Laps Free FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Laps Free ?
Laps Free is software designed for a PC running Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME & XP. The software is designed primarily for the timing radio controlled model cars but might have other uses such as timing model boats, hovercrafts or slot cars. Laps enables a racing event to be managed easily, functions have been added to automate processes and make life easier on the user.

Why is Laps Free, Free ?
In every sector of the software market there is free software, there is no reason why this should not be the case with timing.

If you really like our software and want to make a donation then please contact use.

How do I Reprint the Results & Lap times ?
Open the html file that corresponds to the race you want to reprint, (i.e. Heat 2 Round 4 will be called h2r4.html) and print it from the web browser. Information about HTML files is in the manual. From version 0.04 the last race can be re-printed but only before the next one is setup, this is done via the button on the race screen.

Can I record my own sound files ?
The sound files can be changed, record your new files and replace the originals, make sure that the files are of WAV type (mp3 or any other file type will not work).

Why does it take so long to close the setup screen ?
When the setup screen is closed the settings are saved, if you have McAfee VirusScan it checks the ini file that is written, it does not cause any problems however. Users without McAfree VirusScan should not have a problem.

How do I restart or end a race early ?
This is in the manual, but its been missed by quite a few people. All you have to do is right click on the race screen and a menu will appear giving these options.

Can I start a race without a ten second countdown ?
Make sure that '10 second countdown beeps' is un-ticked for the classes that you don't want beeps for, the race still then start immediately when you press the start button.

How can I manually make the heat/races ?
Each driver has an id number, in the 'Tables' screen enter these id numbers into the grid where the driver is required. id numbers can also be moved around the grid as desired(even once racing has started). The id number is not the same as the Database ID, but the id given when the driver is entered into the event.

Can late racers be signed in ?
Just enter the drivers details or transfer them from the database,Go to the 'Tables' screen and enter the late drivers id number in the grid where required.

Can races be in a different order ?
This was missed in the manual until v0.04, to change the order of the races go to the 'Tables' screen, hold down the left mouse button on the race number that needs to be moved and drag it to the required location.

Frequency Selection problems ?
Some Windows XP users are experiencing problems selecting frequencies in the second column of the list, moving the column to the left hand side allows you to select the frequency. This is not a problem with our code but the compiler that is used, a fix is provided in version 0.06 (see manual/user guide).

How do I run a race by laps and not time ?
Laps Free can run races by laps just like an F1 race, in the setup screen under 'Times' there is a box called 'Max Race Laps', for a race by time this will be 0. Enter the number of laps required and the race will end when this number of laps is completed.

In F1 there is a limited time to complete a race, this is the same in Laps Free, if the race time is set to 5 minutes and the laps required in 'Max Race Laps' haven't been completed the race will still end. Therefore the race time should be set much greater than the required time to complete the laps.

What can be done with external hardware ?
External hardware (called RCio in the software) can be connected to a serial port. Laps Free generates output for upto eights lights, scoreboard and also takes input from external environment sensors.

What lights can be controlled?
Eight lights can be controlled by Laps Free, F1 style start lights can be used for grid starts while traffic lights can be connected for rolling start qualifying (especially useful for nitro cars).

How much information can be shown on the scoreboard?
Laps Free provides the following output for scoreboards:

  • Time of current race (hours,miniutes & seconds)
  • Time before the next race starts(hours,miniutes & seconds)
  • Current heat
  • Current round
  • Car Positions (Positions 1 -10)
  • Completed laps of the leader
  • Gap between first and second
  • Gap between first and third

Not all information has to be used, a scoreboard could be made to show just heat number or the time etc.

Input/Environment Sensors ?
Laps Free takes input from several sensors:

  • Track Temperature
  • Air Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Pressure

The information is displayed on screen and produced on the race results.

Do USB to Serial converters work with the AMB Decoder ?
This is difficult to answers as some do and some don't, the following have been tested by Laps Free users and seem to work (no guarantees!):

  • FTDI chipset models
  • Targus Model # PA088
  • Some Prolific Chipsets work others do not.