But we are still left with a single failure point of the timer. We have an first generation Microwizard P1 kit...circa 2001 or so.
It has the blinking light indicators, so if just the laptop communications were to fail, we could still manually record finish order. But if the whole unit dies, we are left with eye-ball'n it.
I don't worry much about the circuit board, all straightforward solid state stuff. But the various wires and cables and LEDs...any one could suffer a short over years of storing/trading/transporting.
Regardless of your timer backup plan - have you ever had to USE it? Maybe the odds of the electronics failing, are too small to worry with in terms of the scale of a pack level PWD. Full redundancy is perhaps a luxury to consider at district/council levels.
- Master Pine Head
- Posts: 272
- Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:30 pm
- Location: Montreal, Quebec
Pack up everything with care. You then know that everything is working, in its place, and been treated well since last setup on race day.
Redundancy for major components might be too expensive for a single pack, but if you coordinated with a not too distant pack to have the same equipment you could be each others contingency plan.
- Site Admin
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- Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
- Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Here, here.SlartyBartFast wrote:Power everything up and test a week or two before the race. At least in enough time to get your hands on a replacement unit or make repairs.
I had a customer today that was getting ready to start their race, but hadn't done any testing of the timer with the computer. Had they tried, they would have realized they couldn't load the mini CD for the USB to Serial Adapter's driver into their laptop. Without it, they would not have a COM port for the software to communicate with their timer. Nothing like waiting until the last minute and not having time to resolve a problem.
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.
I like the idea of teaming up with another local pack, but we have a homemade track which I doubt has exact lane spacing to match another timer...but I will persue that idea to verify.