How IPICO RFID Timing Systems Work

Our RFID timing systems achieve gold standard accuracy. From dealing with motion, distance, crowding and demanding environmental conditions, our hardware performs flawlessly.

ACTIVE Network | IPICO RFID timing systems are designed to meet the challenges of every timer, and we do it every day all over the world, from Virgin Money London Marathon and Tokyo Marathon to local cross country and 5K races.

IPICO timing systems use RFID chips, with tags specifically designed for every race scenario. Regardless of which technology you choose, the system consists of 3 core components:
+ RFID Tag
+ Antenna, Mat or Timing Line
+ Reader

RFID Race Timing Equipment

Dual Frequency

Our Dual Frequency technology utilizes a process called magnetic induction for both energizing the antenna and for communications with the reader. One frequency powers the tag and another frequency is read when the tag is energized.

The true advantage of Dual Frequency technology is its ability to work even in harsh and challenging environmental conditions. The tag is read regardless of the environment because our technology uses generally less-crowded radio frequencies that transmit and penetrate dense environments, and is not affected by attenuation. The underlying technology inherently eliminates signal loss and tag read collision.

Key Benefits

  • Greater than 99.99% reader accuracy
  • Short, well-defined charge range (0.3 m) and read range (2.0 m) for better accuracy and precision
  • Much longer read range than Low Frequency (1.2 – 2.0 meters compared to 0.6 – 0.7 meters)
  • Extremely high anti-collision rate (reliable to over 120+ tags/second)
  • Can read through liquids, making it especially well-suited for triathlons and mud runs
  • Works in all weather conditions

Ultra High Frequency

The UHF spectrum adds a unique feature for race timers: more affordable, single-use running tags.

Building on over 20 years of proven industrial UHF technology, IPICO UHF timing systems use circular polarized antennas to achieve excellent reliability, a compact and lightweight reader and mat design, and the affordability and portability unmatched in the market.

Ultra High Frequency uses especially short wavelengths for communication but has a much longer read range (up to 50 feet) and can transmit data at a faster rate.

UHF is an excellent fit for road races with the ability to read in large numbers at the same time using anti-collision algorithms. These have been tested and refined to deliver consistent performance for running events, and the features like 3G/4G connectivity, extended battery life and lightweight designs that timers desire in a reader.

Race Timing Software


Hardware is nothing without a reliable, easy-to-use, configurable and connected software experience. IPICO delivers with multiple products designed to work effortlessly with all of our hardware.

Paired with ACTIVEWorks Endurance, our timing products integrate with ACTIVE Timing and ACTIVE Event App for live tracking and results, and ACTIVE On-Site, which allows on-demand bib assignment, same-day registration, participant information edits, and more, all while maintaining data integrity. Change a bib number with ACTIVE On-Site, and it will propagate through to ACTIVE Timing, ACTIVE Event App and ACTIVE Results. No more spreadsheets or manual data entry.

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