Our First Scoreboard is 26 years old and still working!
That’s right, our very first scoreboard has been in continuous use for 26 years in November. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Our Scoreboard Origin Story
When Eve Julian (our Sales and Support Specialist) was swimming in high school, the scoreboard at the high school pool caught on fire. Her dad Dick Farnsworth (President of IST) was on the committee to raise money for a replacement. In 1991, the only scoreboards on the market for swimming were the solenoid flipper boards. Dick was frustrated with the high price and lack of information on the available scoreboards. Fortunately, he owned an engineering company and had just finished up a project using a new product called LED’s. Working with his business partner, Dick designed and built the very first Alphanumeric scoreboard for swimming. It was the first one to be able to display both names and times. To make it easier for Eve’s swim coach to interface with the scoreboard he wrote a software package called SWIMWARE, which ran on a computer. SWIMWARE would later evolve into our current MEETWARE and TIMEWARE software packages.
The project was supposed to be a one-off, just for Ottawa Hills. However, a visiting team parent saw the scoreboard and said, “I must have one of those, where did you get it?” He talked Dick into producing more, and it became a second company. Both the industrial engineering company (Industrial Service Technology) and the swim timing company (International Sports Timing) are going strong today.
How do our scoreboards last so long?
Our scoreboards are designed to last. Industrial environments can be as harsh as pool environments, so Dick used his prior experience to build a product that would stand up to the environment. We use gold connectors whenever possible and we conformal coat the circuit and LED boards to keep the moisture off the components. The boards are designed so that you can still use the scoreboard, even if one panel is removed. That makes repairs easy. IST is committed to making a long-lasting product, and we work very hard to make sure that we don’t obsolete parts, especially for our scoreboards. Even if you have a component fail, we can repair it. Every few years, the 26-year-old board has one or two panels that don’t come on, but a quick fix and it is back up and running!
After a while, the environment can get to even the best electronic equipment. Our scoreboards are designed so that a lot of the repairs can be completed by a building maintenance person, or even a team parent. Replacing connectors and scoreboard panels is quick and easy to do, and if you get stuck help is only a phone call away! We’re also happy to come to you and do the repairs, if that is what you prefer.
The scoreboards last as long as they do because we know that a scoreboard is the biggest investment that you can make for your parents. A team with an already tight budget shouldn’t have to replace their scoreboard every 5 to 7 years. It should be a permanent fixture in your facility for years to come. Our scoreboards, and really all of our products, are designed that way on purpose.
We are very fortunate to have some loyal and long-time customers. Often, we get to see them at the clinics that we go to. Sometimes that is the only time that we talk to them, they hardly ever call for help! When they do call, we get them back up and running in no time flat.
Some of our customers were nice enough to send us testimonials about our products, people and service. Check out the new testimonials page on our website.
If you would like to add your story to our testimonials page, please send your comments or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Occasionally, a team upgrades their equipment or moves out of their facility and needs to sell equipment. When that happens, we list it on our Used Equipment page. Do you have something you want to sell? Send a photo of the item, brief description, price, location and contact information to email@example.com. We’ll post your listing and have interested buyers contact you directly to arrange payment and pickup/shipping of the item.
Thinking of upgrading from a console to an IST system? We’ll list your existing equipment here too. You’d be surprised how many people are looking for a reliable backup console at a cheap price!