Hi I wish to build an App to produce times at...

@John_Broughall Check out this screen cast video I made of a little Rally Input App I made for you.

This is super simple, will something like this work?

You could probably add something like this to your Excel Sheet and use it just as input, but it would be MUCH better if you built the entire thing into an App that would do everything and more than your spreadsheet does, and much more organized and easy to use!

The way your Tables are set up, none of that will work in Appsheet world, only one record per Row allowed.

Your Values must be in it’s own Table. To speed things up a bunch in this sample Input App, I setup Show_If of =ISBLANK() so as soon as you make your choice it’s locked in and jumps to the next row ready for input.

Without this, since there are so many choices, it would be easy to bump into & enter the wrong data while scrolling down to the next row.

If you make a wrong entry, you’d just hit Cancel and start over, would take 1 second. App now CONCATENATES the HH, MM, SS into [Time], it would be very easy to make the App compute Elapsed time, and everything else.

Notice how I have the Table View Grouped by Car #, could also make a View Sorted on Stage, Driver, etc.

There might be a way to use a Time column to enter HH:MM:SS, but I don’t know how to omit the AM/PM.

@Stephen_Mattison Life is never simple. This is a new idea and I know that I shall meet resistance from the traditionalists who like the ’ Old Ways '.

I need to convince the existing Results Team Manager [ Scorer ] who is set in his ways, and the national Motor Sports Association [ MSA ] who control our sport. At this stage, to build an App that does all the work, would be a step too far. They need to see transparency of the system. That is why I need to go down the route of Data gathering to a visible spreadsheet where they can track the flow of the data from the Input sheet to the Results sheet. At some time in the future, it may be possible to do all the functions in the App, but not yet. This month, the MSA has set up a Technology Working Group, who are already considering another project that I am working on timing Classic Car events using GPS, timed to the second with no roadside marshals. When I have a working prototype of the Appsheet Results system, I wish to submit it to them for the MSA’s consideration in the near future. At this stage, it is about widening their ideas of what can be done with technology.

I hope that it will reduce the current data gathering with paper time cards and couriers taking data to someone to key in, with significant risks of errors and mistakes and a lot of manpower. It should also be almost ’ real time ’ results.

If the finish time is keyed into the App at the Stop Line, the car’s Elapsed time will have already been posted onto the Internet by the time that he drives to the Service Area.

That would be real progress. I am also a firm believer in the KISS principle [ Keep it Simple Stupid ]. Let’s just take it one step at a time, as shown on my schematic diagram [ which has been produced in anticipation of a submission to the Working Group ].

I hope that you understand my position.


I would like the display of the App to be bold and simple. with a limited number of ’ multiple choices '. .

It may be a bit too much to ask to make it Idiot Proof .

@Stephen_Mattison The Validation List had a 00 / 30 second option to enable the Operator to toggle between them.

Thank you for helping me.

Just tell me how to give you access to the spreadsheet in Google Drive and I shall do it.

This is all new to me.

I am the Official Chief Timekeeper for the South Downs Stages at the Goodwood Race Circuit, UK

next February. I need to work with the Results Manager, who normally collects the times and inputs them in to his Google Sheet manually [ very time consuming and prone to error ]. I would love to use the App to time the event at the Start and at the Flying Finish of the Stage, but that is not possible at the moment.

We need to use MSA Certified accurate Timers. I was proposing to input the times of the Start [ at minute and 30 second intervals, so it is either 00 or 30 ]. At the finish, the cars are timed by a IR Beam to HH:MM:SS. Those times would need to be inserted manually.

The minutes would normally be incrementing by a minute [ so a + / - would be fine ], but the seconds could be 1 - 59 . When I can prove that it works, I would like to consider a timing front end like the Nasa Rally Check Point Timer App.

play.google.com - Rally Checkpoint Clock - Apps on Google Play

which does Arrival, Start and Finish functions.

One day perhaps. Rally Checkpoint Clock - Apps on Google Play play.google.com


In the Validation List, T1 / T2 and T3 are for Test data submissions from the App to the spreadsheet prior to the running of the event. 000 / 00 and 0

are for the safety Course Cars running ahead of the rally. They are to check the safety of the Stage, with the ’ 0

’ Car running about 5 minutes before the first car. These data strings will be shown in the Blue Columns. The computed Code will be created, but it will have nowhere to be posted to.

I would expect the Scorer to monitor these times to check progress and connectivity.

@John_Broughall thanks for all of the updated info, very helpful. You will not be able to make your UI look like your mock-up data entry screen. I believe that you could set up plus and minus buttons to adjust your data entry but in appsheet I believe that will end up being very clunky and hard to use in cold wet with gloved hands as you mentioned. To get all of the functioning that you have requested, like advancing car number automatically will take lots of work and I do not have time to figure all of that out. I set it up with many Emum choices because I thought that would be faster simpler more error-proof data entry.

@Stephen_Mattison Hi, I have taken on board everything that you have said. Just to confirm that I have reviewed the layout of the App a little so that all the variables are stacked on the Left hand side, with a Minus / Plus keys in the middle and right. Due to a misunderstanding, I don’t want to select / enter the Stage number every time, just set it and keep it for the cars going through that Sage. Likewise, The App will be used at the Start with the Post setting of SS by one Operator. There will be another Operator at the Finish using the Post Setting of SF.

Both App locations will be submitting time data to the Spreadsheet regularly every minute approximately., [ and every 30 seconds for the 30 second starts ]. To avoid these setting to be changed in error during that stage, it would be good if they could be LOCKED.

The Car numbers will normally be sequential, but it may also have the odd change. By using the + / -, the car number can be stepped up manually. I don’t want the App to seek the next available number. I don’t want to seek a Car # from a drop down list of 1 - 99

or scan through a table of numbers as you have suggested.

I would anticipate that when one car leaves the Start Line, the plus button can be pressed once to register the next number.

For simplicity, I could use the Minimum of ’ 1

’ and the Maximum of, say ’ 105 ', where the numbers 100 - 105 are used for the Course Cars, etc.

It would appear that the number range may be simpler than a Validation List approach.

For the Time, I want to set the Hour from a range of 0 - 23 and normally leave it, unless the hour changes during the

running of the stage, when it will only step up one.

I don’t want to use a drop down List or table, as you’ve suggested. For the Minutes, the Start times will normally be at minute intervals, so when one car departs, I want to manually step up by one minute and not use a drop down list or table for the range of

0 to 59. The seconds are a little more difficult. Generally, the same comments apply, as for the Minutes.

However, I would like to find a fast track way to switch from 00 to 30 for the 30 second starts.

Lets get it working overall first and puzzle that problem out later. I note that some builds of the App refer to a separate reference file held on Google Sheets. Could that hold the Validation Lists and be drawn on to allow the extended range that I am looking for. I would anticipate that the HH:MM:SS would be concatenate the three elements into the full time function for transmission to the spreadsheet.

I hope that the detailed task is starting to fall into place.

I do appreciate your contribution and I know that I can be a little pedantic sometimes. John B

I only need Stage / Post / Car # and time. The spreadsheet computes the unique code to place it into the correct cell in the spreadsheet. It should produce a Results Page, which can be Posted onto Google Sheet for Public access / viewing.

The aim is to have one extra person at the Start and Finish and the rest is just automatic.

@John_Broughall All totally doable and will be sweet!

Should all but eliminate errors and all data will be in your backend Sheet within seconds of the actual finish times.

You can even set up Reports, (with photos if you want) to be Emailed and/or SMS out automatically.

Cool App use.

I’m kind of glad you’re using external Official Time.

You’d get accurate time using App, but I guess it wouldn’t be Sanctioned, as you need.

For maximum UI speed, I’d set everything up using Buttons.

I built a Birth Date/Age calculator and have 100 years to choose from and it’s still way faster than manually inputting 1,9,8,5… so all of your data will be super fast to enter!

I also like using Enum/Buttons because it forces data entry the way you want it, reducing errors. You could totally build an Appsheet App that will do all of your Arrival, Start & Finish functions.

It would be far easier to use than what you’re setting up above.

More complicated to build, but you’d essentially end up with very simple Buttons for Arrival, Start, Finish for each Stage or Post, when clicked, they would automatically enter a Timestamp, then

simple formulas will calculate Start & Finish Timestamps into your Decimal Times, like 02:33:54.

Appsheet Timestamps will use the GPS Clock system, so it would be extremely accurate.

You could even set up automatic GPS Stamps to Log exactly where the person is when they entered the Start & Finish Times.

This would be a very slick way to Network a number of timekeepers in different locations.

LOTS of possibilities!

@John_Broughall When I click on that Sheet you posted, it says I must Request Permission to view the Sheet, I did that, you must go into your Sheet, top right, I believe, & find where you have a Request and give it to me.

Or, if you just “Get Sharable link” it will make the sheet viewable to the Public, then when I get back in and click it here, I should have access, but everyone else will too, which should be fine cause you’re looking for help.

drive.google.com - Appsheet D4.xlsx

I hope that this works.

Where do you live ? Appsheet D4.xlsx drive.google.com

Later version - drive.google.com - Appsheet D6.xlsx

Appsheet D6.xlsx drive.google.com

@John_Broughall OK, this Later version Spreadsheet opened up just fine.

Lemme check it out.

Just so you know, I do everything in Google Sheets.

I live in Missouri, USA.

Hello John! Did you ever get your Rally Car timing App working the way you wanted? I’d love to see it if you have! Stephen