Eureka SPORTident Kit

 

Eureka has a SPORTident set.  This includes the following equipment:

  • SI e-Cards x 20 – numbered as follows.  The sticks are mostly the second-generation, 115ms punch speed, SI Card-8 model, with blue bodies and white tips, and hold 30 control punches, plus Clear, Check, Start and Finish punches.
101519120151922015193201519420151952015196201519720151982015199
2015200201520120152022015203201520410152052015206201520720152082015209
2015210

(Note: Two of the Eureka SI Cards – 1015191 and 1015205 – are the second-generation, 115ms punch speed, SI Card-9 model, which hold 50 control punches, plus Clear, Check, Start and Finish punches. There is also one third-generation, 60ms punch speed, SI Card-10 model in the box – 7200214 – that can be rented out, or is available for purchase to anyone interested. SI Card-10 holds 128 control punches, plus Clear, Check, Start and Finish punches, and registers punches twice as fast as the -8 and -9 models.)

  • Self-contained battery-powered splits printer, that is used with the black download unit.
  • 240VAC-powered Epson TM-T82II thermal receipt printer, used with a PC or laptop to print splits.
  • Control boxes x 59 – numbered as follows – plus admin units x 5 and download units x 2:
313233343536373839(9 units)
40414243444546474849(10 units)
50515253545556575859(10 units)
606162636465---69(7 units)
70717273747576777879(10 units)
808182838485-8788-(8 units)
9091929394(5 units)
Clear
Check
Start
Finish
SI-Master (Clear)
Black Download (for Schools Set Splits Printer)
Red Download (for PC Downloads and Programming)

More information on the Schools Set is in these flyers:

SPORTident School Training Set

SPORTident School Training Set Components

Preparation for Events

Prior to events where SPORTident is used, the following checks need to be performed, to ensure a successful outcome and valid competition results.

The most important requirement for any event, is that all clocks used to time the Start of the race, for every competitor, must be exactly synchronised to all clocks used to time the Finish of the race, without any changes from the first to the last runner. If this aspect of the timing isn’t achieved correctly, then the whole event’s results will very likely be corrupted or invalidated, with a difficult or impossible task of recovery! This also includes manual and electronic beeping clocks, personal watches, iPads – any timing device that is used as a reference for recording or triggering starting or finishing activities, must be set to the same time standard.

The second-most important requirement, is that all clocks in all field units are synchronised, both to each other, and to the Start and Finish time standard. This ensures that all the Split Times between all controls are accurate, consistent and meaningful.

The third-most important requirement, is that the time standard used to set all the event clocks, is synchronised accurately to the real-world local time in the local timezone. This ensures that competitors aren’t disadvantaged by finding, often at short notice, that “O-Time” is significantly different to “real clock time” and that they may risk missing their listed start time. This would be the fault of the organisers if the clocks are wrong, and therefore the onus would be on the organisers to “compensate” all affected runners by giving them a slippage to their start time. This would likely cause a major headache for the start and finish officials.

The time-setting technique is as follows:

  1. Synchronise the SI-Master clock to accurate real-world time.
  2. Synchronise the Start, Finish, and field units to the SI-Master.
  3. Configure the event software with the time processing method.
  • Synchronise the SI-Master clock to accurate real-world time. This is the responsibility of the Eureka SI Coordinator.

The clock in the SI-Master station is more accurate than those in the normal field control units, but it will still drift over time – up to 20 seconds per month. Resetting it to accurate time should be performed regularly, and at least twice per year. When Daylight Savings starts and ends is a logical schedule.

To set the clock in the SI-Master, you will need: A PC or Laptop with Windows, the SI Config+ software from SPORTident, a red download control, a ferrite coupling stick, and the SI-Master unit.

  1. Boot the PC.
  2. Ensure the PCs clock is accurately set to local time. The best option is to ensure that the “Set Time Automatically” options in Windows are turned ON, and connect the PC to the Internet, so the clock is set accurately using Network Time Protocol.
  3. Plug the download control into a USB port on the PC.
  4. Run the SI Config+ software.
  5. Ensure SI Config+ is running in “Remote” mode.
  6. Place the SI-Master unit on the download control, with the coupling rod in place.
  7. Click “Clock”.
  8. Click Set Time. The unit will beep when the clock has been set. Confirm that the time difference (the number marked 4 below) is less than 0.1 of a second.
  • Synchronise the Start, Finish, and field units to the SI-Master. This is the responsibility of the Course Setter.

To set the clocks in the control boxes, you will need: The SI-Master unit, a ferrite coupling stick, a “Service/Off” purple SI Stick, and the field control units.

Punching the SI-Master unit with the Service/Off stick will cycle the unit through several operating modes with each successive punch. The modes are:

Service mode (Display “SERVMO”) Displays the most important settings, switches back to standby mode after 5 minutes.
Time master (Display “TIMEMA”) The station will sync and set the time of every touched station.
Extended master (Display “EXTMA”) The station will set operating time, sync and set the time and clear backup memory of every touched station.
Standard master (Display “STDMA”) The station will sync and set the time and restore the standard configuration of every touched station.
Standby mode (Display off).

Every SI control unit has a control code programmed internally, that is written to each stick along with the time, as orienteers punch the controls. Each Eureka unit also has a numeric label attached to the top of it. It is most important that the programmed electronic/internal code matches the physical/labelled code or function on top, on every unit.

If you are 100% certain that the field controls all have the correct numbering already set inside, ie every unit electronically matches the label on top, you should use EXTMA mode. If you are not 100% sure that the field controls have the correct numbering electronically, eg one or more units may have been reprogrammed during a previous activity and electronically may not match the labels on top, use STDMA mode.

  1. Using the Service/Off stick, punch the SI-Master unit once.
  2. Check the clock on the display on the unit, to confirm that it is set to the correct local time and is accurate.
  3. Punch the SI Master unit further times, to put it in the desired mode – EXTMA or STDMA.
  4. Place the ferrite coupling rod into the SI-Master.
  5. Use the SI Master to “punch” the field controls with the other end of the ferrite rod.
  6. Wait until each field unit beeps to confirm the sync process is complete.
  7. Check the display on each field unit, to confirm that the clock time, unit function and code number are correctly set. The function and code number are shown as eg “CTR 42”, meaning “Control” with code “42”. Admin controls display “CLR” for Clear, “CHK” for Check, “STA” for Start, or “FIN” for Finish, and a code number between 1 and 30.
  8. The field units will automatically go into Standby Mode after about 5 minutes.
  9. On completion, punch the SI-Master with the Service/Off stick until it returns to Standby Mode (display off).
  10. The field units are now ready for competition.If you introduce SI units from other sources, eg another club, always ensure that one SI-Master unit is used to sync all the units involved in the event, and preferably sync everything as close together in time as possible, to each other, and to the start of the event.
  • Configure the event software with the time processing method. This is the responsibility of the Event Organiser.If you are running a championship or badge event where everyone has a prelisted start time, it is best to use the Start Control only to start competitors who are not starting on their prelisted time. This might include early runners, people who are late where the organiser is at fault, or people with start times that are changed in the pre-start by the start officials at short notice. In this case, make sure that runners cannot punch a Start unit by mistake – place the Start unit some distance away from the pre-Start, and off the normal run-out path, and only inform runners that need to punch it, to go near it. Watch out for people who have a habit of punching every unit they see!If you are running a State Series-style event, where people just turn up and start whenever they are ready to go off, then punching the Start Control is required for everyone, and the start layout must ensure that noone can start without punching the Start unit. This is important for safety, as the Start unit can be used to determine who is out in the forest.It is good to understand how the SI system works in this regard. SI e-Cards have a dedicated memory slot inside them to capture the Start Time, which has to come from a Start unit. All time slots in the SI stick are cleared when the runner punches the Clear unit. If a runner does not punch a Start Control, this memory slot remains empty throughout their run.At the download after the Finish, if the Start Time slot in the stick is found to be empty, the results software looks internally for a pre-loaded Start Time, such as the listed time preset for each runner. If that is not found, then an error message is displayed and manual intervention is required.If a Start Time is present in the stick, the software then looks at a checkbox setting in the event’s setup – “Use start station for real time start”. This setting tells the software whether to use the Start Time in the stick to overwrite any preset start time it may have already, and use that to calculate the result, or to ignore any Start Time in the stick and behave as if the Start Time slot is empty (then see above – either the preset time is used or an error occurs).
    The protocol and process used to organise the start needs to match this setting in the software. For instance, for a State Series event, this checkbox should always be ticked, and all runners made to punch a Start unit. For a Championship or Badge event, the recommended setting is to clear the checkbox, and only allow runners to punch the Start unit for good reason, when given permission by a start official. If a runner punches a Start unit, eg due to being late, then we want the software to ignore that revised time and use the original time, until a decision is made by the event controller or finish officials to accept the revised time. At that point, the runner’s result can be edited manually to use the Start Punch time instead of the listed start time.

    For a less serious event experience, ticking the checkbox will tell the software to overwrite any pre-entered start time with the start punch in the stick, and hand the competitor their punched start time in their result immediately.

    There may be instances of events where runners start on a listed time, but are all made to punch a Start unit anyway, eg this is quite common for MTBO Champs. In this case, it’s the same protocol as a State Series event, and the listed start times are being used more as an organisational schedule to ensure that riders go off at separated intervals, rather than being a crucial part of the timing regime.

    When you decide how your event is going to operate, make sure that the person in charge of configuring the software sets this checkbox correctly!

  • After your event, reset any field control boxes that may have been reprogrammed during the event. This is the responsibility of the Course Setter.
  1. Using the Service/Off stick, punch the SI-Master unit four times, to put it into STDMA mode.
  2. Place the ferrite coupling rod into the SI-Master.
  3. Use the SI Master to “punch” the affected field controls with the other end of the ferrite rod.
  4. Wait until each field unit beeps to confirm the sync process is complete.
  5. Check the display on each field unit, to confirm that the unit function and code number are correctly set. The function and code number are shown as eg “CTR 42”, meaning “Control 42”. Admin controls display “CLR” for Clear, “CHK” for Check, “STA” for Start, or “FIN” for Finish, and a code number between 1 and 30.
  6. The field units will automatically go into Standby Mode after about 5 minutes.
  7. On completion, punch the SI-Master with the Service/Off stick until it returns to Standby Mode (display off).
  8. The field units are now reset back to their default settings. For the Eureka units, the default setting matches the function on the label on the top of the unit.