Most common causes of transponder failure

MyLaps transponder counting vs. manual handwritting.

Most common causes of transponder failure

Joined: September 1st, 2015, 9:16 am

August 9th, 2016, 9:21 pm #1

Here is list of possible causes of transponder failures (collected by Csaba Danielfy - Csaba, thanks for that!)

- Transponder not mounted horizontally  - remember, the radiation is perpendicular to the flat surface of the device.  For example, if somebody fits his transponder at 45 degree, the virtual distance is 1,41 times more, than in fact it is.

- The transponder is fitted on metal surface -  I have found one on the aluminium battery cooling sheet, and more that were fitted directly on the battery itself. Keep it away from metal parts.

- Bad contact on power line. -  Rigid cable, lose connector, vibrating boat, the device works, but sometimes not. - my case during EC 2016 in Hydro 1 - 3rd heat - transponder has been mounted properly and firmly, checked on the start, but after 5 laps counting has stopped, during the heat I did not hit anything but after the heat the transponder has been disconnected from receiver - so I guess it is better to tape it there  

- Connecting wrong way to the receiver. – the transponder still working, but the emitted power is weak. In this case, the LED is flashing quickly, indicating the low voltage.

- Carbon boat with carbon lid, or transponder under carbon windscreen imitation.  (Yes, it happened! Not in this race, but I’ve found such setup already.)

- Transponder mounted to the carbon bottom of the boat.

- So, based on my experiences, the best practice is to mount the transponder under the lid, (as high, as possible) horizontally with number down, when it is sealed. It is practical too, because you can check that the transponder is working (seeing the LED flahing) when the boat is still opened.
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Joined: September 25th, 2015, 11:54 am

August 31st, 2016, 2:03 pm #2

Interresting, thanks for the info.  I would not have known that it shouldn't be mounted on a metal or carbon plate.

I don't think the ones I have borrowed or hired have had LEDs where do you get flashing ones from?  

The ones I have used had very stiff wires too, I would have thought that for the price of the units they could fit a few inches of high strand count silicon wire.
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Joined: September 4th, 2015, 6:01 pm

September 30th, 2016, 3:57 pm #3

Yes, any metal will dramatically decrease the signal level, if you mount the transponder onto it. With the wrong polarity the real case is that, it is not only getting less power, (this is the smaller problem) but in most cases the transponder even stops emitting several times a second! This way it can couse intermittent missing laps.  I plan to shoot a short demo video about these failures and their influence.
There are tons of new RC4 and Hybrid transponders on Ebay and everywhere.
Both are fitted with status LED.
The transponders are used besides IC motors as well, so the cable must withstand oil, fuel and nitro. That's why they use teflon coating. (At learst I think.)
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Joined: September 25th, 2015, 11:54 am

November 5th, 2016, 8:23 am #4

Ah, that makes sense, silicon is OK for nitro but not good with petrol.
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