Timing system test at rolls a success

Timing test
We had to wake up way earlier than alumni normally do for rolls, but it was worth it. The timing system (original post, post 2) works like a charm and we’ve got a good handle on the software now. Click on this picture of Fringe’s new (unamed) buggy crossing the line to see a sample of finish line shots. This system is going to be more accurate and reliable than the old one, but the pictures of the finishes are definitely the most entertaining part.

The background is still low-contrast and varied because the finish line currently looks like it was drawn with sidewalk chalk by a drunk toddler. Once we get a nice thick bright white finish line, these images will be really nice. It will also be later in the day and thus lighter than when most of these were taken. The quality was already getting better in the second half of our day today. These are all aesthetic concerns though, even the lowest quality images we’ve gotten so far were sufficient to quickly and precisely determine the finishing time.

Some things you might notice

  • The “finish times” are totally random.  We were timing from when we clicked the start button until each buggy of an org crossed the line, and we clicked the start button whenever we got around to it.  The times range from like 0.67 seconds to 6:00+.  They mean nothing.
  • Sometimes the proportions look good, sometimes they are stretched or squished.  This has to do with the sampling rate that the camera is set to, and the speed of the buggy as it crosses the line.  We think we’ve got it pretty well calibrated now.
  • Some pictures seem to show evidence of pushbar DQ’s, but that is a bit misleading.  The camera captures each part of the image as it crosses the line.  A hand off the pushbar  only means that the hill 5 wasn’t touching when the handle crossed the line.  Of course, the rule is only concerned with the moment the nose crosses the line. We had instances of false negatives and false positives already today.  Don’t jump to DQ conclusions from these pictures.
  • I only posted some of the cooler / better pictures for the day.  If you were hoping for a specific finish picture as a pre-raceday souvenir, let me know and I’ll see if I have it.

We’re right on schedule with our new timing system roll out.  Next stop is a full dress rehearsal on truck weekend.  We’ll keep you posted.

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