Speaking of EP fencing...

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

  1. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    If I were add an extra metal strip along the side of a grounded strip, I’d consider using 25’ lengths of stainless steel feeler stock material. Relatively cheap, indestructible, and reusable. Easy to tape down with gaffer tape.
     
  2. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    this is what we originally used. we found it was not resilient enough, easily torn from being walked on, etc, and needed frequent patching. easy enough to fix, just sharing our experience.
     
  3. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    This is the feeler stock material I was referring to. You'll have to join two lengths together to get a single piece long enough to coverage the length of a full size piste.

    upload_2019-2-11_16-13-22.png
     
  4. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    I'd expect the SS feeler stock would work and be wear-proof, good call.

    We originally used cheap foil HVAC tape experimentally to make the 'shield', and it worked fine -- it just needs to be protected from wear with a covering of some kind. Like I said if I had put it beneath the floor that would have been great (I think; always best to test...)

    For a portable solution, the vinyl with metal screen inside that Joe fabricated is great; I've asked him to make 5 more for me and to price out higher quantities.

    From my perspective as a manufacture of club equipment I can confirm that nobody replaces stuff that works. But when it comes time to expand or replace non-working stuff -- that's where I get most of my business.

    The wireless is a bit different though. I just provided equipment for a local college tournament and I really would be just fine with never lifting another crate of reels. I am also pretty done with fixing broken overheads. So as they wear out those strips will get converted to wireless.

    What would really make this evolution move faster is if EP can get the price down on an individual pocket box. I think they may have a plan for that.

    Dave, I think the rodent mesh will still be needed but it would be worth testing. I think the EP system is less susceptible to loss-of panel-to-panel conductivity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  5. EnPointe Fencing

    EnPointe Fencing Rookie

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    The tape does not need to be applied directly to the floor, you can certainly lay it on top of a layer of duct/gaffer/painter’s/etc tape if that’s what your venue would prefer! Just be aware that if the tape can be easily lifted from the floor, it may get damaged more easily.

    Any material of a similar size, shape, and conductivity can be used. Regular aluminium tape can be used, though we recommend that it is taped over with another insulator tape (gaffer, duct etc) if it’s intended to be permanent. If clubs have any other proposed materials or set-ups that they’re interested in using, they’re more than welcome to contact us at [email protected], and we can let them know if we think their proposed set-up is suitable, or if we have any other recommendations based on their specific venue.

    Otherwise, our FAQs on the website have more information on alternate Piste set-ups.

    Unfortunately piste panels that become disconnected behave similarly to the wired system. However, a small strip of conductive tape (around 5-10 cm) applied directly over the ‘break’ between the two panels, does fix this issue in the short term (though we would recommend fixing the metallic piste properly when convenient).
     
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  6. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Neevel:
    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.


    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.

    Joe:
    The antenna that Shawn and I worked out could easily be slipped under an edge (it is quite thin) of the Aluminum strips used by USFencing.
    This makes this solution elegant for "portable" use. No tape involved.
    An additional feature that could be added is a conductive material on the outside top of the vinyl that would "connect" all of the strip segments to each other as well, handling both issues simultaneously.
    Additionally, even is USFencing was not switching to EP any time soon, this could solve the problem with panel connection with a roll up portable solution.
    The ground wire for the EP system using the piste box does not connect to the scoring table via wires. If you look at the photo Shawn supplied, you'll see that the strip is connected via wire to the "piste box" and the other connection to the antenna. This allows the wire "connection" to be at the end of the piste or wherever you deem convenient/safe.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 1:20 PM
  7. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Joe-

    From what you are describing, it sounds like the rodent barrier itself could be used, which is an ideal solution because it is cheap and, in the case of US Fencing, already there.

    For those not familiar, it's this.
     
  8. NKFA

    NKFA Made the Cut

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    Shawn, I would imagine that the self start functionality and guard hit to take away points in epee is still functional in VSM with EnPointe setup?
     
  9. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Guard hit does not work, but there's a new version of VSM that has an equivalent function (hit the ground twice), and that allows self-start with the EPs. We've been using it for months, it works great.
     
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  10. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    Thanks Dave,
    I did not know what that item was.
    I am assuming you meant it could be used as an Antenna for EP? Obviously, it works for connecting strip sections. For EP it would also work in theory. In practice, securing it near the strip without encapsulating it in something like vinyl sounds perhaps a little clumsy and maybe even dangerous. A vinyl covered unit can be secured easily near the strip and because it is insulated could even be under the edge of an aluminum strip with no additional securement (tape) needed. On the strips like Shawn has in his photo, it could also be slipped under the edge and taped over if needed/desired.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 7:35 PM
  11. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Uh ... encapsulating and insulating the copper rodent barrier with something like vinyl pretty much defeats its entire point of being a conductive bridge between piste sections.
     
  12. Joe biebel

    Joe biebel Podium

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    That's what you got from what I wrote? Try reading my post again. Perhaps you'll note I was talking about using the rodent barrier for an EP antenna.
     
  13. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    OK, so the antenna needs to be near but not in contact with the piste. That means a solution like the vinyl-encapsulated antenna Joe made would be the preferred approach (using the rodent mesh as the antenna contained within the vinyl sheath might be a good, economical choice). Then, for a sectional strip, the rodent barrier would need to laid out beneath it as is current done at NACs.
     
  14. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    If I misunderstood a post it was Dave's post that yours was in response to.

    From what you are describing, it sounds like the rodent barrier itself could be used, which is an ideal solution because it is cheap and, in the case of US Fencing, already there

    Dave's post provided a link to what USA Fencing is currently using on its sectional strips and I took it he was asking if what the USFA already is doing would work for the EP antenna. I.e. would it "just work" as is? The answer seems to be "No" -- the EP "antenna material" needs to be near but not (electrically) part of the strip.

    However separating the rodent mesh from the strip and/or encapsulating it causes it to stop working for what it was originally intended. So while the type of rodent-barrier material the USFA is currently using on strips might be usable for the separate EP antenna, you'd need two runs of it.
     
  15. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    A question for En Pointe Fencing on this FAQ entry:

    What is meant by ‘Conductive Tape’?

    The ‘Conductive Tape’ is a 25mm wide metallic tape that is either placed along one side of the piste (suitable for practice), or around the entire perimeter of the piste (recommended for competition-level accuracy).

    What exactly is meant by "suitable for practice" and "competition-level accuracy"?
     
  16. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    Thanks K O'N. Yes, I rewrote a bunch of that stuff to be compatible with EP. I really should update the docs soon.
     
  17. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    This needs some more testing, but it seems to be quite robust so far. Meaning: it always seems to work. Even when I used a shield that was only one side of the piste and about half the length of the piste. I think part of the equation is the surface area of the shield. A wide shield is be better... but how wide, long, etc -- ?? I need to do more testing. I only got my FIE conductive pistes and the EP piste boxes a week ago.
     
  18. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    The exchange between Joe and Neevel clarification: the EP shield inside the vinyl envelope is insulated from the piste, but attaching an exterior piece of conductive tape on top of the vinyl envelope (and insulated from the shield) to act as the panel-connection redundancy would kill two birds with one stone. Just tuck the side with the exterior conductive strip under the aluminum strip, and leave the insulated shield portion exposed.
     
  19. EnPointe Fencing

    EnPointe Fencing Rookie

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    Hi mfp,

    With a ‘practice’ set-up, you may see reduced performance in edge cases, (scenarios that you may rarely encounter in a bout).

    For example, in some venues, while using the practice setup in epee and foil, if your opponent passes you on the side with the tape (placing them between you and the tape), and hits you at close quarters on whites that are soaked through, there may be some reduction in reliability. Having tape on both sides ensures that a fencer cannot come between you and the tape.


    For more accurate hit detection and piste cancellation in all circumstances, we recommend the ‘competition’ set up.

    The above scenario is probably the ‘worst’ scenario that can occur in the practice set-up. The practice set up will meet the needs of most clubs.

    Of course, there are tournaments where the above scenario would not be acceptable, which is why we offer the competition setup as a solution for events where our technicians cannot inspect the venue personally, and determine which setup is most appropriate.

    -

    Just some more background on the loop of tape for those interested - while it looks similar to an antenna, it serves a different purpose. Antennas are designed to radiate or accept radiation, whereas our system specifically minimises radiation for best performance.
     
  20. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    So if an EP 'practice' set-up for foil or epee includes a Piste box and a strip of conductive tape on one side ... and a ‘competition’ set-up includes a Piste box and conductive tape on both sides ... what do you call the EP set-up without a Piste box or any tape that most clubs today seem to have?

    And more importantly, beyond the obvious lack of cancellation of hits to the piste, what specific issues, if any, might people using a set-up without a Piste box and conductive tape experience that they either wouldn't see, or would see less often with a 'practice' or 'competition' set-up?

    Event sanctioning authorities are already being asked by organizers if they can run, for example, foil competitions with their current EP set-ups. Set-ups that don't include Piste boxes or conductive tape.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 6:06 AM

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