Timing a Duathlon - how not to do it

Duathlon's (for the uninitiated) are an event involving two sports, and in the South West it is normally running and cycling. Sportiva Event's put on several such events, which I time. In the autumn I got these sorted (finally) using a combination of more sensitive antennas and two of the higher power, EU22 spec Impinj readers, and two of the lower power models (EU21 spec).

So when it came to this spring's Donut Duathlon, we raised the bar. Each bike lap would be logged.

The event was top be held at Torbay Velopark. The timing software was Webscorer. There is an image below and setup was as follows (excuse the small size of the details at the top of the image)-

Finish gate - an EU21 spec reader connected to two mats plus and EU21 spec reader connected to 9dBi gain side antenna's (circular polarised) running in conjunction with the run gate on the same device.

Run gate - a single mat powered by an EU22 spec reader.

Bike gate and bike track - an EU22 spec reader connected to three side antennas, on 12dBi and two 9dBi. 

The yellow area is the key area to avoid any stray reads - transition. An area of potentially high chip density and would lead to a lot of sorting out if an antenna were to pick up reads from here.

The faults in this setup, leading to a particularly low read rate were as follows-

  1. No left and right side antennae on the run gate, only on the left.
  2. Cycling antenna setup was a mess. No mat's due to the speed bikes were at, only left side antennae, really low reads.
Solution as follows-
  1. We are getting new HuTag XC-3s for duathlon and triathlon use. More reliable placement options and decent sensitivity.
  2. All run gates to be two side antennae and two mat antennae.
  3. All bike gates to be a read zone made up of four side antennae, preferably the 12dBi gain variant.