Anybody use timing chips for a cyclocross race, Seems like a solution for running multiple fields on the course at the same time. At the Mt Washington Hillclimb this summer they used disposable chips stuck inside the race number.
We reached the point last year where we couldn't produce results fast enough or with required accuracy to keep up with field sizes. We researched 4 different systems during the off-season, 3 using RFID chips from Alien using various software packages and one from New Zealand. We used and tested 2 of the contenders during our road season and learned heaps of lessons. Reslts were good with hese 2 bike-based systems but unlike road races we needed a system that would not be bike-based (not mounted on wheels or frame) and that could read chips/numbers spaced across a 20' wide finish line.
We had miserable results in this years 'cross season and abandoned our test after the 3rd of our 5 events. We resusitated our previous timing consultant and combined with longer courses, managed to finish the season with most brain (brane?) cells intact. We decided that we'd rely on our previous 20th century methods and continue to hand-score events in the future. The changes that we'll be making to our events won't be technological = they'll be logistical.
Our chosen vendor had a system that would still require a sophisticated programmer to operate and if it's one thing we are NOT - it's sophisticated. We didn;t see a system that we could turn over to one of our staff members, give them a short introduction and then say, "Go!". Asa Salas from Sacramento has a proven system and Dorthy Wong in SoCal has got a good comfort level with chips - we're just going focus on other parts of our events for our next level of investment.