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For Promoters: Troubleshooting Your RFID Live Timing System
For Promoters: Troubleshooting Your RFID Live Timing System
David Call avatar
Written by David Call
Updated over a week ago

On this page: Common Problems, you will find a list of common mistakes that can disrupt your live timing system.

RFID technology is highly reliable, which is why it is extensively used in city infrastructures worldwide and various other applications. However, there are certain factors that can affect the RFID system's performance or its ability to interface with RaceReady's software. Here are some common problems to be aware of:

  1. Power: Ensure that all internal modules of the RFID Electronics Hub are powered on and functioning properly. Allow them at least five minutes to power on and establish a connection. It is crucial to maintain a steady power source without fluctuations. Unreliable power supply, including fluctuations in city grid power, can lead to system unreliability. Consider using a reliable generator for power.

  2. Internet: The RFID Electronics Hub typically comes with a mobile router that requires a cellular SIM card. Ensure that you have cell coverage for your mobile internet to work, and verify that the SIM card's data plan is active with sufficient data. If you are using an alternative method for internet connectivity, ensure its reliability and high-speed capability.

  3. Starting & Stopping the Race correctly: RaceReady's software relies on an operator to properly start and stop each race for accurate recording of live timing results. Failure to do so will result in no scores or lap times being recorded.

  4. Using Alternative RFID Hardware: RaceReady provides specifically-engineered hardware for optimal performance. Attempting to use alternative cables, antennas, RFID readers, or other components not recommended by RaceReady can cause damage, interference, or other issues. If you require additional hardware, consult with your RaceReady representative for suitable options.

  5. Damaged Cables: Take care not to wind RFID antenna cables too tightly or crease them, as this can damage the internal fibers. While RaceReady uses high-quality cables, they are not immune to damage over time. Handle the cables with care.

  6. Transponder Tags: Proper application and care of transponder tags are essential. Avoid applying them near metallic substances that can cause interference, such as wire mesh inside helmets. Folding, photocopying, power-washing, or applying the tags with the wrong orientation can weaken their signal. Follow the guidelines provided by RaceReady for the correct application and maintenance of transponder tags.

  7. Antenna Position & Orientation: Ensure that square antennas are positioned between 10' and 16' overhead, at equal intervals, with LH (left-hand) and RH (right-hand) oriented antennas staggered (e.g., LH, RH, LH, RH). The faces of the antennas should be oriented downward and slightly angled toward oncoming racers (approximately 5°). Detailed instructions can be found in the referenced article.

While it is unlikely due to advancements in cellular technology, be aware that local interference is still a possibility, although it no longer occurs on frequencies that would interfere with RFID technology.

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