Detector Set Up & Placement


This video shows the Orbiter hardware set up.  Detail photos are shown below as to where to place the Orbiter readers.

Road Race Set-up for Orbiter SPIRE and SLING Detectors:

The tag detection zone on the Orbiter shines forward from the orange bollard like a flash light.   There is no tag detection on the back of the Orbiter reader.  Forward of the reader the bib or wrist tag is detected on the out side edge of the radio lobe.  Tag detects can be set for  “first tag detect seen” or”last tag detect seen”.  This is based on the type of the race.  (Running races are usually First Tag Detect seen, and Bike races are typically Last Tag Detect seen.)  

Time accuracy has been measure to 1/100th second by objective third parties.  

The size of the read zone depends on tag size and the reader type (SPIRE or SLING).

How To Set-up a Start Finish Line

Go to the hardware store and purchase washable spray paint, two stakes, and chord.  Spray the Start Finish line as shown in this picture.

Next, Calibrate tag detection on the line.

Move the detectors back and forth and angle slightly until the tag “Beep” is on the line.  This is done by holding the tag up prior to the race as shown below.  With practice you will get the detection to happen on the start / finish line.

Shown: Checking to confirm Start “Beep on the line by moving the detectors back and forth until they “beep” when the bib is right over the Start / Finish line.

Gun Start

No Orbiter detectors are needed with a Gun Start at the Start because all Participants get the same start time.  This is done by pressing the Start Button on the Tablet/Laptop; OR, using a Start Tag as a gun. 

Chip Starts (Individual Start Time seen below.)

For chip time starts use three detectors.   Two on the side and one in the center.   The center detector is a SLING worn by the person that starts the race.  

Having a person start the race from this  position is traditional.  This method of starting a race has been used for many years in road running races for safety reasons.  It keeps people in the back of the pack from pushing forward on hearing a Start horn. 

The person starting the race also become a detector by wearing the SLING.   This set up gets good tag detects in the middle of the pack of runners. 

Mat systems do the same by having multiple rows of mats or more than one tag per bib to increase tag detection rates.  The off set with mats is increased costs and time to set up.

Chip Start Set-up shown above.  Note 2 SPIRES and one SLING are used.

Finish Line Set Up:

Finish for 500 participant or less Races

For small races using a gun start all that is needed is a SLING alone.  This set up works exceptionally well.  No side antennas are needed.  Stand 20 feet past the finish line such that the “beep” detection happen on the finish line as shown below.

Finish for Greater than 500 Participants Races

For larger races with a gun start, use a SPIRE and SLING together as shown below.  Be sure to calibrate the location of the readers so the detection “beep” happens on the finish line.   Use the SLING as a backup to capture those participants that wear their bibs on their backs or sides.  This is done by moving from side to side.   By doing this a manual system such as using a Time Machine is not necessary.   You will gain 100 percent tag detects for  every participant gets a “beep”.

Typical finish line set up.  Even with most large races having one SPIRE and one back up SLING gains 100% tag detects.

Note: Watch for runners that wear their bib tags on their backs or sides.  Use the SLING to capture these participants by moving the SLING to the right or left to focus on them.   There can be up to 5 out of 100 that wear their bibs this way.

Everyone that gets a “beep” at the finish gets a time.  No “beep” means no time.   When this happens write take note and insert the participant time into the database using “Manual Entry”.

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