My son’s Cub Scout Pack is a technically advanced organization when it comes to the Pinewood Derby; a high tech racing track with photo-electric finish line sensors that requires a laptop to run the whole operation.
The night before the race after an extensive set up and multiple test runs all systems were GO. The morning of the race, a different story. Problem number one…one lane out of commission with a photo sensor not working. While trouble shooting that issue, problem number two…the track is failing to communicate with the laptop.
We were as they say in nautical parlance, Dead In The Water.
More trouble shooting. Clock ticking. Kids arriving but not racing. More trouble shooting. More clock ticking. Forty-five minutes behind schedule! Even more kids arriving! No racing!
Old School With A Twist
“OK we are going old school and eyeballing this!” commands one of the Scout Leaders. I announce I’ll film the races with my iPhone for “close calls”. Luckily another dad asked me if I was on an iPhone6 and if so to use the slow motion feature. Brilliant!
I tell you iPhone6's video with 240 fps (frames per second) saved the day. Some old school hand signals worked out to communicate between the finish line photo team and the scorers' table and we were ready for action!
Imagine trying to score this race with the naked eye or even with a video at full speed. If not for this technology I am sure they would have had to sneak me out of the building to avoid the wrath of parents and scouts with disputed race outcomes.
So thank you iPhone6 for saving the day at the Pinewood Derby.
And if you’re interested, my son took third place in his den. You can see his car winning a heat below.