Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by rudd, Jul 28, 2015.
An informative thread on the FencingForum about the new LP wireless system:
On the other thread there were a few questions / points which I will try to respond to here.
We are working ground rather than starting at the top simply because this is where the market is.
Someone commented that the FIE would not be interested without score and time but that is not the case. The current STM system in use by the FIE simply plugs into the three pin input on whatever regular scoring machine is used and gives it the "decisions" the slaved scoring machine is just a fancy clock with remote control.
Cost wise the £799 figure is with tax in the UK. The US price is going to be about $1099 so well under a decent wired system with scoring machine, ground leads and reels. You may be able to have a bungee system for less but the maintenance is colossal by comparison.
We will offer a "locked" set where the fencer pack will only sync to one base station. Other personal packs owned by individuals could sync to the base station and bump one of the locked packs off but the locked one will ONLY sync to that one base station. This removes any incentive to borrow a locked pack. We will charge a bit extra for a locked set as they will need special programming and the fencer packs will be clearly and permanently laser marked. We will also offer again at a small up charge the ability to laser club names or other custom text on base stations or fencer packs.
The LP system was sort of submitted to the contest. We missed the deadline for the competition but subsequently it passed all FIE test procedures in front of a SEMI member in December 2014. In our opinion a target of Rio was not feasible and we decided instead to go ground up rather than top down.
If anyone has further questions I will endevour to answer them.
Thanks Alex. It sound like it will be a great solution. im looking forward to seeing it in action next time I'm in the LP Centre. I know my coach was interested in looking at the wireless option from LP as soon as it was available.
am I interpreting this correctly that the LP system plugs into the 'old' scoring machine and tells the scoring box which light to turn on? Basically replaces the reels/bungee system/floor cords?
Would it work with VSM?
Sorry I meant the system in use currently by the FIE does this.
Ours is a complete scoring system but without score, time and remote control. I have edited the post above to clarify.
Thanks for clarifying.
Will there be a way to plug in extension lights? (I'm thinking specifically about how I would mount this in my club - and I would buy two of them the day they go on sale if it is possible to do so).
There is an output to extension lights.
The internal battery nor the micro usb charger have enough power or the correct voltage to power repeaters. This means that to activate the repeater light output you need to buy a separate external 12 power supply.
It outputs the signal and power to drive a set of Fencing technologies repeater down a cat 5 network cable. If you already have repeaters then you would need to take this 12v output and wire it accordingly. Due to the HUGE variation in repeater lights inputs we will not be making widgets to convert the signal to make it suitable for other manufacturers proprietary repeaters.
Fencing tech repeaters are about $150 I think.
We will have a wireless repeater coming out some time in the next 12 months.
I can see each fencer needing an individual personal unit. How much are they each? Will you offer a "reel" option, which could be connected to another machine? We love our VSM games. As a portable setup, what you currently have is great.
A fencer pack should be $190 roughly.
An add on that will allow you to turn another box into a "slave" using its normal 3 pin input will be available later. Probably 6 months after release.
What's the projected cost of that expected to be? Because this is definitely the direction I would go, in order to interface with VSM.
I am not sure yet to be honest we are totally focused on getting the initial offering to market so we have not even looked at the interface widget yet. At a guess I would say $200 but don't hold me to that.
Can you give a layman's description of how it works (specifically, how it works without a common wire connection between the fencers, or the fencers and the piste)? The equivalent to the StM " Virtual Ground" mechanism.
Magic. And pixie dust.
And is that magic AM or FM?
I can't really because it is complex and if I explained it properly I would be giving away trade secrets. It is a bit like asking for the instructions on how we make a foil blade or other complex product; we would be mad to give it away.
All I can say is that it is capacitive sensing rather than resistance based which is fairly obvious. The rest is basically clever software and 15 years of hard work. It is VERY difficult to do properly but reasonably easy to do sort of for some weapons. This is why people get something working within a few years but never quite get the whole lot cracked.
I mean STM's system now works far better than it did when it was first launched in 2000 but they have spent 15 years learning and tuning it up.
All of software including the encrypted radio link is totally proprietary and built specifically for the purpose.
I probably owe everyone an update!
We have had a major delay caused almost exclusively by reengineering the system to allow the use of more pistes. Initially we were only able to run ten or so concurrently, we anticipated it being reasonably easy to reduce the radio overhead and add more pistes but it has been harder than expected. We are getting closer however I wouldn't want to confirm a date at the moment.
Foil and epee are currently in use out in the wild and in use sabre is shortly behind.
One foil club got three months of use around three or four sessions a week before having to re charge. Even then they only charged it "because they couldn't believe it didn't need charging" the low battery indicator hadn't even come on!
What sort of channel bandwidth are we talking? What band does your protocol use?
(you can share that, right? I mean, I'm going to find out the day I get my hands on one anyways)
We are on regular 2.4 GHz anything else would need a licence. Bandwidth is another question and the answer is that it depends on a number of factors. We should have taken the limit from ten pistes into the 100's.
Separate names with a comma.