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Nick Farrell

Member Since 23 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 08 2014 11:50 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Round Britain & Ireland

14 August 2014 - 05:22 PM

Just for info, La Promesse have managed to lose their YB overboard earlier today... so I'm afraid it's bobbing about in the North Sea somewhere near Shetland and not transmitting any more.


First time we've ever had a unit lost without a boat sinking, quite an achievement.


Nick @ YB

In Topic: Hack Yellowbrick tracker

13 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

I'm apparently not as tech-savvy as many of the people here, but I bought the Vic-Maui race and thoroughly enjoyed watching it (while it was still interesting). I had friends on several boats and it was fun to keep an eye on them. I think I paid $2.99 to watch the race on my iPad and it was worth every one of the 299 pennies. Hourly updates were just fine with me and the program performed flawlessly.


Very glad to hear it. We've worked quite hard to improve the app this year, and I'm pleased to see it's paying off from a user point of view, regardless how technical you are! :)

In Topic: Hack Yellowbrick tracker

13 August 2014 - 06:00 PM

I suppose I'll have to apologise for saying the data is shit. I'm from the I.T. industry and should know better than most that no data is shit, it's just a case of cost and configuration. In reality it's an excellent product. Mine was a from the hip response after struggling to see what was going on on the Round Ireland Race this year. Who was tacking where on the tidal gates etc.


At least you're a member Nick and didn't have the usual SA response telling you to 'Fuck Off Newbie'.

Nice explanation - thanks!


No worries - glad you're enjoying watching the race, and apology readily accepted. Sounds like some of the boats are having a pretty tough time out there given the conditions.


As a bit of extra info for you, at the moment the trackers are set in three configurations, basically dependent on the speed of the boats (and therefore overall cost 'per boat' of data) :


Omansail is transmitting every 15 minutes. The Volvos are taking positions every 10 minutes, but transmitting them every 30 (so if you're watching live then it looks like they're updating every 30 minutes, but there's more detailed data in there for replay later) and all the other boats are taking positions every 15 minutes and transmitting every hour.

In Topic: Hack Yellowbrick tracker

13 August 2014 - 09:13 AM

Hi Chris


Didn't say you were thieving. Think that was someone else who said that. Wikipedia article very useful, thanks. Turns out my dog is also a hacker: "who combines excellence, playfulness, cleverness and exploration in performed activities".


In terms of providing the data, we're happy to provide exports of data for an individual boat after the race, the skipper just has to email us to ask. As for providing the data en-masse, other than providing through the race viewer this is something that the race organiser would have to approve, in this case RORC.


Appreciate you aren't trying to make your own race viewer, but to protect against that both during and after the race, and protect the race organiser's interests, we have to make it at least a little bit hard. Take your point about possibly providing it after, that's something we'll look into, but some organisers wouldn't like that so we'd have to be careful there.


If you could advise what analysis you're hoping to do with the data, perhaps that could feed into our development plans, and we might be able to save lots of people work later by building some sort of analysis system into the viewer? If it's something that a whole heap of people regularly do or are looking for then it would make sense for us to think about adding it as a feature...

In Topic: Hack Yellowbrick tracker

13 August 2014 - 08:24 AM

Nope, I don't want to steal anything from anyone, but I don't think they have a pay service where you can get the data represented on the tracker in a text format! I could be wrong though. Besides technically the data is public since it's on the tracker.




Firstly, as I think a couple of other people have said, you don't need to hack the system to get to the data, there's plenty of ways we provide free access to the data. It would probably save an awful lot of time and trouble if you just emailed us and asked - we're real people, respond to email, and are happy to help within reason. If it's just personal use for your own boat's data then we're always happy to oblige.


If people try to access the data to make their own race viewer, that's a different kettle-of-fish, since race organisers pay for our services, and need to maintain control of the way they are viewed - most of the time the race organisers provide sponsor logos to display (who ultimately fund the races you like to watch) and therefore it's only right that people watch the viewer through the 'official' race viewer and are exposed to those sponsor logos.


It is a manual process for us though, so whilst exporting a single boat's data for your analysis is relatively easy and a few clicks for us, exporting the entire fleet is time consuming and we'll generally say no.


Lastly, as I think someone else mentioned in the thread, the low bandwidth data is generally made available for most races, and if you wanted to you could always setup an auto-downloader to get the Expedition/Maxsea/CSV link on a regular basis, and this would then save all the data as you went along.



Lastly, our data isn't s**t - data costs money, and money costs race organisers. For a week long offshore race, do you really need positions every 10 seconds? We vary the speed of our data transmissions to try to fit within the budget of the race organisers, and therefore be able to provide tracking for more races. If we only provided satellite based tracking with positions every 5 seconds, and that was our only option, no-one would be able to afford it and therefore you probably wouldn't be able to track a lot of races you do now, so it's a question of compromise.


Hopefully that's covered anything, but as I said at the start, more than happy to chat by email, and if we can help out then we will. We're nice folks, and just trying to make a living, just like everyone else.