Spare / Backup

General timing system discussions.
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dna1990
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Spare / Backup

Post by dna1990 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:34 pm

I know there have been some discussions on Disaster Recover / Plan B types of ideas...but I wanted to get a better feel for what others have seen with regards to the timer...I think we have a good disaster plan for our laptop, the GPRM software, the data file, even video projectors, etc.

But we are still left with a single failure point of the timer. We have an first generation Microwizard P1 kit...circa 2001 or so.

It has the blinking light indicators, so if just the laptop communications were to fail, we could still manually record finish order. But if the whole unit dies, we are left with eye-ball'n it.

I don't worry much about the circuit board, all straightforward solid state stuff. But the various wires and cables and LEDs...any one could suffer a short over years of storing/trading/transporting.

Regardless of your timer backup plan - have you ever had to USE it? Maybe the odds of the electronics failing, are too small to worry with in terms of the scale of a pack level PWD. Full redundancy is perhaps a luxury to consider at district/council levels.



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SlartyBartFast
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Re: Spare / Backup

Post by SlartyBartFast » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:48 am

Power everything up and test a week or two before the race. At least in enough time to get your hands on a replacement unit or make repairs.

Pack up everything with care. You then know that everything is working, in its place, and been treated well since last setup on race day.

Redundancy for major components might be too expensive for a single pack, but if you coordinated with a not too distant pack to have the same equipment you could be each others contingency plan.
Last edited by SlartyBartFast on Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



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gpraceman
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Re: Spare / Backup

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:14 am

SlartyBartFast wrote:Power everything up and test a week or two before the race. At least in enough time to get your hands on a replacement unit or make repairs.
Here, here.

I had a customer today that was getting ready to start their race, but hadn't done any testing of the timer with the computer. Had they tried, they would have realized they couldn't load the mini CD for the USB to Serial Adapter's driver into their laptop. Without it, they would not have a COM port for the software to communicate with their timer. Nothing like waiting until the last minute and not having time to resolve a problem.


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dna1990
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Re: Spare / Backup

Post by dna1990 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:03 am

Thanks. We do indeed perform alot of full-system testing weeks before. And then run as least 20 or so test heats on check-in night before the day of the race, with all equipment in its final position.

I like the idea of teaming up with another local pack, but we have a homemade track which I doubt has exact lane spacing to match another timer...but I will persue that idea to verify.



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