I was recently asked about contactless downloading using O-Lynx when using SI-Air chips at an event. The quick answer is that yes this works, but for a detailed look at the setup used, please read on. All competitors will need their own SI Air card or have rented one for the season.

For the download, the laptop running O-Lynx is setup with a USB Sportident SRR dongle to receive the download wirelessly. In the port setup in O-Lynx, choose the dongle as the Download station. The USB dongle is the probably the one special item needed that clubs may not have immediately on hand.

For the stations for the event…

Clear, Check still require to be physically punched to both clear the SI Air chip and turn them on. One suggestion for these controls was that they be sprayed with disinfectant between runners as the start gap between runners will allow the disinfectant to do its job. All other needed controls will be set up to work contactless.

The Start control can be a standard control set up as a beacon start.

Controls on the course should be set as beacon controls.

The Finish control is slightly special as a normal beacon finish will turn off the SI Air chip. The chip needs to be kept on for the download. To achieve this the code number in the finish control should be set to the usual number used for the finish as set up in the O-Lynx Settings. The operation mode however should still set as a beacon control not a beacon finish. O-Lynx recognizes the code number, not the operating mode when downloading wirelessly so it will still recognize the correct finish time.

The Download control can be a standard station operating as a beacon control with the “Radio” setting “Send all card contents”. This means when an SI chip is placed near it, it will ask the SI chip to send all the punches to the SI dongle in the computer. This download control will show up as an extra control that the competitor has punched but will be ignored as it will not be part of any courses.

Finally, the SI Chip needs to be turned off to conserve its battery.  Use another station with its operating mode set up as a “Beacon Finish”. Use a code number different from the course finish control in case the chip needs downloading again for some reason. This control needs to be placed somewhere slightly out of the way so that competitors don’t turn off their chip prior to the download.


A couple of options exist to minimize contact and stop groups of people forming

  1. All competitors must be pre-registered and so will be setup in O-Lynx before the event.
  2. Use ‘Silent Mode’ in O-Lynx to register the competitor at the same time they download. Their SI number, name and club should be set up in the Runner Database so it recognizes their chip during the download to assign their name correctly. O-Lynx will also assign them to the correct course based on the controls they visited at the same time.

For results, O-Lynx can upload live to O-Lynxlive.com or can be used to produce results files for uploading to other on-line sites.