There is an option to upgrade with a retrofit GPS units to each gate, timing hub and start device (price list - service and GPS addon per device). Note if you are looking at the Solar LiPo battery upgrade and the aluminium gates upgrade at the same time.
The GPS removes the reliance on tracking WiFi send and receive latency between the gates to the hub, and the start device and hub, as GPS units run on nanosecond accuracy (1 billionth of a second) thanks to satellites atom clocks. The hardware (gates, hub and start device) then piggyback that accuracy and will allow the display of three decimal place for tied places, to assist in splitting "dead heats". The reasons you might want to consider this upgrade is as follows:
- GPS accuracy is on average 50 nanoseconds 0.00000005 of a second verses non-GPS 0.001
- Allows for 3 decimal timing accuracy
- Guaranteed timing accuracy even in unfavourable environments - latency of messages between the start device and timing hub is bypassed as all units are synchronised to the satellites
How does the GPS add on work?
- GPS units talk to the satellites with nanosecond latency (delays in messages)
- The satellites send a message every second, with the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
- The GPS in the hardware uses this very accurate timestamp as it's a primary time reference
- When a start or a finish is registered, the start device, timing gate and timing hub use the UTC as the primary time reference as well as have a back up of the normal timing stamp as a backup
- The delay in the time stamp being passed from the start device or gates to the timing hub do not have any impact on the accuracy, as the nanosecond accuracy on all devices, means they are all synchronised to UTC and are guaranteed to be accurate
This is a video of the hardware and software being used in the field
If the start device is turned off and turned back on the GPS will need the 30 - 90 seconds to connect. While it is in a green state (waiting for GPS connected) the accuracy times will look like this
If a gate is turned off and turned back on the GPS will need the 30 - 90 seconds to connect. While it is in a green state (waiting for GPS connected) the accuracy times will look like this