Follow this guide to set up a timing point with your test kit and get a feel for how Zone4 Timing works.
What’s in my Test Kit?
- 7 GoChip timing chips with neoprene ankle bands
- Timing Loop – you will lay this out in a rectangle across your finish line, for now though, leave it bundled up for testing indoors.
- GoChip Activator – the timing loop plugs into this device, and generates a field that triggers the timing chips to record a time.
- Loop Checker – a loop checker is a modified timing chip that lights up red when it is inside the magnetic field generated by a timing loop and activator. It does not actually record any times.
- Android Phone – GoChip timing chips send their recorded times to the internet through this phone – the phone needs to be turned on and the Zone4 Go app needs to be open for the recorded times to be sent to our website.
Learning the Hardware
1. Pick up your Activator (shown in the photo on the right) and push the blue power button to turn it on.
2. Once the Activator is on, place it flat outside or near a window so the LEDs on the activator face the sky. The gps SYNC LED on the Activator will flash orange for about 2 minutes while the Activator is searching for GPS satellites.
The light will flash green for about 30 seconds while the Activator is syncing its time.
Wait until the sync LED light is SOLID GREEN before using the Activator. To turn off the activator, push and hold the blue power button for a few seconds.
3. Now connect the timing loop to either port on the Activator. To do this align the white arrow on connector end of the timing loop with the white line on the Activator port. Push in the connector and twist the end piece clockwise to lock the connector in place.
The Activator’s Loop LED light is SOLID GREEN when a timing loop is connected. If the loop is disconnected or cut the Loop LED light will FLASH RED.
4. Grab the loop checker which will be used to check the size of the magnetic field created by your timing loop. Hold your loop checker over the timing loop and sweep it left to right and up and down. The LED indicator light on the loop checker will light up red when the loop checker is in the magnetic field and turn OFF when outside the magnetic field. The race chips only record a time when they pass THROUGH the magnetic field and the chips must be OUTSIDE the field for at least 2 seconds before they pass back through the field to record a time.
You will notice that when the timing loop is bundled up, the magnetic field is about 2ft high and wide. This small size is useful for testing indoors, but later when setting up outside, the timing loop will be deployed full size 2m x 6-12m which makes the magnetic field very large over 2m high.
5. Turn on the Android phone by holding down the power button (found on the right side of the phone) for a few seconds. Open up the Zone4 GO application found on the home screen.
6. In the Zone4 GO app, on the KEYPAD tab, enter a bib number such as ‘999’ and press the blue “+” button as shown to the right. This records a time for that bib number. The number you entered will be listed on the phone along with the recorded timestamp. This is how to manually record individual or group start times. Make sure the message to the right of the time changes from “Local” to “Synced”.
7. If message remain “Local” check the phone’s internet connection through either cellular or WiFi. If you have internet access on the phone but it still says “Local” ensure the phone is authorized on your club. To find out how to do this click here.
8. In the phone app switch to the “CHIP TIMES” tab. Take any numbered chip (not the loop checker) and move it across the timing loop once, mimicking someone moving across the loop in a race. Don’t leave the chip in the field. The number of the chip being used along with a time should appear at the top of the list of chip times. This time will be recorded and “Synced” to the server.
Your timing point is now setup and ready to record times!
Using the Test Kit:
- Set up the timing loop – we recommend somewhere outside with plenty of space, like a backyard or driveway, rather than a hallway in your house. The system is tuned to work best when the 6 metre timing loop is fully extended like it would be on a road or trail during a real race
- The included instruction card contains directions on setting up the timing loop. These instructions can also be found here
- Once the timing hardware is set up, pass one of the chips over the timing loop to verify that everything is working
- The phone should beep once to indicate that a time was recorded
- The display on the phone will show “synced” to indicate that the recorded time was sent to our website
- Feel free to play around with the chips and loop checker! Try running over the loop a few times with the GoChip, or checking the range of the loop with the loop checker
- Next, we’ll create a simple test race. This process is similar to what you’ll do when you time a real race.
- Sign in to https://zone4.ca with your email address and password
- When you are signed in, you’ll see the Time a new race button at the top of the screen. Click that button and fill out the form that pops up:
Congratulations, you’ve created your first race! Next, we’ll guide you through how to set up and time a simple race from start to finish. We’re confident you’ll be a pro in no time!