Pinewood Derby Car with Camera

Pinewood Derby 2015-15

Pinewood Derby 2015-14As a Cub Scout, I recall my one year on the Pinewood Derby circuit.  Sure – that season was compressed to a single evening in the cafeteria of my elementary school – but it was a heck of a lot of fun watching my car take 2nd in all three heats that it bounced down the wooden swooped track.

So, imagine my joy when my daughter announced that she had a morning of Pinewood Derby racing on the calendar.

Of course, we worked on her car.  It was pink.  And, as it turns out, the fastest “legal” car of the day.  But for this project – we wanted the fastest car of the day.

I was looking for a bit of track level video and thought it would be fun to bolt one of the Contours to a car as an experiment.   Thankfully, by simply weighing more than twice the allowed limit of 5 oz – the extra weight helped get the car out in front of the pack.  And with the wide angle lenses on most POV cameras – your car won’t need to be much faster – maybe only a couple of car lengths.

This design is essentially a basic wedge Pinewood Derby kit and a Contour camera.  The weights?  Well, where they’re located on the image above – I don’t think they really helped.  A simple quarter-twenty bolt attached the camera.  The spacers you see were only added to take up some of the bolt length – as it was a bit long.

As for the track footage – I cleared it with the event organizers, got a race number for the car so that it would be integrated into the real-time racing matrix (this allowed for footage from all 4 lanes and a mix of cars) – and simply let it go.  For most cars on this day, it was fast enough.  This version of the camera car only ran in the high 2.5’s.  Next year – I’ve got some ideas to see if I can get it a bit faster.

If you decide to try this – or something similar – let us know!

Pinewood Derby 2015-6

Please tell us what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s