Cable Solves Timing Errors for Swim Team

Oct. 22, 2008
In a sport where first and last place are separated by a few tenths of a second, accuracy is crucial. The Northern Kentucky Clippers, a USA Swimming-sanctioned

In a sport where first and last place are separated by a few tenths of a second, accuracy is crucial. The Northern Kentucky Clippers, a USA Swimming-sanctioned competitive swim team based in Erlanger, Ky., hosts several annual swim meets that attract hundreds of competitive swimmers from the surrounding region. Because USA Swimming — the national governing body for the sport — collects times for every swimmer in its sanctioned contests, the Clippers' meets must be timed with unfaltering precision and reliability. So when the team's timing system began experiencing intermittent outages during competitions, a great deal was at stake for the club.

Members of the club's oversight committee concluded that that a portable cable could eliminate the need for a costly conduit-encased wiring system, and contacted local manufacturer General Cable, Highland Heights, Ky., about product options. Company engineers recommended its Super Vu-Tron Supreme as the best solution to the team's cabling issue.

“We engineered Super Vu-Tron Supreme to deliver superior performance in applications where cable reliability is critical,” says Chip O'Donnell, product manager for Carol Brand Portable Cord Products. The cable's features, including a durable water-, cut- and chemical-resistant jacket; corrosion-resistant tinned copper conductors; crush-resistant fill; and class M stranding for maximum flexibility seemed right for the Clippers' application.

Bruce Bank, father of one of the swimmers, took on the considerable task of replacing the entire timing system's cabling, a project that required approximately 300 feet of four-conductor, and 200 feet of two-conductor 18 AWG SJOOW cord. He disassembled each existing module, cut the cable to the required length, spliced the cable, attached it to the connector and reinstalled it in the module. The replacement project took roughly six months for Bank to accomplish, dedicating any spare time he had to the task. “As I worked, I became extremely impressed by how tough and resilient the cable was,” he says.

After the overhaul, the Clippers hosted two meets, says Bank. “These multi-day competitions saw more than 1,000 swimmers from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana compete in more than 200 assorted events — all without a single timing or scoring issue.”

“It is comforting to know that we now have a reliable timing system,” says Jason Roberts, Northern Kentucky Clippers head coach.

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