Launch is ChronoTrack's offline packet pickup solution which is available for Mac and Windows. It offers three primary features:
- Volunteer Kiosk - used for packet pickup and bib assignment
- Athlete Kiosk - self-service kiosk used for information look-up
- Announcer Kiosk - uses locally-streamed data to provide dynamic announcer data
Launch does NOT offer on-site registration functionality. In order to take on-site registrations through CT Live, you'll need to use the On-Site form.
How Does It Work?
The Launch program runs on a "Host" computer (Mac or Windows) that allows other devices to connect through a router to access the Kiosks listed above. Athletes and volunteers/staff can use any device that can connect to a WiFi network to look up information and assign bib and tag numbers. As information is accessed and changed, the Host computer stores all of the changes as a local copy. If the Host computer has an active internet connection, CT Live and Launch are always communicating and sharing, keeping each other up to date.
If there's no internet connection, all changes are saved and uploaded to the cloud as soon as connection is re-established.
To get started using Launch you'll have to complete these tasks:
- Install Launch on a Windows or MAC computer
- Set a Local Backup Location for athlete data
- Configure Network Settings for the Host computer
- Configure a Router (Opens another article)
- Download an Event into Launch
- Get familiar with the Launch Dashboard
It's best to set up and test your Host computer, router, and kiosk devices at least a week before they are to be used.
For the best athlete experience, kiosk devices should have touch input and the ability to support a USB barcode scanner. However, bear in mind that the Host computer running Launch 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.
Host Computer System Requirements
It is suggested that the Host computer should meet some baseline specifications in order to run Launch smoothly:
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 cause issues with Launch's ability to collect data.
Launch can be downloaded from the Downloads section on any page in ChronoTrack Live's admin site.
Clicking on the Launch option will direct you to the download page. The Download button will show either a Windows or MAC download button, depending on the device you're using.
Once you've downloaded Launch to your computer and completed the installation, run Launch. 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 ChronoTrack 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. If you happen to close the browser tab where Launch was open, it can be re-opened from the "tray" icon.
Once Launch is open, 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 drive such as a USB drive or an SD card with at least 8GB of free space as the Backup Location. This will ensure that in the case of a computer failure, your data is still accessible by plugging the external device into a different computer and accessing it there.
To change the Backup Folder:
- Insert your chosen external drive into the computer.
- Locate the Launch in the upper right corner of the screen, click it, then select Change Backup Folder.
- In the window that appears, locate your USB/SD drive. 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 data integrity.
We currently recommend using the Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 as your Launch router. It supports up to 20 connections at once, meaning you can run up to 19 kiosks using a single Nighthawk. The best news is that the Nighthawk requires no additional configuration beyond the default steps spelled out HERE.
- On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.
- If you'll be connecting your Host computer to the router using WiFi, select WiFi in the list on the left. If you'll be connecting your Host computer to the router using Ethernet, select Ethernet in the list on the left.
- Click Advanced
- Select the TCP/IP tab, then choose "Manually" from the dropdown, then enter the information exactly as you see it in the image below.
- Click OK when finished.
Now, connect your Host computer to the internet and 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.
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 a single Host computer.
The Dashboard page acts as the hub for every feature of Launch. The legend below shows what each element of the Dashboard is for.
- 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 last 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" when applicable. 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 passed to Launch. Edits to existing entries in CT Live will NOT sync to Launch.
- 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.