2017 event timing

We’re pleased to announce these events have already secured their dates with us 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 and Sunday June 3th/4th in Hermitage, PA.

The Park School XC on October 14th in Amherst, NY.

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

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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:

Bib
Last Name
First Name
City
State
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
Gender
Email (used to contact racers that fail to return ChipCards and provide race results link)
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New RFID timing system

For 2016, we will be using a new RFID (“ChipCard”) timing system. 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 without batteries that is capable of being read 100,000 times.  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.

ChipCard printed with the racer name and USA cycling license/account number.

ChipCard printed with the racer name and USA cycling license/account number.

The chips are read using an antenna mounted at the side of the road, allowing us to provide timing for any size finish without the limitations of a fixed-length timing mat or overhead truss.

Chip cards are given to racers at no charge, and are reusable at any race where we will be providing timing.  Lost or missing chip cards can quickly and easily be replaced on race day, and cards can be tested anytime before a race starts.

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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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2015 Cycling Events

We’re again providing computerized timing with J-Chip RFID technology and CrossMgr software for races in New York and Ohio. You’ll find us timing these 25 events in 2015:

Race timing services are provided by Jonathan M. Rosen, a USA cycling level “C” official and certified race director with experience timing over 150 races since 2012.

CrossMgr software provides the ultimate timing system for any bike race, providing lap results, prime results and finish line photos, all delivered to the Internet in real-time and laser printed minutes after the last finisher is done.

J-Chip RFID technology consistently provides 100% chip detection at any speed, ensuring every riders time is accurately recorded with 1/100 second precision.

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Using ReadyBoost in Windows Vista/7/8

ReadyBoost is a feature available in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 that provides improved performance to any computer by simply adding a USB flash drive.

USB flash drives of any size can be used with ReadyBoost, so even a small 512mb or 1gb flash drive is suitable. ReadyBoost works by saving the most recently used files inside a file named ReadyBoost on the flash drive. Since USB flash drives can read files faster than a hard drive, Windows Vista/7/8 will rely on the USB flash drive to read files it uses frequently.

For even greater performance, Windows 7 and Windows 8 support more than one USB flash drive and will operate multiple flash drives as a RAID 0 striped array. Using two or more USB flash drives with ReadyBoost will provide great gains in performance.  Windows Vista is limited to a single USB flash drive with a maximum of 4gb, while Windows 7 and Windows 8 support ReadyBoost cache files up to 32gb on either a single flash drive or spread across up to 7 flash drives.

We recommend adding a USB flash drive to any computer using Windows Vista/7/8 and enabling ReadyBoost.  In addition to USB flash drives, other types of flash memory are supported. For example, many laptops have an internal empty PCIe slot that can be used for a flash drive, or a Secure Digital (SD-card) slot. Using a PCIe or SD card allow the flash memory module to stay inside the computer instead of sticking out like a USB flash drive.

Simply insert an unused and empty flash drive in the computer and it will prompt to enable ReadyBoost.

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2014 Sports Timing Event Schedule

You’ll find us timing these events in 2014 with J-Chip RFID technology and CrossMgr software:

The following Western New York cyclocross events were timed manually (using bib number entry) with CrossMgr software:

  • Knox Farm CX
  • Cross in the Park
  • Cross in a Maze
  • Park School CX
  • Turkey Cross at the Victor Apple Farm.

Contact us if you would like to see your event added to this list for timing.

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Could a $2 battery lead to the destruction of your home or office?

Twice a year when the clocks change between daylight and standard time, public service announcements and fire departments remind people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors. While this ensures the smoke detectors are ready to detect a fire, there is another battery in the house that is overlooked and could lead to the destruction of a home or office through water damage.

Digital Thermostat Battery

Digital thermostats that have replaced the original mercury switch thermostats offer scheduled heating and cooling, providing improved efficiency. But they all rely on a pair of “AA” size 1.5v batteries to maintain the heating schedule.

When those batteries fail after a few years, the thermostat stops working and shuts off, disabling the furnace. The result is a house or office that can drop to freezing temperatures inside after only one day. As the water pipes inside the building freeze and crack, the water pours out, damaging everything from the roof to the basement.

While it may be tempting to replace the standard alkaline batteries in a thermostat with longer lasting Lithium batteries, this is even more likely to lead to unexpected failure.

Unlike Alkaline batteries, Lithium batteries have a different discharge profile. Lithium batteries provide a steady voltage until they are completely discharged, resulting in almost no time for a low battery warning. Since the voltage on Alkaline batteries drops as they discharge, the thermostat will provide a warning for a week or two that the battery voltage is low and requires replacement.

Rechargeable Ni-Mh or Ni-Cd batteries should never be used in a thermostat, since they individually provide only 1.2 volts (2.4v for two batteries in series) at full charge, well below the 1.5/3 volts required. This will trigger a low battery warning even when fully charged. Rechargeable batteries also self-discharge and will not last more than a few weeks in a thermostat.

Regardless of the battery chosen for a thermostat, the outside of the thermostat should have a label indicating when new batteries were installed, and they should be replaced every year, preferably when changing smoke detector batteries.

Recommendations on an improved digital thermostat design:

  • include a piezo speaker chirp and flashing red LED for the low battery alarm, powered by the 24-volt furnace transformer.
  • use a replaceable Li-Ion battery as a backup battery and power the thermostat from the 24-volt transformer, so that battery power is only used when utility power is disabled.
  • track the last and next battery change date on a calendar for reference.
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