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Race Timer - Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs


1. I just paid using PayPal, when will you email Race Timer to me?

We usually send it to you well within 48 hours. There are situations such as during the weekend or if you are in a much different time zone from us, where it may take longer. Phone us if it is taking longer than you think it should. Take note, we are Mountain Time zone 7 and keep typical business hours.


2. If I purchase the delivery on CD option, how long before I receive the CD?

Once we receive payment, we ship the CD out in a USPS priority flat rate envelope. Within the US, that takes about 3 business days minimum and 5 days max when factoring the order processing time. Note: CD delivery is no longer available.


3. Can I use Race Timer in a foreign country?

Yes, you can use Race Timer anywhere. There are no export restrictions. Race Timer is only available in an English language version.


4. We are a government entity. Can we pay with a purchase order?

No. We do not take purchase orders.


5. Can I pay with a credit card?

You can pay with a credit card through PayPal. We do not take credit cards directly.


6. We are a non-profit entity. Will you give us Race Timer for free or at a discount?

No. We charge the same price regardless of your status. What we charge barely covers the time and overhead in making this software tool available.


7. I need Race Timer right now for a race today. Can I get it immediately?

Do not count on it. I will do the best I can to get it to you quickly. I've tried an automatic delivery system freeing me from checking emails, but it was not worth the trouble or expense. Race Timer requires some practice and familiarity to successfully time a race. Please plan ahead and purchase well before your event. Learning how to use Race Timer during the timing of an actual event is not the most pleasant or stress-free way to learn how to use it.


8. I need to move or transfer Race Timer to another computer, but have lost the original installation file, RTSetup.exe, what do I do?

The price to Replace a lost copy of Race Timer or to Upgrade any previous version to the latest version is $29.00 US. If you no longer have the installation/setup file, RTSetup.exe, but you still have Race Timer installed and working on a computer and need to move it to another computer you can copy the file, Timer32.exe, from the old computer to the new computer. Timer32.exe is usually located in the "C:\Program Files\Race Timer\" folder. You may need to use removable media such as USB stick drive as transfer media to move the file between computers. Once you copy the file Timer32.exe onto the new computer you can create a desktop short cut to Timer32.exe for starting Race Timer. See your Microsoft Windows documentation for instructions of copying files and creating shortcuts.


9. Can I get a refund?

Software of any kind is normally not refundable. Software is sold as a use license, thus there is nothing of value to return and no way of verifying the software was not used or will not be used. Please download the demo version and try before you buy. Make sure Race Time does what you want. Please do not buy Race Timer without knowing it will work for you. Filing a charge back through your credit card or PayPal takes up a lot of my time and because of service fees costs me much more than the initial price. The amount I charge for Race Timer barely covers the time and cost of making it available and supporting it. I want to keep Race Timer available for people that need a simple timing program. Again, please do not buy, if you have any doubts Race Timer will do what you need.


10. Can I put Race Timer on more than one computer?

The software use license for Race Timer is considered a site license for a single entity. You can put it on as many computers as you need to time your events. Please read the license agreement.


11. Can Race Timer break results up into categories such as beginner, expert, professional etc?

No. You would have to break your results up into categories outside of Race Timer - either by sorting in Excel, or by timing each category separately on a different computer. You can use the participant Info field to store a category name to help with sorting the participant file outside of Race Timer.


12. Can Race Timer handle a third sex such as Mixed for dealing with team results for a mixed sex team?

Race Timer has three sex categories F (Female) M (Male) O (Other).


13. Does Race Timer run on an Apple Macintosh?

Race Timer will only run on the Microsoft Windows Operating system. To run Race Timer on an Apple Macintosh, you must first run Windows on your Apple computer, then Race Timer. Newer Apples that have the same Intel hardware as a PC will run Windows either as a virtual Machine or by dual booting into Windows. See the Apple website for help in how to run Windows on an Apple.


14. What type of computer do you recommend for running Race Timer?

Race Timer will run on any computer that runs the Microsoft Windows Operating system. It will also run on Pocket PCs that run Windows Mobile 2003 or later. At the finish line, we recommend using a hand-held Net Book computer or Pocket PC (the DELL AXIM X30 is our favorite as they are inexpensive and work well) that allows timing while standing up without the need for a table. For dual timing at the finish line, a full sized notebook computer that has a keyboard with a numeric keypad is ideal. A full size notebook computer does require setup on a table. Away from the finish line for results processing, any full size notebook computer works fine. We also recommend that you wirelessly network all the computers (finish line and results processing) using a wireless router such as a Linksys WRT. You need to transfer time data from the finish line to the results processing computer. Directly saving time data over a wireless network is the best way. Race Timer is a small program and requires only a couple of free mega bytes of memory to run, so it will run just fine on minimal and inexpensive hardware.


15. When we timed our race, we could not time more than 30 finishers; why?

You were using the trial or demo version instead of the full version. You can download the trial version for free, but must purchase the full version. You can install the full version over the trial version or uninstall the trail version, then install the full version. Just make sure you are running the full version before you time your event. Check the About dialog box accessible under the Help menu in Race Timer to see what version you are running.


16. How does Race Timer work with chip timing?

Race Timer is for manual timing and does not work with chips. You could use it as a manual backup for chip timing.


17. How do I print out results reports from Race Timer?

Race Timer does not support any report printing. Race Timer generates output in the form of a file. You can import the file into full-featured Race Management software and generate results reports from there. Or you can take the time file or participant file with times from Race Timer and load it into Excel and print from there. Please watch the video tutorials on how to load data from Race Timer into Excel.


18. Can Race Timer be used for a multi-event race (ie. 5K & 10K)?

Race Timer works best for a single event or distance. If you have a multi-event race with a single finish line you must either split the finish line up into one chute for each event; then time them independently. If you time the events together, you must break the results up into the separate sets of data outside of Race Timer. You can either use full featured race management software or at a minimum a spreadsheet such as Excel.


19. Can Race Timer time an ultra marathon that lasts longer than 24 hours?

Yes. Race Timer can time up to a maximum of 100 hours (four days).


20. Does Race Timer work with bar code scanners?

Yes. You need a keyboard emulating bar code scanner that feeds the numbers into a computer as if they where typed in. Bar code scanners are a great way to scan in a list of bib numbers. You can either scan them into the program Notepad that comes with Windows, or directly into Race Timer. If the scanner generates a carriage return character at the end of the scanned number then Race Timer can also record a time with the number. Bar code scanners that either connect to a keyboard port or a USB port are readily available and inexpensive.


21. When I save the participant file with time data and sort by age group place, some participants are given a age group place of 0. What does this mean?

It is a known bug. In certain situations where there is only one participant in an age group, the age group place ends up being 0 instead of 1. Be aware, 0 should be 1. We plan of fixing this when we release the next version.


22. I seem to have lost my time data. How do I recover it?

If you can remember where you saved it to, there may be a Time file that you saved that has your data. There is a backup time file, timerbak.txt, in the folder that you installed Race Timer into. It may have your time data in it. When you start up Race Timer and select Restore Last from the Start dialog, Race Timer will load the backup file. If you start normally, Race Timer will start a new session and write over the backup. You can specify in the File Setup dialog to not overwrite existing files with each save. That way you will have a series of Time files, one for each save. Most importantly, use a redundant system such as two timing computers at the finish line and one results processing computer away from the finish line. Save often and know the location of your saved files. Race Timer is only a tool and like any tool, it requires skill to use properly. Skill is developed with practice and experience.


23. Does Race Timer support lap timing?

Race Timer does not count laps or keep track of laps directly. You can record multiple times (laps) for a given bib number. You can then convert elapsed times into lap times for duplicate bib numbers. This conversion is done at the end of timing. You can access this under the Action menu. Doing a lap results report would have to be done outside of Race Timer by importing the data gathered in Race Timer into more feature rich race management software.


24. How do I get Race Timer to automatically record times?

Race Timer requires human operation. A person actually has to type the enter key to record a time. I suppose you could connect a mechanical switch across the finish line that is wired parallel to a mouse or keyboard to automate the process, but we (or anyone I know of) have never done this.


25. Will Race Timer work for timing a race with 1000's of participants?

Manual timing a race that has a high density of finishers is challenging. Density increases with the number of participants. Density decreases as the distance increases allowing participants to spread out. As a rule of thumb for a 5K, you need 1 finish line / chute combination for every 500 participants. A 5K race with 1000 participants would need two chutes. A 10K with 1000 participants would need only 1 chute. A half marathon with 2000 participants would need only 1 chute. A marathon with 4000 participants would need only 1 chute. If you need more than 1 chute, then you will need to time each chute independently and combine the data from the different chutes (lanes) in race management software outside of Race Timer. Realistically, if you are just using Race Timer by itself then 500 in a 5K (1000 in a 10K, etc) is the max. We have manually timed 5K, 10K combo races with 5,000 or more participants using multiple lanes with Race Timer gathering the time data and importing the data into race management software to score the race. Race Timer supports recording 10's of thousands of times. Well more than what is physically possible.


26. Where do I get race management software that supports multiple events, multiple categories, laps, teams and cross country scoring?

There are several race management programs available. Search the Internet for race management software or race scoring software. Prices and features vary from $300.00 to $600.00.


27. Upon startup, Race Timer generates an error message that I need to run Race Timer from a location with read write privileges?

Race Timer stores status information in a file. It needs to be able to save that file to the location that you are running Race Timer from. Consequently, Race Timer will not run from read only media such as a CD or a Network share that you only have read access to and not write access. Depending upon where you install Race Timer and your security settings, Race Timer may generate this error under the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. You may need to run Race Timer with administration privileges under Windows Vista or Windows 7.


28. What is the difference between Time Files and Participant Files?

Time files contain the place, time and bib numbers. Participant files contain the list of participants and, optionally, the place and time data. Use Time files for gathering time data that will be imported into race management software (or back into Race Timer for results processing). Use Participant files for building a list of participants and for doing results processing when combined with time data.


29. What are the different fields in the participant file when saved with time and place data?

Bib, First Name, Last Name, Age, Sex, City, State, Info, Address, Zip Code, Wave Offset, Add/Subtract Wave Flag, Time in Hundredths, Time as String, Overall Place, Age Group Place

101,Ann,Baker,32,F,Billings,MT,Expert,123 Main Street,59865,0,0,120000,00:20:00.00,1,1

The Bib field must be a number between 1 and 99999.
The First Name field is a character string of up to 15 characters.
The Last Name field is a character string of up to 15 characters.
The Age field must be a number between 1 and 99
The Sex field must be a single character F or M.
The City field is a character string of up to 21 characters.
The State field is a character string of up to 2 characters.
The Info field is a character string of up to 31 characters.
The Address field is a character string of up to 31 characters.
The Zip Code field is a character string of up to 31 characters.
The Wave Offset field in hundredths is a number between 0 and 36000000
The Add/Subtract Wave Flag is 0 for Add or 1 for Subtract.
The Time in hundredths field is a number between 0 and 36000000
Time as String typically HH:MM:SS.HD, controlled by the Time file format
Overall Place is a number
Age Group Place is a number


30. What is the minimum data needed in a participant file that I create outside of Race Timer in Excel or Notepad that I can load into Race Timer?

As a minimum, to define a participant, you need Bib #, Name, Age and Sex. All the other information is optional. So an example minimum participant file is:

101,Ann,Baker,32,F
102,Bob,Hayes,83,M


31. How do I get the Pocket PC version of Race Timer to display a list of participants?

The Pocket PC version does NOT support participants. The Pocket PC version supports recording times and bib numbers only. It is only intended for timing at the finish line. It is not suited for editing or displaying participant data.


32. How do I run both Race Timer and Race Announcer at the same time on the same computer?

If you start Race Timer first, you will be unable to start up Race Announcer. Timing races requires concentration without distraction and you should not be running both at the same time. If you absolutely must run both at the same time, then start Race Announcer first then start Race Timer.


33. How do I combine my recorded times stored in a time file and my participant file to generate results?

Under Race Timer’s File Menu, select Open/Load Participant File. Uncheck the Load Times with Participant Data check box. Specify your participant file and click or press the Open button. Next select Open/Load Time File. The time file must be in either Race Director or Pocket Timer format. If your time file is complete, check the Clear button and uncheck the Only Load Slower Times check box. Open the Edit Participants dialog under the Action menu. Visually check to make sure your participants got loaded and times with bib numbers get assigned to matching participants. When you close the Edit Participants dialog, Race Timer prompts you to save the Participant File. Specify the file name and the options such as the sort type (Age Group Place recommended for results) and if you want to include time data (also recommended for results).


35. I can’t find my time file or participant file. Where does Race Timer put them?

Race Timer will save your time files and participant files where you specify. To specify a location for the time file, choose Save Time File As… from the File menu and browse to the folder of your choice. To specify a location for the Participant file, choose Save Participant File As… from the File menu. Race Timer’s default locations for time files and participant files are typically C:\ or C:\Program Files\Race Timer\. Well before your race, as part of the setup and preparation for timing your race, you should set the file names and folder locations to something that is memorable and descriptive. Be careful when saving participant files that you do not overwrite an existing participant file with an empty participant file. When in doubt choose a different name each time you save the participant file. Remember to make and keep backups or your time files and participant files! Newer versions of Windows restrict write privilages to C:\ and C:\Program Files\. In this case, you must use different folders to avoid problems. Since Race Timer saves your time data and participant list in text files, you need Windows file management skills to operate Race Timer efficiently.


36. Can I time a Triathlon with Race Timer?

Yes you can time a Triathlon, but Race Timer will NOT score or generate results for all the legs of a Triathlon automatically. If you are just interested in the overall total finish times, Race Timer will treat a Triathlon as a single leg race. If you want to keep track of all the legs (swim, bike, run, transition 1, transition 2, etc.) you will have to score and manage the time data for all the different legs independently. Watch: TriathlonLapConversion.wmv. This requires you to have a timing station setup at the finish of each leg. You will have to process the time data gathered for each leg. Creating a report that combines and summarizes the results of each leg for each participant, it must be done outside of Race Timer either in a spreadsheet or with race management software that can score a triathlon.


37. I want to record times with the completion of a bib number, but this item is grayed out in the Configuration Settings dialog. How do I set this option?

You must buy the full version to record times with the Completion of Bib #. For example, to record times by typing in the lane number of finishers for a track race or swim meet, set the Maximum #of Digits on Bib # to 1 and check the Completion of Bib # option in the Configuration Settings dialog.


38. Why do I get the prompt that Race Timer is running for the first time even when I first ran it from the setup program?

This only occurs under Windows 7 and Vista. These newer versions of Windows introsduced security measures that prevent programs from saving files to the C:\Program Files\ folder unless the program has elevated account privileges. When you run the Race Timer installation (or setup) program, RTSetup.exe, the Windows User Account Control prompts you for permission to run. Giving the installation program permission to run, gives it elevated permission to write to the C:\Program Files\ folder. After installation, the first time you run Race Timer (not from the setup program) it typically no longer has elevated permission to write to the C:\Program Files\ folder. Instead, Windows redirects Race Timer's reading and writing of its status files to another location. Access the About dialog to see the current path of the Race Timer Program Folder and the path of Race Timer's Status Data Folder. Access the About dialog under Race Timer's Help menu.


39. Why does Race Timer load times as 0:00, does nothing, quits or even crashes when I try to read a Time file or a Participant file?

Race Timer requires Time files and Participant files to conform to a particular format. If you try to read a file that does not conform to the supported format, Race Timer does not know how to process it and will fail.

The only type of Time files that Race Timer can open and load are Pocket Timer or Race Director format. Make sure you save your time files in either of these two formats if you want to open and reload them later. To specify the type of Time file you save your time data to, select Time File Setup from the Race Timer's File menu.

Look at Question 29 and 30 and the Open/Load Participant File dialog's help text for the format of supported participant files. When you install Race Timer, the installation process copies a sample participant file into the folder C:\Program Files\


40. My Computer’s Anti-Virus software flagged the Race Timer installation file, RTSetup.exe, as malicious. Is Race Timer safe?

Yes, Race Timer is safe. Race Timer is unsigned, so running RTSetup.exe will generate a User Account Control warning indicating that the Publisher is unknown, but this is harmless. As long as you are getting Race Timer from this website you can trust it.

With each succeeding version of Windows, the security measures have gotten more stringent and there is a strong push for all software programs to be signed by a trusted publisher.

With the intention of keeping the cost of Race Timer low and avoiding the extra work, fees and complication involved with signing the Race Timer program, Race Timer remains unsigned.


41. Are there any resources available for how to manage registration for a race?

Yes, there are some books available on how to manage and score a race. Do a search for race management or race registration guidelines. Our own guide on race registration guidance and tips is available here in html and here as a Word document.


42. Are you going to update Race Timer to work on a Smart Phone or Tablet?

As of April 2014, we have no plans to update Race Timer any further. Consider the current version 3.10 the last and final version. We will continue to sell version 3.10 for the foreseeable future. For Windows based hardware, it is still the best simple timing application available.

Since we sold our timing business, we no longer have the need to use, maintain and improve Race Timer. It was the need for use in our own timing business that drove the initial development of Race Timer. With that need gone, sales revenue alone does not justify the development costs of any new versions. There are existing products available for smart phones and tablets. Some have copied the features in Race Timer and are quite good. A quick search online will show lots of options.

Race Timer is a powerful and handy tool for manually timing small races. We intend to keep it available for those that have the need for such a tool.

Last Updated 04-21-2014.

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