bibchip finisher
As if by magic...
The story behind the bibchip technology is extremely high-tech: data are exchanged between the bibchip and gate as if by magic. What for many may sound like a high-tech fairytale is in fact already in use in many areas of industry, albeit mostly as part of pilot projects. With bibchip, however, the technology is actually in everyday use.
When the runner reaches the finish and charges through the gate this signals the moment for the technology to move into top gear: the chip in the start number has a memory function and is coupled with a coil made up of several turns of wire. The transponder – otherwise referred to as the bibchip – is logged by the gate and transmits its data.
When a bibchip enters this field voltage enters the bibchip coil. This is rectified – inductively coupled – and is used to supply energy for the chip. This explains why the bibchip doesn’t require a battery.
As this transmission requires very little energy, ranges of up to 1.50 metres are possible guaranteeing 100% accuracy of measurement. bibchip sets the gates at a distance of 1.25 metres as the athletes cross the finish line at high speed and this allows up to 800 athletes a minute to cross the finish line. Another key reason for selecting this distance is to ensure the permitted level of radiation emitted to humans remains significantly below the permitted thresholds.
As the area of the antenna is crucial for the bibchip's range it is important to avoid bending or folding the bibchip.
Transponder without bib: Not a bibchip!
Load modulation at 13.56 MHz
RFID technology
13.56 MHz transponders are now being produced for standard applications, particularly in the logistics and access control sectors. The basic requirement of open systems is global standardisation of the 13.56 MHz technology that bibchip also uses.
A reader transmits both data and energy to the transponder via inductive coupling. To operate the contact-free transponder, the reader first generates a high-frequency magnetic field in its antenna. This magnetic field is around 13.56 MHz. If the transponder is then held near to the read antenna, the reader's field induces a potential difference in the coil of the transponder. This is rectified and serves as a voltage supply for the transponder. The transponder therefore needs no voltage supply of its own from a battery.
A capacitor is connected in parallel with the inductivity of the transponder coil. This creates a parallel resonant circuit, the resonance frequency of which corresponds to the transmitter frequency. At 13.56 MHz, the input capacitance of the transponder chip is sufficient for this. To transmit data from the chip to the read antenna (known as the uplink), this property of the transformer-type coupling between read antenna and chip card coil is used. By switching an additional load resistance in the transponder chip on and off, a clock frequency is generated via which data can be sent to the reader. This process is known in the technical lexicon as load modulation.
The bibchip antennas conform to EU limits
The bibchip’s long range antenna complies with all guidelines of current EU standards and limitations for radio equipment. Testing with maximum demands according to EN 50364 was carried out successfully.
German Standards Agency licensing:
EN 50364; EN 301 489-1 V1.2.1; EN 301 489-3 V1.2.1
In particular, the following limitations are observed:
The highest reference level for electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields in operational areas of 13.56 MHz amounts to 2.34 A/m. The highest adverse value reached by the bibchip antenna is 0.63 A/m: ensuring that requirements are fulfilled!
Consumer protection
Your data does not interest us
Consumer protection for athletes is our top priority. The bibchip system is therefore set up so that no personal data is required for detecting the finishing time of a runner.
This is because users feel safest when no personal data whatsoever is in circulation. Only the number of your start number is read out at the finishing line – your personal data is not required for this.
If you wish, you can therefore also run under a pseudonym – your finishing time is still expertly recorded.
Data security
Naturally, the security of a system like this is important. bibchips are therefore coded ex works and can only be read with bibchip software.
bibchip and gate must first authenticate themselves to each other before data can be exchanged. Particular algorithms are used for this as cryptographic identifiers that prevent third parties from tapping into the data exchange which is based on a radio link. Start number recognition (which is also encrypted) between gate and bibchip only takes place following successful authentication when crossing the finishing line.
Environmentally friendly
bibchip: complies easily
The bibchip is the only system for chip-timing tested according to EU-guidelines (electromagnetic compatibility – EMC). The results are well below the threshold values.
The bibchip is also safe from an environmental point of view: its components are made of pure copper and pure silicone – these materials do not fall under the CE guidelines on electronic scrap regulation.
Should the runner decide not to take the start number home as a souvenir, the Tyvek number, which consists of materials also used for other start numbers, can be disposed of as plastic waste. In the best case the promoter collects the bibchips after the event and sends these back to us for recycling free of charge.
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