10 Best Practices for Race Chip Timing

March 25, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 Runners train hard and now it’s up to you, the organizer, to make sure their time gets properly recorded. Here are 10
race chip timing best practices to keep in mind when getting ready for race day: 1. Test all your equipment
before race day. Even if it’s brand new, it’s crucial to work out all the kinks in your system so there are no surprises. 2. Have backups in case of equipment failure: spare antennas, antenna cables, reader(s), batteries (or use an Uninterruptible Power Supply), and mounting equipment are useful in case of an emergency. Accidents happen, but the race must go on. 3. Know the ins and outs of your race timing system. If
error 873 occurs, you can take care of the issue and get the race back on track. 4. Purchase the highest quality cable you can. Cables are what makes your system run, which is why LMR rating and length are important so your race day reads are as accurate as possible. 5. Test the field limits for each RFID antenna to ensure it covers your expected read zones. 6. Test the placement of tags on the runner based on the read zone of the antenna—make sure the antenna’s beam is headed straight for the RFID tag. 7. Demonstrate where participants should wear the RFID tag to ensure you capture as many reads as possible. Seasoned runners may be hip to phrases like, ‘stick it under your shoe laces,’ but newbies might not and end up with bad reads. 8. Never let your RFID equipment get wet. Take whatever precautions necessary to keep it covered and safe. 9. Have only trained people running your equipment. This helps decrease the risk of damage and allows for proactive problem solving. 10. Bring your own power. Don’t rely on the venue to supply it for you. Tell us in the comments what best practices you use to ensure accurate race timing.