How Our RFID Chip Timing Systems Work

Dual Frequency

Producing timely and accurate results in the race environment is often a challenge. Readers must perform by reading multiple chip tags while dealing with motion, distance, crowding, demanding environmental conditions and a variety of materials. ACTIVE Network| IPICO Sports RFID chip timing systems are designed to meet this challenge.

The IPICO timing system consists of 3 core components:

  • IPICO Sports Tag
  • IPICO Sports Antenna Mat or Cable
  • IPICO Sports Reader

Dual Frequency utilizes magnetic induction for both energizing and for communications (similar to LF and HF).

The technology’s real advantage lies in its ability to work even in harsh and challenging environmental conditions. The patented Dual Frequency technology virtually eliminates signal loss and tag read collision and works especially well for objects high in liquid, carbon and electronic content, such as the human body.

Dual Frequency RFID technology offers the following benefits:

  • Short well defined charge range (0.3 m) and read range (2.0 m) allows for better accuracy and precision among RFID technologies.
  • Much longer read range than LF (1.2 – 2.0 meters compared to LF 0.6 – 0.7 meters in ideal circumstances)
  • Higher anti-collision than LF (100 tags/second vs. <5 tags/second)
  • Can read through liquids, making it especially well-suited for triathlons and mud runs (in contrast to UHF which reads primarily line of sight)
  • Works in all weather conditions – including very low to very high temperatures; high moisture environments (antenna works when submerged or buried under snow and ice); and wide-range of problematic surface conditions (salt water soaked sand; granite, reinforced concrete, mud, etc.

Ultra High Frequency

Ultra High Frequency uses especially short wavelengths for communication but has a much longer read range (up to 50 feet) and can transmit data at a faster rate. UHF solutions offer low cost single-use timing solutions for race timing, which has contributed to its popularity.

These type of timing systems generally use radiated electrical energy to transmit their information to a reader. UHF systems contain a thin, flexible copper antenna and tiny integrated circuits. Because of its low cost of acquisition and single-use tags, UHF has become a commodity product. Additionally, UHF RFID timing systems, are an excellent fit for road races with the ability to read in large numbers at the same time using anti-collision algorithms.

UHF’s restrictions lie in its ‘line of sight’ operating procedure. Because Ultra High Frequency must have a direct line available between timing chip and mat/antennae, there can be missed tag reads if the body of one runner is interfering with the chip read of another runner. Furthermore, because Ultra High Frequency has such a large read range, the precision of tag reads can be skewed. A tag for a runner 30 feet from the finish line can be read the same time as a runner who is actually crossing the finish line. However, missed reads and scoring errors can be minimized with multiple timing lines, which increase the number of data collection points and increase accuracy.

FAQ | Forum | Contact | About IPICO Sports | Newsletters | Login
Active Network, LLC

717 North Harwood Street

Suite 2500

Dallas, TX 75201

Timing Solutions

Road Running

Cross Country



Mud Running


Nordic Sports

Timing Products





Connect with Us
Other Resources