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What Would Be the Best and Cheapest Setup for Race-Timing Using RFID?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.31.2015

How can we time slalom skateboard runs in such a way that would be compatible with Raspberry Pi?

—Name withheld


This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on a variety of factors, such as whether the skateboard runs take place at the same location and on the same course every time, or move around. Another factor is whether the RFID equipment needs to be protected from harsh weather. One low-cost option would be the Orbiter system, which is easy to set up. Because the system is mobile, it could be brought out and set up and then be returned to storage when not in use.

There are other race-timing systems designed for foot races that might also work for your needs. These include:

• ChronoTrack Systems (see RFID News Roundup: RFID Keeps Time With Seattle Marathon Runners and UHF Solution Tracks 42,000 Runners at the New York City Marathon).

• Innovative Timing Systems (see Startup Offers 'Fail-safe' RFID Race-Timing System)

• SAI Timing and Tracking (see Gen 2 Tags Track Runner, Motorcycle Speeds)

You could purchase passive high-frequency (HF) or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags and readers and then create a system compatible with Raspberry Pi. However, I think one of the above solutions might be easier and not much more expensive.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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