With the release of Good Times Software version 3.7.2 comes a new analysis tool to help race timers using the IPICO Sports chip timing system efficiently analyze the underlying raw data generated on Elite Readers.
This is an advanced feature, and will be confusing for anyone who is unfamiliar with the IPICO Sports Elite Reader file format. For the sake of this blog post, I’ll simplify: the IPICO Sports Elite Readers generate a “First Seen” date/time stamp and a “Last Seen” data/time stamp each time any race participant approaches and then departs a timing mat. It’s these date/time stamps that are crucial in calculating a participants time. For example, at the start of the race a participant may approach the starting line, standing on a mat, and then leave the starting line when the gun fires. In this case, the “First Seen” data is thrown away — it’s unimportant. But the “Last Seen” data is very important, as timing software will use that date/time stamp when calculating the participants finish time. Then, when the participant approaches and crosses the finish line, another set of “First Seen” and “Last Seen” data is generated. In this case, the “Last Seen” data is thrown away — it’s unimportant. But the “First Seen” data is very important, as timing software will use that data/time stamp to compare against the participants starting time as it calculates a chip finish time. Hope that makes sense!
Working with all of this data can be complicated, no doubt. But the Analysis Tool in Good Times Software version 3.7.2 allows you to cut through much of the complexity, and perform various calculations. You can load up the entire contents of one or two Elite Reader files, filter by Chip ID, select rows to calculate time differences, etc. When developing Good Times, we used to do this sort of analysis to validate our timing algorithms, but had to use external tools to load up the data, copy/paste into Microsoft Excel, write the formulas to do the calculations, etc. It was a burden! But burdens be gone!
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