All posts by Ed

Creator of Goldsprints FX and Capital City Sprints http://www.capitalcitysprints.com.

GoldsprintsFX v3 Development Update

I have been hard at work on the new version of GFX. The next iteration of GFX is a completely new version. The functionality is about the same but it is being written from scratch in Python.

Up until now GFX was developed with Adobe Flex. To be honest I have never liked developing in Flex very much. At the time, Flex was the only way I knew to connect with the serial port of the Opensprints hardware.

A lot has changed in the last few years. With the new Adobe software subscription model it is to expensive to keep the software on my computers. I don’t want to spent $30-50 a month just to have access to the Flex software. I also do not like the dependency on Flash and Adobe Air. Let’s not even start with setting up Serproxy either. Developing a new version with Python can fix what I believe to be the pains of setting up GFX.

If everything goes as planned you won’t need to install anything but GFX. No Serproxy. No Flash or Adobe Air. The only thing you need to know is the serial port.

The first phase is to code the application shell. This consists of the basic navigation, page layout, and saving and loading the setting options. This is actually the hardest part of the development. I have already created a proof of concept and it works perfectly with the Opensprints hardware. I am happy to say I am about 95% complete with this phase. I am waiting for a video to upload as I type this so you can see a basic demo.

Phase two will be putting in the hooks to the Opensprints hardware. Again, I already have this working work it should be pretty quick steps.

Phase three will be developing the event system. This is the rostering systeme in the current version of GFX. I am not sure what kind of effort this will take right now.

Each phase will be available for testing. I plan to have a version to release for testing in the next few days for phase 1. I would appreciate any help you could offer in the testing. The beta versions will be available for anyone that has made a donation. Sadly that only means about 10 users. I will be contacting donating members at the email they supplied with their PayPal donation to see if they are willing to help.

The phase one and phase two beta will run with the Opensprints” target=”_blank”>Opensprints hardware in demo mode. I want to get all the kinks out before I have anyone test the new version with bikes and rollers. If all goes well the only requirement will be to know your serial port. No other software or applications should be required.

More to come in the next few days.

GFX v3 Devlog


This list is the current dev tasks in progress and completed. This is a living document that I maintain in Evernote on an iPad. A daily update automatically gets published to the GFX website.


In Progress Tasks as of 3.2.2015


Opensprints connection tasks

Get Demo mode working from master dictionary/Config settings

Get Countdown working from master dictionary/Config settings

Add Start button to Race blade

Add hooks to start a python thread for the race

Get Start race working

Get timers working for each racer on Race blade

Get countdown showing at start of race

Rewrite the parsing code for ther serial stream


Other tasks

Add font color option for racers

Add a dialog to the Reset Color button so they can cancel or commit.

Add background images to each blade

Rearrange the Config screen

Change ‘Distance’ label to ‘Race Distance’

Create YouTube channel for Videos. Don’t want to pay for Vimeo any longer. Vimeo upload quota really sucks.

Breakout Distance and Roller size into different boxes on Config screen

Add more spacing to race boxes so they don’t touch on Windows. Looks fine on Raspberry PI

Create background images for the empty race boxes when less than four racers are selected. I might not worry about this one. Ended up resizing the boxes so you can’t see them if they are not active.

Fix placement on Reset Colors button

Add background image location entries to the Config options. This will allow users to add their own custom backgrounds to each blade

Add color selectors for blade backgrounds on the Config page if user doesn’t want background images

Change Numer of racers to a slider from radio buttons

Change countdown to slider from radio buttons


Completed tasks as of 3.1.2015

  • Racer boxes
  • Clock or bars option on Config blade
  • Save settings to master dictionary on Config blade
  • Database option? Save each field
  • Text file option? Save And load dictionary string for settings

Serial port

  • Connect to serial port and verify connection
  • Create a serial port test/connect button
  • Move connection status notice to serial section
  • Create update ability for racer colors.

  • Add update colors button
  • Create method to get current colors and update racer boxes
  • Add a color selector for each option. Must work on Win, Mac, Linux
  • Add restore color defaults
  • Add text color update options (b&w only) – drop down
  • Set up each selection/option on the Settings screen.
  • # of racers

New Firmware Testing

I just wanted to give a quick update that I have started to test GFX with a new version of the Opensprints firmware. I have actually had this version of the Opensprints firmware in hand since April but have not had a chance to work with it. I am still hopeful that we can have a major GFX upgrade this summer yet.

The main focus of implementing the new firmware is to eliminate the dreaded race ties that many of you should be familiar with. Once that hurdle is eliminated I can then look at adding a few other requested features. I am not sure I have any specific requests documented but if you have any new feature requests feel free to post a comment below.

I should also have an update to the install instructions. The guys at Opensprints have been doing a great job of keeping those updated.

GFX Poll: Events and Rostering

I am in the middle of a GFX update to support the newest version of the Opensprints firmware. Realizing how much code is involved in the roster and event features of GFX I wonder if anyone is using it these days.

So, help me out by answering the poll below and feel free to post a question if you have any. I will also use this to see how is even still using the software.