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.
Click on site map for all installation links
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GSA Control Panel (CP) update V.18.104.22.168 - Windows 7 / 8 version
November 25 2015
The current update download has an installer. Just click on the Install button after down loading and running.
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
Download Visual Studio Windows 8 x86 runtime components here
Click the above image to download the full version of the GSA Golf Control Panel (V.22.214.171.124)
Click the above image to download the GSA Golf single course software.
Course can be played with the Control Panel via either a mouse or manual launch parameter setup for evaluation.
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\System32 and Windows\SysWow64 folders.
Download here d3dx9_30.dll
The above API / SDK can be used to interface GSA Golf products to other golf game software
GSA Golf Kits
Assemble yourself and save even more money
Click on the above link to purchase GSA Golf products at the component level
Sales or Support ?
Due to the heavy work load on at the moment with development and fulfilling orders we may not always be able to get to the phones.
If you have questions or require support please e-mail and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
Remote access support is free of charge so please contact us if you are having setup problems. Click above "TeamViewer" image to download free of charge.
Please also note that we are closed on weekends and national holidays and that telephone office hours are 10 am to 4 pm.
GSA Golf are constantly researching and working on improvements to their product line.
If we find better methods and improvements for any processes we pass them on to our customers free of charge to ensure that their investments are secured.
November 27 2015
coming soon : VisTrak
The VisTrak system uses a single overhead color camera to capture club face angle, ball path, launch angle, speed and spin rates.
Note : A VisTrak Pro version will additionally capture club path and speed. Standard VisTrak calculates these values from ball data
As essentially all the development of these features has already been done, product launch should only be a few weeks away
How VisTrak works:
The camera video streams images until a ball on the tee or hitting position is detected. It's position and any markings on the ball are then stored in memory
A tiny microphone in the overhead camera captures the moment of club to ball impact and triggers the flash and camera with a programmed delay.
Club data is captured using a less than 80 micro second high speed flash image to freeze frame the club just after impact.
Depending on the speed of the ball, the ball after impact will be appear in the image a certain distance from where it was originally on the tee. As this distance movement is directly proportional to the speed, accurate ball speed can be calculated.
Ball path can also be clearly seen and measured.
Ball launch angle is calculated by measuring and comparing the size of the ball images before and after impact. As the camera is overhead mounted, the ball image size will increase the higher the ball is. i.e. the nearer the ball is to the camera, the larger the ball image will be.
Ball spin rate is calculated by measuring the amount of rotation the logo or markings have made from tee to launch capture while any horizontal rotation between the images is used to calculate side spin.
When not using balls with markings on them, the system will calculate spin rates form ball and club data. In any case, the system always measures ball trajectory accurately whether it be fades, draws. hooks, slices, pushes or pulls and any combination there of.
Considering VisTrak's great features (capturing both ball and club data for both left and right handed player) together with its super low price, we expect it to be a very successful product in the golf simulator industry and thus it will have its own web site.
www.VisTrak.com Not up yet but should be sometime in January
Other features include:
VisTrak runs with all TGC, E6 and RedChain golf simulation software.
VisTrak comes complete with two golf courses plus driving range
VisTrack can be used with any hitting mat. (i.e. it does not require our trigger mat and does not require an optical sensor trigger)
No setup required - essentially plug and play
In contrast to floor mounted camera launch monitors, VisTrak works for both left and right handed players in the same flight without having to move the unit around
In contrast to all those optical sensor pads and mats on the market that - because they are being subjected to violent shocks from the club hitting them and thus break down regularly - VisTrak will last a lifetime without any issues.
A stand will be offered for those that want the system to be portable.
Reseller inquiries welcome
VisTrak will be available via resellers world wide
Great for commercial indoor golf facilities
No need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a golf simulator suitable for indoor golf facilities anymore.
Customers won't want to see optical sensor pads for their money and you won't want a floor mounted launch monitor that can be damaged or stolen.
VisTrak is the ultimate in reliability too. It will never break down
November 26 2015
Happy Thanksgiving to all
from your GSA Golf team
Note that we are closed all day today
November 25 2015
We're investing a good 40 to 50 hours a week testing various clubs with the CTS now. Today's CP results can bee seen by clicking on the above image
November 24 2015
CTS Pro Color now available in both HD (Hi definition) and SD (Standard definition) versions
CTS Pro SD Price $ 2,799.00
CTS Lite SD Price $ 1,999.00
The above two images are from the new CTS Pro SD version. For all intents and purposes the SD - Standard Definition - version of the CTS is just as good as the HD (Hi Definition) version.
the terms HD and SD are somewhat misleading here as the cameras in both versions are exactly the same. The only difference between them is the lens.
The HD version features a powerful zoom lens that allows us to zoom in close on the club whereas the SD version has a standard non zoom lens.
In order to prevent the club shaft from being picked up as part of the club face (as in the above left image) a new max club face length number has been added to the CP.
Measured in pixels, it should be set to around 100 for the SD version and 200 for the HD version of the CTS.
November 23 2015
Lower cost CTS Pro
In an attempt to lower the price of the CTS Pro system, we're experimenting with new lower cost lenses which - up until now - having been costing $600.
Together with other cost cutting measures this could bring the price of the CTS Pro down from $4,499 to $2,799
New casings for CTS Pro color camera club tracking system
Development projects on hold.
USB 3 video stream cameras
We've taken this development to a working stage now but don't see any major advantage in it and as the price is so high (due to the fact that a fast PC is required for every camera) it wouldn't be a commercially viable GSA Golf product. i.e. very few customers would buy it.
IBS (Image Background Subtraction) for our color club tracking systems is still not functioning as well as thought and as the standard color club detection is working so well for the vast majority of clubs on the market, we see no pressing need to pursue this method for the moment.
November 22 2015
Stereoscopic vision camera setup and CP
Basic stereoscopic vision camera setup instructions are now ready, Click on above image.
Many new improvements have been made to the software too.
CP update for stereo vision:
November 19 2015
CX Hcam update
A couple of updates today in the Hcam image processing
1. Putt distance is now correctly estimated when not using any game software. i.e. using just the CP
2. Small bits of bright debris in the FOV of the Hcam camera were being picked up as part of the trace. Now fixed with this version of the CP.
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"
November 15 2015
TaylorMade mini driver
It seemed to me that over the years that driver club heads have gotten way too large. At least for my tastes. I often found that I would prefer to tee off with a 3 wood than use one of those huge bulbous drivers.
Fortunately TaylorMade have come up with the ideal solution for golfers like myself. The AeroBurner Mini Driver. It's between a 3 wood and driver (both in size and loft) and that's exactly what I'd been looking for.
Click the above images to see a video review of this great new club. It's just $179 too so won't break the bank. I got mine today and got a pretty consistent 230 yards straight down the line on the driving range. Love it !!!
And - of course with that beautiful white top - it works perfectly with the CTS Color club tracking camera.
USB 3 cameras
We're currently developing the software to detect ball data using free running USB 3 cameras that will eliminate the need for the line scan trigger camera.
As this method detects the ball on the tee or hitting area for every shot, ball path can be more accurately measured when varying the hitting position. In addition, inadvertent ball launches when not using a club tracking camera (i.e. CX2) will be prevented.
The main disadvantages to using this method is that a fast PC with USB 3 PCI adapter card will be required and that the entire range from tee position to screen has to be adequately illuminated with IR light.
For existing CX customers that may want to upgrade to USB 3 cameras, there will be an upgrade kit priced under $1000. Standard new CX systems using USB 3 cameras will also be around $1000 extra.
November 14 2015
Improved CTS color club face detection
Standard CTS color club face detection has been improved in this version of the CP
CTS club detection using IBS development
IBS methods are still in development. Main issue is that the background mat image without a club doesn't always match the mat image with the club although the images are captured at nearly the same time.
In this case, subtracting the background mat pixels from the foreground mat pixels leaves white noise all over the resulting image and the club face detection fails.
Note that the new IBS feature is in beta test mode only until further notice
The above images show that the current CP's IBS (image background subtraction) functions perfectly when the background image is very near identical to the background in the club image
Problems, however, occur when the background in the club image changes slightly (due to slightly different flash intensities or variations in the way the camera captures and converts color into RGB pixels).
We can reduce the noise to an extent by allowing more color variation tolerance in the subtraction process but then the club itself starts to loose definition as well.
If the mat was a pure uniform green - like a sheet of paper - then there'd be no problem but grass fiber mats produce millions of varying small reflections that change with every image capture.
I knew there'd be some variation but quite surprised that the variations are so dramatic even though - to the human eye - the backgrounds appear absolutely identical.
Still, we're working on it and I'm sure we'll have a solution soon.
Until then though, this new IBS feature is in beta test mode only until further notice
Vcam Trace tapering
As measured ball speed is directly proportional to the length of the ball image trace , it's important that the ball trace from beginning to end is well illuminated.
With really fast high speed shots, it is possible that the ball won't be sufficiently illuminated to leave a solid trace and appears to taper out towards the end.
The image processing software in this case won't detect the full length of the trace and thus the measured ball speed will be too slow.
In order to avoid this problem additional illumination (either IR LED or Halogen) has to be added further ahead towards the screen
CTS club detection using IBS
A couple of new functions have been added to the CTS IBS.
"Show IBS back image" displays the captured background image
"Soft trigger with flash" enables the Xenon flash when soft triggering
There's still a fair amount of work to be done yet on the IBS software but we're getting there.
Note that the new IBS feature is in beta test mode only until further notice
November 11 2015
CTS club detection using IBS
CTS IBS is now available with this version of the CP.
Click the above button to see how to set it up.
Improved trace checking
For CX2 users, there's now improved trace checking that helps prevent inadvertent ball launches when walking in the FOV of the cameras.
November 10 2015
CTS club detection using IBS
Using IBS (image background suppression) the CTS can now detect any club no matter what its color is or how dark it is or what ever color variations appear on the club
Even woods made of real wood with no metallic faces can be detected.
IBS for CTS software will be ready later this week.
November 8 2015
Improved CTS color club face detection
The new CTS club tracking software now detects face angle of drivers/woods that don't have bright metallic faces or a white stripe on them. (Image left)
In addition, the club type (wood or iron) can be detected and whether or not the club has a white stripe on it.
November 7 2015
CTS color club face detection
The challenge this week with the CTS software is to detect the club face angle of woods and drivers that have a relatively dark face and a black or dark top as shown in the above left image
The above center and right test images show that face angle detection with clubs that feature a white stripe is easily detected.
Clubs that either don't feature a bright club face or have no white face outline on them require a more sophisticated method.
The method involves:
a) identifying if the club is a wood/driver or an iron.
b} does the club top feature a white band or stripe or is the top of the club a brighter color than the underlying surface and club face.
c) identifying the color of the club top
d) scanning for the transition points between the club face and the club top color in order to detect the face angle
November 6 2015
CX cameras in Panel casings
We're just shipping a number of CX2 systems in Panel casings to our distributor in Italy today and thought I'd take a couple of snaps of them before they get boxed up as they - we think at least - look so cool.
Note that the SX line camera is built into the Hcam camera casing with panel casings.
November 4 2015
CX left / right shot detection range
One current issue we have with a customer in Quebec Canada at the moment is the detected ball path left and right range. ie; balls going further than 2 feet left or 2 feet right are not being detected.
We suggested adding more lighting left and right and possibly adding more line scan cameras but a simple solution would be to simply move the hitting position further forward towards cameras or move the cameras - including the IR LED lamp - further back towards the player.
To-date we have been recommending that the ball hitting position be at least 6 feet behind the cameras but we're now thinking that 4 or even 3 feet would work just as well and thus increase the ball left/right ball path detection range.
Using the new "Scan left to right feature" would eliminate the issue of the club head entering the FOV of the cameras and the left / right ball path range would be significantly improved.
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.
November 3 2015
Taylor Made's new M1 driver with CTS
The CTS software has now been modified to detect accurate club data with clubs like the M1 driver from Taylor Made that feature a dark club face and a white top.
The new CTS software mod scans the club image to determine the color of it's top and accordingly changes the face detection to this color. Face angle detection is then the transition points to this color instead of the face itself.
The new method also works with pink clubs.
CP update with this feature will be ready by the weekend.
October 29 2015
LX Pro / Bcam - possible hang fix
There's been a couple of reports recently that the latest CP versions for the LX Pro or Bcam camera can hang - i.e. the Wait Cursor Hour Glass remains on during the auto alignment process after a shot.
This has now been located and fixed. Cause: With the introduction of the recent color to monochrome image conversion functions, frame pointers for the LX weren't being set correctly.
October 28 2015
Artificial turf Anti reflective treatment tests
Click the above image to see the results of some grass turf anti reflective treatments
October 26 2015
LX Pro - improved draws and fade detection
LX Pro hardware updates
All new LX launch monitors now feature 3 switchable trigger modes: internal IR sensor, external trigger mat and internal mic triggers.
October 22 2015
New default values for left / right speed adjustments
Calibration was done using a white yard stick to simulate a constant ball trace. Ball speed measured with these settings was the same when ball path was 20 degrees left, straight and 20 degrees right.
Color camera to monochrome image conversion.
Using a color camera for functions other than a color CTS (for example switching a color CTS camera to a ball spin camera or switching from color CTS to tracking dot CTS) the image must be converted to monochrome.
Use the new "Using color camera" option in the camera window to activate this.
October 20 2015
It's crazy time at GSA Golf again
Essential the whole summer has passed with only a handful of sales and now the orders are flooding in.
5 CX3c'orders alone today and 2 confirmed orders for our new F( full scale) simulator series since the weekend too.
Of course we're very pleased with all this but - as we can't gear up for volume sales so fast - order lead times are increasing. At present 10 days so please be patient if ordering new products.
BTW there's lots of new installation tips and enclosure products on the "Enclosures" and Installation pages now.
October 13 2015
New F2 full scale system
New F1 full scale system
October 11 2015
New F3 full scale system
If using the new RAW angle method to measure launch angle instead of measuring launch angle from a predefined position, this updated version of the CP will automatically switch back to a predefined launch position if the ball speed is below 20mph.
This is to prevent incorrect and possibly negative launch angles being measured when chipping.
October 8 2015
Up until now the system has been scanning from right to left to detect the ball trace in the Vcam.
The problem with that has been the club head may occasionally enter the valid FOV of the camera as well as the ball and be picked up instead of the trace itself. The above image demonstrates this.
Using the new "Scan Left To Right" setting solves this problem. Note: This setting is now default.
Raw Angle / Launch Angle
If you like you can now switch to Raw launch angles. The raw angle is the angle between the start and the end of the trace instead of between the defined ball launch position and the beginning of the trace.
Use the new "Use RAW launch angle" button to switch this on or off.
Note that when using raw angles the angle measured between small traces won't be so accurate and when chipping, the ball may already be on the downward path in which case the ball launch reading will be negative.
October 4 2015
Click above to see New CTS results
September 29 2015
New algorithm to calculate club face angle for fades, draws, hooks and slices
The previous method worked well with TGC software but not with RedChain and E6 which was just producing pushes and pulls without or little curve in the flight.
Note CX2's have no club tracking hence it has to be calculated from ball tracking data.
CX Camera Systems
Software installtion and PX2/PX5 sensor mat
Club track camera installation
Ball Spin camera
Click above buttons to see customer tech support examples
You can purchase all GSA Golf Products direct from this web site or via any of our resellers
Click above to see a list of all GSA Golf resellers