Race Timing Two Winter Races

Disclaimer 1: We only have 7 days left of winter.

Disclaimer 2: It doesn’t feel like winter.

Disclaimer 3: Technically I’m only timing one race, and even then it’s in an unofficial capacity!

Okay, now that I have those disclaimers out of the way, it’s going to be a fun and chilly weekend here in Southwestern Montana as I’m helping with one race tomorrow, then timing another race on Sunday as another live test of Good Times Software’s new RFID (Chip) Timing interface.

Those of you who are familiar with chip timing already know the importance of making sure your timing systems’ clocks are synchronized.  Many of the elements involved in how to time a race start to fall apart of clocks aren’t synchronized!  Automated syncing of the IPICO Sports Elite Reader clock with the timing computer clock will be something we test this weekend.  The new chip timing interface in Good Times allows the timer to choose whether to sync the Elite Reader clock to the PC clock, or vice versa.

Chip timers also know that when the same timing location is used for two different purposes (such as a shared starting line and finish line) that timing software must be magically aware of that.  When a runner crosses a timing pad and the electronics send a Chip ID to the timing software, the timing software must “know” whether that is the runner crossing the pad at the start of the race, or crossing the pad at the finish.  Timing software generally uses “time ranges” to accomplish this.  In the scenario above, an eight-minute time range setting in Good Times causes the software to calculate finish times only when seen occurring after eight minutes into the start of the race.  The time range is customizable, of course, and eight minutes is ample time for runners at the start of the race to cross the shared starting/finish line timing pad and move away from it as they enjoy their run.  Make sense?  Hopefully!  This has been tested before, but we’ll be proving it again this weekend, too.

Have you visited Good Times Software on Facebook yet?  If not, please do!  Also, readers, just over two weeks remain in our Winter 2014 Promotion.  Refer someone who ends up becoming a Good Times customer, and we’ll send you $100.  It’s that easy!  For more details, visit GoodTimesSoftware.com/reward.

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