Speaking of EP fencing...

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by K O'N, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    They posted on their facebook page in November:

    "We just ran the #Epee World Cup finals in #Tallinn, Estonia! EnPointe Wireless technology was used from the round of 64, right up to the gold medal match"

    https://www.facebook.com/EnPointeFencing

    Pretty huge, I'd say, if it's being used at World Cup events. Anyone go? Any reports? I'd be shouting this from the rooftops if it had been me.
     
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  2. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    I asked a finalist from that event what she thought of the system. She remembered liking how it didn't require the extra weight on the mask and all the messing around the other system (STM?) involves.
     
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  3. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Wow...pretty fast first use at an FIE event, considering it's only been out a month or so.
     
  4. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    I got mine in June of last year.
     
  5. EnPointe Fencing

    EnPointe Fencing Rookie

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    Glad to hear they liked using the system!

    We believe this is the first FIE tournament where wireless has been used from the round of 64. Here is a link to the official broadcast for the finals, for those interested in seeing the system in action:

    https://etv.err.ee/895025/tallinna-mook-individuaalturniir
     
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  6. Don Treanor

    Don Treanor Rookie

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    The only question I have is when is the piste box going to be available?
     
  7. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Love to hear any details. How did the strip grounding work, any crosstalk trouble with that many strips running, any trouble at all with any aspect? Any changes coming?

    How aggressive is the FIE looking in changing over? Was this just a one-time thing or is there a bidding process to become "the" wireless provider? What's the next FIE event planned?

    Interviews with athletes who used the EP in competition, comparing it to StM, for example? That people could link to/repost?

    I love this thing, help me out here!
     
  8. EnPointe Fencing

    EnPointe Fencing Rookie

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    Hi Don,

    The Piste Box is available for purchase on our website: enpointefencing.com. There’s also much more info about the product in the Manual and FAQs. A video Set-Up Guide should be up on our website and YouTube channel in the next few days!

    We’re happy to report that strip grounding worked without issue and we didn’t experience any crosstalk problems (as expected). Overall, we were very happy with the system’s performance in the competition environment!


    In terms of changes soon, we’ve got our Piste Box newly released, and a portable display scheduled to be out this year! A new update is also out on our website. You can expect improvements in many areas, including the cancellation of button-to-button, guard-to-guard hits (only possible through a piste), increased threshold for ‘loose pocket’ error lights, improved performance in noisy environments, as well as Pocket Boxes now indicating which side of the piste you’re touched-on to. For a full list, check out the ‘downloads’ page on our website!


    We can’t really comment on the intentions of the FIE at present, but we have run a number FIE events at an international level, including the 2018 Foil and Sabre satellite tournament in Antalya, Turkey, and the Epee World Cup in Tallinn, Estonia.

    We’ve also run wireless pistes at other global events like the Pan American Youth and Veterans championships in San Salvador, and the fencing ranking round (Epee) at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Mexico City.

    There’s lots in store for 2019 - not too much that we can reveal at the moment - but we can tell you that we have been asked to run the EnPointe Wireless System at the Junior World Championships in Poland this year.

    And thank you for your feedback! We’ve worked very hard on these projects, and are proud of the products we’ve produced - it really does make us happy to hear when people are enthusiastic about our system!
     
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  9. mtwieg2

    mtwieg2 DE Bracket

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    Interesting. The conductive tape setup reminds me of guard rings used in PCB design, I'm assuming its function is similar (reduce crosstalk between adjacent pistes). Does the piste require an insulator between itself and the surface the tape is attached to?

    I'm still skeptical of the working principle. If one fencer's blade contacts both the opponent's blade and the piste, will that lock out touches for both fencers?
     
  10. EnPointe Fencing

    EnPointe Fencing Rookie

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    Good pick up!
    Is is quite similar in design to a guard ring, but is implemented for a different purpose (controlling signal paths). This in turn means that while we suggest an unbroken loop for competition setups, it’s possible to have the tape along only one side of the piste, and for it still to be cancelled.

    The conductive tape must not short out to the metallic piste, but there is no requirement for the piste to be insulated from the floor/carpet or other surface the tape is attached to. However, if the floor surface is conductive, we do recommend placing insulation tape under the conductive tape. The Relay Box displays an error light when a short between the piste and tape is detected.

    If one fencer’s blade contacts both the opponents blade and the piste, only touches to the piste or guard will be blocked - the same as the wired system.
     
  11. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    I just got the new EP piste boxes I pre-ordered and also two rollup conductive pistes from Artos (Germany) that were sold as "Demos" after they were used at Worlds in Leipzig (2017).

    Both pieces of new equipment performed flawlessly last night.

    EP includes a roll of conductive tape (very similar to Live Spot, but in a roll) to use as the 'shield' -- however, I did something else: I had a portable shield made that is fully insulated in a vinyl envelope, rolls up, and is very small, light, and durable. I placed only one along side the new conductive piste.

    IMG_20190208_194205.jpg IMG_20190208_195327.jpg
    (Pocket boxes are in red 3D printed holders with clips since these fencers had no pockets. The white bit on it is a "Tile" tracker so that the boxes don't wander away after practice.)

    Very easy to setup and use. The EP 'Piste Box' pairs to the EP 'Relay Box' very easily, then is connected by wires with alligator clips (included) to both the piste and the 'Shield' (as pictured.) For permanent (non portable) use, just putting down the tape works well, but you should cover it with something to protect it from wear. If I had a crystal ball I would have placed the foil tape under the flooring 8 years ago when I built the club.

    For portable use at large tournaments, the vinyl covered 'Shield' I designed is excellent; I will be looking to manufacture these for sale. Hopefully I can get the unit price down to an acceptable level, but that depends (of course) on quantity. So my question is how big will the market be? Hundreds? Maybe thousands?

    In my opinion, with the now released addition of the EP Piste Box, this is the wireless system we've all been waiting for. I'm about done with reels and overheads, though there may still be a niche for my low-cost V-Reels unless EP prices eventually come down further. I personally hope all fencing will adopt the EP system at every level as that will help make the system more affordable for the end user, and in the end we'll all get our own personal 'Pocket Boxes'. Ultimately, they can be coded with your ID, so that when you touch-on with your own personal pocket-box, your name and picture will pop onto the display.

    Boom.

    --Shawn.
     
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  12. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    Along with your financial information.;)Coupled with EasyPass, SkyNet won't have a problem targeting me.:rolleyes:
     
  13. mtwieg2

    mtwieg2 DE Bracket

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    Ok, so the conductive tape doesn't even need to conduct to the floor? I guess it acts as a counterpoise to the strip?
     
  14. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Okay,
    So the final piece of the puzzle (floor hit cancellation) has been worked out and seems to be acceptable even at the highest levels.
    The antenna "piste shield" is now portable, made by me, and seems to works beautifully. See Shawn's post.
    The system "works" with All three weapons.
    No "weapon specific" dongles needed.
    No special T-shirts involved.
    Robust hit detection.
    Lighter more nimble pocket unit than other solutions.
    Excellent price point.
    No "team of techs" needed to keep the system running.
    Works with all scoring machines.
    Future improvements and capabilities on the horizon.
    Complete scoring system weighs as much as the scoring machine and the little zipper bag the EP system come in.
    No maintenance, springs, conn. cords, etc.
    Pocket box syncing, "tagging on", is fast and simple.
    I would not want to be the company that just made a new "better" mechanical reel.
    What are you waiting for?
     
  15. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    The salle that I fence at has 16 full size strips of which 12 are grounded metal strips. I don't think the management is willing to invest $12k to $13k just to keep up with the latest and greatest. They have other pressing issues that need to be dealt with beforehand.

    If we were a small club that had to borrow space to fence and owned no equipment at all, then that's another story. I can see investing in a scoring machine and wireless reels. Once the price range of this system is reduced, then it may become more feasible economically for the larger more established salles.
     
  16. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Parry-riposte....touch to Dwight!
     
  17. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    Or maybe replace the reels and boxes with this as they need to be replaced. But I'm certainly not going to scrap the things I have that work perfectly fine all at once just because...
     
  18. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    I'm not scrapping anything either. But going forward it's hard for me to see why anyone would spend $800 for a set of reels and floor cords when $850 will get you an EP system.
     
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  19. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    Let’s make this clear. I think wireless reels is the future in fencing. We don’t have landline phones anymore. All of our scoring machines are electronic now, etc.

    Right now, it’s not cost efficient to do a full conversion on reels for salles above a certain size. I can see outfitting one strip and doing a long term evaluation whether or not wireless works for a specific situation.
     
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  20. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Thinking about tournament set-up with the piste boxes:
    1. Does the tape need to be applied directly to the floor, or could it be laid down on top of a layer of gaff, vinyl floor-safe, or painters' tape? There are many venues that are very picky about what sort of tape can be laid down on their floors.
    2. A re-usable solution like what Shawn came up with is probably a much better option for tournament use, since organizers would not need to frequently re-stock on conductive tape and could secure it to the floor with whatever tape is suitable for the venue. Having something pre-made and available for purchase along with the piste boxes would be a smart move. BTW, it would ideally need to be taped down the full length (or at least for the 4 meter center-strip zone in front of the scoring table). We've found that ground wires that aren't fully taped down from the strip to directly under the table WILL get pulled up as refs and fencers walk to and from the scoring table.
    3. Is there any reason that aluminum tape (cheap and readily available) could not be used?
    4. Since the conductive tape/strip appears to run the full length of the metal piste, does this mean that there won't be issues with individual panels losing their connection to the piste ground as the strips shift a bit with use and the edge of the tongue loses contact with the groove of the adjacent panel? This was the bane of techs' existence at North American Cup tournaments until Dennis Crumpler came up with the rodent-mesh solution to that problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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