Launch is ChronoTrack's new offline packet pickup solution which is available for Mac and Windows. It offers three primary features:
- Bib Assignment (Volunteer Kiosk)
- Athlete Kiosk - used for information look-up
- Announcer Kiosk - Uses locally-streamed data to provide announcer data
In order to use Launch, you must download the application and install it on your computer. A single computer can be used as a "server" to which you can connect multiple other devices including Chromebooks, iPads, PCs, etc through a router. For this to work, the Router must be specially configured. You can find our router recommendation and instructions to configure it HERE.
It's best to set up your server computer and router at least a day before the event. This guide will show you how to configure your event in Launch and offer a quick FAQ.
For the best athlete experience, you should use devices with touch input and the ability to support a USB barcode scanner. However, bear in mind that the computer running the main Launch instance MUST be either a PC or a Mac.
We currently recommend the Kercan KR-230-EIO model barcode scanner found HERE. If you decide to shop around for a different scanner model, please remember to find a scanner that can scan from a phone screen.
It is suggested that the machine running Launch meet some baseline requirements in order to run Launch in a performant manner. Below are the recommendations for the best experience.
Windows or MAC computer with:
- 8 GB RAM
- Dual Core CPU
If you choose to run Launch on a machine with less than 8 GB RAM, you will have to be very careful about the programs that are running on your computer simultaneously, as running out of RAM will have disastrous consequences for the performance of the Launch application.
Currently, Launch is available in Beta, so if you're interesting in trying it out, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to download.
Once you've downloaded Launch to your computer and completed the installation, double click on the icon to open the program. You may need to make a security exception on your computer in order to run the program, depending on your security settings.
When Launch opens, you'll be required to log in using your CT Live credentials. If you don't remember these credentials, you can use the Forgot Password link to reset your password.
After you enter the credentials and click Start, the Launch application will open in your default web browser. Before we get started with using Launch, you should change your Backup Folder location. The Backup Folder is where event data, PDFs of waiver signatures, bib assignment data, and check-in data are stored.
We recommend that you use an external hard drive with at least 8GB of free space as the Backup Location, such as a USB drive or an SD card. This will ensure that in the case of a computer crash, your data is still accessible by plugging the external device into a different computer and accessing it there.
To change the Backup Folder:
- Insert a USB drive or SD card into your computer.
- Locate the Launch icon in your system tray, right click it, then select Change Backup Folder.
- In the window that appears, locate your USB/SD drive.
For PCs running Windows 8/10, you'll need to select This PC from the "Look In" dropdown to locate your external drive.
For MACs, you'll need to target your root folder in the "Look In" dropdown, then double-click the Volumes folder to locate your external drive.
- Once you've found your external drive, click it once to highlight it, then click Open.
Your backup location has now been changed.
Do not remove the backup drive under any circumstances while packet pickup is in progress as it could seriously affect the packet pickup process.
Download an Event
Now, enter the CT Live Event ID number of your event into the text field at the top of the Launch browser page and press Enter/Return.
If you close the browser at any time and need to re-open the admin panel, you can right-click on the Tray icon and click "Open".
The event download process will begin, and you'll see a spinning wheel indicating progress. When the download completes, your event will appear in the Downloaded Events section. You can click the Event card to open the event's Dashboard.
You can download multiple events to your computer.
The Dashboard page acts as the hub for every feature of Launch for your event. The legend below will show you an overview of what's what on this page and give details on each item.
- The back arrow allows you to return to the previous screen where you can select or download another event.
- The Connection icon shows whether or not Launch is connected to the internet. Green indicates an active connection, and gray indicates no connection.
- The Update Queue shows the total number of updated entries waiting to be synced with the cloud. If you click the icon, a small panel will appear with three tabs: Pending, Success, and Error. Any entries that appear under Pending have not yet been synced with the cloud. You can search entries on any tab by clicking the magnifying glass icon and then typing a name, bib, or tag.
Each entry listed in the Pending or Success tabs will show the athlete Name, Entry ID, time the change was made, and time the change was pushed to the cloud. If you enabled Check in By Friend in the kiosk settings, the list will also show "Checked In By Friend". You can click the blue "Updates" button to view exactly what changes were made for each athlete. If any entries ever appear in the Error tab, please contact support for assistance.
If your Router is connected to the internet, any new entries in CT Live will be synced to your Launch event. Edits to existing entries in CT Live will NOT sync.
- The Entries count shows the total number of athletes in your CT Live event. If you are running On-Site Registration through CT Live and your Launch computer is connected to the internet, new entries will automatically be added to the count and the athlete list below. You can click the arrow icon to download the current list of athletes to a .CSV file. This file contains the athletes' basic personal and contact information, their tag numbers, and the date and time they were modified in Launch.
- The Checked In/Bib Assigned count shows the number of athletes who have been checked in or who have a bib assigned. This number will automatically update as athletes check in or receive an assignment. It will be labeled as Checked In/ Bib Assigned depending on which Volunteer Kiosk type you selected.
- The Athletes tab is the main tab of the dashboard. From here you can view athletes in the list below.
- The Kiosks tab allows you to edit and launch each of the 3 Kiosk types.
- The athlete list shows all athletes in your event. By default the list is sorted by last name in descending order, but you can sort the list by Bib, Race, Hometown, Bracket, and Last Updated, or use the search field to quickly locate athletes by Name or Bib. Clicking on an entry in the list will allow you to view an athlete's basic information and edit their Bib and/or Tag number.
Editing and Launching Kiosks
This section will focus mainly on the Volunteer and Athlete Kiosk settings. For an overview of using the Announcer screen and settings, click HERE.
Clicking on the Kiosks tab allows you to access the settings for each type of Kiosk. Each Kiosk can be configured with a custom Passphrase that must be entered before the Kiosk can be accessed from a different device. You can also just use the default Passphrase which will be similar to what's shown below, and then configure the following options:
- Check-in Method - Bib assignment allows bib numbers to be assigned and edited, while Volunteer check-in will simply mark each athlete who uses the Kiosk as "checked-in". Bib assignment will not be allowed in Volunteer check-in mode.
- Allow Check-in By Friend - Enables a check box in the upper right corner of the kiosk screen that notes that the selected athlete is being checked in by someone else. If you check the Require friend's name field, a pop-up will appear after the box is checked prompting the user to enter a name. Check-in/bib assignment cannot be completed until a name is supplied in this case. Athletes who were checked in with this method will be noted as such in the Athlete list on Launch, in the upload queue, and in the CSV backup file.
- Waivers - allows you to select one Waiver from your CT Live event that must be signed before an athlete can receive a bib assignment or be marked as checked-in. Only one waiver can be displayed at once. You can also choose not to display a waiver. Waivers are pulled from the CT Live event, so if you need to add or update a waiver, you must do so from your CT Live event and then re-pull the event in Launch.
- Restrict Bib Range - this option allows you to limit the bib numbers that can be assigned on the kiosk. This helps to prevent user-error when bibs are being keyed in manually. To use this feature, simply enter a minimum number and a maximum number.
- Show Athlete Tag - If you check this box, you'll be able to assign different bib and tag numbers which can be very useful for dynamic assignment with Active tags or Tri tags.
- Set Tag Prefix - This feature is useful for assigning Active tags since they usually have a leading letter before the actual number. Applying the prefix that's encoded on your tags will allow you to assign Active tag numbers freely. This is the only scenario where this feature is useful, so we do not recommend that you use the Tag Prefix option with any tags except Active tags.
- Information Fields - The Volunteer and Athlete Kiosks also offer the ability to display certain information Fields for the athlete to view. These fields are useful for verifying correct information. You can add as many Fields as you like by clicking the +Add button and then selecting the desired field from the list. Remember that Custom Question answers will be available to display. Aside from the Passphrase option, this is the only other setting available in the Athlete Kiosk settings.
Once you've applied all settings you need, click Save Settings at the bottom of the page. If successful, a message will display in a green bar near the top of the screen.
Finally, you can launch the various Kiosk pages by clicking the blue box with the arrow next to each Kiosk header.
Now, lets take a look at the process flow for the Volunteer Kiosk which is the kiosk you'll use for bib and tag assignment and check-in.
Using the Volunteer Kiosk
If the Volunteer Kiosk is launched from the Dashboard, staff will not be required to enter the Passphrase, but if it is launching from a computer that's connecting to the host PC through the Router, the Passphrase will be required. If you haven't configured a Kiosk router yet, click HERE to learn how.
Please note that we do not recommend using the Host computer as one of the athlete kiosks. It's best to keep the Host computer as a device for monitoring PPU progress and making any necessary manual adjustments to tag assignments.
To log into one of the Kiosks from a device connected through the router, staff should enter localhost:9004/eventAccess or whichever hostname you defined on the router followed by :9004/eventAccess (Example: patsrunkiosk:9004/eventAccess). They should then enter the passphrase for the Kiosk type they are trying to use and press Enter. The above process should be used for any of the three Kiosk types.
As athletes come up to the Kiosk computers, they can type in their name and select the correct entry card. If the athletes bring a print-out of their confirmation e-mail containing the barcode, this can also be scanned to pull up the athlete entry. If you have the correct type of barcode scanner, you can also scan barcodes directly from athletes' mobile devices. See our make/model recommendation in the Introduction section of this guide.
If you've enabled a Waiver for the Kiosk, the athlete will immediately be shown the Waiver which will have a panel at the bottom where they can sign their name. As noted in the introduction, the Kiosks are optimized for touch, which is most important for the signature portion since attempting a signature with a mouse or track pad is very difficult.
After signing the waiver and pressing Save, the athlete will be directed to the Bib Assignment screen. On this screen, they will see each of the Fields you selected to display when you defined the settings for the Kiosk. It's a good idea to have staff verify the information before assigning a bib. If you selected the Volunteer kiosk, the bib and tag fields will be displayed, but will not be editable.
When there is internet available, a PDF file containing the waiver text and image of the signature submitted is pushed to the cloud for each entry that has submitted a signature. The PDF file of a submitted signature can be downloaded from the athlete's Registration Info tab in the CT Live Event. A copy of the PDF is also saved locally on the Host computer in the Backup Location.
Once information is verified as correct, staff can either scan a bib/tag with a barcode scanner, or type in the Bib number for the athlete. If bibs and tags have different numbers, the cursor will automatically be placed in the tag field, so the tag should be scanned/entered first, followed by bib.
We highly recommend printing barcodes on bibs and tags to be used with USB barcode scanners. This drastically reduces mistakes due to human error and greatly expedites the check-in process.
If you enabled the 'Check-In by Friend' option and selected 'Require Friend's Name' in the settings, you'll see a small window appear when the box is checked. The user must supply a name, then click Add Friend.
Now, the user can click Save. A green success message should appear for a couple seconds, and the screen will return to the athlete search.
Corrections and FAQ
If a bib/tag is ever assigned incorrectly, you can update the number from the Dashboard via the athlete list.
Simply enter the athlete's name or current Bib into the search field to locate them, then click on their name.
On the next screen, you can click inside the Bib or Tag fields and enter the new number. When finished, click Save at the bottom of the screen.
At this time, ONLY bib and tag numbers may be edited in the Athlete Overview page.
You can download this FAQ as a PDF to distribute to your volunteer Kiosk operators. See the Downloads section at the bottom of this article.
What do I do if I scan the entry's Confirmation E-mail barcode and no athlete shows up?
This often means that the athlete has provided you a barcode that is associated with a registration under a different event. You can always search with the athlete's name as well.
What do I do if I scan the athletes information wrong and it auto navigated away from the athletes page?
You can always enter the athletes page again by scanning the barcode or searching for their name to re-enter the correct information.
What do I do if I'm returned to the search screen after scanning an entry's barcode?
Refresh the kiosk page and try again.
What do I do if the scanner stops working?
Unplug it and plug it back in.
What do I do if the scanner doesn't automatically scan?
Scan this barcode with the scanner that isn't working to configure the auto scan option.