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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


GSA Golf Control Panel (CP) downloads

GSA Control Panel (CP) update V.8.6.1.7 - Windows 7 / 8 / 10 version

March 21 2017

Update your current Control Panel with the latest GSA Golf CP version

Download standard configuration files hereHere

GSA Control Panel (CP) full version download

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

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

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


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

The PX 6 adds dual camera ball spin detection to the PX4

 


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.

PX2 shipment delays

There's been quite a considerable delay on shipping PX2 club tracking mats due to the suppliers not being able to ship the milled slotted fiber panels.

We have two suppliers for these milled slotted panels now and both have stated that they were shipped last Friday so we're expecting them either today or on Monday.


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 16 2017

Many new customers often miss the camera function assignment instructions so we're repeating them again here

Important ! --- Camera function assignments (CX systems)

In the control panel cam 1 is the ball launch angle camera, cam 2 is the ball path camera, cams 3 & 4 the club tracking cameras and cams 5 & 6 the ball spin cams.

Check that all cameras connected to the PC and go the "Cameras" window of the Control Panel

The control panel is designed to see the cameras in the following sequence

Camera 1 is the Vcam (The floor mounted Vertical ball launch camera in a CX2 to CX6 system)

Camera 2 is the Hcam (The ceiling mounted horizontal ball path camera in a CX2 to CX6 system)

Camera 3 is the Ccam (The ceiling mounted club tracking camera - frame 1 in a CX3 to CX6 system)

Camera 4 is the Ccam (The ceiling mounted club tracking camera - frame 2 in a CX4 to CX6 system)

Camera 5 (bank 2) is the Bcam ball spin camera - frame 1 (floor mounted in a CX6 system)

Camera 6 (bank 2) is the Bcam ball spin camera - frame 2 (floor mounted in a CX6 system)

To identify which camera is which you can click the "Soft Trigger" button to grab a new image or set the camera to "Video Stream Mode".

From the images you should be able to see what camera was being triggered.

If you find that cameras are not being assigned in the correct order then you can manually re-assign the cameras.

To do this, select the camera in the CP cameras window, hold both the shift and ctrl keys down, and press the left or right arrow keys to move the camera up or down the sequence.

Note that color cameras - as used in the CTS club tracking systems - will appear in monochrome if not correctly assigned. i.e. if a color CTS camera appears as camera 1 in the control panel then the images will show in monochrome instead of color. CTS color cameras must always be assigned to camera positions 3 or 4.


February 14 2017

V 8.5.9.1

IBS images now stored

IBS (Image background suppression) images are now stored and retrieved when closing and restarting the CP

6 cameras running on an HP Omen PC

We're currently testing multiple cameras on our recommended HP Omen PC

We added the "Rosewill" 4 port USB 3 PCI X1 card to the X1 slot in the HP Omen and connected 3 cameras to this board, 2 to the USB 2 ports on the back of the PC and one camera to the front end USB ports for a total of 6 cameras.

A powered USB hub was added to each camera so that 10ft of USB cable was used in between the PC and the hub and another 6 ft or so of USB cable was connected to the output of the hub to the cameras for a total of 16ft plus USB cable length per camera.

The result was that all 6 cameras worked perfectly.

We'll be testing simultaneous triggering of all cameras later this week.


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.

New: Curved screens

If you'd like a curved screen then you can use the standard frame pipe fittings with bendable carbon fiber rod

Quote from "www.draperinc.com"

Curved projection screens offer several key advantages over flat projection screens.

A curved screen helps offset pincushion distortion from a horizontal expansion lens, and also wraps the image around your periphery more than a flat screen for greater engagement with your projected image.

In addition, the curved image is subject to less ambient reflected light from your room, while your projector’s light is more accurately reflected by the perfectly smooth viewing surface for an ideal picture.

The amount of curvature is determined by the length of the "A rods" whereas the width of the screen is determined by the two "B rods"

A rods would normally be in the 3 ft range and B rods in the 7.5 ft range for a total width of 15 ft


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


January 24 2017

V 8.5.7.7

Launch Angle (LA) speed adjustments - Drives too long - short irons too short

In addition to left and right ball path speed adjustments, LA speed adjustments are also required as the higher the ball flies, the further the ball is from the floor mounted Vcam camera and thus the trace length will appear smaller.

The above image is of a white tube of a known and constant length that represents a ball trace. The trace length is 153 pixels and there is no LA speed adjustment.

The length of the trace here equates to a ball speed of 77.83 mph.

This image is of the same white tube only it's launch angle has been increased from 8.56 degrees to 31.97 degrees.

Notice that the ball trace length - due to the ball being further away from the camera - has decreased from it's original 153 pixels to 143 pixels.

Without any LA speed adjustment the ball speed would thus be calculated at a lower rate of 73 mph (from 77.83 mph) and if - in addition the LA speed adjustment is negative - the ball speed will be even lower (68.60 mph here).

To compensate for the decreasing ball trace length with launch angle the LA Speed should be set to around 21%.

This percentage is a percentage of the 60 degrees and starts to kick in at the user adjustable starting LA (in this case from 10 degrees).

Note that the current speed increase percentage is now also shown - in this case the ball speed was increased by 6.29% to bring the speed back up to it's correct speed of 77.8 mph.

Testing showed that the decrease in measured trace length ratio to ball height is quite linear so a smooth and gradual linear LA speed increase works well.

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.


 

Free Remote Access Support

Remote access support is free of charge with every purchase

Just contact us for your free remote access support apointment and we'll have your system up and running in minutes

Other than installing the software, mounting the cameras and lights, we do all the rest for you free of charge.

Note that for the free remote access support you will need to contact us (via e-mail or phone) at least 24 hours in advance for the appointment and that "TeamViewer" is pre-installed.

Click on the above "TeamViewer" image to download and install TeamViewer

Once you have received your Remote Support appointment confirmation via e-mail, call us at 239-529-3060 on the appointment date at the specified time.

Note that we are closed on the weekends so your appointment must be placed during the working week before 1 pm on Friday.

We do remote sessions on the weekends too but nevertheless the appointment has to be made during the week and be confirmed.

Please remember that remote support cannot be in anyway guaranteed if calling out of the blue without an appointment.

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


Factory

Based in Naples, Florida,

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