Beta Feedback

I am getting positive news from the initial beta testers. If you are testing please post your results of getting GFX installed and up and running. Especially on windows since I don’t have that OS to test on. I am sure your results will help future users.

If you get to do some testing take some photos. I would love to see them with your setup!

Thanks everyone!

19 thoughts on “Beta Feedback”

  1. OK, I’ll start and see how we get on
    Fortunately for me, I forgot to put my phone on silent last night and when Ed emailed me at 4:30am (I’m on UK time!) that was it. I took the dog out for it’s early morning walk went to work as for the first time in weeks, I’d left the hardware on my desk :(

    So arriving at the office at 6am I set to work

    The easiest machine to work on was my laptop, a Dell XPS 1530 with Windows Server 2008 R2
    I thought this was a good machine to test as 2008 is quite hot on permissions – if it’s gonna fail it will here

    Installed drivers for the hardware first, then Flash Player, then Air and then Goldsprints
    All installed correctly when using admin permissions
    Serproxy only took a few minutes to work out – I’ve uploaded the config file here
    Hardware was installed as com port 3 – the serproxy file linked to above is setup for com 3

    So by 6:30am I had a working setup

    As it stands now I’ve installed it on 5 different machines (XP Pro, Vista, W7 and Server 2008 R2) and everyone was identical
    Every machine installed the hardware to Com Port 3 although I think this was lucky
    I created an extra shortcut on the desktop to start serproxy, put it next to the GFX icon

    Currently, I’ve got an event on the 14th March where I am going to try and use this software – opensprints although it worked wasn’t really user friendly
    So far GFX has got 9.5 out of 10 from 3 cycle clubs that have seen it even though it was running on remote desktop over the web

    I’ve got a small list of enhancements that have been suggested and a couple of very minor bugs, but they are not deal breakers, I’ll post these separately

    If anyone needs any help, I’ll gladly help if I can – just post a reply here and bear in mind that I’m on UK time :)

  2. Awesome post! I am so happy to see that you were able to get it installed so easily. Makes me very happy. Post your requests to the Support page and I will start looking at them right away.

    Don’t forget photos from your event!


  3. I agreed to help as they bought lots of rollers and begged for help as they are not computer people, they are cyclists! I will be going with my laptop and they will press the buttons whilst I watch :)

    The main test will be the 70 entries so far and still 10 days until registration closes
    I’ll try and get some more information to put online but I do know that it will be captured using Hi Def cameras for DVD’s and Photos
    You will have plenty of stuff to go through


  4. Just fired it up on my mac and love the look and polish of it. Once I had the FTDI driver installed, serproxy configured easily and GFX connected right to it.

    Probably use this for our “one off” events where rankings and history aren’t important. Partly through a 10 race series and having the database from opensprints is great for us.

    I don’t have my full race equipment (just the sensors and controller), so nothing to contribute otherwise about using the system yet. I’ll be sure to show my co-organizers at our next series event on Monday.

    One thing, speed calculation looks to be a running average speed, not an instantaneous speed, I wondered why the number weren’t at the typical increments (4.8, 5.4, etc) until I quite swiping the magnet by hand and watched the graph slowly trail off.

  5. One thing that is helpful is if features weren’t disabled when an arduino isn’t attached. In other words, implement a mock mode. This just allows people to play around and quickly get accustomed to the software without having to set everything up.

  6. The installation instructions for windows need to add the following driver install:

    Extract to a folder on their desktop.
    Plug in the OpenSprints box to the computer using the provided USB A/B cable.
    When asked Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software? select No, not this time. Click next.
    Select Install from a list or specified location (Advanced) and click next.
    Make sure that Search for the best driver in these locations is checked; uncheck Search removable media; check Include this location in the search and browse to the drivers/FTDI USB Drivers directory of the Arduino distribution. (The latest version of the drivers can be found on the FTDI website.) Click next.
    The wizard will search for the driver and then tell you that a “USB Serial Converter” was found. Click finish.
    The new hardware wizard will appear again. Go through the same steps and select the same options and location to search. This time, a “USB Serial Port” will be found.

  7. There is an easier way, but as I wasn’t thinking of starting from scratch I missed this point

    Download this –
    Plug in the Opensprints Box and cancel any wizard that appears
    Double click the exe file downloaded above (or run as administrator as required)

    This exe detects OS, 32/64 bit requirements and does everything needed for the following OS’s
    Server 2008 R2 ,W7, W7 x64, Server 2008,Server 2008 x64, Vista, Vista x64, XP, XP x64, 2000, Server 2003, Server 2003 x64

    This page
    Has drivers for just about every other OS going


  8. We’re up and running. I was having trouble getting the Mac Laptop to ‘see’ the Open Sprints hardware on the USB using the list command in the instructions. A quick email to Jonathan at OS saw him suggest installing the Arduino IDE ( Once done it was a very quick thing to amend the Serproxy.cfg file and the GFX software worked a treat.

    Connected up to a single Kreitler race station, single bike and all seems to work well. Will have a ‘fake race’ tomorrow/Monday.

    How can I incorporate a different .psd background file if I wanted to twiddle about and add a few sponsor logos or graphics?


  9. In the current beta you can’t change the opening screen graphic. I removed it purposely for now. To be honest I am think of a way that users can donate to the GFX development. Enabling the customization ability seems to be way to at least pay for a little beer money. Writing code and a few beer usually go hand in hand on my late nights working on GFX. :)

    I figure if GFX is good enough for people to use in live events then maybe it is not too much to ask they donate one racer fee to the GFX cause from each event. Most people charge $5 or $10 for events. Donating to keep the development going allows me to add in features that people want.

    But I have not put too much thought into it yet. Maybe people will willingly donate and I won’t have to hold back features. 😉

    If you want to start creating something for the opening screen just keep the image 800 x 600. I will upload the brick background I am using now to the Downloads page if you want to start with that. I will get it up there later tonight.

  10. Hi Ed,
    Mate, I’m happy to donate more than that to be honest.
    We’ve put money down on quality hardware and race stations, so I have no problem whatsoever contributing to the software – especially so if it will incorporate not just good timing features (and graphics) but the tools to run and manage the event (like rider names, stats, results etc). This sort of functionality will make for a great event experience (and less stress for us), so we’re right behind it.


  11. Thanks Alan. I should be setting up a PalPal account soon so donations will be much appreciated when that is all going. :)

    Wait until you see the new feature I worked on last night and today. The race system is pretty much done except saving the data to database. I will get a video up late tonight. I am actually pretty excited about it!

  12. Awesome, can’t wait.

    This is an exciting new thing for us too – our first roller race event will be held just before a huge weekend of MTB racing in the middle of a forest, in a big tent, on a stage we build, using generator power, surrounded by thousands of curious mountain bikers and probably a few kangaroos and a wombat… what could possibly go wrong :)

    Yes, we’ll take some photos (and maybe some vids) for posterity.

  13. When is your event again? I would love to get the roster version done in enough time for you to test and make sure it is working as expected. I have an event on the 27th so that was my initial goal to get this never version done.

  14. Ed,

    This is a little long winded but I’ll try and explain as best I can

    When racing an event, we have to move the racers onto different stations. Therefore if there is only 3 racers in a heat, they may be using bikes 2,3 and 4 with number 1 unused. We cannot remove bike one from the event (If you change it to 3 riders you loose bike 4) and need to use the Call It feature.

    Unfortunately during initial tests, it doesn’t seem to call the fastest time as the winner

    I’m going to do some more testing here and see if I can get a better explanation for you but hopefully it’s something to look at


  15. Yes, the Call It doesn’t work as expected. I mentioned it in another post a while back I think. I hope to have this fixed in the beta 2 version. It may come down to a manual selection of the winner as part of the Call It. That would be worst case.

    The new rostering feature will allow you to use any number of bikes. You only set the ‘Max Bikes’ now and then you just can’t exceed that number. You can have 4 racers, then go down to 2, then 3, then back to 4. It all depends on how many you add to a race. I am not sure about leaving one of the bikes out in an odd order like riding bike 2, 3, and 4 and leaving bike 1 out. It doesn’t really matter what bike it is really. It would just be a quick color change since the bikes don’t have numbers only colors. That is probably your best bet, just make a quick change to the color.