40 yd timer setups


I wanted to have a HS type combine this summer at a local track. I am not sure what timer would be best to use. I really like the freelap timers but there are some limitations on the timer http://www.freelaptrackandfield.com/download/manuals/manuals.php. But it would be great to use a wireless timer at a great price… The other unit is the wired brower system. What is everyones opinion on these timers?

A few more questions.

What timers do everyone here normally use?
Are timing gates @ 10yds 20yds and 40yds really necessary?


I have always used the brower timing system - very easy to setup and fast getting through my athletes. I normally have gates at 10 and 40yds for football athletes or 30m and 40yds for max jones testing.

I hear ya on the time it takes… The fact that the free lap has a watch that needs to be strapped on to the kids… I could see how having to say hand me the watch 20 million times would frustrate me beyond belief… Kids these days :slight_smile:

We also used the Brower at PITT, however, different from RB34, I found it to be a pain in the ass to set up.

I’d use 4 gates, same as RB34, however, the hassle for me was the process of the actual set up (set up the tripod, screw it into the gate, add antenna, make sure batteries are ok, and so on). I would do this day in and day out with my combine/pro day crew so I guess the very frequent use is what made it a pain in the ass for me.

If I were only using it once every 4-8 weeks I suppose it would change a lot; however, when used frequently I found it to be a tiresome process.

Come on, - 5mins, try setting up 30 running sleds for a accel session in 35 degree weather.

Yes, it’s true, that extra however many minutes day in and day out became very annoying. We have a Brower here and we’re considering getting another timer because the owners also find the set up to be a pain.

Again, I’m referencing daily use of the device in a situation where it can’t be left set up overnight.

Great info gentlemen. I will see if I can find some reviews online somewhere about the free lap as well. I would rather hear the negative reviews than the positive ones.

Thanks again.

I could only speak for the one that I’ve used/own and like others it is the Brower SpeedTrap. For a HS type combine I wouldn’t even set up any timing gates aside form the finish and I would start it manually since the chances of messing up with the touchpad esp. with a bunch of kids is typical.

I agree - idiot proof…

I hear you. The free lap demos on youtube look promising. But everyone uses brower… I’ll keep digging around. I will post some reviews here if I can find them.

Thanks for the info…

Hi John,

I’ve been using Freelap for about a year, and Brower for about six years prior to that. I had used Brower for periodic testing, but Freelap is so small and easy to set up, I use it at every practice. Here are some of the features of Freelap, and a few comparisons with Brower.

Easy to set up - I’ve set up and broken down Brower many times over the years, and I can do it in a few minutes. Freelap is much faster. I can place the transmitters for a 17 meter fly in the time it takes me to walk 17 meters. I just turn them on and place them on the hurdle marks, and we’re ready to start.

Compact and Portable - The Brower tripods are relatively light weight, but the system is considerably heavier when compared to Freelap. Elite athletes who own a Freelap typically keep them in a small cinch bag. A Freelap watch and two transmitters (the most common configuration) weights 1 pound 4 ounces. A similar configuration in Brower weights about seven pounds.

Expandable - Every Freelap watch has a built-in receiver that is triggered by the proximity of the TX Junior transmitters, or the release of the TX Touch Transmitter. It is possible to time multiple athletes simultaneously, both in the same event and multiple events. For example, you can time mid distance runners in tempo runs in the inside lanes, sprinters in speed work with fly-in sprints in the middle lanes, and hurdle splits in the outside lanes. When using Brower for fly-in sprints, I would time the sprinter in one lane and put the “rabbit” in another lane, and then swap athletes, getting a time for every other sprint. With Freelap, I can time multiple sprinters while they compete in the 30 fly, for example.

Set up size - Brower requires track real estate for the tripods. The Freelap transmitters are placed directly on the line, and do not consume track lanes, which is helpful when sharing the track with other coaches and athletes.

Weather - Brower will blow over in the wind. I’ve never had a Freelap blow over in a wind gust.

Touch and Release - IMO, the Brower touch and release switch is too temperamental and not particularly useful. Athletes are more worried about avoiding a pre-release of the timer than focusing on the mechanics of the start. The Freelap TX Touch Transmitter has a nice tactile feel, and young female sprinter have no problem keeping the button depressed until they begin the sprint.

Cost - Freelap is much cheaper than Brower. For example, adding a split to Freelap is about $115. It is possible for teams to acquire a sufficient number of transmitters to time hurdle splits, for example.

Data - Each Freelap watch holds about 750 splits. Each workout session includes a date a time stamp, and it is possible to download the raw timing data to a PC using an IR dongle. Using the date and time stamp, it is possible to align the data to HR data if you have collected that using a Polar.

Accuracy - The accuracy of Freelap and Brower are about the same, in the range of about 0.02 seconds.

In summary, Freelap is a fully automated timing system that is accurate, wireless, easy to set up and use, compact and portable, and can be used to time fly-in sprints, splits, hurdle splits, tempo runs, recovery times, block starts, laps, football combine 10 and 40 yard dash, agility drills, and more. Hope that is helpful. Let me know if you have questions or need additional information.

Christopher Glaeser
Sports Technology Evangelist

Are you serious?

While I haven’t used the Freelap system, I’ve had my eye on it every since it was first mentioned on the board here sometime over a year ago.

I’ve also been in contact with a few other timing system companies that I’ve discovered over the years and, to date, the Freelap looks to be the closest to the mark in terms of portability, utility, price, and so on.

I conquer with everything Glaeser said in regards to the Brower.

Sounds awesome. How would you do a 5-10-5 agility run with the system?

It is easy to set up the equipment for agility patterns that are touch release and fly-out at different locations, but I don’t know of a way to time an agility pattern with a touch release and fly-out at the same location. The reason is that the TX Junior is transmitting continuously, and the TX Touch won’t trigger the watch when standing in proximity to the TX Junior. It would be easy to time, for example, a 5-10-10, but of course, trainers want to use the 5-10-5 that has become a standard. I will discuss possible solutions with the manufacturer.


I dont think it would be possible without adding a software upgrades to the watch… The watch would have to know to know to shut itself off after the second pass during the drill… But could the 5-10-5 work just using the lap feature?

Anyways i ordered a sprint coach package through the website… Be prepared for a review :slight_smile:

Hello John,

The watch can store more than 750 splits, so it’s not an issue of shutting off or ignoring triggers from the transmitter. Because the 5-10-5 has the same start and finish, it’s not possible to use the TX Touch (start) in proximity to the TX Junior (finish). It would be easy to time a 5-10-10, for example, where the finish is 5 meters from the start, or possibly the 5-10-7, but I don’t think the 5-10-5 is possible with the current equipment.

That said, I suppose I could add a remote on/off switch to a TX Junior using several feet of wire, and turn it on after the athlete begins the pattern. That should work.

Looking forward to your reviews.

Christopher Glaeser
Sports Technology Evangelist

Just got it today. Works just as promised. Very excited about this product. I will post a review and video.