Thursday, August 12, 2021 #

Repair Prices

As the cost of replacement parts has increased, it has become necessary to re-evaluate the cost of repairs to any SI control.  Specifically we adjusted the base cost of opening / resealing a control.

Please see our Repair Info page for details.

posted @ Thursday, August 12, 2021 1:11 PM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 #

New SI-Config+

SPORTident has released a new version (2.11) of their configuration program which is needed to reprogram controls, synchronize clocks (at least the SI-Master if you have that), and update firmware when bugs are found and fixed.

Because SPORTident has changed the way they check for software updates, all existing versions prior to 2.11 will not alert you that there is a new version available, and you need to download and install version 2.11 manually, from here.

posted @ Wednesday, April 7, 2021 1:17 PM | Feedback (0)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 #

SPORTident cleaning for COVID-19

SPORTident has updated their excellent user guide to include cleaning information of SPORTident timing equipment. 

It especially describes how to best clean rental finger sticks.

The full article can be read here.

posted @ Tuesday, July 28, 2020 8:21 AM | Feedback (0)

Saturday, May 20, 2017 #

Explaining mispunches to a new SI orienteer

This afternoon I received an email from an orienteer who had three mispunches, and he wanted to know what happened – he was sure he was at all three controls.  He kindly sent me a picture of his results:


Immediately noticeable is the long time to the first control.  This is an indication that the runner didn’t punch the start control.  But this does not explain the three mispunches, with no extras at the bottom of the page that would show that he had punched the wrong control. So I pulled out our results computer to inspect what information had been downloaded. 










Here you see what OE2010 shows for this user.  Interestingly Clear, Check and Start are all blank. Also the three controls are blank as expected.  The runner used one of our club’s rental timing sticks – an SI-5.  Since it’s a rental it had been used the previous week, and I expected to see some sort of time in the Start field.


Time to check the controls!






Here is the Clear control.  As you see the finger stick was pulled out before the imageClear completed.  The user was not sure, and tried a second time, but again did not keep it in the control long enough. This would explain why there were no times in Clear, Check or Start:  The fields were cleared, but then the Clear time could not be recorded before the stick was removed.

Next the Check control.  Here you can also see imagethat the user tried twice, but it wouldn’t beep.  I believe ErrC means Not-Cleared error – I will investigate this separately for another blog entry.



imageNow the Start control: Sure enough another ErrC – probably a Not-Cleared error.

Because no Start time was recorded, the event start of 9 o’clock is assumed by OE2010 – this explains the large amount of time up to the first control.

I won’t show what the controls of other than Control #53.  The otherimage two controls showed nothing at all.  Again here the user seemed to be too quick on the control and did not complete the download (again, a future blog post will explain the error codes).  Interesting here is that this control uses firmware version 580, which does not record the date, only the day-of-week, while the other controls have firmware 656.  I like that they show the full date!


In summary, I could show that this user (who has orienteering experience from way back, but is new to electronic punching) did not wait for the beep ‘n’ blink of one of the three mispunched controls as well as the Clear control.  It can be assumed that he was even quicker on the other two controls, which did not even register an error. 

posted @ Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:47 PM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 #

Fixing a printer which shows random symbols

This applies to the Martel printer only!deanne

If your printer has started to show random junk symbols, like here on the right, then chances are the connection speed (known as the baud rate) has randomly changed.  Here’s how you can find out, and fix it. 

First check the baud rate.  If the green light on the printer is on, press the SI logo briefly to turn off the printer. 

Then hold the SI logo button down for 3 seconds and let go.  The printer will now print its current settings, as well as a short strip showing the various fonts the printer is capable of.

Hprint2ere’s what the settings printout should look like.  The critical part is the section titled ‘RS232 PORT.  Note the Baud rate of 4800.  If yours shows a different baud rate, then you change it as follows. 

If your printer shows 4800 baud, then you need to check if your control has changed baud rate.  That will be in the next post.


The following is a direct quote from the Printer manual.



Printer Configuration

  1. Ensure the printer is OFF.
  2. Press and hold the Mode [the SI logo] button.  After some seconds, the Status light will flash five times to show that the printer is in configuration mode.  Release the Mode button.
  3. Press the Mode button the same number of times as the option that you wish to change (for example to change the RS232 baud rate, press the Mode button four times).
  4. After a short delay, the Status light will flash the same number of times as the option that you have chosen.  If you have made a mistake at this stage, simply wait:  after a delay, the printer will power-on without changing any options.
  5. To proceed with configuration, press the Mode button the same number of times as the setting that you wish to make (for example, to set the baud rate to 4800, press the Mode button six times).
  6. After a short delay, the Status light will flash the same number of times as the setting that you have made.
  7. After a further delay, the printer will power-on with the new setting.
Subset of configuration options
Option Description Setting Description
3 RS232 proto 1 8 data bits, No parity
4 RS232 baudrate 6 4800 baud
5 RS232 Handshake 2 Software
11 Sleep/wake 1 Never sleep
    2 Sleep after 1 minute
    3 Sleep after 2 minutes
    4 Sleep after 5 minutes
    5 Sleep after 10 minutes
    6 Off after 1 minute
    7 Off after 2 minutes
    8 Off after 5 minutes
    9 Off after 10 minutes


There are other options, but those are the interesting ones.

Please send me an email if this does not solve your problem.

posted @ Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:12 PM | Feedback (0)

Monday, February 6, 2017 #

Upgrade to 656 !

Around November 2016 SPORTident posted the latest version of the SI-Config+, along with a new firmware version (656). As there are known deficiencies in firmware versions 623 and 649, it is strongly recommended to upgrade any controls with 600-series firmware to 656.

posted @ Monday, February 6, 2017 12:42 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 30, 2016 #

Using SI-Print in 2016

So it seems that SI-Print (version 2.0.2) doesn’t work anymore – at least not in Windows 10 with the printer control directly connected.  I could not talk to it successfully when directlyimage connected to the computer with a USB-to-Serial cable and then through a null-modem (the grey cable with a female 9-pin socket at either end). 

SI-Print just wouldn’t work.  SI-Config+ talked to it just fine, and a terminal emulator showed me that the printer control sent the correct data.

But there is a solution.  SI-Print does work when a download control is connected, and the printer control is accessed as Remote.  You can’t use SI-Print to test yimageour layout, but you can leave your printer connected to the printer control and test on the printer itself.




Below are the settings I specified (follow your printer specifications, and type a percent - % to code the ESC character), and the finished goods, below.




The printer specific codes for the current SPORTident printer (MCP7830 by Martel) can be downloaded at

Make sure to use the tables on page 5 (RS232 mode).

posted @ Friday, September 30, 2016 4:14 PM | Feedback (12)

Thursday, November 5, 2015 #

SPORTident Newsletter for Organizers

Somewhat belatedly, here’s a link to a newsletter from SPORTident, specifically targeting event organizers and SPORTident equipment maintainers:

It mentions a rare issue with some controls after upgrading to firmware 623.  If you notice this, please let SPORTident or me know.  I can be reached as always at mailto://

posted @ Thursday, November 5, 2015 9:04 AM | Feedback (2)

Saturday, May 23, 2015 #

New firmware 623

It is strongly recommended to upgrade all controls to firmware 623, as it has improved SI-5 handling.

posted @ Saturday, May 23, 2015 11:05 AM | Feedback (1)

Friday, March 27, 2015 #

New firmware is out: Version 618

An improved firmware has been released, with an issue using SI-5 sticks resolved. Now all the great new features of the 600 Series of firmware is available again. You can get the latest SI-Boot software to install this firmware at this address:

posted @ Friday, March 27, 2015 2:39 PM | Feedback (0)

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