Timing FAQS and Hints - Timing 101!

Answers to Questions
What if I have more than one wireless setup in the same location? Won't they interfere with each other?
All of our wireless products have a unique ID number assigned to them, from 0000 to 9999.  Beams, Timers and Big Displays only "talk" to units with the same ID.  Multiple setups with different IDs will operate right next to each other without interference.  OR, you can have multiple Big Displays with the SAME ID all displaying the SAME times. Our design flexibility makes sure your event is timed the way you want. (Top)
What is "dead time"?
Whenever you have a setup that uses the same Beam for the Start and Finish line, like Barrel Racing or Autocross, you need to make sure when the competitor starts that they have enough time to get completely clear of the Beam.  "Dead" time is programmed into the Timer (typically 3 seconds or so) and the Beam is turned "OFF" during the "dead" time.  For example, if there was NO "dead" time, the front wheels of a car would START the Timer and the rear wheels would STOP it!  "Dead" time NEVER affects the actual running time from START to FINISH, it only turns the Beam OFF for a preset time.  Some Timers allow you to set whatever "dead" time you want.  Others are set at the factory for 3 seconds. We also offer systems where the START and FINISH line Beams are totally independent. (Top)
What is the best way to align my Beams?
Our LED Link Light makes it easy and fast to set up the Timing Lines for your event.  Always make sure you use fresh, Alkaline batteries in your Beams.  Mount the Beams opposite each other, Transmitter (yellow box) on one side of your timing line and Receiver (black box) on the other side.  Plan ahead if you are using WIRED Beams - the Receiver has a cable that goes to the Timer or Display.  Complete the wiring for WIRED Beams, plug it into the Timer or Big Display and turn it on.  Turn on your Beam Transmitter(s) and the Receiver(s) if they are WIRELESS, with the small black switch on the side of the unit(s).  Align the Transmitter and Receiver by tilting the Receiver (Black Box) up until the Red LED light on the back of the Receiver flashes then down until it starts to flash then adjust the vertical height in the middle of these two settings with the light on solid. Adjust the horizontal the same way moving the Receiver left and right until the light on the back of the Receiver flashes then adjust the Receiver to the center of these two points with the light on solid. (Top)
What is the maximum range for Beams?
We recomend a separation of up to 150 ft. between Beam Transmitter and Receiver, but with fresh batteries our Beams have been used reliably at 300 ft. of separation. This will greatly reduce the risk of interference or the chance of getting hit, especially with motorsports events, while still providing an accurate timing line. Since 1988 our equipment has been designed to be stepped on, run over, dropped, kicked, and just keep on working - and no little antennas to break off on our standard wireless equipment. And it's all PROUDLY made in North America! (Top)
What is the maximum range for Wireless?
Up to 300 ft. line-of-sight works quite well and up to 600 ft. under ideal conditions for our standard products, and 1 mile or more for our "ER" Extended Range products. Our wireless radio system uses an industrial radio band instead of more crowded bands used by other manufacturers. This, and multi channel communications technology greatly minimizes interference from other services or devices. Our "ER" products offer several selections of specialized, long-range external antennas for greatly extended range. (Top)
Will sunlight or other light sources activate the Beams?
Our Beams are quite immune to normal sunlight but when the sun is low in the sky and actually shines directly into the Beam Receiver it can sometimes cause interference. We have an inexpensive sun/rain shield we can provide if you have problems, just drop us an email, or just move the Beam Receiver to the other side of the timing line, or shade it from direct sunlight.  The Transmitter emits a crystal controlled, modulated beam of IR (infrared) light, and the Receiver is tuned to respond to only this signal. (Top)
Will the Big Display get "washed out" in bright sunlight?
Big Displays are Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) and in addition to using very low power, they actually are easier to see the brighter the ambient light gets! Standard tripod mount included. Light weight means no guy wires or bags are needed. Battery power means you can setup quickly and use it ANYWHERE! (Top)
Is this equipment waterproof?
Beams, Timers and Displays and connection cables are not waterproof, they should be used and stored in a clean dry environment whenever possible. If you anticipate rain or other adverse weather conditions, you can slip a transparent plastic bag over the Beams and Timers, or a clear plastic sheet over a Big Display, held with tape or a rubber band. Getting a little rain won't usually cause any damage - treat the same as you would your cellphone. You can protect from light rain with our sun/rain shields, contact us for more information. By the way - NEVER leave batteries in equipment that is stored for more than a month - battery leakage and corrosion can destroy your equipment! (Top)
Can I hook it up to my PC?
A PC interface, and software will "type" times into any Windows word, text or spreadsheet application wherever the cursor is placed.  FULLY WIRELESS and connected by USB to your laptop or PC. (Top)
We can't figure out how to time (fill in the blank)...
There are many, many different ways to START and STOP our precision digital timekeeping equipment. We can count UP or count DOWN, any kind of switch closure or connection can be adapted to operate our equipment. Magnetic or pressure sensors, light, temperature, movement - just a few ways to start or stop timing. Let us help you solve your precision timing problems. (Top)
What about WIRED timers?
We also offer a full line of WIRED products for those critical timing requirements that demand a hard-wired connection between all of the timing components. Ask our Timing Engineers for details. (Top)
How many different kinds of batteries do I need? Do I need AC power for the Big Display?
All of our equipment uses standard, Alkaline 9 volt batteries - you can get them anywhere! The 4 and 6-digit Big Displays will give several days of continuous operation on the internal 9 Volt battery. Or it can be plugged in if you like with an AC adaptor (optional).  Timers and Beams offer similar battery life. Low battery warnings are provided by all equipment. (Top)
I need help... I don't know which system is right for me.
Our engineers have many years of experience timing all kinds of events - we have been actual event competitors, judges and timekeepers! We know the rules and requirements for literally dozens of events from motorsports and ice racing to equestrian and fast draw - and everything in between! No inexperienced call center operators here - you will talk with a professional timing engineer, and we will work WITH YOU to make sure you have a "good time". Before-the-sale and after-the-sale support is always just a phone call or email away, even after hours. (Top)
What is the Warranty for this equipment?  Where is it made?
Our Products are fully warranted to the original purchaser against any defects for one year from the date of purchase from any approved dealer of our products. This warranty does not cover physical damage and will be voided if any attempt has been made to remove the sealed covers on any of our products. Except as provided herein, we make no express warranties and any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose is limited in its duration to the duration of the written warranty set forth herein. Except as provided herein, we shall have no liability or responsibility to the purchaser or any other person or entity with respect to any liability, loss or damages caused or alleged to be directly or indirectly by use of this product, including, but not limited to, any incidental or consequential damages. Some states or countries do not allow the limitation or exclusion of incidental or consequential damages or limitations on the length of implied warranties; therefore, the aforesaid limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state. (Top)

World Class - PROUDLY made in North America!
International Orders Welcome!

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THUNDERPAWS Racing Equipment        thunderpaws@raceqp.com
P.O. Box 3033
Leslie, Missouri 63056