Frequently Asked Questions


How do I run a derby?

DerbyMaster handles every aspect of your derby. From car registration, to scheduling, to recording the results, to assigning special awards. It will even record the results automatically if you have a standard electronic finish line that connects to your computer. All of the derby information is stored in a project file on your computer. This allows any derby to be reopened at any time.

The normal flow of progression would be:

1. Start DerbyMaster (a default project file is automatically created).
2. Assign a name to your project file by clicking the Save button.
3. Select your organization from the Derby Options window.
4. Select your finish line from the Finish Line window.
5. Register the cars on the Registration tab.
6. Define track information on the Track tab.
7. Select the desired schedule type and then compute it on the Schedule tab.
8. Print a copy of the schedule so a prompter can line up the cars in advance of each race.
9. Select the Full Screen display.
10. Run the races as they come up (DerbyMaster will automatically record the results).
11. View and sort the standings as desired on the Standings tab.
12. Present the awards.

What is a project file?

A project file is a text file that contains all of the information needed to run a complete derby. It contains all of the registration information, the track information, the schedule, the results and times of every race, the special awards, and a number of miscellaneous items. Everything needed to recreate the derby is stored in the project file.

Do I need to periodically save my project file throughout the derby?

No. DerbyMaster automatically saves the project file after every race. If you have not assigned a name to your project file, DerbyMaster will save the information in a default file named “TempDerby.txt”.

What if I need to rerun a race?

You can rerun a race in DerbyMaster in one of two ways. First, using the Full Screen display, simply click the Rerun Last Race button and you will be prompted to rerun the last race. Second, at any time, you can go to the Race tab and position the Race pointer to the race you want to rerun (use the First, Previous, Next, and Last buttons on that tab to move the pointer). The previous results of that race will be displayed, but they will be overwritten when the race is rerun and the cars cross the finish line. After the race has been rerun, you may need to move the Race pointer back to the current race before continuing on with the derby. Results are recorded by DerbyMaster for whichever race is currently displayed.

Can I assign my own car numbers?

Yes. On the Registration tab, simply enter the car number you would like to use for each entry. By default, DerbyMaster will automatically increment the car number last entered. This means that you do not have to enter car numbers if you don’t want to; DerbyMaster will automatically assign them. However, if you want to use your own numbers, simply overwrite the car number that DerbyMaster has suggested. No problem.

I have a large group of racers. Can I preregister them?

Yes. You can enter the registration information at any time. After registering the racers, save the project file and exit DerbyMaster. At the time of your derby, start DerbyMaster, click the Open button and load the project file you saved off earlier.

I preregistered my racers, but some of them didn’t show up for the derby. Can I still use the project file I created earlier?

Yes. Load your project file, go to the Registration tab, find the racers that didn’t show up, select them in the Registration list, and click the Delete button. This will delete the registration information for those racers, and they will not be included in the schedule. If you have already computed the schedule, you will have to recompute it after deleting the racers so they are not included.

I already have my registration information in another format. Can I import this information into DerbyMaster?

Not directly. Start DerbyMaster and register one racer. Save the project file and exit DerbyMaster. Open the project file you just created using a text editor. Find the DerbyMaster_Registration section and you will see the one driver you entered. Using this same format (CAR<TAB>DRIVER<TAB>RANK<TAB>DEN), paste your information into this section. When you start DerbyMaster and open this new project file, DerbyMaster will automatically add these cars into the Registration list.

Importing your own schedule

To import your own schedule, you will first need to set-up a project file within DerbyMaster. You will register all of your racers within DerbyMaster. Next, go to the track tab and verify the number of lanes and number of rounds you will be running. After verifying those items, go to the Schedule tab, select Standard schedule and hit compute. It will compute a schedule for you. It is at this point that you will save off your file as is.

Next, you will need to locate your project file using a text editor. One way to do this is to open "Program Files", "Enterprising Ideas", "DerbyMaster". Locate the file you just created. Within this file locate the section entitled "DerbyMaster Schedule". You are now ready to delete the current schedule and copy and paste your schedule. 

**Important: You can only import a schedule into a project file that has been set-up using the Standard scheduling method. You cannot import to a Lane Rotation or Elimination schedule. 

Each car number can only be scheduled one time in each round. 

DerbyMaster is not advancing automatically to my next race. It appears to lock up.

If this is happening, you are probably using one of the older Micro Wizard timers. These timers do not allow DerbyMaster to reset them automatically. The reset is done manually, by you, the user. With some of the timing setups this reset is done when you reset your starting gate.

When interfacing DerbyMaster with an older Micro Wizard timer you need to wait for DerbyMaster to reset (this is signaled when the lights cycle from red to green on your display) before you reset your timer. This may mean leaving your starting gate open until you get the green light from DerbyMaster. If you interrupt this process and reset your timer before DerbyMaster has given you a green light (and advanced you to the next race) the screen will appear to lock up. This will interrupt the posting process of the results. To correct this you need to "Cancel Display", go to the Race tab, hit the Confirm button to finish the posting of the results, and then go back to your race. For the next race, the lights will not cycle; but will continue to cycle for all of the remaining races.

DerbyMaster keeps popping up a message box telling me the Micro Wizard K-2 timer is reporting the laser gate is open, and that I need to close the laser gate to continue. Can I turn this message off?

Yes. On the Finish Line screen (where you select your timer), check the box that says "Disable Laser Gate Status Check". This will prevent DerbyMaster from performing this check after each race.

I don’t want all of the columns displayed on the Standings tab. Can I customize this display?

Yes. On the Standings tab, click the OPTIONS button and select which columns you want displayed in the standings.

At the end of my double elimination, DerbyMaster only displays the first and second place winners. How do I determine who third place was?

By definition, double elimination can only determine first and second place. Any ranking beyond second place is a “best guess” and is not necessarily 100% accurate. DerbyMaster was designed to only display what it knows. This leaves the method used to determine third place up to the organization running the derby. Typically, they will assign third place to the second place finisher in the final round of the loser’s bracket. For example, say cars 3, 7, and 8 advanced to the final round in the loser’s bracket. The order of finish was 8,3,7, respectively. Car 8 advances to the final round and will finish either first or second. Car 3 came in second to car 8 and would typically be awarded third place. In DerbyMaster, you can use either the Ladder Diagram button or the Race tab to determine which car placed second in the final round of the loser’s bracket.

We use "points" to determine our winners. Can we use our own point system?

No. The current version of DerbyMaster automatically assigns points. The system used is one point for last, two for second to last, etc. For example, using a three lane track, first place would receive three points, second place would receive two points and third place would receive one point.

If DerbyMaster adds "dummy cars" into our race schedule, do we have to use them?

If DerbyMaster adds dummy cars to complete the schedule, it will treat them just like all of the other cars. Some of the timers come with built-in hardware timeouts, some do not. If a car does not cross the finish line before the timeout has expired, the timer will automatically send a default time to DerbyMaster for that car. If you do not want to wait for the timeout to expire each time, or if your timer does not have a hardware timeout, you should send a dummy car or trip that lane manually.

How do I run "divisional" racing with DerbyMaster?

There are three methods that can be used to determine the opponents that each racer will face. Remember that each project file can contain one and only one schedule. Whenever multiple schedules are required, then you will have to use multiple project files.

Method 1: all racers compete against each other. With this method, you would register all of your racers on the Registration tab, select all of the “Included Cars” ranks on the Track tab, compute your schedule and run your races. At any time, you can go to the Standings tab and display the standings for any rank or rank combination that you would like. With this method, you can obtain winners for each rank or rank combination selected as well as overall winners.

Method 2: racers within each rank compete against each other. With this method, you would register all of your racers on the Registration tab, select one of the “Included Cars” ranks on the Track tab, click the Save As button and save this information in a new project file. Then go back to the Track tab and select a different rank, click the Save As button and save this information in another new project file. Continue like this until you have a project file for each selected rank on the Track tab. This method allows you to register all of the racers just one time, and then save off a project file for each rank selected on the Track tab. Remember that each project file can contain only one schedule. When you are ready to race that rank, load the appropriate project file, compute the schedule (it will schedule only cars that have been selected in the “Included Cars” section of the Track tab), and run your race. If you want to schedule an overall derby that would include the winners from each divisional derby, you can use the merge feature to merge all of the project files into a single project file, and then select those drivers that are to run in this overall derby.

Method 3: racers within each den compete against each other. With this method, you would register the racers from a specific den on the Registration tab, enter the appropriate information on the Track tab, compute the schedule for that den, and the click the Save As button and save this information to a project file. Load and run this project file when you are ready to race that den. Each den will need to have its own project file. If you want to schedule an overall derby that would include the winners from each den, you can use the merge feature to merge all of the project files into a single project file, and then select those drivers that are to run in this overall derby.

Can DerbyMaster schedule all of my divisions into a single master schedule so that each division will race once per round?

No. At this time DerbyMaster requires divisions to be set up as independent project files. Each project file will need to be loaded when you want to race that division.

Can DerbyMaster combine the results of all my individual project files so that I can determine overall winners?

Yes. Use the Merge button to combine the standings (and registrations) from all of your project files into a single project file. From here, you can sort the standings and determine the overall winners.

Can DerbyMaster combine all of my individual registrations into a master registration so that I can schedule one final overall derby?

Yes. Use the Merge button to combine the registrations (and standings) from all of your project files into a single project file. From here, you can select which drivers are to continue, and then create a final, overall schedule.

DerbyMaster is not displaying any information from my finish line. What should I do?

If all of the settings on the Finish Line window in DerbyMaster have been selected correctly, and you are still not receiving any lane results, then you most likely have a device on your computer that is already in control of the COM port. On the Windows status bar (where the START button is) look at the system tray on the right hand side. For each icon displayed in the system tray, point to the icon with the mouse, right click the mouse, and close or exit the application (if allowed). Typically, there is a personal organizer which is running in the background that has control of the COM port.

I want to display the results in terms of speed instead of time. Can I do this?

Yes. On the Finish Line screen (where you select your timer), change the “Add to Full Screen Race Display” option to “mph” (miles per hour) or “kph” (kilometers per hour). The “Distance from Starting Gate to Finish Line” option must be greater than zero. If the distance is zero, the speed selection automatically reverts to time (seconds). If you also want to display the Standings in terms of speed, then complete the items above and on the Standings Options screen, disable the “Always display time in seconds” option. This will change the Average, Minimum, and Maximum columns on the Standings tab to the corresponding speed instead of time.

What is QuickRace and how do I use it?

QuickRace is a simple way to run races continually without registering cars or computing a schedule. Simply place the cars on the track and release the starting gate. The results of each race will be displayed on the Full Screen display with lane numbers indicating the order of finish. If you have car numbers, you can enter them at the bottom of the QuickRace screen and the car numbers will be displayed instead of the lane numbers.

To use, enter all of your information on the Finish Line screen (QuickRace requires a timer) and then select the QuickRace button on the toolbar. On the QuickRace setup screen, enter the number of lanes you want to use and a title for the QuickRace screen, and then select the Start button. That’s it!

Note that QuickRace will run continuously until you turn it off. To turn off QuickRace, simply select the QuickRace button on the toolbar again and you will be prompted to turn off QuickRace. When you start QuickRace, DerbyMaster will clear any registration, schedule, and results information that may have already been entered. QuickRace will keep derby statistics (lane speeds, positions, etc.) in the current project file. Individual car results will not be maintained.

My screen saver started while I was in the Full Screen Display, and now the Full Screen Display is missing data. What should I do?

Simply go to a different window and then come back to where you were. The data will now be there. We would suggest that you disable your screen saver while you are running your races.

If a car doesn’t cross the finish line, DerbyMaster penalizes that car with a set time. Can I change that time?

Yes. On the Finish Line screen, change the Maximum Race Time to the value you would like.

How does DerbyMaster handle a tie?

When a tie occurs, DerbyMaster tells you which cars tied, and prompts you to place those cars back in their same lanes. Reset the finish line and run only those cars again. Because you may not be using all of the cars from the original race, you may need to trigger those extra lanes on the finish line. DerbyMaster is only looking at the lanes that tied, and will then assign the overall order based on the results of the tie breaker. If the cars are still tied, you will be prompted to repeat the above procedure until the tie is broken.

Note that the final times that get recorded for any cars that tie will be the time they tied with. It will not be the time they raced with during the tie breaker. If the tie breaker times were used, that could effect the order of the original race. All of the times recorded are from the original race. Only the order of finish is changed based on the results of the tie breaker.

How many awards can I create?

You can create up to 50 awards complete with certificates.

Can I create my own award certificates?

Yes. All you need is an editor that can create a Windows Metafile (*.wmf). Programs like Microsoft PowerPoint can do this. Note that DerbyMaster will print the award text starting approximately three inches from the top of the landscaped certificate page. Once you have created your certificate, simply copy it into your DerbyMaster directory (default is C:\Program Files\Enterprising Ideas\DerbyMaster), and you can then use the “Select Certificate” button on the Awards tab to select the certificate you just created.

I downloaded the DEMO version, then purchased and installed DerbyMaster, but the DEMO version keeps starting up. How do I get the purchased copy to start?

Before installing the purchased copy, you should uninstall the DEMO version. Go to the Windows Control Panel, select "Add or Remove Programs", select "DerbyMaster Demo", and click Uninstall. After it has been uninstalled, simply install your software.


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