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Ball back spin, side spin and spin axis detection System

Add-on for CX2, CX3 or CX4 systems

Featured in CX6/F6 systems

Note that our ball spin detection cameras require that the ball has either a black manufacturer's logo on it or our special marked balls have to used.

Bcam Pro with dual cameras and PC

price: $ 2,999.00

Bcam Pro with dual cameras without PC

price: $ 2,399.00

Bcam Std with single camera

price: $ 1,699.00

The Bcam is either mounted at floor level placed at some 5 to 8 ft away from the hitting mat or overhead.

The Bcam ball spin camera system consists of a VisTrack Pro

(dual IR Xenon flash units, dual HD cameras with zoom lenses), cables and software.

The ball spin detection method consists of capturing 2 images of the ball in flight shortly after club impact to the ball.

The cameras and IR flash units are triggered by a single optical sensor in the hitting mat.

Note that the Bcam system requires that your PC has two free PCIe slots for quad channel USB adapters in order to connect up 5 or 6 cameras

Note that that if the Bcam is floor mounted then it can only be used for either a right handed player or left-handed player single time.

i.e. it cannot be used for both RH and LH players during a game.

If ceiling mounted then bot left and right handed players can use the system in the same flight.

The CX4 Surround features a smaller separate case

containing both the Ccam club tracking and Bcam ball spin cameras

mounted directly over the player's hitting position

Bcam Ball Markings

Regular golf balls without extra markings can be used with the Bcam as long as the logo is facing the camera

When using regular balls ensure that the logo is black and clearly defined.

For best results use balls like the Srixon range balls that feature large black stripes on both sides.

However, all Bcams can be supplied with special spin dot pattern balls that save the player from having to bend down and line up the ball logo or line to the cameras.

Bcam comes complete with trigger mat

Bcam ball spin detection cameras

How the Bcam measures spin and spin axis

  • The Bcam uses IR Xenon lighting and zoom lenses to capture two frames of the ball in flight
  • The IR Xenon lighting is required as the camera's shutter speed has to be very fast (typically less than 10 micro seconds)
  • to obtain freeze frame images of a ball possibly traveling in excess of 200 mph.
  • When the ball is hit, it will pass over a sensor in the trigger mat that will generate a trigger signal to the Bcam cameras.
  • Image processing measures the number of degrees the dots or logo on the ball has rotated and their side shift within
  • the frame time window
  • This information is then used to calculate the spin rate and spin axis.

The above images - from the Biomechanics department of MMU - show that the ball markings will remain in

view for the overhead mounted Bcam camera during the first few centimeters of flight.

Spin rate and spin axis are calculated from the number of degrees of rotation from the time the

ball passes over the trigger sensor and the set camera time delay.


Spin dot balls

  • The unit can also be used use with our proprietary spin dot balls
  • Using these high quality tournament balls saves you from having to bend down and align ball logo markings to the camera.
  • The dots are bake printed in 6 positions on the golf balls (top, bottom, left, right, back and front) and will eliminate the requirement
  • to manually align ball logos to the LX cameras.
  • 12 balls are free of charge to all Bcam customers. Additional balls are $4 each.
  • The above shows a typical image of a spin dot ball in flight captured with the Bcam

    The above image shows a composite of frames 1 & 2 as viewed from Bcam when side mounted.

    Note that when the Bcam is side mounted (up to 9 feet away), the system functions exactly the same as our LX Lite launch monitor.

    The main difference only being that the camera features a zoom lens and uses an IR Xenon flash instead of an LED flash.

     

    Click above image to see the Bcam in action when floor mounted

    Click above image to see the Bcam in action when overhead mounted

    Buy spin dot balls

    Price $ 49.00 for 20

    Please note: These spin dot balls only function with our Bcam ball spin cameras.

    Purchasing these balls for use without using our Bcam cameras is a waste of money as they will not help in detecting ball spin.

     

    Warning! International customers!

    Please note: This product is only available for this price for US resident customers only.

    Contact us if you are outside the US for a shipping quote for this product.

    If you're an international customer and ignore this warning and still click the "Buy Now" button to process the transaction

    then the product will not be shipped and a 20% refund charge will be applied.


    Detecting ball spin without markings


    Virtual Dots

    Please note: The Bcam will require a PC that is capable of running multiple cameras

    i.e. the PC will require a dedicated channel USB card to be fitted to the mother board.

    Alternatively, a second PC can be used. The second PC is then linked to the master PC that will be running the club and ball cameras.

     


    Bcam installation and setup for CX6/F6 systems

    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 Control Panel

    Cameras 5 and 6 on Bank 2 are the two ball spin cameras

    Cameras 3 and 4 on Bank 1 are the two club tracking cameras

    while cameras 1 and 2 are the ball tracking cameras

    New flash activation sensor in the trigger mat for CTS & Bcam systems

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

    The flash activation 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 flash sensor extends the life of the flash unit 10 fold

    The CX6 trigger mat features multiple trigger sensors

    There are 4 labeled 25ft long stereo cables on the trigger mat that are connected to the CTS and Bcam cameras

    The flash activation sensors that detect a back swing are optional but recommended

    Aiming the Bcam cameras

    The Bcam cameras should be aimed at the ball when on the tee position on the trigger mat.

    Set the shutter speed to around 10,000 (right click on the shutter speed to jump 10,000) and switch "Video Stream Mode" ON.

    You will then be able to see the ball in real time video.

    Adjust the lens focus dial so that the ball is in focus.

    Then switch back the shutter speed to around 80. (or right click to jump back to 80).

     

    Ball spin camera Lens focus when using IR light

    Due to the different wave lengths of IR and visible light, lens focus is also different.

    i.e. when a camera lens is focused on an object using visible light and you then take a picture using IR light, the object will appear out of focus.

    The above images show just how out of focus the golf ball is when using IR light compared to the focus of the ball using visible light.

    To correct this - as in the third image - the focus dial on the lens has to be turned very slightly anti-clockwise to the left after it has been focused in visible light..

    Check the focus by grabbing new images using either the "soft trigger" with the IR flash ON or by waving an object over the trigger mat sensor.

    Improved ball spin detection when using the ball logo as markings.

    V 8.6.8.7

    We've improved the ball logo detection in this version of the CP to work with out of focus ball images.


     

    Measuring ball spin using the ball's logo.

    Most will probably not want to use specially marked balls so we have developed the Bcam system to use the standard ball logo on the ball to measure ball spin and spin axis.

    New logo matching end detection.

    An issue with measuring ball spin using the ball's logo is that the correct matching ends of the logo must be detected in order to correctly measure the amount of rotation within the time frame..

    i.e. if one end of the logo is found in image 1 then that same end has to found in image 2. Failing to do this can result in very different ball spin rate measurements.

    The above two images show a ball spinning at a rate of 8321 rpm. We know this because the amount of rotation within the 1 ms frame delay was 149.78 degrees.

    And we only know the correct amount of rotation because the Letter "C" in the Calloway logo has been detected correctly in both frames. This is shown by the two red cross hairs over the letter "C".

    Without this new "Matching logo end detection" feature, the CP image processing may well get the ends mixed up and then a totally different amount of rotation will be measured

    (i.e. 30.22 degrees here) and thus a totally different and false ball spin rate will be calculated. (Note that the two sets of images are from the same shot.)

    As can be seen from the above two images, the letter "C" in the Calloway logo has not been detected in image 2 (i.e. there's a green cross hair on the "C" instead of a red cross hair).

    And thus a false spin rate measurement was calculated (i.e. 1678 rpm instead of the real 8321 rpm).

    It should be noted that not all ball logos have a dominant end and thus it may be required to use a black magic marker or black ink pen to accent one end of the logo.

    Note that measuring ball spin using the logo (or any marked balls like those with About Golf systems) is the only way a camera method of ball spin detection is able to do this in real time. i.e. without a long 2 to 4 second or so lag time (SkyTrak / GC2 etc).

    While radar systems (Trackman, FlightScope etc) require metallic dots be applied to the ball and the ball be placed with the dot facing upwards.


    Side Spin and spin axis detection

    Note that in reality a ball cannot have both back spin and side spin at the same time. In reality a ball has only spin and spin axis.

    Never-the-less, a theoretical side spin rate can be measured by the amount of horizontal rotation within a certain time period.

    And a back spin rate can be measured by the amount of vertical rotation within a certain time period.

    Side spin theory

    Side spin is imparted on the ball by the club face striking the ball with a relative-to-club-path face angle that is not square - i.e. open or closed.

    This open or closed club face relative to the club path will cause the ball's backspin rotation axis to shift off center.

    The above image shows ball spin without any side spin and 0 degree spin axis. The red line represents a line or logo on the ball.

    If the Bcam is overhead mounted (Top View), then the line will only move backwards in each frame if there is no side spin and the line will have the same angle in each frame.

    This backward movement is vertical rotation and is used to measure the back spin.

    If the Bcam is mounted at floor level (for a side view) and there is no side spin, the red line will continue to rotate around the initial center of rotation

    and the amount of rotation within a certain time period is used to calculate the back spin rate in rpm.

    The "ref frame" is a frame of the stationary ball on the ground or tee before being struck.

    The above image shows ball spin with side spin.

    If the Bcam is overhead mounted (Top View), then the line angle will have changed from the initial image of the ball on the ground or tee

    to a different angle after launch. This change in angle within a certain time frame is used to calculate the amount of side spin in rpm.

    If the Bcam is side mounted (side view), then the line will be seen as rotating around a different axis compared to the initial axis the line was on when on the ground or tee.

    We use this shift in spin axis to then calculate the side spin rotation in rpm.

    Spin axis theory

    Note that spin axis is never always on one plane. i.e. spin axis can have both a vertical and horizontal component to it. Thus spin axis is a 3D value.

    So when you see a launch monitor displaying a spin axis of 4 degrees left or right, it is not known whether this value is on the vertical or horizontal plane.

    As the real spin axis value can only described by a mathematical 3D vector - which most average golfers will have difficulty comprehending - it is simplified by reducing it to just the one plane.

    Just like side spin: it's not real but we can at least grasp its meaning.

    Bcam side view images

    The above shows real balls - viewed from the side - with a back spin rotation and rotation axis shift.

    Side spin can then be converted to spin axis.

    Note that both the single camera Bcam and dual camera Bcam Pro are both using reference frames now. i.e. images of the ball on the ground or tee are automatically captured.

    Bcam overhead view images

    The above images are from the Bcam when mounted overhead.

    Bcam overhead mounted images

    Left: frame 2 of full shot with 3 wood - Right: frame 1 of ball on mat hitting position

    Left: frame 2 of open faced 3 wood. Right: Composite of frames 1 and 2.

    Bcam control panel


    Bcam side mounted images

    Left: 9 iron shot using spin dots on ball ---------------------- Right: White head driver using line marking on ball

     


     

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