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View Full Version : little to no reception...please help!!!


Davey G
2008.03.20, 10:40 PM
OK, Well I am not new to this forum but am new to the CORE lap counting system from a race directors standpoint. I have done quite a bit of searching and cant find any answers....... so here we go.

I helped purchase a CORE system for the local track but the system seems to have very very little loop reception. THe only way I can get a card to read is if the card actually touches the loop wires when passing it through. The track is concrete with a layer of morter on top of it. (NOT RCP SORRY) For testing purposes we taped the loop to the track 8" apart from each other and drove a few cars over it. NOTHING.... Then we raised the loop about 6 inches over the cars....NOTHING... Then took the cards out of the cars and ran them over the loop with the cards touching the loop wires, they then worked but intermittently. Its a windows XP laptop that is about 2 yrs old. The USB cable is only 4' long. I have tried the same lap counter on a stand alone PC and still the same issue. Any thoughts????

Thanks a ton!!!!!

EMU
2008.03.20, 11:23 PM
Have you tried a different USB cable? I have heard that CORE can be picky about that. Wish I had more suggestions, but I have never set up a CORE system, but that was a problem that Al had when he was setting it up at ARCMS.

soulstice
2008.03.20, 11:41 PM
OK, Well I am not new to this forum but am new to the CORE lap counting system from a race directors standpoint. I have done quite a bit of searching and cant find any answers....... so here we go.

I helped purchase a CORE system for the local track but the system seems to have very very little loop reception. THe only way I can get a card to read is if the card actually touches the loop wires when passing it through. The track is concrete with a layer of morter on top of it. (NOT RCP SORRY) For testing purposes we taped the loop to the track 8" apart from each other and drove a few cars over it. NOTHING.... Then we raised the loop about 6 inches over the cars....NOTHING... Then took the cards out of the cars and ran them over the loop with the cards touching the loop wires, they then worked but intermittently. Its a windows XP laptop that is about 2 yrs old. The USB cable is only 4' long. I have tried the same lap counter on a stand alone PC and still the same issue. Any thoughts????

Thanks a ton!!!!!

Little confused . . . the loop is imbedded into concrete? Although I don't think that should pose a problem, I don't think that's standard use. EMU suggestion about the cable is a good thing to review. The cable maybe fine but make sure everything is plugged in firmly because even a little bit of looseness can affect the reliability. Use both usb plugs to send extra power to the unit.

pinoyboy
2008.03.21, 12:05 AM
I think I've seen the track pic somewhere, and no the loop isn't embedded in the track.

I think the loop might not be wide enough. When I had mine set up, the loop was as wide as one RCP tile, which is about 19-20 inches. Usb cable also should not be longer than 15 feet

Davey G
2008.03.21, 09:06 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the advice. Let me clarify. We had the loop mounted on a bridge about 8" above the track, that didnt work. Then took the loop out and laid it on top of the track and waved the transponders over the loop (4" above loop) still nothing. Then waved the transponders over the loop less then 1" away and it seemed to work but intermittently. So as a test we taped the looped to the track surface and drove a few cars over it with tags inside the car, and NOTHING. Sooo.... we were thinking of channelling out the track and laying the loop in the track but I am not confident in that just yet for obvious reasons. I have an e-mail into CORE and I will let you know my findings......

DG

soulstice
2008.03.21, 09:32 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the advice. Let me clarify. We had the loop mounted on a bridge about 8" above the track, that didnt work. Then took the loop out and laid it on top of the track and waved the transponders over the loop (4" above loop) still nothing. Then waved the transponders over the loop less then 1" away and it seemed to work but intermittently. So as a test we taped the looped to the track surface and drove a few cars over it with tags inside the car, and NOTHING. Sooo.... we were thinking of channelling out the track and laying the loop in the track but I am not confident in that just yet for obvious reasons. I have an e-mail into CORE and I will let you know my findings......

DG

I'd definitely try to keep the loop as close to the transponders as possible. I've never seen anyone run an overhead loop either at our club or other clubs.
Have you tried out other transponders just to make sure there's not a bad one in the bunch? make sure not to bend them since I remember it greatly reduces their effectivity.

Spoon
2008.03.21, 10:48 AM
It could also be environmental or something with the computer.

First, try turning off any unnecessary processes on the machine. Wireless, etc.

If that doesn't help try testing the unit somewhere else in the building or in another location completely. I think all kinds of things can impact CORE. Fluorescent lights, HVAC, wireless, etc. If it works somewhere else then you know your computer works.

If it doesn't work somewhere else then maybe you'll know it's not the environment.

Also, I have heard of people having problems if they have ever installed a previous version of core on the same machine. Apparently even removing the old installation still leaves things behind that cause problems with future installs.

Hope this helps...good luck.

rharris
2008.03.21, 01:37 PM
Start with the loop. RFID must create an electric field. The loop must be exactly 12" across and as rectangular as possible. If the loop is not the correct shape it will not be able to generate the field and your range will decrease dramatically.

Next check the environment. The loop is generating an electromagnetic field. It does not like Metal. If there is re bar in the concrete you can get interference. I solved this by taping the loop to a 1/8th thick MDF board. This also ensured that the loop dimensions were perfect every time.

Next check the USB cable. Over a 2 year period, we went thou 5 of them. Kids would step on them etc... But a damaged USB will cause the system to not read correctly.

The range for the core reader is only a few inches at best. The transponder should be no more then 3" away from the loop. You can test the signal with the core software.

Finally, placement of the transponder is critical. The metal parts of the mini-z can be a problem. The transponder must be as flat as possible and placed as far forward in the car as possible. We usually taped them to the top of the car body with the front part touching the body clip mount.

Davey G
2008.03.22, 10:56 AM
Alright, I disabled everything i can disable, and now am using a powered USB and still nothing. Soooo...when I click test the strength says 0% and the signal says 100%.... What am I doing wrong???

DG

imxlr8ed
2008.03.22, 03:25 PM
Loop should be exactly 12" wide, meaning the lines going across should be 12" apart... I'm pretty sure that's what they suggest in the manual. I know our small F1 transponders do not work if it's any wider or narrower.

I think it works kinda like the sweet spot on the old TV rabbit ear antennas... you know, that magic spot where you'd get more than 3 channels? :rolleyes:

Davey G
2008.03.24, 08:55 AM
Loop should be exactly 12" wide, meaning the lines going across should be 12" apart... I'm pretty sure that's what they suggest in the manual. I know our small F1 transponders do not work if it's any wider or narrower.

I think it works kinda like the sweet spot on the old TV rabbit ear antennas... you know, that magic spot where you'd get more than 3 channels? :rolleyes:

Hi ED,

WE def got the transponders working a little bit better but not 100%, I would say more like 85%. Core responded stating that the CONCRETE track is the problem. We built a bridge above the track which measure about 1/2" away from the cars roof when passing and it still doesnt pick up all cars, all the time. Being that CORE came back with the reply about the concrete I guess our CORE system will be listed on the buy and sell section of the site. Anyone interested in a CORE SYSTEM?????? Thank you all for your time..

imxlr8ed
2008.03.24, 09:01 AM
I think the DC guys ran into this issue as well, apparently there is some kind of sheilded mat you can buy to help that reception issue... Arch?... care to comment?

It's really not a bad system, and the price of the transponders can't be beat... we had a ton of issues when we started as well, but once we got into the habit of closing all other software down on our laptops while running core (everything... wireless cards, even the anti-virus stuff), all of the issues went away.

Re-bar sucks! :D I'm betting that's your issue now.

arch2b
2008.03.24, 10:38 AM
there are anti static bags, sheets the block all kinds of uv, ir, and just about all other wave length signals that can be placed under the system.

in particular, i had sever issues with subsurface concrete reinforcement at nekocon. it too a stack of 2 tiles under the loop to block interfrence but also caused an obvious jump. i would suggest looking into sheilding options for the unit/loop between it and the concrete surface.