A question of evolution - part 1, the pits and pre-staging

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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pack529holycross
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A question of evolution - part 1, the pits and pre-staging

Post by pack529holycross » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:18 am

in the beginning... paper pencil and sharp eyes made up many PWD race management systems ... often also used now as a backup to the electronic equivalent.

My question is this... where do we go from here?

Here is what I envision, and I am inviting an open table discussion of what exists now that could potentially be developed to achieve an evolution.

here is what I started doing over the years to try to streamline:

1. I created a spreadsheet of all 75 scouts, sorted by den, to create the roster ahead of time
BENEFIT - no manual entry of names
DETRACTOR - prenumbering the names can cause gaps in the race numbers used if boys are not present at the race, but are listed on the roster.

POTENTIAL SOLUTION - ( feature request ) -- "roster compression" perhaps the software can have a button to compress the roster as it relates to the race numbers assigned from a pre-generated roster list, pushing the absentees to the "bottom" of the numbering sequencing for each race group.

NON TECH SOLUTION - use stripe of tape across front of each row of cars, and wait till cars are finalized to label the slots to the cars who are present.

SUPER HIGH TECH FUTURAMA SOLUTION - LED displays similar to the finish line systems built in to pit "Boards" or even just a pit "strip" that receives signals from GPRM to display the race number in each slot... as well as showing lane assignments for upcomng heat.

ANOTHER HIGH TECH SOLUTION - use a projector to project the race pits grid from above on a flat surface, grid, numbers, etc... the animation could also "highlight" the cars for the next heat, in the color of the correct lane assignment. Could also have a "stack" of heat assignments on the side, showing the race numbers for each lane coming up ( a projected race schedule )... this is in my mind an almost bulletproof pit system, and the possibilities for animation and fun visual stuff are endless....



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Stan Pope
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Re: A question of evolution - part 1, the pits and pre-stagi

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:18 pm

Part of those "solutions" seem driven to assign serial numbers to cars. This is okay, and might be necessary if you are working with a primitive scheduling system because they use serial numbers as place holders for the cars in the schedule. The PPN Chart Generator is such a primitive. However, the mapping of racers to the chart racer numbers should not be done until all the racers are inspected and qualified to race. Then they should be mapped (assigned) randomly. Such a mechanism is at work (or, at least, available) in GPRM.

I believe that software like GPRM can accept a racer number as part of the driver name. That number IS NOT the serial number by which the car is mapped into the chart grid! Consequently, compactness of those numbers is not a requirement of the scheduling system.

If you want to have "assigned parking" for the cars, then the situation does become more complex, and some degree of compactness is desirable.


Stan
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Darin McGrew
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Re: A question of evolution - part 1, the pits and pre-stagi

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:02 am

Our software identifies cars with arbitrary strings. The fact that these strings look like numbers is a cosmetic detail.

We register the cars a few nights before the derby itself, but we have had occasions when we discovered at the last minute that a car was registered in the wrong age division. So we gave it the next available number in its correct age division, simply dropped its old number in its original incorrect age division. and regenerated the schedules for both age divisions.

The gap in the number sequence in the original incorrect age division was irrelevent.



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