track, there is a surprising difference between the lanes.) Points are awarded based on finish. The top two cars advance and the bottom two retire. In the subsequent rounds, we repeat the process, with no advantage or disadvantage based on your finish in prior rounds.


Our theory is that if the two fastest cars coincidently raced head-to-head in every round, they could both still advance to the finals. By the same theory, if the three fastest cars coincidently raced in the same first-round heat, the third car would be prematurely eliminated. But that's a theoretical error we can live with.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...


Thanks for your effort on the Pine Wood Derby software. Haven't used it yet but it looks awesome.


"I have also been working on Scout Advancement Tracking Software that I would like to open source as well."


Any luck on making the advancement software available? It sounds extremely useful. I would definitely be interested in incorporating its use into our troop. Thanks.


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  • 2 months later...



Your number of heats calculations are way off. The number of heats that a Perfect-N Type Charts will give you are:


# of Heats = (# of Racers) X (# Runs per Lane)


If you have 100 racers and want to race them once per lane, you get 100 heats. It makes no difference how many lanes you have. Every racer will race the same number of times. None of this nonsense of two and out while other racers race many more times.


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