HOW DOES THE CHRONOSPLIT COMPARE TO OTHER WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES?
The Chronosplit is a revolutionary technical response to the age-old problem of trying to send Radio (RF) signals over relatively long distances (say 10mw trying to go 500+ meters) in terrible topographic and atmospheric conditions (on a ski hill). This change is a necessary and logical response to the PRIMARY technical challenge of wireless timing - making it WORK and making to work ACCURATELY pretty well everywhere and over potentially very long distances. This change however raises other questions (which we would say are secondary to having a wireless timing system that actually WORKS) and there are "cultural" and "procedural" things you need to adapt to (as a coach or as a club).
There are things you simply cannot do with an old-fashioned point-to-point RF system what you can with a ChronoSplit system:
- There are no theoretical distance limits with the ChronoSplit because of the fact that each athlete carries the time-base to each timing point - thus solving any RF distance problems in the process. Anyone who has tried timing a full-length GS or Super-G training course with any point-to-point system (let alone a DH) knows that it seldom works. And if it does, the coach becomes a timekeeper (more like a timing troubleshooter) instead to really doing his/her job (like video, for example).
- Have reliable Timing in a wireless environment. Unless you plan to transmit under a large transmit power-push ( 2.5 or 5 watts) or you intend to futz (the technical term) with antenna systems, no point-to-point wireless timing system will overcome the GS course distances every time. The Chronosplit does. Period. No distance limits.
Again, ALL "classic" wireless systems are prone to the SAME distance and reliability constraints when you try to send RF signals from a remote start, to a finish, or both, to a timer some significant distance away. Any real distance (300 meters or more) will cause RF problems that may or may not be overcome. Again, this constraint applies to traditional RF systems irrespective of who makes them. TAG Heuer, ALGE, Brower, Microgate - everyone that has a "wireless point-to-point" solution has the same issues with long-range RF reliability.
Their downfall lies in having to use low power radios, and low power radios (up to 500mw) are necessary because of RF licensing issues with the FCC. Some do it better than others but the Tag Heuer CHRONOSPLIT system REVERSES this point-to-point RF challenge and makes the basic premise of RF transmission far more dependable (since the distances are now very short in relative terms).
This quantum leap in methodology (where the athlete carries the time-base and the RF only travels from the sensor point to where the traveling timer is) will take some getting used to. However, the overwhelming reality is that NO long-range RF SYSTEM will be as successful as a SORT-RANGE solution like the Chronosplit. It's just basic applied-science. The question is how the culture of sport-training will adjust to this sensible change and prioritize the value of something that works (even on very long courses) as opposed to the constraints of a point-to-point system.
THE COST OF THE EQUIPMENT ON THE HILL IS VERY REASONABLE, BUT THE SYSTEM BECOMES TOO EXPENSIVE IF OUR PROGRAM HAS TO PURCHASE SEVERAL TIMERS.
We have witnessed that the best success is in having the families invest in each athlete's own Chronosplit Stopwatch device. This spreads the cost out over several people and promotes "ownership" and valuation of the system by everyone involved. The club should have a few timers on hand for visiting athletes or in case someone forgets his/hers on a given day.
IF MY KID CRASHES, IS THAT BULKY TIMER ON HIS CHEST GOING TO CAUSE AN INJURY?
Possibly, but so could the Ipod that Shawn White wore in the Olympic Half-Pipe. After 3 years, we have had no reports of injuries from skiers wearing the ChronoSplit.
IS THERE A WARRANTY? WILL IT BREAK?
The ChronoSplit timer comes with a 30 day factory warranty against manufacturing defects. As to its durability, it depends on how it's treated. With now hundreds in active use throughout the world, we have yet to have one watch come back "broken" but we're sure we eventually will.
IS THERE A VOLUME DISCOUNT FOR 30 OR MORE TIMERS?
Certainly. We have "discount" programs that are based on volume, payment terms and trade-in possibilities. We'd be delighted to look into needs and propose an attractive solution.
THE COACHES WANT TO KNOW THE TIMES INSTANTANEOUSLY?
There are ways to overcome the instant feedback issues. Most training groups have a radio at the start so the athlete can check in with the coach before his/her next run. That's an ideal time to share the last run's time with the coach. Or, you can post a radio at the finish of the course as well.