The MicroWizard FAST TRACK timer comes standard with a "Plugable" brand USB-to-Serial converter that uses the PL2303 serial chip. This means that you will have to install the appropriate driver on your computer to 'teach' it how to talk to that converter.
You can download the latest driver from http://plugable.com/prolific
Note: there are two drivers available. You need to download the version that is appropriate for the version of Mac OSX that you are using. To find out what version of OSX you have click on the Apple menu (top-left corner of your screen) and select "About This Mac". A box will appear with information about your computer. My computer shows this:
You are looking for the version number.
If you have OSX version 10.6.x through OSX 10.8.x you need driver version 1.5.1
If you have OSX version 10.9.x through OSX 10.15.x you need driver version 1.6.1
After you have installed the appropriate driver on your computer you are ready to connect the timer to your computer and test it out. But you need to have the timer working and connected BEFORE you start up Pinewood Master (when Pinewood Master starts up it asks the computer what data connections are available). So setup your timer and get it powered up and working first. Once the timer is working connect the USB cable to your computer.
Now start up Pinewood Master and select Preferences.
In Preferences select the Serial tab.
You will see a window that looks like this.
Now select the port to which your timer is connected.
Mine is showing up as "usbmodem14531"
Yours will most likely have some other name.
If the only options you see are for "Bluetooth" then the computer is not recognizing that your timer is connected and you need to go back and confirm the correct driver is installed. If the driver is installed, then you have some other hardware issue such as a bad cable. The possibilities are too numerous to cover them all here.
But, hopefully, your timer connection is showing up and you have selected it.
When you select your timer's port you should see the port shows as "open." If it still says "closed" either you have chosen the wrong port, or some other program already has the port open. The chances that another program has the port already in use is slim, but not impossible. It is more likely that you have the wrong port selected or that the port for your timer is simply not being recognized by the computer (again, check that the correct driver is installed).
If the port shows "Open" we are ready to continue.
The Fast Track web site says that a Baud Rate of 9600, with 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and no parity is the correct settings for the converter. So you shouldn't need to change those. But in the next step if you see gibberish coming from the timer you may need to 'play' with those settings, such as changing the Baud Rate.
So let's see if the timer is 'talking' to Pinewood Master. Click the "Open Serial Monitor" button to open this window:
Now run some cars down your track (or fake it by tripping the starting gate and waving your hand through the finish gate). If all is well, you should see something that looks like this.
If you see see gibberish it means that the timer and track are 'talking' to each other ... just not the same language. So you will need to change the settings until the two of them understand each other correctly.
But if you see somthing similar to what is shown above ... Great! On to the last step ...
All that is left is to choose your timer. Click the Radio Button (round circle) to the left of "Fast Track".
Now run some cars down the track again (or fake it again).
Now the Serial Monitor window should show the new times and in the bottom section it shows just the times with all the extra characters removed.
If that's what you see .... PERFECT! You are ready to close the Serial Monitor window and the Preferences window and proceed with the rest of your race.
Addendum: Gerry C. contacted me because he couldn't get correct times from his new Fast Track Timer. He was getting times ... but they were wrong. Three days of emails later we found the problem was the timer was sending four digits after the decimal point while Pinewood Master was only expecting three digits. It was an easy to fix and the program and that new version will be made available shortly.