scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Pinewood Derby Advice
James E. Zotta (ESDA2@AOL.COM
Sat Nov 27 1999 - 11:13:48 CST
OK... Here's my problem that hopefully someone can help out with (my
apologies for ending this sentence with a preposition...lol)
My Pack has 65 (minimum) scouts racing the Pinewood Derby. Our track has
four (4) lanes. Racing four (4) cars at a time is considered one "Run."
Each Cub gets to race his car on each lane so the whole group will get four
(4) Runs. Having four (4) Runs stops anyone from being able to say one lane
is slower or faster than another. It also means that the Pinewood Derby will
have a minimum of 260 Runs.
Our track is a commercially available track bought from the local Scout Shop.
The track has an electronic counter that works off a switch on the top of
the track and clocks the elapsed time until the car is at the end of it's
run. The results are fed into a computer which records the times and keeps
track of everything. (btw... keep track on your own just in case the
computer fails... lesson learned)
The trouble... this switch combination (which btw is one of the commercially
available Pinewood Derby track sets) is not consistent from run to run. In
other words... the four (4) cars that are racing will each record a time
which is accurate relative to the four cars. But it makes it impossible to
compare Run to Run. Some Runs are slower and some faster due to this
starting inconsistency. Does anyone have a really good way to initiate the
actual start of a race consistently from Run to Run, so that no one Run will
be faster or slower than the other one?
I appreciate any help out there.... or any advice on how to conduct the race.
For instance, we are considering drawing for lane position instead of racing
four Runs for each car.