RaceAmerica AC4 and T-Link Wireless with Axware Systems Software

Our club has been using a wired RaceAmerica timing system for autocross events.  The wired system required us to run cables from our timing van to both the start and finish.  In 2018 we purchased an add-on from RaceAmerica which would enable us to ‘go wireless’.  With the new setup we are able to eliminate cabling and run our events more efficiently.  The following is a summary of the project and our outcome.  We’ll continue to update this page with additional information as we continue to use the system.

Challenges:

  • AC4 (if not using T-Link directly to PC) must be the latest revision (H.06).
    • We ran into issues with the update which you must obtain from RaceAmerica and had to return our AC4 to RaceAmerica for repair.  I suspect this is related to the cable we were using to connect to the AC4.
    • Recommended configuration is to purchase proper cable and Axware Wireless module to connect the T-Link Z  (base) directly to the computer.
    • Symptoms of having an out-of-date AC4 include replicated run times (for instance out of hundreds of runs we only had 6 that were NOT duplicated – RAW RESULTS).  After the AC4 update was complete to H.06 issues were resolved.
  • T-Link Direct (setup w/out the AC4)
    • We have a very old Chronomix display board.  The PIN out for the board from the AC4 is NOT the same as the PIN out when using the interconnect display cable.
    • PIN out is as follows – (This has not yet been worked out, working on Winter of 2018-19)
    • We created a ‘Y’ in the Chronomix display cable so that it could easily be used with either the AC4 or T-Link Direct.

Successes:

  • Event setup for timing has been reduced by at least 30 minutes.
    • Event setup is so smooth that key individuals that used to be unable to do course walks are now able to course walk.  HUGE WIN there!
    • Start/Finish sensor alignment is MUCH simpler now that we can simply look at the wireless unit for alternating red/green lights (which indicate appropriate alignment).  In the past we had to radio to the timing van to know if sensors were appropriately aligned.
  • Timing delays are less prevalent as cable ends are not coming loose and in need of replacement.
  • Course setup is no longer dependent upon start/finish cable length restrictions.
  • We no longer have to mark where timing cables are ran so that competitors aren’t tripping/driving on them. 
  • We plan to get an RJ-45 break-away ethernet cable so that IF someone hits the sensors the wireless unit won’t get dragged and potentially damaged.

Setup Information:

 

Axware Systems sells the T-Link in packages that will give you everything needed to operate without the AC4.  This is the recommended configuration as all timing functions are then controlled directly from the PC and Timing captures software (Axware TS).  Axware Systems and RaceAmerica offer great support IF you run into any issues or have questions!