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Technical News

System Updates & Development News

GSA Golf daily updates and 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

GSA Golf tech news is updated at least 5 days a week !

so make sure to check in for all the latest updates and news regularly

If you have any questions

please feel free to contact me personally anytime from M to F - 12noon to 3pm US ET via e-mail at

Note that telephone service is - due to the workload we're under at present - very limited and sporadic at best.

If you can't get through then please use email.

Note that currently, our telephone sales and support lines are closed due to the coronavirus

Please Note: We're closed on weekends and all US national holidays

If you are contacting us on the weekends or on national holidays,

then we'll make best effort to get back to you within 24 hours of the next working day.

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.

Note: we are not receiving emails or phone calls on weekends or on national holidays.

Need support ?

We offer free e-mail support.

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Click the above button image to download the latest CP update

GSA Control Panel (CP) update V 9.3.0.1

April 2 2020

Download VC redistributables hereHere

Download latest Camera DLL 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.9.0.6.2 August 18 2019

Click the above image to download your free Full version GSA Golf Control Panel

After downloading and installing the full version Control Panel,

download and install the CP update by clicking on the above CP update button.


Warning !

GSA Golf camera systems are not plug'n'play

GSA Golf camera systems have to be setup and that this setup procedure

- depending on your technical abilities - may take some time to complete.

There is a significant learning curve involved in getting to know how to operate the system

and for users with limited technical abilities, this procedure may take a considerable amount of time.

To avoid frustration, we recommend first reading through the installation instructions and only then,

when you feel confident that you understand them and that you have the necessary technical abilities to execute them,

should you make the decision to purchase any GSA Golf Tracking system.


 

April 2 1:10 pm

- V 9.3.0.1

New 1: Auto Club select stays off when switched off while using E6 Connect

New 2: The CP can auto cycle through the test camera procedure after every shot if desired

April 2 10:20 am

- V 9.3.0.0

VisTrak Stereo camera time stamps

Image capture time stamps are now shown in the camera panels.

These time stamps should be the same as the video time stamps.

The time stamps are now also embedded in the VisTrak video files.


April 1 11:00 am

- V 9.2.9.9

User support: VisTrak Manual Video Record feature

This CP update will includes a manual video record feature.

This feature is for new VisTrak users that are still working on the basics and can't get the system to detect a shot or even detect a ball in the launch zone.

In this case, an automatically generated video will not be produced and thus we can't see what is causing the problem.

i.e. the system will only record a video if a shot has been detected

The new Manual Video Record feature will always generate a video which can then be sent in to us for analysis and thus we can inform the user on how to correct the problem.


March 31 11:00 am

- V 9.2.9.8

Important update for VisTrak Stereo system uses

Fix 1: Stereo camera wait count not being set correctly when VisTrak camera is started.

This caused an immediate stereo camera time-out after the VisTrak camera detected a shot and thus no stereo camera results were being used in the launch data sent to the game.

Fix 2:

Ball data shown as "Estimated" instead of "Stereo" even when stereo cameras captured ball data.

New: Estimated carry adjustments now in 0.01% steps instead of 0.05% steps unless shift key is held down.

March 30 7:15 pm

Customer support delays

It would seem - due to the present virus epidemic situation - that a large number of our previous customers are spending a lot more time at home these days

and thus we are being inundated with support inquiries.

Presently I'm having to deal with some 50 plus support issues a day and, frankly, I'm not able to keep up with it all.

While we are doing our best to keep up with it all, there will be the inevitable delays in getting back to all customers.

Present email support response time is around 48 hours and limited to just one email response per day per customer.

March 30 3:00 pm

All customer setup data now stored in the Video files

- V 9.2.9.7

This feature - together with the stereo camera shot images - will greatly assist us with support as we can now exactly replicate the customer's system setup

in conjunction with all the shot data including frame time stamps

March 30 1:15 pm

Faint traces

- V 9.2.9.6

This version of the CP has been modified to pick up very faint traces.

The new Shot analysis software is not yet included. Probably ready tomorrow though.


March 29 4:50pm

GSA Golf support

A lot of coding completed today for the new shot analysis log files that will greatly help us trace any user issues that might occur.

I didn't quite make it today for a new CP release though.Next CP release due this commg week (around Tuesday).

GSA Golf tracking system direct consumer sales come to a close

I just want to point out that yesterday's statement about this has nothing to do with the failing economy or us having to shut down because of it.

It's simply because we can't keep up with all the customer support when doing direct consumer sales while at the same time continue with the system development and product production.

This decision frees us up to concentrate solely on development and production and thus can offer a better product and service.

Stay safe

Stay safe out there. A tsunami is coming - the likes of which none of us in our life time has ever experienced.

What's happening in New York now will soon be all over the country they say.

Human society - then - will not exist as we know it for quite some time - for at least a year the way many are saying.


March 28 6:30pm

GSA Golf tracking system direct consumer sales come to a close

As we transition from direct consumer sales to sales via resellers and partners,

all tracking system "Buy Now" pages will soon include the following text and instructions:

To purchase, please contact any of our resellers and partners on the above resellers link page who except credit card payments.

For a limited time you can also purchase direct from us but payment in this case is only available via check or bank wire.

Contact us for payment instructions

As before, enclosures and related products like screens, drapes and flooring etc will still be available directly through us with credit card payment options.

March 28 9:30 am

- V 9.2.9.5

New: when loading a VisTrak video generated by a VisTrak Stereo system,

the stereo image frames are loaded along with the video and are used to re-calculate ball data.

Fix: When Club path was measured, the data source text in the VisTrak window falsely stated "Estimated" instead of "VisTrak".

Customer video analysis. We are working on all customer videos sent in this past week.

Other than simple setup mistakes, no problems were detected in the videos so far.

Current customer reported issues:

1: VisTrak Stereo sometimes using the previous shot's stereo images.

( the new image time stamps will help in solving this issue. I'm not able to reproduce the problem here yet).

2: VisTrak Stereo sometimes calculating the max speed of 197mph

(this is probably due to a setup error though because I'm not able to reproduce the problem).

3. Inconsistent ball speed measurements

I'll need to see more VisTrak generated videos about this


March 27 7:38 pm

GSA Golf products over $2,000 no longer available for purchase with credit cards

Due to a number of credit card fraud issues recently, GSA Golf will no longer being accepting credit card payments

for any of its tracking systems or enclosure products above $2,000 as of this coming week.

All products over $2,000 will only be available via checks or direct bank wires in the future.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

March 27 6:15 pm

GSA Golf business news

We are currently in negotiations with one of the largest hi-end home theater installers (with 50 employees) in the nation to supply them with our golf simulators.

This deal may mean that - together with our existing resellers - all GSA Golf tracking systems may only be available via these partners in the near future.

i.e. GSA Golf will not be selling tracking systems directly to customers anymore.

However, enclosures and related products like screens, drapes and flooring etc will still be available directly through us.

This deal would free us up to concentrate solely on system development and not get bogged down - as we are at present - with customer support.

March 27 5:30 pm

New real customers issues and solutions page for VisTrak and Stereo systems

As customer feedback comes in, I will be publishing their issues and solutions on this new page.

March 27 11:00 am

- V 9.2.9.4

Shot log files

There's now a button for the "Show Last Triggered Frames" function in the Vcam window.

New: 2 sets of frames are now stored: The last and the second to last fames.

Click once to get the last, click again to get the second to last frames.


March 26 5:23pm

Note that with a VisTrak Stereo system, the V and H cam images of the shot are also loaded when reading a new (or current) shot video.

A problem occurs when the ball rebounds off the screen and rolls back under the line scan camera and thus re-triggers the stereo cameras.

In this case the rebound these images will be loaded instead of the last shot images.

So when trouble shooting, ensure that you are comparing the last captured images from the a shot and not any rebound triggered images.

March 26 3:06pm

- V 9.2.9.3

Video time stamp

To go with the new shot log time stamp, a time stamp is now also stored in the VisTrak shot video.

You can thus compare the shot log image time stamp to the video time stamp for a particular shot.

They should be the same of course. If not, then something went wrong.

March 26 1:50 pm

- V 9.2.9.2

Shot log files

After some 6 hours of coding today, the beginnings of the "Shot Log" feature has been completed.

This first version automatically stores the last triggered V and H cam images with time stamps.

Press ctrl/S to load them. (Didn't have time to make button for it yet).

The time stamps and images should line up with the images stored in the VisTrak video files.


March 25 6:08 pm

Shot log files

Coming next: Shot log files

Shot log files record all sources of all parameters for every shot including:

1. Source of club and ball data with time stamps of all launch data sent to the game

i.e. did the ball data come from the VisTrak camera or Stereo cameras or were they just estimated and if so, why where they estimated and not calculated from the captured camera images.

2. Time stamps of all images captured (i.e. did all captured images correspond to the shot or were images from a previous shot being used in the launch data ).

This data will provide us with a better understanding of any customer issues with shots not being launched as expected.

The shot log files feature should be ready within the next few days in the CP.

March 25 10:50 am

More detailed VisTrak installation instructions with example images

1. Adjusting the focus

2. Setting the Max floor gray scale level

3. Ball detection

4. Orientation and direction of play

5. Club detection


March 24 10:50 am

- V 9.2.9.1

Update for stereo camera users

Adjusting the calibration table to suit the mounted camera height

The following example shows how to adjust the stereo calibration table to line up with the mounted camera height.

The above example image shows that Point 1 and 2 of the ball trace of a ball at floor level has a disparity of around 36.

The calibration table, however, has height entry levels of 10 to 20 cm off the ground for this disparity range.

The system thus calculates a ball height of 12.5 cm and not 0 cm.

To adjust the calibration table so that the disparity level of 36 corresponds to a ball height of 0 cm,

simply select the "Global Disparity Adjust" and - using the keyboard ctrl/ up arrow key - increase the disparity levels of all entries until the Row 1 disparity entry is 36.

Ball height is then correctly calculated to be 0 cm off the ground and all other entries are adjusted to match.

New 1: "Global Disparity Adjust" only increases entries in percent (1% steps) if the value is greater than 100. Otherwise, entries are adjusted in single integer steps.

New 2: The center line is now shown bolder so that it's more visible when aligning cameras to it.

New 3: The calibration table text is shown in brighter text and the screen shot button is moved out of the way.

New 4: The located table row number and disparity values for points P1 and P2 are now additionally shown in the top right hand corner of the screen


March 23 4:05 PM

Will GSA Golf stay in business during the 9 to 18 month Covid19 pandemic and economy crash?

I've received a number of emails now asking this question and the simple answer to this is Yes, we will easily stay in business,

because GSA Golf is not really a business at all and thus cannot go out of business.

GSA Golf consists of partners, associates and golf simulator enthusiasts that all have other sources of income and are primarily only interested in the development and pursuit

of accurate tracking systems from an engineering point of view and not how much money we can make.

For us, golf simulators are a passion and not so much a business.

GSA Golf will - in all likelihood - not make any money for the next 9 to 18 months but that's not a problem.

We'll still be here everyday throughout this period.

Keep safe, Martin.

March 23 3:07 PM

Support Emails on Mondays

I started replying to emails this morning at 8:45 am and it's 3 pm now here and I'm still not through answering all the emails that come in over the weekend and today.

That's over 6 hours of just email replying. And as fast as I reply, another batch comes in.

Currently over 20 emails to go.

Most are support emails and many from older customers that purchased their systems years ago. Even up to 10 years ago.

Nearly all the support issue emails are for issues that are explained in the installation and tech help pages but I guess it's easier to just send in an email than read through the instructions.

This why I need to improve - as much as possible - the setup and tech help pages.

I can only do that if I have time though.

So - just like we've had to cut off the phone lines and remote support service - email support will also have to be reduced.

Cutoff is now 3pm and start time is 12 noon - M to F.

Otherwise I can't get any work done at all.

BTW hasn't anyone heard there's a war on?


March 22 3:04 PM

- V 9.2.8.9

More updates for stereo camera users

New 1:

You can now re-load the factory default calibration table.

A warning is shown to ensure that the user knows that any changes made to the current table will be lost if re-loading the default table.

New 2:

The global disparity adjustment is now a percentage adjustment as the disparity values increase exponentially and not linearly

Other than this, most of the day was spent making up a new calibration test bed using the new VisTrak Stereo IR system.

More about this later this week.


March 21 4:54 PM

The coronavirus and its effects on GSA Golf

For those that don't live in the Trump/FoxNews la-la land - where all this will be over in a few weeks -

the rest of us are left with the very real and daunting prospect of continuous cyclic social distancing being the norm for the foreseeable future.

As the expert scientific world researchers all agree, this virus is here to stay and will be as common as the Flu but with the difference being that it is 20 times more contagious and deadly.

At some point in time I expect that there will be a revolt against all the lock-down and social distancing policies being enforced on them that are shutting down their very livelihood, way of life and income

and will just say "to hell with it - bring it on - its just another Flu type virus" and continue on with their normal lives.

I just can't see that we will be able to shutdown schools and businesses for such long extensive periods of time like 12 to 18 months without there being drastic social unrest.

Becuase if we do, then we're heading for a great depression like that of the 1930's.

Already I'm reading reports that more people will die - due to suicide from the economic depression - than will actually die from the corona virus.

Anyway, we'll see.

BTW just about all my local golf courses have closed now and many more will follow I hear.

Maybe now's the time to buy a golf simulator?

In the pipe-line for this coming this week

1. more comprehensive installation instructions

2. more system testing and updates

March 21 1:15 PM

New VisTrak USB3 cable extension

--

Tests with this new 16ft USB3 extension cable with the standard USB3 16ft cable today showed that it works great!

You can now makeup a total VisTrak cable length of 32ft

The WEme USB 3 16ft Extension Cable with Aluminum Alloy Housing is available on Amazon for $17.36

March 21 12:55 PM

- V 9.2.8.9

Updates for stereo camera users

There's now a global table disparity adjustment option. When ON, all disparity values are adjusted at one time using the up/down arrow keys while holding the ctrl key down.

The adjustments will effect the LA.

Ball speed can be adjusted with the speed controls (switch Adjust speeds /carry distances on in the Vcam window)

Ball path can now be reversed from this panel too.

More updates on the stereo camera installation page


March 20 6:08 PM

- V 9.2.8.8

IBS is now discontinued and is no longer supported.

For those that still want to use this feature, it can still be switched on via a secret key combination.

Contact us for the key if you still want to use this feature.

Note that it is no longer supported though and we will not be responding to any IBS support issues.

Going forward, many other unnecessary options in the CP will be removed soon as these just complicate matters and cause confusion.

The goal being to vastly simplify operation.

March 20 2:04 PM

The above is a typical customer screen shot (taken with a phone instead of using the screen shot button BTW) that shows an image using IBS that is a complete mess.

While in theory IBS works, it really isn't necessary and best only to be used by advanced users.

Due to the overwhelming amount of support time required to use this feature, it will be discontinued (or at least only available via a secret key for advanced users )

and will not be supported anymore.

I need to simplify things and this unnecessary feature has been nothing but a headache from the get go.

Okay, have a great weekend everybody - as best you can at least in this virus epidemic.

March 20 12:14 PM

Update for stereo systems

- V 9.2.8.7

More installation instructions on the VisTrak install page.


March 19 6:15 PM

Golf courses closing due to the coronavirus - is this a boom for indoor golf?

In the United States, we have learned of at least 400 U.S. courses that have closed for COVID-19

And because I've noticed a stark increase in sales inquiries these past days, I'm beginning to think that this virus pandemic might actually have a positive effect on general indoor golf sales.

Wishful thinking on our part no doubt but you never know.

March 19 5:45 PM

GSA Golf customer support

Many new installation and setup instructions have been made on the system install web pages today.

More to come daily too.

March 19 4:00 PM

New VisTrak USB3 cable extension trial

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We'll be testing this 16ft USB3 extension cable this weekend to see if it works with the standard USB3 16ft cable to makeup a total cable length of 32ft

March 19 1:52 PM

Update for KX users

- V 9.2.8.6

KX system select not being stored

Improved setup instructions now on the KX page

General VisTrak update

1. New: Should the camera assignments not be correct with a VisTrak multi camera system, then the above error message will flash on/off in the CP's main window.

2. Fix: If the VisTrak Eagle Standard setup has been selected in a VisTrak Eagle system and you switch to a VisTrak Stereo or KX, then the standard setup will be switched off.


March 18 8:36pm

GSA Golf user manual

We've started to look into the user and reseller requested GSA Golf user manual and all it will entail this evening.

The way it looks we'll be publishing a draft of the user manual as a PDF based on what installation information is currently published on the installation website pages.

This first draft of the user manual should be available sometime this Spring.

As just a PDF, it will be free of charge, but as users are requesting a full printed version (probably with hard cover ) then the price probably be in the $200 range per copy.

As much as I would like to continue with development, I have to heed to user requests for this User Manual.

More updates on the User Manual coming this weekend.

March 18 5:32pm

GSA Golf customer support

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

Due to the current economic situation and the resulting total lack of sales, GSA Golf can no longer afford to pay for any support services offered by any independent support companies or individuals.

Customer support is thus now only available directly through myself personally via email.

Due to the vast amount of support currently required, please expect delays in getting back to you (i.e. up to 48 hours per incident).

GSA Golf CP development and updates - and a detailed comprehensive user manual

Due to the above, all CP development and updates will now have to be put on the back burner until we catch up.

One of the main reasons for this is because some users and resellers are demanding that we make a very detailed installation manual for our systems.

While we think that the online installation instructions are already very comprehensive and detailed, they - apparently - are not of this opinion.

Thus we will be devoting as much time as possible in order to create this very detailed and comprehensive user manual as possible.

As such a mammoth task as this will take many months to complete, please don't expect it to be released anytime soon.

My current estimate is late summer or the fall.


March 17 5:15 pm

GSA Golf customer support

As GSA Golf moves away from remote access support

(at least, free remote access support)

we will be spending a lot more time updating and improving the system installation and setup process instructions from now on.

I guess - if there's any silver lining to all this Coronavirus misery with the resulting near zero sales for us -

then it is that we will have that much more time to devote to improving the installation and setup process of our (to say the least) rather complex systems.

March 17 11:46 am

VisTrak IR camera mounting

The VisTrak IR camera mounting is now rotated 90 degrees.

The images show the new USB 3.1 locking cable.

We have a new projector mount for the VisTrak IR too


March 16 5:47 pm

The Coronavirus - and its effect on GSA Golf

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

Well, I don't know about you guys but things are starting to look pretty bleak around here in south west Florida.

Just got back from my local store ( a big super market chain here) and I haven't seen anything like that since hurricane Irma hit us a while back.

Empty shelves all over the place and panic buyers loading up their carts with whatever they can get.

Current real estimates ( in contrast to the Trump /Fox News la-la land estimates) are that between 70 and 150 million Americans will get the virus within the next 12 months.

Germany's estimate is that 70% of their population will get it (i.e. around 58 million of its 83 million inhabitants)

so the estimate of 70 to 150 million Americans getting the virus is quite a conservative estimate.

The Dow crashed down another 3000 points just today and I don't see an end to this trend anytime soon. What's the betting it gets below 10,000 ?

Anyway, we at GSA Golf will soldier on during this (at least a year) period and will be updating and improving our systems and software everyday.

GSA Golf phone lines closed

BTW my brother and his wife in London are currently in self quarantine (due to exposure) and his daughter (a doctor in a London hospital) will probably be going to soon too.

As this is all very concerning to me, the telephone lines here at GSA Golf - for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic at least - are closed.

I will, however, be responding to sales and support emails as usual though.

March 16 4:34 pm

VisTrak IR LED Drivers now encased

Previously, the VisTrak IR LED driver electronics were all exposed (image right) but we felt that a case for them would be more suitable.


 

March 15 6:12 pm

We've done numerous tests today on various VisTrak cameras and PC's with this cable and all worked flawlessly.

If you are experiencing cable issues with the VisTrak camera then we recommend using this cable.

Click the above image to purchase.

Note that this cable is only 16ft in length so check that it is long enough to reach your PC on the floor from its ceiling mounted position.

Should your enclosure be in the 12ft wide range, then the 16ft cable length will be sufficient to run the cable across the ceiling and down to the floor level PC.

Should your enclosure be in the 16ft wide range however, then the PC will have to be elevated (on a stand or table) in order for the cable to reach the PC.

Note that until further notice (i.e. until we find a longer USB3 extension cable that works with the VisTrak camera) all VisTrak systems will only be supplied with this Flir USB 3.1 16ft cable.


March 15 2:30 pm

IR LED lighting compared to LED Spotlight lighting

Tests today showed only a small difference in lighting power between IR and Visible light lighting

It would seem that the visible light spotlight has a tad more intensity though.

VisTrak USB 3 cable issues

The biggest issue I'm seeing with the VisTrak camera at the moment is the cable.

I say the biggest issue because if the camera is not working or constantly dropping out, then all other issues pale against this.

Of interest, the first cables I sourced and sent out worked flawlessly so I didn't expect this to be an issue going forward.

However, the newer cables I've sourced just aren't working with any degree of stability. i.e. they are causing the camera to constantly drop out every 2 minutes or so.

Even when using the (supposedly) exact same cable as originally ordered last year that worked flawlessly, the camera still drops out.

I did notice that the same type and brand of cable purchased recently does not feature the brand name "Kinging" on it though.

So there must be a difference.

I purchased this nice cable from the camera manufacturer this week and it woks flawlessly even though it's not an active cable. It also features lock screws.

I'm not sure if the label USB 3.1 has anything to do with it or if there is in fact a difference between a USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 cable.

I believe there would be a difference between a USB 3.0 pcie adapter and a USB 3.1 adapter as USB 3.1 is double the speed of USB 3.0 (i.e. 10 Gbps instead of 5 Gbps)

but all the Internet research I've done doesn't shed any light on this.

To make matters worse, the powers that be have decided to re-name the label "USB 3.0" to "USB 3.1 Gen 1" making the confusion complete.

While the VisTrak camera manufacturer states that the camera is a USB 3.1 camera, they do not state if this means a USB 3 gen 1 or 2 camera so we are currently in the dark about this.

As the term USB 3.1 is now used for both the older USB 3.0 as well as the newer (double speed) USB 3.1 gen 2, and everyone just states "Yes, our device is USB 3.1 compatible"

no one knows for sure what exactly they mean.

This is the original cable purchased with the name "Kinging" on it.

I'm in the process of trying just about every active USB3 cable on Amazon but to date haven't found one that works.

So yes, this is quite a dilemma as until this issue is resolved, VisTrak sales are on hold.

Guess that's not such a big deal though as - due to the Coronvirus - we're not expecting any sales anyway.


March 14 4:30 pm

Fairway grass hitting panels with the VisTrak

Exhausted.

I've been testing lighting, cables and hitting surfaces with the VisTRak IR all day today and ran into - what I thought - was a serious issue.

Suddenly I'm getting image ghosting in the VisTrak camera. i.e. the images were showing a ghost image of the ball and club in two areas of the frame.

Thinking it was the cable, I tried various other cables but they all showed the same ghost image.

Then thinking there was a problem with the camera itself, I replaced the camera with a new camera. Same thing though.

After a number of hours I started pointing the camera in a different direction. And hey presto, the image ghosting disappeared.

It then dawned on me that the ghosting could be just a reflection from a nearby table surface.

Removing the table solved the problem.

It's stupid little things like this that can take hours to resolve.

Anyway, one of the main objects of the tests was to check how reflective the standard FiberBuilt hitting mat Fairway Grass panels reflect,

as I had received notice from another user that they are too reflective for use with the VisTrak camera.

The above image shows what the VisTrak camera sees with these FiberBuilt mats with my tests.

As you can see, the fairway panels look nice and dark so I'm not what the customer's issue is.

It's possible that the panels reflect more light with the visible light LED spotlight so I will test this tomorrow.

I would have done it today were it not for silly ghosting issue.

USB3 cables

A number of issues turned up with the USB3 cables too.

I'll report tomorrow about my findings.


March 13 4:27 pm

We're testing IR lighting and hitting surfaces for the VisTrak at the moment.

Next CP update will be ready on Sunday.

March 13 9:20 am

The Coronavirus - and its effect on GSA Golf sales

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

The GSA Golf Google AdWords advertising campaign has now been suspended as we expect near zero sales for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.

System development will - as ever - continue at full speed though.


March 12 7:33 pm

The Coronavirus - and its effect on GSA Golf sales

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

The Coronavirus effect on the economy with its inevitable effect on consumer confidence and purchasing ability is already taking effect here.

As such we are reducing our sales forecast for this coming year to be from 12 to 24 systems a year to between 3 and 6 systems a year.

Should the current economic downward trend continue at its current rate then we'll adjust this figure to be between 1 and 3 systems a year.


March 11 5:00 pm

The Coronavirus - and why GSA Golf cannot go out of business

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

As the Coronavirus spreads throughout the country and the world with possibly devastating effects on the economy, many companies may fold if it continues on its current track for much longer.

Fortunately for GSA Golf, we have zero overhead and as all its partners have other sources of income - including myself - GSA Golf cannot go out of business even if we don't make a single sale for many years.

And while golf simulation is primarily a passion for all of us and not just a money making business, software and system updates will continue on at the same fast speed and rate as before.

In fact, system development will - in all likelihood - substantially increase as we'll be able to devote that much more time to it instead of dealing with sales.

So standby for some great deveolpments and system improvements.


March 10 8:31 am

Update for left handed players using TGC

- V 9.2.8.5

Fix: Club path and face angle was being shown reversed in TGC for left handed players.


March 9 11:38 am

Update for KX users

- V 9.2.8.4

The majority of this weekend was spent testing the new KX system.

Fix: Green LED light not switching ON/OFF on VisTrak IR systems and KX systems

You can test the Green LED light ON/OFF function by pressing the keyboard space bar when in the VisTrak window of the Control Panel.

It should toggle the LED on/off with every space bar press.

USB 3 cables

There seems to be a vast difference in the quality of USB 3 cables on the market.

Tests this weekend showed that even a short 6ft USB3 cable will not guarantee a stable connection to the VisTrak camera.

Also, many USB3 active cable extensions are far from stable. In fact, we only found one that works well over an extended period.

The problem is, this cable is a 15m / 50ft cable - which is fine for VisTrak systems that are mounted on the ceiling and that require this cable length - but the KX only requires 9ft.

Because of this we're having to supply this 50ft cable for the KX too.


March 7 6:30 pm

GSA Golf F-Pro Full Simulator installation services from $10,000 to $20,000 ?

-Martin Gardiner - Founder and owner of GSA Golf

I'm starting to get quite a number of F-Pro $30,000 system enquiries and sales at the moment but I guess most contractors

these days must be swimming in it because - for love of money - I can hardly find anyone in the country that would even

be remotely interested in installing a golf simulator enclosure in the $10k to $20k range.

I have a very competent contractor here locally in south west Florida (but he doesn't want to travel further than 20 miles to the site)

and am dealing with another on the west coast that is also willing to do the the job in the $10k range for a local installation.

For all other installations that require traveling it looks like I'd have to add on another $10,000 to the local installation price of $10k before any contractor would even consider taking on the job.

Remember, I'm just asking for the enclosure installation - simple track drapes and flooring with a couple of cameras and cables to be mounted on the ceiling.

We'd be doing all the tech setup stuff remotely.

I beginning see now though why the other hi-end golf sim manufactures are quoting prices from $49,000 for full installations. Nobody wants to do it!


March 7 1:36 pm

KX Vcam

The KX now features dual under table LED IR lighting panels for a better light spread.

The IR LED panels illuminate the ball so well that the additional vertical LED illuminator is no longer required for the Vcam vertical launch angle detection camera.

Clear sharp images of the ball in the Vcam are achieved by setting the exposure time down to less than 300 micro seconds.

Note that only the top of the ball in flight has to be detected together with a ball launch position height (automatically detected with every shot) in order to measure ball vertical launch angle with the KX.

Full simulator enclosure flooring

Medium profile platform flooring

If using the Studio stance mat system with integrated raised platform, there's no need to raise the flooring as high as the below shown High profile platform.

Simply lay down and adhere 0.7" thick chip board 8'x4' panels over the entire enclosure flooring area.

Lay down and adhere the padded turf carpet to the chipboard.

Use the rounded edge landing board to finish off the edging.

Lay down the Studio mat platform, stance mats and fairway grass panels

High profile platform flooring


 

March 6 11:05 am

- V 9.2.8.3

VisTrak KX, Stereo, Vcam

Fix: Possible system crash (Memory Access Violation) when using systems that use a mix of regular CX cameras with the VisTrak.


March 5 2:35 pm

GSA Golf emails

We've been having some problems with our email servers over the past few months and it is quite possible that some emails sent to us or sent out from us have not been received.

The issue is now resolved so in case you didn't get a response from your emails, please re-send them.

March 5 11:00 am

KX

The KX2 now comes pre-assembled (shipped in two large boxes) and features a new IR LED light for the Vcam

The above unit is being shipped to a new customer tomorrow.


March 4 1:42 pm

CP white screen

Over the years, there's been the very occasional report that the CP just shows a white screen when started.

This happened to me too for the first time today.

Using the code de-bugger I could trace the fault to a function call to the camera. i.e. the system hangs at this call.

So it would appear that the camera CPU is hanging and not a fault of the CP.

A simply (and only) solution is to reset the camera by unplugging it and then plugging it back in again.

Good to know if this ever happens to you too.

March 4 8:34 am

- V 9.2.8.2

VisTrak Eagle - Club (Launch Angle) LA

 

You can now adjust the effective LA of a club directly from the CP's main window


March 3 1:54 pm

- V 9.2.8.1

VisTrak camera with E6 Connect

Note: If E6 Connect has been selected but E6 is not running (i.e. the CP is constantly trying to connect) then the VisTrak won't start and speed tests will not run.

A warning message is now shown to indicate this.

Camera shutter speed switching for putting and non-putting

This version of the CP uses an improved method of auto changing the camera exposure and gains for putting and non-putting

Stereo ball tracking

Occasional mis-read fixed


March 2 2:03 pm

- V 9.2.7.8

VisTrak E6 Connect

Fix 1: System sometimes staying in Idle Mode when E6 Connect is used

Fix 2: When on the putting practice green, system not automatically switching to putting mode

New: When ball on Green Fringe, putter is automatically selected

VisTrak

Fix : System occasionally not reading or calculating club speed correctly

Various other small issues fixed.


March 1 5:00 pm

CX and VisTrak tests later today didn't reveal any issues but tests will continue as ever.

The Coronavirus

A personal opinion on the Corona virus and its implications on the economy and public health.

It would seem that as the Corona virus spreads throughout the World and the US, its implications could possibly have devastating effects on the World economy and public health.

i.e. Stock markets could continue to crash and massive layoffs could follow due to plummeting consumer spending.

Nearly all industries would be effected by this including manufacturing (i.e due to the supply chain being severely cut),

travel, airports, airlines, hotels, restaurants, sports events, theaters, schools, colleges, real estate, clothing, etc, etc.

On top of that, if the virus spreads to members of the Congress, Senate and even the White House, then there'd essentially be no government anymore.

As this virus is 20 times more lethal than the flu (that already kills 56 thousand a year in the US) , this could be really bad ( like a modern day version of the plague that killed 25 million in 1665).

Based on the lethality rate of the Corona virus, then this virus could kill 20 X 56 thousand a year in the US alone : i.e. 1.2 million a year.

The above image is of a recent Italian football match in an arena that would normally be full with over 20,000 spectators. As you can see, it's completely empty.

Is this coming to a town near you too now soon?

Maybe our supreme leader (Trump) - who's words cannot be questioned and - as he self proclaims to be a "Very Stable Genius" with infinite wisdom - is right and all this will simply go away come Spring.

Can only hope he's right on that I guess.

March 1 10:15 Am

- V 9.2.7.5

Fix 1: System occasionally not sending shot data to E6 Connect. This error was detected in all systems (i.e. VisTrak and CX systems).

Fix 2: System displaying message "Ball path not detected" in CX2 system even when ball path was detected.

New 1: Auto Club Select is automatically switched OFF if not using E6 Connect


February 29 10:58 am (Leap day!)

Stereo Vertical launch angle

- V 9.2.7.4

A major update for stereo LA calculations today

The scaling factor (either in the V or Hcam windows which are now linked) now directly effects how the stereo system measures vertical launch angle.

i.e. it directly effects the distance factor.

Below some theory:

Two factors are required to measure the vertical launch angle of the ball: Distance and Height.

Distance

The user defined launch position of the ball and the end of the ball trace (P1) are used to determine the distance.

This distance is initially measured in pixels and thus has to be converted into a real world distance using the "Scaling factor".

Adjusting the scaling factor will thus directly effect the Vertical Launch angle calculation.

Height

The height of the ball is determined by the height values for a certain stereo disparity value of Point 1 of the ball trace in the Stereo Calibration table.


February 28 10:58 pm

CX2 and E6Connect

- V 9.2.7.3

We're currently testing the CX2 with E6connect as reports coming in say there's issues with this setup.

Fix: The CP was always showing the launch angle derived from the selected club loft even when using a Vcam or Stereo system that measures LA.

The CP now only shows this LA derived from the selected club loft when a VisTrak Eagle system is being used.

Making the VisTrak Eagle plug'n'play.

There's now a standard VisTrak Eagle setup file for the plug'n'play feature.

When selected (in the setup window) this standard setup will be loaded and any system changes

will only be saved in the regular setup file and will not be used until the standard setup option is switched off.


February 27 13:37 pm

VisTrak Stereo putting

We're currently testing the VisTrak Stereo putting.

Fix: Carry boost factor not functioning with VisTrak Stereo.

- V 9.2.7.2

Making the VisTrak Eagle plug'n'play.

One objective this coming week will be to make the VisTrak plug'n'play.

There will be a standard setup for this that is automatically loaded so that the user doesn't have to make any changes (in fact changes won't be possible)

In addition, there will be standard recommended hitting surfaces and lighting so we have a consistent and known contrast between the club/ball and the underlying surface.

Note that plug'n'play will only be possible at the moment for the VisTrak Eagle.

VisTrak vs SkyTrak

The main reason we're wanting to make the VisTrak plug'n'play is so that it more substantially competes with the SkyTrak system that is also plug'n'play.

i.e. we are aware that the plug'n'play feature of the SkyTrak is one of the main reasons for its success.

However, as the VisTrak becomes equally as easy to install and operate,

the VisTrak system will easily overtake SkyTrak for the following reasons:


February 25 4:46 pm

New CX Surround 2 casing

New with the CX Surround 2 casing

1.The new CX Surround 2 casing is in two parts (primarily for ease and expense in shipping)

2.All cameras are now behind the Acrylic IR panel (including the Line Scan camera). There are thus no holes in the panels and no visible cameras and lenses.

3. The Acrylic IR panels are now adhered to the frame using a special 30lb load strong double sided tape. There are thus no unsightly screws visible in the panels.

4. A strong projector mount (with optional extension) is used to secure the system to the ceiling.

5. The panel framing is now anodised black instead of the previous bright light gray.

6. Wiring has been simplified and more compact.

7. LED indicator lights are more pronounced

February 25 1:30 pm

- V 9.2.7.0

Issue with VisTrak stereo cameras resolved



February 24
7:12 pm

Another long day comes to an end here at GSA Golf in Naples Florida.

Most of the day was spent making up the new CX Surround case design (pics to be show cased tomorrow) and replying to over 3 days of emails.

I also had to spend a considerable amount of time setting up a new development PC as the old one ( just a year old) was blue screening every 15 mins or so.

GSA Golf sales volume

I'm please to say that our camera tracking system sales volume is on track to meet our expected 6 to 12 sales a year (i.e 4 to 8 VisTraks, 1 to 2 VisTrak Stereo systems and 1 to 2 CX2 systems.

And our enclosure sales too, with already 12 sales this past 8 weeks alone is pleasing.

VisTrak Stereo

There's still been reports of irregularities with this 3 camera system.

We're be looking into this asap though so standby for further reports and updates later this week.


Multiple updates in a day?

Just in case you're wondering, the multiple updates on the hour are because testers (world-wide) are working with us this weekend.

This is the last CP update today.

Tester feedback will be reviewed this coming week.

February 23 13:46 pm

- V 9.2.6.9

Auto Club Selection

Driver is only selected if ball is on the Tee Box.

VisTrak - E6 Connect:

The VisTrak camera won't start until the connection has been established and the authentication process is completed.

(Otherwise the system will hang)

February 23 12:54 pm

- V 9.2.6.8

VisTrak - E6 Connect:

After shot 14 second time-out now displayed in game overlay button.

VisTrak camera does not re-start before time-out is down to zero.

February 23 11:52 am

- V 9.2.6.7

E6 Connect:

SW always auto selected (if auto club select is ON) and if distance to pin less than 100 yards and ball not on green.

February 23 9:03 am

- V 9.2.6.6

The current club selected is now also shown in the game overlay button


February 22 4:00 pm

- V 9.2.6.5

Auto Club Selection user adjustable

Users can now inform the CP which club is to be auto selected from a certain distance from the pin (in yards) if the "Auto Club Select" option is ON.

Set the yard value to 0 if a particular club should not be used. The settings are in the "Carry Factors" panel.

Note: I haven't included hybrid clubs in the list yet but these will come later.

 

This is the last CP update today. Possibly more tomorrow

 

February 22 11:45 am

- V 9.2.6.4

CX2 and VisTrak

New: the CP overlay button option is now permanently ON.

This allows easy access to the CP during game play.

VisTrak Stereo

Fix: First trigger on stereo cameras being suppressed.

February 22 9:06 am

- V 9.2.6.2

E6 Connect with CX2 or PX5 systems now working

No errors found with E6 Connect and CX2 systems after a 2 hour test this morning with this version of the CP.

E6 Connect with VisTrak and VisTrak Stereo

Tests will be run all this weekend. Standby for updates later today and tomorrow.


February 21 3:25 pm

- V 9.2.6.1

E6 Connect with a CX2 or PX5 system

First tests completed. Works but (like anything else with E6 Connect) doesn't always seem very stable.

Please note: Due to the workload at present: Emails and phones off line today and all this weekend

February 21 1:05 pm

- V 9.2.6.0

Auto and Manual Club Selection

First test version.

Auto club select in the CP is based on the current distance to the pin. Switch the "Auto Club Select" ON.

Manual club select will override any club select made in the game software (which in E6 Connect doesn't work anyway).

If "Auto Club Select" is ON and you manually select a different club, the "Auto Club Select" is de-activated for the current next shot.

Initial tests today showed that this works well with E6 Connect. I'll be doing more testing today and all this weekend though.

When the ball is on the green, then a putter is auto-selected. If the ball is on the green fringe, you can now also select a putter.

A later update this weekend will allow the user to select which club should be auto selected for a certain distance to pin.

 

New 2: The post shot time out has been increased from 5 seconds to 14 seconds.

E6 Connect with a CX2 or PX5 system

This configuration has yet to be tested.

An update may be ready later today.


February 20

5:00 pm

E6 Connect

Nearly all the rest of the day now has been spent trying to get the selected club and surface lie feedback from E6Connect.

While I have managed to get the surface lie, current distance to the pin and can detect if the ball is on the green (and thus switch to Putting Mode and select a Putter)

there seems to be no way to grab the current selected club from E6 Connect (certainly there's nothing in the API docs about it).

Looks like I'll have to then select the club in the CP based on the current distance to the pin.

This CP update should be ready tomorrow.

Note that the main reason for needing to know what club is being used is to estimate the vertical launch angle of the ball when users are using a system without a Vcam or Stereo cameras.

i.e. just the VisTrak camera alone.

February 20

- V 9.2.5.9 -10:44 am

VisTrak Putting

New: The carry adjust table now shows the CP's putt roll distance.

The user can adjust the estimated CP roll distance for all the speeds individually.

The initial putt roll distance table was made to match the putt roll distance measured in E6 Connect's flat practice green.

VisTrak Putting tests

Known issues:

1. Either E6C is not always sending the current club and surface lie or the CP isn't reading it.

It was noticed today that sometimes even though the ball is on the green, the CP still shows fairway and not green and an iron and not a putter.

Attempts to putt will then result in a chip.

2. Even though the measured ball speed from the VisTrak camera looks good when putting,

the putt roll distance doesn't seem to match the real distance the ball rolls. i.e. the real distance is always much further than what is shown in E6C.

More tests today should clear this issue up.


February 19

- V 9.2.5.8 -3:45 pm

A few more possibilities where data from the last shot may be being used for the current shot discovered and fixed.

- V 9.2.5.7 -2:00 pm

A number of very difficult to find bugs were solved after a 7 hour marathon VisTrak Stereo test today.

Amongst others - the following was found and fixed:

1. putting not working

2. data from last shot occasionaly being used for the current shot.

3. System somtimes hanging after a shot

4. Continous play mode not always functioning

February 19

- V 9.2.5.6 -9:45 am

New 1: There's now and option (in the VisTRak setup window) to allow ball launch with just Stereo cam data without a VisTrak ball strike

or only ball launch with stereo cams if a VisTrak ball strike is detected.

New 2: Post shot time-out delay increased to 7 seconds.

Known issue: putting and chipping not always functioning with E6


February 18

- V 9.2.5.4 -10:05 am

Carry and spin factors table

The carry and spin factors table is used to adjust the measured ball speed (and thus carry) and spin rates for a particular club or LA.

The table on the right allows you to adjust spin rates and carry for all speeds from 10mph to 200 mph in 10 mph increments for each club or LA.

A total of 600 plus adjustments factors can be made and stored for all clubs and all spin rates at all speeds.

Adjustments can be negative or positive to decrease of increase carry and/or spin rates.

Note that the estimated carry in the CP will - in all probability - not exactly correspond to the carry calculated in the game software (i.e. E6 or TGC).

However, the ball speed adjustments and spin rate adjustments in the CP will directly effect the carry in the game software.

 


February 17

GSA Golf telephone sales and support service reduced

Due to the current high workload (development and production) we're having to reduce our telephone sales and support service to just 3 hours a day from Tuesdays to Thursdays from now on.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

GSA Golf products - what's in the the box?

Before shipping this weekend's production, we thought we'd photograph the shipments so that future customers will know what to expect in the box.

The VisTrak IR box contains the IR Panel, VisTrak camera, USB cables, plastic mounts and optional projector mount.

The VisTrak Stereo box contains the 2 stereo cameras, the VisTrak camera itself, SX line scan camera, USB cables, CAT5 cables, USB over CAT adapters, 3 IR LED lamps,

a video LED spot light with mounting hardware and remote control.

New: VisTrak IR Stereo's are now be being supplied with a projector mount instead of the side mounted speaker mounts due to the additional weight.


February 16

A super busy day today (Sunday) making up orders (VisTrak IR's and VisTrak Stereos).

Tomorrow is Presidents Day (a national holiday) so we'll be closed then but still working full speed on production here.

(Photos will be published tomorrow).

Due to the excessive workload at present, the next CP update won't be available until later next week or the coming weekend.

I'll also get back to as many emails as I can later next week.


February 15

GSA Golf Stereo system differences explained

There are 3 main stereo systems available.

CX Surround - All cameras and lights built into one 86" (7.2 foot) long case.

The system includes a line scan camera that allows the user to putt away from the regular hitting mat (i.e. from a smother surface).

The Surround also works with the VisTrak camera that is supplied in a separate casing

When used with the VisTrak camera, the user has the option to allow the stereo cameras to measure ball speed and path instead if the VisTrak camera.

The system is mounted 5 to 6 ft ahead of the player's hitting position.

 

CX / VisTrak Stereo - Has the exact same function as the CX Surround but all cameras and lights are in separate casings

As with the Surround, the system includes a line scan camera that allows the user to putt away from the regular hitting mat (i.e. on a smother surface) and a VisTrak camera can be added to it.

As with the Surround - and when used with the VisTrak camera - the user has the option to allow the stereo cameras to measure ball speed and path instead if the VisTrak camera.

The system is mounted 5 to 6 ft ahead of the player's hitting position.

VisTrak IR Stereo - The VisTrak IR Stereo system combines the stereo cameras with the VIsTrak IR in one shorter 42" (3.5 ft) case.

The system does not feature a line scan camera so all shots including putting have to be made from the VisTrak hitting mat.

The stereo cameras in the VisTrak IR Stereo are triggered by the VisTrak camera as soon as it detects a ball strike.

As with the CX Surround, all cameras and lights are built into one ceiling mounted case.

The system is mounted 3 to 4 ft ahead of the player's hitting position.

Unlike the Surround, there's no option to allow the stereo cameras to measure ball speed and path. These parameters are always measured from the VisTrak camera.

The Stereo cameras in the VisTrak IR Stereo are thus only used to measure ball vertical launch angle.

-

With the increase in price of the VisTrak and Stereo cameras, we can now offer all the cameras in stylish cases.

The stereo cameras now also feature built-in USB/Cat adapters.

Lots more setup instructions on the stereo setup page today


February 13

- V 9.2.5.3 -4:05 pm

Fix: Screen shot button not always functioning

- V 9.2.5.2 -9:23 am

VisTrak Putting

The CP's estimated putting roll distance calculations have been improved.


February 12

- V 9.2.5.1 -11:12 am

VisTrak Stereo Putting

You can now opt to putt only using the VisTrak camera. Any data from the stereo cameras will be ignored.

Switch the option "Putting from VisTrak only - i.e. without stereo cameras" ON or OFF in the Setup window.

- V 9.2.5.0 -8:37 am

VisTrak Stereo Putting

You can now opt to putt only using the stereo cameras without the VisTrak ball strike detection requirement -

or with the VisTrak ball strike detection so that inadvertant stereo camera triggerings caused by users retrieving balls are avoided.

Switch the option "Putting and Chipping from Stereo cameras only - i.e. without VisTrak club data" ON or OFF in the Setup window.



February 11 - 3

Martin Gardiner - Founder of GSA Golf

GSA Golf F-Pro systems starting at $54,900 !

That price (as I just saw on the FullSwing website) would certainly be cool for us I must say.

Trackman at a starting price of just $49,000 seems like a good deal too.

I was thinking, maybe GSA Golf should also try their hand at the super high-end market as well.

After all, we're based in prestigious Naples, Florida where there are more multi-millionaires and billionaires per square mile than in any other part of the country

and we have already done numerous super high-end scale installations in the area in this price range.

Introducing the new GSA Golf F-Pro

Our new GSA Golf F-Pro starting at just $ 29,995 includes full installation from our professional staff with raised wood platform, high-end projector, PC and sound system

with the best golf simulator software on the market i.e. E6 Connect and TGC.

It's a bargain compared to the others.

February 11 - 2

VisTrak Stereo / F3 price hikes

Due to the amount of assembly time required to build a VisTrak Stereo system (some 16 hours plus)

and the following support that is required for such a system,

we've had to increase the price of the VisTrak Stereo by $1,000 in order to stay relatively profitable.

This includes the F3 model that also uses the VisTrak Stereo system.

The base price of the VisTrak Stereo (3 camera system plus Line Scan camera) thus increases from $2,999 to $3,999

and the F3 full scale golf simulator from $9,995 to $10,995.

February 11

- V 9.2.4.9 -10:37 am

VisTrak Stereo

New: The stereo cameras will now only capture images if a VisTrak ball strike has been detected

and the time between the ball strike detection and the incoming stereo images does not exceed 2 seconds.

This prevents the stereo shot images from being overwritten by any new incoming images caused by users retrieving balls

in the enclosure which causes the line scan camera to re-trigger the stereo cameras and thus the original shot images can't be seen for user inspection.

This 2 second window - however - will probably be too long to prevent balls bouncing back off the screen and being picked up again by the line scan camera.

Tests later this week will reveal how short the time window will have to be to prevent this.

Note that - currently at least - this image capture time window is not being used when putting as most will be putting from other surfaces away from the FOV of the VisTrak camera.

Also, ball strike detection when putting won't be possible if the users head is over the ball and thus blocking the view of the ball.


February 8

VisTrak - Woods and Drivers

4:24 pm

Testing today showed that - for the most part at least - woods and drivers are also picked up well without having to apply markings to the clubs.

Click above to read more about woods and driver club data detection

- V 9.2.4.8 -9:21 am

VisTrak Stereo - ball path shift

You can now shift the measured ball path from the stereo cameras using the new stereo path shift value.

e.g. if the measured ball path is left -1.40 degrees but in reality it is 0 degrees straight, you would set the path shift value to +1.40 degrees to correct the reading

The value is shown in the Stereo camera window when in "Calibration Mode".

VisTrak Overlay buttons and overlay video

The CP must be in the "framed and movable window" mode and the "window not on top of other windows" option must be OFF for the overlays to function correctly.

These options are - however - now automatically set when the CP's Minimize button is clicked.


February 7

- V 9.2.4.7 -4:36 pm

VisTrak Stereo - ball path factors

You can now adjust the measured ball path from the stereo cameras using the new right and left ball path factors.

The factors are shown in the camera window when in "Calibration Mode".

- V 9.2.4.6 -11:57 am

VisTrak Stereo - data source

In a multi camera system like the VisTrak Stereo, it maybe of interest to know where the data is coming from.

This CP update displays the data source under the shot data.

There are 3 possibilities in the VisTrak Stereo:

1. The "Stereo" cameras measured the data

2. The "VisTrak" camera measured the data

3. The data was "Estimated" because the camera couldn't detect either the ball or club.


February 5

- V 9.2.4.4 -4:10 pm

VisTrak Stereo

New 1: Unless putting, there is no launch with just the stereo camera ball flight detection. i.e. without VisTrak shot detection

New 2: More camera run checks.

VisTrak

New 1: Frame Count is now displayed in the game overlay buttons when system in "Looking for Ball" mode.

New 2: When the Stereo cameras are in Video Stream mode, the grabbed images are immediately displayed in the camera window.

New 3: A number of small cosmetic updates.

New 4: Improved club speed detection

No issues were detected in the 2 hour plus VisTrak tests today.

A report that the VisTrak camera does not stay in Continuous Play Mode could not be reproduced.

The only way the VisTrak camera will stop (i.e. be put in Idle mode) would be when the CP detects a mouse click that is not in the Video Overlay .

The camera has to be stopped in this case as screen refresh cannot function during VisTrak frame grabbing.

A report that the VisTrak camera does not automatically show the video swing playback overlay after a shot could not be reproduced. (worked every time)

A report that the 2 VisTrak Overlay buttons cannot not be moved in the Game software could not be reproduced. (works every time)

A report that the VisTrak Stereo cameras do not measure ball speed and path (when this option is set ON in the Setup window) could not be reproduced. (works every time)

 


February 2

- V 9.2.4.1 -9:07 am

New 1: CP game overlay button position can now be moved

To move the buttons, hold the Ctrl Key down and click the CP Minimize button in the CP's main window.

While still holding the Ctrl Key down, use the up, down, left and right keyboard arrow keys to adjust the button positions on the screen.

New 2: A check is made every 3 seconds to see if the VisTrak camera is still running in continuous mode if continuous play mode has been selected.

This function runs with all games including E6 Connect now.


January 31

New 10 turn focus dial lenses for all new VisTrak and LineScan cameras

These lenses feature a 10 turn focus dial that enables a finer and more precise focus adjustment for clearer images of the club and ball.

VisTrak video images and easier sensitivity adjustment for the SX LineScan camera .

Available for upgrade next month or as soon as the shipment from the supplier comes in. Price $49.00

New Camera casing option

For those that would prefer the cameras to mounted in a case,

we have a new case design coming soon for the VisTrak, CX cameras and the SX Lin Scan camera.

Optional extra VisTrak camera case with LED indicators ($120)

- V 9.2.4.0 -2:14 pm

New 1: VisTrak Stereo Putting and Chipping

There is now the option to putt using just the stereo cameras or just the VisTrak camera.

New 2: Finer control of the Video playback speed in the post shot Video overlay.

New 3: After the Video overlay has been closed out, the video play is stopped if playing shots with the VisTrak camera window open.

New 4: The "Test VisTrak speed FPS" now functions with multiple camera setups like the VisTrak Stereo


January 30

- V 9.2.3.8 - 2:20 pm

New 1: VisTrak Stereo Putting and Chipping

When using the VisTrak Stereo system and the system is in putting or chipping mode, the ball data is only captured by the Stereo cameras

so that the ball can be played on other surfaces like smooth greens.

New 2: Video playback speed control in the post shot Video overlay.


January 28

Lots more VisTrak Stereo setup info on the VisTrak Stereo Installation page


January 27

Business news

Martin Gardiner - Founder of GSA Golf

That big grin on my face is mainly due to the reports I've seen of this year's PGA Show

From what I gather, there was nothing new of particular interest at the show regarding lower cost golf simulators and nothing that comes anywhere near competing with our VisTrak system.

Lots of people complaining about SkyTrak on the forums I read though. No new developments they say. Just the same old 4 second shot launch delay as before.

Uneekor's new system in the 10 to 12k price range for the base unit -that they proudly show only requires 2 tracking dots and markings

to be applied to the clubs instead of 4 - seemed to be a big highlight of the show for some obscure reason.

Seriously ? How about our VisTrak system that doesn't require any tracking stickers to be applied to clubs and sells in the $ 999 range ?

P3ProSwing out of business?

A customer called in today telling me that P3ProSwing went out of business a year ago.

I seriously didn't know that. Just too busy these days it would seem to notice such things. (I'm not a forum or social media follower).

The question begs, why? As long as a company is still making money not losing money, there'd be no need to close it.

Over time I've noticed a number of seemingly successful golf sim companies fold. ( Visual Sports, Swing Track etc come to mind).

My guess is that these companies take on investors and when sales start to go south and the money runs out, they run up debts and then have to close in order to not have to payback their investors.

That's just my guess though so don't take my word for it.

Note that GSA Golf has not now and never will have investors. We're just an independent family business and will never have debts and have zero overhead.

For us, golf simulators are as much a passion as a business. We don't care if we don't make any money at all in fact. We just love doing it.

 


January 26

VisTrak Installation Check Lists

Lots more info and tips on the "Common VisTrak User Issues" page.

The new "VisTrak Installation Check Lists" at the bottom of this page will be particularly useful for newbies to VisTrak and the GSA Golf Control Panel.


January 25

- V 9.2.3.0 - 1:30 pm

Video Overlay and Show CP overlay buttons

New 1: Current Video number displayed in buttons

New 2: Ability to select previous videos in the Video overlay

New 3: Last stored video is always first displayed when first opening the VisTrak window or Video overlay

New 4: Improved CP startup camera testing

New 5: Double launch checking


January 24

- V 9.2.2.5 - 3:43 pm

Auto camera pre-check

New 1: When first starting the Control panel, all cameras connected to the PC are now automatically checked to see if they are functioning correctly and grabbing frames.

An error message is displayed if not. The test takes a few seconds.

New 2: When grabbing frames, a check is now made to see that the camera corresponds correctly to its assignment.

i.e. if the VisTrak camera is incorrectly assigned to camera 1 instead of camera 3 in a VisTrak Stereo system, the system won't grab frames now.

Previously, grabbing frames with the incorrect assignment would cause a Memory Access Violation crash.


January 23

- V 9.2.2.2 - 10:30 am

VisTrak Club path gray scale

There's now a new separate "Club Path Gray Scale" setting that can be used to better detect club path when the video images of the club are too dark..

VisTrak Video Overlay

New: The overlay video playback speed is always the same as that set in the VisTrak window.

January 22 - 9:37 am

- V 9.2.1.9

Video Overlay and Show CP overlay buttons

The Green LED in the Control Panel overlay button indicates to the user that the VisTrak camera is running. It turns Red if not.

Clicking on the "GSA Golf Control Panel" buttton opens the Control Panel overlay over the game software.

Clicking on the "Show Swing Video" buttton opens the Video Swing playback video as an overlay over the game software.


January 20 2020 - 9:30 am

- V 9.2.1.3

Control Panel button displayed in game software option

You can now access the Control Panel from the game software via a button overlay in the top left hand corner of the screen.

Select the "Show CP overlay button" in the setup window to activate this feature.


January 18 2020 - 3:00 pm

- V 9.2.1.1

VisTrak Stereo

New 1:

Measured stereo ball LA, ball speed and ball path - plus club data - is now stored in the video file so that the video can be replayed with these original parameters.

Up until now, the system would re-calculate these parameters when loading the video file because the stereo camera images would be no longer available.

Thus the system would use only data available from the VisTrak camera video.

The user has can re-calculate the video data by switching on the "Re-cal angles" option.

The "Data:" display shows where the data is coming from i.e. from the current video or re-calculated.

Note that even the current shot data source is displayed as "Video" because the current shot data is also saved to the video file.

New 2: The frame and render buffers are cleared when starting the camera.


January 17 2020 - 12:28 pm

- V 9.2.1.0

VisTrak Video overlay

The Video swing playback overlay will be optionally displayed in the game software (TGC, E6 etc) after every shot.


 

 


 


Installation


Factory

Based in Naples, Florida,

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



About Martin Gardiner

Founder of GSA Golf

I've been in the golf simulation business for over 20 years now

These days, when I'm not developing golf simulators, you'll find me in my keyboard music studio


 

 

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