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Read Success – The Orbiter Advantage

There are three methods of chip timing: (1) use of an overhead structure (2) use of mats (3) side antennas. Orbiter was first to innovate and patent side antenna technology. Here is a review:

Potential Problems with mat/ramp systems:

  •  Complicated manual cable connections are time consuming and tedious to set up. Cables are delicate and fray and break on mat and overhead systems.
  • Mats are heavy, typically last 2 years, get dirty and are difficult to clean. They are such a tripping hazard that many timers “nail” the mats down into asphalt and concrete.
  • When more than one row of mats are used there is a fuzzy finish as one does not know for sure which mat picked up a right leg or left leg shoe tag detection.
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  • Venues with limited set up time may have issues getting complicated system set up in the time allotted by the stadium.

Overhead Structures with mounted antennas must be 15 and 1/2 feet high by 20 feet to meet international fire code.

  • Many of the same issues as with mats in the time it takes to set up, plus with overhead structures is there is the liability and danger. On public roads the International Fire Code requires a height of 13 feet 6 inches and a width of 20 feet. (approximately 4.5 meters X 6.6 meters). T 
  • High wind is an issue as well as permitting in some municipalities. In Myrtle Beach, SC on live news the overhead timing structure was blown down for all to see. In Steilacoom, WA a race was delayed as the Fire Marshall required the overhead timing structure moved off the road way prior to the race.
  • Setting up the complicated structure gets old very quickly. There are up to 20 cable connections that must be manually put together, and then again undo as they are taken down.
  • The time detector control box used is obsolete, not needed and ads expense.
  • Cold weather on fingers and hands makes building the overhead structure for each event get old very quickly.
  • Set up time is extensive and there may be issues of getting the system set up in time.

Advantages of the Orbiter Timing System:

  • Each Orbiter is it’s own patented stand-alone system that supports other Orbiter in the area. On a typical large race there are three Orbiters providing true redundancy.
  • Our antennas a phased detected and can read a tag in any Orientation.  Unlike many antennas that are linear polarized.
  • Orbiter sets up in 3 minutes with no cables and is 100% wireless.  This means the system may be set up without a prior site survey. This saves money with less travel. concern.
  • Orbiter is the only system that was designed for extreme weather from the start.  No rain shielding is needed.  Proven in extreme high shock environments. Orbiters have been used in tropical, desert, and artic environments all over the world. We
  • Distance from the chip to the antenna can be up to 60 feet.
  • Battery operated with 8 hour battery life depending on model.  Extended life available with AC power option, and battery recharger built in with power indicator light.  
  • 24 volt battery operation means extended read ranges.
  • Nonvolatile memory so your race is safe even with loss of power.
  • The Orbiter Sling Reader is versatile, powerful, and able to read tags in a crowded close in environment as well as at 20 ft. of distance.  unlike handhelds, the SLING is a full RFID reader the same as the larger SPIRE both operate with 24 volts of power.
  • Used in both large (30,000 person) and (85 person) small races.   This is a true advantage as most races are less than 500 people, yet Orbiter can scale to thousands of people. The rule of thumb is Orbiter uses the same number of readers needed with other systems for Marathons. The benefit is that Orbiter readers and tags are dramatically less expensive than the total cost of mat systems.
  • These patents are not pending, and thus not subject to question.  The Orbiter operates uniquely because each system is autonomous from the other, yet the communicate with each other such that they complement each other in a powerful way.   This means that more than one detector operates tighter with others as one, or separately depending on the need.    Additionally, Orbiter uses Epoch Time Method (day, month, year) rather than Time Differential Method(local time zone Start / Finish) ensuring a history of tag detects over weeks and months may be gained easily. This also allows timing events concurrently all around the world.

    In addition, Orbiter tags are physically different.  For example, Our Triathlon wrist tag may be read at the same distance turned vertically to the reader as facing the reader making a robust read the same as battery powered tags even though our tag is passive.

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