Saturday, November 15, 2014
I’ve been asked by a number of people on how to connect the printer control to a computer, when the computer doesn’t have a serial port. We sell a USB-to-serial cable, which is also available from many fine computer stores. But the one we sell definitely works with the SI equipment (the link above also points to a driver download page for the latest drivers for Windows).
One thing that seems to help is to insure that the port settings are good. The below picture (click on it to see it larger) shows settings that insure that SI-Print will work.
The left portion of the above picture shows the Device Manager. Find the USB-to-serial cable port, and click Properties. Within the Properties window, click on the Port Settings tab. If your USB-to-serial cable ends up with a COM port number of 16 or hire, you might need to remove unused COM port numbers. Disconnect the USB-to-serial cable, and follow the advice in the article on removing unused COM port numbers. Make sure you remove the high number that the cable had (so that it assigns itself to a lower number the next time).
The right portion of the picture shows SI-Print and the Port settings window. With the settings as shown, I had no problems using SI-Print.
I've now also tested the printer control with SI-Config and it worked both to use it as the station to reprogram other units, as well as programming it to become a download control. Versions used were SI-Config 2.7.2 and 580 in the printer control.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I’ve been asked recently how many punches a control can hold, and what happens when that number is reached. The information in the BSF-7 / BSF-8 product brochure is a bit unclear, so I asked SPORTident directly, and here’s the answer:
If it’s a regular control, not a download control or a printer control, it can hold a maximum of 21802 punches. If more are punched, then the oldest are overwritten as new ones are added to the control.
If it’s a download or a printer control, where the entire list of punches on an SI-Card are stored in the control, the maximum that control can hold is approximately 1000 SI-Cards. This depends on which SI-Cards it holds, as the contents SI-10 and SI-11 takes up more memory than the contents of an SI-8 card. The download control also overwrites the oldest downloaded SI-Card contents as the next SI-Card is downloaded.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Every time a USB device that represents a COM port (such as the BSF-7-USB) is plugged into a different USB port of a computer, a new COM number will be assigned. If you change USB hubs there’s a whole new set of USB ports!.
Eventually there are no numbers left below 16, but SI-Config needs the COM number to be below 16.
The following trick allows you to clean up the unused COM ports:
First start a Command Prompt session in Administrator mode (right-click on the Command Prompt link in Start Menu | All Programs | Accessories, and select Run As Administrator).
type in the following commands:
Once the device manager starts up, there’s an extra menu item in the View submenu.
Select it so that the checkmark is there.
Now expand the Ports (COM & LPT) section to see all COM ports.
Now you can select an extra COM port, and uninstall it.
I do not delete the drivers for the device:
Insure you don’t delete anything important! You’re in charge, I’m not.
After I deleted all the SPORTident USB to UART Bridges, I inserted my BSF-7-USB, and the computer now had to re-install the driver (but I didn’t have to download it again). Once the installation was done (took about a minute), I now have it installed on COM4. All is good!
[Thanks to digi.com for coming up with this trick]
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
The SI-10 and SI-11 finger sticks have now been available for two years, and the firmware that is needed in the controls for these fingersticks has been available for just as long.
Pleas insure that your controls are up-to-date. The current firmware is 5.80. There are no known problems with this release.
Friday, September 28, 2012
With the arrival of SI-10 and SI-11 finger sticks amongst orienteers, it is important for the people maintaining club SI equipment to insure that the firmware is up to date with the latest firmware. Version 5.74 has been available for over a year now and should by now be installed on all controls.
This page will be updated shortly with a link to a detailed explanation on how to upgrade the firmware in your controls. Check back within an hour.
The latest (and greatest!) finger stick chips are now available from your SPORTident dealer.
Both the SI-10 and SI-11 have a data transfer time of 60ms, which is double as fast as the SI-6 that they replace. Also, they can hold up to 128 controls, again double what an SI-6 could manage. Yet the price is essentially unchanged.
In addition the SI-11 will confirm a successful control punch, by showing a blinking light in the tip of the control.
The battery in the finger stick is used exclusively to blink the light. It is rated to 30,000 control punches (which the American elite orienteer Ali Crocker has calculated would take her about 12 years).
Once the battery expires, the SI-11 will continue to function identically to the SI-10.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
A few years ago I had prepared a chart, similar to the one from SPORTident, which shows the different finger sticks that are available, but also included the discontinued SI-5.
I've now updated it to also show the discontinued SI-6 on the list for comparison.
Check here for the chart.
Friday, December 30, 2011
574 has been out for quite a while now and has shown itself to be robust and reliable. All SPORTident users need to upgrade to this version. You can download the latest SI-Boot which comes with Firmware Version 574 from SPORTident’s website in Germany (here), or mirrored from this blog (here). Please contact me if you encounter any issues using it.
Also, version 574 is required for the new SI-10 timing card.
- improved speed and robustness in station memory routines
- SI-Card6 readout improved
- BSM7-USB plug-in detection improved
- introduced SIAC compatibility
- corrects power consumption error in stadium controls
- data transfer modes improved
- This version is not qualified for BSM7 and BS7-P.
- improves stability in SI stations in case of higher discharged batteries
- inadvertently introduced stadium control power consumption issue
A new timing stick is coming early in 2012, in place of the SI-6 which is being phased out in 2012.
The new timing stick can hold 128 controls, plus Start, Finish and Check and is twice as fast as the SI-6.
Prices have not been announced.
A chart comparing the various timing sticks can be downloaded here.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A compass is built for a specific band in the hemisphere. Fortunately all of Europe and North-America is in the same band, but the South isn’t so easy. Here’s an image I received from MOSCOMPASS:
According to this, a compass made for Brazil will not work in Australia. It is best to purchase a compass in the region you will be using it in, to insure you’ve got the correct one. Otherwise make sure you order with the country name, not just “Southern Hemisphere”.
Good luck, and Happy Travels!