Open-source Pinewood Derby race management, built around a web server and database
This year was my first year running the Derby for our pack. I found your software and liked the looks of it better than anything else, including the one we'd already paid for, so decided to give it a try. It worked flawlessly and we ran over 80 cars, including awards, in less than 1.5 hours. Everyone remarked at how well the event went. The pictures and kiosks allowed the car wranglers to get everything on the right track quickly. Checking in on iPad was a fantastic way to check in real time that we had everyone and their cars accounted for properly. Plus, once check-in was complete, we could immediately start the races. Thank you for a great piece of software.
--Grant Book, Pack 1537, Falls Church, VA
I would like to say KUDO’s to you and fellow developers who have released and worked on the DerbyNet project. This is the second straight year that I’ve leveraged the platform to run my son’s Cub Scout Pack derby. I can’t stress enough how easy it was to get the system running as well as how well the system just worked. This was as close to a hands-off event as possible. In fact, it was so flawless that we had Boy Scouts from an older class come and run the entire event without any missteps or hiccups in the system.
Keep up the great work! looking forward to leveraging the platform again in the coming years.
--Doug Goldenberg, Wildhorse Elementary Pack 855, Chesterfield, MO
Another father and I were asked to handle all the technical requirements for the pinewood derby this year for our pack. I did some googling and found your project on github and I can't say how awesome it is enough.
We ran 87 racers in just over an hour. It went so smooth that the only request/complaint we had the entire day was that 1) it was going too quickly as some parents missed a heat or two because it was going so well, and 2) if we could have more screens and bigger projections next year.
The first year we were involved in the derby (my son is 8 and in the 3rd grade) it was an absolute disaster. Technical issues took over an hour to resolve before racing even started. Last year was better, but they still ran into issues with using other software and laptop connections. This year, Ben and I were determined to make it as flawless as possible. I don't think we could have succeeded without your project.
We put up 4 laptops with 4 projectors in a "command center" style setup away from the track and race organizer table. My wife managed the display center so no one would bother the tech there, but she didn't need to do anything at all with the system. It showed "on-deck," standings, heat results, etc., and the parents loved it.
We ran it all from a Raspberry Pi 3 attached to the track itself with velcro. Not a single glitch.
All the kids had a blast because everything just worked! Thanks!!
--Shawn Parker, Pack 214, St. Louis City, MO
Our derby was yesterday morning and things went really well. DerbyNet made things go really smoothly and quickly. The timer functionality worked great! I want to thank you for all the work you put into updating the application with support for "TheJudge" timer.
--Casper Bucl, Pack 406, McKinney, TX
This was my first Pinewood Derby. I found DerbyNet to be intuitive and the documentation (when I needed it) to be thorough. I was relieved to find it and be able to completely sidestep the traditional (legacy?) Windows-only apps.
I also got a lot of great feedback that is all to your credit. People loved the replays, slideshows of racers and cars, and they raved that we apparently executed the event in record time (57 scouts plus 12 family cars in 2 hours).
Thanks again for DerbyNet!
--Romi Petrelis, Arlington Heights, IL
Just thought I'd drop a quick note, letting you know that we had our event yesterday and it was a complete success!
[I used m]y old windows XP laptop that I used as the web server, and also connected the timer to its com port. I used an el-cheapo ("vulcan" brand) windows 10 laptop for getting the kids checked in... when the kids arrived to get their car weighed, I would take their picture with the vulcan webcam, enter their car name, and slide the switch to checked-in. After the kids left, I took photos of their cars with my phone, and then brought them over to the XP machine in a /cars folder. I again used the windows 10 laptop to drag the car photos over to the appropriate racer.
On race day, I set up a wireless router so I could network the xp (connected to an overhead projector), windows 10 vulcan, and another HP windows 10 machine, used for the "on deck" dislpay. There were only a couple of kids that didn't bring their cars the night before, or I didn't get their name/photo. So I displayed the "please check in" kiosk for that on the projector until they did so. After that, I displayed the "slideshow" kiosk while everyone was still assembling. I think the kids and parents got a kick out of seeing their kid, their car, and the names up on a big screen. I kept this going while some grandparents did judging for best-looking and scout-themed car.
The racing couldn't have gone smoother. I was keeping an eye on stuff, but really things just moved from heat to heat very well. There was one race where something happened, and all of the cars had times that were very small (0.5 seconds or something). I simply got rid of those results, redid the heat, and went on. After the race I examined the log file, and see the exact small-times in there, so it must have been an issue with the track timer (or lights on the sensors or such), not your software.
It's people like you that make scouting fun, and the world just a bit nicer.
--Jim Kubik, Pack 246, Glen Ellyn, IL