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SX line scan cameras and trigger arrays


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

Ensure that cameras are mounted at least 5 or 6 feet from the screen!

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 10 turn sensitivity dial on the remote control fully to the right(clockwise) and then to the left (anti- clockwise) until the green LED lights up.
  • Then turn the dial slightly back right again until the green LED just 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.
  • Test operation by putting or rolling a golf ball on the ground under the camera. You should see that the green 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 a ball is struck towards the screen, the green LED lights up on 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.
  • Note that the underlying carpet surface has to be dark and low reflective (i.e. either the supplied black carpet or the olive green grass turf carpeting has to be used under the camera)
  • If you find that the you still can't set the sensitivity high enough to pick up putts and you are using the supplied IR lamp, try lowering the mounted height of the
  • line scan camera. Note that the max recommended mounting height is 9ft.
  • Line scan camera lens focus
  • In order that the line scan camera detects low shots and rolling ball putts, it is essential that the SX camera lens be focused.
  • Our SX line scan cameras are tested for low shot detection before shipping but - depending on your mounted height - may require some focus adjustment
  • To adjust the focus, use the lens dial at the end of the lens.
  • Set first to its furthest clockwise position (far) and putt a ball down the center line of the enclosure - i.e. so that the ball rolls directly under the camera.
  • Check to see that the bright green LED light lights up as the ball rolls under the camera.
  • If not, then rotate the lens focus dial a half turn anti-clockwise and repeat the putt ball test to see if the green LED them lights up.
  • Repeat this step until it detects the putted rolling ball
  • Notes:
  • 1. Ensure that the lens aperture dial (dial nearest the case base) is in the fully open position
  • 2. Ensure that the IR LED lamp mounted next to the SX camera is ON and pointing straight down.
  • The 18 IR LEDs in the IR lamp will glow dark red when the IR lamp is ON
  • Note that the IR lamp has a photocell on the side of the case.
  • This photocell will turn the IR lamp OFF if there's too much ambient light in the room (i.e. day light from an open window).
  • If you don't see that the IR LEDs glow dark red then stick a piece of electrical - or similar - tape over the photocell.

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 with your current turf flooring, 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.

Floor scan area

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

If you are using your own sourced turf and find that it is too reflective then it is possible to treat the floor turf area so that it is not so 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

Non reflective turf

Well ... not exactly super non-reflective but this new "less reflective" turf carpet works really well. i.e. rolling balls / putting are picked by the line scan camera which means all other shots will do too.

This turf padded carpet is only available in 12 ft widths and is pretty heavy so we won't be supplying it as standard with basic camera systems - i.e. the black real non-reflective carpet will be supplied -

but will be available as an optional extra and will be supplied as standard with all new full scale F series systems at the new F series prices.

Price for a 6 ft X 12ft length is currently $299 plus $99 shipping for US customers. Due to it's weight and size, export shipping costs will be in the $200 to $300 range

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


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

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.

5. Ensure that the lens focus is turned fully to the right (i.e. clockwise) so that it is in the "Far" position

6. Ensure that the mounting height of the LS camera is not greater than 9 ft

Use mount extensions to reduce the height of the line scan camera if higher

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

Buy the GSA Golf Line Scan camera

With the new 400 dpi line scan chip and 70 degree wide angle range lens

Detects all putts to lob wedge shots

Price $ 450.00




Line Scan camera NEWS

April 28 2017

Line Scan camera gets new wide angle 70 degree lens

All new SX Line scan cameras get a new 70 degree wide angle large format lens.

Line Scan camera gets new signal booster (op-amp)

In order to better detect balls on regular turf carpeting -instead of the usual supplied black carpet - we've added a signal booster (op-amp) to the new line scan camera.

The above oscilloscope image of the analog signal output from the line scan sensor array chip shows that the spike from a ball rolling on regular turf carpet is hardly detectable without the signal boost

whereas with the boost it is easy to detect.

The comparator reference voltage - which you adjust using the remote 10 turn dial (potentiometer) - has to be very close to ground (200 mV) without the signal boost whereas with boost it can be up to 2V.


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 48 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,

doesn't require any setup and works well in most lighting conditions..

The TX trigger array features 3 LED indicators at the end of the 5ft long array

Price : $ 650.00


Russell's TX


New "Line Scan Shot Detector" prevents inadvertent ball launches in game when retrieving balls

Occasionally inadvertent ball launches may occur when walking within the line scan area - usually to pick-up balls.

The addition of this new line scan camera placed halfway between the Hcam and hitting area will prevent this.

The "Line Scan Shot Detector" is used as a trigger gate that only allows the main line scan camera's trigger signal to pass through to the ball V and H cameras if an object passes through its FOV.

It can also be used to detect if someone is standing at or close to the hitting position and thus blocks the main trigger signal if no one is at the hitting mat.

Price: $ 499.00



New "Optical Sensor Shot Detector" prevents inadvertent ball launches in game when retrieving balls

A lower cost alternative to the line scan camera shot detection, is to use an optical sensor shot detector. This sensor is emedded in the hitting mat just in front of the ball launch position.

Up to 3 sensors can be used: one in the hitting mat for regular shots, one on green surface for putting and one for the rough or sand shots.

Price: $ 199.00