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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.8.4.8.1 - Windows 7 / 8 / 10 version

July 20 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


July 25 2016

Hcam putting

V 8.4.8.1

As putt detection with the Hcam is now the preferred method, the putting scaling factors in the Vcam and Hcams are now synchronized.

Before, there was some confusion as to which putting scale factor to use.

When adjusting putting ball roll distance, the estimated roll distance in feet is now displayed in the Hcam window.

Stray balls lying around on the floor in the Hcam's FOV are now detected and won't effect the ball path and speed calcualtions.


July 16 2016

New ProX update with installer Version 7.3.4.0

Note that this download is just an update and not the full version. You must have the full ProX package installed for it to run

Updates

1. Carry distance adjust can now be made during normal course play.

2. Smooth flag wave video playback.

Note that ProX free updates will be coming quite regularly now with improved graphics - moving water ripple, waving trees etc - improved flight trajectory and ball roll - and a new simplified menu system.

The water ripple effect is one of the more complex new features coming to ProX in the coming months requiring lighting, refraction and reflection calculations and bump map animation.

In contrast, the process I'm using for tree and plant animation is quite simple.


July 12 2016

CTS Pro and CX4 club tracking camera system

We've added a 4 position rotary switch that adjusts the time delay between images on the CTS Pro dual camera system.

The aim should be to get the distance between the two images of the club as long as possible without the club in the second image reaching the ball.

The adjustments should be made to suit your fastest club speed.

Frame image time delays are:

1.1 ms for a club distance traveled between frames of 4.47 cm at a club speed of 100 mph

1.6 ms for a club distance traveled between frames of 7.157 cm at a club speed of 100 mph

2.1 ms for a club distance traveled between frames of 9.47 cm at a club speed of 100 mph

2.6 ms for a club distance traveled between frames of 11.62 cm at a club speed of 100 mph


June 30 2016

CP occasionally not switching back to normal play mode after going into putting mode with E6

V 8.4.7.8

After putting with E6 and then moving on to the tee of the next hole, it has been reported that shots weren't always being detected.

Turns out that the PuttingMode/ NormalMode switching wasn't always kicking in correctly.

This version of the CP checks for this situation 60 times a second now so this will solve the issue.


June 27 2016

How to determine what USB ports are sharing a USB bus on your PC

There's a new section on the Camera Install page that will help you determine what USB ports on your PC are using a shared USB bus and what not.

It's important that multiple cameras are each connected to separate USB buses.

Also on that page, info on using powered hubs.

Quad channel USB controllers

We're currently testing new quad channel USB host cards that feature a dedicated USB channel for each port.

With these cards up to 16 cameras can run at full frame rate without any image tearing or power loss drop outs on a single PC.

Note that most ports on PC mother boards - and on basic low cost USB PCI adapters - use only a single channel and the ports (usually 4) are all shared on this single channel.

Connecting multiple USB cameras on to a single USB channel can cause image tearing and power loss drop outs so if you are experiencing such issues then

either additional multiple single channel cards should be added to the PC (i.e. one for each camera) or a quad channel USB card should be added..

The advantage of a quad channel card is that it only requires one PCIe slot on the PC mother board and most PC's only have one or two free PCI slots.


June 24 2016

New CTS lens

Testing of the new CTS lenses are complete.

Use of these new fixed focal length lenses (now 35mm) produce HD images just as good and large as the previous expensive HD variable focal length zoom lenses

so we can offer CTS systems at a lower price now and reduce the range down 4 to 2 CTS units (both HD).


June 17 2016

New CTS -SD (standard definition ) lens

I'm not too happy with the present SD lenses for CTS systems so we're trying out new Fixed Focal Length zoom lenses this week.

Two versions are being tested - 50 mm and 70 mm - which are, in comparison the the regular zoom lens, far less expensive and should do the same job and replace the current 16mm SD lenses.

Shipments of CTS systems are thus on hold until tests are completed which should be Monday or Tuesday of next week.


June 15 2016

V 8.4.7.6

Screen and "direction of play" symbols have been added to the camera windows so that new time CP users are aware of the correct camera orientation. i.e. always from right to left.

Numerous times during support sessions with new customers we have noted that this fundamental setup is not being observed so we're hoping this may help.

In addition, line scan cameras are often mounted incorrectly, ie not perpendicular to the direction of play as described in the setup pages, There's a "screen" with "direction of play" arrow on the Line Scan camera but as it's a tad small is often overseen.


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 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 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

 


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


 

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

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

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


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"


Installation

Here's our top of the line golf simulator - $ 79,000

Porsche 911 sports car included !

Just kidding of course but some of our competitors are actually asking $ 79,000 but without the Porsche