Config+

The SPORTident Config+ software enables you to read out and configure your SPORTident equipment. The SPORTident USB driver is necessary to communicate with a readout station connected via USB to your computer. Config+ provides functionality to read and modify the station, as well as any station put on top of this station and SI-Cards inserted into the station.

In 90% of the cases, stations arrive pre-configured and labelled. For many sports or activities, no modification is needed. This guide is explaining possible modifications of the configuration that might provide you with extra possibilities for your sport.

Please download and install Config+ and the USB driver from the SPORTident website. When installing Config+, installation of the USB driver is proposed as an option. The easiest solution is to check the checkbox for the USB driver and install it right away. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Config+ can be run in portable mode. This will not leave any traces on the machine it is running on. You can extract all files of the application into a folder on your thumb drive or memory card.
The use of the old SPORTident Config (Config classic) software is strongly not recommended. The software has been suspended several years ago and does not support later features of your SPORTident devices. You might even damage your devices using this software.

Device connection

Direct mode

config direct
  1. Connect the readout station (e.g. BSM8-USB or BSM7-USB) to the PC.

  2. Start the Config+ software (the shortcut is usually on the desktop).

  3. If not selected already, click on the device you want to read.

  4. The button below connection needs to be on the position Direct.

  5. Then click on ‘settings’. The data of the station will be read and displayed.

Settings overview

config direct settings
  1. The available device(s) and connection(s)

  2. The menu bar

  3. Information about the station and the installed firmware

  4. The language selector. By clicking it, another language can be selected

  5. The main toolbar

  6. Station’s basic settings area

  7. Station’s AIR+ settings area

  8. Station’s advanced settings area (can be shown/hidden by clicking the arrow left from ‘Advanced settings’)

Remote mode

  1. Connect the main station (e.g. BSM8-USB or BSM7-USB) to the computer.

  2. Put the SI-Station you want to read out and/or configure in service mode. Place the Service/OFF instruction card ONCE in the station. On the LCD display SERVMO is visible (afterwards the other data of the station are shown).

  3. Start Config+.

si station couple

Put the coupling stick (ferrite for faster transmission) into the USB station and place the station (in service mode) on top of it (this station becomes the slave station).

The Direct button needs to be toggled to Remote. If the button shows ‘Direct’ click on it to toggle it. Click on Settings in the main toolbar. The data of the station will be read and displayed.

config remote settings
The layout of the screen is identical to the one in direct mode, although some action buttons are not active (inactive buttons are grey instead of blue).
In direct mode, the settings of the station connected to the computer can be read/modified. In remote mode, the settings of the station put on top of the main station can be read/modified.

Basic configuration

Most SPORTident stations are technically identical and can be assigned any of the available functions. For the basic setup, these functions are CLEAR, CHECK, START, CONTROL and FINISH. The other possibilities will be explained with the AIR+ system.

A SPORTident-Card has allocated fields for the time of punching the stations CLEAR, CHECK, START and FINISH and a number of fields for the controls and the punching time.

Operating mode Functionality

CLR - CLEAR

Removes all data from the SI-Card and provides a feedback signal upon completion.

CHK - CHECK

Verifies that the SI-Card is empty and provides a feedback signal only if this is the case.

STA - START

Verifies that the SI-Card is empty and writes the start time on the SI-Card if this is the case. Provides a feedback signal if the start time has been written successfully. If the SI-Card is not empty, the old start time is not overwritten. If there are no controls punched yet, the start time is overwritten.

CN - CONTROL

Reads the competitor’s SI-Card and writes the control code and time on the SI-Card. The SI-Station then reads the SI-Card again to verify that it has been written correctly and then beeps and flashes and writes the SI-Card number and time into the station’s backup memory. If there are no data fields available anymore, the station will not write anything on the SI-Card (only in its backup memory) and will provide no feedback.

FIN - FINISH

Writes the finish time on the SI-Card (and overwrites a potential previous finish time, for example if somebody realized he/she had forgotten a control and went back) and confirms with a feedback signal.

The SIAC has two allocated fields for clear, start and finish (a normal and a reserve field). The reserve field is never overwritten and always stores the first time when start or finish were punched.
The function of a station is defined by the choice of operation mode in Config+. The label on top of the station should match this setting or otherwise be modified to match the setting! The numbers used to label the SI-Stations are available separately.

Configuration procedure

1. Read the station in remote mode by clicking on Settings

config operatingmodes

2. Click on the field of the operating mode (below the control number). The different options are shown. Choose the desired function.

3. To modify the control number, just change the code by clicking on the arrows (up or down) or type in the desired number. Control numbers 1 to 511 are allowed, but typically the control numbers start at 31 (see remark below). Important: Most of the PC software for orienteering and the SI-Card5 can only process numbers between 31 and 255.

config codenumber
The code numbers 1 to 30 are available but are most of the time only used for the special stations CLEAR, CHECK, START, FINISH and READOUT. Typically, these are numbered from 1 to 5 as this is the logical sequence for the use of the stations.
config apply

4. To confirm, simply click the Apply button in the main toolbar. A window with a progress bar will pop up and show the activity.

Switch off feature

config station off

If the Switch off button in the main toolbar is activated, the station will automatically go in standby mode when the Apply button is used.

Operating time

The SI-Station is always on and works in a low power standby mode. There is no need to switch on the SI-Station or to make any special preparation before the unit can be used. In standby mode the SI-Station is fully qualified to receive SI-Cards. The wake-up time is at most 1 second.

In standby mode, the SI-Station is scanning for SI-Cards every second, in active mode the interval is 40 ms. The wake-up time is variable and depends on where in the 1 second cycle the SI-Card is inserted. Once the SI-Station is in active mode, the reaction time to the insertion of subsequent SI-Cards is very quick. The SI-Station then operates in active mode until the set operating time is reached. Any further punches reset that countdown. For example, the unit only switches back to standby mode 4 hours after the last punch if the 4 hours default setting for the operating time is used.

Change operating time

To modify the operating time in Config+:

1. Read the station in remote mode by clicking on ‘Settings’.

2. To modify the operating time, change the HH:MM:SS time or click on ‘Default’. For the classic system, the default operating time of the stations is 4 hours. The minimum operating time is 2 minutes, the maximum operating time is 95 hours.

config operatingtime

3. To confirm the changes simply click the Apply button in the main toolbar.

Clicking the Apply button always overwrites all information of the station. Any kind of backup data will be deleted.

Default settings

Every SPORTident station can be configured with default settings. These includes code number, operating mode and operating time. These settings are stored non-volatile in the system memory of the station. The default settings can be easily restored. This helps to quickly reset of a set of stations to the owner’s default settings after the stations have been used in another, larger kit to serve in another application.

After enabling this feature in Config+ (menu View - Show 'apply as default' buttons) the Apply default and Restore buttons are available.

config apply default restore

The Apply default button allows you to apply the setting to the device and make these settings as defaults.

To restore the default settings, press the Restore button. You can also use an SI-Master station in Standard master (STD MA) mode (see section SI-Master additional features).

Time synchronisation

All stations have an internal clock and their ‘real time’ has to be monitored. The station’s real time clock system is calibrated and temperature compensated. This offers a high accuracy also at very high and very low temperatures. The internal time resolution is approximately 4 ms and the deviation about 4 seconds per week for BSx7/8 and 1 second per week for BS11.

It is vital that all stations and especially the start and finish stations are time synchronised before a race. That can be achieved by Config+ or by using the SI-Master station. If you use a SI-Master station for time synchronisation, you do not need a computer, except to synchronise the SI-Master itself to computer time. The SI-Master station can transmit the time directly to the other stations.

Time synchronisation with the main computer used for evaluating the competition is strictly recommended before the race start.
If you use multiple computers during an event, make sure that all computers run on the same local time.

The time of a SPORTident station will be set automatically when:

  1. …​ you are booting the firmware of a SI-Station

  2. …​ you are changing the configuration of a SI-Station

Synchronisation with SI-Master

1. Put the SI-Master station on top of the USB station and read remote by clicking on Settings.

2. Click on Clock. Computer time (in big) and the station’s time will be shown.

config clock
Make sure to have your PC’s clock set to the right (official) time in the PC before setting the time in the station.

3. Click on Set time and the time of the station is modified to match the computer time. Check time allows you to verify this afterwards.

Alternatively, it is possible to click on Set time in the settings area of the station. The clock will also be synchronised.
The station will remember the date of the last modification of the station settings but not of setting the time of the clock. In other words, the last modification is NOT the date of the last time synchronisation of the station.
If the settings of a station are modified and applied by clicking the Apply button, the time of the clock is automatically synchronised.

4. Remove the SI-Master from the main station.

5. Put the Service/OFF instruction card twice (with a very short time interval) in the SI-Master. On the front side of the SI-Master there is a small LCD display. On this screen TIMEMA must be shown. When you see this, the station is ready.

6. Put the coupling stick in the SI-Master.

si station bsf8 master couple

7. Place the Service/OFF instruction card ONCE in the station you want to synchronise. On the LCD display SERVMO is visible (afterwards the other data of the station are shown).

8. Place the station on the coupling stick and the SI-Master. After some seconds there is a ‘beep’. The time of the station is now adjusted.

si station bsf8 master couple2

9. Place the Service/OFF instruction card into the station until the LCD display is empty. The station is now back in standby mode (it would automatically switch into standby mode after 5 minutes).

If the event is on the Sunday of the weekend when the clocks are adjusted for daylight saving time, special care must be taken. The SI-Stations will not be aware of the change!
In ExtendedMaster mode the SI-Master transmits its clock time to any other SPORTident station. Additionally, the SI-Master clears the backup memory of the coupled station and transmits its own active time to the coupled station. You can activate the ExtendedMaster by punching the Service/OFF instruction card three times in the SI-Master. The display will show EXTMA.

SI-Master additional features

The SI-Master station works both as a ‘Time Master’ and as a normal SI-Station, for example as a clear station. This means that there are two functions in one unit. The SI-Master is an extended control station. It works and can be configured the same way as any other SI-Station. Each action by an ordinary SI-Card immediately activates the station’s base mode. All functionalities of the regular SI-Stations are available. However, as this station is about 50% more expensive, it is recommended not to use it as a regular SI-Station. When punching a SI-Master station in standby mode with the Service/OFF instruction card, it will cycle between the following modes:

Service mode (SERVMO):

Displays the most important settings, switches back to standby mode after 5 minutes.

Time master (TIMEMA):

The station will synchronise and set the time of every coupled SI-Station (see section Synchronisation with SI-Master).

Extended master (EXT MA):

The station will not only synchronise and set the time of every coupled SI-Station but also change the operating time to the one of SI-Master station (see section Operating time) and clear the backup memory of the coupled station (see section Read backup). With these 3 actions executed at the same time, an organiser can save significant time when preparing the stations for a race.

Standard master (STD MA):

The station will synchronise and set the time of every coupled SI-Station and restore the default settings for the station that has been set up in advance using Config+ and clear the backup memory of the coupled station. This is an ideal solution for stations frequently used by different persons. See section Default settings to learn how to set default settings with Config+.

In extended master mode, the operating time of a station is set to a value of 12 hours if the coupled station is programmed in one of the beacon operating modes and the program value in Config+ is less than 12 hours. Higher values are disregarded (see section Contactless punching system AIR+).

Battery status

A lithium battery is soldered to the printed circuit board (size 1/2 AA in the BSF8 station, AA in the BSF7 station). The double size of the battery of the BSF7 stations provides an extended life time to the stations before battery replacement is required (4 to 7 years for the BSF7 stations against 3 to 5 years for the BSF8 stations). The listed life time is of course an average, and depends basically on the frequency of use of the stations, the number of participants and the use of AIR+.

The voltage of all stations should be checked (at least twice a year) to make sure that the batteries are OK. Check the voltage with Config+ or via the display of the station in service mode. For more information, see section LCD display information).

1. Read the station in ‘remote’ mode by clicking on Settings.

config batterystatus

2. The condition of the battery is indicated on the screen in the stations setting area. A colour code for the battery voltage indicates the battery condition:

  • Green: A voltage of 3.2 Volts and higher is considered safe.

  • Yellow: A voltage between 3.2 and 3.0 Volts is considered to be intermediate. The station might still be able to work for another event.

  • Red: A voltage below 3.0 Volts is considered low. The station will beep 6 times with short intervals when it is switched to active mode. The station will also show a battery low indicator in the display. You should change the battery as soon as possible.

A battery voltage below 3.0 Volts is problematic as a lithium cell tends to lose voltage quite fast at this point. It is recommended to change the battery soon. At 2.60 Volts the station turns off. Reaching this voltage level can cause the beeper, display or controller to hang and might even damage the electronics.
The progress bar indicates the battery consumption level. This is a computed value and might not be as accurate as the actual measured battery voltage. You should always consider the battery voltage to estimate the battery health status.

To have an idea of the age of the battery, the date of installation of the battery is also displayed.

Changing the battery is possible and can to be done by SPORTident or one of its retailers.

Advanced settings

By clicking on the arrow next to Advanced settings, additional configuration options will be displayed. Depending on the configuration of the station, different options will be available. The picture below shows the options for a normal control station.

config advancedsettings

Auto send

Basically, 'Auto send' can be enabled for cabled stations with all operating modes. For stations without cable 'Auto send' only makes sense for the BSF8-SRR or for the operating mode Readout. This causes the station to automatically read the card contents and store it in its backup memory. Later this backup memory of the station can be read to retrieve all card data. This is a useful feature to create backup data for the read SI-Cards.

SI-Card6 with 192 punches

The (old) SI-Card6 checkbox means that the stations will continue to write data on a SI-Card6 which will be able to store up to 192 punches.

All stations (including the readout station) must have this box checked to support registration of more than 64 records on a SI-Card6.

Legacy protocol

It is recommended not to activate this setting except for the use with old event software that does not support the new protocol.

Optical feedback

With this option enabled the LED of a station will blink when punched. Checked is the default setting.

Acoustical feedback

With this option checked, the station will emit a beep when punched. It can be useful to uncheck this box for night orienteering or special adventure races or raids. Checked is the default setting.

Sprint 4ms

This option is only available with the start and finish stations. If this option is enabled, the SI-Station will write the time with 4 ms resolution instead of seconds resolution. Please note that the event software must support this feature, otherwise it makes no sense to check this box. This feature is especially useful in competitions where a race time is needed with a precision of 0.1 sec.

If Sprint 4ms is checked, the code number in the card memory will be exchanged with the sub second value. Therefore, the code number will not be available for evaluation.

Stop if backup is full

This option is only available for the readout station. If this option is enabled, the station in operating mode Readout SI-Cards with ‘auto send’ enabled will turn off when the backup memory is full. This ensures that old backup memory will not be overwritten (as is the default case). This is useful if you are required to have a full backup set of read SI-Cards and old records should not be overwritten. The station will stop reading to prevent data loss. This will enable the operator to switch stations.

Flip display

This option is only available for the BS11 stations. It will rotate the display information by 180 °.

Read backup

Every direct punch of a SI-Card is stored in the SI-Station’s backup memory. Config+ can be used to read the backup memory. The data can then be inspected to check if a runner punched and if it was correctly done. The backup memory can hold up to 21802 punches or 1022 SI-Card data records. When full, the oldest data is overwritten. The operating mode of the station defines the backup memory format.

It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that the electronic punch is recorded on the SI-Card by not removing the SI-Card until the feedback signal has been received.
The SI-Station reads the competitor’s SI-Card and writes the control code and time on the competitor’s SI-Card. The station then reads the competitor’s SI-Card again to verify that it has been written correctly. It then beeps and flashes and writes the SI-Card number and time into the station’s backup memory.

It should be noted that even if a control is not recorded on the SI-Card, the SI-Card is most probably registered in the backup memory of the control station with an error code. It is almost impossible to insert a SI-Card into a station without the SI-Station having the time to read and record the number of the SI-Card. Error codes are given as ErrA to ErrF, depending on the moment of the interruption of the writing process.

The handling of complaints in orienteering about missing controls (see § 20 and appendix 4 of the IOF competition rules). If the competitor did not wait for the feedback signal when punching, there will be no punch record on the SI-Card. However, the punch will be stored in the station’s backup memory with an error code. Usually the competitor will complain and assert that he had waited for the signal and thus should have this punch.

It is possible to download the stations from that control and search for this punch using the SI-Card number. Two cases are possible:

  • There is a punch record with an error code. An error code proves that the runner did not wait for the signal. This means that he does not have a valid punch from that control.

  • There is no punch record found. Then the runner did not punch at all at this control.

However, the IOF orienteering rules and almost all national competition rules strictly stick to what data is found on the chip and they do not allow for any evaluation by downloading punches from controls unless it can be established with certainty that the missing or unidentifiable punch is not due to the competitor’s fault. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from the read-out from the control unit.

We recommend clearing the backup memory of all stations before every race. Remember that every reconfiguration of a station, automatically clears the backup memory.
Reading a station’s backup memory works in remote and direct device connection.

Read backup procedure

  1. In remote or direct mode, click the Backup button in the main toolbar.

  2. A progress bar will show the activity.

  3. A list of punches with SI-Card number and date/time will be available when there is some data in the backup memory. Otherwise the list will be empty.

config readbackup

It is possible to search for a specific SI-Card by scrolling the list, to export the file (raw format or CSV format) or to print the list. If an error occurred during the punching process, the time will be replaced by the error code. It is easy to identify these errors on the screen as they are highlighted in red.

The buttons Re-read, Clear backup, Export and Print are available for further action if necessary.

Firmware update

SPORTident frequently updates the firmware of its devices. Firmware updates include new features and fix issues. New firmware is available through the firmware update features of SPORTident Config+. This software will frequently check for new firmware versions. You can also manually check for updates (Menu “Help”). If a new firmware version has been found and is ready to be installed, an information dialog will be shown:

config firmware package

To check if you need to update your station to the new firmware, read the target device with Config+. The left view will indicate the firmware version. The yellow icon will tell you that your firmware is not up to date. A green icon will indicate that the firmware is up to date.

config firmware update1

How to perform the update

  1. In Config+, read the settings of the device you want to update. Read Remote if you want to update a slaved station or Direct if you want to update a station being connected via USB.

  2. Open the firmware update view by clicking the Firmware button in the main toolbar.

  3. The firmware update view will show which firmware is available for your device:

config firmware update2

Click "Start update" to start the firmware update process. The device settings will be verified and Config+ will ask you to confirm the firmware update. Click Yes in the upcoming dialog.

config firmware update3
Be aware that the device backup memory will be cleared during the update.

If you update a slaved station, keep it steady on the main station.

Wait for the process to complete. The coloured indicator shows the transmission quality of the firmware image. You can improve it by using a coupling stick if it turns yellow or even red.

config firmware update4
config firmware update5

When the update process has completed, you will see a message telling you that the update was successful.

config firmware update6
  • Done. You can now disconnect and switch off the device.

If you have used a RS232 master station or Printout station, the data transfer speed might have been changed from slow (4800 baud) to fast (38400 baud) to speed up the firmware update. Usually this speed will be reset after the update process. However, to make sure your station is working at the desired speed, check with Config+ and correct if necessary.
It is recommended to perform a full factory reset on the device (menu Commands - Reset device to factory defaults) and rewrite your desired station settings afterwards. If you use BS11, we also recommend you to fully charge the device before first use.
After the firmware update of your BS11 station, the battery voltage cannot be shown. Instead, Config+ will show "(invalid)". This is the normal case. If you want to check the battery voltage, please disconnect the device, switch it on (so it will measure its battery) and check the voltage either on the display or reconnect it to Config+.

Read SI-Cards

With Config+ it is possible to show the raw data of a transponder and export it in different ways.

config readcards ico

In direct mode, click on Read SI-Cards. The card will be read automatically when inserted in the main station. A progress bar will pop up.

All data on the card will be shown: on top the time of clear, check, start and finish, followed by the different punches and at the bottom the personal data of the runner.

config readcards

1. Clicking on the "Detail panel" button will hide the data on the card.

2. By clicking the header with the right mouse button, you can select the columns you like to display in the table. You can load and safe your selection by clicking the right mouse button in the readout table.

config readcards header

Read SI-Cards navigation bar

config readcards dublicates

By activating the Duplicates button, a SI-Card can be read more than once in the list. If this option is not checked, the card will not be read again if it is already listed.

config readcards siacsub

By activating the SIAC subseconds button, SIACs punching sub seconds are read from the SIAC’s memory. Every contactless punch with a SIAC at a station in beacon mode will be registered with sub seconds. However, not every timing software can process this data.

config readcards clearlist

Clear list will delete all readouts of the last session. If the cards are not cleared, all data is still stored in the cards. By right clicking a row in the table of a card readout, single cards can be deleted.

config readcards export

By clicking the Export button in the main bar, a sub navigation will open. Here you could export the current view of your readout list or a file with all card information (full detail view). By right clicking a row in the table of a card readout, single cards can be exported.

config readcards print

By clicking the Print button in the main bar a sub navigation will open. Here you can print single card details or the complete list. To print just one card, a row in the table needs to be selected.

This feature allows you to read all relevant data on the SI-Card, which is useful if there is a complaint by an athlete to be investigated. Specifically, the allocated fields clear and check are not read by every timing software.

Config SI-Cards

config configcard ico

1. In direct mode, click on Config SI-Cards. Insert the SI-Card in the main station. The SI-Card will be read automatically if the Auto Read checkbox is on. Otherwise, click on the Read button and the SI-Card will be read.

config configcard

2. Click in the checkbox next to Edit card personal data and the fields where information can be written become active. The number of fields varies with the type of SI-Card from none (SI-Card5), first name and last name (SI-Card8 and 9) to everything (SI-Card6, 10, 11, pCard and SIAC).

config configcard apply

3. When finished, click on Apply. This button is only available if the SI-Card is in the main station.

4. For the SI-Card11 and the SIAC, the feedback signal can be configured. During the time that the SI-Card is flashing (and beeping), a subsequent punch cannot be recorded. This means that with long feedback periods, these SI-Cards are not suitable for some activities such as rapidly punching all the boxes on a table to check if they are working.

config configcard feedback

Check the checkbox Edit Feedback signal and click in the field that becomes active. The default feedback is about 3 seconds to best meet the requirements of typical orienteering events. In general, it is recommended to use a longer feedback cycle for applications in Ski-O and MTBO and a shorter feedback cycle for FootMicro-O. The option Blink only is available for the SIAC (as the SI-Card11 is not emitting a sound signal as feedback).

The option ‘Auto read’ checked will read the personal data. This is useful if there are no common fields between different SI-Cards. Otherwise it is easier to use the Read button.
The option Auto apply checked is useful to edit the card data first and then put the SI-Card in the main station to write the data to the SI-Card immediately.