|New Directions, 900 Echols Street SE, Vienna, VA 22180 | 703-319-0840 | Email|
Judges are available in sizes from 1 lane to 8 lanes. Except for the width and lane spacing, they all look and function the same. Each Judge is custom built to fit your track, although we stock certain sizes to fit popular tracks available on the market. We call these Judges Standard, not because they are recognized by any organization as such, but because we pre-manufacture the enclosures in quantity. This allows a cost savings, which we pass on to you. We consider all commercial tracks to be Standard, and in addition, these twelve sizes in home-built tracks:
All other Judges are considered Custom,
and are made to order specifically for track dimensions you supply.
The basic Judge has two parts: The Display Bar that mounts over the top of the finish line, and the Illuminator Assembly that mounts under the track. The Illuminator Assembly generates a beam of infrared light in each lane, which is monitored by sensors directly above. When a car breaks the beam with its front bumper, the electronic circuits figure out the order and display the results to your audience by the bright red lights in the Display Bar. The winner gets a steady red, the second place gets a flashing with 50% duty cycle, and the third place gets a winking with 5% duty cycle. The lights are very bright, and easy to interpret across a large gymnasium.
Basic prices range from $149 to $299. All Judges may be ordered with optional features which affect the price.
These include two different timing capabilities called E.T., and Computer Option. If you hold your derbies outdoors, you will need Sunlight Max. In addition, you may order User-Settable Display Time, Push Button Reset, and Wall Transformer Option. And finally, you may choose from various items to customize your cabling if you choose Computer Option.
Why would I want E.T.? Good question. Here are three good answers:
It is possible to order E.T. on all lanes, and we offer discounts on each successive E.T. module. However this is still not very cost effective. If you really want to time all lanes, Computer Option is a much better solution.
When you order Computer Option, you have the ability to see the complete results of each race come up on your computer screen exactly as shown above.
You don't need any special software, just your serial port program that comes with your computer. In a PC, this program is called Hyperterminal, and is found in your Programs/Accessories folder, perhaps in a sub-folder called Communications. Once you achieve your settings, save and place a Judge shortcut icon on your desktop. Then, when your computer is turned on, you are only one mouse click away from the derby.
If you are a programmer, you can make your own program to parse the incoming message, combine it with the boys' names, and integrate it into your methology to determine the fastest cars. You can create the entire race schedule, assign lanes, keep track of individual or group times, show scale speed, show who is on deck for the next race, and many other things. You are limited only by your imagination.
If you are not a programmer, you can relax and let the best cyberminds in the industry do this for you. Here are two fine derby management programs that interface perfectly with The Judge, and provide you with the ability to completely automate your derby. Look over each, and decide which one serves your needs the best. We stock them both in CD format and will pack one with your order at the same price offered at their respective websites.
Note 1. These software packages are designed for PC use, operating systems Windows 95 and later.
Note 2: Software support must be obtained directly from the respective authors. Software is not returnable or refundable.
With Computer Option, you get a cable that runs back to the start gate and terminates in a magnetic switch. This provides the Time = zero signal. You also get a six foot cable to go to your computer, which means you will be locating your computer near the finish line.
Startline Cable Kit $15
Placing your computer near the start gate is a particular advantage when using derby management software, so you don't have to shout across the room. All derby software programs tell you, for each race, who to run on what lane. As a $15 option , we provide the cabling components necessary to locate your computer near the start line. This is really where you want to be when using derby software.
USB to Serial Converter $29
The Judge communicates with your computer through the Serial Port (the nine-pin connector on the back). Most new laptop computers have USB ports only, rather than serial ports. This is important, but it is not a problem. Your local computer store can supply a USB-Serial interface converter. We also can supply this item at $29.
Computer Message Tester $2
Screw Lock Kit $2
Without the screw locks, if the cable is accidently yanked, it will simply disconnect. This has cut down dramatically on damage. But if you are interested in securing the cable to the Junction Board, this what you need.
Most Pinewood Derby races are held indoors during the winter months, so The Judge is designed to work indoors. Outdoor light, even on overcast days, contains intense infrared energy that can overpower the sensors, and cause malfunction. You might be able to get The Judge to work if you are in deep shade of foliage, or under a pavilion roof, but it is dicey. If you want outdoor operation, then schedule your event after dusk, and use florescent lighting (any intensity). If you need to operate in daylight, get Sunlight Max
The sensors of Sunlight Max are high performance photodiodes with active elliptical filtering. They have the ability to detect and respond to a unique code contained in the specially generated light. They ignore other competing light sources, and work even in full sunlight.
Two side benefits of Sunlight Max sensors: 1. They are more sensitive, and allow the Judge to be raised for greater clearance height, and 2. They are more power efficient, allowing battery operation three times longer.
All Judges automatically reset after displaying the race results to your audience for 22 seconds. Most people think 22 seconds is about right. There are two reset details that you may consider to customize your Judge. These extra cost choices are independent. You may order either one or the other, or both for $16.
* User Settable Display Time $10 You may set the display time to your choosing from 8 to 22 seconds, to adjust the pace of your derby.
* Push Button Reset $12 The push button, mounted on the top surface of the display bar, will cause an immediate unconditional reset. You can also enter the Manual Mode, in which the display lasts indefinitely until you reset. If you get the push button reset, you will still have automatic reset capability.
All Judges work on three AA size batteries which you insert into a battery holder on the left support bracket. At extra cost, you may get the Wall Transformer Option which will allow you to use 120VAC house current as well.
Battery operation is great because there are no cords running around the floor to trip over. But if your track is set up for many days or weeks each year, then Wall Transformer Option makes sense because it soon pays for itself in terms of battery cost.
A single set of batteries will power a 1 or 2 Lane Judge for 20 hours, a 3 or 4 Lane Judge for 12 hours, a 5 or 6 Lane Judge for 8 hours, and a 7 or 8 Lane Judge for 6 hours. Wall Transformer Option is recommended for 8 lane Judges with normal indoor sensors. Judges having Sunlight Max sensors will operate on batteries about three times as long as those having normal sensors, and this 8 lane recommendation does not apply.
BestTrack Customers: See important note regarding finish line illuminators HERE.
Highly Accurate. Perfect for weighing Pinewood Derby Cars!
Note: Several of these items do not appear on the Order Form. Pencil it in, or mention it when you call in your order.
Contact: New Directions, 900 Echols Street SE, Vienna, VA 22180 | 703-319-0840 | Email