If you have ever looked closely at the banana plugs on your touchpads and backup buttons, you will see that there is a ground tab on each of them.
This ground tab indicates that the ground wire (black wire) is attached to that terminal. On the deck cable, you will notice that there is a red and black collar on the plug.
For the touchpads and backup buttons to work properly, the black wire needs to plug into the black collar and the red wire needs to plug into the red collar on the deck cable. In other words, the ground tab needs to go on the black collar.
Check that you have everything plugged in correctly. Make sure that the ground tab points to the middle of the lane box, like this:
Plugging the connectors in properly means the ground tabs line up with the center of the box. Just make sure that you have the touchpad plugged into the PAD side and the backup button plugged into the BACKUP side!
What happens if the polarity isn’t correct? If it is just on one touchpad, you might see it work intermittently. Plugging in multiple touchpads incorrectly can cause interference. This can cause several to work intermittently or not at all. You may notice that your pads just don’t seem to register hits all the time. The first thing to check in that case is the plug polarity.
Repairing the Connections
If the collars on the deck cable are broken and the connections are rusted, you might want to consider replacing the boxes on the deck cable ($85/box) or replacing the entire deck cable. Especially if making sure the pads and buttons are plugged in correctly doesn’t correct the problems you are having.
Have more questions about diagnosing and fixing deck cable and touchpad issues? Look at the Tips and Technical Support page on our website for information on diagnosing and troubleshooting issues with Touchpads, Deck Cables and Backup buttons. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page:
As always, if you need something repaired, give us a call at 800-835-2611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get an RMA number. Deck cables, backup buttons and touchpads all have a 2-year warranty.
Many of our products come with cables that connect them to other items – the cable from the CTI to the computer, the CTI to the scoreboard, Deck cable to the CTI, etc. Often if there is hardware issue, the likely culprit is a cable or connector on a cable. Cables have a 2-year warranty, so if it is less than 2 years old let us know and we’ll get it fixed or replaced.
If its more than 2 years old, you have a couple options. You can purchase a replacement cable from us, or you can clean or replace the cable yourself. Here is what you need to know about the various cables.
Our scoreboard cables look like phone cables. A word of warning – THEY ARE NOT! If you look closely at the connectors on both ends of the scoreboard cable, you will see that the wires are in the same color order from left to right on both ends of the cable.
For example, blue, orange, orange striped, green. If you look at the ends of a phone cable, the wires from left to right are blue, orange, orange striped, green on one end and green, orange striped, orange, blue from left to right on the other end. This cable switches the polarity, which isn’t a problem for the phone company, but is a big problem for your scoreboard! A normal phone cable will not allow your scoreboard to get communication from the CTI.
If you need to replace the cable to your scoreboard, you can use a phone cable, but you must make some adjustments. Get an RJ11 connector and an RJ11 crimper tool. Cut off one end of the phone cable and strip back a little of the jacket. Insert the cable into the new RJ11 connector, making sure that the colors in the new connector match the order of the colors in the other end from left to right. Press them in and use the crimping tool to keep them in place.
Sometimes the issue isn’t in the cable itself, but in the connector. If you look at the RJ11 connector you should see strips of shiny gold on the end.
If you see dull gold or green, your cable needs to be cleaned. You can use a product called CRC Contact Cleaner (available at Lowes, Home Depot and WalMart or on our website). Spray the contact cleaner onto the connector and scrub with a pipe cleaner until it is shiny again. You can also clean the connector in the CTI and end of the scoreboard the same way.
Our older CTI’s have a 25-pin to 9-pin serial cable.
Most computers no longer have serial ports. These cables require a USB to Serial adapter. If you have a failure of the cable from the computer to the CTI, the adapter cable is the first thing to check. These are available on our website or at your local computer store. Make sure when purchasing the USB to Serial adapter cable that it is compatible with the version of Windows on your timing computer. If that doesn’t work, then you will need to replace the serial cable. You need a 25pin male to 9 pin female serial cable. These are available on our website, at a local computer store or on Cables To Go.
Our newer CTI’s have a USB cable from the CTI to the computer.
This is called a USB-A cable. It has a square connector on one end and a regular USB connector on the other end. They are commonly used for printers. You can purchase them from our website, at a local computer retailer or online.
One common problem found on the CTI is that one of the pins in the 25-pin connector has been bent or pushed in.
If you see a pin that is not completely straight and even with the others, you can gently pull it out or straighten it using a pair of needle nose pliers. If the pin is broken or missing, you will need to send the CTI back to IST for repair.
Our deck cables can’t be replaced by anyone but us. However, you can replace the 25-pin connector if you know how to do that.
It is important when replacing the 25-pin connector that you get all the wires back into their correct places. If you are going to replace the connector yourself, please contact IST for a wiring diagram. You can also send the deck cable to us for repair. Replacing a 25 pin connector costs $75. Call 800-835-2611 or email email@example.com for an RMA number before you send it to us.
TOUCHPADS, START CABLE, BACKUP BUTTONS
Look at the plugs at the end of your touchpads, start cable and backup buttons. Those 2-prong plugs are called “banana plugs”.
Keeping your cables clean, dry and free of kinks will help extend their life. If you have cables that need repaired or replaced give us a call at 800-835-2611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!
IST will once again be at the Eastern States Swim Clinic in Cherry Hill, PA October 4-6. Join us on Friday the 4th at 6:30pm for the “Technology Corner”. Make sure to stop by our booth while you are there to sign up to win a 4-digit SWIMCOUNT Pace clock.
There is a GROUP DISCOUNT available for the Eastern States clinic. Register 5 coaches and get 1 free or register 5 swimmers and get 1 free. The more coaches you have attend, the better your chances of winning a pace clock! See you at the Clinic!
I want to tell you a story, a true story, that happened to me this winter. First, a little background information.
My name is Eve Julian. I am the Sales and Support specialist for IST. I also coach the Boys Swim and Dive team at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, MI. That is where I swam in high school, and it is also the home of the very first ever IST alphanumeric scoreboard. That board was designed by my father, Dick Farnsworth. It was assembled by my high school girls swim team in 1991 and has been in continuous use at Ottawa since then. While I do work for IST, I am in no way an engineer. My specialty is the software. I don’t know a whole lot about the hardware side of things – I typically leave that to the techs and engineers.
At the beginning of the 18-19 boys season we had some issues with the scoreboard either not coming up or randomly putting nonsense up on the board. I had Dick come to the pool and change out the master controller. This scoreboard is his favorite, since it was his first, and he’s really the only one who knows how the old tech works. It worked great for about 2 months, until the morning of our OHHS Invitational.
On Saturday morning at 7am I arrived at the pool and fired up the scoreboard, but nothing happened. I tried powering it off and on again (yep, that really does work sometimes), and this time I got some junk to show up. A little desperate, I climbed up on top of the motor for our pool cover, unplugged the master controller on the scoreboard, plugged it in again and ran the test again. The board worked great. Then 15 minutes later I looked up and realize that it was putting up nonsense again.
Knowing that Dick was out of town and diving was going to start in less than an hour, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I climbed back up to the bottom of the scoreboard and started fiddling with the master controller. I discovered that if I gently wiggled the connector, the board would light up, but after a moment it would go back to showing junk data again. As I looked closer, I realized that one of the wires leading into the connector had broken off.
I climbed back down and went in search of my building maintenance supervisor. Fortunately, he wasn’t far away and he was able to find me a small screwdriver and a too-big pair of wire strippers. Armed with these tools I climbed back up to the scoreboard. I removed each of the wires from the connector, carefully stripped them back a little farther, reinserted them into the connector and plugged it in.
Eve Julian repairing the scoreboard while Hasting Dive Coach Todd Bates shows his support.
My assistant coach powered the board back up and it came right on with all the correct data. Still sitting on top of the pool cover motor I raised my arms in triumph and shouted, “I am awesome!”. Only then did I look up and realize that the bleachers were filling with diving parents and fans. Oops! I’m sure they thought I was pretty odd. The scoreboard ran perfectly for the rest of the season, so that was awesome indeed.
The Moral of the Story
Our scoreboards are designed to be user maintainable. If *I* can figure out how to re-wire a connector to the Master Controller, anyone can. If you can’t fix it, we can. It’s designed so that the important parts (LED Panels and controllers) can be removed and shipped to us. We’ll repair it and send it back. We can fix any age of scoreboard, including the 28-year-old original one. You should consider IST Scoreboards. They are low maintenance, have all the information that you need, are easy to read and last FOREVER!
In order to qualify for All America Diving consideration, a diver must be in 9-12th grade, competing for an interscholastic team, academically eligible based on their state’s requirements and diving in an 11-dive Championship format meet. Boys must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.3 or higher for their optional dives. Girls must score a minimum of 375 points with a D.D. of 13.0 or higher for their optional dives.
At each 11-dive meet through the season, coaches or parents record the diver performing the dives. They also collect a copy of the final, signed dive sheet.
All America Diving Applications
The application process begins on November 1st, when the on-line All America application portals open. Coaches can enter up to 2 applications per diver. Each application is for a single 11 dive meet, no compilations are allowed. A video, copies of the signed dive sheet and a signature sheet accompany the application. Videos are uploaded to YouTube or Drop Box and a link supplied in the application. A DVD can also be mailed with the accompanying paperwork.
Once the application has been submitted and accepted, the videos are compiled into a list onto “master” DVDs. There is one set for boys and one set for girls. They organize the paperwork to match the order of the divers on the DVDs. This is an ongoing process through the year.
AA Diving Weekend
On the first weekend in June, 16 diving judges from around the country convene in Bloomfield Hills at the home of Don Mason, the NISCA All America Diving Chairperson. They arrive on Wednesday for training and socializing, and on Thursday morning they begin the process of judging.
The judges are dived into 2 groups, a boys room and a girls room. Each room has a computer operator, a video operator, an announcer and 5 judges. The computer operator uses a specially modified version of the IST MEETWARE Diving software which has the list of divers and their individual dives that were uploaded from the applications earlier in the week. Instead of doing everyone’s 1st dive, the software walks through each diver’s list of 11 dives from top to bottom.
Judging the Divers
First, the announcer reads the name of the diver off the sheet. The computer operator confirms the name. The video operator cues up the first dive in the video. Then the announcer reads the first dive number, the computer operator confirms the dive and the video operator plays the first dive. The video is paused at the end of the dive and the judges key in their scores on their IST Judge-Touch consoles. Finally the computer operator reads all the scores out loud, then they move to the next dive.
It takes about 5 minutes to judge each diver’s video. The sheet is set aside to be researched if there are issues. Issues can include dives out of order, not matching the dive sheet or missing dives. If the discrepancies can be resolved, the video is judged later. The judges try very hard to judge every video and give the kids a fair shot. Occasionally videos come in that are incomplete or scrambled and can’t be judged. Notes are made on those applications as to why they weren’t judged.
This weekend the judges will be watching 11 dives for 230 boys and 290 girls. They have a rotation, so that periodically they can take a 5-minute break from judging. They don’t judge any diver that they know or is from their state. There is a “spare” judge in the room that will judge those videos instead. The panels rotate through both rooms. Periodically both rooms take a full 15-minute break to move around, stretch, grab a drink of water or check their phones. They will judge for about 8 hours on Thursday and Friday, and another 4 or 5 hours on Saturday.
The Volunteers are Incredible!
Don Mason and the judges volunteer their time to put together and judge the All Americans each year. They are a dedicated group of individuals that are absolutely devoted to advancing their sport. IST is proud to provide the hardware and software that helps make their job a little easier. At least they don’t have to do the score calculations by hand anymore!
For more information about the All America Diving program or other All America programs supported by NISCA, visit the NISCA Website.
Do you need a refresher course on using MEETWARE or TIMEWARE? Is there a new parent volunteer who needs training? We can help with that. Check out our training videos on our YouTube channel, or schedule a personal on-line training session with Jane or Eve. Call 800-835-2611 or e-mail email@example.com to schedule an appointment. All you need is the computer you use for timing connected to the internet and to download TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com). At the appointed time, call the office at 800-835-2611. We’ll log in to your computer where we can either watch what you are doing or show you how. Whether you need a few questions answered or to be trained from the ground up, we can do that. Schedule a session today!
Tips and Tricks for Running Diving in MEETWARE and TIMEWARE
If you run diving at your pool, here are some helpful tips and tricks for setting up and running the event. These items are all available to MEETWARE users and TIMEWARE users who have the TMW-D Diving license, and some of them are available to everyone. Not sure if you have the diving license? Go to HELP/ABOUT and see if Diving is enabled. Got questions about diving? Give us a call at 800-835-2611 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Validating and sending dive sheets to anyone
IST offers a FREE dive sheet generator on our website. http://www.istime.com/divesheet. This allows you to enter either a 6-dive or an 11-dive meet. Once the dives have been entered, you can validate the meet against the NFHS rules for 6 or 11 dives by clicking the VALIDATE button at the top of the page. Once you have a valid dive sheet, you can e-mail, print or download the sheet. There is also an option to print a blank sheet, in case other dive coaches need one.
Pre-entering the dives
If you have copies of the dive sheets prior to the diving event starting, you can pre-load the dives in for each diver. In TIMING (if you don’t mind seeing the 1st divers information on the scoreboard while you are working) or in OFFLINE SCORING (if you don’t want info on the scoreboard), select the diving event.
After you have the event set up (number of divers, dives and judges are all correct), RIGHT CLICK on a divers name. This will bring up a window with divers name on top, the round and the dive number. Enter the dive number for each round. Remember that you must enter the number and the position letter (i.e. 101C, 5211D). If a dive is not found in the database, it will turn red and you can correct it.
Once you are finished entering all the dives, click VALIDATE (for an 11-dive meet) or DONE. Now when you run the diving even the dives will appear automatically for each diver. If a diver wants to change a dive, you can change the dive during the event by swiping on the dive number and typing in the new (or correct) one.
Using the Failed and Balk Buttons
If a diver fails a dive, rather than typing in 0 for all the judges, you can click the FAILED button to fail the dive and automatically move on.
If a diver balks, it is an automatic 2-point deduction. Usually the judges will just take the 2 points off the score they were going to give and report the reduced score. If you prefer, you can have them report their original score, then click the BALK button, then click OK to accept the dives. After clicking BALK the scores that are accepted will be 2 points lower than the original score. Either method is legal.
DQ’ing or Scratching a Diver
Sometimes it becomes necessary to scratch a diver for injury or DQ a diver. Once a diver has failed 2 dives, they are disqualified from the rest of the event. IF you need to scratch or DQ a diver, click STOP to stop running diving for the moment. Click on the STATUS column to the right of the diver’s name, and select either DQ or OFF. Click START to return to where you left off. Any divers with a DQ or OFF status will remain in the list but will be skipped in the dive order as the event is run.
Scores are occasionally entered incorrectly. Rather that stopping to fix it, you can make a note of it and fix it later. After diving has been run, but before you SCORE the event, click on the TOTSCOR column to the right of the diver’s name. This will bring up a grid with all the dives, the DD and the individual judges scores. Any of this information can be edited and saved. The total score will be corrected and updated automatically as the changes are made.
Once diving is complete you can print the order of finish for the divers. Select either ORDER, which prints the place and total scores ordered by diver number, or SCORE which prints the same information ordered by total score.
If you have any other questions about running diving events, please contact us at 800-835-2611 or email@example.com. We’re happy to answer any and all questions!
If any of your equipment has been damaged by the recent severe weather or fire events, please contact us and we’ll help you get back in business as quickly as possible! 800-835-2611 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The IST timing software packages (TIMEWARE and MEETWARE) are designed to be easy to use and intuitive. Many people figure out the basics right away, but have you ever spent time exploring some of the other menu items outside of Meet Setup and Basic Timing? There are videos on our website that show some of the tips and tricks for MEETWARE, some of which are available in TIMEWARE too. Here are a few menu items and tricks that you may not have been aware of.
Re-Index fixes corrupt data files.
Every once in a while, something will cause the software to crash. If there is a database open (usually in timing or seeding) this can cause a problem with the data. Especially if you must do a soft shutdown (CTRL-ALT-DEL) or a hard reset (reboot the computer). If this happens, or if you are seeing data that doesn’t look correct, you can do a re-index of the database.
From the main menu go to Utilities and select Reindex. A rectangular box will pop up on the screen and run through the databases. Very often this happens so quickly that you don’t even see it. When it is done you’ll see a message telling you that re-indexing is complete. That is all there is to it. You can do it any time, it doesn’t hurt to do it periodically to keep the databases healthy.
Break Timer displays on the scoreboard during breaks in the meet
If you have a scoreboard that you use with your system, you can put up a timer during breaks to let everyone know how long until the next event begins. You can access it from the timing screen by clicking on the “Break” button on the right side of the screen, or by going to Utilities/Break Timer. However you get there, it brings up a screen that allows you to select which lane and column you want the time to show on the scoreboard, how long the break is, and whether the clock should count up or down. If you have an Alphanumeric scoreboard, you can also include up to 5 characters of text that will display in front of the clock. Once you click the START button, the timer will display on the scoreboard and on the computer screen.
Time of Day Clock
Time of Day Clock displays the computer time on the scoreboard
The Time of Day clock allows you to post the current time on your scoreboard. The time will be whatever time is on your computer and shows the hours, minutes and seconds. Like the break timer, you can select which lane and column you would like to display the time on. The Time of Day Clock can be accessed through the Utilities menu.
Center All Lines on the message board
Quickly center all the text on each line
If you have an alphanumeric scoreboard, you have probably used the message function. Did you know that there is a shortcut to centering the text on all of the lines at once? After typing your message in to each line, right click on any line of text. You’ll see a pop-up menu that allows you to align just that line to the center (the red line down the middle indicates the center line), or center all lines.
Edit and re-send heat/event data
Offline scoring allows you to go back and make corrections to events either before or after they have been run. It looks a lot like the timing screen, but none of the data will show up on the scoreboard. Go to Meets/Offline Scoring. Here you can check the race number and status of any heat. If you want to re-time the heat, just click the UnCheck to Time Again check box. Clicking the ADJUST button allows you to adjust finish times based on the NFHS rules for adjusting missed pad times. Here you can also add or delete heats, reprint heat results, change times or names and score the event.
If you are using GNET to send the results to Meet Manager, you can also come here to resend either individual races or the results from the whole meet. Click the Send All check box on the lower right quadrant of the screen, click Gnet Send and your results will be sent out to the folder assigned to GNET. You can also view the team scores for the meet from this screen.
See which touchpads aren’t working
Occasionally you will find that you seem to be having issues with your pads or buttons. The Pad Stat report give you an easy way to look for patterns that might indicate the failure of a certain piece of equipment. From the Main Menu, go to Meets/Diagnostics/Pad Stats. Select the meet and which type of report you want – matrix or summary. Click Analyze, then click Print to print the report.
This report gives you a much clearer view of whether the failures were confined to a single lane (signaling a problem with the equipment in that lane) or if they were more random and spread out (indicating possible human error – not hitting the pad or being too fast or slow on the backup button). This is also a great report to send to us when you do find you have a problem. It will help us narrow down the issues and get to the solution more quickly.
When you get a chance, explore the menus and see what your software can do. We’re here to make your life easier, so if you think of something that it doesn’t do but you’d like it to – send us a note!