At this years T.T., there is being carried out, an experiment in rider timing.
On each machine has been installed a transponder which will, it is hoped, make it much easier to record not only times per lap but also split times at other points on the course.
A loop of wire has been placed across the full width of the start line to act as an aerial.
When the machine, carrying the transponder, starts and crosses the wire, it triggers the computer, and then after one lap, it crosses the same point, and the link to the computer records accurately the time for that lap.
The Simple Principle
There are two further loops out on the course at assigned places splitting the course into three thirds, so the times to those points can also be recorded.
Another two loops are placed at the beginning and end of pit lane so that pit stops can be timed.
One more loop decides when each rider is "home".
Finally, one more is used to check times when a fore-shortened lap is used in practice.
This makes a total of seven link loops.
Just to complicate matters, the "responses" are decoded and fed to five different screens in the "Commentary Box"
( For this year, a large wooden hut erected on the top of the Grandstand Tower ! )--
From Left to Right|
No. 1 shows the Top Twenty riders in descending order.
No. 2 shows all the rest from 21st to last place.
No. 3 is the split sector timings.
No. 4 gives all the sub-details
No. 5 is the sector status screen.
Giving out the transponders
The Screen showing The Top Twenty Riders
The Screen showing Sectors, the Pit Stops,
Retirements and Finishers
There were six boxes each of 32 transponders
enough for each rider to have one for practice
and then a new one for the race.
This year is the year of experiment, so it depends on how everything falls into place as to whether this system will be used fully in 2003.
Each transponder is mounted on a special plastic bracket which can be fitted to a recommended site inside the fairing.
Two small "feet" drop into a slot and an "R" clip holds the transponder onto a small post.
In the 2002 Formula 1, was seen a problem when the green lights failed on the Scoreboard and pit crews were unable to ascertain when their rider was due.
The transponder Therefore, the transponder system could have yet another loop at Cronk-ny-Mona, to work new lights and possibly within a couple of years, the crowd in the Grandstand could have a huge electronic board which would be updated regularly automatically.
Sorry, fellows of the scoreboard, the paint and brush will have to go !!
My sincere thanks to the gentlemen of HS Sports Timing, from Congleton in Cheshire, who found time to tell me about this major step forward in TT Technology.