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Cameras and Video for OCS

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Race Management
Forum Discription: For race officers and competiors to discuss the topic
Printed Date: 02 Dec 22 at 9:11am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Cameras and Video for OCS
Posted By: davidyacht
Subject: Cameras and Video for OCS
Date Posted: 13 Jul 15 at 1:50pm
Does anyone have any experience or know of any clubs that use cameras or videos to assist in identifying OCS boats?  

Would be interested in learning from any experiences.

Happily living in the past

Posted By: furtive
Date Posted: 13 Jul 15 at 2:48pm
Ranelagh SC use video to identify OCSs. The system works well, but is made much simpler by the fact the the start line is fixed for all races, so the camera can be permanently mounted and aligned with the line.

Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 13 Jul 15 at 3:09pm
Guess that I should have a chat with Mr Edwards

Happily living in the past

Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 13 Jul 15 at 4:18pm
Cowes week do, on both the fixed, Squadron line and the Bramble bank line. On the fixed, Squadron line at least, there are two cameras, one further up the course, to help with identification. Used not only for identification, but also to help out PCs with requests for redress over OCS calls. 

Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 13 Jul 15 at 5:25pm
My main interest is what hardware is being used, what resolution, and how data is transferred for viewing, particularly where the pin is remote from the starting box.  

Happily living in the past

Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 18 Jul 15 at 2:19am
There's a plethora of hardware and communications options, ranging from  a full-on Stedi-Cam feeding live to the yacht club lounge to a Go-Pro gaffer taped to a broomstick.  If you tape an iPhone to a broomstick, you can be streaming, or instantly uploading the video to U Tube.

I note also that there seem to be some Pro/Am cheap(ish) steadi-cam mounts coming onto the market.

I think you would probably end up being driven by what you can scrounge, rather than what you desire.

I know of some experienced RO who are playing around with head-mounted Go-Pros.

Get clear in you mind how you want to use the video.  Usually the RO/RC would use it, after the start, to resolve/confirm OCS boats, and possibly see boats that have returned.  An alternative might be to have a full-on Third Umpire Booth, with good quality video onto big screens, making real-time calls (I think only wealthy techno-nuts would think about going this route, but its done for the Americas Cup).  I might mention that just playing the RO's voice recording to the competitors resolves a huge proportion of OCS disputes.

I think the starting point is good quality lenses, followed by reasonable resolution.

The simple test is, allowing for camera shake, haze, spume etc, can you read a sail number at the far end of the line, or say double that distance, in not very good light.  But if it's less than ideal, it may well work 70% or 50% of the time and will be better than nothing.

Head-cam is OK, given that it sees what you are looking at at any time, but I'm thinking a fixed mount aimed at the pin, with a fairly wide angle lens.   Maybe both would be the best of both worlds.

If it's an ordinary video camera, keep the sound on, and keep the damn thing on for the whole start sequence (run if of ship's power through a 12v adapter):  that means you don't have to be bothered about forgetting to switch it on or off.

Probably key to using the video is a decent viewing screen, which means a laptop or a large tablet.  You can get good waterproof cases for Apple and Samsung tablets, and we used to be able to get Toughbooks on eBay cheap as chips.

Hope this gives you a few useful ideas.

Don't forget to sync whatever recording decide you use to race time, so your recorded time will correspond to race time.

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