Everything You Need to Know About SPORTident AIR+

Everything You Need to Know About SPORTident AIR+

Sportident AIR+ is the latest punching technology available from SPORTident. It allows users of SPORTident ActiveCard sticks (‘SIACs’) to use contactless punching at events where AIR+ has been enabled.

AIR+ will be available at all of the upcoming Sprint Series events.
UPDATE 12/05/20: as a COVID-19 preventative measure, AIR+ will be made available at most upcoming events of every event series.

Answers to some frequently asked questions regarding both AIR+ and direct punching can be found at the end of this article.

SIAC Sticks & Contactless Punching

The SPORTident ActiveCard, or SIAC stick for short, is an advanced SPORTident stick with a beacon mode that can be used for contactless punching at events where AIR+ is enabled.

SIAC Sticks have the following advantages:

  • At events where AIR+ is enabled you don’t have to physically punch the control (‘direct punching’), instead you can punch the control by passing the stick near to the control unit at speeds of up to 40km/h (‘contactless punching’). The normal range for contacless punching is 30cm from the control unit, but other ranges are possible.
  • At events where AIR+ is enabled, multiple SIAC runners can punch a control concurrently.
  • The stick itself will flash and beep to confirm a successful punch. Many runners hold their SIAC stick up to their ear to confirm that their stick has recorded a successful punch.
  • Punching response time is approximately twice as fast as most regular SI sticks, including in regular direct punch mode.
  • The stick can record up to 128 punches.

A SIAC stick’s active beacon mode is turned on when a user punches the check unit at any event, and is deactivated when a finish punch is recorded, or when a SIAC Off unit is punched. It will also turn off after 24 hours without any activity.
Competitors using SIAC sticks at AIR+ events should avoid going near the finish before starting, as going too close to the finish may deactivate their SIAC’s beacon mode.

SIAC sticks can experience interference from other electronic equipment, for this reason it is advised that the stick be worn on the opposite side from any GPS watch or similar device.

SIAC Battery

SIAC sticks contain their own battery. The battery powers the stick’s beacon mode, as well as the built-in beep and flash feedback that confirms a successful punch.

Power consumption is dependent upon several factors, including:

  • Total activation time between punching check and finish/SIAC-off units.
  • The time the SIAC is within the range of a working beacon unit while in beacon mode. i.e. Passing AIR+ controls quickly decreases power consumption.

SPORTident estimates that when used in active mode to punch 50 controls per event at 50 events per year the SIAC’s battery will last nearly four years.

At many events where AIR+ mode is activated a SIAC battery test unit will be available before the start, it will beep normally if the SIAC stick’s battery is in good condition.

The SIAC stick will always work in direct punching mode, in the same way as a regular SI stick, even if the battery is depleted. If the SIAC does not flash/beep when punching a control you should use direct punching. As with any SI stick, if the control unit does not then flash/beep then you should use the backup manual clip to punch on the map.

SIAC batteries can be replaced by the manufacturer at relatively low cost.

Using Normal SI Sticks (non-SIAC) at AIR+ Events

Regular non-SIAC sticks can still be used at events where AIR+ mode is being used but will not be able to take advantage of contactless punching; they must instead punch control units directly, as at any normal event.

SIAC users can still punch an AIR+ control while it is being punched directly by a non-SIAC user.

Where to Buy a SIAC Stick

Contact the OACT Office () to arrange purchase. The cost is $100, available only to members. A range of colours are available, but stock is limited, so be sure to get in quick.

Regular SI sticks (SI8) will also remain available, $65 for non-members, $50 for members who do not already own one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an SI stick?
Yes, every individual or group entering an event must have an SI stick. They can be rented for $5 per event, or purchased for $65 for non-members, or $50 for members who do not already own one.

Can I share my SI stick with someone else, or lend it to someone for an event?
No, your SI stick is yours alone and is associated with your name and entry details in our database. Unless it is a permanent change, changing the name associated with an SI stick complicates the work of our volunteers and delays the processing of entries and results.

If you do not have your own SI stick please rent one, or preferably, consider buying your own.

Can I swap between my regular and SIAC sticks at different events?
Yes, but you must tell us first if you plan on swapping between multiple SI sticks so they can be associated with your entry details in our database. Please email the OACT Office () with your name, date of birth, and SI stick numbers.

Take particular care when entering pre-entry events in Eventor (inc. season passes) to ensure you are entering using the SI stick number that you wish to use at the event.

Can I use my SIAC stick at events that are not using AIR+?
Yes, but only with regular direct punching.

Can I use my regular SI stick at events that are using AIR+?
Yes, but only with regular direct punching.

At what events is AIR+ used?
AIR+ is available at all Sprint Series events, many MTBO Series events, some ACT Championship events, and many national and international championship events.
It is not available at Twilight Series, Metro Series, or Classic Series events.

UPDATE 12/05/20: as a COVID-19 preventative measure, AIR+ will be made available at most upcoming events of every event series.

Will SIAC sticks be available to rent?
No, except for some major championship events, SIAC sticks are not available for rent at OACT events.

Do I need to punch the clear and check units?
Yes, users of all types of SI sticks must clear and check before starting at all events.

When should I punch the SIAC off unit?
If using a SIAC stick at a non AIR+ event, you may want to punch at the SIAC off unit after punching the check unit in order to turn off the SIAC’s beacon mode and preserve the SIAC battery. There is no need to punch the SIAC off unit if you are using a regular SI stick.

When should I punch the SIAC battery test unit?
When available at AIR+ events SIAC stick users should punch the SIAC battery test unit to confirm that their stick has enough battery power.

What if the SIAC stick does not flash/beep at a control?
First try using traditional direct punch, if the control unit does not flash/beep, then you should use the backup manual pin punch.
A failed punch could be due to any of the following:

  • Insufficient battery power in the SIAC stick.
  • Insufficient battery power or incorrect programming of the control unit.
  • Beacon mode not activated by punching the check unit before starting.
  • Beacon mode turned off by straying near to the finish before starting.
  • Compromised sensitivity caused by a GPS watch or similar (wear GPS on opposite arm).

Please contact the OACT Office () if you have any further questions.