Interfaces

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This Section describes the various Interfaces available in MM.  The Photo Finish INTERFACE, Alpha Scoreboard INTERFACE, FieldLynx INTERFACE, and the Button Finish INTERFACE are software product options that are integrated into HY-TEK's MM software product. However, each of these options must be purchased separately. The INTERFACE software enables MM to communicate with your photo finish, video system, scoreboard, FieldLynx, or button timing hardware. This communication usually occurs through a serial cable connected between the HY-TEK computer and your hardware. Some hardware is capable of communicating via file sharing.

 

For photo finish, start lists and results are exchanged.
For scoreboards, a single keystroke from within MM can display start lists and results instantly on the scoreboard and information is automatically "cycled" through when there is more information to display than can be displayed at one time.
For FieldLynx, start lists and results are exchanged.
For button finish timing, result times can be quickly downloaded after a cross country or road race into MM CC / RR module. Some of the button timers can be used for in-lane track races.

 

To specify which Photo Finish INTERFACE software you wish to use for your meet, click on Set-up from the Main Menu Bar and then click on Photo Finish INTERFACE.  Next, click on the particular Photo Finish System that will be used for the meet.

 

To specify which Alpha Scoreboard INTERFACE software you wish to use for your meet, click on Set-up from the Main Menu Bar and then click on Alpha Scoreboard INTERFACE.  Next, click on the particular Alpha Scoreboard that will be used for the meet.

 

To specify the FieldLynx Interface configuration to use for your meet, click on Set-up from the Main Menu Bar and then click on FieldLynx INTERFACE.  Next, click on the particular FieldLynx Interface configuration that will be used for the meet.

 

To specify which Button Finish INTERFACE software you wish to use for your meet, click on Set-up from the Main Menu Bar and then click on Button Finish INTERFACE.  Next, click on the particular Button Timer that will be used for the meet.

 

Software Installation

The INTERFACE software is integrated into your MM installation disk. When you install your MM software, the INTERFACE is automatically loaded onto your computer's hard disk. No further software installation is required. To verify installation, start MM, click Help / About.  All options which are configured in your software package will be displayed. The Photo Finish INTERFACE, the Scoreboard INTERFACE, the FieldLynx INTERFACE and the Button Finish INTERFACE are all separate options, and you may have all four.

 

Hardware Installation

In almost all cases, the HY-TEK computer is connected to your photo finish, scoreboard, or button timing hardware with an RS232 serial cable. The cable is plugged into a serial COM port found in the back of the computer. Most computers do not come with a serial COM port, you will need to add a serial port to the computer with a USB to Serial Adaptor. For FieldLynx, the Palm Pilot's serial cable is used.  In the case of button timing, the serial port cable connection is found on the side of the machine. In the case of the FinishLynx photo finish and the FieldLynx, the communication can be through a network instead of a serial cable.

 

Each photo finish system, each scoreboard system, each FieldLynx system, and each button timing system will have particular requirements for connecting hardware.

 

Serial Communication

Serial communication using the RS232 standard is a simple way to connect two computers, or a computer and a Palm Pilot, or a computer and a timer so that they can exchange data. The data exchange may be one way. The basic RS232 connection consists of a serial cable with 3 wires in it. At each end of the cable is a 9 pin connector (or 25 pin). The connectors are plugged into an available serial port (or COM port) on each computer. These serial ports can be either COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, or COM8. However, before plugging in one of the computers, you must add a null modem adapter to the cable if the cable is not already a null modem cable. The null modem adapter crosses the transmit and receive wires and is very inexpensive.

 

 Please note that this null modem adaptor has nothing to do with modems that you use to connect to the Internet.

 

Most computer stores have 6 or 12 foot RS232-C cables with 9 pin connectors on both ends and have null modem adapters. If you need to have a longer cable, you may need someone to make it for you. Generally, you can go up to 150 feet of RS232 cable without the need for a line booster. For long distances of up to 4,000 feet, you will need a pair of RS422 line boosters and 422 cable to connect to your RS232 cable. See the next 3 sections for a description of each serial communication alternative.

 

Standard RS232

If the distance between your MM computer and either your Photo Finish or Scoreboard computer is less than 150 feet, then standard RS232 cable with a null modem should be all you need. If you need to go up to 400 feet, then an RS232 in-line booster will be needed.

 

RS422

For distances up to 4,000 feet between computers, you will need the following:

         1.        Two short RS232 cables to connect computer to booster.

         2.        Two RS232 to RS422 line boosters with 12 volt DC transformers.

         3.        422 twisted pair telephone cable with 25 pin connectors on both ends.

 

The amount of 422 cable depends on the distance between computers. The recommended 422 cable is number 24 AWG copper. A null modem is not required because the 422 cable takes care of that part.