The TRANSPONDER Electronic Finish Line Timer for Pinewood Derby

New Directions

900 Echols Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180    703-319-0840

High Performance, Affordable Accessories for
Pinewood Derby, Hot Wheels, Soapbox Derby, and other racing formats.

Smallest, Lowest Price, Full-Featured
Pinewood Derby Finish Line Timer

For advanced groups that project Pinewood software programs for audience display.

Equivalent in performance to The Judge with Computer Option, The FastTrack, The Champ, The Smartline, and others, but at a fraction of the price.

What exactly is a Transponder?

A Transponder is an electronic finish line with two substitutions:

1. We omit the expensive display, and you substitute your superior big screen TV, which is used year around for other purposes.

2. We normally ship without the illuminators*, and you substitute your own light bulb.

Start Sensor
Timing Module
Car Sensors
When cars are released
the Start Sensor sends
time = zero signal to the
Timing Module
When cars cross the finish line,
the Timing Module reports
finish order and elapsed time
to your computer.    

* If you really want the illuminators, we can provide them.

With a Transponder, the race results are
displayed on your big screen TV.

In old-style finish lines, the results are
shown on an expensive display.

How could anything that small work?

Today's smartphones have 10,000 times the computing power of a Windows 95 computer which was often transported in a wheelbarrow. Remember when we listened to our 8 tracks with gigantic walnut speakers? Today's inexpensive desktop speakers sound better. That is the way of all things electronic. To answer the question, however, the Timing Module is the smallest part of any Pinewood Derby finish line. So it is not exactly a technical breakthrough.

The Transponder approach is simply a logical outcome of three factors:

1. Pinewood Derby software is really the only way to go in conducting a Pinewood Derby.
Nothing else comes close.

2. The Prices of big screen TVs or high performance LCD projectors are low and will continue to fall.

3. If you use big screen or projection, nobody will even look at your finish line. Observe your audience carefully. They all watch the cars come down the track, but just before the finish, every eye in unison goes to the big screen. Why? They want to know if it was Jimmy or Tommy, not what lane won. If nobody looks at your finish line, why sink a fortune in it?

The Transponder comes in two styles . . . . . . .
Click the pic to learn more.

TRB for BestTrack

TRW for All other Tracks

Shirt pocket sized module fits on side of track.
Detachable sensors permanently mounted
within the BestTrack lanes.

Same module, but permanently attached to a wood strip
containing the sensors. A completely integrated unit that is
rugged and can safely bear the track's weight.