SX line scan cameras and trigger arrays
The V and H cam ball tracking cameras are triggered from either a ceiling mounted SX line scan camera or floor mounted trigger array.
See end of this page to read about SCTS and trigger arrays
What is a line scan camera ?
Connect RCA cables to the H and V cams.
Power to the SX camera is either via a supplied USB power supply or a USB cable connection to the PC (note: this USB connection on the SX is only used for power, no data is being transmitted)
RCA camera trigger cables
The V and H cam cameras are triggered from the SX line scan camera.
On the back of the SX camera (or on the side if using a multiple-channel SX camera) - you will see two RCA connectors.
Using the supplied RCA cables, connect the short one from the SX cam to the Hcam RCA connector and the long RCA cable
from the SX cam to the RCA connector on the back of the Vcam
Ensure that cameras are mounted at least 5 or 6 feet from the screen!
Mounting height should not be greater than 9ft.
Line scan camera sensitivity
The SX line scan camera's sensitivity control is attached to the SX with a 12ft long cable.
Run the cable from the SX cam along the ceiling and a quarter-way down one of the side walls for easy access.
When adjusting the SX cam's sensitivity, it is important that you not stand under or too near the camera
as then your body will reflect light back into the camera.
Please note that the sensitivity control for the SX line scan camera is a 10 turn potentiometer !
i.e. you have to turn the dial 10 turns from one end to the other end.
Note that the bright green trigger light does not always stay on when a ball or object is in the camera's FOV.
The green LED light usually just stays on for about 2 seconds and then automatically switches off
no matter if a ball or object is under the camera or not.
The green LED trigger light is powered by the camera trigger signal and in order for it to re-trigger
the object (e.g. a ball or person) has to first go out of the FOV and back in again.
The above image - taken from the overhead mounted horizontal camera (Hcam) - shows 3 types of synthetic grass surfaces with varying degrees of reflectivity.
For both the Hcam and the SX line scan camera to function correctly the surface has to be non-reflective. As you can see, balls 1 and 2 in the image are very difficult to make out
due the surface reflecting too much light from the overhead lamp whereas ball 3 is clearly defined with plenty of contrast.
The line scan camera scans diagonally - left to right - in the enclosure and compares the light reflected back into the camera's image sensor with a user set reflected light level of a golf ball.
It is thus essential that there is enough contrast between the ball and the surrounding surface.
If the surface is reflective - as with ball 1 and 2 - the line scan camera's sensitivity cannot be set high enough as the underlying surface reflects nearly as much light as the ball itself.
A lot of synthetic grass surfaces on the market today reflect too much light for the cameras to function well and have to be treated to reduce the reflectivity.
One simple way to achieve this is to mask off the area directly under both the Hcam and SX line scan camera and spray with a black matt water based paint.
The grass will still appear green but will be a shade or two darker and non reflective. The area to be treated should be around 2 feet wide and 4 or 5 foot long.
If you find that you can't set the Line Scan camera's sensitivity high enough for low shots or putts
with your current turf flooring, use the above mentioned carpet and place this carpet on the floor directly under the LS camera.
Once this is done the camera's sensitivity can be set much higher so as soon as a ball rolls or flies over it the camera will detect it and
send the trigger signals to the full frame ball tracking cameras.
Floor scan area
The flooring area directly under the line scan, IR lamp and Hcam cameras must be dark and non reflective.
If you are using your own sourced turf and find that it is too reflective then it is possible to treat the floor turf area so that it is not so refective
If using the black non reflective carpet from home-depot you can use black felt tape on the edges to smooth the transition from your floor carpet to the black carpet.
Non reflective turf
Well ... not exactly super non-reflective but this new "less reflective" turf carpet works really well. i.e. rolling balls / putting are picked by the line scan camera which means all other shots will do too.
This turf padded carpet is only available in 12 ft widths and is pretty heavy so we won't be supplying it as standard with basic camera systems - i.e. the black real non-reflective carpet will be supplied -
but will be available as an optional extra and will be supplied as standard with all new full scale F series systems at the new F series prices.
Price for a 6 ft X 12ft length is currently $299 plus $99 shipping for US customers. Due to it's weight and size, export shipping costs will be in the $200 to $300 range
Line scan camera shot detection range
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.
Recommended IR LED lamps for use with the SX Line Scan camera.
Go here to purchase if you don't already have them
The above image shows a ball trace when the camera is floor mounted with the additional floor mounted IR LED lamp. Notice how crisp, bright and sharp the ball trace is.
CX2 / CX3 setup video
Line scan camera setup problems
Use mount extensions to reduce the height of the line scan camera if your ceiling height is higher
Multiple Line scan cameras for increased range
You can also use multiple line scan cameras to increase left and right ball path range
Cameras are connected to a master multi channel LS camera that can link 4 line scan cameras together
Buy the GSA Golf Line Scan camera
With the new 400 dpi line scan chip and 70 degree wide angle range lens
Detects all putts to lob wedge shots
Price $ 450.00
Note: all CX and PX5 systems come with an SX line scan camera
Important ! Note that camera systems require that two areas within the enclosure be dark and non-reflective
and that there should not be too much ambient light getting into the enclosure. ie daylight windows near the enclosure and / or other electric lights
Reference voltage drift on SX Line Scan camera
There's been a number of reports that the SX line scan sensitivity has to be re-set from time to time.
I was suspecting that the cause was reference voltage drift but tests showed no more than 2 milli-volt drift in over 8 hours.
Other causes could be varying ambient light conditions or debris or balls lying on the carpet under the line scan camera.
SX Line scan camera alternative - SCTS
The new "Stereo Camera Trigger System" (SCTS) uses a hi-speed camera that runs on a separate low cost PC or Laptop.
Compared to the SX Line Scan camera, the FOV is far wider and the system is more reliable and easier to use.
Price with Laptop is $999 or - if you already have a spare laptop or PC - the camera alone is $599.
Note that all VisTrak Stereo LS systems now include the new SCTS trigger system without any extra charge.
Price without LapTop $ 599.00
Price with LapTop $ 999.00
Note: as of 2021, all Stereo LS systems are being supplied with the new Stereo Camera Trigger System (SCTS)
that replaces the previous SX line scan camera.
1. mount camera on the ceiling on the center line of the enclosure
in between the stereo cameras or in-line with the Vcam camera
2. Aim the camera stright down
3. Connect the supplied trigger cables from the SCTS camera to the stereo or Vcam cameras.
How it works:
The SCTS trigger system converts a VisTrak camera to a line scan camera.
The camera is ceiling mounted in-between the stereo cameras pointing straight down.
When running and grabbing frames, the system scans the scan zone area looking
for any pixel with a gray scale greater than the max floor gray scale.
If found, a trigger signal is sent (via the supplied trigger cable) to the stereo or CX (Vcam and Hcam) cameras
so that images of the ball in flight are captured at a precise point.
When viewing the images in the camera window, the last trigger point co-ordinates and gray scale are shown.
Camera Optical Sensor Array Trigger
As an alternative to our line scan camera triggers,
you can also use optical sensor array triggers to trigger the V and H cam ball tracking cameras
The unit is 5ft in length and features 48 sensors that detect any ball passing over them.
Its advantage over the SX line scan camera trigger is that it doesn't require a non reflective floor surface
- that usually requires black or low refelctive carpet to be placed under the SX camera -
isn't affected by CTS club tracking system Xenon flashes, doesn't require any setup and works well in most lighting conditions.
Price : $ 690.00
Trigger array stance mats
Set of all 3 stance mats
2 x 3ft X 4ft left and right stance mats
plus 1 x 5ft X 5ft - front mat
$ 750- free shipping
TX Trigger array installation
The trigger array is floor mounted approximately halfway between the player's hitting position and the screen.
As with the SX line scan camera, an IR lamp (supplied) is mounted directly over the array at a height of 9ft
In contrast to the SX line scan camera though, the TX trigger array does not require any sensitivity setup.
The Hcam setup does require some small mods though.
As the trigger array will be in the FOV of the H cam camera, the right scan zone border has to be set just after the trigger array in the image
and there should be a 2 to 10 ms trigger delay set on the camera so that the image of the ball is captured
just after it passes over the array and not immediately as the ball is over the array.
Putting with the TX trigger array
In order to putt, either the trigger array has to embeded into raised flooring
or a 1 1/14 inch thick stance mat should be used to raise the flooring between hitting mat and the array to the height of the trigger array (1 1/4").
Note that in order to be able to putt a ball when using a trigger array the flooring has to be raised to the height of the trigger array (i.e. 1 1/4") so that the ball rolls over array.
Click the Turf Grass Flooring button to read more about flooring and how to raise flooring.
Users can either raise the entire flooring or use our 1 1/4" high stance mats to achieve this
Note that raised flooring - whether or not a trigger array is used - is required anyway as the hitting mats or trigger mats are also 1 1/4" high
Trigger array lighting
The TX trigger array requires an IR LED or Halogen lamp to be ON and pointing directly down over the array.
The light emitting from the overhead lighting must be getting down onto all of the sensors in the array.
When using an IR LED lamp instead of a halogen lamp over the trigger array then the max height a ball is detected is around 4ft
In order to detect high lofted shots the player should not be more than 3 feet away from the array
Halogen lamp lighting
The trigger array works best with a single halogen lamp
Getting the TX trigger array to work
In order for the TX trigger array to function correctly the overhead IR lamp must be ON and pointing directly down over the array.
If the IR light is not directly pointing down onto the array or anything is blocking the IR light from getting down onto all of it's sensors,
then the green LED light will be ON.
This green LED light will also be ON if the overhead lamp is mounted too high above the array.
Recommended IR lamp height is 9ft.
This green LED light must be OFF in order for the array to function and be ON when any object over the array casts a shadow over any of it's sensors
Combining both the SX line scan camera and the trigger array
Hcam trigger delays now separate for normal shots, putting and chipping when using a trigger array
When using a trigger array instead of a line-scan camera for the H and V cams, an Hcam trigger delay has to be set to prevent the
trigger array casing from being captured within the image of the H cam.
As ball speeds for putting and chipping are far slower for regular shots, the trigger delay has to be greater for these putts and chip shots.
Thus there are now separate Trigger delay settings for putting and chipping.
To set in the Hcam window:
Press the P key to go into putting mode and set the trigger delay to around 80 Milli-seconds.
Press the C key to go to Chipping mode and set the trigger delay to around 20 Milli-seconds.
In normal shot mode, set the Hcam trigger array to around 4 Milli-seconds.
New "Line Scan Shot Detector" prevents inadvertent ball launches in game when retrieving balls
Occasionally inadvertent ball launches may occur when walking within the line scan area - usually to pick-up balls.
The addition of this new line scan camera placed halfway between the Hcam and hitting area will prevent this.
The "Line Scan Shot Detector" is used as a trigger gate that only allows the main line scan camera's trigger signal to pass through to the ball V and H cameras if an object passes through its FOV.
It can also be used to detect if someone is standing at or close to the hitting position and thus blocks the main trigger signal if no one is at the hitting mat.
Price: $ 450.00
New "Optical Sensor Shot Detector" prevents inadvertent ball launches in game when retrieving balls
A lower cost alternative to the line scan camera shot detection, is to use an optical sensor shot detector. This sensor is emedded in the hitting mat just in front of the ball launch position.
Up to 3 sensors can be used: one in the hitting mat for regular shots, one on green surface for putting and one for the rough or sand shots.
Price: $ 259.00