RECOMMENDED RFID TIMING HARDWARE SETUP

After extensive testing, we’ve determined that the Impinj RFID readers are most suitable for race timing.  While Webscorer PRO can be used with any reader that supports the industry standard LLRP protocol, only the Impinj readers switch power between multiple antennas quickly enough to achieve high chip read rates.

We have partnered with AtlasRFIDstore to provide the RFID hardware that’s compatible with the Webscorer PRO software.  AtlasRFIDstore.com is based in the US but will ship internationally - use code Webscorer50 to receive USD $50 off your shipping costs when ordering.

RFID READER

$795      Impinj R120 reader (1-port)
              https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/impinj-speedway-revolution-r120-uhf-rfid-reader-1-port/
$1,095   Impinj R220 reader (2-port)
              https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/impinj-speedway-revolution-r220-uhf-rfid-reader-2-port/
$1,585   Impinj R420 reader (4-port)
              https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/impinj-speedway-revolution-r420-uhf-rfid-reader-4-port/

Notes:

The 1-port reader works with a single mat antenna for a 4-foot wide finish line, or single side antenna
- The 2-port reader is sufficient for an 8-foot wide start / finish line with 2 antennas
- The 4-port reader can cover a 16-foot start / finish line with 4 antennas
- Wider start / finish lines can be done by using multiple readers. 

POWER

$85    Impinj AC-to-DC power adapter
          https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/impinj-power-supply-line-cord/
$60    iPowerBingo DC-to-AC Inverter
          https://www.amazon.com/IpowerBingo-Vehicle-Inverter-1000W-Converter/dp/B077NVBPSR
$87    Duracell Ultra 12V 20Ah battery
          https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/sla-sealed-lead-acid/12/wkdc12=20nb

Notes:

- Use this power setup if you want to avoid a noisy generator
- The 12V battery is the power source
- The battery is connected to the inverter via the cables provided as part of the inverter package
- The RFID reader plugs into the inverters AC outlet using the Impinj AC power adapter (purchased separately)
In effect, this setup converts 12V to 110V to 24V - which is the input voltage the Impinj reader requires
- The max power draw of the reader is 50W so a lower capacity inverter can also be used
- The 20Ah battery should last 24+ hours as the average power consumption by the reader is typically 10W or less

CONNECTIVITY

$200   Nighthawk LTE mobile hotspot router
           https://m.att.com/shopmobile/devices/netgear/nighthawk-lte-mobile-hotspot-router/_jcr_content.html
$6       Ethernet cable (14 feet)
           https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-RJ45-Cat-6-Ethernet-Patch-Cable-14-Feet-4-3-Meters/dp/B00N2VJ2CG

Notes:

- The RFID reader is connected via an Ethernet cable to the Nighthawk router (it has a single Ethernet port)
- You’d then connect the timing device running Webscoer PRO via WiFi to the Nighthawk router
- Once the Impinj reader boots up, it will get an IP address from the Nighthawk router
- And you can then scan for the IP address from the "Chip Timing” panel of Webscorer PRO
- Th
e Nighthawk router also has a cellular LTE connection to the internet
- This enables downloading start lists and posting LIVE results during the race
- This LTE hotspot also requires a data plan - this model works with AT&T networks at $50 / month for 10GB of data
- You can also use any WiFi router with an Ethernet port, the cellular uplink is only required for LIVE results

RFID ANTENNAS

Running - overhead antennas for bib-attached chips:

$209    MTI Outdoor antenna
            https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/mti-mt-242043-trh-a-k-rhcp-outdoor-rfid-antenna-global/

$449    ProX Truss system
            https://www.kpodj.com/prox-t-ls35c-triangle-crank-truss-system-5ft-10ft-15ft-wide-p-105644/

Notes:

- Typically, two antennas placed on the truss is enough to cover a 12-foot wide finish line
- You'd attach the antennas on the truss slightly angled towards the incoming runners

Running, triathlon - side antennas for ankle-attached or shoe-attached chips:

$299    RFMAX antenna with tripod (15 ft cable)
            
https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/rfmax-rfid-race-timing-antenna-kit-15-ft-cable/

Notes:

- Typically, 2 antennas (one on each side) is sufficient to cover a 12-foot wide finish line
- The tripod kit also comes with an optional 50-foot antenna cable

Running, triathlon - mat antennas for bib-attached, ankle-attached or shoe-attached chips:

$1,160   Times-7 Mat antenna
              https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/times-7-rfid-race-timing-antenna-system-fcc-etsi/

Notes:

- Each mat antenna is 4-feet wide, you need 2 antennas for an 8-foot wide start / finish line
- Up to 8 antenna sections can be joined together for a 32-foot wide mat antenna
  (this would require using 2 Impinj R420 readers)

Cycling - overhead antennas for helmet-mounted chips:

$365    Impinj Threshold antenna
            https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/impinj-threshold-lp-indoor-rfid-antenna-fcc-etsi/
$449    ProX Truss system
            https://www.kpodj.com/prox-t-ls35c-triangle-crank-truss-system-5ft-10ft-15ft-wide-p-105644/

Notes:

- Each antenna covers about 4 feet of finish line
- You need 2 antennas for an 8-foot wide overhead truss
- Antennas would be placed on the truss facing down right on the finish line
- The goal is to have the helmet-mounted chips travel within 2 feet of the antennas

Cycling - side antennas for bike-mounted chips:

$299    RFMAX antenna with tripod (15 ft cable)
            https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/rfmax-rfid-race-timing-antenna-kit-15-ft-cable/

Notes:

- You’d need two antennas, one on each side
Substitute an antenna with linear polarization if you can control the chip orientation on the bike

RFID CHIPS

Running - bib attached chips:

$0.13    SMARTRAC R6 tag
             https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/smartrac-r6-dogbone-rfid-wet-inlay-monza-r6/
$0.33    SMARTRAC R6 w/ foam
             https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/foam-backed-smartrac-r6-shortdipole-rfid-tag/                 

Notes:

- Includes encoding, minimum order quantity required
 

Triathlon - ankle-mounted chips:

$5.90    HuTag XC2 tag
             https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/hutag-xc2-uhf-rfid-tag/

Notes:

- Includes encoding, minimum order quantity required
- Velcro straps extra

Cycling - helmet- or bike-attached chips:

$0.13    SMARTRAC R6 tag
             https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/smartrac-r6-dogbone-rfid-wet-inlay-monza-r6/
$0.33    SMARTRAC R6 tag w/ foam
             https://www.atlasrfidstore.com/foam-backed-smartrac-r6-shortdipole-rfid-tag/

Notes:            

- Includes encoding, minimum order quantity required
- Tag must be attached to rigid plastic

General notes on chip placement on the racer:

1. The rule of thumb in RFID chip timing is that the antenna must “see” the chip face-on
2. A side antenna is unlikely to detect a bib-attached chip if the bib is on the chest
3. A chip will not read if the racer’s own body, or another racer’s body is in between the chip and the antenna
4. A single antenna will work if you can control the exact spot where the chip is placed on the racer 
   - Chip on the helmet, always on the left ankle facing out etc.
5. The maximum distance between the chip and the antenna should not exceed 6 feet
6. Mat antennas and overhead antennas are better than side antennas
   - Better accuracy as the antenna is pointing up or down right on the finish line
     (A side antenna facing the incoming racers may read the chip well before or after the line)
   - Less random detects of chips not in the race
7. An inexpensive method to increase chip read rates is to use 2 chips per racer
   - The chips can be encoded with the same chip ID
   - Place one horizontally and the other vertically

Webscorer PRO software 

You'll need to have the PRO Automated timing subscription for RFID chip-timing - at USD $250 / year.  If you're a new Webscorer PRO user, you can try PRO free for 30 days - the trial version supports all features, and is only limited to max 10 racers.

Websorer PRO is presently available for iOS and Android phones and tablets.  A Windows version for laptops is under development and is expected to be available in 2nd half of 2018.

Photo notes:
- Images from this race near SeaTac, WA: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=134977
- Impinj R420 reader with one connected antenna (3 antennas used during the race)
- Netgear Nighthawk LTE mobile hotspot router
- The LTE hotspot has its own battery that lasts up to 24 hours
- Blue cable is the ethernet connection from the reader to the router
- Samlex 250W DC-to-AC inverter
- Thick black cable is the AC power adapter for the Impinj reader
- The red & black wires connect the inverter to the 12V battery

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The main purpose of this blog is to provide supplemental "how to" documentation for various registration, timing and results scenarios and to provide feature news and discuss product issues. If you'd like us to write a blog post about a topic, please drop us a note on our Facebook page or send us an email at support@webscorer.com.

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