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Technical News

System Updates & Development News

Hi! I'm Martin Paul Gardiner

Electronics and software development engineer and founder of GSA Golf

Check out all our advanced golf simulator products and product descriptions on this web site at leisure

if you have any questions

please feel free to contact me personally anytime at either

or call me at our office in Florida at 239 529 3060

Note: Office hours are Monday-Friday- 10am to 3pm US east time


GSA Golf Control Panel (CP) downloads

GSA Control Panel (CP) update V.8.6.6.9 - Windows 8 / 10 version

August 16 2017

Warning! Please note that this CP update and all new updates after version 8.6.5.0

require a new installation of the FlyCapture camera SDK if using cameras made as of 2017 and upwards.

see the Camera SDK upgrade below June 15 2017 for instructions on how to do this

If you have recently made this SDK upgrade then there is no need to repeat now

If you are not sure that you're cameras are 2017 models

then download the pre-2017 CP update below

Even if you purchased your GSA Golf camera system in 2017, the cameras may still be 2016 models so do the pre-2017 update first

GSA Control Panel (CP) update V.8.6.6.9 - Windows 7 / 8 / 10 version

August 16 2017

If you're using cameras made pre-2017 or you're not sure, then download the above version of the CP update

GSA Control Panel (CP) full version download for cameras made pre-2017

Note that the full version installation will overwrite any user settings if you have had any previous GSA Golf CP installations

Download standard configuration files hereHere

GSA Golf Game software download

Warning! if you already have the full version GSA Golf /RedChain software installed, downloading this free single course version will prevent the full version from running correctly

Note: If you encounter a windows error message stating that it could not find d3dx9_30.dll when starting GSA Golf,

download and copy the d3dx9_30.dll to your windows\SysWOW64 folder.

Download here d3dx9_30.dll

Full version GSA Golf/ RedChain software Download here GSA Golf Setup Note: USB dongle key required for this full version

Camera Viewer 2.11 33MB FlyCapture Viewer 2.11

Cam drivers PGRUsb

Experimenting and testing shots with manually entered launch parameters

You can test shots by manually setting the launch parameters in the Control Panel.

Right or Left mouse click in the Edit fields to change the parameters.

To see the trajectory of the ball in flight just click the "Launch Shot" button while having the GSA Golf software running in the background.


In case of issues you can manually install the CP update .exe file by following these instructions

Note: The above update download is just an update for existing customers and not the full version Control Panel


CTS upgrade

If you have purchased a pre 2017 CTS system, we have a low cost upgrade to the flash controller / projector mount version for you.

The pre 2017 CTS upgrade includes all new circuitry, projector mounting and trigger mat sensors for just $199

(i.e. just our material cost price)

Contact us for details


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August 16 2017

V 8.6.6.9

For PX5 users

Fix: Putting not functioning when the new "Allow putting without swing being detected" was ON

More popup help added.


August 13 2017

V 8.6.6.8

Lots more popup help added.

Popup help for CTS added.

V and H cam calibration is now permanently ON.

A number cosmetic updates.

F1 key is now the link to the online help.


August 9 2017

For PX5 users

We've had a report from a customer that when the CP is not "Sent Back" (ie minimized), then 100 out of 100 shots are detected.

However, when the CP has been "Sent Back", then a number of shots are not detected.

Not sure what's going on here yet but if you too are experiencing such issues then we recommend leaving the CP in full window mode (ie not minimized) and then starting the game software.

When doing this, ensure that the option "Control Panel not on top of other windows" has been set ON in te "Setup Window" - otherwise the CP window may sit on top of the game software window.

If you can't see the PC's desktop in order to start the game software when the CP is running in full window mode then either move the CP window to the side or send it back and then,

after you start the game software, Alt/Tab back to the Windows desktop and then click on the CP's "Show Window" button,

Note that this issue may also effect other system setups (i.e. CX3) so if you are also experiencing occasional non detected shots then leave the CP in full window mode.


August 5 2017

V 8.6.6.6

More popup help added.

More info added to shot log file entries.

Improved swing detection for PX5 users that prevents inadvertent ball launches when retrieving balls.

Improved launch detection for PX5 users that prevents non detected shots


August 3 2017

V 8.6.6.2

Small error in calibration file

2 small errors were found in the "CalibLRex.csv" file.

This update includes the updated calibration table.

BTW there's an option in the Calibration table window (click Calibration Table to view in the Vcam) called "Double Degree path steps" and "Single Degree Path Steps".

"Double Degree path steps" should be selected.

More popup help added.


August 2 2017

V 8.6.6.1

System log file records every shot

A new system log file records every shot sent to the game software.

The file contains a time stamp accurate to within 1 second and a list of all shot parameters sent to the game.

It will be used to help debug any missed or non recognized shots in the game software (i.e. E6, RC or TGC).

The file is written to the folder "C:\Users\Public\GSAGolfSystemLogs\" and is named SLddmmyy.txt where ddmmyy is the current date.

Pop-up help

There's much more pop-up help in this version

For more experienced users, there's now the option to switch PopUp Help OFF. (Option is in the Setup window).

For those that are still using the "LA speed Inc / LA speed Dec functions: This has changed from using the RAW LA to the Calibrated LA.


July 30 2017

V 8.6.5.8

New "Pop-up help" for every Control Panel option and setting

We're in the process of adding pop-up help boxes for each and every option and setting in the Control Panel that will explain what the option or setting does and its recommended default value.

This will be quite a lengthy process but should be completed in a week or two. Each new CP update until then will include the latest pop-up help boxes.

New "Online help" link from the CP

There's now a link to the GSA Golf online help on the CP's main window


July 25 2017

V 8.6.5.6

New "Software Swing Detector" prevents inadvertent ball launches in game when retrieving balls

If you have a CTS club track camera with trigger mat or a PX2 club track sensor mat (as with the PX5) then you can optionally setup the system so that it will only launch a ball if a swing (or any movement) over the mat is detected.

You should see a new "Swing detected" message at the bottom right hand side of the CP's main window after a swing. This message appears for about 2 seconds.

Shots will only be detected by the V and H cams during this 2 second window so you can walk freely around the enclosure without any inadvertent ball launches.

Note that this option requires that all shots are made from the mat - including putting unless the "Allow putting without swing being detected on mat" is set on

Switch the "No ball launch without swing being detected on mat" in the CP's Setup window.


July 22 2017

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


July 20 2017

The latest CP updates can now be installed without having to install new drivers and SDK if using cameras made pre 2017

As a number of customers are having problems installing the new camera SDK and drivers required for the latest CP updates ( a royal pain in the B for some) we've made an older SDK version of the latest CP update that doesn't require the latest SDK and drivers.

As long as the cameras themselves are pre 2017 models then there's no need to update the camera SDK and camera drivers now.

Please ensure you click on the new "Update for pre-2017 cams" button when updating the CP in this case.


July 17 2017

V 8.6.5.4

We've received a couple of reports that the E6 game software sometimes does not launch the shot after the ball is hit.

This version of the CP checks for this condition and after a time-out of 3 seconds resets the game to accept the next shot.

Note that this issue seems to arise more when putting in E6 after the user picks up balls for the next putt.

Tests today showed we could reproduce the problem but after today's mod the problem was solved.


 

July 5 2017

V 8.6.5.1

Multi-PC software

The new muti-PC software is now active in this version

Camera Club tracking without tracking dots or stripes improved

Club face detection without tracking dots or white stripes now significantly improved

Printable and PDF versions of the installation and help pages

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We're currently in the process of making printable and PDF versions of the installation and help pages


June 16 2017

Multiple PC setups

The new GSA Golf control panel multiple PC setup software will be ready within the next week or so.

It's main advantage is that captured data can be viewed simultaneously on multiple monitors and image processing is faster.

In addition, using multiple PCs solves a problem a number of users are experiencing when using 3 or more cameras on one PC. i.e. more than 3 cameras won't run on their PCs

Note that the slave PCs don't have to have to feature hi-end graphics cards or be particularly high performance so can be relatively low cost PCs (i.e under $600).

The PCs are connected to each other via a special USB null modem cable that transfers the designated club or ball tracking data (without images) to the master PC that sends this data to the game software.


June 15 2017

V 8.6.5.0

Camera SDK upgrade

Due to new features and methods in the 2017 range of cameras that are not compatible with the older camera SDK used to create the GSA Golf CP, we've had to move up from FlyCapture SDK 2.04 to SDK 2.11.

The new CP update includes this new SDK (dll) and thus the download file is much larger (up from 6MB to 11MB)

Note that a new camera driver installation will be required if using CP version 8.6.5.0 or greater is going to be used.

To do this:

Download and run the new 2.11 Camera Viewer installation

Camera Viewer 2.11 33MB FlyCapture Viewer 2.11

and follow the installation instructions.

Select "I will use USB cameras" and select "Install PGRUSBCam driver" when prompted.

Do not select the "USBPro" option !

If you have previously run this install program and think you may have selected the USBPro option then you must uninstall the SDK and re-run it

Sorry for all this inconvenience but it is the camera manufacturer that is forcing us to make this update and not us.

 

It's possible that you won't require a clean installation but just in case you do, the instructions are as above

Camera assignment issue fix

We noticed an issue with the new fixed assignment feature when using more than 3 cameras. This is now fixed.


June 14 2017

V 8.6.4.9

CTS Pro camera frame 2 now has it's own valid FOV borders

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Fixed camera assignments

Small modification to last week's CP update that allows users to change their system configurations on the fly (i.e. from CX2 to CX3 , CX3 to CX4, CX4 to CX6 etc or back again ) without having to save the assignments.

You can switch fixed camera assignments off so that cameras can be moved to their assignment positions before saving.


June 10 2017

V 8.6.4.5

Fixed camera assignments

Up until this version of the CP, camera assignments where automatically stored every time the CP was closed out in the sequence that the cameras were detected on the USB bus.

The problem with this is that if not all cameras connected to the PC were detected on the PC at CP start up or they are appear in different sequence on the USB bus, then a new - incorrect - assignment set will be saved

requiring the user to re-assign cameras when all cameras are detected on a later PC boot.

The new assignment method - which has taken over 20 hours to code - assigns cameras via their serial numbers to the functions ( i.e. Vcam, Hcam, CTS cams 1 and 2 and Ball spin cams 1 and 2)

e.g. if a camera with serial number 4820826 is assigned to be the Hcam, then this camera will always be the Hcam and will appear as the second camera in the CP's camera window.

Once stored, (via a manual button click) these assignments will never change unless the user wishes to change them.

The issue more concerns customers that have many cameras (i.e. a CX 6 camera system) but can also occur with just a 2 camera setup.

A new "Save Assignments" button in the CP's Vcam window is used to store the current cameras to their assigned functions. Click this button after all the camera assignments have been made.


May 27 2017

New 400 dpi sensor array for SX line scan camera

To further increase the performance of the SX line scan camera (i.e. to better detect rolling balls on regular turf carpet and increase range)

we're now using a new 400 dpi (dots per inch) SMD sensor array.

Line scan camera upgrades are available for $159

Upgrade includes new circuit board with 400 dpi chip and signal booster plus new wide angle lens


May 24 2017

V 8.6.4.2

Customer request

The user defined LA increment for both chipping and normal shots is now also active when Extended Factory calibration is on


May 21 2017

V 8.6.4.1

Spin factors for back spin , side spin and spin axis can now be adjusted directly in the "Show Club Angles" window


May 18 2017

Lower price options on F series simulators now available


May 17 2017

New CTS test images using clubs without tracking dots or white strips


May 14 2017

New useful PC & projector information on the PC's and Projectors page


May 5 2017

New flash activation sensor in the trigger mat for CTS systems

The new CTS flash sensor prevents the CTS from triggering flashes during a club waggle or when teeing up

The CTS flash sensor detects a club back swing and only then allows the flash unit to fire within a 3 second time window

Other than preventing possible annoying flashes, the CTS flash sensor extends the life of the flash unit 10 fold

CTS users can retro fit the sensor to their trigger mats if desired. Either DIY or we can fit the sensor and electronics for you for component cost price plus shipping

Price is $99.00

New power battery terminal block for the CTS flash units

The flash units in the CTS and ball spin cameras are commercial camera flash units that usually require batteries to run.

As we didn't want users to have to regularly replace batteries, the flash units in the CTS and ball spin cameras are powered by external power supplies.

In order to get power to the flash like this we had to solder on power leads to the battery terminals.

Until now, replacing the flash units required soldering on new battery leads to the battery terminals on the new flash which was a tricky job as the terminals are deep down in the flash unit.

This new power terminal block resolves this problem so that replacing the flash unit just requires inserting the terminal block in the new flash and re-connecting the power leads without any requirement to solder on new power leads.

Battery terminal blocks are available from us for $10.00 plus shipping

SX Line scan camera upgrade

Should you wish to upgrade your SX line scan camera with the new signal booster (op-amp) so that it better detects balls on regular turf carpeting without the requirement to use the usual supplied black carpet,

we also offer an upgrade service for just $49 plus shipping.

Contact us for details.

Two new Q&A sections on the Q&A page.

Q: How can I use the SX line scan camera without using the supplied black carpet?

Q: How can I increase the range left and right of the SX line scan camera ?


April 29 2017

V 8.6.3.8

A number of smaller cosmetic changes. No big deal but nice to have.

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.

Calibration percent

A customer reported that his 7iron shots hit left are carrying as far as his driver shots hit straight.

This indicates that the amount of calibration is too great for his ball to trigger distance and should be reduced.

In the above example the speed calibration was reduced to 50% so that any ball speed adjustments for ball hit left or right will be 50% less

Note that the calibration tables where made with a ball to trigger distance of 5ft.

Later next month we'll have exact speed calibration percentages for various other ball to trigger distances


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.

Due to the extra $140 cost of this lens, all products using a line scan camera have increased in price.


April 26 2017

A chipping section has been added to the putting page with instructions on how to adjust chip distances


April 25 2017

V 8.6.3.7

A number of smaller updates including XD ball track shot recognition


April 20 2017

Extended calibration "Scale" factor = 0.2780

Note that the Scale factor for the calibration tables was set to 1 pixel = 0.2780.

This scale factor - used with the calibration tables - should result in exact ball speed measurements across the entire 0 - 60 degree launch angle and +/- 20 degree path range.

Increasing or decreasing this scale will result in decreased or increased measured ball speed across the entire range should you care to change it.

Above, a customer e-mail from 04/21/2017 regarding the new extended calibration


April 19 2017

V 8.6.3.5

Extended calibration now default on if Vcam calibration is on

The old calibration tables are now superseded by the new extended calibration tables.

Calibration factors used now displayed

The calibration factors used for the current shot are now displayed in the Vcam window.

These are Speed adjustment, Launch Angle (LA) adjustment and the index number into the calibration table.

In the above example, the raw speed of the ball was reduced to 84% and the raw LA increased by 38%

Ye olde sensor ball track

For those that are still using the old sensor ball track (now over 10 years old) this version of the CP has been updated to recognize and use it again.


April 17 2017

Stereoscopic ball track image processing

Having completed the XY camera setup calibration, we'll continue on with the stereoscopic calibration. Estimated completion date for this is now June 1 2017


April 17 2017

Non reflective turf

Well ... not exactly super non-reflective but this new "less reflective" turf carpet works really good. 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


Coming next week

Installation Q & A and general problem solving

We'll have an extensive installation Q & A and problem solving page ready in the next few weeks should you require help with your system

We'll have the test results of the new non-reflective padded turf that will replace the black carpet we currently use for under the LS and Hcam cameras

Extended XY setup calibration

All current GSA Golf Control Panel versions and updates now include a factory set camera extended calibration table

that negates any user requirement to calibrate the cameras themselves.

Go to the calibration page to read more

V 8.6.3.4

April 14 2017

All 3 factory set extended calibration tables now available

The calibration for 5f, 6ft and 7ft Vcam distances was completed today.

Note that the calibration table "calibLRex.csv" is placed in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\GSAControlPanel\data" folder when you download the latest CP update.

In order to use it, the new "Factory Calibration" option must be on.

Any user calibration tables won't be overwritten when this option is on but if you would like to edit the factory tables then

copy the factory table "calibLRex.csv" from the "C:\Program Files (x86)\GSAControlPanel\data" to the "C:Users\Public" folder and switch the "Factory Calibration" option OFF again before editing.

The table will then be automatically saved to the "C:Users\Public" folder.

Hcam path correction

Some small tweaks were made to the Hcam path correction today and the new 7ft calibration table was made with Hcam correction ON.

Chipping mode

When in Chipping Mode (press C key to toggle), the "min backspin when chipping" slider bar turns into .... "chip ball speed adjust"

and "Launch Angle inc" turns into "Chipping launch angle inc"

Note "Launch Angle inc" is not required when using "Extended Calibration".


V 8.6.3.1

April 13 2017

Chipping mode

Chipping mode now switches On/Off automatically or manually (press C key) depending on the ball distance to the pin.

Hcam path correction

To-date all calibration and linear adjustments where made for the Vcam camera which is responsible for ball speed and vertical launch angle calculations.

However, the Hcam ball path camera also requires either calibration or linear adjustment in order to calculate true ball path angles.

Calibration tests showed that the Hcam will only detect true ball path angles when the ball vertical launch angle is below 20 degrees.

As the vertical launch angle increases, the ball is getting nearer to the Hcam ceiling mounted camera and lens perspective distortions start to kick in.

Some examples are:

With a true ball path angle of 10 degrees left or right, the Hcam measured path without calibration was:

LA 20 degrees - path angle : 12 degrees

LA 30 degrees - path angle : 15 degrees

LA 40 degrees - path angle : 20 degrees

With a true ball path angle of 20 degrees left or right , the Hcam measured path without calibration was:

LA 20 degrees - path angle : 24 degrees

LA 30 degrees - path angle : 28 degrees

LA 40 degrees - path angle : 40 degrees

As can be seen, high lofted shots can result in ball paths being measured twice as much as they really are. i.e. a real path angle of 20 degrees, is measured as 40 degrees left or right without correction.

To correct this there's a new "Path correction" option in the Hcam window that linearly adjusts the path to it's correct value depending on the vertical launch of the ball.

An Hcam calibration table will be available shortly too

BTW, if you have noticed that some high lofted shots weren't being detected, then it was probably due to the ball path being measured by the Hcam exceeded the "Max ball path" setting in the Hcam window.

Without path correction it would be very easy for the ball path to exceed the limit setting with high lofted shots and then the launch would be declared as invalid.


V 8.6.3.0

April 12 2017

Extended XY setup calibration

A couple of small updates today on this.

1. Pressing the Z key resets the calibration on the active row to zero calibration (i.e. 1.0 correction factor)

2. Pressing the ESC key closes the calibration table

3. An index check is made with each auto calibration step to ensure that the correct table is being accessed

4. No beep is played if index is not in the correct range or when any other error occurs during the calibration process

Second factory set extended calibration table available

The calibration for 5ft Vcam distances was completed today.

Click the above image to download the calibration table.

Note that the latest factory set calibration table is now included in every CP update download.

The calibLRex.csv table is placed in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\GSAControlPanel\data" folder but won't be used if a " calibLRex.csv " file already exists in the "C:Users\Public" folder.

This ensures that any user calibrations are not overwritten with the CP update. To use the latest calibration table just copy the " calibLRex.csv " in the data folder to the User/Public folder


V 8.6.2.9

April 11 2017

Linear Launch Angle adjust

All the calibration work done recently has shown that un-calibrated measured launch angles are far lower than what they really are as viewed by the cameras. Usually around 25 to 30% less

For those that prefer linear adjustments over calibration we've added a linear launch angle adjustment in the Vcam window in this version of the CP

Just click multiple times on the new "Launch angle increase" option to set the LA increment to be 0, 5, 10, 15, 20,25, 30 or 40%

First factory set extended calibration table

A full extended calibration table was made today for you to try out. It covers ball vertical launch angles from 0 to 60 degrees and ball path angles of +/- 20 degrees.

If you haven't used any calibration before you'll probably notice a significant change in both vertical launch angle readings and ball speeds/ carry distances.

e.g a real launch angle of 40 degrees may be measured by the cameras as just 30 degrees without calibration.

The calibration table was made for a Vcam mounted on the right side of the enclosure and for a Vcam distance to the enclosure center line of 6 ft so ensure to select 6ft in the Vcam window even if your real Vcam distance is not this.

If your Vcam is mounted left than this should work as well but hasn't been tested yet.

Note that as calibration should negate the need for any linear ball speed and launch angle adjustments, these should all be switched off.

Click the above image to download the calibration table.

Place the table in the "C:Users\Public" folder on your PC if this file already exists in this folder. Otherwise place in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\GSAControlPanel\data" folder and ensure that you have the "Extended Calibration" option set in the Vcam window

Note that if you have already started to make your own calibration then this download will overwrite any own made calibrations so make sure you make a backup of the calibLRex.csv file in the "C:Users\Public" folder before downloading

Auto calibration mode - now even faster

To speed up calibration even further, you can now switch between the Vcam and Hcam by simply pressing the "Space" bar on the keyboard.

This saves you the time it would normally take to switch cameras with the mouse.

And instead of having to look at the screen to see if the auto calibration worked for each angle step every time, there's now an audible beep that tells you all is OK.

V 8.6.2.7

April 10 2017

Auto calibration mode

With the auto calibration mode ON, the calibration process will automatically set the trace distance and LA corrections for you.

All you need to do is place the pole at the -20 to +20 degree path angles in the Hcam window - which will automatically be set in video stream mode - then switch to the Vcam.

After switching to the Vcam window, the adjustments will be automatically calculated and and you're ready to go back to the Hcam window again for the next path angle and/ or launch angle.

Total calibration time in this mode should be less than 30 minutes for all 126 launch angle and path calibrations

Go to the end of the calibration page to read more about the Auto calibration

V 8.6.2.4

Extended XY setup calibration

Co-ordinate cross-hairs and angle calculations now also shown when camera in video stream mode.

This is particular useful when calibrating and adjusting the rod in the Hcam to change ball path

It was noticed during calibration here that it is easy to forget to soft trigger the Vcam after using the Hcam to set a new path angle with the pole.

To help with this, the Vcam is automatically triggered when switching from the Hcam and back to the Vcam.

Fix: "Edit mode ON" message not being displayed when editing the calibration tables

Fix: Incorrect trace length being displayed

Fix: Incorrect calibration table index for left ball path angles

April 6 2017

Extended XY setup calibration

The new extended XY calibration is now complete and ready for those that would like to calibrate their own cameras.

See the end of the calibration page to read how to calibrate your own cameras

Note that at present there's no default entries in the tables as yet. i.e. all entries are set to 1

Default extended calibration tables will be made by us in the coming weeks

Note that there are a number of new features in the Vcam window.

1. Raw speed is now shown. Raw speed is the speed calculated from the camera without any adjustments or calibration

2. A Darken image option is now available that darkens the Vcam image so thet the calibration table is more readable.

3. Calculated trace length distance is now shown in a pink shade so that it stands out more

 


April 4 2017

V 8.6.2.0

Camera calibration tables can now be viewed and edited directly in the CP Vcam window

Go to the "Camera Calibration" page to read more

Also read more about the stereo calibration method on this page

Coming later this week: Extended XY setup calibration

Currently XY camera setup (i.e. Vcam floor mounted and Hcam ceiling mounted) calibration is limited to +/- 10 degree ball paths for vertical launch angles of below 15 degrees and above 15 degrees for 5, 6 and 7 ft Vcam distances from the enclosure center line.

The new extended XY calibration will extend this calibration to a 40 degree range (+/- 20 degrees) for 6 launch vertical angles of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 degrees.


March 30 2017

Non reflective turf

We're currently testing a new non-reflective padded turf that will replace the black carpet we currently use for under the LS and Hcam cameras


March 29 2017

V 8.6.1.9

Chipping mode

Calculated ball speed now immediately displayed when adjusting chipping ball speeds

Pressing the C key to manually go into chipping mode no longer requires the current ball distance from pin to be less than the chipping distance.

"Press P key for Putting mode, C key for Chipping mode" message now displayed in Vcam window.

Improved GUI for calibration, chip speed adjustments, spin rate adjustments etc in Vcam window

Fix: Chipping ball speed adjust not working when camera calibration set to ON


March 21 2017

V 8.6.1.7

Driver boost carry adjust

At a customer request, we've re-activated the "Driver boost carry adjust" feature in the Setup window.

The adjustment only takes effect when a driver has been selected in either the game software or manually selected in the CP


March 18 2017

V 8.6.1.5

Putting

We've been dealing with a few customers recently with putting issues. The above customer screen shot of a putt is what your Hcam putt image should be looking like.

If not, send us your screen shot of your Hcam putt and we'll send instructions on how to correct it.

Calculated carry in CP now adjustable

You can now adjust the CP's calculated carry to more match the carry in the game software (E6,TGC,RC etc).

Unfortunately it was not possible to exactly match the game's carry distance as this data is not being sent back to the CP.

Attempts to use the distance to the pin before and after the shot - which is sent back to the CP - to calculate the total carry+bounce+roll doesn't work well as any shots left or right of the pin will distort the figures greatly.


March 16 2017

V 8.6.1.4

Chipping Mode

Current distance from pin is now displayed in the Vcam window and can be adjusted for testing purposes if no game software is running.

If game software is running (i.e. E6,TGC or RC) then the current real distance from the pin is displayed.

Fix: Ball and club speed boost factors (now shown in percent BTW) were being used twice with real shots but only once when viewing the Vcam window.

Fix: Club face angle couldn't be manually adjusted in the "Show Angles" window.


March 11 2017

V 8.6.1.0

New!

Chipping Mode

We've introduced a new "Chipping Mode" feature in today's CP update that allows you to set a ball speed factor for chips.

Chipping mode automatically kicks in when the ball is within the User Defined chipping mode distance from the pin but not on the green.

For tests purposes you can manually set to "Chipping Mode" by pressing the "C" key on your keyboard.

Holding the keyboard "Shift key" down converts the "Min ball spin rate" slider bar into a chipping ball speed adjust factor.

The above screen shot shows that the measured ball speed of the chip has been reduced by 65% and that the chip distance has been set to 54 yards.

Stereoscopic ball track image processing

The new Stereoscopic ball tracking software has been integrated into the CP today but not yet active. We hope to be able to activate this software within the next two weeks after testing is completed.

Advantages of stereoscopic ball tracking are : Vastly more consistent ball speed measurements of balls being hit left or right

and that both ball tracking cameras (V and H cams) can be mounted on the ceiling at the far left and right hand sides of the enclosure and so are thus out of the line of fire of high lofted shots.


March 4 2017

V 8.6.0.8

Individual club carry factors

Club specific carry factors can now be adjusted directly in the Vcam window

Club data with Rough and Sand panels

As both PX and CX systems require that the user play from the fairway mat in order to detect any valid club data,

any spurious club data detected from shots made from the rough and sand panels is now ignored and club data is then calculated from ball data.

If this is not preferred then the "Sand" and "Rough" panel options need to be switched off in the CP's Setup window.

Saving system settings

User system settings are stored when the CP user clicks on the "Exit" button in the CP's main window but a number of customers seem to prefer clicking the "Windows X" close button at the top right hand corner of the CP window to exit the CP.

Previously this close method bypassed the store user settings so we've added the save settings now to this close method now too.

Show club in Vcam window

The "Show Club" in the Vcam window is now default off.

New products

CTS Flash Controller

The optional extra CTS flash controller prevents the CTS from triggering flashes during a club waggle or when teeing up

The CTS flash controller is a line scan camera that detects a club back swing and only then allows the flash unit to fire for a 3 second period

Other than preventing possible annoying flashes, the CTS flash controller extends the life of the flash unit 10 fold

Price $ 299.00


February 28 2017

PX2 sensor mats now shipping

Finally - after a 5 week delay - the slotted grass mats have arrived and we're now shipping all PX2 back orders.


February 25 2017

V 8.6.0.3

Individual club carry factors

Individual club carry factors can now be adjusted directly from the CP's main window. Carry and all ball data is re-calculated after every adjustment.

Fix: CP not reading selected club in GSA Golf / RedChain game software

Nicer: Spin factors in Vcam window shown in Red

Nicer: As not everyone will want the club image showing in the Vcam image, you can now hide it.

 


February 23 2017

V 8.6.0.0

Manual club selection in CP Vcam window

You can now manually select clubs and adjust club specific spin rate factors in the Vcam window. The adjusted spin is immediately shown.

The Global spin rate adjust factor is now split in two : One for woods and the other for irons. Hold the shift key down to switch.

The adjusted spin is now also immediately shown.

Manual club selection in CP Main Window

You can now manually select club types in the CP main window.

The CP will automatically switch to "Manual Club Select Mode" when selecting a club and won't get updated from any game software club selection when in this mode.

Press any key to switch this mode off.

Smash factor

Smash factors can now be manually adjusted for PX1, PX2 or PX5 users that select the "Ball speed calculated from club speed" option.

The selected smash factor can either be a constant factor for all clubs or can be club type adjusted

CX6 updates

Fix: Left/Right LA adjustment values not being stored


February 18 2017

Stereoscopic ball track image processing

As an alternative to our standard X,Y camera setup for CX ball tracking camera systems,

new stereoscopic image processing software is in development that will allow you to mount both ball tracking cameras on the ceiling instead of one on the ceiling and the other on the floor .

In collaboration with our Swedish software engineers this software development will also vastly improve the accuracy of the ball tracking system.

First releases of this free software upgrade are expected to be ready later this coming spring.

Note that you can use your existing CX2 ball tracking cameras with this software without any additional hard or software costs.


February 10 2017

V 8.5.8.6

Hcam raw angle option

A customer request:

Normally the Hcam measures ball path from a user determined hitting position to the first part of the ball trace, however, some setups with a limited enclosure width may require right and left -handed players to hit the ball to the side of the center line.

In this case switching to the Hcam trace raw angle - which measures ball path from both ends of the ball trace - will be more accurate

CX6

Much work is being done on the CX6 system software at present. Today's CP features many improvements for CX6 users.


February 7 2017

Linear Left/Right launch angle adjustments

V 8.5.8.5

In addition to L/R speed adjustments, LA adjustments may also be required when using the linear method (i.e. when calibration is switched OFF).

This is automatically done when Vcam calibration is ON but wasn't available when using the linear L/R adjustments.

L/R LA adjustments are now done using the up/down keyboard arrow keys and L/R speed adjustments are done with the left/Right arrow keys as before.

Small bug fix:

It was noticed that the ball speed was shown as zero in the Vcam window when an Hcam putt was detected.

The CP still detected the correct putt ball speed but just didn't show it in the Vcam window, only in the CP's main window.


February 6 2017

Calling TGC users

We have a customer reporting that the spin rate shown in TGC is stuck on 4700 rpm although the CP reports the correct spin rate but we can't reproduce this. Does anyone else have this issue?

V 8.5.8.3

CX6 - GSA Golf's new flag ship product

The CX6 system uses 6 cameras to capture ball spin as well as club and ball tracking. Note that there are 2 banks of 4 cameras in the CX6 CP

The CX6 - a system with 2 ball tracking cameras (Vcam and Hcam) , 2 club tracking cameras and 2 ball spin cameras - is being tested with our new custom PC at present. Testing should be completed by the end of next week.

Left/Right linear speed adjustments can now be set up to as much as 100% increase/decrease left or right

Previous versions had a +/- 25% limit.

Nicer way of moving camera assignments and improvements to CX6

When moving camera assignments - i.e. using the ctrl/shift left and right arrow keys on a camera displayed in the camera window so as to move the camera from one position to the other -

the selected camera moves with the cursor. e.g. you find that camera 1 - which is normally the Vcam - is the club tracking camera and thus needs to be moved to camera 3 position which is the Club tracking camera position on a CX3 system.

You now just select the camera 1 and - using the ctrl/shift right key - move move to position 3 in two steps and the mouse cursor will follow the steps. i.e. from position 1 to 2 and then from position 2 to 3

More Ball speed tests: comparing camera motion trace method to freeze frame method

The 70mph ball trace to dual freeze frame speed comparison tests also show very good accuracy and consistency.


February 4 2017

Using two IR lamps to illuminate the ball from both the side and top

The above is a screen shot from customer "Jim" showing a perfect ball trace achieved by placing one IR LED lamp next to the Vcam as well as the ceiling mounted IR LED lamp


February 2 2017

More Ball speed tests: comparing camera motion trace method to freeze frame method

The above two images are camera images of the same shot. The image on the left is from the Vcam camera using the ball trace method - i.e. long exposure time - to measure ball speed.

The image on the right is from the dual camera CTS system using the freeze frame method to measure ball speed. This system uses dual aligned cameras to capture two high speed frames of the ball in flight timed at precisely 1 millisecond apart.

At first we didn't think it would be possible to capture both the ball trace image and the freeze frame images at the same time as it was assumed that the flashes from the CTS would flood the Vcam camera with light but

as the flash duration is very fast this wasn't an issue. (Note that the bulge at the end of the trace was from the flash)

The purpose of these tests is to confirm that the ball trace method is as accurate as the dual freeze frame method. Previous low speed tests of a ball being dropped from a known height proved that the two methods produced the same results.

The tests done today was of a higher ball speed and as can be seen also produced identical results. In the coming weeks we'll be doing the same tests but with balls launched at over 100 mph using a golf ball launcher.


January 31 2017

V 8.5.8.1

Linear Left/Right ball speed adjustments back on

The Left/Right calibration adjustments can now be switched off (and stored) so that the standard linear L/R adjustments can be used if preferred.

The percentage of adjustment is now displayed for every shot too

Left/Right ball speed calibration adjustments have been extended to +/- 20 degrees

If ball path is towards the Vcam camera then 3% - of the max calibration - for every degree over 10 degrees is subtracted from the trace length

If ball path is away from the Vcam camera then 3% for every degree over 10 degrees is added to the trace length

All speed factors displayed in the Vcam window

These are:

1: the current Left/Right path trace length calibration factor used for the shot

2: The current LA trace length factor used for the shot

3: If club carry factors are switched on then the factor used for the shot is displayed

4: Global ball and club boost (speed adjustment) factors


Beeps driving you crazy?

Sometimes the CP will sound a beep sound if the game software is not reporting that the next player or next shot is up and the system times out.

You can now switch these beeps off in the CP's setup window (bottom left hand corner).

Beep when a new image is captured by the camera

For test purposes it may come in handy to hear a beep when the cameras grab a new image.

You can use this to ensure that the line scan camera detected a ball and sent a trigger to the camera when adjusting the sensitivity.

Even though the line scan camera features a bright LED trigger light, it may not be easy to see when swinging a club so a temporary acoustic signal will be useful.

You can switch this "Beep on new frame capture" on in the CP's setup window (bottom left hand corner).

Ball speed tests: comparing camera motion trace method to freeze frame method

In order to test a measured ball speed we need a reliable reference. i.e. a method of launching a ball at a known speed.

As this is not so easy to accomplish we first started by simply dropping a ball from a certain height and measuring it's speed at near impact to the ground.

Established physics calculators were used to determine what the speed of the ball will be at near ground impact when dropped form 2.5 meters which turns out to be 7m/s or 15.6 mph.

The CTS was converted from a club tracking system to a ball tracking system and - turned on it's side and connected to a line scan camera - setup to measure the ball speed.

As expected the results were very accurate - at least considering the ball is still accelerating during the 1 ms time spacing taken to grab the two images.

Using the trace method on a Vcam (i.e. using the comparatively long exposure time of 10ms to grab the image) we found that the measured speed was too fast.

The scaling factor used to convert pixel distances to real world distances was calibrated using a white pole of a known length so it wasn't this causing the error.

Studying the images it could be seen that the calculations weren't taking the ball's diameter into account.

i.e. the distance the ball traveled was being measured from one end of the trace to the other and not from ball center to ball center.

Subtracting the ball's diameter from the distance corrected the error.

However, as this is just a low speed test we still haven't found the cause of the high speed measurement discrepancy which requires that the scaling factor - derived by the white pole calibration - be increased by some 50% to correct.

i.e. using a scaling factor of just 0.175 instead of the default value of 0.286 will probably result in measured ball speeds being less than they really are.

High speed testing will start next weekend using a golf ball launcher.


January 20 2017

Ball speed tests: comparing camera motion trace method to freeze frame method

This weekend we're comparing the motion trace (or motion blur) method of calculating real ball speed with a dual camera/dual freeze frame method of calculating real ball speed.

The motion trace method is the standard method we currently use to measure ball speed. i.e. we're measuring the length of the trace of a ball in flight with a known camera exposure time.

The length of the trace is converted into a real world distance in meters or feet and then - using the formula v = d/t - we calculate the speed where t is the 10 ms exposure time of the camera.

Oscilloscope tests yesterday confirmed that the exposure time of the camera is indeed exactly 10 milli seconds and

- using a white pole of a known length to simulate a ball trace and setting the scaling factor so that the calculated length is exacltly the same as the white pole's real length -- we know that the pixel to real distance scaling factor is spot on.

So - in theory at least - the ball speed measurements should also be spot on but tests show that the measured speed is always around 15% less than expected.

In order to correct this we have to increase the scaling factor to bring the measured ball speed up to what we would normally expect.

The dual freeze frame method involves grabbing two very fast images of the ball within a known time, measuring the distance it has traveled within the two frames and again using the v=d/t to calculate the speed.

For this we're using the CTS Pro with its dual aligned cameras and dual flash units. As this method has to be absolutely correct it should be very interesting to see where the dependency in the ball trace method is coming from.

Results will be published later this weekend.


January 20 2017

The new PX3 and PX4 systems will be available within the next few weeks


January 18 2017

V 8.5.7.5

Customer License update only

Camera IR filters

False alarm on this. Low brightness images are more due to the IR lamp. The IR filter makes no difference.

We're currently comparing IR illuminators


January 11 2017

V 8.5.7.3

Camera IR filters

We've recently noticed that IR filters of the same pass wave length of 720nm - as used by our cameras - vary greatly in visible light pass from one manufacturer to the other.

i.e. while one 720nm IR filter blocks all visible light, others let a fair amount of red visible light through.

This - we presume - would explain why some trace images with some customers look bright and full while traces with other customers seem rather dull.

We've identified the best IR Filter manufacturer now so if you think that your traces images are not as bright as they could be, let us know and we'll arrange for a filter exchange.

PX5

Fix: Optical sensor mat Loop Count occasionally being reset to 2

Fix: Club face angle shown in the "Club Fitter" mode window was reversed

Vcam trigger delay

In addition to the Hcam trigger delay, there's now also a Vcam trigger delay.

The trigger delays are used when moving the line scan camera nearer the ball hitting position so that ball path range is greater and for systems not using line scan cameras.


January 7 2017

V 8.5.6.8

CX3 / PX5 without Line Scan camera

We're currently testing the CX3 and PX5 without using the line scan camera.

Trigger is then sources from the PX2 club tracking mat (PX5) or the trigger mat (CX3).

The main advantage of using these systems without the line scan camera is that no black carpet scan area is required.

Disadvantage is that every shot must be played from the same place on the trigger mat or PX2.

CX3c to CX3

CX3c customers can now switch to a CX3 setup using the same CX3c color camera.

CX3 uses the standard club tracking dot method to capture club face angle, club speed and club path whereas CX3c only captures club face angle.

 


January 2 2017

V 8.5.6.5

Vcam putting

As some customers prefer Vcam putting speed calculation to Hcam putting, we've re-introduced this method.

Launch time-out

The Launch data time-out has now been reduced from 10 seconds to 4 seconds.

The time out is normally there for when the game software is not reporting back to the CP that the ball has landed and is ready for the next shot.

If a ball is played during the time out period then there will be no ball launch in the game.

E6 club selection

The CP now shows the club selected by E6

CX4

Improved camera alignment process

CX3 / CX4

A warning message is now displayed in the CP's main window when the measured club face angle exceeds the user defined max face angle.

PX2 / PX5

Double clock frequency on new PX2 sensor mats causing double club speed

The new sensor mats (i.e. since fall 2016) are fitted with a double speed system clocks but the CP was still using the old clock speed to calculate club speed which resulted in double measured club speed.

This is now corrected.

Calibration percentages

Vcam calibration percentages can now be applied to the Vcam ball speed and ball launch angle calibration tables.

i.e. you can set the ball speed calibration adjustment for example to 50% and the ball LA calibration to 80% .

To set, move the mouse cursor over the "Calibration ON/OFF" button and use the arrow keys as instructed to adjust.

Update for PX5 / PX2 users

Ball launch will now still occur even if club face angle could not be detected due to one of the two face timers still running.

i.e. when the ball is struck more towards the toe of the club so that the entire club face didn't pass over both timer sensors.


 

We often require customers to make screen shots of their camera windows in the Control Panel during the support period

Click the above video to see how to make screens shots

Typical screen shots are as in the below images

The side mounted Vcam detects vertical launch angle and speed of the ball

The ceiling mounted Hcam camera detects ball path for normal shots

and ball path plus speed when putting

 

Installation

Remote Access Support

Price: $99 per session

 

 


Factory

Based in Naples, Florida,

all GSA Golf products are meticulously assembled and tested by hand to meet the highest industry standards