View Full Version : Does any one have a good suggestion on a Transponder Lap counter system??

Dennis Whitt
06-05-2003, 09:27 PM
We want to figure out a system for MC5.

Brian Vega
06-05-2003, 09:38 PM
Dennis, Rob uses a nice system at the Shop! I think he just purchased a new system.. I will check and see if he is selling his old system and let you know... I would like to see this implemented at the Nats and other variuos races..... BV;)

06-05-2003, 09:44 PM
it works great for car racing.. not sure how you would set it up for boats.. you would have to run the wire over the course and keep it tight so the boats wouldn't hit it.. I think it has to be with in 12 inches of the boat or car to read.. least thats what I was told.. I am probably wrong on the distance so don't fry me on it.. Would be cool for races though


Brian Vega
06-05-2003, 09:51 PM
Brooks, You are right ! You would need to make some sort of "Bridge so to speak" out of PVC run the wire on or through that. The transponders could go right into the boat in a little zip lock bag mounted inside somewhere. This would be awesome Laps, Time so on. No mistakes thats for sure! BV

06-05-2003, 09:56 PM
ya the transponders are the easy part.. the wire bridge or what ever would be the hard part.. You would need alot of wire and some floats or somthing so it would float or something.. plus it would need to be long so the guys would have room to drive through in the heat of the battle


Dennis Whitt
06-05-2003, 10:01 PM
We are looking specificaly for a new system with software.I just dont know what companys to check into.Brian what company made the new system that Robby uses.Every one who knows Rob Michael Knows he dont Buy Junk.Does this system have transponders that plug in the reciever or rechargeable modules.I just think that using such a system would put an end to lap arguments.I can see endoro and offshore type events getting bigger in the US and we need to be proactive in in implimenting some kind of system like this.
How many of you have lost track of laps in an offshore or enduro race?I have. Its frustrating and embarassing.

Brian Vega
06-05-2003, 10:08 PM
Dennis ask Alan N. about counting laps for me LOL ! I dont know who the Manufacture of his set up is but I can asure you it wasent cheap... He has like 40 transponders that do re-charge right in the box! Its a very nice setup... I agree with Dennis that we need to take a good look into this because we can all benifit from it in the long run at the races. Cool thing is you hook this system up to your laptop and bang no more counting anything... Let the system do the work and you just run the race... Thats how it should be done! BV

Dennis Whitt
06-05-2003, 10:17 PM
Thinking of running the wire above or what about 6 or 7 inches below the water thats what I am trying to find out.Is the transponder signal strong enough to penatrate 7 inches of water and a hull.Would a carbon Fiber hull make things even more dificult.i know of atleast one system that a person can just buy a transponder that is just one of hundreds of different signals.And could just bring it to a race with him or her.I realy want to keep this simple,Inexpensive for a racer,Easy to maintane,easy to police,Could it one day be just as common as having a reciever in your boat.We would be happy to have some type of national registery included on our web sight to help guide new boaters on wich signals are already in use.This would be shared with other web sights as well.This could also be the next step in The SAW events.As we have seen Timing lights ,and less than perfect weather make trhings dificult.Also if you paint your boat the wrong color this can give bad readings as well.Please more input!

06-05-2003, 10:23 PM
I don't think the radio signals would pass well through the water since it has such a small range.. plus you would have to keep the depth the same all the across or you would get areas that read and areas that don't and the lap wouldn't get counted.. its not a perfect system.. I have had laps get missed when driving over the wire for some reason..

just my 2 cents but your best bet I think would be to have it run over the course.


Brian Vega
06-05-2003, 10:26 PM
Dennis, I will talk with Rob Tommorrow and see what he thinks! Also I will get the name of the Manufacture to see if we can get some insight! They have come out with a thing called a personal transponder that hooks right into your reciever and there are like hundreds of different freq numbers assigned to them. They cost about 65 bucks or so. Lucky me I already have one... BV

06-05-2003, 10:31 PM
I think everyong having their own transponder would be a nice idea.. it would also make it cheaper on the clubs to buy the system if they didn't have to buy all of the trans's also..Plus with everyone spends on there boats 65 isn't bad and its a one time deal..

Dennis Whitt
06-05-2003, 10:39 PM
Thats the system I was thinking of.The idea being that each racer is responsable for his own transponder.I know it may ad a little expense to racing but how hard do you work on your boats only to loose bacause of a bad call,missed laps Or confusion during a race.No one does all that work comes all that way only to take second.

06-06-2003, 12:07 AM
I've looked into these out of curiosity. When I saw the $3,000 price tag for a good system, I let it go as a lottery-winning pipe dream. BTW, that's 3 grand for the base system and about 100 bucks each for the transponders.

AMB is one company that makes one of the best ones. www.amb-us.com

I think Orion has one as well which costs less, but I don't think it's reputation is as good as AMB's.

Happy Ampīs Ch
06-06-2003, 03:46 AM
Hi,have you ever think about video systems.I am thinking of such system for SAW with two cams at each line detecting objekts having the size of a boat.For oval racing you can use colered cards to detect or a computer reading the number.
I have a uncle in Ventura/CA ,he was a maneger at a Orange and Avocado plantage,he showes me such system for detect oranges like have the small dots outside or is the color ok than throw it in the box for supermarket use or to make juce.This systems are used everywhere and are not as expensive today as you think.The best is that you use no bare over the lake or any other part in the water,only to plaze on the side,angeled right.
Look at yellow pages or how delivers what.

06-06-2003, 07:39 AM
The over the water system would be easy to do. It wouldn't weigh alot so some PVC pipe across the course at the start finish line with 90 degree ends on it going to some floats and then one of Terry's bricks to hold in place and at the other end the shore to anchor to it wouldn't go anywhere, the whole span would be covered as not to interfer with racing . The counter wouldn't be the hard part, the $3000.00 for the system would be. But I do think it's a good Idea. lets not let this idea go by the way side, lets seriously work at it and find out . Maybe since there isn't any races on the same day one system gets used for everyone and all clubs (or racers) contribute to buying the system to be used at all Namba sanctioned Races. Just an idea all the club would have to pay for is the shipping of the equipment to the next race site. it would keep things cheaper for the clubs. Does this sound Like a feasable Idea?

06-06-2003, 07:56 AM

06-06-2003, 08:53 AM
I'm sure this is a silly question but how does it deal with cut bouy?

06-06-2003, 09:10 AM
TERRY there a lot of what ifs. I would like to see a transponder system specificly designed for marine before we toss the big $ into one.
JOHN program looks like a great investment. AWESOME :p

Jim Caldwell
06-06-2003, 09:20 AM
I seem to recall from my parking lot racing that the transponder range was about 3 feet, any closer on the grid would trip a lap.

Steven Vaccaro
06-06-2003, 09:23 AM
What about all the clubs getting together and buying it? Each one use it at major events.

06-06-2003, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Pagemaster
What about all the clubs getting together and buying it? Each one use it at major events.

That would work until the first time there is a date conflict or even races to close together. Another thing with having one for all is what happens when you get the box from the last user and it's in shambles. Wet transponders. What ever. Can you here it "I only had one evening to get it in a box after our race".

Sure is a bunch of what if's.

I would think that with the collective genious of the folks on this board that someone could just invent what we need for marine.

We're ahead of the curve on most every other piece of technology that comes along.

06-06-2003, 10:05 AM
maybe B.V. can go test the range on the one down by him.. I was also thinking we would need to come up with a common place to mount the transponders.. If one guy has his in the back of the boat and another has his mounted all the way foward.. and its a close race and they where side by side (I know very rare but could happen) the guy with it in front would win..

Dennis Whitt
06-06-2003, 10:05 AM
I am sold on the software program.I think we should get that regardless.The amb system looks perfect but it would take a multi club effort.Im going to ckeck into the dimensions of the transponders.It wont do us any good unless they will fit in the smallest of boats.

Dennis Whitt
06-06-2003, 10:10 AM
well thats not gonna work.The transponders are almost as big as some boats.I think an RC car transponder is the way to go.

Steven Vaccaro
06-06-2003, 10:24 AM
With each Club having a vested interest, maybe things could be worked out.

As far as conflicting dates. Well, that would help solve conflicting dates in advance and make it easier for people that do travel to hit both races.

I know there are problems to be overcome with my idea, but if there are 5 clubs willing to join in then $6-8 hundred for a system is much easier to shallow then $3-4 thousand.

06-06-2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by Dennis Whitt
12"X7"X3".....well thats not gonna work.The transponders are almost as big as some boats.I think an RC car transponder is the way to go.

They're actually quite small. Smaller than a receiver. The rechargeable variety weighs 22 g., the direct powered 6 g.


Cost of the AMB unit with software but without transponders is $2,884. 20 rechargeable transponders with a charging rack costs another $1909. That's almost 5 G's.

The direct powered transponders cost $64 each. (3rd channel on the receiver I believe.)

Here's another idea: Find a sugar daddy to buy it and rent to events. Who's got 5 grand laying around? :D :D :D

06-06-2003, 01:00 PM
Hey I know how to count....check this out...
1,2,3,5!:D Duh?!?!?

Still feel bad about screwing up your N-1 heat...Kill me later.


06-06-2003, 01:33 PM
wow you guys hand count laps, that must suck!

what about a line over the water? adjust it so that it will fit over the biggest boat by an inch or 2 and have all the competators boats streamlined so if it was too low it would be able to roll over the boat. and then boaters would mount the transponder as far up as possable. Its also a much better idea to get every one to buy thier own transponder because they are much lighter and smaller, i have one for my 2 off road racers. they have a 6 digit number to seperate them and i guess theres an almost infineite number of TP num's and freq's


Brian Vega
06-06-2003, 01:36 PM
Guys, There are gonna be a lot of varibles that will need to be worked out of course! I think its a great idea and we all need to put our heads together and get something in the works. The personal transponders are gonna be the way to go and for 65bucks for each its not bad at all. You could use 1 transponder in all of your boats and these things are about the size of a piece of bazooka gum. I will post a pic of one so you an really see it! All we have to do if we go that route is find a system without the transponders and let it rip! I am gonna talk with Rob who uses these things weekly to get more info and so on. Keep the ideas comin Fellas! BV

Dan Chase
06-06-2003, 07:09 PM
I love the idea and we were kicking it around for this years NATS BUT, unless the rules were changed in NAMBA, they could not be used for records or official timing!

I have used the AMB system in real cars, RC cars, Quarter midgets and Karts, they are very reliable. One of the coolest things is having instant printouts that show accumulated time, as well as fastest lap times. In quarter midgets we had a similar rule that could drop a car down a lap and it can be done on the fly while the race is in progress. Another very cool function is the starts, it can be triggered to start with a countdown cloak and flash a driver the jumps the start.

Also check out:

Some of these are more suitable to SAW then oval, still good reads. ;)

Greg Schweers
06-07-2003, 12:55 PM
The problem with have a wire below or above the water is that someone is going to hit it. Everybody's seen boats blow off on the start and can easily go 10 feet in the air. Boats turn into submarines all the time, coming up 20 feet later. That's just something to think about before investing $5,000.

Dennis Whitt
06-07-2003, 08:51 PM
Greg there are alot of things that could happen.Murphys law says it will happen.But it would be neat if we could get all that stuff figured out.Witch is why I put it up here for debate.I have spent alot of time checking your stuff out,And you are a problem solver.Any ideas on how to make this work?

Ron Olson
06-07-2003, 09:12 PM
Dennis, a guy near me here in Kalamazoo built his own system but I don't know if it has been used yet or not. It was made to suspend under the water by buoys and was enclosed in PVC pipe for protection. Now if I can find his e-mail address or his phone number........

BTW, did you get my address?

06-09-2003, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by Dennis Whitt
Re: Does any one have a good suggestion on a Transponder Lap counter system??

Buy a car.


06-09-2003, 12:49 PM
The Software System Sounds Great. Each Club could buy a copy
and NAMBA Should Buy the System. That they would then
Rent out to clubs and Require it for Sanctioned races.

Devide out all the Members buy the Cost. A one time
special assement member add on cost might not hurt so bad.

All kinds of clubs do it.

Spread out a little of the pain.


Mike Zaborowski
06-09-2003, 01:29 PM
Been there done that..

The IMPBA used this system for about 5 years and after many many problems gave up.

The system was always in question, needing to be reset, missing boats, and the like.

The wires were not all that hard to hang over the water its when a boat it them is when there were problems.

Some of the racers liked the system but most did not..

I remember having to hunt for a way to mount the transponder and then trying to remember to return it as some would forget and then (with 400 boats to run) holding up the show. It also takes a person or two to keep it all in check..

I can tell you that i have raced using tranponders (cars and boats) for cars its the only was to go..but for boats.. hand count is much easer and less screwing around. Hand counting might be low tech for a hi tech hobby but sometimes its nice to be able to count (no pun intended) on something...

Mike Grimracer Z

06-09-2003, 02:46 PM
Are these things like computers? 5 years old is ancient? Is a system of today more trustworthy than the system that IMPBA was using? Not knocking IMPBA in any way. It's just that technology moves faster than my boats.

Would a submerged wire just be a "more power" thing?

I like this idea if we can work out the problems.

It sucks when you race real hard for second place in an offshore heat, report your laps, and then find out later in the day that someone reported 1.5 laps more than you and the 3rd place boat but you both have no recollection of being passed. You know your second and that's okay but at the end of the day when you add all those laps up it could make a difference. It happens. Nobodies perfect. Counting and people don't always get along. LOL

With the sprint races your depending on each pit man to start his or her watch at exactly the right time. Now you have 5 or more people (plus the CD) that all have different reaction times doing the same task. Talk about margine of human error. LOL There has to be a better way. Makes you wonder how many world records are decided by the reaction time of the guy with the watch. Aren't we keeping records down to the blink of an eye?

Mike Zaborowski
06-09-2003, 02:50 PM
I like this idea if we can work out the problems.

If i had a nickle for ...well you get the idea..


06-09-2003, 02:51 PM
Go Terry! Go!:hail:


06-09-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by photohoward1
Go Terry! Go!:hail:


I knew that would catch your eye. It really didn't make difference in the end but it could have. I wasn't pointing any fingures or anything. Like I said, nobodies perfect. Maybe we both counted wrong. Countins hard. Like spellin. I had ya septin for that bouy cut. LOL

Would it be worth making some sort of list of problems to see if we can solve them one by one? Or are we just going to end up with another thing to make a race day last longer and be more complicated? Longer sucks.

06-09-2003, 03:24 PM
After about 7 years of CD experience, I think I've noted a few trends.

1) Most disagreements are about jumped starts.

2) Cut buoy calls are almost always good, and the racers know this and respect it.

3) In Offshore, nobody counts well. I suspect LSH might have this problem as well.

4) Give a racer an inch and he'll take a mile.

My opinion:

1) Camcorders are cheap and even my 8 year old can operate one.

2) LCD TV displays are cheap too.

3) Camcorders don't lie.

4) If we spent the time reviewing tape rather than complaining about the CD, we'd be out of there quicker.

The solution:

Set one up on the start/finish line and just let it run. There's 2 hours of tape on my 8mm, and you can get 6 hours on a VHS in SLP mode.

If there's a disagreement on the start, laps, etc. it will be on tape. In event of a disagreement, have a drivers rep and the CD (NOT the driver in question) review the tape and make a call.

This would require a rule change on the part of NAMBA (work it at a club level for a year first to see if it works) to allow after-the-lap calls, and then you have to work out penalties for these.

I think it's worth it. I've been the subject of enough heat at a race to be in favor of it.


06-09-2003, 03:33 PM
I like Grims post because it makes you think, this is not a system to hastely jump in to. While it would be greart to have accurate laps counts and times, everyone who uses a computer knows what can happen when we rely on them to much. Although human numbers are not as accurate, atleast you consistently get them. I think the IMPBA experiance should be duly noted. Nothing worse then having a $2000 dollar peice of junk.


06-09-2003, 06:46 PM
Starting a discussion on a timing system is far from hastily jumping in to something that we will later regret.

During what time frame did IMPBA try electronic timing on oval racing? Like someone else already noted, if it was more than 5 years ago it was it is ancient history in respect to electronics and computers.

Computers sometimes fail so no one should make a move to employ a better timing system than humans with stopwatches?

Cars breakdown often and I'll bet few (if any) of us walk everywhere we go. I'll bet none of us can bear more than a few days without on-line time, even though we'll acknowledge that computer are super-frustrating at times.

Do you wonder if your boat really did slow down on that 4th and 5th lap?

How about being able to walk over to a monitor in the pit area (after your heart rate returns to normal) and call up the times of all boats for all laps in every heat that has run so far that race day. Within minutes of your heat ending.

Got a pitman who doesn't count to well? (Like he was from Ohio or something :) )

No fear. Your lap count from the last heat, along with a running total for the day, are availible at the monitor kiosk.

Lap times, lap counts, total times, actual start times (so you can tell just how far off you were at the start), finish orders, and probably more useful information that I haven't listed, all available promptly and conveniently.

Lots of possiblities.

Handling bouy cuts, adding in fractions of laps in enduro classes, recording the finish for the rare photo finish, backups in case of equipment failures (maybe video of the entire race?), and likely some more will be (or already are) problem with a system like this.

These are things that must be addressed and can be dealt with if enough of an effort is put forth to do so. After all, we are not proposing walking on Mars, we are proposing timing small boats going aroung a relatively small racecourse.


Brian Vega
06-09-2003, 08:02 PM
Dennis, Talked with Rob today about his system he has for sale! It comes with the recharge station, 20 transponders, Laptop computer, the program and a printer for 2,500. He also said that the wire would work fine under water and that it should not be any deeper than 12 inches. He really thinks it would be a great step up in the right direction for us boaters. I do also.... BV

06-09-2003, 08:19 PM
sounds like a winner.. it worth the try and if it works that would be sweet. still alot of money for a single club

06-09-2003, 09:17 PM
If its been tried and dumped because it dosn't work good enough. Spending 2500 is not a deal unless the system works.
12 inches of reception is not enough. I don't think 5 years makes IMPBA's system ancient. Maybe the computers but not the basic transponder system.

I hope it can be worked out for a reasonable cost but I think for boats you would need at least 36 inches above or 12 " below(reliably, even if the boat is 1 foot in the air as it crosses the line) or people won't be happy.


Brian Vega
06-09-2003, 09:34 PM
I guess to put your thoughts to rest Lou! I will take the system my buddy has and try it out. 2,500 dollars would not be a deal if it did not work! Correct Again! I will take it to our local pond with some modifications and give it a go.. Just some info for Dennis as he requested... BV

Dennis Whitt
06-09-2003, 09:45 PM
I love you man.Thats the only way is try it before you buy it!Let us Know.I think if we can make a 12 volt hunka wires and crap go 60 to 70 miles an hour this is no hill for a climber.

06-09-2003, 09:51 PM
My thoughts to rest?? Ha Ha thats funny. Sorry if I cheesed you off Brian. I was just trying to play devils advocate:D

I hope the test goes good.


Brian Vega
06-09-2003, 10:05 PM
Lou, No problem Man! No Cheese here!:D BV

06-09-2003, 11:08 PM
If it counts at all????

I have been a CD for 3 years now, I totaly understand what all the fuss is about!!

It is very hard to keep time/laps on say,,,, up to 8 boats at one time, especially when most of everyone gets side tracked by the first and second boat at the heat of the race!!

The only thing I see wrong with the whole video camera and tracking thing is,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

1) Who is gong to be able to take the time to look back at the camera at the time that someone argues or say has a complaint?

2) Are we going to take 10 to 15 min. between the heats that some one does have a complaint?

I mean, really,,, there was not any time left at the MC4 to even add up scores, and hope they where correct!!

I think Brian and Dennis have the right Idea, If there is something out there that can count for us and get an accurate count ONTIME, that would be the way to go.

UNLESS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Per sayyyyy, We have 6 to 8 people willing to not race (like myself) at all and do nothing but CD!!


I know FE is a HOBBIE but,,,, Alot of you put alot of time and effort into your boats and alot of hard work and pride goes into those things, I know, I see it every day living with John, I see everyday the hard work and love that he puts into his boats, often preying that he can purchase all the things that he needs to make his races everything that he has wished and hoped for!!!!

I know that all of you only want to be fair and when your argueing over jumped starts or who had more laps or if you can or can't do something,,, Its not to be jerks or down someone else or try to hurt the work of the other person, IT IS ONLY BECAUSE YOU WANT WHAT YOU HAVE WORK YOUR BUTTS OFF ALL WINTER FOR AND WHAT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU DESERVE!!!!!!!

So, I myself would love to see the counter, It may be alot of work and effort from EVRYONE and ALOT of UNDERSTANDING during the whole testing thing, But HEY,,,,,,,,, You all deserve a fair race!!!!

ALSO, I think it should be MANDATORY that all racers read and know the NAMBA rules before gong to a race, It is only for the racers benefit and me too, I know I let some of you down at the MC4 with some calls I made and some things I messed up by not knowing all the exact rules!!! I promise to work on that!!!:D

As the Cd, I would love to help you guys in any way I can, I do have some Ideas per seeing for 3 years everything that became a problem at the races!!!!

Maybe we can do both?????

What could it hurt, Ay????

Just my two cents????


06-10-2003, 05:26 AM
well Here's what i have to say on the matter.. I like the Idea if there is something out there that works or partally works lets give it a try. if it falls short somewhere ther is a collective of Knowledgeable people On this board and others that could solve any issues that might not work with the system . the system won't get better if we don't work on it and make it better. for instance the first radios were horrible compared to todays stereo but some one worked them until they got better. in todays day and age we have to be able to come up with something that will work even if we have to reinvent it. but there is alot of variables that have to get worked out but I think in the long run it would be worth the work involved. and with the Knowledge in this sport it can be overcome.

06-10-2003, 07:09 AM
Originally posted by Becca
2) Are we going to take 10 to 15 min. between the heats that some one does have a complaint?

So record to hard drive instead. Then you have nonlinear access to the whole thing. The tape transport on my one camera is broken - the camera works great writing direct to my hard drive (encoded in VCD format). You could break down a race heat-by-heat this way, and have all the information you need. Plus, you MIGHT be able to sell a few copies if you had a good location for the camera... Putting it up above the CD, to exclude those racers who like to stand in your way ;)

ALSO, I think it should be MANDATORY that all racers read and know the NAMBA rules before gong to a race,

Becca, this is not to slam you at all. I found last year that you had were not to be included in this statement I'm about to make. The guilty party(s) know of whom I speak.

The CD's are supposed to know and enforce the rules.

Your one year experience (at that time) was already superior to some of the racer/CD's I've run with. Keep up the good work!


06-10-2003, 08:18 AM

I think you have an awsome Idea, However, Can it work??

I would be willing to do that. With all the work it takes to be a CD and try to complete that too, there would definatly have to be more help at the CD booth,

I don't take it as a slam, I can take and sometimes need constructive critisisem ( ok that word got me) !!!

Althought I do have to say,, Last year I had Naomi at the booth to help, Where was she this year?????

I was all alone :( !!!!

I think what you are saying could be done, John has some of the equipment needed and if Brian V. and Dennis can get this other thing working we should not have any problems next year in races!!

I know, I will know the rules inside and out so NO ONE can argue them out with me. LOL!! Although I have to say all the guys at the MC4 where great, even with all the mistakes I made they stuck by me (O.K. so they didn't have a choice)!!!!

Andy, If you want to try to get this Idea going let us know we will help for sure!!!

Becca: :D

Mike Zaborowski
06-10-2003, 09:17 AM
Most are right, as PCs change and technology changes im sure that some type of fancy lap counting system will make its way to model boating.

No question testing will prove positive results (ours did) but in real world racing it did not make it. It did find a great use at the Indy Masters but for one or two races a year it was hard to justify its cost. This includes the cost to maintain the system. In car racing its hard to lose a transponder…quite different in boat racing…lol

In 2000 we used video on the starts this was a great aid. The video saved allot of guys saying that they were not over as they knew better as big brother was watching, and they knew it.

O yea it was questioned and it helped.

One more note: AMB system can not call a buoy cut..

I hope this works for you better then it did for us. I have a feeling that if anybody can make a AMB system work its the FE gang..

Rock ON


06-10-2003, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by Becca
I think you have an awsome Idea, However, Can it work??

According to Mike it can. The two biggest complaints I heard over the years were bad calls about jumped starts (ask DTJr) and Ohioans with too few fingers and toes. ;)

A camcorder takes care of both issues. Set up on the line, you get 30mS resolution for a boat being over the line or not. That's a lot better than the CD's eye when watching 8 boats.

Counting is very reliable - every lap is there. If lap 5 (or 10) doesn't show up, the boater didn't finish the heat ;)

Remember, you only need to go back to the video when there is a discrepancy that it can resolve. It won't take care of cut buoys, but it will free up eyes to be more critical there. Non-linear access lets you look at just the start, frame by frame if necessary.

If I were to do it at your site, I would put the camera above your tent on the start line. I would make a chalk line from directly beneath the camera to the water's edge, and put the start/finish buoy right on that line. No parallax to worry about.

The camera output feeds into the A/V inputs on your computer. All the CD has to do is start the record mode sometime (30 seconds-ish, not critical) before the start, and let it play until the heat is over. Save each heat to a different file name. A week or two later, splat them onto a DVD and make the club a few more bucks.

If you get called for a bad start, you take the call and run the extra lap. If you debate the call, after the heat you play it back and verify. The computer can also double as a timer accurate to 30mS (the best you'll do with a watch is about 10 - Greg and I were timing consistently that much apart. I was on the line as CD, he was 3' to my right.)

What would really help would be a start countdown that included a strobe flash. Then I would put the strobe light down at the shore so the camera sees it. Because of the way audio is stored in MPEG formats, it may not be exactly right unless you are watching the video at normal speed.

As I understand it, the RCU guys already use something like that with their countdown clock. Perhaps we could learn from them?

I would be willing to do that. With all the work it takes to be a CD and try to complete that too, there would definatly have to be more help at the CD booth,

If there were any complaint I could ever venture about the MI Cup (aside from being one week too early every year) it would be that you don't have adequate support. It took me a few years, but eventually I figured out that I have to choose between racing and CD'ing, not both.

Althought I do have to say,, Last year I had Naomi at the booth to help, Where was she this year?????

In school. Along with 3 other potential racers. Shoot, it was Finals Week - the only week they couldn't miss!


06-10-2003, 12:30 PM
I agree with Andy on the video deal. We hope to try this at the CAFE race and maybe with some success. Video playback with neutral parties should resolve most debates.

Yes, it may prove to be time consuming but I think that all disagreements should be resolved as best and quickly as possible. Not that the MI folks didn't do a good job but our current way of monitoring could stand some improvement.

My 2 cents

06-10-2003, 12:41 PM
If you get called for a bad start, you take the call and run the extra lap. If you debate the call, after the heat you play it back and verify.

As a first time organizer, I have an interest in this.

What happens if the racer has taken a lap and then the video shows that there was no infraction?

How do you handle that fairly in terms of adjustments to the final result?

Mike Zaborowski
06-10-2003, 01:04 PM

What will likely happen is that someone is going to get cranked about it.

One thing that should and at your race will be stated is that the CDs decisions are final. If video is used then one might tell all the racers before hand that video reviews are allowed. But after review the tape the CD makes the final decisions based on what he or she sees. Sorry racers but you can not make the final call..

There is one drawback to setting yourself up to being a CD..there is a chance your going to pi$$ someone off, its just part of the job.

Now I hope that I have not been to bold here. Lets face it most races go quite smooth. However if questions come up at least the racers have been told up front about the conditions of the calls.

I hope this does not blow up in any way.

Your racing buddy and good friend of all whom race model boats...Grimthemazocdguy

06-10-2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Mike Zaborowski
What will likely happen is that someone is going to get cranked about it.

Maybe it isn't worth it. They'll get cranked either way, so why add technology (even low tech like video) to the mix?!?!


Happy Ampīs Ch
06-11-2003, 04:33 PM
Hi Andy,if you take a video on your pc than you can make barcode plate on the boat as a numberplat and set a barcodelaser in front of your pc scren and count each code.There are many codes, you can drive all boats in one race and save time(joke).I have read an artikel of videopicture reworking for use as (donīt know the right word)to select the people who are allowed to com in a building.They use the video photo and than they look in there archiv.

06-13-2003, 07:42 AM
When I was a kid and magazines were just starting to be required with UPC code (those bar codes found on everything for the check out scanner), MAD MAGAZINE did their whole front cover as a bar code!