Maximise your wireless start device reception

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 - a topic on gate servicing - gate servicing

The symptoms of poor start device reception include

  1. Green LED lights taking a while to reset to a solid state after race has been saved
  2. 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
  3. The battery percentage on RaceHQ display as 'NA'
  4. Delays in getting the 'Start' button to appear on the RaceHQ screen
  5. Noticeable delays between the gun/device being triggered and the clock on the RaceHQ screen starting. 
  6. Device not starting RaceHQ timer at all

Things that affect wireless reception

In general the wireless devices work best when they have 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
  • Trees
  • 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

  1. Ensure that line of sight is maximised as much as possible
  2. 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
  3. Move the wireless dongle and/or antenna to clear air (not underneath aluminium structured shade shelter)
  4. Keep the starting device/gun upright/vertical and raised where possible (avoid laying down on the ground, or shielding by starters stands / tool boxes)
  5. 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 up 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 mid section backing (smooth surface) of the start device with your hands, as this may cover the internal antenna in the start device

Antenna extender kits

If you find that you have continued reception troubles with your wireless start device, we have some antenna range extender kits available for users who feel they need some extra range and reliability. This is not required if your devices are working well, but are here to help increase your reception and reliability if having troubles.

There is a wireless start device kit as well as a wireless computer dongle kit, described below. Please be in touch at if you feel that you are in need of this upgrade, or would like some further advice based on your situation; please include description of your symptoms.

Wireless start device kit includes:

  • 13.5cm long antenna cable to allow the internal antenna to protrude out the end of the start device.
  • Instructions on how to perform the update will be included, however in summary: The device needs to be opened, the internal antenna removed, the extension lead connected, and thread through a hole (which you must drill) in the plastic casing, and finally the internal antenna can now be connected to the extension which will now be on the exterior of the device

Wireless computer Dongle kit includes:

  • 3m antenna extension cable
  • A bracket for attaching the antenna cable to your shade shelter post 

More powerful antennas for wireless computer dongle:

  • Optional antennas that have a larger range can also be purchased from us at cost and postage; $18 for 4dB and $40 for 11dB antenna, excluding postage. You can also purchase the 11dB antenna directly from Jaycar - click here for more info.

Support and Feedback

  • As always please send any thoughts, suggestions or challenges that you're having to so that we can assist.
  • Visit our new support forum by clicking here and save it to your favourites
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