How to run a full system test without a start switch

Discussions on race preparation, race management, sound effects, and other race related software. This includes freeware, shareware and commercially available software.
Post Reply
User avatar
birddog
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:40 pm
Location: Denver, CO

How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by birddog » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:18 am

I'm running our Pack's PWD this year. This will be my first time running it.

We have a 42' 4 lane Best Track with a "Champ" timer.

Last year we used a different software package that had issues. This year I purchased GPRM to run the race. I've been playing with GPRM to make sure I know what I'm doing.

I've also hooked the entire system up to the timer and tested it out. I did this without setting up the track or running any cars. It was still a bit cumbersome as I had to grab the first section of track that had the start switch installed and use that to connect to the timer to start the races.

I want to run some more "mock" races to make sure I'm ready. However, I don't want to dig out that first section of track again to connect the start switch to the timer. I also don't want to dis-assemble the start switch from the first section of track.

I know that GPRM has a "test mode" where you can test without use of a timer. I've done that. What I want to do here is a full system test, including the timer and Race Replay. I want to run through a complete mock race to ensure I don't have any resource issues as I get to the end of the race.

I see that the Champ timer has a command set that I can use to control it. I'm wondering if I can use "Tera Term Pro" or some such terminal program and send a "rg" command to the timer to have it return results when I pass my hand under the sensors.

The question is, can I use this "rg" command to simulate a race start, or will it confuse GPRM or confuse the timer in some way?

I've got to believe there is a good way to do this. I'll try playing myself, but thought I'd check in with the experts first to see if anybody has done this.

thanks,

Birddog



Rukkian
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:59 pm
Location: West Des Mones, IA

Re: How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by Rukkian » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:49 am

I basically did what you are trying to do to test as well. I basically just took home the finish line companents and hooked that up. When you run, you can manually just click, ready timer, and it should work. I simply ran my hand under the finish line and race replay would kick off like it should, and everything seemed to work fine.



User avatar
birddog
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:40 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by birddog » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:58 pm

Problem is, when you click "ready timer" in GPRM, the software waits for the timer to tell it the race has finished. This will not happen until the start switch is pressed. Given my start switch is attached to a length of track in our storage box and I don't want to grab that track section or disassemble the start switch from the track section, I need a way in software to mimic the start switch getting clicked.

I'm wondering how to mimic the start switch getting clicked without having the hardware to actually click it.

Do you recall how you solved that problem, or did you have a start switch you used?

thanks!



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4686
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by gpraceman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:29 pm

With Version 12, you can use that timer without a start switch. That is an option in the Hardware Options screen. Keep in mind, you will not get accurate times, just an accurate finish order. It was really meant for those scoring by Points and not using the start switch.

Personally, I think that the start switch should get packed away with the timer, not the track.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

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.

Rukkian
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:59 pm
Location: West Des Mones, IA

Re: How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by Rukkian » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:53 pm

I do not remember doing anything special (but it was a few weeks ago). I am on ver 12, so maybe I did use the option gpgraceman suggested. I took the finish gate back to the church for storage, so unfortunately, I cannot check it. We use a Fast Track timer/ start switch, but like you, I did not have access to the start switch.



User avatar
birddog
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:40 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: How to run a full system test without a start switch

Post by birddog » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:12 pm

Randy-

I figured you'd have an answer, but thought if I posted here, others who may be wanting to try something simlar may look here first and see the answer.

I'll give it a try. I'll also make sure our start switch gets packed away with the timer hardware this year. That sounds like a better idea than the way it was done last year. That way, next year, I won't have this issue.

I suspect given that I only do this once per year, I'll want to test everyting out a few weeks prior to race day every year and having that start switch will just make life easier.

Birddog



Post Reply