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Reading SPORTident e-cards takes an usually long time

Users can experience a long time to read SPORTident e-cards on some computers: it takes around 10 seconds to read one e-card instead of the normal 1 or 2 seconds. This makes Geco impractical for any event except testing. The problem seems to appear only when the SPORTident master station is plugged directly into the computer. Although the root cause of this problem is unknown (any tip welcomed!), the problem has always disappeared when plugging a USB hub between the computer and the SPORTident station. A typical set up we use is to plug the master station and the split printer into the hub: this leaves enough free plugs for other devices such as a regular printer or USB keys.

Some split times have a 12h00 shift with SI 5 cards

Times in SI 5 cards are saved with a 12 hours precision. Geco needs to compute the correct time using the zero hour of the competition.

  1. Update the zero hour for one nearer to the real time of the competition in the configuration.
  2. For affected runners, reset official time from the runner data view.

[Windows] Slow startup time (when Bluetooth is on)

Geco scans serial ports on startup to detect a SPORTident station. This involves scanning Bluetooth port when it is active, which considerably slows down Geco startup (more than 10 seconds). You can either:

  • turn off Bluetooth before launching Geco
  • or launch Geco from the command line with for example
    java;COM3 -jar gecoXXXX.jar
    which means you expect the SPORTident station to be plugged in either COM1 or COM3 ports (adapt to your setup). You can create a batch file to avoid typing the launch command each time.

[Mac OS X] How to install a SPORTident driver?

The trick is to download the Mac OS driver for the USB chip onboard SPORTident boxes, then changes some bits of the driver so that Mac OS links the SPORTident box with this driver.

1. Download and install the driver from SI labs, section Tools, choose CP210x VCP Mac OSX Drivers (or try the direct link to The driver needs a restart.

Two drivers are actually installed, a 32 bits one in /System/Library/Extensions/CP210xVCPDriver.kext and a 64 bits one ine /System/Library/Extensions/CP210xVCPDriver64.kext. You can change either one or the other. The tutorial continues with the 64 bits version.

2. Open file /System/Library/Extensions/CP210xVCPDriver64.kext/Contents/Info.plist with a text editor (you must have admin rights). You can make a backup copy of the file before edition.

Look for the following two lines by searching the 60000 string :


Replace 60000 with 32778 (id of SPORTident stations).


3. Only with Lion (Mac OSX 10.7), the cache should be updated so that the driver is automatically loaded when a station is plugged in. The last two commands take a while to run.

sudo kextload -b com.silabs.driver.CP210xVCPDriver64
sudo kextcache -system-prelinked-kernel
sudo kextcache -system-caches

4. Restart your computer to check that the system takes into account your modifications.

Now the station should appear as /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART in Geco (also appear in the System profiler as SPORTident USB to UART Bridge Controller).