2018 timing system upgrades

For 2018, there have been upgrades to the CrossMgr/Impinj RFID timing system that provide improved quality results.

  • Quadratic regression (QR) analysis now allows CrossMgr software to use 3 or more RFID chip times to calculate the time on the finish line with 1/100 second precision, yielding 6-inch accuracy at 34mph.  Prior to quadratic regression, CrossMgr used only the first time reported by an Impinj reader, resulting in finish times up to 10 feet before the finish line.  Since the RFID reader supports up to 600 tags per second, tags are read up to 20 times while passing the antenna, providing plenty of data to calculate a high precision time.
  • RANSAC (random sample consensus) processing logic is used to improve the results of quadratic regression analysis by eliminating spurious outlier data collected from the RFID chip reader due to signal reflection.
  • Support has been added for higher resolution cameras.
  • CrossMgrVideo software has been improved with more features for recording and reviewing finish line photos.
  • We’ve added an ultra low light camera with an AR0130 sensor. This camera is so sensitive to light that it is used for photographing distant stars at night.

Comparison of RFID chip signal strength (RSSI) data points along with curves generated by quadratic regression from the same data.

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Camera Sensor Product Research

Here are the results of research on selected available camera sensors. For lenses, the varifocal 5-50mm (80 degress to 8 degrees) lens provides the widest selection for field of view, rather than a fixed focal length. A 2.8-12mm (130 to 28 degrees field of view) lens provides even wider field of view. For comparison, the human eye has a 2.97mm focal length with a 128 degree field of view.

Best low light sensitivity in mv/lux-sec:

AR0130: 5600mv color, 6500mv black & white.
IMX322; 5000mv
OV7725: 3800mv
OV2710: 3700mv
AR0330: 2000mv
IMX291: 1300mv
IMX179: 650mv
OV5640: 600mv

Highest supported frame rates in fps:

OV2710: 240
AR0330: 215
OV5640: 120
IMX291: 120
AR0130: 60
OV7725: 60
IMX322: 30
IMX179: 30

Best resolution:
IMX179: 8mp with 1/3.2″ sensor (3264 x 2448)
OV5640: 5mp with 1/4″ sensor (2592 x 1944)
AR0330: 3mp with 1/3″ sensor (2048 x 1536)
IMX322: 2mp with 1/2.9″ sensor (1920 x 1080)
IMX291: 2mp with 1/2.8″ sensor (1920 x 1080)
OV2710: 2mp with 1/2.7″ sensor (1920 x 1080)
AR0130: 1.2mp with 1/3″ sensor (1280 x 960)
OV7725: .3mp with 1/4″ sensor, (640 x 480)

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2017 year in review

2017 was a busy year, with over 375 on-site service projects completed in Buffalo and Rochester.

More than 20 different national service providers assigned us projects this year, including: Trextel, BLM Technologies, Concert Technologies, Netcom USA, Netview, BlackBox, Ammacore, Reliable IT, One Source Building Technology, nFrastructure, Randstad Technologies, Core Technology, CompuCom, Pomeroy, SourceSupport Services, Sequenza, HighWire Networks, Dimension Data, Presidio, Velocity Network Services and Vital Network Services.

These companies represent national brands, and relied on us to provide local service for their customers in a variety of industries. Many of these service projects involved testing and “turning-up” Internet and network connections, involving testing and troubleshooting network connections between routers, switches, servers and Internet providers.

In the hospitality market, we serviced Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Panera Bread, McDonalds, Checkers, Mortons Steak House, Hampton Inn,  and Embassy Suites.

Banking clients we serviced included: HSBC, M&T Bank, Key Bank and Citizens Bank.

Government clients we serviced included New York Power Authority, US Navy Reserve Station, US Air Force Reserve Station, New York State District Assembly, Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration,  Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Retail clients included Home Depot, ALDI, Barnes and Noble, Target, Orange Theory Fitness, Luxxotica, Public Storage, American Eagle and Wegmans.

Industrial, manufacturing and distribution clients included Graybar, LKQ and Dairy Farmers of America.

Medical clients included CVS Pharmacies, Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo General Hospital and many private practices.

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2017 remotely supported events

In addition to providing on-site timing services in NY, PA and OH, we also provide remote support to timers using CrossMgr software and J-Chip RFID hardware in other locations.

For the Red Rock Time Trial in Las Vegas, Nevada, we provided remote support for CrossMgr to Danny Leberger from HIE Cycling.

For the The Guam Cycling Federation and Tour of Guam, we provided remote support to Matt Ellis for multiple races using J-Chip RFID hardware and CrossMgr software.

For Danny Matusczak in Florida, we provided remote support for new software created to link Race Director timing software with J-Chip RFID hardware.

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2017 event timing

We’re pleased to announce 23 events that have secured their dates for 2017:

Cleveland Metroparks Fat Tire Bike race at the Bedford Reservation, OH on Sunday, January 28th.  This event was postponed and cancelled due to lack of snow.

Polar Bear 8 hour obstacle course challenge in Benson, VT on Saturday, February 4th 2017.

Erie Spring Criterium on Sunday 4/23, Sunday 4/30 and Sunday 5/7 in Erie, PA.

Races at the Lake on April 22nd, April 29th, May 6th and May 13th in Stow, OH.

Buhl Park GP criterium on Saturday June 3rd in Hermitage, PA.

Buhl Park GP criterium on Sunday June 4th in Hermitage, PA.

Bristol Mountain Road Race on Sunday May 28th in Bristol, NY.

Muddy Buffalo OCR on Saturday June 17th in West Falls, NY.

NEOcycle mountain bike race on Saturday September 9th in Cleveland, OH.

NEOcycle Edgewater CX on Sunday September 10th in Cleveland, OH.

Blue Sky or Not at Sims Park on Sunday September 17th in Cleveland, OH.

Buffalo OCR at Three Valley Campground in Holland, NY on Saturday September 30th.

West Falls CX on Sunday October 1st in West Falls, NY.

Todd Field CX on Sunday October 8th in Willoughby, OH

The Park School CX on October 15th in Amherst, NY.

HoliCX2 on Sunday October 22nd in Ellicottville, NY.

Whiskey Island CX at Wendy Park on Sunday November 5th in Cleveland, OH.

CrossFit Games on Saturday December 2nd in Cleveland, OH.

CrossFit Games on Sunday December 3rd in Cleveland, OH

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Downloading registration data for USA cycling events

If you are promoting a USA cycling event and are looking to provide registration data, this is the list of required fields:

Last Name
First Name
Country (there may be Canadian riders)
Age (required for all races, especially masters; make sure to choose racing age on 12/31 of the current year for road or the following year for cyclocross.)
USA cycling license number (can only be numeric license number)
USA cycling racer category; choose CX or Road categories 1 to 5.
USA cycling rank (or CrossResults/RoadResults rank for BikeReg) used to sort bibs within category.
Event entered (absolutely required)
Team Name
Email (used to contact racers that fail to return ChipCards and provide race results link)
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New RFID timing system

Starting in 2016, we began using a new RFID timing system we developed and named ChipCard RFID timing. In addition to the J-Chip active timing system we have been using since 2012, our new ChipCard timing system provides a unique set of capabilities.

At the heart of this timing system is a durable new plastic ChipCard that is capable of being read 100,000 times and is rated with 50-year reliability.  Each ChipCard is assigned a number that can be matched to the the racers bib number, ensuring that every racer can be accurately identified.

The ChipCard is attached to the seatpost with a pair of hook and loop straps.  Attaching the ChipCard to the seatpost provides a consistent location on the bike that is 48″ from the front edge of the tire.

The ChipCard is read using an antenna mounted at the side of the road, allowing us to provide timing for any size finish.  The antenna is also offset 48″ from the finish line so that the chip time is calculated when the front edge of the tire is on the finish line. With two high gain antennas on one side of the road, no mat, cable or truss is needed on the road.

ChipCards are given to racers at no charge as part of our timing service.  Lost or missing chip cards can quickly and easily be replaced on race day, and cards can be tested anytime before a race starts.

The ChipCards are read using an Impinj RFID reader that can process up to 600 chips per second, allowing each chip to be read up to 20 times as it passes by the antenna. Using quadratic regression analysis, the chip timing software calculates the chip time with 1/100 second precision.

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Web hosting upgrade

For over 15 years, we have been providing web-site hosting with unlimited bandwidth, storage and e-mail accounts.  Our site hosting was recently upgraded, moving all hosted sites to a new server on a faster core network that provides higher I/O speed for web pages.

We are proud to have chosen SoftLayer as our data center partner. Our customers sites are hosted at a data center in Dallas. The SoftLayer network provides all customers with over 1,000 Gbps of connectivity between 3 data centers and 7 points of presence (PoPs) across the United States. We have enabled dozens of 10Gbps network connections across our locations that are provided by 10 leading US network providers, and include multiple public peering links to dozens of additional Internet access networks.

Server configuration, prior to March 2016:

  • Two Intel Xeon x5570 quad core multi-threaded CPU’s at 2730mhz with 8mb L2 cache, yield 8 cores with 16 threads.
  • Two 1 terabyte (1000gb) hard drives.
  • 24gb RAM.
  • CloudLinux 6.7.

New server configuration, March 2016:

  • Two Intel Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 v3 @ 2.30GHz with 24mb L2 cache, yielding 20 cores with 40 threads.
  • 4tb disk array
  • 64gb RAM.

Our server and software configuration is continuously monitored and updated annually. In addition, we continuously monitor WordPress software for updates and apply them as they are released, ensuring that sites designed with WordPress benefit from the latest features and security updates.

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2016 event timing

For 2016, we timed these events with our new ChipCard timing system:

The following events were timed manually with CrossMgr software.

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The next generation in RFID timing

The next generation in RFID timing has arrived and is now available for timing races! For 2016, we have two new options for timing events: Race|Result and ChipCard.

Race|Result is a high precision active tag system that is available upon request and is shipped from Colorado. ChipCard is our own system that was developed and customized using RFID technology from Impinj. Both systems are compatible with CrossMgr software.

Race|Result is an RFID timing system designed in Germany, and provides ten times higher accuracy than any other active chip RFID system. Using a higher frequency 2.4ghz signal compared to the 350mhz signal used by other active RFID chips or 900mhz passive systems, the Race|Result system achieves incredible 1/1000 second timing precision.

The Race|Result system also provides increased flexibility through the use of a single timing loop on the ground, which can be extended up to 12 meters (36 feet) to cover even the widest 4-lane finish lanes.

While J-Chip and Race|Result rely on finish times generated by the RFID receiver, ChipCard utilizes the high precision event timer (HPET) in Windows to provide much higher resolution to the ChipCard finish time.

The Race|Result hardware is also supported by CrossMgr, making it the ultimate timing system for any bike race.

In addition to Race|Result and J-Chip active tags, we also provide our own ChipCard passive tag RFID timing.  The ChipCard provides a number of unique advantages over J-Chip and Race|Result active tags:

  • low cost, so there are no fees for lost or missing ChipCards.
  • the racers bib USA cycling license/account number can be assigned and printed on the ChipCard, allowing the same tag to be used at different events.
  • The ChipCard antennas can support very wide finish lines, up to 60 feet across, while active tags are limited to the antenna mat width, currently 24-feet for J-chip or 35-feet for Race|Result.
  • no overhead truss, ground mat or cables are required, so ChipCard can be used for wide finishes or roads open to traffic.
  • used in conjunction with CrossMgrCamera to provide visual confirmation of finishing order through time-stamped finish line photos.
  • there is no battery in the ChipCard, so there is no lifetime limitation on their use.
  • we have 500 ChipCards on hand with bib numbers 100-499 printed on them.
  • we have our own ChipCard printer with the ability to customize and print unlimited ChipCards on request.
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