At events serviced by GC Racing, each athlete wants to know when they have crossed the finish line completing their race. Upon crossing the finish line the athlete wants to know their placing and their time. GC Racing’s FinishLynx cameras record what is crossing the finish line and only the finish line. The FinishLynx cameras also determines the time it took the athlete to complete the course from start to finish.
A FinishLynx camera system is called a line scan camera. It photographs a very narrow slit image aimed at the finish line and only the finish line. This narrow slit image is taken electronically thousands of times per second and transfers all those images electronically to a computer running the FinishLynx software. The FinishLynx software assembles all of these narrow slit images that the FinishLynx operator uses to view, score, and time the athletes. Check out the animations below of how a FinishLynx camera operates.
Camera based timing and scoring systems are all based on how fast your camera is recording at. This is called the cameras frame rate. This includes both video based camera systems and line scan camera systems. As you increase the frame rate you increase the accuracy on being able to precisely determine when the athlete crosses the finish line. Rule of thumb: A higher frame rate is better than a lower frame rate.
In Track & Field all official FAT times are rounded up to the next 1/100th of a second. As a result many runners have the same official time as their competitor but who placed in front of whom? If you are using a camera system with a low frame rate it is very difficult to impossible to determine what athlete placed in front of whom because the camera is not showing you enough pictures to make the call. Therefore the runners must be left as a tie. By increasing the frame rate of the camera it is easier to break the tie because you have more pictures to accurately determine when those athletes have crossed the finish line. Because GC Racing’s FinishLynx cameras are recording up to 10,000 frames per second it is very easy to differentiate between runners who finish close to each other.
With the use of GC Racing’s photofinish cameras, a photographic record is captured of everyone crossing the finish line and stored as digital film on GC Racing’s computer system. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. At any time the digital film can be opened to certify race results, investigate race protests, to re-score the race, etc. GC Racing’s equipment provides both a photographic record of the race in addition to the time of each athlete and the placing of each athlete crossing the finish line.
GC Racing’s second type of FinishLynx cameras are the IdentiLynx video cameras. GC Racing uses HD quality video cameras in junction with its FinishLynx cameras. These IdentiLynx video cameras aid in the identification of the athlete and work as back-up cameras for the entire GC Racing FinishLynx Timing System. GC Racing’s IdentiLynx and FinishLynx cameras are all integrated and time synchronized enabling the operator to view all of the images at once.
For cross country running races GC Racing utilizes their IdentiLynx cameras to record the front of the runner as they cross the finish line. This enables GC Racing operators to quickly read the bib number of each athlete while accurately timing and scoring each runner with GC Racing’s FinishLynx high speed camera. View a sample video of the IdentiLynx video camera system.
GC Racing uses wireless electronic start systems for events that require precise FAT timing when a starters pistol is used like track & field events. With a range of over 3 miles, GC Racing’s FinishLynx timing system can receive a start signal wherever the starter is positioned around the track facility. These wireless electronic start systems remove the need to string cables across the track facility eliminating tripping hazards and the starting system from being disconnected. GC Racing uses two different electronic starting systems providing redundancy in the timing system. This ensures the start time is received correctly maintaining the fully automatic timing.
From Ian Mensher – KR Racing
“The results with your system have been most impressive and I’m grateful you’ve put it together! The process is definitely efficient from my perspective as someone registering for events. So I take no issue with results or registration at the events………Thanks for your efforts to make the scoring so pro!”