Another successful race.. with minor glitches

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kyoo
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Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by kyoo » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:31 pm

We just had our 2013 pinewood derby.. the RaceReplay addition, this year, was excellent! highly recommend that. I just used a Logitech HD web cam via USB.. put my computer table at the very end of the track, and the video camera sat a few inches off the floor, under the corner of the table..

But now for a quick list of "issues" I had with the software.. hopefully we can get these cleaned up in the next versions.. I was doing everything on a single computer with a network communication between race replay and gprm.

In no particular order:
1) race replay would just "hang" occasionally.. It happened maybe 3-4 times in the 76 Heats we ran..
2) Race Replay wouldn't pop up on top of the race window on the second monitor if I happened to hit any sound effect buttons in the Race control panel after readying the timer.. so I could only hit the sound fx when the timer wasn't ready..
3) and if I hit a sound fx during a replay, it would bring the race window over top of the replay.. bummer..
4) I couldn't figure out how to remove a car out of the rest of the heat schedule if it had a fatal accident.
5) if a car didn't finish in a lane, it didn't seem to time out after 9.99 seconds (which is the max time it would record in the setup).. I expected it to.. I had to go wave my hand under the finish lane laser.
6) I was wishing there was a way to manually alter the schedule after it calculated it for me... we had some sport events taking people in and out periodically.. I would have liked to move their heats around.. without exporting the schedule and reimporting.. ideally, we could do this mid-race, if something POPS up on us, for example. If there is a way to do that already, let me know.
7) race replay always re-opened with the control panel docked.. I'd like it to remember which way it was before (even if it crashed) and then open that way next time.. ideally it would recall the control panel on screen 1, and the replay window on screen 2.. and open the replay window "minimized" over on the second screen.. obviously this isn't as big of a deal; if it didn't hang periodically..

That's all I can remember at the moment..



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gpraceman
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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by gpraceman » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:54 pm

What versions of GPRM and RR were you running. Please include the full version number (e.g. 12.0.1614.3).
kyoo wrote:1) race replay would just "hang" occasionally.. It happened maybe 3-4 times in the 76 Heats we ran.
Were you using GPRM in Hand's Free Mode?
kyoo wrote:2) Race Replay wouldn't pop up on top of the race window on the second monitor if I happened to hit any sound effect buttons in the Race control panel after readying the timer.. so I could only hit the sound fx when the timer wasn't ready.
3) and if I hit a sound fx during a replay, it would bring the race window over top of the replay.. bummer..
RR does need to maintain the "focus" while the replay is running.
kyoo wrote:4) I couldn't figure out how to remove a car out of the rest of the heat schedule if it had a fatal accident.
Just leave the lane empty. You cannot delete a car without redoing your whole schedule.
kyoo wrote:5) if a car didn't finish in a lane, it didn't seem to time out after 9.99 seconds (which is the max time it would record in the setup).. I expected it to.. I had to go wave my hand under the finish lane laser.
That is not a timeout. That is just the time that a car not finishing will be awarded. What brand of timer are you using? Did you try hitting the Escape key on the keyboard? Some timers will respond back with the results when doing that.
kyoo wrote:6) I was wishing there was a way to manually alter the schedule after it calculated it for me... we had some sport events taking people in and out periodically.. I would have liked to move their heats around.. without exporting the schedule and reimporting.. ideally, we could do this mid-race, if something POPS up on us, for example. If there is a way to do that already, let me know.
You can edit an existing schedule using the Manual Entry option on the Scheduling tab of the main screen.
kyoo wrote:7) race replay always re-opened with the control panel docked.. I'd like it to remember which way it was before (even if it crashed) and then open that way next time.. ideally it would recall the control panel on screen 1, and the replay window on screen 2.. and open the replay window "minimized" over on the second screen.. obviously this isn't as big of a deal; if it didn't hang periodically.
That is planned for the next version of RR.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

kyoo
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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by kyoo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:00 am

gpraceman wrote:What versions of GPRM and RR were you running. Please include the full version number (e.g. 12.0.1614.3).
12.0.1314.3 was the GPRM version. 2.0.2401.13 for RaceReplay.
gpraceman wrote:Were you using GPRM in Hand's Free Mode?
I had auto head advance enabled, but not hands free timing.. I had to click the ready timer button at each heat.. that way the Race Replay wasn't recording so much wasted time while the kids got their cars set up.
gpraceman wrote:RR does need to maintain the "focus" while the replay is running.
That's something to improve upon, some how.. pressing sound FX during the race and the replay are sort of important..
gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote:5) if a car didn't finish in a lane, it didn't seem to time out after 9.99 seconds (which is the max time it would record in the setup).. I expected it to.. I had to go wave my hand under the finish lane laser.
That is not a timeout. That is just the time that a car not finishing will be awarded. What brand of timer are you using? Did you try hitting the Escape key on the keyboard? Some timers will respond back with the results when doing that.
I did not ever hit the ESC key.. I have a Fast Track (Micro Wizard) timer/finish gate. What's the best way to handle a car that doesn't finish? Race Replay obviously only plays the last few seconds of the race. At least I can go back and play the whole recording if necessary.
gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote:6) I was wishing there was a way to manually alter the schedule after it calculated it for me... we had some sport events taking people in and out periodically.. I would have liked to move their heats around.. without exporting the schedule and reimporting.. ideally, we could do this mid-race, if something POPS up on us, for example. If there is a way to do that already, let me know.
You can edit an existing schedule using the Manual Entry option on the Scheduling tab of the main screen.
Oh! Fantastic.. I thought that was only for new schedules.. I just looked at that Manual Entry feature; and the whole "Chart numbers vs Car Numbers" thing is very confusing. I still don't understand it, actually. Looks like there is room for improvement on that screen. Perhaps have it show the actual Schedule with kids names/car #'s, and just let you up/down arrow a heat, or drag/drop names to swap the names within the same lane.. The goal, for me, would be to move a couple of people around so that they can do their races before they have to book it to a sporting event or something. What ARE the "Chart Numbers"? How are they mapped to cars/people? They don't seem to match their registration chart row number, as I had expected.

Thanks again for this software.. It makes for a great race day! I'm just trying to help improve it..



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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by gpraceman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:38 am

kyoo wrote:12.0.1314.3 was the GPRM version. 2.0.2401.13 for RaceReplay.
Any of the freezes that you saw with RR may have just been it doing file cleanup. That can take a bit of time. Look at your file storage settings. I recommend not warning when deleting files and not sending them to the recycle bin. That and give it as large of a storage space as you can to minimize the number of times that it has to do file cleanup.
kyoo wrote:I had auto head advance enabled, but not hands free timing.. I had to click the ready timer button at each heat.. that way the Race Replay wasn't recording so much wasted time while the kids got their cars set up.
Maybe you have an older Fast Track timer. Newer Fast Track timers support times out to 0.0001 seconds. Those timers will tell the software that the race has started, which GPRM will use as the cue to tell RR to start recording.
kyoo wrote:
gpraceman wrote:RR does need to maintain the "focus" while the replay is running.
That's something to improve upon, some how.. pressing sound FX during the race and the replay are sort of important..
That may be out of our hands. It seems to be a limitation on the Microsoft DirectShow video drivers that RR uses to render the video playback.
kyoo wrote:I did not ever hit the ESC key.. I have a Fast Track (Micro Wizard) timer/finish gate. What's the best way to handle a car that doesn't finish? Race Replay obviously only plays the last few seconds of the race. At least I can go back and play the whole recording if necessary.
If you are using the mechanical start switch with that timer, then the easiest way is to reset the start gate. That closes the switch and the timer will send the results for the cars that had finished. Otherwise, any of the K model timers will respond when you hit the Escape key.
kyoo wrote:Oh! Fantastic.. I thought that was only for new schedules.. I just looked at that Manual Entry feature; and the whole "Chart numbers vs Car Numbers" thing is very confusing. I still don't understand it, actually. Looks like there is room for improvement on that screen. Perhaps have it show the actual Schedule with kids names/car #'s, and just let you up/down arrow a heat, or drag/drop names to swap the names within the same lane.. The goal, for me, would be to move a couple of people around so that they can do their races before they have to book it to a sporting event or something. What ARE the "Chart Numbers"? How are they mapped to cars/people? They don't seem to match their registration chart row number, as I had expected.
That screen can use some improvement. I know that chart numbers can be a bit confusing. Behind every schedule is a chart. Racers are plugged into the positions on the chart to make the schedule that you see. Chart numbers always start with the number 1 and go up to the total number of racers in that race group. Car numbers, on the other hand, can start anywhere above zero and have number gaps.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

kyoo
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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by kyoo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:27 am

gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote:12.0.1314.3 was the GPRM version. 2.0.2401.13 for RaceReplay.
Any of the freezes that you saw with RR may have just been it doing file cleanup. That can take a bit of time. Look at your file storage settings. I recommend not warning when deleting files and not sending them to the recycle bin. That and give it as large of a storage space as you can to minimize the number of times that it has to do file cleanup.
I had RR set to Storage Limit: None, "Warn before deleting files" is checked, and "Send deleted files to Recycle bin" checked.. I figured those two boxes would be useless since I chose "none" on the storage limit. Do you still think that had anything to do with the hangs?
gpraceman wrote:Maybe you have an older Fast Track timer. Newer Fast Track timers support times out to 0.0001 seconds. Those timers will tell the software that the race has started, which GPRM will use as the cue to tell RR to start recording.
I had times recorded like this "3.2910" in GPRM.. the last digit appears to always be zero, though.. so perhaps it is, as you say, the older timer. Though, I can't seem to find reference to a 0.0001 accuracy listed at MicroWizard's website.. The timer I have appears to be the K2 Timer.. at least it LOOKS like that one. And their FAQ says "Our timers display finish times to within 0.001 of a second." Curious if there is an "upgrade" I can get to tweak mine so it can tell race replay to start recording at the race start, not the "ready timer" button, as you mentioned. I can't fathom buying a new timer for the Pack just for that feature, though. ;)

Though, I do wish I had a quick tool to go strip the last three-ish seconds out of all my video capture files and merge them into a Derby compilation video. There's a product enhancement for you.. ;) Apply some music track on top and upload to youtube.. done!
gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote: That's something to improve upon, some how.. pressing sound FX during the race and the replay are sort of important..
That may be out of our hands. It seems to be a limitation on the Microsoft DirectShow video drivers that RR uses to render the video playback.
Perhaps it is time to use a different video tool kit.. I've seen web browsers that do funky things.. like Youtube for instance.. at least in Chrome, you can full screen a video on monitor 2, and then go click around in any app you want in monitor 1.. the youtube full screen playback never changes. Just planting a seed.. ;)
gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote:I did not ever hit the ESC key.. I have a Fast Track (Micro Wizard) timer/finish gate. What's the best way to handle a car that doesn't finish? Race Replay obviously only plays the last few seconds of the race. At least I can go back and play the whole recording if necessary.
If you are using the mechanical start switch with that timer, then the easiest way is to reset the start gate. That closes the switch and the timer will send the results for the cars that had finished. Otherwise, any of the K model timers will respond when you hit the Escape key.
Excellent info.. I'll try the "close the gate" option next time.. Will that put the 9.999 seconds in results for the car that didn't finish? I'll also tinker with the ESC key, too. I guess the GPRM software is listening for ESC and sends something down to the timer if that happens?
gpraceman wrote:That screen can use some improvement. I know that chart numbers can be a bit confusing. Behind every schedule is a chart. Racers are plugged into the positions on the chart to make the schedule that you see. Chart numbers always start with the number 1 and go up to the total number of racers in that race group. Car numbers, on the other hand, can start anywhere above zero and have number gaps.
Great.. any improvement in that Manual mode feature would be welcome!

Looking forward to next year!



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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by gpraceman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:37 am

kyoo wrote:I had RR set to Storage Limit: None, "Warn before deleting files" is checked, and "Send deleted files to Recycle bin" checked.. I figured those two boxes would be useless since I chose "none" on the storage limit. Do you still think that had anything to do with the hangs?
It would not seem so. You got me scratching my head on that one. Only thing else that I can think of is that some other process was running on your computer that was hogging the CPU, so RR was left waiting. Were both RR and GPRM running on the same computer? If on the same computer, were you in Local or Network mode?
kyoo wrote:
gpraceman wrote:Maybe you have an older Fast Track timer. Newer Fast Track timers support times out to 0.0001 seconds. Those timers will tell the software that the race has started, which GPRM will use as the cue to tell RR to start recording.
I had times recorded like this "3.2910" in GPRM.. the last digit appears to always be zero, though.. so perhaps it is, as you say, the older timer. Though, I can't seem to find reference to a 0.0001 accuracy listed at MicroWizard's website.. The timer I have appears to be the K2 Timer.. at least it LOOKS like that one. And their FAQ says "Our timers display finish times to within 0.001 of a second." Curious if there is an "upgrade" I can get to tweak mine so it can tell race replay to start recording at the race start, not the "ready timer" button, as you mentioned. I can't fathom buying a new timer for the Pack just for that feature, though. ;)
Their newer K2 and K3 timers will actually time down to 0.0001 seconds. Older K2 and K3 only go to 0.001 seconds. With those, the only time you would ever see anything in that last digit is for a tie in a heat. There is a secondary timer that breaks the tie.
kyoo wrote:Though, I do wish I had a quick tool to go strip the last three-ish seconds out of all my video capture files and merge them into a Derby compilation video. There's a product enhancement for you.. ;) Apply some music track on top and upload to youtube.. done!
That is an interesting idea.
kyoo wrote:Perhaps it is time to use a different video tool kit.. I've seen web browsers that do funky things.. like Youtube for instance.. at least in Chrome, you can full screen a video on monitor 2, and then go click around in any app you want in monitor 1.. the youtube full screen playback never changes. Just planting a seed.. ;)
Possibly
kyoo wrote:Excellent info.. I'll try the "close the gate" option next time.. Will that put the 9.999 seconds in results for the car that didn't finish? I'll also tinker with the ESC key, too. I guess the GPRM software is listening for ESC and sends something down to the timer if that happens?
Any car not finishing gets awarded the max time that you have set in the Hardware Options screen. When you hit the Escape key, the software will prompt the timer to stop timing and send the results that is currently has. To me, it is more convenient to train the start gate operator to just close the start gate.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

kyoo
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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by kyoo » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:49 pm

gpraceman wrote:
kyoo wrote:I had RR set to Storage Limit: None, "Warn before deleting files" is checked, and "Send deleted files to Recycle bin" checked.. I figured those two boxes would be useless since I chose "none" on the storage limit. Do you still think that had anything to do with the hangs?
It would not seem so. You got me scratching my head on that one. Only thing else that I can think of is that some other process was running on your computer that was hogging the CPU, so RR was left waiting. Were both RR and GPRM running on the same computer? If on the same computer, were you in Local or Network mode?
Same computer in network mode. I'm on a brand new Dell E6530 in Windows 8.. I used a USB Logitech C920 HD webcam.. Btw, RR wouldn't remember which camera to use either after it crashed.. so fix that, too..



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Re: Another successful race.. with minor glitches

Post by gpraceman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:56 pm

kyoo wrote:Same computer in network mode. I'm on a brand new Dell E6530 in Windows 8.. I used a USB Logitech C920 HD webcam.. Btw, RR wouldn't remember which camera to use either after it crashed.. so fix that, too..
I can only think that some process was hogging the CPU, leaving RR to wait, which can appear to the user that the software has hung.

If you change a setting but the the software crashes or you force it to close, then the changes will not be saved.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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