The following is some interesting dialogue that Pat Byrne thought
would be helpful for others to review and perhaps comment to those
involved. (As in any email thread, read from the bottom up.)
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 12:54:15 -0600 (CST)
From: Roger Hammel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Re: Fwd: tech comments - An idea on Pangaea 25
To: email@example.com, PJBYRN@aol.com
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Skitimberlake@verizon.net
Total agreement with Dan.
Simple is best
Crawl b4 you walk.
Slalom event is easiest, tricks is hardest IMHO if you try to go
all out and shoot the moon from a technical goal standpoint.
Have redundancy, redundancy and more redundancy.
Did I mention redundancy and backups to backups.
Plan your access to cameras & test points for systems.
Strongly consider SAFETY in working aloft on cameras. Folks DO
fall off ladders & telephone poles. At those heights, we are
talking about a porentially fatal fall. That is why I use a telephone
company quality lineman's belt and have a stepped pole when I work
on our jump cameras. Others raise and lower the cameras via pulleys
or guyed poles and don't climb. BE SAFE.
Test, then test in practice, then test class C live, B4 you go
live class E,L, or R.
Have more than 1 on site person who knows the systems. I have not
done this at Timberlake and it scares me every tournament we do
when we use tech systems. If something happens to me, we are done.
Date: 2007/11/15 Thu AM 09:08:40 CST
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Skitimberlake@verizon.net
Subject: Re: Fwd: tech comments - An idea on Pangaea 25
Pat / George,
Roger covered it pretty well. The only thing I would suggest is
to remove as much technology as possible. What I mean by that is
you should use coax cable instead of radioif possible. Don't use
a live feed from the boat for trick - youcan almost count on it
failing at least once - and if it fails during alegitimate record
run I will let you tell the skier why it was missed. In general
try to simplify it as much as possible. If you doan 'R' trick use
5 judges, if you can't get 5 then make it an 'L' and behappy.
Then get backup systems for everything- PC's, cameras, batteries,
power supplies . . . I have beento more that one tourney that the
statement "I never had one of thosefail" was uttered.
Sometimes its just bad luck too like a lightingstorm frying everything
other times its an issue like somebody forgot tocharge batteries
I try to use 2 vcr's for taping. Ifone fails you have a backup -
there have been several records denied becausethe video was not
Don't have different events sharingequipment (except pc's for video
trick and jump). Have dedicatedvcr's and cameras for each event.
It just makes event changes easier.
Make all the equipment accessible inthe event of failure. Repelling
down cliffs and scaling high tensionwire skeletons is not fun and
should be avoided. Bank on the factthat something will break and
make it as easy as possible to replace.
Then, after all that, the most overlookedarea is the tournament
officials. I would suggest getting a seasonedgroup of individuals.
The best way to test it is to sanctiona tourney 'C' and run it
like a 'E/L/R'. You will get to play withthe new toys and if it
fails, no harm - they are not required for a 'C'anyway. If it works
then do the next one 'E/L/R'. Many siteshave used this strategy
with great success.
Here is a short list of some of my favorite game day issues that
always seem to pop up.
-Rain, water and electronics don't mix
-Radio interference with wireless devices. When talking on a radiothe
wireless link to the vcr craps out
-The overly helpful individual who always seems to know more about
everythingthan anyone else and inevitably screws everything up.
- Friday everything checks out and I go tosleep happy
- Saturday bad signals everywhere - poor qualityvideo
- The problem, they brought in a sound systemand ran the speaker
wires right next to my coax. The speaker wire induced enough emf
into the coax to cause wiggly lines on the display.
With that being said I want to stressthat is it not impossible
to do. But you need good quality equipment and plenty of time to
set it up and test.
11/14/2007 08:54 PM
cc Skitimberlake@verizon.net, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
Subject Fwd: tech comments - An idea on Pangaea25
Roger provided a pretty thorough responseto George Vosburg's request.
He suggested that you might have more to add.
----- Message from "Roger Hammel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>on
Wed, 14 Nov 2007 09:04:36 -0600 (CST) -----To:email@example.com,
"PAT BYRNE" <PJBYRN@AOL.COM>cc:"ROGER HAMMEL"
<firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject:tech comments - An idea
on Pangaea 25
I think George should be able to meet necessary items for class
E record slalom, assuming the B.O.D. keeps that classification.
(Currently, rulescall for VCR usage not DVD for recording end course,
and you must havesufficient optical zooming capabilities, not digital
zoom. Whateversystem is used on gates needs to be bulletproof as
you have non-techie judges operating it.) For class L & R, you
will need judges locatedon BOTh sides of the lake with duplicated
video record and playback capabilitiesfor the gates, OR just one
side like in E but with a VCR in the boatand multiple tapes and
duplicated playback capability. Camera in boat tobe used for all
class L & R skiers. (rope handler becomes cameraoperator, CJ
decides when to review tape - basically anytime the boat andshore
judges split on their bouy calls.)
Here are comments on other events E,L or R.
Jump can be E,L or R with approved Corson video jump measuring,
butsetup is tighter for E & L & tighter still for R. TC
needsto examine setup spreadsheet along with surveying jump course.
Itis a camera coverage issue vs. distortion in optics. If initial
design& setup is kosher, then everything usually falls into
place for E &L. sometimes R is difficult because of the longer
test distances- 230 feet plus.
Tricks is a whola differernt matter. Need 5 reg or sr judges forE
if no immediate video review capability and still need camera in
boatfor L & R like in slalom. L requires majority Sr, judges
whileR requires more Sr (see rulebook inside cover). Need video(frame
count) timing for L & R.
With immediate video review capability (usually judges calling
from infront of a TV with live video feed from boat or from shore)
you can use3 judges. L requires majority Sr, while R has all Sr.
If youdecide to use video taken from an elevated location on shore,
you needa ROCK SOLID capabiliy camera system and experienced operator.
Ifcamea operator misses something, ALL judges miss it and it is
Need similar rock solid system from boat. If wireless feed goes
down,you need to have captured the video in boat on camcorder, then
stop tournamentto play the tape for judges to complete calling the
run. If not,it is a reride. Be prepared for technical hiccups. I
have only been toone tournament where from boat video used that
there was not hiccups. Iwas TC and I chewed off my fingernails trying
to keep the system runningperfectly. That system requires a relay
with back-to-back systems to functionwithout blue-out issues from
As an official, I do not like live video from boat if camera operator
isrequired to take place of boat judge. I believe you give up too
muchby eliminating boat judge, but 07 rules allow it. However automating
thecamera operator functions (so you can keep the boat judge) is
not trivialand getting sufficient "zoom in" to adequately
see skiers whilebeing able to see tricks done outside the wake)
e.g. SS & Reverse doneoutside immediately before cutting for
a flip proves optically difficultif the camera can not "pan".
If it can pan, who controlsit and how....not a tgechnically trivial
problem...if boat judge is stillused for his/her traditional duties.
Dave Clark used a kludgey mirrorsystem mounted on brackets on front
of camcorder, but it worked and wasbulletproof, although it took
some getting used to. But Nationals& team trial judges did get
used to it.
I bellieve Dan Baumgart can add to the discussion with good ideas.
Date: 2007/11/14 Wed AM 07:27:47 CST
To: PAT BYRNE <PJBYRN@AOL.COM>,
Cc: ROGER HAMMEL <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: An idea on Pangaea 25
I think you are there if you get the judges, although I have no
personalexperience with Record tournys.
I am forwarding to Roger Hammel and Pat Byrne.
-------------- Original message from "firstname.lastname@example.org"<email@example.com>:
> Hi Bill
> An idea, not sure if a good one, Have had some interest in
> for July 12 & 13th July 25th. Well at least for Slalom
> Before jumping in with both feet, I am testing the waters with
> I have cameras on gates, a camera for end course and Ed Brazil
> certification on course and judges towers and computers and
> recorders and VCR recorders and digital recorders and flat
> and what else???
> Is it just to the point of Just people?????
> Is there a body from the east that might be anywhere near me
> up the steps to "get it done" or do I have to reinvent
> I think I can do it site wize, now what???