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SPIRE Reader

Mobile RFID Race Reader w/ Side Antennas. Orbiter is unlike many mat systems. Other mat systems charge extra for cables, antennas, power supply and re-chargers. With Orbiter, everything you need is included in an all-in-one form factor. Orbiter includes a RFID reader, antenna, cables, and power supply. It also includes a built in re-charger with power indicator lights, 24 volt battery, and Wi-Fi.

Firstly, just roll the SPIRE in place and turn on the system. To run your race, it will automatically connect wirelessly to the computer. Accurate timing detects racers at the finish line. There’s no more wasting time with dirty mats, running cables, or building overhead structures for antennas. The all-in-one complete system just rolls into place.

Undoubtedly, no other side antenna is cable of tag positioning like Orbiter. This is because of our RIC (Remote Intelligent Communication) software loaded inside the RFID reader. RIC makes the traditional Plastic Pelican box detector obsolete. It also allows positioning of the RFID tag. This is why Orbiter is true “Space Age Timing”.

Also, the SPIRE is proven to be ideal for bike races. It has been used by elite events and Olympic time trials. It’s much better that mats systems. Unlike overhead structures, it’s less expensive and time consuming to set up. The Orbiter tag detection positioning provides better accuracy than any other. Additionally, way-point detection readers along a course are far easier to set up with Orbiter.

Additionally, race timers can buy two SPIRES and mix locations. Put one SPIRE at the Start/Finish and another SPIRE as a way-point to prove a competitor made the entire course. In big races, you can place two SPIRES at the Start/Finish line. This way, the beams overlap and you gain two watts of radio power right over the line. This is twice the power of a mat system that is one watt.


Only one SPIRE is need for School Lap Counting.

A Microwave RFID SPIRE is used in motor sports and the military. There are no batteries to recharge as in many other active systems. Another important feature is no cables to lay down on a track.

The SPIRE has automatic set-up. Just push a button to turn on.

  • Three minute easy setup.  Just set down, turn on and run your race.
  • Eight hours rechargeable 24 volt DC battery life, dual AC (120 v and 220 v) with  built in re-charger and indicator lights.
  • Phased Detect Smart Antenna: controllable beam with first and last tag detect seen control.
  • Most time accurate RFID on the market as measured by USAF.
  • All weather rugged design works in rain and dirty environments: Guam torrential rain, Canadian mountains and the Mojave desert.
  • Rugged SPIRE reader is designed for all weather operation. The design is stable in windy conditions. This is due to weight of LED acid 24 volt battery in the base. And wheels make it easy to roll around.
  • 40 foot read range.
  • New 1,200 tag detections per second.  Autonomous smart operation. Can be used with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Data Cellular.
  • Good for small (85 people) to large (30,000+ people) events. 
  • AGM batteries approved for airline transport.  
  • Lightweight, only 29 pounds weight including batteries.  47″ (H) x 17 ” (L) x 10″ (W).

** Also available as a rental with everything you need including laptop with pre-loaded timing software. Click here for our rental info.    



The SLING may be used as a side antenna fixed on the ground or hung from a stand. Or it may be worn. Read Range is 20 feet for the bib tag, 15 feet for the school tag, and 10 feet for the 3D-tag. The power of the SLING is comfortable transport into remote areas. The SLING is filled with soft foam, has handles and may be strapped around the shoulder and back. To operate, just set the SLING down and turn it “On”. It automatically detection with no manual interaction, such a pushing buttons or manual scanning. Best of all, there are no separate cables or boxes to connect like mat or other side antenna systems.

The SLING is powerful because it has the same RFID reader as the larger SPIRE. It reads 250 tags per second so large races and small races may be timed both. Unlike a handheld, the SLING has the same long range as a fixed base reader. Handhelds have the problem of short read ranges. This annoys runners with the “Sheriff with the gun” approach, meaning the handheld is shoved toward the racer as they pass.

The Orbiter Sling reader may be moved / swiveled quickly to pick up tag on that are placed on the back. This saves money unlike mat systems that require two rows of expensive mats to do the same as Orbiter. It comes with a rugged travel case for taking it on the road or for checking into baggage at the airport.

Additionally, 90% of all road races may be timed with the SLING with greater time accuracy than mats. This is because the detection point may be calibrated and confirmed in real time with a ‘Beep”. Mats cost three times as much and are difficult to set up.

Also, there’s no need for a truck or trailer, as car may used to transport the race equipment you need. The AGM batteries are safe and approved for airline travel.

  • Long range SLING has a read distance of 20 feet Bib Tag, 15 feet school tag, 100 feet 3-D tag. The SPARKY for schools has a read read distance of 35 feet bib, 25 feet school tag, and 15 feet 3D tag.
  • Rechargeable battery life four hours. Or use the optional 36 hour battery pack.
  • Approved for airline travel.
  • 250 tag reads per second.
  • Ideal for triathlons and 5K races and with 1000 people or less. 
  • Can be used in paddle board races or other events where a standard mat reader not practical. 
  • Timing accuracy with controllable read range detects time on finish line.
  • Designed to pick up hard to detect tags. 
  • NEMA 4.
  • Far superior performance than handheld barcode and RFID devices.
  • Longer battery life, tag read zone lobe, reliability, lower total cost and ease of use.

Finally, as an option you can purchase an RF LAN with wireless connectivity of 300 yards in a normal environment and two miles line of site. 

** Also available as a rental with everything you need including laptop with pre-loaded timing software. Click here for our rental info. 

School Sparky

RFID Lap Counter Reader

It’s ideal for school lap counting for physical education of small and medium sized schools.

The Orbiter Sparky reader has a ten foot read range when placed on the ground. The SPARKY automatically detects with no button pushing or manual scanning. Students “Run Free” without hesitation or stopping. This is the only school lap counter that does split times for hundreds of students at a time.

Additionally, it has a rugged all weather design. It’s the only lap counter that is appropriate for both physical education and PTO/PTA fundraisers. It has a greater range of up to 20 feet when placed on a box or chair. Ranges vary depending on tag type: Bib tag is 20 feet, School Tag is 15 feet and 3-D tag is 10 feet. The SPARKY weights 15 pounds. It also has four hours of battery life or is powered by AC. Optional extended life battery is available. The equipment has a robust 250 tag reads per second. Also, it detects split times and can be used for mile run tests.

Ethernet download of data, or optional Wi-Fi connects to laptop. Laptop not included. Requires Windows 10, Microsoft Student Office for Excel Reports, and an i5 laptop.

Equipment Rental Information

You can save hundreds of dollars on your next event. Race Timing Rentals are at a new lower rental price of $395.00 per event. And the first 100 transponders are free. After the first 100, transponders on your bibs are $1.97. You can customize bibs at $2.49 each, with the purchase of full color.

This is the only RFID chip timing system that is successfully rented to first time users. It’s so easy to use that anyone can time a race. There are no cables or mats to set up. We built the rental specifically for you. Our product is even used at Olympic Training Centers.

Orbiter is able to rent you timing equipment because it’s simple to use and the set up is fast. The equipment is light and compact. This eliminates the need for mats, overhead structures, and heavy time detector control boxes.

Orbiter equipment weighs just 15 pounds. It can be transported in your car and is approved for airline travel.

Our complete system ships in a convenient luggage case with everything you need. This includes the SLING Reader, laptop with pre-loaded software, and RFID bibs with electronic files. Instructions are included and free instructions can be found online. 

You will receive the rental unit the Wednesday before the race. We recommend 40 minutes of over-the-phone instruction three days prior to your event. We also recommend a 20 minute refresher the day before the event. Orbiter technical assistance is available by phone before during and after your event.

To have a successful race: (1) Turn on the Orbiter (2) Know who you giving the bibs to (3) Get a beep at the finish from each participant. Administration of the timing software may be done before, during, and after the race. Downloading race data from the SLING to the laptop may happen in logging mode with or without a live connection. 

There are many features that protect your race, including a non-volatile reader memory. A generator is not required because the standard Orbiter battery lasts eight hours. The SLING battery lasts four hours. Additionally, longer battery time may be gained or AC power may be used.    

Electronic Wrist Band for School and Park Walking Programs.

Electronic Wrist Band for School and Park Walking Programs when the full antenna is used and set to high power the range is 30 ft range. When the tag is used with a SLING or Sparky the range is 15 feet.

This tag is designed to be worn on wrists. It is convenient to walkers and others that have difficulty bending down. It is also excellent for schools. This is because the custom numbering system identifies teachers and students by color and class number. The Orbiter system allows tags to be traded between classes. This is done while individual data is kept for each class and student. In 5K races walkers and others prefer this tag. This is because it dangles from the wrist as opposed to being tied to a shoe.

Also, the tag has no battery and gains many of the same statistics important to kinesiology. When compared to battery operated wrist bands and pedometers, Orbiter has the advantage of automatic download of data. And an entire school’s student data is done in seconds as the tags pass the Orbiter reader. This compares to only seven tags at time for many battery operated wrist bands.  

Teachers have no time to replace batteries and they are costly. Orbiter solves these problems. This is why we are the number one choice of wearable wrist bands for schools and the military.

The tag is discounted and costs a fraction of battery powered devices, including pedometers.

Chip Inlay and Bib

The same high quality RFID inlays as used by the New York Marathon at the Lowest cost.

Transponder (chip inlay) and Bib may be purchased separately or together.  As a benefit to Orbiter CORT’s (Certified Orbiter Race Timers) to keep you competitive, Orbiter provides you the world low cost transponder price at $.05 each in a roll of 5,000.   We found manual encoding of the RFID chip when placed on the bib and then encoded, is far superior than using an expensive German like machine encoding. With the Orbiter system human error of lacing the wrong chip on the wrong bib is eliminated. This is because you place a blank RFID inlay on the bib, and then set the encoder counter and start incrementing up. Check sum quality control assures your numbers are correct. No mechanical breakdowns with the Orbiter system. Only savings!

Learn how you too can become a CORT.  email us at [email protected]/

The enrollment machine allows writing and rewriting on tags your unique ID, or increments automatically for bib numbers when passed through the enroller.  This is unique in the timing industry because many timing equipment manufactures do not allow you to write your own tag id’s.    Call for quote.

Or, as an option the customer may purchase the transponder pre-applied onto bibs.  Included is the electronic file that is used by the application software. Most customers purchase this option as there is no minimum purchase requirement.

For full service, you may purchase custom colored and designed bibs with the transponder and everything included.  Safety pins extra.

RFID Bib tags

The tags have special foam paired to works together with the radio signal from the reader.

Orbiter tests each tag prior to sale, and have found that many GEN II Standard tags operate differently.  For example, we have several suppliers tags consistently have 1/3 the read range.  Also, a small percentage do not even have identifiers on the tags.   This causes loss of race results.  Using Orbiters pre-tested tags ensures excellent working RFID bibs.



3D Tag for Triathlon / Mud Run Tag

 The Patented 3D (three dimensional) tag is unique and especially designed for triathlons, mud runs and fitness assessment testing.  It is the only passive tag (no battery) worn by participants with a 3D antenna that is attenuated to the human body.  (Attenuated means it gains maximum radio frequency intensity.) 

Additionally, it is rated the best passive tag by many Ironman timers. The benefit of the tag is increased range up to 27-29 feet, regardless of the vertical or horizontal position of the tag to the RFID reader.   This allows for consistent read ranges regardless of the position of the tag to the reader. This is as long as the tag is seen by the reader. 

Also, prior to Orbiters 3D tag, similar performance could only be obtained by “active tags” at nearly five times the cost. Pure passive tags are at a very low cost and are used for 5Ks, marathons and road races. When positioned sideways to the reader, the passive tag distance is reduced by the COS of the angle. This means up to 1/3 the read range is when the tag is perpendicular to the reader.  Pure passive tags work well when pinned to a bib because the position to the reader is aligned.   Some OEM (Original Equipment Manufactures) use standard passive tags for triathlons.   These are placed into ankle tags, and when this happens poor detections can occur. The 3D tag was built for racing from the integrated circuit used on up.  The Orbiter 3D tag works exceptionally well as it was developed for exclusive sale by Orbiter. 

Microwave Tag

Microwave RFID Timing Transponder.

The small microwave tag has the greatest range, accuracy and fastest tag detections for quick data transfer. The battery lasts five years, regardless the number of events timed. The size is just 1 inch by 1 inch by 1/2 inch. Additionally, it is used to track bullet trains in Europe and Japan. It also has the fastest read rate on the market with over 200 mph speeds and is excellent on metal and is unaffected by EMI (electronic magnetic interference). 

This is the tag of choice for the military and  is used for military fitness assessment tests. The tag is another unique design by Orbiter. It is always “on” and does not need to wake up like other active tags. This means it is the most responsive (quick to time) active tag on the market.

Orbiter Race Timing Clock

Call for quote

Rent a race timing clock today. Orbiter recommends a two-sided LED clock with four-inch letters. For an additional cost, race timers and race managers can rent this product. Additionally, the LED clock allows race participants and spectators to view finish times from either viewpoint. Also, two-sided clocks are often liked by photographers. This is because a runner’s finish photo can be taken with their time shown.

GROOT Product

Prices as low as $1,250.00

The GROOT SYSTEM is a powerful AC powered timer and lap counter. It weight just 6.4 pounds and reads 250 tags per second. The GROOT has superior performance as it uses the same RFID readers as other Orbiter products. Additionally, the GROOT uses 120 volt AC and gives you excellent tag read rates, which are the same as our other products.

Additionally, the battery power is 24 volts with robust tag read rates. The GROOT also has Wi-Fi option with ethernet connectivity standard, and 20 feet range. Many customer enjoy the economy of the GROOT.

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