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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickM99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 21 at 10:54am
Someone at our club remembers talking to another club which had something a bit like the Sailracer system where, when  you sign on, you sign out a GPS beacon which then becomes associated with your boat for the day.  Apparently it facilitated doing results and worked well.  Does this ring a bell with anyone?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 21 at 4:29pm
Originally posted by IanCherrill

The app is free and doesn't require you to sign up, so it is not easy to tell. I have had emails from a number of clubs who were/are using it - including some in Aus & NZ - but can't say for sure.

The online sign-on & results are fairly new, I tried out the results at the Frensham 2.4mR Open earlier this year (results are here). The results system works out races& series with very little effort. At the moment the results system assumes you are using the app to time finishes, but this winter (cos I sail a bit less!) I am working on a separate results system that lets you type in finish times/positions instead. Who knows if it will catch on, but it would be nice for clubs to have a simple way to do results.

I tried to get it to run in my old iPad with no success, will try Chrome but not a fan of Google really. I dug out an old Android tablet, loaded Chrome, downloaded the app and am now playing with it but it doesn't always respond to inputs, particularly I'm unable to change the handicap system (or actually choose one) as it isn't accepting input from the touch screen?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanCherrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 21 at 5:30pm
Hi Sam - I wrote an intro to Boat Timer (here) that talks about different devices. Apples support for modern web standards is a long way behind Googles, and although you may get it to work on an iPad certain parts won't work (eg export to file), though I have used it for a race and it worked well enough. I am not sure how old your Android tablet is but you will need an up-to-date version of Chrome for it to work well. I tend to use a newish Samsung tablet or a Windows 10 laptop. The Samsung was used for a 2.4mR open a few months ago as we were recording finishes from the committee boat (all touchscreen stuff). To get perfect support for iPads would require writing a native app in Swift (very time-consuming) and paying the good people at Apple about 100/year which for a free app is a bit painful - I have a Solo I bought a few weeks ago that I need to spend money on  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 10:11am
Hi Ian, Thanks for the reply, The iPads I would take on the beach are, unsurprisingly, old ones*, I did try Chrome on the iPad 2 but, as with Safari, I got a blank screen with just the 'Boat Timer' header bar and the footer bar with the option button and time display all completely unresponsive. I'll try it on the iPad 3 but it looks like it's a non-starter on them. The 'droid is an oldish ASUS Nexus 7 running Android 4.2.2, it seems to run ok on that with the glitches in responsiveness. I'll try to update it to a more recent 'droid OS.

Assuming I get it working on an Android device I would have a feature request, namely for integration of the 'Signals' and 'Boat Timer' apps so I could set a Start sequence going manually and have it count up from the first start gun. If that is not possible then a manual start button in 'Boat Timer' would be useful.

* Totally understand where you're coming from WRT not porting it to iOS, the fruit are not renowned for their support of small developers  Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanCherrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 11:04am
Thanks Sam - the original Timer had the Signals app as part of it, so I understand why that could be useful. However the newest Signals app controls a relay via USB, so that requires a native Android app and a web app (for laptops) to work correctly. So I am glad the Timer and Signals apps are separate now otherwise the technical side would get tricky. Plus most clubs need a way to automate race signals, but not all want to record finishes on a computer. Anyway, hope you get to try Timer when you upgrade - always interested to hear how it goes.

Edited by IanCherrill - 08 Dec 21 at 11:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 3:36pm
Does the Boat Timer app have an option to manually start timing rather than scheduled starts only?

WRT to Signals, I have a Raspberry Pi3 so might build a start timer separately, my holiday club does not do 'proper' racing and wives and friends usually start the races (beach starts), log laps and time the finishes so an automated system would be very useful. Is the old build of Timer still available? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanCherrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 4:59pm
Hi Sam - Timer records finish times (and optionally lap times). You can specify a start time (and change it after the race if needed) and those things are used to calculate the results. So you don't need to start the timing as such, just press a button for each boat as they cross the finish line. The intro video on the Rotor-Rig page probably explains it better.

I have not tried a Pi with Signals yet, but as Raspbian can run the Chromium browser it stands a good chance or working. It certainly works on Ubuntu and Chrome on a laptop, which is similar tech. Let me know how it goes. If I get some time I have a Pi3 somewhere and might give that a go myself.

Sadly the original Boat Timer that had Signals integrated is not available - it was long ago and would not work on a modern system, plus the option to connect a proper hooter system up via USB cable and a relay didn't exist then.

Edited by IanCherrill - 08 Dec 21 at 5:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 6:06pm
Shame I can live without the automated hooter but getting the 'RO' to synchronise the start sequence to a fixed starting time sounds like a real nightmare scenario. A manual start button in Timer would remove the problem of getting them to either start the countdown exactly 3 mins before the scheduled start or remember the exact, actual, start time after the race  Stern Smile

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 08 Dec 21 at 6:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanCherrill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 8:38pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Shame I can live without the automated hooter but getting the 'RO' to synchronise the start sequence to a fixed starting time sounds like a real nightmare scenario. A manual start button in Timer would remove the problem of getting them to either start the countdown exactly 3 mins before the scheduled start or remember the exact, actual, start time after the race  Stern Smile
I can honestly say it hasn't been a major problem. It is not too hard to change the start time in Timer (otherwise general recalls would be a bit of a trial!).  At the start of the race once you have the race entries there is not much to do til the end of the first lap, so I just change the start time in the app to match the actual start time. The reason I wrote it was a different nightmare, which was lots of boats heading to the finish line and all you had was a clock, a pencil and a piece of paper to record all the finish times. It is one of those things an app is good at - I am not sure I have it right yet, but having used it in a busy handicap race with 30 odd boats I know it can be very useful.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 21 at 10:34pm
My use case is a bit specific though, I need a system that doesn't require the 'RO' to do anything except press the start button and log laps and finish times. I'll be racing so rely on the race team to log laps and finish times accurately, this is by no means assured as they are not sailors so I'm trying to find a completely foolproof method. My home club has a dedicated hardware system which works well but still relies on pen and paper to record sail numbers even though finish times can be stored for review.

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