Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Introducing the Penguin Timing System (PGTiming)

Penguin Timing System (PGTiming) is a sports timing system based on smart phones.  There are two parts of the system, the smart phone PGTiming app and the PGTiming server.  Timers use the PGTiming app as a stopwatch to time athletes.  The results will be transmitted to the server via wireless network (wifi or cellular data service). The result transfer can happen instantly (per heat during a meet) or after the meet in a batch mode.

Here are the screen shots of the PGTiming stopwatch:

Main features:
1. Download lineup data from the server.
2. Use phone as a stopwatch to time athletes' results.  Alternatively, you can manually enter timing result into the phone based on the lineup order with the timing result from an external stopwatch.
3. Upload results to server for report processing.

Integration with TSTM:
PGTiming is seamlessly integrated with TSTM.  Using the TSTM automatic lineup results, PGTiming can time swimmers based on their lineup heat order.  Results are automatically sent back to the server.  Families can instantly see their swimmers' result on their mobile devices from the TSTM's web site.  PGTiming also eliminates manual result entry work after a meet, making a meet more efficient to run.

Preparation to use PGTiming in a meet:

Use TSTM auto lineup feature to prepare lineup for a meet.  Do necessary manual adjustment if needed.
Create lineup event sheets from menus Meets->Setup->"Ribbon icon".  Check the "all heats" checkbox then click on "Event Sheets" button.

Download the PGTiming app and install it.

Make sure the mobile phone is fully charged and can last the entire meet.

Extend the phone's auto standby time to at least 10 minutes, or disable it so that the screen doesn't go off during a race.

Avoid receiving calls during a meet so that the stopwatch function is not interrupted while timing a race.

On the set up page, log in using your TSTM credentials.

Clear past timing results on the Set up page if needed.

Switch to the stopwatch mode by clicking on the Stopwatch button.

With internet connection, select the lane.  Lineup data will be downloaded automatically.

NOTE: Once in stopwatch mode, don't leave it by clicking on the Setup button during a meet.  It will reset the current timing position in the lineup.  Only go back to the Setup mode when the meet is completed.

Heats will be automatically advanced after each timing.  When there is a blank heat (no swimmer) for this lane, use the Next (Down) button to manually advance the heat.  To view past heat results, use the Prev (Up) button.

The current timing result applies to the middle of the 3 swimmer rows (with larger font).

The stopwatch uses a 3 touch cycle.  Starting from 0:00.00, touch the black square to start the stopwatch.  Touch it again to stop it.  Touch the 3rd time to reset the stopwatch and advance to the next heat.  If you use an external stopwatch, you can manually enter result on the phone (the text field). Timing result will be saved locally in the phone and also uploaded to the PGTiming server if the "auto submit time" option is turned on and internet connection is available.

The number to the right of the lane drop down box is the number of records currently cached in the phone to be uploaded. Results can be uploaded multiple times (the last time wins if there is a discrepancy among the uploads). The green ON sign (or black OFF) indicates whether the previous heat result has been uploaded.

After a meet is over, if the timing data has not been sent to TSTM during the meet, you can go to the Setup page and click on the  "Upload" button to upload all timing results stored in the phone.

Currently PGTiming does not support timing of relays. PGTiming mobile app is only available for Android based devices.