Five Maintenance Tips When Using Athena

Five Maintenance Tips When Using Athena

New to Athena or new to taking care of an electronic scoring target (EST) range? Here are five tips you can start using today to better take care of your range.

Maintenance Mode

Going down range to work on your Targets? Your first step should be to put the Targets into maintenance mode. “Maintenance mode” simply means your Athena target will not score any shots. “Scoring mode” is the opposite, it will try and score shots.

If your target is in scoring mode and you try to perform maintenance on it, such as replacing the tape feed, it is likely to be frustrating. All that jiggling and movement around the camera confuses the scoring algorithm and can cause phantom shots. The solution is simple, put the target into maintenance mode before you start, then put it back to scoring mode when you're done.

Find Your Ruler aka Knowing When to Replace the Paper Roll

Did you know there is a simple method to test if you need to replace your tape feed? Get your ruler out and measure the thickness of the remaining paper roll.

The NC models advance the paper roll 16mm after each shot in practice, and 26mm after each shot in competition. Thus, a paper roll will last longer in practice mode than in competition mode.

As a rule of thumb, each 1mm of thickness is about 25 shots in competition mode, or about 40 shots in practice mode. As such, a 60 shot course of fire (e.g. 3x20) will require about 4mm of thickness in competition mode, or about 3mm of thickness in practice mode.

Self Diagnostics

“Self Diagnostics” is the process Athena’s NC units go through to align the camera to the aiming mask and center the aiming bull. Athena Targets performs this process automatically both at boot up and at the start of each course of fire.

When the Red X and Green O light up at the same time Athena is performing this important process. If the Green O flashes, it was successful, and you can start shooting. If the Red X flashes it was not, and you’ll need to take steps to correct whatever is wrong.

When you are performing maintenance on the targets you can have the target perform self diagnostics immediately. On the older NC revisions there is a single button on the back, on newer revisions there is a four button interface. Click the select button to start self diagnostic, then watch the red and green lights to see if it was successful.

Replace the Back Aiming Mask

Athena users recognize the need to replace the front aiming mask when it gets shot up. This, after all, is what the athlete is aiming at when they are shooting. But did you know the back aiming mask also needs to be replaced periodically? It does!

The back aiming mask, which is a clean empty sheet, plays a role in both the accuracy and maintenance of the system. It keeps the paper roll strip flush when shot, and helps prevent lead fragments bouncing out of the target.

The back aiming mask should get replaced at the start of each relay during a competition. When in practice, you have more leeway, but at a minimum should be replaced at least once a week.

Power Shutdown

It is simple to think that turning the power off is sufficient in shutting down your Athena range. However, abruptly cutting the power can cause damage to each unit's file system. Done too many times, and the SD card, which acts as the unit’s hard drive, will get corrupt and fail to boot.

To prevent this, it is important to shut the operating system down first, and only then cut power to the EST units. In addition, we do recommend shutting the EST units down when not in use.

Athena for Clubs customers can shut their EST units down through Orion’s Maintenance form. Athena at Home customers can shut their Target and Monitor off through the Maintenance form.


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