Maximise your Start Device reception
This email contains some important information which may assist you in getting the most out of your wireless timing system, specifically the reception of your wireless starting device.
Please note it has been discovered that the antenna connector on the start device and timing hub, has been causing damage to the reception levels due to excessive force (accidental or unintentional). So if your reception declines from week to the next, this is most likely the cause and will require the internal communication chip to be fixed/replaced. Please take care when attaching and removing the antennas and how they are stored, to reduce the risk of damaging the comms chip.
Note your hub can connect to the antenna via the extension cable or directly. The extension cable can be damaged too, which will affect the hubs ability to use the antenna. We suggest bypassing the extension cable to confirm the antenna and hub are performing better with the extension cable
1. Damaged cable
2. Antenna - hub - antenna attached to extension cable
Note - a topic on gate servicing - gate servicing
The symptoms of poor start device reception include
- Green LED lights taking a while to reset to a solid state after the race has been saved
- Gun turning off unexpectedly. Note: if out of range for 10 min or more the device turns off to save power as it has assumed that everyone has gone home for the day
- The battery percentage on RaceHQ display as 'NA'
- Delays in getting the 'Start' button to appear on the RaceHQ screen
- Noticeable delays between the gun/device being triggered and the clock on the RaceHQ screen starting.
- Device not starting RaceHQ timer at all
Things that affect wireless reception
In general, the wireless devices work best when they have a reasonable line of site between each other. Things that might hinder this include:
- Metal/aluminium objects/structures such as starters stands, high jump mat shelters, shade shelters
- People crowding around the device or crowds forming within the line of sight
- Antennas not being vertical may cause poor reception; there is an antenna within the start device which is aligned lengthwise. It impedes reception when the device is held horizontally such as being laid down on the ground/flat surface
Recommendation for users experiencing poor device reception
- Ensure that line of sight is maximised as much as possible
- Raise the wireless dongle (the one connected to your computer) antenna as high as possible (above peoples heads ideally) by securing it to to a pole or shelter
- Move the wireless dongle and/or antenna to clear air (not underneath aluminium structured shade shelter)
- Keep the starting device/gun upright/vertical and raised where possible (avoid laying down on the ground, or shielding by starters stands / tool boxes)
- If the gun has been in poor view for some time, give it some time after you bring it back in line of sight before you attempt to start a race to ensure it has found the finish-line wireless dongle, and that it is ready to send a start signal
Advice for specific wireless start device use
Use with Pistol/Cap starts
- Attach the start device to a raised cradle on a pole or starters stand, so it remains high and in view at all times, then raise the cap gun so that it is close to the start device when the cap is detonated
- Attach the start device to the gun, but make sure it is held in clear view of the finish-line wireless dongle, including between races
Digital starts (using the audio out function, no pistol/caps being used)
- Make sure the starter keeps the device vertical and where possible raised with a clear view of the finish line wireless dongle
- Avoid covering the midsection backing (smooth surface) of the start device with your hands, as this may cover the internal antenna in the start device