The Physics of the
Pinewood Derby Book

The Virtual Racing CD


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Axle Polish Compound
Program Description

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Version II is now available. Current customers upgrade for free. Just send us an email with your name and we will send you a coupon to be used upon checkout. Click here to see a description of the new real time race simulator program.

As described briefly on the home page, the VR program CD consists of 3 parts. One part has 23 MB of instruction on car construction and lubrication. The young Cub, especially in their first Pinewood Derby (PWD) experience, often needs this type of help to build a good car. So the first program that should be opened is the Car Construction program. It lets you start with the PWD block, wheels, and axle nails and steps you through every stage of car construction. Thus the Cub can do much of the work, like they're supposed to. Then this E-book goes into a lubrication chapter and shows movie clips and details of every lube step. The lube steps refer to the use of items in the Speed Package.

So now you have a car, and it's a pretty good one. But we want to run it in the virtual race program to see how it will perform against competition and how we can make it even faster. So open the Measure Parameters E-Book. This book, which is the second part of the overall car construction and testing program, shows that if you spend an hour or two measuring things (parameters) on your car, like weight, center of mass position, etc., then you can put your car data into the virtual race program and run it on simulated tracks to see how it performs.

The third part is the Gravity Driven Virtual Race program itself. It will be already set up for dealing with Pinewood Derby Cars on a standard track. But you can switch from PWD cars to larger cars like the Soap Box Derby or you may even race semitrailer trucks if you know how to put in their parameters. The Help Manual included in the Virtual Race is divided into 2 levels. One basic level is for the Cub, and a higher level is for a more advanced user. This help manual is a huge E-book full of just about any information you might need about how to use the program and improve your car. Like the big green book, we thought it better to have more information than you can use rather than not enough. The original Virtual Race program would just give finish times. But a new feature, called the Graphic 2-Car Race, actually simulates any 2 cars going down a race track in real time. The separation between the 2 cars for the entire race is presented automatically at the race finish.

Conclusion: Just as the Physics of the Pinewood Derby Book has carried the treatment of gravity driven cars to the extreme (see reviews), so has the Virtual Race and Gravity Driven Car CD captured the basics of this work and put it within the grasp of the general public.


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