Turning on the horns and lights
There are three switches in front of you as you face the computer screen. The bottom two switches need to be switched on. Switch the left hand one on first.
Powering up the system
Press the Power On button on the PC. This will power up the computer and load the race management software. Press Reset as the first thing you do and reply Yes to the question asked.
Setting up the number and type of races
Choose the desired option in Race Type by clicking in the appropriate little circle. Available options are: One, two, three or four races, or Pursuit race. If you change your mind after having chosen one race type, you can correct it by simply clicking in the correct place.
Manual start of race
Click Manual Start. This sets the entire sequence in motion by displaying the warning light for the first race and firing the horn. Once you have done this you can no longer change the race types - you will have to click Reset first.
Automatic start of race
Instead of starting the race manually, you can specify a time for the warning signal of the first race. Do this as follows -
Change the time in the Automatic Start section of the form to the time you wish the warning signal for the first race to occur. The time is held as hh:mm:ss. To change it to the actual time you want the warning signal to happen (say 2:20 pm – or 14:20:00 using the 24 hour clock). Click on the hh (which causes it to be highlighted) and simply type the new time – 14:20:00. Once you have done that, you will see that the button AUTO START is highlighted. Click on that and the countdown to the start begins.
Alternatively you can set the time solely by mouse. Click on the hh (causing it to be highlighted); then click on the scroll bars to the right to change the hh to what you want. Click the up arrow to increment the hour and the down arrow to decrement it. Then do the same to the mm and lastly to the ss.
Counters and information
You will notice that the time is shown in the top left hand corner of the screen. In addition, the elapsed time since the first gun for the first race is shown in the top right hand corner of the screen. This count is negative in the case of an automatic start until the first gun actually goes. The bottom of the screen shows what lights are showing and Hoot appears whenever the horn sounds. (Later, you will see that Peep appears whenever the finish gun sounds).
Once you have pressed either start button, there is little you can do until the first race starts. You can, of course, press Reset. Other buttons you can press is Quit – which takes you out of the system. There is also a new button – General Purpose Horn which sounds the horn when pressed and operates quite independently of the other guns. It can be used for example for abandoning a race.
In general, you will notice that many of the buttons appear to be greyed out – this is because that it does not make sense to press them at this point in time (e.g. you cannot shorten a race before you have started it). Which buttons are greyed out changes as the race progresses.
Just after the start
Immediately after the start, three new buttons come available. The first is Boat Over and should be sounded if any boat is OCS. It sounds one hoot. The second new button is General Recalland should be sounded in that situation. There will be two sound signals and all three lights in that bank will flash for a time. The recalled start will be automatically restarted in accordance with the sailing instructions. The final new button is Spoon which will cause the horn to sound at minute intervals starting from the start that immediately preceded the pressing of the spoon button. It will continue to do that until the spoon button is pressed again.
Towards the end of the race
Shortly after the start of the race, the final two buttons become available. The first button is Shorten Course and should be sounded when shortening course in conjunction with raising the appropriate flags. Two hoots are made in accordance with the Sailing Instructions. The last button is the Finish button. This will cause the finish gun, with its characteristic peep, to be made. The elapsed time of the finished boat is inserted in the Finish Times Box. As each successive boat finishes, their times are inserted at the top of the box, but no time is lost.
At the end of the day
If another team is coming later in the day, leave the computer switched on. Press Reset in case he forgets to do it. IF you are the last team, however, simply press Quit and the program will terminate and the computer power off. Then turn off the switches.