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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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backe

GPS race tracker

35 posts in this topic

We are about to purchase a system that can track boats during a regatta. We need gps receivers/trackers + software.

 

After spending many hours on the web trying to find a good solution, I have not yet found a system that stands out.

 

We will buy about 40 tracker units and use software on about 5 computers.

 

Is it worth to go with a live feed? Or is it better to download data from the units? Price difference?

 

I have looked at a few systems: Velociteck, tacktracker, kattack, visualsail, tractrac, instamapper, sailing spectator.

 

Velociteck seems good. Easy to use. No live feed (what I understand). You can only download data from 21 units at the same time. It's very expensive.

 

Tacktracker seems more complicated. Not as nice looking. Not sure about live feed, not sure about single or multiple downloads.

 

Kattack seems good. Not much information on the web, but has some good track records in regattas. Very expensive. No live function, but seems like you can download multiple data.

 

Visual sail looks great. Works with many different gps trackers. Cheap. Not sure if live. Export to youtube. Not sure if single or multiple downloads.

 

Tractrac is probably not made for sailing.

 

instamapper is something i found for the iphone. Gives you a live feed on google maps. I wonder if this can be used to any other sailing tracker software? It can however export the data to standard tracker files. Free!!!! So many people got iphones so it might be worth to try it out.

 

Sailing spectator seems cool. Not much info on the website though.

 

 

What do other people use? The most important feature would be to set it up after racing. All boats should be ready to go within 30 minutes from getting on to shore. Trackers units should be cheap, waterproof and rechargeable. Software should be able to sync data with many trackers at the same time.

 

Im interested to hear all opinions. At the moment I am keen to figure out if I can do live feed from iphone to any software through instamapper. I am also keen to hear more about visual sail, as that seem to be a cool software.

 

Cheers,

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The biggest turn-off from the live feed is the cost. The trackers themselves cost several times more than just a logging device, and in addition to that they require a cell phone data plan (the cheapest I've seen is $10 per month per device, and that's a very large scale setup, most people will pay more).

 

I find setup after racing is always the big challenge. Everybody wants to see the replay right away, but you have to take your time to get all the data in, set up the course/marks, set the start time etc etc. The gps you choose will also have a big effect on this, it's easier to load data off some than others.

 

I'm the developer of visualsail so if you have any questions specifically about it let me know. It does not support live feeds right now, but we're looking to add it in the future as the associated hardware/data cost becomes more reasonable to where more clubs would be interested.

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Thanks for the information Brook.

 

I may have a few more questions regarding gps loggers. I saw on your website that you recomend sveral different units. Anyone i particular you like? I looked at the Genie GT-31. It seemd like a good price and pretty good features such as rechargeble and waterproof. Do you know if that one is easy to connect?

 

How does it work with downloading the data to the software? Is that file by file or can you do many at the same time?

 

Thank you for your answers.

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The Gt-31 is a nice unit because you just take the sd card out and drop it in your pc. There's a couple different formats it will log in, but usually i just have it log nmea. I guess you could plug a bunch of them in with usb, but i'm not aware of any software that would go out and find each file for you automatically, although it wouldn't be hard to implement.

 

My big complaint with that unit is the extent to which it's waterproof. I capsized with mine and it was only underwater for a couple minutes, but the unit was ruined. The only units out there where I would actually trust the waterproofing are the ones that are made for sailing, like the velocitek or the rockbox.

 

Nowadays I like the amod 3080 and an otterbox to make it waterproof. I like the amod because it shows up just like a usb memory stick, so you can plug it into any computer and pull the data, no drivers/software necassary. I've yet to have an otterbox leak on me (knock on wood). Also it's a pretty cheap combination.

 

Hope that helpsl

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I should clarify, I like the amod as strictly a logger. My class doesn't allow us to use velocitek/rockbox etc. I'd probably go that route if it was class legal.

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We are about to purchase a system that can track boats during a regatta. We need gps receivers/trackers + software.

 

After spending many hours on the web trying to find a good solution, I have not yet found a system that stands out.

 

We will buy about 40 tracker units and use software on about 5 computers.

 

Is it worth to go with a live feed? Or is it better to download data from the units? Price difference?

 

I have looked at a few systems: Velociteck, tacktracker, kattack, visualsail, tractrac, instamapper, sailing spectator.

 

Velociteck seems good. Easy to use. No live feed (what I understand). You can only download data from 21 units at the same time. It's very expensive.

 

Tacktracker seems more complicated. Not as nice looking. Not sure about live feed, not sure about single or multiple downloads.

 

Kattack seems good. Not much information on the web, but has some good track records in regattas. Very expensive. No live function, but seems like you can download multiple data.

 

Visual sail looks great. Works with many different gps trackers. Cheap. Not sure if live. Export to youtube. Not sure if single or multiple downloads.

 

Tractrac is probably not made for sailing.

 

instamapper is something i found for the iphone. Gives you a live feed on google maps. I wonder if this can be used to any other sailing tracker software? It can however export the data to standard tracker files. Free!!!! So many people got iphones so it might be worth to try it out.

 

Sailing spectator seems cool. Not much info on the website though.

 

 

What do other people use? The most important feature would be to set it up after racing. All boats should be ready to go within 30 minutes from getting on to shore. Trackers units should be cheap, waterproof and rechargeable. Software should be able to sync data with many trackers at the same time.

 

Im interested to hear all opinions. At the moment I am keen to figure out if I can do live feed from iphone to any software through instamapper. I am also keen to hear more about visual sail, as that seem to be a cool software.

 

Cheers,

 

Hi Downfucker,

 

I think your overall assessment of the available options is quite accurate. I would just like to clarify one point about our system:

 

SpeedPlay allows you to download data from 21 GPS devices in one batch using USB hubs. If you wanted to download data from 40 boats, all you would need to do is disconnect the first 21 devices, plug in the next batch and click "download" again. The 21 device limit is only on the number devices that data can be downloaded from in one batch. It is not on the number of devices that can be used for a replay.

 

As far as I know (if I'm mistaken, I'm sure this forum won't waste any time setting me straight), SpeedPlay is the only system that allows you to download GPS data from multiple GPS devices in a batch. All the other systems require that you download data from one device at a time. That is to say our 21 device batch limit is in contrast to a 1 device batch limit for all the other systems.

 

Cheers,

 

Alec

 

P.S. We deliver a good bit of value for the extra cost of our GPS devices. The SpeedPuck gives speed, heading and a wind shift indicator bar graph that are all updated twice a second. The SpeedPuck is also waterproof and idiot proof; it turns on at the touch of one large button, and there is never any ambiguity about whether or not it is turned on and recording data. The max speed recall feature can also help you use informal Speed Challenges make your regattas more interesting for the whole fleet (generally many more boats are in contention for a Speed Challenge than for winning the actual regatta).

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Thanks for the quick reply Alec. I appreciate the detailed information. I'll get back to you if I have any further questions.

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Hi Downfucker,

you don't mention TCReplay solution, based on GPSLoggers like i-blue, very simple to use (just one button, you can put it in a waterproff case, like S3 cases.

More than this, you can use a NMEALogger in order to catch wind data, for example on the committee boat !

As far as as know, TCReplay is the only full online solution that can provide 3D graphics and capable to produce real broadcast video like this one.

 

Then, you'll have a very brilliant 3D solution for a very low cost.

 

Contact me for further information. Cheers

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Thanks Bressy,

 

I'll have a look at it and come back to you if I have any questions. Looks like a nice system.

 

Cheers

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I am looking for a speedpuck, actually two. I want one on each side of my boom, so I can see it. I looked to buy and Defender had the second lowest price to Pro Marine. Has anyone ever done business with these guys?

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Exactly what I want. Let me know when it works on a Mac and I will buy it.

rob

 

The biggest turn-off from the live feed is the cost. The trackers themselves cost several times more than just a logging device, and in addition to that they require a cell phone data plan (the cheapest I've seen is $10 per month per device, and that's a very large scale setup, most people will pay more).

 

I find setup after racing is always the big challenge. Everybody wants to see the replay right away, but you have to take your time to get all the data in, set up the course/marks, set the start time etc etc. The gps you choose will also have a big effect on this, it's easier to load data off some than others.

 

I'm the developer of visualsail so if you have any questions specifically about it let me know. It does not support live feeds right now, but we're looking to add it in the future as the associated hardware/data cost becomes more reasonable to where more clubs would be interested.

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Defender is a reputable store been in business for more then 30 years.

I am looking for a speedpuck, actually two. I want one on each side of my boom, so I can see it. I looked to buy and Defender had the second lowest price to Pro Marine. Has anyone ever done business with these guys?

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I am looking for a speedpuck, actually two. I want one on each side of my boom, so I can see it. I looked to buy and Defender had the second lowest price to Pro Marine. Has anyone ever done business with these guys?

 

Defender is a great company with great service. Not surprised you found low prices there.

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are your races really that important that people want to watch them unfold in real time?

 

if not, the only advantage of a system that uploads the tracks to a server, is that it will avoid the hassle of downloading the data from all of the units. If this is the kind of racing where everyone returns to the same club when they're done, then it might not be too much of a problem.

 

logging devices are inexpensive, but mostly have only bluetooth data transfer - which can be good, or not, depending on how you feel about bluetooth. I do wonder about having 20 identical bluetooth transmitters in the same room, and trying to establish a connection with each one to download data - i guess it will be possible to keep track of it all.

 

something like a Garmin Etrex - even one of the very simple models will also work fine. they are limited to 10,000 points, but logging at 3 second intervals will easily get a day of racing. It takes only a few seconds to hook up a unit via USB and download a track. If you went with something like that, people could buy either a very simple one, or if they wanted something to do double-duty as a back-up chartplotter, they could get a more advanced model.

 

It's likely that a number of people in your fleet already have garmin handhelds - why not just do a trial for a few weeks using the equipment that is already available? if it's working, expand it to the rest of the fleet.

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I'm very interested in live feed systems to use for the tybee 500. The organizer wants us all to use Spots, but that doesn't give anyone a good indication of what is happening in real time.

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Hey,

 

Just opening this tread again.

Our Club went to buy 20 gps units with tacktracker software. Seems to be working very well. All the bigger events have staff uploading the tracks from the gps loggers straight after the race so by the time all the sailors comes out from the shower, the race is on the big screen. It's absolutely fantastic to watch and a perfect tool to analyze the races afterwards.

 

I am still keen on trying out a live solution where we use trackers broadcasting straight to a server. In this smart phone era where 75% of the crew got either an iphone or an android, getting live gps signals doesn't seem to be a problem. However, I have yet to find a software and server that can get it all to work. Virtual eye is by far the best setup for live tracking, however, not really designed for club level use.

 

As it has been a while since I first posted this question, maybe there are some new useful tools out there that I have missed.

 

 

Anyone got any ideas?

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Anyone got any ideas?

DF - have you had a chance to look at MotionX ?

dont know if it will fit your class rules as it has a shitload of functionality - it is an iPhone app (USD$0.99) made by MotionX software which in turn is owned by a sailor, Philippe Kahn of Pegasus sailing

 

I use it for sailing and "team walking" - it is very easy to share info and has a 'live broadcast' capability (so first aid knows where to treat me & my heart attack!) so you can compare your boat to others in real time.

 

What I cannot find on their web pages is if they advise a method to record the live broadcast for replay - however I do know that the guys at motionX are very open to suggestions and want to help folks use their software.

 

I am not associated with their company - just a happy user, & I like they way that Phillipe supports other sailors in their endeavors.

 

SD

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Hey SD,

 

Thanks for your reply.

I do use motionX and think its great. However, I totally missed the live broadcast function. I figured out how to record and save tracks, which are perfect to use with any sailing tracker software. I will definitely have a look at their website and see what could be done. The perfect mix would be to use motionx together with visual sail!

 

Cool to hear that there is a sailor involved in motion x. I'm impressed of how they still develop that application since they first launched it two years ago.

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Hello I'm also loking for a good solution on this. But we whant live feed... Any help here? I know spot does the job, geovoile as something to mas I believe very expensive...

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Hey SD,

 

Thanks for your reply.

I do use motionX and think its great. However, I totally missed the live broadcast function. I figured out how to record and save tracks, which are perfect to use with any sailing tracker software. I will definitely have a look at their website and see what could be done. The perfect mix would be to use motionx together with visual sail!

 

Cool to hear that there is a sailor involved in motion x. I'm impressed of how they still develop that application since they first launched it two years ago.

 

Actually, I feel that motion is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Guys, have a look at this great Australian (in fact Tasmanian) product Ocean Track http://www.oceantrack.com.au/

 

This year's Launceston to Hobart race just after Christmas was great, I think the site and info provided was far superior to that provided for Sydney to Hobart. Next event coming up is the Australian Three Peaks Race over Easter, so you can check out how the tracker works by checking this event out - starts early afternoon on Good Friday http://www.threepeaks.org.au

 

Two Heads

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Hey,

 

Just opening this tread again.

Our Club went to buy 20 gps units with tacktracker software. Seems to be working very well. All the bigger events have staff uploading the tracks from the gps loggers straight after the race so by the time all the sailors comes out from the shower, the race is on the big screen. It's absolutely fantastic to watch and a perfect tool to analyze the races afterwards.

 

I am still keen on trying out a live solution where we use trackers broadcasting straight to a server. In this smart phone era where 75% of the crew got either an iphone or an android, getting live gps signals doesn't seem to be a problem. However, I have yet to find a software and server that can get it all to work. Virtual eye is by far the best setup for live tracking, however, not really designed for club level use.

 

As it has been a while since I first posted this question, maybe there are some new useful tools out there that I have missed.

 

 

Anyone got any ideas?

 

Hi Downfucker,

just have a look at this : http://isea3D/smartphone : this is a software as a service for inshore sailing live-tracking and 3D rendering based on data coming from smartphones (iPhone, Android and Blackberry). I think that's exactly what you are looking for

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Are there any inexpensive and real-time satellite-uplink trackers available for rental during an offshore race? (out of cell range)

 

We have been looking at Yellowbrick which seems very nice, but the YC is looking for cheaper solutions.

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Are there any inexpensive and real-time satellite-uplink trackers available for rental during an offshore race? (out of cell range)

 

We have been looking at Yellowbrick which seems very nice, but the YC is looking for cheaper solutions.

 

Drop me an email, and I will give you some more details about what we do - not necessarily that expensive.

 

Nick @ Yb

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I'm interested in something that's inexpensive and would use smartphones (blackberry, iphone, android etc) to track, transmit to a website after the race and allow download/replay. Any suggestions?

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I'm interested in something that's inexpensive and would use smartphones (blackberry, iphone, android etc) to track, transmit to a website after the race and allow download/replay. Any suggestions?

 

Look here:

http://www.teamtracker.com/

 

we just had them on a regatta in adriatic sea, working nicely and not expensive

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I'm interested in something that's inexpensive and would use smartphones (blackberry, iphone, android etc) to track, transmit to a website after the race and allow download/replay. Any suggestions?

 

Look here:

http://www.teamtracker.com/

 

we just had them on a regatta in adriatic sea, working nicely and not expensive

Can you give us a quick writeup about it.. not much info on the web site.. It says that it is realtime but if there is no app on the phones then how do they do that?

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Lakewood Yacht Club in Houston used the SPOT tracker system for this year's Harvest Moon race. It seemed to work well for tracking boats in real time. I don't think they used the tracker for compiling results. Each boat was required to provide its own device. Here is the tacker site:

http://trackleaders.com/harvest

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Hi all,

we are the owners of www.TeamTracker.com and can of course help you with tracking yachts. Our system works on mobile phones with Android software and our trackers are readily packed in waterproof cases and run approx. 7 days with positions every second. We are purely sailing dedicated with all features such as mark rounding recognition, OCS candidates, real time race course editor ... please contact us at christian@TeamTracker.com

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if you don't find a system you like, let me know and I can build you one. I wanted to design such a system for resale and it would be good to have a team to work with for testing and functional evaluation.

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I'm interested in something that's inexpensive and would use smartphones (blackberry, iphone, android etc) to track, transmit to a website after the race and allow download/replay. Any suggestions?

 

Kattack.

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Hi All,

 

I work for a company called Igtimi Ltd who has just released a product YachtBot. This product has only been available since the end of the 2012 Olympics.

 

This product has been designed specifically for Live GPS tracking for sailing. It works by sending live GPS information from the YachtBot hardware or from an Android phone (iPhone soon), to a cloud service for live or post visualisation. It works for clubs wanting to view live races, coaches wanting live sailing feedback during training, and the sailors viewing the end of day debrief. All the YachtBot hardware also logs the data if you dont want to have the system running live.

 

The system has a range of solutions from an inexpensive solution using a free android app available here, and viewing using free Online viewer (demo here), to the elite YachtBot Bio trackers that are used by High Performance Sports institutions.

 

The system has been developed through the work we have done with Virtual Eye in tracking the 33rd Americas Cup, the inshore Volvo races, the MedCup races, and now working with Elite training institutions.

 

We would love sailors feedback in using the system, as it also allows sailors to track themselves and add competitors/friends into their sailing sessions to view who is sailing faster.

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I'm interested in something that's inexpensive and would use smartphones (blackberry, iphone, android etc) to track, transmit to a website after the race and allow download/replay. Any suggestions?

 

beentheresailedthat.com

Free access to the website

$1.99 android app

upload tracks from Velocitek or GPX for free....

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