What's the plan for timer failure?

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Husker
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What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Husker » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:12 pm

I've got back up plans for few different scenarios of failure. However, I really don't know what we would do if the timer failed. I suppose we could use a video camera at the finish line and look at replays.

Anyone thought this one through and got a plan?


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FatSebastian
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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:46 pm

Husker wrote:I really don't know what we would do if the timer failed. I suppose we could use a video camera at the finish line and look at replays. Anyone thought this one through and got a plan?
Good question. As long as you are using a points system based on placement, then (and odd number of) finish-line judges might be in order. Reviewing video after each race is too slow based on our experience, although a running video camera as a backup to the line judges comes in handy whenever the judges disagree, were inattentive, or the race was too close to call by eye.



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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:13 pm

On a 6 lane track, a full-fledged point system based on human judging will be very error prone. Even 4-lane tracks are a major challenge on the closer races.

A more reliable result can be based on one point for win, zero otherwise is insufficiently granular for 6 lanes. Maybe okay for 3 lanes, but loses accuracy rapidly for 4 or more.

My preference would be something like a three-lane quad elimination, which can be run without much preparation and is pretty accurate for 4 place trophies. Probably easier to run by grade but can be done for an entire pack. The kit to manage such a race is pretty compact. Two or three staff members need to know how to run it and others could be instructed quickly.

My "nightmare scenario" is that racing has progressed for quite a while when smoke wafts from the electronics and the display goes black. The equal number of runs and equal runs on each lane criteria have not been satisfied. While I know that I could apply some serious statistics to the data collected so far and provide a pretty accurate projection of the end results, I error band would be big enough to make trophy awards kinda iffy. Randy would blanch! :)


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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by gpraceman » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:27 pm

Well, you could always have a backup timer. That could just be one that is borrowed from another pack or you could go as far as building one of the DIY timers listed at GrandPrix Race Central for not a lot of money. If you do fall back to a different timer, I would make sure to score all heats by the finish order, not by the times. Better to make sure that any even slight timing differences between the two timers does not end up determining a trophy.

If you eyeball judge, get as many judges as you have track lanes. One judge is assigned to determine who was the 1st place car, another the 2nd place car, and so on. Of course, this becomes harder to do the more lanes your track has.


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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Husker » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:32 pm

I don't know of another track in the area with a digital timer. There might be a track in the neighboring Council but I haven't seen it.

I like Stan's idea to drop down to three lanes and run a triple or quad elimination schedule. I guess I need to prepare for this pretty soon.


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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Scoremaker » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:24 pm

Husker, you need to have three line judge's to watch the cars, and use Small Dixie cups at the finish line. Our church three lane track does not have a timer so we use Small Dixie Cups. It works and maybe sometime there is a rerun on the heat but only the two cars. So I use the outside lanes to do the rerun. We use Partial Perfect-N Chart Generator "Young and Pope" Pinewood Racing Charts for the past four years and we only had to four rerun and two heats to decide 1st-3rd place. Had no problem with Partial Perfect-N Chart so far.



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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:42 pm

Scoremaker wrote:Husker, you need to have three line judge's to watch the cars, and use Small Dixie cups at the finish line.
SM, are you suggesting positioning the cups as collision blocks?
Stan Pope wrote:On a 6 lane track, a full-fledged point system based on human judging will be very error prone. Even 4-lane tracks are a major challenge on the closer races.
Good point, Stan. I had forgotten that Husker was using a six-lane track . :oops: A lane reduction would definitely be appropriate.



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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Scoremaker » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:50 pm

SM, are you suggesting positioning the cups as collision blocks? Yes



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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Mr. Slick » Mon May 03, 2010 9:53 pm

I have the spare timer(s).... just in case. Never needed to use it in 16 years of racing, but I have it just in case.... the motto of a good scout. ;)

I actually go over board and bring an entire electronics system with me: pc, wires, and timer.

I have had issues when running with other timers and had to pull out the old reliables, but I am now a dedicated fan of a specific brand of timer...

The only thing I don't have a spare with at the races is a printer. I leave the spare one at home. I figure that one of the parents probably has a printer that they could go and get if needed.

56 races so far this year..... only 2 left for scouts(100th anniversary event and the council race) and several for the league races.


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Re: What's the plan for timer failure?

Post by Stan Pope » Tue May 04, 2010 12:38 am

Scoremaker wrote:Husker, you need to have three line judge's to watch the cars, and use Small Dixie cups at the finish line. Our church three lane track does not have a timer so we use Small Dixie Cups. It works and maybe sometime there is a rerun on the heat but only the two cars. So I use the outside lanes to do the rerun. We use Partial Perfect-N Chart Generator "Young and Pope" Pinewood Racing Charts for the past four years and we only had to four rerun and two heats to decide 1st-3rd place. Had no problem with Partial Perfect-N Chart so far.
Re: "So I use the outside lanes to do the rerun." Sorry I missed this the first time around. Rerunning heats on other than the scripted lanes reduces the accuracy of PPN results. PPN charts strive for greatest possible overall lane equity.


Stan
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