Olympic Timing is Quartz

Thread: Olympic Timing is Quartz

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  1. #1
    Member robert11's Avatar
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    Olympic Timing is Quartz

    An interesting video about the timing done for the Olympics by a rather large looking quartz clock with daily GPS synchronisation by Omega.


    http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/videoview/257930

  2. #2
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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    That's cool. You know Tag Heuer sells high end timing equipment, I thought it would be cool to see them at the Olympics.

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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    One thing I've always wondered was how accurate the timing equipment was. In most events, the overall time is probably too short for accuracy issues to really matter, but what about something like a marathon.

    Over a period of a few hours, I suppose that if the timers weren't HEQ, you could have timing issues say if you were comparing a current time to an old world record and you were talking about 10th's or 100ths of a second.

    Anyone know if there is such a thing as a truly HEQ timer?

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    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    They have been able to time to 1/1000 sec so that should be good enough for the Marathon I would think.

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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    Omega have a rich history with Olympic timing, and there's no way they'd give up the title of the Olympic timekeeper, to anyone. Tag do make a very cool unit for Motorsport, called the Splitmaster 650...



    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...ht=Splitmaster

    Pete, regarding an HEQ timer; this one could more than live up to the title. Although it uses a GPS adjusting signal, it also features a 8mhz Thermocompensated crystal. I've little doubt that whatever Omega uses, it has similar specs.
    Last edited by Fatpants; August 23rd, 2008 at 13:15.

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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    Actually my question wasn't related to how small a measurement the timers could do, but how accurate they were. Say you took the timer that measured a world record in 2004 of 3 hours 23 minutes 10.100 seconds.

    If you had an atomic reference for that run, would it have really been 3:23:10.100 or would it have been something like 3:23 and 11 seconds? If the timers don't have HEQ specs, then this really could be the case and the measurements to hundredths or thousandths of a second in long timed events would in a sense be meaningless.

    Based on what Fatpants stated, it does look like they do use thermocompensated high accuracy movements so it shouldn't be an issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    They have been able to time to 1/1000 sec so that should be good enough for the Marathon I would think.

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    Member robert11's Avatar
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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by petew View Post
    Actually my question wasn't related to how small a measurement the timers could do, but how accurate they were.
    The longest time frames for these events would not really be hard to measure on the wristwatches people have here!

    Assuming a drift of +/- 5 seconds a year [which is apalling for a quartz timer] gives us a worst possible daily drift of: 0.0137 seconds per day.
    So in a 10 hundred metre sprint we get approx +/- 0000952 seconds possible drift

    In three hours there would be a massive +/-0.00171 seconds possile drift

    This would be true except they calibrate it daily to +/- 20-100 nanoseconds to the GPS.

    But the we really care about is relative time in the very last seconds of the race. So here they expand time into 2000 slices per second
    They were talking about taking 2000 frames a second on three separate cameras in the photo finish, they then provide 1/1000 second accuracy and a photo of each 1/1000th of a second.

  9. #8
    Member robert11's Avatar
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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    [quote=

    Anyone know if there is such a thing as a truly HEQ timer?[/quote]

    I think the quartz timer they had there looked like an thermally constant quartz . No need for compensation. It stays at X degrees.

    I will ask Omega . They are normally quiet good at answering obscure questions :)

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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by robert11 View Post
    Assuming a drift of +/- 5 seconds a year [which is apalling for a quartz timer] gives us a worst possible daily drift of: 0.0137 seconds per day.
    So in a 10 hundred metre sprint we get approx +/- 0000952 seconds possible drift
    +-5 seconds a year is appalling? That's as accurate as the most accurate quartz wristwatches made today, and there are only two manufacturers that claim that number. An average quartz wristwatch is accurate to 15-20 seconds a month. How accurate are typical timers? I'm very impressed!

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    Re: Olympic Timing is Quartz

    So how IS timing done?

    Is there a transponder that each runner is wearing that trips the time for his/her run? Im guessing it is something more sophisticated than just running and breaking a beam of light.

    Pool timing I see..the swimmer touches a pad. Cycling is a mystery, since the timing is based (on the team sprints) on the _third_ cyclist, not the first.

    Im confused.....

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