Certified Safe Site
May 18 2024
Pinewood Derby on Facebook
pinewood derby

How to time you Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


How To Time Your Pinewood Derby Car With An Android App

If you have an Android phone or tablet, here is how you can accurately time your pinewood derby car to 1/100 second. This page gives detailed instruction on how to use one of the free audio recorder programs available on the Google App Store. Audio editors that are not free are also available and they may be easier to use.  If you find a free or paid audio editor that you like better than the one described on this page, please let us know.

Search for "doninn" in the app store and install the free "Doninn Audio Editor".

Make a sound at the start.

To accurately time your pinewood derby car, a distinct sound must be made when the car starts and when the car reaches the finish line. A sound can be created when the car starts with a clothes pin and piece of wood as shown. When the car starts, the wood will slap against the track creating a sharp quick sound. To create a sound at the finish line, you can use our Track Break. The car will make a unique sound when it reaches the break. You can also place a small cardboard box or block of Styrofoam or other soft, light object. on the finish line. A sound will be made when the car hits this object.  Our starting gate is recommended to start your car.

Start a recording

Start the Doninn app and tap the menu icon in the upper right corner and select Preferences. Un-check Save on Exit then tap the back arrow in the upper left of the screen. Tap the menu icon again and select Recorder.

Tap red record button when ready to time your pinewood derby car.

For best results, there should be no background noise like music or people moving or talking. When you are ready to time your car, stand with your phone two feet behind the track with the screen of the phone pointed to the end of the track. Tap the red circle (do not tap the ad below the red circle) to start the recording and release your car.

Tap square icon to stop recording then tap the pencil icon to edit the recording.

Tap the square icon to stop the recording after your pinewood derby car has crossed the finish line. Tap the pencil icon.

Adjust the start and end markers.

Tap the play icon and watch as the vertical line travels across the waveform. Note where the car starts and ends (should be on a spike in the waveform). Drag the Start Marker to the position on the waveform where the car started. If you don't see the Start Marker, scroll to the left until it appears. Drag the End Marker to where the Car hit the box or track break.

Fine adjust the start marker to the time that the car starts.

Zoom in by spreading your fingers on the screen or tap the magnifying glass with the "+" then swipe a finger to scroll to the Start Marker and adjust it so it is exactly on the position where the car started (zoom more if needed). Note the time displayed in the Start Marker.

Fine adjst the end marker at the finish line and note the time.

Scroll to the End Marker and adjust it so it is exactly on the position where your pinewood derby car hit the box or the track break.  Note the time in the End Marker. Subtract the start time from the end time to get the car's total time. Tap you phone's back button to start over and time another run.

Return to Pinewood Derby Track page