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Technical News

System Updates & Development News

by Martin Paul Gardiner

Electronics and software development engineer and founder of GSA Golf

The GSA Golf range of golf 3D graphics software and electronic hardware is being updated with new features continuously. 

New Features are being added and mods being made on nearly a daily basis so please check here regularly for your free updates.


GSA Control Panel (CP) update V.8.4.7.3 - Windows 7 / 8 / 10 version

May 27 2016

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

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


May 27 2016

V 8.4.7.3

CTS

More CTS improvements

Updates include:

1. New default values for both SD and HD model CTS camera settings - which are automatically applied when starting this CP version

2. Images of the selected CTS model type is displayed in the camera window.

This was done as it is important that the selected CTS model corresponds to the actual model being used and an image of the model type will help identify the model.


May 19 2016

V 8.4.7.0

CTS -SD (standard definition ) lens

Using the Standard definition lenses, the image is only half the size but still works well. Today's CP was tested with SD lenses and some small mods have been made.

CTS - Left / Right stripe

When using a white stripe on woods, some may prefer the face angle detection to be on the left side of the stripe nearest the leading face edge rather than the right side of the stripe.

I've therefore added an option button for this. Note that this option is only if your not hitting too far on the up swing and exposing too much club face to the camera. (see below for details)

CTS - Using a white stripe on woods and drivers

Testing today revealed a small issue when using a white stripe on drivers and woods. When the face is exposed to the camera - as in the far left image showing the club striking the ball on the up swing - it can appear very bright.

This bright face can fool the software into assuming it is a white stripe so to counter this issue we are now scanning from right to left in order to detect the stripe from behind.

When using a white club though this method cannot be used so we have added white club detection so if the club is white then we scan from left to right

CTS users ! Don't forget to set the ball position

On the right hand side of the Ccam window in the CP is a setting called "Ball launch Position XY:"

Place a ball on the tee, soft or hard trigger the camera to grab a new frame and move the cross hairs to the center of the ball.

Ball position is used to determine club face deviation from sweet spot and is also used as a reference point when calculating what type of club is being used - i.e. wood or iron - which in turn is used to set the face point shift


V 8.4.6.8

F7 raw camera color image to clipboard

The F7 key now stores raw color camera images to the Windows clipboard.

This feature is useful during support when we require the raw camera image along with the CP screen shot in order to exactly reproduce any issues.

CTS

Detecting face angle of woods / drivers with a curved and bulged face

The above images shows how the new CTS software detects exact club face angle of a bulged face driver under good lighting conditions.

The face itself - which is bulged and curved - is ignored and only the top leading edge - which is straight - is being used.

Note that this method does not always work as it depends on a strong face to leading top edge color transition and ideal lighting.

It is therefore recommended to use a white strip on woods or drivers.

CTS wood / driver issues

Today's CP update includes updated CTS wood/driver club face detection.

Image 1:

This club image shows no clear transition between the club face and the black top leading edge due to flash lighting reflections. None the less, the new updated CTS software has detected the correct face angle.

Image 2 and 3

The problem here is that the club face is too dark for the software to detect a face/top transition as in image 1 so it detects the face itself. The CTS has still detected the correct face angle but this can't always be guaranteed.

Placing a white stripe on the top leading edge always works though. (Image 2)

Images 4 and 5 show no issues with face angle detection with irons.

BTW we know of no other golf simulator company in the world that can detect face angle on woods and drivers using cameras without tracking dots so GSA Golf is a pioneer in this field at present.


May 11 2016

CTS wood / driver issues

The above image shows the sort of problem that can occur with woods and drivers that have a face bulge.

In order to detect the correct face angle with woods and drivers, the exact beginning and end of the face must be detected otherwise face angle detection will not be correct.


What's required is to detect the top leading edge of the wood or driver (image left) as this is usually straight and thus the face angle is as easy to detect as with irons (image right)

As this software has already been developed - but recently dropped with the newer IBS method - we'll be re-introducing it for woods and drivers.

This CTS software update should be ready sometime next week.


May 10 2016

More improvements to CTS color camera club face angle detection

CTS image processing now detects what type of club is in the image (iron, wood, driver etc) and automatically adjusts face length and shift for the type of club.

Right click on the "Defaults" button in the Ccam window if using this new update

V 8.4.6.0

New dual IR LED lighting

The 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.


May 8 2016

Web site product updates

Many new updates on our product range are now published on the GSA Golf web site.

In particular: VisTrack, Bcam ball spin cameras, CTS systems and PX systems etc.

 

V 8.4.5.9

Image tearing

Image tearing - as shown in the above image sent in by a customer recently - is where the images of 2 or more cameras get mixed up.

The problem is caused by too much data coming in on the USB bus at the same time causing the bus to overload and drop data.

The issue is often only sporadic and usually only arises on slower PCs.

The usual method of fixing this problem is to either add a separate USB PCI card to the PC or replace the PC with a faster one.

The issue is primarily with the ball tracking cameras (V and H cams) that get triggered at the same time - in contrast to the CTS camera which is triggered a few milliseconds beforehand by the club.

A possible additional solution to this problem is to add a trigger delay to one of the ball tracking cameras so that they are not sending data on the USB bus at the same time.

We have therefore added a trigger delay to the Hcam camera which users can experiment with to see if this helps.

Note that some adjustment to the scan zone area in the Hcam window maybe required as the ball will appear in the image further to the left.


May 7 2016

CTS flash tubes

Two VistTrack CTS customers to date have reported that the Xenon flash from the CTS unit can trigger the ball tracking line scan camera.

To counter this problem we are now fitting lens extension tubes over the flash outlets that prevent the light getting into the LineScan camera.

This tube is a free upgrade for those CTS customers that experience this problem.


May 6 2016

V 8.4.5.7

CP full screen or windowed option activated. Select option from bottom of Setup window

Video stream mode for CTS color cameras activated. This feature constantly streams images to the screen which is useful when aiming and focusing the CTS camera

CTS color camera image processing improved

Bug fix: CX2/CX3 "putting mode / normal shot mode" switching not functioning correctly when camera assignments are not in numerical sequence (i.e. 0,1,2,)

The above statement may not make much sense if you don't know what camera assignments mean, so to clarify:

When plugging in 2 or 3 or more cameras to the PC, the GSA Golf Control Panel expects cam 1 to be the Vcam, cam 2 the Hcam and cam 3 the Ccam.

Depending on your PC and OS, this may not always be the case so you must then re-assign the cameras in the Vcam, Hcam and Cam order by selecting the camera in the CP's camera window

and holding down the Ctrl/Shift keys on your PC's keyboard, move the camera assignment using the keyboard's left and right arrow keys.


April 22 2016

Recommended flooring layouts

New 20 amp power unit for KX

KX production has been delayed mainly due to the power unit and cabling. Both these problems are now solved with this new power and cable management unit.


April 20 2016

New IR LED lamp !

Can eliminate the need for a treated floor scan area

New wide angle IR Iluminator tests

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

Price of this IR LED Illuminator is $69.00 with 12 volt power supply

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

The image above/mid shows no bad reflections from the green turf mat (above/left). Whereas the 196 lamp on the same turf mat has a very intense reflection (image above right)


April 19 2016

Pros and Cons of CTS Color vs CTS tracking dot

Click above to read about pros and cons of these two club tracking systems


V 8.4.5.1

More improvements to CTS Color camera club tracking

Better toe and heel detection

For tracking dot club detection users :

Improved single trace detection

When only a single trace line is detected - so that club face can't be detected - then club face is calculated using both club path and ball path

Bug fix:

Left / right ball speed adjustments weren't being applied to the CP's carry distance calculator which caused a large difference in the CP's carry and the game software's carry.

More about the flooring scan area


April 11 2016

V 8.4.4.8

Improved CTS Color camera club tracking

Ability to work straight with the club IBS image. i.e. while making adjustments, the results are shown more clearly in the IBS image rather than the color image.

When using just a single tracking dot on a club with the standard CX3, club face angle is now calculated using both ball and club path angles.


April 8 2016

CX3 single club trace face angle

V 8.4.4.7

When using just a single tracking dot on a club with the standard CX3, club face angle is now calculated using both ball and club path angles.

Note that this feature is only for CX3 systems using club tracking dots and not CX3c color club tracking cameras that don't require tracking dots.

CX2/CX3 ball tracking IR LED lamp

A number of CX customers have expressed their doubts recently that a single IR LED lamp is sufficient for the ball tracking

The above 2 images - that are direct from a customer remote support session today - show that the ball traces using just the supplied single IR LED lamp are perfect.


April 6 2016

Camera de-activation time now user adjustable

(Note to E6 testers : E6 launch flag is reset during the de-activation period)

V 8.4.4.6

Camera de-activation is used to prevent either the following club re-triggering the cameras (if it goes into the FOV of the camera)

and/or to prevent balls bouncing and rolling back off the screen and again re-triggering the cameras so that the image gets lost when the user wants to check the camera images after a shot.

The usual de-activation time is 5 seconds but as this may be too long for some - i.e. if scooping a ball back to the hitting mat and then immediately taking a shot - we've made this time user adjustable.

The camera de-activation time control is at the lower right end of the controls in the Hcam window. Note: this update is a user requested update

The X1 golf simulator has now been replaced by the F1 ($6,999) and F2 ($ 12,999)


April 3 2016

Greatly improved color camera face angle detection

V 8.4.4.4

Today's CP version features a radically changed and improved face angle detection method for the color club tracking camera(s).

In order to achieve this, the club type (i.e. iron, wood or driver) had to be identified in order to automatically adjust the max face width so that the two face points are evenly spread on the face leading edge.

When using this version, ensure that "HD lens" is selected when using the CTS color camera with a zoom lens or that "SD Lens" is selected when using standard lenses. After which, right click on the defaults button.

Hook/Slice control for CX2 or CX3 with single trace dot club tracking

In addition to fade and draw control for CX2 or CX3 single trace tracking, you can now adjust for hooks and slices with this slider bar as well.

Face angle and relative to path face angle now also shown in Hcam window

Fade/Draw/Hook/Slice slider bar now in standard monochrome Club tracking dot camera

Use this to set face angle for amount of fade/draw or hook/slice when using a single tracking dot on Irons

New control for Fade / Draw / Push / Pull / Hook / Slice ball trajectories with CX2

Click the above button to read how to setup the CX2 for fades and draws

Face point shift and other club tracking features added to color camera club tracking

Improved club tracking setup instructions


March 26 2016

New color camera club tracking method

Using a new method - which I call "Reverse Image Background Subtraction" - GSA Golf color camera club tracking has been immensely improved

No matter what color the club is (other than green of course) it will always be detected

Even old scruffy vintage wooden clubs are detected

And of course - all irons are now easily detected

The process involves identifying the background (not easy) and instead of removing it - as with normal IBS (Image Background Subtraction) - we remove anything in the image that is not the background -

which leaves a perfect silhouette of the club that we then pass through the normal club face detection routines.

This new software is being used in all the KX, CTS, VisTrack and CX3c / CX4c systems.

March 23 2016

ProX updates will be coming later next month

Major update in cooperation with a specialist software company for stereoscopic vision software coming next month too


March 11 2016

VisTrack / CTS trace club tracking option

You can now optionally switch to trace dot tracking with VisTrack and CTS systems.


March 9 2016

V 8.4.2.4

New control for Fade / Draw / Push / Pull ball trajectories with CX2

-

You can now control the amount of ball flight curve for fades and draws with CX2 systems or when a CX3 system doesn't detect club face angle.

The slider bar in the Hcam window of the CP controls the percentage of ball path used to calculate face angle. If set to 100% then the club face will be set to the ball path angle which will result in pure pushes and pulls -

i.e. there will be no curve in the ball flight and the ball will fly straight left or right in-line with the ball direction.

If the setting is set less than 100% then the ball flight will start to curve to produce fades and draws.

e.g. If set to 50% and the ball path was 10 degrees left, the club face will be set to 5 degrees closed which equates to a - relative to ball path - 5 degree open club face which in turn will produce a fade. i.e. ball starts off left and curves back right

If set to 0% the club face will be set to zero (square) and the fade will be more pronounced. Likewise, if the ball path is right, the ball will start off right and curve back left to produce a draw


Note that all SX line scan cameras are now supplied with a remote sensitivity control that saves you from having to climb up a step ladder to make adjustments


February 15 2016


January 16 2016

New CX2 with TGC software video

Many thanks to Keith in Canada for posting this on YouTube


Remote Line Scan camera sensitivity control

If using the CX or Vistrack systems in areas with varying ambient lighting conditions, then you'll like this.

The remote LS sensitivity control comes with a 20 ft cable and saves you from having to climb up a step ladder every time you need to adjust the sensitivity.


Super Improved fades and draws in E6 when using CX or LX systems

Super Improved fades and draws in E6 when using CX or LX

Up until now E6 with GSA Golf CX systems has been way too forgiving with hardly a draw or a fade in sight. Not anymore with this CP update though. Super fades, draws, hooks and slices and now standard if not hitting straight.

BTW just in case you want to run E6 in a Window instead of full screen mode (great for testing with the CP) then do the following:

Open the defaults.stg file in the TruGolf folder with Windows Notepad and change the bWindowed="False" entry to bWindowed="True"


 

 

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