photo finish ?

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sporty
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photo finish ?

Post by sporty » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:27 am

how many are using photo finish ?

Does it work well ? what sofware are you using with it ? camera and ect ?


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gpraceman
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Re: photo finish ?

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:22 am

The only photo finish that I know of is the device and software sold by the makers of the SmartLine timer. It connects to their timer, so it knows when to take the photo.


Randy Lisano
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sporty
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Re: photo finish ?

Post by sporty » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:09 am

So it will not work with other timers then ?

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Re: photo finish ?

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:51 am

sporty wrote:So it will not work with other timers then ?
None others that I know of. The timer needs to provide a signal to the photo capture device once the first car crosses the finish line. The timer would need to provide a jack for the photo capture device to connect to and be programmed to provide that first across the line signal. Most timers just send the results after all cars have finished, which wouldn't help to get a photo finish. Anyways, that information goes across the serial port. You might be able to rig up a sensor at the finish line to trigger the photo capture device they offer. You would need to contact that company (eTekGadget) to get the specs.

The other option is doing a video replay. You can do this with or without software, or even a computer. Minimum needed is a video camera connected to a projection system but you would need to manually run the video camera in that scenario.

http://www.etekgadget.com/photofinish.htm


Randy Lisano
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Stan Pope
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Re: photo finish ?

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:18 pm

The sample photos "Smartline timer" look like good items to display since they give a better view than most of the audience will have.

These photos looks like a good data to file along with the heat results. For instance, it shows the approximate relative positions of the cars near the finish line so it can be used to apply "reasonability" tests to the relative time data. Another use is to verify after the cars are removed from the track which cars occupied the various lanes.

Neither of these uses supplies definitive information because "interesting" angles are wrong for analysis. Also, I would expect that the pics would be fuzzier than the examples shown, because the cars are in motion. And angles that would be useful for analysis would be even fuzzier.


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Re: photo finish ?

Post by gpraceman » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:27 am

Stan Pope wrote:These photos looks like a good data to file along with the heat results. For instance, it shows the approximate relative positions of the cars near the finish line so it can be used to apply "reasonability" tests to the relative time data.
The problem with a photo is that you only see what happened at that moment in time. If one tried to use a photo to determine which of two cars crossed first, unless the photo was taken at that precise moment, they could be mislead. A photo will not show the relative speed of the cars at that moment (one could be about to pass the other), just their position. As you mentioned, if there is any fuzziness in the photo due to their fast motion, then it will be even harder to draw any real conclusions from the photo.

I like video better, since you can step through it frame by frame and find the frame closest to the cars crossing. Still, interlacing effects with most video cameras and the usual frame rate (about 30fps) make things difficult to try to use it as a tool to determine who won a close race. But, with the video it is cool to see the whole drama of the race, from the drop of the pins until the cars cross.


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Stan Pope
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Re: photo finish ?

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:52 am

gpraceman wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:These photos looks like a good data to file along with the heat results. For instance, it shows the approximate relative positions of the cars near the finish line so it can be used to apply "reasonability" tests to the relative time data.
...
I like video better, since you can step through it frame by frame and find the frame closest to the cars crossing. Still, interlacing effects with most video cameras and the usual frame rate (about 30fps) make things difficult to try to use it as a tool to determine who won a close race. But, with the video it is cool to see the whole drama of the race, from the drop of the pins until the cars cross.
I do too! If I have a big enough hard drive and the software will file 'em away for me!

Either a not-too-fuzzy vid or photo will also answer post-race questions that I have had occasion to ask: "Did the cars actually run in their assigned lanes?" Once the cars have been picked up, it can be difficult to answer that question unless an organized visual record is retained.

I've seen some cases in which the timing data suggests that the times belonged to different cars, such as two cars were raced in each other's lane.


Stan
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