Free Racetimer Software Imports PPN Heats

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Pack11SanDiego
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Free Racetimer Software Imports PPN Heats

Post by Pack11SanDiego » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:38 pm

Hello Gang; nice forum here!

Mark Logan's Racetimer software nicely automates many of the routine tasks of running a race. You can even import heats generated by Stan Pope and Cory Young's HeatGenerator webpage.

There is a discussion and support group with free copies of this software and many knowledgeable people to help with any questions at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PinewoodTimer/

I have also posted a simplified version of the World's Least Expensive Pinewood Derby Timer, by James H. Brown to use with it at
http://derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=1603


The 3 pieces of the software are the Racetimer.exe itself, some .dlls used by it(you will have to unzip them using Winzip or similar into the SAME FOLDER
as Racetimer.exe; there are 4 of them unzipped), and a program called port95nt.exe, which is run just once to install it on the machine. It allows the Racetimer software to access your printer port.

You also need a copy of Initialization.htm, which is the file format your results are saved in.

For a copy of the latest version of Racetimer.exe(172kb)(which supports heat imports), the .dlls(1346kb), and the initialization.htm(1kb) file.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PinewoodT ... 0Software/

For a copy of port95nt.exe, which allows parallel port access for Racetimer.exe.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PinewoodT ... RaceTimer/

For a copy of the Heat Generator(which is actually a webpage>>>click file, save as, webpage complete, and put it in a folder. Javascript must be enabled in your browser for it to work.)
http://members.aol.com/StanDCmr/ppngen.html


USING RACETIMER PINEWOOD DERBY SOFTWARE FOR WINDOWS

The way you use the program is pretty straightforward. When you open the RaceTimer.exe executable you must specify an existing .xml file in the open file dialogue(If you specify the executable instead in the open file dialogue, the program bombs.)

Make a copy of the existing one(in the Racetimer folder) marked Initialization.htm and select that copy to open when the program asks. That way you still have the "master" initialization file to run with next year.

Proceed from left to right using five different tabs, which are Track Setup, Edit Racers, Edit Schedules(heats), Race, and Results.

Image

Use the "Test" function under the "Track Setup" tab to verify the software sees the light sensors/start switch change states, enter all
your racers, import heats, and you're set to race.

When you exit the program all the results are saved in an .xml file, with the file name you specify using File>New.

HEAT GENERATION

To generate a chart: Use the generator located at
http://members.aol.com/StanDCmr/ppngen.html

Save it in a folder as a complete webpage, and you will be able to use it offline. We generated a chart for each possible number of kids in a den from 3 to 10, and keep each of those text files ready to go in a folder. That way we don't have to mess around with generation at Race Time; we just select one of the pre-prepared text files.

It opens with either IE or Firefox browser; javascript enabled.

1) Title doesn't matter; only the text generated by it is used by Racetimer.

2) Enter # of lanes. We currently have three.

3) Enter # of cars FOR THE DEN YOU ARE SCHEDULING. You generate separate schedules for each den.

4) Enter # of rounds. This is equivalent to the # of times a racer is in each lane. We use two.

5) Choose the "Tab-delimited Text" option.

6) We use "medium" weights for all three "Heat Ordering Options", with excellent results.

7) Copy and Paste the 'heat' information ONLY into a text file.

Be careful to grab the data as tight as you can, as it bombed the program when I included the little numbers above the table. Likewise
if I didn't save the text file before attempting the import.

Remember where it is.

IMPORTING HEATS

8)Run RaceTimer.exe and add all of the racers (if not already done).

9) Go to the "Edit Schedules" tab, choose group and round.

10) Hit the 'Import' button and choose Partial Perfect-N (Tab Delimited)

11) Select one of the pre-prepared files or the file you just created and hit OK.

12) Have a look at your newly created heats - nice aren't they?


When used together with the simplified Least Expensive Timer, this software has worked great for us. We hope that others may find it useful as well.

Mark M.



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Cory
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Re: Free Racetimer Software Imports PPN Heats

Post by Cory » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:45 pm

Pack11SanDiego wrote:You can even import heats generated by Stan Pope and Cory Young's Heat Generator...
viewtopic.php?p=14722#14722

The author of the software could make things much easier for his users.



Pack11SanDiego
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Re: Free Racetimer Software Imports PPN Heats

Post by Pack11SanDiego » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:33 pm

Cory wrote:
Pack11SanDiego wrote:You can even import heats generated by Stan Pope and Cory Young's Heat Generator...
viewtopic.php?p=14722#14722

The author of the software could make things much easier for his users.
Thanx, Cory.

Appreciate the tip. Mark Logan hasn't posted in a while to the yahoo group, and I've been unable to locate an email for him.

The next time he does post I'll forward your suggestion to him. It would be nice to have that incorporated in the executable.

Right now I just choose from a pile of prepared heats.txt in a folder when it's time to shoot a race. ;)



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