Club tracking camera
CTS Color Setup Instructions
The CTS club data detection system is an advanced dual color camera system that requires it's own separate PC
and may require a considerable amount of time and patience to setup.
If you are not prepared to invest this time and/or don't have sufficient technical abilities
the we don't recommend purchasing this product.
i.e. it's definitely not plug'n'play
Also note that the CTS - in all probability - will require that tracking strips be applied to the clubs
System includes electronically controlled (trigger & digital delay) Xenon flash(s), halogen lamp, zoom lens(es), HD color camera(s), trigger mat and 5 amp power supplies
- Note that the CTS Pro features two cameras and two flash units with two 2 x 5 amp power supplies
- 1. Using supplied mount fixture, mount camera with Xenon flash unit overhead directly over the hitting position or tee holder on the trigger mat.
- Note the "Screen ->" label on the unit. Rotate unit so that the screen arrow is pointing to the screen
- 2. Mount supplied halogen lamp overhead and next to CTS camera.
3. Position both the CTS unit and halogen lamp so that they point directly down onto the trigger mat.
- 4. Connect the 12 ft trigger stereo mat cables from the trigger mat to the extension stereo cables on the unit
- These cables are color coded: Green is the club trigger sensor and Yellow the flash activation sensor
- 5. Connect the 20 ft 5 amp power supply cable(s) to the power extension cables on the CTS unit
- The 5 amp / 12v power supplies feature 20 ft long cables so that they can be mounted on the floor. The power supplies run with either 120v or 240.
- 6. Run (120v/240v) power cables to feed both the halogen lamp and power supplies
- The CTS unit cameras have their 6 ft USB cables already attached internally. Use the supplied USB extension cables and powered USB hubs
- to extend the reach of the USB cables to the PC
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.
Testing the CTS unit
The above images show club face angle detection without having to apply white strips to the leading edge of irons.
Unfortunately this edge detection cannot always be guaranteed so we recommend applying the supplied white strips to all clubs
White strips on clubs
Note that most times it will be necessary to apply a white strip or tracking dots to the lower leading edge of irons and the top side of woods
1. Assigning the CTS camera(s) in the Control Panel
- With the CX3 system, camera 1 is the Vcam, camera 2 the Hcam and camera 3 is the CTS camera
- With the CX4 system, the CTS cams are cameras 3 and 4.
- Check that all cameras connected to the PC and go the "Cameras" window of the Control Panel
- To identify which camera is which you can click the "Soft Trigger" button to grab a new image. From the image you should be able
- to see what camera was being triggered.
- If you find that cameras are not being assigned in the correct order (usually due to the camera's serial number being out of sequence)
- 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. In the above image example,
- camera 1 has been assigned to Vcam even though it's serial number is higher than the Hcam.
- 2. Aiming and focusing the CTS camera
- Switch to the CTS camera (usually camera 3)
- To aim the camera, you'll first need to adjust the "Shutter speed" from its default of 80 to 10,000 ms.
- A fast method of doing this is to select the "Shutter Speed" and then right mouse click it.
- Alternatively you can step up to 10,000 using the shift key and arrow up keys.
- Ensure that the supplied halogen lamp is on and that the option "Soft trigger with flash" is off and
- switch to "Video Stream Mode"
- You should now see that new frames are being captured at around 12 fps.
- You may have to adjust the camera gain slightly if the images appear too dark or too bright.
- To help with orientation, place a golf ball on the tee holder in the trigger mat.
- The CTS unit uses a mount so that you can rotate and tilt the camera in any direction.
- Adjust the aim of the camera on the mount so that the ball appears more or less on the center line
- and towards the left of the screen
An optional extra projector mount is also available for the CTS.
Once this has been achieved, check that the focus is good. You should have a clear in focus image of the ball.
Use the lower ring of the lens to adjust the focus. Note that there are small grub screws that on the rings that may have to be loosened first.
Ensure that the top aperture ring is in the fully open position. i.e. on the opposite side of the "C" (closed) position.
- 3. CTS settings in the Control Panel
- Switch back to "Video Trigger Mode" and right click on the "Defaults" button to set all the settings to their default values.
- The values should look similar to those shown on the right side of the above image
- Grab a new frame by moving a club over the trigger sensor or by clicking the "Soft Trigger" button. Ensure that option
- "Soft trigger with flash" is back on.
- CTS LED indicators
- There are 3 or 4 LED indicators on the CTS unit.
- The red LED is for power
- The green LED is to show that the Xenon flash unit(s) are activated
- The blue LED(s) show the trigger signal from the trigger mat.
- These blue LEDs will normally be off and light up only when a shadow (ie from a club) is over the sensor in the trigger mat.
- If the blue LED is permanently on then this indicates that insufficient or no light from the overhead halogen lamp is getting on to the sensor.
- Ensure that the no grass fibers or any objects are blocking the light in the mat sensor hole and that the overhead halogen lamp is directly over the sensor hole in the mat.
Blue scan zone borders
The 4 blue scan zone borders (left, right, top and bottom) should be set so that the system only scans
for clubs in the limited area where the club is likely to be at impact to the ball.
- The ball itself should always be outside the scan zone (left scan zone border) while the others should
- surround the club as near as possible
- in order to prevent the club's hozel and shaft being detected.
- Essentially, we are only interested in capturing a confined portion of the club face.
- To set, swing a club over the mat and ball with the ball on its usually hitting position (i.e. on the white
- tee holder in the mat).
- Then, either drag the blue border lines to surround the club or select each border and move with the
- keyboard's arrow keys into position
- Ball launch position
- The ball launch position - which will always be the either on the trigger mat tee or tee holder -
- will have to be set in order that the CTS can measure the club's deviation from sweet spot.
- Select the "Ball launch position XY" and use the arrow keys to move the cross hairs to the center of the ball.
- Auto setting the ball position and scan zone borders
- You can also auto set the ball position and scan zone using the new "Set ball pos" function.
- Currently only for CX3c systems
To do this, place a ball on the mat and click the "Soft Trigger" button to grab a new frame.
Manually move the scan zone borders so that the ball is exposed within the scan zone as in the above image
Then just click the "Set ball pos" button.
Camera Shutter speed and Gain
Shutter speed should always be quite fast. It's default value is 80 micro seconds.
Gain may have to be adjusted to get a balanced image that is not too dark and not too bright.
Gain values will be in the 10 to 20 db range
Iron / Wood pixel counts
The system detects the club type (iron, wood or driver) by counting certain pixels in the image of the club.
Irons will have a smaller value than woods or drivers. Default values are up to 900 for irons, up to 1100 for woods and over 1100 for drivers.
The system uses this information to vary the measured club face length.
CTS Pro / CX4cc
The CTS Pro (as also used in the CX4cc) features two cameras that have to aligned so that the images of the club appear in the same plane.
- Important: Ensure that both the "X reversed" and the "Y reversed" options are switched
- OFF during the alignment process
- Important: Right-click on the "camera alignment" button to set them to 0,0 before starting the process..
- To align the cameras, place a ball on the mat, switch to the second CTS camera
- (that will be camera 2 in the CTS Pro or camera 4 with the CX4cc)
- click the "Soft Trigger" button to grab a new frame and click the "Align cameras Mode" option on.
- Move the left scan zone border further to the left so that the ball is in the scan zone
- The system will then automatically detect the ball (as shown in the above image).
- Switch to the first CTS camera
- (that will be camera 1 in the CTS Pro or camera 3 with the CX4cc)
- Move the left scan zone border further to the left so that the ball is in the scan zone and so that the
- ball is detected.
- Notice that the ball appears in different positions in the two frames.
- Switch back to the second CTS camera and click the "Align Cameras" button.
- The ball should now appear in the same position in the two frames.
- To confirm the alignment, soft trigger in both CTS cameras to see that the ball appears in the same position in both frames.
- Important: Finally, switch the "Align cameras mode" back OFF and re-adjust the left scan zone border
- (or any other borders) so that the ball is no longer in the scan zone.
- Note: if the ball is not found when in this mode, move the blue border scan zone lines closer to the ball.
- You may also have to adjust the "Camera gain"
- Note that if you require either or both X or Y reversed options to be ON then you can set these back ON now.
CTS Pro / CX4cc
Scaling and club speed
- The scaling factor is used to convert distances measured in pixels as seen by the cameras to real world distances
- in millimeters so that club speeds can be measured.
- In order to set the correct pixel to mm scaling factor, the measured diameter of a golf ball is used.
- As a golf ball has a constant and known diameter (42.67 mm) we can use this as a reference.
- During the align cameras procedure the ball size / diameter is detected (as shown in the above image at the top right side of the screen).
- It's size here is shown as 154 pixels.
- To set the scaling factor first select the "Scale" radio button on the right and then click the "Set scale" button.
- The scaling factor here is 0.227 which equates to a ball size of 42.66 mm (i.e. 154 x 0.227 = 42.66mm)
- You can also manually adjust this scale using the arrow keys
Frame time delay
- In order to measure club speed we need two variables: Distance and time for the formula speed = distance/time;
- The scaling factor mentioned above is used to measured the distance the club has traveled within a certain time
- and Time is the trigger time delay between the two frames.
- If the time delay is zero then the images of the club will appear at exactly the same place which is of no use of course.
- The CTS Pro features a variable speed digital delay circuit that delays the trigger signal to the second camera so that we
- see two images of the club.
- There's is a dial on the CTS case side that allows the user to vary the delay.
- Usually position 1 is for very high club speeds, pos 2 or 3 for average club speeds and position 4 and above for slower club speeds
- The object of this is to get the two images as far apart as possible with a fast swing without the club actually making contact with the ball
- as any contact with the ball will cause the club face angle to shift and thus incorrect face angles will be recorded.
- Set the dial to suit your club speed and set the "Frame time delay" setting in the Control Panel to match the rotary switch position (i.e. 1,2,3 or 4).I
Click above image to see club image examples
Single Camera Club tracking without tracking dots
Note that we cannot guarantee that club face angle can be accurately detected without using either tracking dots of white strips on the clubs
Under ideal photographic conditions, the CTS color club tracking software can detect 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 usually be detected and whether or not the club has a white stripe on it.
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.
- Using a new method - which we call "Reverse Image Back Ground Subtraction" - GSA Golf color camera club tracking has been immensely improved
- 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 silhouette of the club that we then pass through the normal club face detection routines.
- Note that with most woods and drivers that feature a bulged face, a white stripe will be required to be adhered to the club's
- top leading edge in order to achieve face angle accuracy
CTS - Using a white strip on woods and drivers
When using a white stripe on drivers and woods and 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
The above images show what can happen when using a bulged face wood or driver club with and without a white stripe
The software couldn't detect the exact face angle of the wood without the stripe (image left) but could easily with the white stripe (image right)
Here a more extreme example with an out of focus wood club image
The club face angle is way off with the club without the stripe (image left) but - once again - could easily detect it with the white stripe (image right)
All CTS systems come complete with a set of pre-cut white self-adhesive strips for your woods and drivers
You can also make your own strips using sticky back photo paper
Sticky back photo paper is available at most office stores for $8,99 for a 25 pack (enough for hundreds of clubs)
Just cut to size and apply. Easy removable.
If your driver and / or woods already have a white stripe on them then you won't need to use the strips.
- Testing 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
What to expect when not using white stripes or tracking dots on woods and drivers
- Note: the above images are darkened to show the face angle cross hairs more clearly
- We always recommend applying a small white stripe (supplied) to the top of clubs with a bulged face
- (i.e. woods and drivers) to increase the face angle accuracy, however,
- as this may not always be practical - ie when the system is being used in a commercial indoor golf facility -
- we have made a few screen shots of what to expect when not using a white stripe on the woods and drivers.
- As you can see from the above images, the results are not too bad at all. Images 1 and 4 are dead on. Images 2 and 3 only
- slightly off and only image 5 - of an exaggerated open face - showing more of an issue.
- Note that irons have a straight leading edge face so these clubs don't require markings. Image 6 (not darkened) is of a wood
- with a white stripe.
- It's only the clubs with a bulged curved leading edge face that may occasionally not be quite as accurate but we think most can live
- with results like these.
White strips on Irons
Most times it will also be necessary to apply a white strip or tracking dots to the lower leading edge of irons too
The above images are of an old 2 iron that - although the face angle was detected without a white strip ( image left) , this cannot always be guaranteed.
The image on the right is with the white strip.
If there are any places on the mat that are reflecting light and causing face detection errors - as in the above left image -
you can set an invalid area spot over it. Size and position of the invalid are user definable (use ctrl/shift up and down arrow keys to adjust size)
As the CTS Lite and CX3c is using just one club track camera, club path is being calculated from a percentage of ball path in these systems.
This percentage can now be user adjusted as of this version of the CP
HD (Hi definition)
Hi Definition images
Dual Camera Club tracking
Club face angle before and at impact to ball
The CTS Pro uses two color cameras to capture two high speed freeze frame images just before impact to the ball
The above image shows a composite of both frames
Frame 1 is of the club 1 inch before impact to the ball
Frame 2 is of the club 4-5 inches before impact to the ball
The IBS background image can also be shown
CTS image brightness control
- The new CTS image brightness control attempts to increase the brightness of the club without increasing the brightness of the underlying surface mat.
- It is intended to be used for dull looking clubs or when the flash unit starts to lose power
- In addition, improvements to the face angle detection have been made with this version.
- 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
SX line scan camera issues when using the CTS
Depending on lighting conditions and the distance the CTS unit is away from the line scan camera,
the CTS flash may be picked up by the line scan camera which will interfere with the V and H cam ball tracking.
The minimum recommended CTS to SX line scan camera distance is 6ft.
If experiencing SX flash pick-up issues then the SX will have to be replaced with a trigger array that is not affected by CTS flashes.
CTS tracking dot modes
There are two types of tracking dot modes available with the CTS
1: Extended exposure time mode
2. Freeze frame mode
Extended exposure time method
The above image shows a wood using tracking dots with and extended exposure time
The dots leave two traces of the club traveling at high speed. These traces are then used to measure club speed, club face angel and path.
The main advantage of this method is that only one camera is required to capture all this data and there is no visible flash
Freeze frame method
The CTS freeze frame method uses a very fast (around 80 micro second) exposure time to grab freeze frames of the dots.
When using two cameras (as in the CTS Pro and CX4 system) the result is simply the most accurate and precise club tracking system on the market today.
CTS tracking dots
CTS running in tracking dot mode requires one or two reflective tracking dots be adhered to the top of each club.
Applying the 2 tracking dots is quite simple on woods, drivers and putters.
Just ensure that the 2 dots are in line as accurately as possible and are set reasonably far apart.
Also ensure that the surface of the club is clean and grease free before hand.
The top edge of irons and wedges may be slimmer than the diameter of the reflective dots in some cases but this is not a problem.
Just wrap around any overhanging edges to the back or face of the club.
For high lofted wedges we recommend that the dots be adhered to the lower side of the actual face of the club.
This ensures that they are more visible to the camera.
The CTS camera is triggered by a sensor in the supplied trigger mat.
The mat should be placed so that the overhead halogen lamp is directly over the sensor.
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
Replacing CTS Xenon flash units
Price $ 45.75
CTS Xenon flash units are rated to be good for 100,000 flashes before requiring replacement
Bower SFD728 CTS replacement Xenon flash units are available at any good photo store
New power battery terminal block for the CTS flash units
- The flash units in the CTS and ball spin cameras are commercial camera flash units that usually require batteries to run.
- As we didn't want users to have to regularly replace batteries, the flash units in the CTS and ball spin cameras are powered by external power supplies.
- In order to get power to the flash like this we had to solder on power leads to the battery terminals.
- Until now, replacing the flash units required soldering on new battery leads to the battery terminals on the new flash which was a tricky job as the
- terminals are deep down in the flash unit.
- This new power terminal block resolves this problem so that replacing the flash unit just requires inserting the terminal block in the new flash and re-connecting
- the power leads without any requirement to solder on new power leads.
Xenon flash unit with power battery terminal block
Price $ 79.00
All new CTS units are now supplied with the battery terminal block in the flash units so replacing a CTS Xenon flash is now quick and easy
Xenon flash units are available from around $45.00 from any good photo store
Customer objections to using tracking dots on their clubs
- A major critique we hear from many potential CTS customers is " I don't want to have to stick any kind of tracking dots or strips to my clubs"
- Well - unfortunately - there's no way to avoid this - as all other camera based golf simulator manufacturers have discovered.
- Even the most expensive camera based club tracking systems in the world - costing upwards of $18,000 - haven't figured this one out yet.
- Our R&D has come a long way to better the situation but - alas- it still isn't perfect so we're still recommending using either tracking dots or our
- supplied white plastic strips to be adhered to all clubs.
- Note that the tracking dots or strips we supply are easy to apply and remove and won't in anyway harm or damage the clubs.
- Oh - and by the way - if you're looking at a golf simulator manufacturer's product that claims that their camera based club tracking system tracks
- precise club data without tracking dots or markings,
- then don't fall for this marketing hype unless you see absolute concrete evidence to the contrary. Because otherwise it simply doesn't exist!
- Note that the below mentioned products are in the $15,000 to $18,000 range whereas our systems
- using camera club tracking cameras are omly in the $4,000 range
Club Tracking dots are also used by the world's No. 1 golf Launch monitor systems from Foresight Sports
- The Foresight Sports' GCquad and GC2 HMT - priced in the $15,000 to $18,000 range - require up to 4 dots to be applied to the face of the club.
- In contrast, our 2 dots are placed on the top of the club so won't get hit by the ball and will stay on there.
- BTW note that for the price of a single GCquad you can get 2 of our F3 simulators complete with enclosures!
Another example of a hi-end club tracking system is from GearsGolf
Note that they also require tracking dots to be applied to the club
Click the above image to read more about the Gears Golf product range
Are you looking for perfect accuracy to work on - and improve your game ?
Or do you just want to play a few rounds with your buddies for entertainment ?
If the latter then just a regular optical sensor club tracking mat will suffice - or even no club tracking at all
but if you're really serious about club tracking accuracy in order to improve your game then you won't mind sticking a couple of plastic tracking dots on your clubs
CTS Promlem solving
Q 1 : When I swing a club over the trigger mat, the flash in the CTS doesn't flash and the image in the CP Ccam window is dark.
1: Check that the flash unit on the back of the CTS is securely mounted on it's mount.
Unscrew the mount holder and push the end of the flash unit down into the slot. Re-tighten the fixing screw dial.
2: Check that the flash unit on the back of the CTS is powered on and push the trigger