Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby timer&

Discussions on buying or building timers, solenoid start gates, light trees, weigh scales, and other race related electronics.
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Doug Piranha
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Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby timer&

Post by Doug Piranha » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:57 pm

Does anyone have any feedback on these timers?

http://www.affordablepinewood.com/installation.html


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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by gpraceman » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:17 pm

Doug Piranha wrote:Does anyone have any feedback on these timers?

http://www.affordablepinewood.com/installation.html
Personally, I think there are better options out there. There is no computer interface and the only output (other than visual) is to a printer (reconditioned at that).


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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by PWD » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:24 am

I think it depends on how you are going to use the timer. If it is for home use it does not really look that bad. It definitely the cheapest two lane timer I have seen. All the other timers I have seen in this price range, NewBold, etc are only for one lane.

Did you end up buying this timer? How has it worked out?



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by SuperDave » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:13 am

Last edited by SuperDave on Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.


(Note: the author is a designer and vendor of tracks, timers and software. Comments by him or to him should take that into account as appropriate.)

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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by Gameday » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:02 am

I decided to give it a shot and I bought one of these for my home test track. I received it last night and was able to install it in just a few minutes.

At first I was having trouble tripping the sensor at the end of the track but after I turned off one set of ceiling lights that problem disappeared.

The timer seems fine and is working very well. This is the first test track and timer I've bought so I have nothing to which to compare it. The test track (Quality) cost $185 and the timer was $119. So, I've got a little over $300 into my whole setup.

The service was also good. I called the main number twice (once during business hours and once at night) and was put directly in touch with the guy who builds them.

I'll make another post after I've used the timer for a while.



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:27 am

That timer should be fine for test track purposes, but I'd go for a better quality timer for a real race.

For a regular track or a test track, a very good and inexpensive option is the 4 Lane Fast Track K1 Timer Kit from Micro Wizard. They provide the electronics and you build an enclosure for it. The kit costs $50 ($65 if you want them to assemble the circuit board), so with an enclosure you can have a good quality timer for well under $100. You can use HyperTerminal, the Fast Track Utility software and some commercial software to get the times from the timer. This works even if you only need a 1, 2 or 3 lane timer as you can just cover the unused sensors. Now, if only more manufacturers would provide kit options for those on a very tight budget...


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by Gameday » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:23 am

GP, I agree 100%. The affordable timer I bought probably isn't suitable for anything beyond a test track. It doesn't have a computer interface and that could be a huge limitation for a Pack race.



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by PWD » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:38 am

Gameday which timer did you purchase? The one from the original post, Affordable Pinewood Timers?



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by Gameday » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:46 pm

PWD, yes I bought the one in the original post (Affordable Timer).



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by SlartyBartFast » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:42 am

Wow. Seems to me that 199$ for two lanes is VERY expensive considering other options out there.

http://derbytimer.com/order.php

A little DIY assembly and you'd have a better computer linked product...



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by Gameday » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:08 pm

SlartyBartFast wrote:Wow. Seems to me that 199$ for two lanes is VERY expensive considering other options out there.

http://derbytimer.com/order.php

A little DIY assembly and you'd have a better computer linked product...
Slarty, the 2-lane timer from Affordable is $119. I thought about a DIY kit but just didn't have the time or no-how. I'm happy with the Affordable timer but, as noted previously, it's probably not suited for anything more than a home test track.



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by SlartyBartFast » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:09 pm

Gameday wrote:I thought about a DIY kit but just didn't have the time or no-how.
Actually, for under 100$ you have a fully assembled and tested board and the digits, sensors, and LEDs required.

I'm debating going this route or building my own. It's just my electronics courses were some time ago....



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Re: Anyone have or use an "Affordable pinewood derby ti

Post by Mr. Slick » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:08 pm

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Mr. Slick says: Honey, I am doing this for the kids, not myself.

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