Using E-Punch Controls At An Event
(Updated April 6, 2014)
Things to Keep in Mind
- The BAOC E-Punch controls are pre-programmed to numbers 31–114 (skipping 66, 68, 86, 89, 98 and 99, which are never to be used because they can be mistaken one for another).
- There are duplicates of numbers 31 and 100 in case you need extras for GO controls or other places on your course where multiple runners could be approaching the same control.
- Please use these numbers when setting your courses that will use E-punch.
- There are four each of Clear, Check, and Start (so it is possible to set two Start areas), and two Finish units.
- The event director or course setter should pick up the E-Punch controls, stands, and bags from the previous E-Punch event.
- The controls’ clocks need to be on the same time, and they may have drifted since the last event. You should synchronize all of the controls, even Clear, Check, Start, Finish, and the numbered controls that you don’t expect to use, before you put them out. Instructions are below.
- If there is a course with more than 30 controls, you need to tell E-punch so they will know to take high-capacity E-sticks to the event for rental and loan to people who own old E-sticks.
- You need to send the Condes export file in IOF.xml format to the E-Punch person so the event can be set up in the computer. Instructions are below.
- You are responsible for making sure that all the controls are picked up after the event.
- Please contact (510-245-9735 or 510-685-8096), if you have any questions.
Synchronizing Your E-Punch Controls
What you will be doing and why
- You will use one of the blue SI TimeMaster units to synchronize the clocks in the controls as well as the Clear, Check, Start, and Finish units. It is best to do it the evening before, or in the morning just before, you put the numbered units out in the field. Synchronize all the controls at the same time, using a single TimeMaster unit (doing it at one shot with a single controller means you will likely avoid the problems caused when the TimeMaster units themselves aren't in synch).
- The controls will be turned on by the first runner who punches each one on event day. Because of this, the first runner may experience a slightly longer wait when punching. SPORTident says this delay should be a fraction of a second, but some runners say they wait up to four seconds.
- Synchronize all the units, even the ones you don’t plan to use, in case you do need to use one of them unexpectedly. This also clears their memory of previous events, which is critical if we need to read controls to see where a missing runner last punched.
- This synchronization process will take less than 30 minutes to complete.
What you will need
- All the numbered controls, and the Clear, Check, Start, and Finish units.
- SI TimeMaster unit (transparent blue, in a Ziploc bag in the control case)
- Coupling stick (black metal for BSF-8 units, grey fat one for BSF-7 units)
- Purple Service/Off stick
Synchronize the clocks before setting out the controls
When: The night before or morning of the event — before setting out any controls
- Put the blue TimeMaster unit into Extended Master mode by punching three times with the purple Service/Off stick. The LCD screen should flash EXTMA and the time.
- Insert the black metal coupling stick in the TimeMaster unit hole from the front side, so the stick is poking out the back. The foam and tape hold the coupling stick in the hole.
- Turn on the control to be synchronized by inserting the purple Service/Off stick and listening for a beep.
- While the coupling stick is still in the TimeMaster unit, insert the end into the control unit hole. The TimeMaster unit will be on top of the control and the holes will be lined up and connected by the coupling stick. When it beeps, the synchronization is completed.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all the controls.
- When this is done, you can look at the LCD screens on all the controls. They should flash their control number and the same time. The controls stay on for a few minutes after they have been synchronized. To save battery power, turn them off with the purple Service/Off stick if they haven’t turned off already.
- Turn off the blue TimeMaster unit by punching once with the purple Service/Off stick. The LCD screen will go blank when it is off.
What else do you need to do?
Create and send the Condes export file
When: A few days before the event
- Before you send the file, make sure that all the course lengths and climbs have been entered. (Lengths are normally created automatically, but climb must be entered by hand — you enter it in the Course Editor.)
- In Condes, go to Export → Export Event Data → IOF XML Format. Make sure everything is selected. Click Export. Name the file and save it.
- Email this XML file to the E-Punch person.
Make sure that all controls are picked up after the event
- Print a master control list and use it to check off the units as they come back.
- Make sure that all the controls are in the cases before you leave the event site. Each box has a sign with the numbers listed for that box.