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SX Line Scan Cameras


What is a line scan camera ?

The GSA Golf's line scan cameras are used as triggers to the full frame cameras.

The line scan camera is not used to capture images of the ball. It is only used to detect a flying ball and trigger the full frame cameras to capture images of the ball as it flies within their field of view.

The full frame cameras are thus not running continuously but are rather in an idle state until told to take images when a ball is flying near them.


Note: The CX line scan camera is built into the ball azimuth Hcam camera casing when ordering panel style casings.

The SX line scan camera is mounted next to the overhead Hcam ball path camera. i.e. down the center line of the enclosure and facing straight down.

Connect RCA cables to the H and V cams.

Power to the SX camera is either via a supplied USB power supply or a USB cable connection to the PC (note: this USB connection on the SX is only used for power, no data is being transmitted)

RCA camera trigger cables

The V and H cam cameras are triggered from the SX line scan camera.

On the back of the SX camera (or on the side if using a multiple-channel SX camera) - you will see two RCA connectors.

Using the supplied RCA cables, connect the short one from the SX cam to the Hcam RCA connector and the long RCA cable from the SX cam to the RCA connector on the back of the Vcam

The SX cam is built into the Hcam casing when ordering Panel casings

Line scan camera sensitivity

To set the sensitivity of the Line Scan camera

ensure that the the overhead lamp(s) are on, SX camera powered up and facing down onto the flooring without any white objects or golf balls in the FOV , turn the sensitivity dial on the side of the camera until the green (or Yellow) LED lights up.

Then turn the dial slightly back until the LED goes off. When making the adjustments ensure that you and your arm are not in FOV of the camera otherwise light will be reflected back into the camera.

Keep your distance and adjust with your arm stretched out. As you'll be doing this on a step ladder, ensure you keep your balance.

Test operation by rolling a golf ball on the ground under the camera. You should see that the LED goes on for a short while.

Connect the supplied RCA trigger cables to the SX camera and the full frame cameras that you want to trigger. This will usually be the V and H cams.

Check that every time green LED lights up on the side of the SX line scan camera (ie when a bright object like a golf ball is passed under the SX camera) that you get new camera images in the control panel's camera window.

Setting the SX line scan camera's sensitivity

The above image - taken from the overhead mounted horizontal camera (Hcam) - shows 3 types of synthetic grass surfaces with varying degrees of reflectivity.

For both the Hcam and the SX line scan camera to function correctly the surface has to be non-reflective. As you can see, balls 1 and 2 in the image are very difficult to make out

due the surface reflecting too much light from the overhead lamp whereas ball 3 is clearly defined with plenty of contrast.

The line scan camera scans diagonally - left to right - in the enclosure and compares the light reflected back into the camera's image sensor with a user set reflected light level of a golf ball.

It is thus essential that there is enough contrast between the ball and the surrounding surface.

If the surface is reflective - as with ball 1 and 2 - the line scan camera's sensitivity cannot be set high enough as the underlying surface reflects nearly as much light as the ball itself.

A lot of synthetic grass surfaces on the market today reflect too much light for the cameras to function well and have to be treated to reduce the reflectivity.

One simple way to achieve this is to mask off the area directly under both the Hcam and SX line scan camera and spray with a black matt water based paint.

The grass will still appear green but will be a shade or two darker and non reflective. The area to be treated should be around 2 feet wide and 4 or 5 foot long.

All systems are supplied with a roll of non reflective carpeting. If you find that you can't set the Line Scan camera's sensitivity high enough for low shots or putts, place this carpet on the floor directly under the LS camera.

Once this is done the camera's sensitivity can be set much higher so as soon as a ball rolls or flies over it the camera will detect it and send the trigger signals to the full frame ball tracking cameras.

The flooring area directly under the line scan, IR lamp and Hcam cameras must be dark and non reflective.

It is possible to treat the floor turf area so that is non-refective but most use the supplied black carpet strip (3ft * 5ft)

You can use the supplied 4 inch wide black felt tape to transition the carpet edges to the turf flooring

New IR LED lamp !

eliminates the need for a treated floor scan area

Even using highly non-reflective carpet, the 196 LED IR lamp causes a lot of reflection with it's high intensity 30 degree beam

In contrast, the new 15 LED lamp with 60 degree reflectors shows less intense beam with greater spread

Reducing the Vcam's gain from it's usual 20 db to 0 db even untreated green turf matting can be used. The image above/right shows no bad reflections from the green turf mat (above/left).

This eliminates the need to use the black carpet for the scan area.

New alternative IR LED lighting system consists of 2 60 degree IR LED lamps spread 1 or 2 feet apart. Advantages are: Black scan zone carpet is no longer required. Increased left and right ball detection.

Set the Lens focus setting to 0.4

Line scan camera shot detection range


In the above images, Setup 1 is probably the standard setup for most users. The problem is that the ball path detection range (direction left and right) is quite limited so if balls are hit to the far left or right side of the screen, they won't be detected.

The problem is not so much the line scan camera's FOV - which has a 7 foot plus scan width at ground level - but the overhead lighting which doesn't produce a wide enough beam angle.

In Setup 2, the cameras and lighting have been moved further back towards the launch position and this increases the ball path range nicely.

The only problem is that the ball cannot be played so far ahead as before. i.e. when playing from rough and sand grass panels that are positioned ahead of the normal fairway grass tee position.

In Setup 3, the range is increased by adding more IR LED lamps so that the ball is still detected by the line scan camera when being hit far left and far right.

Recommended IR LED lamps for use with the SX Line Scan camera.

Go here to purchase if you don't already have them

Until recently the line scan trigger camera was always mounted overhead next to the Hcam - as shown above SX cam.

However, it has been found that there are advantages of mounting the line scan camera at floor level - next to the Vcam.

Apart from not having to get on a step ladder to mount it on the ceiling,

the main advantage is that there is no underlying surface that reflects light back into the camera from overhead lamps causing low shots or putts not to be detected.

You'll notice that we supply a roll of black non reflective carpeting with CX systems which is to be placed under the line scam camera should the turf flooring be too reflective for putts and low shots - which it normally is.

The reason for this is that the sensitivity of the camera cannot be set high enough for these low shots as too much light is being reflected back and the contrast of the background and the ball is not high enough.

Of course, when mounting the line scan camera at floor level, the opposite wall must also be dark and non reflective but as the wall is much further away than the ground is to an overhead mounted camera, this isn't such a big issue.

A disadvantage with this setup is that some high wedge shots that go left - ie away from the camera - may not always be detected.

If mounting the line scan camera at floor level you may have to experiment a bit with camera aiming and the additional floor mounted LED lamp.

You'll want the camera to pick up balls rolling on the ground - i.e putts - but also high shots so the camera has to be pointed somewhat upwards but not too far up so that light from the overhead lamp gets into the camera preventing the sensitivity from being set high.

BTW in addition to the above mentioned advantage, the use of an additional floor mounted LED IR lamp - required when mounting the line scan camera at floor level - will improve the ball illumination so that ball traces are more distint and better detected.

The above image shows a ball trace when the camera is floor mounted with the additional floor mounted IR LED lamp. Notice how crisp, bright and sharp the ball trace is.


CX2 / CX3 setup video


An alternative method to mounting the Line Scan camera and IR lamp on the ceiling is to mount both the SX line scan camera and IR LED lamp at floor level next to the Vcam.

The advanatge here is that light bouncing back off reflective flooring doesn't get into the SX line scan camera and thus it's sensitivity can be increased to better detect low shots and rolling balls.


In contrast, here the ball is only illuminated from overhead which - when viewed from the side mounted Vcam camera - is only half illuminated from the top.

Of course, you can also add the additional floor mounted IR lamp when the line scan camera is overhead mounted to achieve the same effect.


Floor scan area

The flooring area directly under the line scan, IR lamp and Hcam cameras must be dark and non reflective.

It is possible to treat the floor turf area so that is non-refective but most use the supplied black carpet strip (3ft * 5ft)

You can use the supplied 4 inch wide black felt tape to transition the carpet edges to the turf flooring

Line scan camera setup problems

By far the most common issue with the line scan camera setup is the ability to set the camera's sensitivity high enough to detect low flying or rolling balls with putts.

The cause of this problem is light from the overhead lamps reflecting back into the camera from the underlying surface.

If you are experiencing this problem then follow these recommendations:

1. If using a halogen lamp next to the line scan camera, replace this with a LED IR illuminator similar to the above shown examples.

Note: all new line scan cameras are now being shipped with these.

Such IR illuminators are available on Amazon for around $ 75

2. Ensure the underlying surface is a dark non-reflective material or carpet.

A recommended carpet is : Beaullieu of America - Type: Dayside Ebony, Product 6670-890 which is available at your local Home Depot store at around $4.00 a yard.

3. Ensure that not too much ambient light is getting on the underlying surface from either other overhead lamps or from other sources.

To test for this, switch off all other overhead lamps until you have the line scan camera triggering with rolling balls.

4. While testing and setting up the line scan camera it is not necessary to have any other cameras running or any software running.

Just putt a ball under it and check to see that the LED on the side of the camera lights up for a second or two every time.

Multiple Line scan cameras for increased range

You can also use multiple line scan cameras to increase left and right ball path range

Cameras are connected to a master multi channel LS camera that can link 4 line scan cameras together

SX line scan camera trigger

SX line scan camera trigger

SX - camera triggers suitable for all GSA Goff camera systems come complete with floor scan area carpet and felt tape

Price $ 475.00


Camera Optical Sensor Array Trigger

As an alternative to our line scan camera triggers, you can also use optical sensor array triggers to trigger the V and H cam ball tracking cameras

The unit is 5ft in length and features over 200 sensors that detect any ball passing over them.

Its advantage over the SX line scan camera trigger is that it doesn't require a non reflective floor surface that usually requires black carpet to be placed under the SX camera

Price : $ 850.00


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