You will use the SportIdent electronic punching system.
If you are renting an e-card, you will get your e-card when you pick up your packet and have signed the rental agreement. If you lose the rental card, you must reimburse OCIN $40.00. Coaches are responsible for making sure that all of your team’s e-cards are returned, and for paying for any lost e-cards.
If you have not seen a SportIdent electronic punch card (also called "E-card", "dipstick" or "finger thingy"), it is a small device, a little over an inch long (2.5 cm.) and about as thick as a pencil. It attaches to a finger with an elastic band, and is usually worn on the index finger. Some experienced orienteers put a safety pin through (or duct tape around) the strap to keep it from slipping loose (duct tape is probably safer for the wearer). Judging from past events, at least 1% of first time users have their e-card slip off and lose it, so the duct tape might be a real good idea. Also, attaching a short piece of bright orange or pink flagging tape to the card makes it more visible if you set it down or drop it. Please remove all duct tape, pins, etc before returning rental cards!
Using the E-card on a course:
Before you start a course, you must prepare your e-card by deleting old data and then checking to make sure it is working properly. On the way to the start, you will find “clear” and “check” stations.
First, insert your card in the “clear” station and wait until it beeps and flashes. This may take several seconds. Now place your card in the “check” station. This verifies that your card is cleared and ready to use. It should beep and flash immediately.
We will be using "start" units. When the starter tells you to begin your course, insert your card into the “start” unit. The start unit should beep and flash immediately. This records your starting time on the card. You are now on the clock and should begin orienteering immediately.
At each control, insert your e-card into the control unit until it beeps and flashes. This generally takes less than one second. Be sure to check codes, and be sure to visit all of your controls in order. The software will catch you if you go out of order or mis-punch. If you do punch at an incorrect control, continue your course. The extra punch will not hurt you as long as you end up with all of the correct controls in the proper order. If you accidentally skip a control (say you find 5 before 4 and punch it), you must go back to 4, punch it, then punch 5 again, then all subsequent controls in sequence.
If the SI unit does not function (if there is no beep and flash), use the pin punch to punch a hole in your map. Be sure the punch marks are clear. If you’re unsure of whether you got a good impression, punch a second time in a different part of the map.
At the finish, you must punch a “finish” unit. These will be directly under (or next to) the finish banner. Your time does not stop until you punch a finish unit.
Once you have finished, you MUST go to the “download” station. Follow the directions of the results crew. You will insert your card in a download unit. It will need to be held for several seconds (like the “clear” unit) until it beeps and flashes. Results and splits will be printed periodically and you should be able to get a personal copy of your split times within minutes.
If you have a rental unit, please turn in your rental unit to the results crew. Again, please remove any duct tape and pins before turning in your card.