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Pinewood Derby Timer

PDT timer custom PCB shield


The Pinewood Derby Timer (PDT) is an Arduino based track timer. The robust and flexible design allow the PDT to be easily constructed and modified to meet your specific needs. Features of the PDT include:

- Easily expandable from 1 to 6 lanes
- Supports (optional) solenoid start gate circuit
- Supports (optional) lane place/time digital displays
- Works standalone or can be interfaced to software running on a PC
- Supports lane masking, start gate status check, force end of race

Interfacing the PDT to software running on a computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) allows races to be managed and allows you to record and archive car run times as you test and tune your Pinewood Derby car(s). See the Software page for details. PDT is currently compatible with the following software:

- Free PD Test/Tune/Track (PDT3) software utility on Windows
- Grand Prix Race Manager software on Windows
- Pinewood Master software on Mac
- COMING SOON! DerbyNet software on Windows, Mac or Linux

A sample of PDT implementations is shown below and you can visit the Timer Builds page for more examples.

PDT built by Pack 317 (Peoria, Illinois) PDT built by Philadelphia Church of God (Southern California) PDT built by 46th Kingswood, 1st Longwell Green (Bristol UK)

PDT is developed on an ongoing basis and welcomes user feedback. A few features recently added to the PDT:

- Capability to resend race results (when queried by your race management software)
- Option for the timer to drive two displays per lane (front & back of finish line) for up to 4 lanes
- Option for the timer to drive the Adafruit 1.2" displays (mounted upside down because of the decimal point location, also requires modifying display library)
- A hardware test mode to help test and verify the PDT construction. If the PDT utilizes displays the HW test mode will let you test lane detector and start gate operation and set the display brightness level


This PD Timer zipfile contains the timer code (Arduino sketch), circuit schematics and user documentation. The individual items can also be downloaded:

- circuit schematics
- timer code (Arduino sketch)

The PDT3 setup program will install the PD Test/Tune/Track utility software.

More Information

Use the links below or the menu at the top of the window to see more information on building and using the PDT:

Last updated: 26 November 2017