System Updates & Development News
Hi! I'm Martin Paul Gardiner
Electronics and software development engineer and founder of GSA Golf
Regularly check out my tech news page for all our latest developments and free updates
if you have any questions
please feel free to contact me personally anytime from M to F 10am to 3pm US ET at
System development - sales and business inquiries
System support - sales, general information and exclusive Canadian VisTrak distributor
Production manager - sales and general information
Did you get a response to your e-mail?
We get really busy at times and e-mail responses can be late or even forgotten at times.
Please remind us again if you didn't get a response to your e-mail.
No weekend e-mail responses
Note: we don't read or reply to emails over the weekends.
Weekends for us are purely devoted to system development.
Please keep your emails short !
i.e. Limit your email questions to just two or three questions.
People sending E-mails with a multitude of questions going over a half a page or more probably won't receive a response
as we just don't have the time anymore to reply or even to read them.
As much as I like to chit chat ( and I seriously do), I just don't have the time anymore
Current E-mail response time
Due to the intense work load we are under at the moment,
e-mail response time may take numerous days.
Need support ?
We offer free e-mail support
GSA Golf Control Panel (CP) downloads
GSA 32 bit Control Panel (CP) update V.220.127.116.11
September 20 2019
Note that some 50- 60 hours a week are being spent on testing and coding for the new VisTrak series at present.
Download VC redistributables hereHere
Don't forget to run the download after it's downloaded!
A number of customers don't realize that a CP update is a dual process
i.e first download and then run the download
Note that anti-virus programs will probably try to block the GSA Golf CP update download but - be assured - there's no malicious software in the download update
so just ignore any warnings from your anti-virus programs and choose the "More options" and "Run anyway" option.
GSA Control Panel (CP) full version download
V.18.104.22.168 August 18 2019
VisTrak ready version
September 20 2019
VisTrak club face angle detection improved
This update took most of the day to accomplish but I like the results.
I've run it on various test videos myself but testers will confirm if it works consistently.
Fix 1: Cross hairs not being shown in camera window after pressing a keyboard arrow key
Fix 2: First video radio button in VisTrak window not lit when selected
Note that there will be numerous CP updates coming over this weekend
September 19 2019
VisTrak video result testing.
I'm going through a number issues in video test files sent back from testers at the moment.
All these issues should be resolved by this weekend.
Note that there will be numerous CP updates coming over the weekend
VisTrak quick overview
The above is a quick overview of the current VisTrak product range and pricing.
Pricing should remain fairly constant from now on.
- V 22.214.171.124
New camera registrations
No need to download today's CP update unless you have new cameras that aren't registered.
September 17 2019
- V 126.96.36.199
It was noticed today that - after a shot - the video in the VisTrak window looked just fine but once the camera window was opened,
the video suddenly developed jumps in the playback sequence that resembled frames being dropped. This is now fixed.
While the vertical launch angle was actually being measured when using a Vcam, VcamB or LX, this data wasn't being sent to the game software.
This is now fixed with this version.
No e-mail or phone response today
Due to the current work load and meetings today, I didn't have time to respond to any today's e-mails or calls.
Should be back on track tomorrow though.
September 16 2019
- V 188.8.131.52
VisTrak Vcam, VcamB and HiRes
All these systems are now fully functioning with this CP update.
Screen shots and setup instruction coming later today and this week.
September 15 2019
VisTrak Alpha test CP version
It's been a grueling 18 hour weekend of testing and coding here at GSA Golf.
As the changes are so big at present I thought it better to put out a separate Alpha test version for our Alpha testers.
Most changes are concerned with multiple VisTrak camera setups. i.e. the VisTrak with Vcam, Vcam B and HiRes ball spin cameras.
Other than the image processing for ball spin and vertical launch detection, the main new feature is the triggering method.
The additional cameras for ball spin and vertical launch are now triggered on a certain (user definable) frame number after the ball strike frame ( which is frame 16 of the 32 frames)
When using the VisTrak with a Vcam camera, the trigger frame can now be set in the Vcam window (default is frame 4 after the ball strike frame).
The Vcam trigger delay is used to help ensure that the captured frame of the ball for vertical launch detection is still in the FOV of the camera when making smaller chip shots.
The delay kicks in at a certain (user definable ) distance the ball is from the pin in the game software.
Likewise, the Vcam B and HiRes systems also have a user definable trigger frame.
The "camera 2" trigger delay is the delay set for the second ball spin camera frame.
We use this time delay to calculate the amount of spin within this time window and thus can calculate the spin rate.
Don't worry about all these technical variables though.
We'll be testing to ensure that the default values are such that no user adjustment is required.
September 14 2019
VisTrak LX HiRes
Another marathon day of testing and coding was completed today on this system.
Things are looking really good though and I hope to have the new CP release for this system ready sometime tomorrow (Sunday).
Sample ball spin images and setup instructions will be published too.
VisTrak Base - the new "Game Changer" ?
MSRP price $ 799.00
I'm really excited about the new VisTrak Base hi-speed camera that captures both club and ball data from a single overhead mounted camera with video swing playback.
Regarding affordability and features, I don't think any other system on the market today can even get near competing with the VisTrak Base.
In theory at least, the market potential for this system should be enormous.
Especially considering that it can be used as an add-on video swing playback system for all other launch monitors and golf simulators that have been sold to date (millions maybe?)
as well as a ball and club tracking system in its own right for use with standard golf simulator software like TGC, E6 and RedChain etc.
While those with more financial means don't blink an eye about spending $6,000 to $22,000 for just a tracking system,
others less fortunate will greatly appreciate a far more affordable system that does essentially the same thing as those crazy high priced systems do.
Dare I say that the VisTrak Base is today's new Game Changer? I like to think so at least.
After all, the likes of GC2,s and GC Hawks with prices in the $8,000 to $18, 000 plus range (the GC standing for "Game Changer" I presume)
aren't - in my opinion - much of a game changer anymore these days.
We've still got a bit more work to do on the software but these issues will be solved over time.
September 13 2019
- V 184.108.40.206
VisTrak LX HiRes
The update for the VisTrak LX HiRes has been delayed until the weekend now due to an issue with the Zoom image option that took a number of hours to locate and fix.
This update fixes the Zoom image option in the Camera window though.
Also, LX HiRes images are now being grabbed within the VisTrak Eagle video recording like the Vcam B.
Furtther tests will continue tomorrow.
On a budget but still want a VisTrak?
How about this:
VisTrak Eagle Base camera
Buy just the VisTrak Eagle Base camera and save $$$... assembling your own VisTrak Eagle system.
(assembly time is around 10 to 15 mins)
The camera includes mount and lens and short (3ft) USB3 cable.
Just add the spotlight and USB3 longer cable ( available on Amazon for around $260) or use your own lighting.
The camera is registered and licensed to be used with all versions and updates of the GSA Golf Control Panel for life.
Price $ 799.00
Optional extra: VisTrak Eagle case with built in LEDs
Price $ 169.00
September 12 2019
- V 220.127.116.11
VisTrak Vcam B and LX HiRes
After some 16 hours of testing and coding, the hi-res image grabbing for the ball spin cameras has be integrated into the video capturing sequence.
This is possible because the cameras feature internal frame buffers that store a triggered frame after a trigger signal is sent.
We can then grab (download) the image after the video sequence has been completed and thus not disturb the smooth video capturing.
If we grabbed the image during the video capturing procedure, there'd be a time delay in the video at this point causing a sudden jump in the video sequence.
The tests today were done on the VisTrak Vcam B.
The VisTrak LX HiRes tests will continue on tomorrow but should be easy as the two systems are very similar.
BTW due to all this very intense work, I'm not able to get to my emails until after 3pm now.
I'm in the middle of coding the next release for the VisTrak Vcam B and HiRes at the moment but noticed a big problem that needed to be addressed sooner.
The issue was that when starting the VisTrak from the CP's main menu, the video wasn't being stored in the frame buffers so when you went to the VisTrak window to view the video, nothing showed.
This issue is now resolved with this update.
September 11 2019
VisTrak Vcam B and LX HiRes
We're currently working on integrating the HiRes and Vcam B image frame grabbing procedure into the VisTrak video capturing.
This is a tad complex as the frame grabbing is in between the normal 32 frame video grabbing sequence and not after.
i.e. after the ball has been struck (frame 16) but in between on frames 18 and 20 and not after the full 32 frame video capturing has been completed
as by then the ball could have traveled out of the FOV of the ball spin cameras.
We expect this software development to be completed within the next few days.
New simplified CP (control panel) front screen panel
Rob and his team in the UK ( the UK VisTrak distributors) are working on a nicer and more simplified front screen panel for the CP
as they think that the current one is too complex and too daunting for the average user.
Keith ( our Canadian distributor and partner) is pointing out a number of issues that need to be resolved.
Most of these should be cleared up by the weekend though.
VisTrak camera power concern
We had a VisTrak camera drop out today which had never happened before.
At first I thought it was the 50ft active USB3 cable, so replaced it with a new one. Nope. Still the same problem.
Then it must be the camera itself then so replaced the camera with a new one. Nope. Still the same problem.
So if it's not the camera and not the cable, what is it?
A PC reboot solved the issue but this indicates that the PC dropped power on the USB port for some reason.
Maybe a power surge from the camera ?
Anyways, to be on the safe side, all new VisTrak cameras will feature an external power connector on the back of the unit
so that the camera can - in addition and if need be - be powered externally from a 5v USB wall plug power adapter.
New circuit board layout for the Vcam B
We redesigned the Vcam B circuit board today as the old one required too much wiring when fitted to the LX case.
September 10 2019
VisTrak official release date : January 21 2020
The official VisTrak release or launch date (i.e. the non Beta version ) is now set to coincide with the PGA 2020 show dates.
We won't be showing the VisTrak at the show though. Instead, we'll be having events at our Naples showroom on Shirley Street.
Feel free to come down to Naples after the show to test and try the entire VisTrak range of products. We'll be open all the following weekend.
Drinks and barbecue are free and there'll be plenty of special deals and fun for all.
VisTrak Vcam B
The VisTrak Vcam B Beta versions are now in production.
CP software updates will be ready later this week for both the VisTrak HiRes and Vcam B.
September 9 2019
If they go low, we go lower
Looks like our friends at SkyTrak have suddenly dropped their MSRP price from $1,995 to $1,695.
We at VisTrak can't have that of course and so we've dropped our prices to suit.
Thus, VisTrak MSRP now starts at $1,690 (Beta price $1,299).
If only to say we're less expensive than they are and don't charge any subscription fees.
Looks like we might have a little price war going on here. Bring it on is all I can say. Whatever they do, we'll beat em.
VisTrak Beta versions
As there hasn't been much response from resellers of late, we may as well continue on with lower priced Beta versions of the VisTrak.
At least the VisTrak Eagle anyway.
VisTrak Eagle Beta version thus drops to $1,299 until such time that there's any demand from resellers.
VisTrak Vcam B and VisTrak LX Hi Res
Great progress on the software development made today on these two systems.
Next CP release for these systems expected in the next day or so.
September 8 2019
- V 18.104.22.168
New VisTrak LX HiRes and Vcam B software release
Some 8 hours were spent today (Sunday) testing and modifying the code for the VisTrak HiRes and Vcam B.
Images are hi-resolution providing great detail of the ball and its markings for ball spin detection.
The above shows the default camera settings for the cameras 1 and 2 in the CP - the ball spin and vertical launch cameras.
Camera 3 is the VisTrak camera when selecting VisTrak "Vcam B" or VisTrak "LX HiRes".
We'll still need a couple more days to complete this software update though but this version should show that the camera frames are - at least - captured now.
Next Vcam B and HiRes update is due on Tuesday.
Note that the VisTrak Vcam B and HiRes systems are basically the same. i.e. they both use the same hi resolution cameras and capture the same data (ball launch angle and spin).
The only difference is that the Vcam B uses zoom lenses and IR Xenon flashes so that the unit can be placed further away
which allows the system to be used for both LH and RH handed players without having to move the unit.
The LX HiRes - on the other hand - uses IR LEDs and has to be placed near the player (1.5 to 2 ft) and thus has to be moved if LH and RH players are playing in the same flight.
September 7 2019
- V 22.214.171.124
VisTrak LX new software release
The above shows what the VisTrak LX captures. It's just a small test chip but the results should be the same no matter what the shot speed is.
The image on the right shows what the default camera settings are now. Notice that camera gain is significantly lower when the LX is floor mounted instead of ceiling mounted (which is normally 17 db).
The IR LEDs in the LX are actually quite powerful but alas not powerful enough to illuminate the ball and club when the LX is ceiling mounted.
We're still working on alternative lighting for the VisTrak Eagle.
The above shows a close up of one of the 32 frames captured by the VisTrak LX.
In this shot, we used a range ball with a black line on it. The image shows that the LX detected the line angle in both frames and from this,
calculated the amount of rotation between the frames and thus the ball spin rate.
In addition, the ball launch angle and ball speed is captured as well as the club AOA and club speed.
Note that balls with a manufacturers standard logo on it can also be used (as long as the logo is black and well defined).
Click above to download the sample VisTral LX VisTrakVideo2.vid file.
Copy to the "C:\GSAgolf" folder.
(Note: ensure you are running the latest GSA Golf Control Panel update that creates this folder)
Start the Control Panel and - in the Setup window - select "VisTrak LX"
In the Camera window, set the camera settings as shown above ( or just click the "Defaults" button).
Then go to the "VisTrak" window in the Control Panel and click on the "Video 2" button to load the video.
You can then run and step the video back and forth.
VisTrak HiRes testing
We'll be testing the VisTrak HiRes tomorrow (Sunday) and there should be a software update for this too then.
VisTrak Vcam B
The first VisTrak Vcam B
(that detects ball spin and vertical launch angle for both LH and RH players without having to move the unit)
is being shipped on Monday.
The images grabbed look very similar to the VisTrak LX.
Combining the VisTrak Eagle with the VisTrak LX
If you combine the VisTrak Eagle with the Vistrak LX (i.e. a two hi-speed camera system) you'll have video swing playback for all data.
i.e. Club face angle, club path, club speed, club angle of attack, ball vertical launch angle, ball speed, ball path and ball spin.
As these two units are both using the VisTrak hi-speed cameras and you can't run two hi-speed cameras on one PC,
you'll require a second PC to grab and process all the incoming data. (The two PCs are linked via a link cable.)
Having a second PC allows you to then run swing video playback from two camera angles simultaneously.
As the second PC won't be rendering any hi-end graphics game software, the second - slave - PC doesn't have to be a super hi-end PC.
i.e. it can be any reasonably good PC in the $1000 range that features a USB3 port.
September 6 2019
VisTrak LX and HiRes testing
We're modifying the software for these two products at present in order to make them easier to use.
Tests all day today show that there a number of issues but these are being resolved.
If you have a VisTrak LX, use only as a ceiling mounted VisTrak Eagle until the new software update is ready (Sunday or Monday).
Same for the VisTrak HiRes. Please wait until the next update.
September 5 2019
The new F1 B fulls scale golf simulator
The F1 B is our new budget full scale system priced at just $ 4,995 !
The F1 B includes enclosure, screen, flooring, VisTrak camera ball and club tracking and TGC software.
CX Surround B
We've received a number of inquiries about the ultimate CX Surround B system of late.
This system will measure ball spin, spin axis, ball path and vertical launch angle plus club data with video swing playback.
In order to measure ball spin from a ceiling mounted unit, 2 dedicated hi-res cameras with IR flash's will be required.
Together with the two stereoscopic ball tracking cameras used to capture ball launch angle, speed and path, this brings the unit up to a quad camera system like the GC Hawk.
If we then want to add club tracking via a VisTrak Eagle, we're then up to a 5 camera system.
This will be quite a challenge to get running on one PC but we'll have to wait and see.
Anyway, don't expect the CX Surround B to be available anytime soon and don't expect its MSRP price to be much under $9,000 either
(still half the price of a GC Hawk though and with the added bonus of club tracking and video swing playback).
It'll be the next big project after we get all the kinks out of the standard VisTrak systems (Eagle, Vcam, LX, LX HiRes).
New pricing for the F series GSA Golf full simulators
Note that we are no longer supplying PC,s and Projectors with these systems.
Reason being: We don't make any profit on these items but have all the liability and work should anything go wrong.
i.e. the products are defect, parts missing or damaged on delivery from Amazon or other suppliers.
In addition, customers expect to receive free support for these PC,s and Projectors that we supply.
And - of course - if we add on a margin for these items, then customers complain that we are over charging as the Amazon slip
in the shipments shows what was actually paid. So it's definitely a lose - lose situation for us.
It's far more efficient and easier if the customer purchases these items direct on Amazon so that if problems arise,
they can return to Amazon (no questions asked) and not have to get back to us and then we have to deal with it.
There will be links and recommendations on the PC,s and Projectors page of this web site soon.
VisTrak LX and HiRes testing
We're modifying the software for these two products at present in order to make them easier to use.
CP software updates for this will be ready latest on Monday.
September 2 2019
Labor Day - GSA Golf is closed today
- V 126.96.36.199
Frame grabbing and triggering method tests are underway for the VisTrak HiRes LX this week.
Today's CP update includes the new HiRes triggering method.
Club tracking dots for VisTrak
We've had a number of requests to optionally use club tracking dot software with the VisTrak.
As this software already exists with our standard CTS systems, we can easily add this software option to the VisTrak system too.
Note that it is not possible to apply tracking dots that face upwards to the leading face edge of irons though.
If tracking dots are applied to the top edge of irons, the measured club face angle will always appear to be open.
Face angle adjustment is then required to correct the mis-reading.
Tracking dot software update for the VisTrak will be ready later this month.
September 1 2019
- V 188.8.131.52
Update for VisTrak Eagle Beta testers
Default camera setting values are now set and more clearly displayed in the VisTrak camera window
VisTrak Vcam B
Most of this weekend was spent assembling the first production Vcam B.
The Vcam B measures both ball launch angle and spin rates using dual hi-res cameras with IR flash units
and functions for both left and right handed players without having to move the unit.
This product is quite complex and very time consuming to build and thus the price has increased to $3,999.
August 31 2019
- V 184.108.40.206
New CP update for VisTrak Eagle Beta testers
Customers are sending in videos that show very dark images due to the camera shutter speed or exposure time value being set too low.
Ensure that shutter speed is at least 250 us or higher.
Any lower than this (like 100us), will result in low level brightness frames that can't be accurately processed resulting in inaccurate ball speed and club data.
This version of the CP warns users of too low shutter speed and gain settings.
Note that the ball should appear washed out white so that no - or hardly any - ball markings can be seen. (ball markings can throw off the ball size detection with the Vistrak Eagle).
Ensure that the spot light brightness level is set to 100% and that the Lens is fully extended so that the beam is as narrow and intense as possible
Stereoscopic setting not being saved.
August 30 2019
VisTrak Eagle Beta testers
If you are experiencing issues with club or ball detection, send me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
the associated video files. I can then tell you how to fix the issue.
Send one at a time as an attachment to the email..
Video files (.vid files) are stored in the "C:\GSAgolf" folder (assuming you save them or have the "Auto video save" option on.
VisTrak prices on the rise
Some have contacted me to complain about the recent VisTrak price increases and asking why this is.
The reason is because VisTrak is planned to be sold via resellers as well as direct on-line from us. e.g. like SkyTrak.
Resellers demand quite a high mark-up on the products they sell and thus we have to include this mark-up in our MSRP price.
In order to build up a substantial reseller network, we - as the manufacturers - can't just under cut out our own resellers with lower prices offered on-line otherwise no reseller will stock our products.
In addition to the 25% reseller markup on the MSRP price, there's $300 cost for manufacturing and support to be paid per product.
In addition to that, we have to factor in the cost of advertising and marketing. e.g. in order to get to a consistent page 1 or 2 Google ranking with Google ad-words,
we'll be paying Google around around $5,000 a month.
So all these expenses have to be applied to the end user price in order that we stay in business. Tis the way of the business world I'm afraid.
I, myself, am not adding anything extra for development costs (going on 10,000 hours now) and all the free software updates and support I'll be providing free of charge in the future.
Never-the-less, the VisTrak full price of $1,899 is still lower than a SkyTrak ($1,950) and substantially lower
than the likes of GC2 ($9,500), GCquad and Hawk ($18,000), Uneekor ($6,000), Trackman ($18,000) etc, etc...
So it's still a great deal.
August 29 2019
Vcam base platforms have arrived
The Vcam bases have now arrived so any outstanding Vcam orders will ship now.
Note that the super bright green LED on the Vcam is the same "looking for ball" and "ball detected" indicator as on the ceiling mounted VisTrak Eagle.
As the Vcam cam is floor mounted, this indicator will be more visible to the player.
The Vcam, together with its two IR LED lights, are mounted on a single base platform.
Swing playback video storage increase to over 500
Over 500 videos can now be stored and retrieved
Time, date and player name will be added to this feature too soon.
Based in Naples, Florida,
all GSA Golf products are meticulously assembled and tested by hand to meet the highest industry standards