When tag data is collected by a Controller, the Reader MAC address and Port Number that each tag read was collected on is recorded. This is not only valuable for troubleshooting, but also for selecting precise portions of data. The Virtual Points feature in SimpleClient provides a way to select and process tag data from specific Readers and/or Ports using this information.
To best show the versatility of this feature, we will use a fairly complex example. In the image below, you see a Pro 800 connected to 8 mats separated into two Primary/Backup lines separated by a Radiant Barrier divider. The divider keeps athletes crossing one line from being read on the other.
Using a configuration like this with Virtual Points, you can effectively run two distinct lines with backup from one Pro 800.
In order for this configuration to work, you must keep track of which ports are connected to which gators.
The example splits both readers between both lines to help cable management, so 'half' of each reader is part of both lines.
Making Sense of Ports
On the Status > Point screen of your Pro controller, you can view the Reader 1 (400 and 800 models) and Reader 2 (800 only) MAC addresses and see which Ports are associated with which Reader.
1-4 are Reader 1, and 5-8 are Reader 2. On the Controller itself, however, the numeration pattern is different. The diagram below shows the correlations.
Both Readers have ports 8, 4, 2, and 1 in reverse order from each other. The table above will help you keep track of which Port number on the controller corresponds with which Port number in the data file. Below is an example of a line of raw data from a controller.
The two sections outlined in red are the Reader MAC address and the Port on the Reader that the tag was recorded with. This would equate to Port 6 on the controller.
Using Virtual Points
Now that you understand what Virtual Points can do and how to interpret Port numbers, you can use Virtual Points.
Setting Up the .rmg File
To use the Virtual Points feature, you have to set up a file that tells SimpleClient how to sort the data in the file, and where to send each line of data. This is accomplished with a simple .rmg file. We will use the sample line configuration image from above as the source for our sample .rmg file.
To Create an .RMG File:
- Open Notepad or another text editing program.
- On the first line, enter the MAC address for one of the readers followed by a semicolon.
- Next, specify the port range that is to be selected by entering the first port to be used, a semicolon, and then the last port to be used followed by another semicolon.
- Finally, enter the name of the ChronoTrack Live Timing Device the data from the selected ports will be streamed to.
- Repeat the above steps for each Timing Device that will be receiving the data.
For our example, the final file would look like this:
- Now save the file as something.rmg, replacing "something" with a name that helps you easily identify it. Make sure to switch the Save as type: option to All Files
Processing and Streaming the Data
- Once you've created the file, open your data in SimpleClient and select the correct session.
- Apply any necessary Event name change or filter adjustments. You do not have to specify a Point name since the .rmg file directs the data.
- Under Adjustments, check the Virtual Points box. This will bring up the Virtual Points window.
- Click Load Ruleset.
- Locate the .rmg file you created, and click Open.
- You will see the lines of the .rmg file displayed in the Virtual Points window.
- Click OK to close the window.
- Click Select and play the data.
Here is a clip of what the processed file looks like.
We always encourage testing for scenarios where separate lines will be very close to one another. Ensure your radiant barrier is in place, and test ON LOCATION whenever possible.