Is SkiPath certified for use at IWSF sanctioned tournaments?
Currently SkiPath's approval is pending. IWSF and AWSF personnel have verified and approved the accuracy of our path tracking. The next step is for SkiPath to be used at tournaments at all levels with data submitted to WaterSkiConnect for comparison with end-course camera video or other currently accepted technology. The final test will be for tournament personnel to use the system without technical assistance from SkiPath staff at a world-class tournament to prove that it's not only accurate and reliable, but is easy to use, functions as advertised, and is user friendly for use by tournament judges and personnel. We're confident that by the end of the 2021 ski season, this approval will be granted.
Is SkiPath integrated with official scoring software?
Yes. SkiPath Mobile and SkiPath PC can exchange tracking data with WaterSkiConnect. When connected, athlete information like run number, rope length and speed is received from WaterSkiConnect and stored on the device. When the run is complete, scores are calculated according to IWSF rules and uploaded to WaterSkiConnect automatically. Run data is also stored on the tracking device and can be viewed and replayed offline later.
Does the Base station have to be surveyed manually?
No. Both SkiPath Mobile and SkiPath PC can automatically calculate the Base station location. For SkiPath Mobile, set up the Base and forget it. For SkiPath PC, set up the Base station, and with four mouse clicks the Base location has been mapped.
How is a course mapped?
For SkiPath Mobile, set up the Base. Then extend the GPS puck over the right and left Entrance gate buoys, clicking the matching buttons on the device's screen, and doing the same thing for the Exit gate buoys. Then click Confirm to see a Course Verification panel pop up showing width of the gates and length of the course.
For SkiPath PC there's a mapping panel for Slalom, Jump and Trick sites. Click the Base icon to unlock it and then click again to lock its position. The system will calculate the Base position from the current Rover position automatically.
For Slalom, there are three mapping options, for Jump there are two, and for Trick there is one. The slalom options are illustrated below:
- Click the Left Side option. Then extend the GPS puck over the left Entrance buoy and click the icon on the screen. Repeat at the left Exit buoy and lock in the readings by clicking the Confirm Settings button. The system will calculate the entire course layout from these two entries.
- Or select the Center Line option. Drive the boat so the Rover GPS puck in the boat is centered between the Entrance buoys. Click the Center Entry button. Then drive the boat along the course and click the Center Exit button any time the Rover GPS puck is centered between the boat guide buoys. The system will calculate the correct distance to the Exit gate.
- The only mapping method acceptable for tournament use is the Four Corners option. It's the most accurate of the three mapping methods. Save the locations of each of the four buoys that mark the Entrance and Exit gates while extending the Rover GPS puck over them, and click Confirm Settings.
Can SkiPath Mobile show who's skiing and who's driving?
Yes. Names of skiers, drivers and judges can be entered in the current roster for practice and offline use. All names are saved to the Participants list and may be added to or deleted from the current roster without being removed from the list of participants. Run order may be changed using the Up/Down arrows. Names, run number, rope length and speed are shown at the top of the run screen and saved with the run data chart. Similar facility exists in SkiPath PC.
What kind of power supply comes with the systems?
The units can be powered by any source capable of delivering between 5.5 and 12v DC. We don't supply power packs with the systems because battery packs are considered to be hazardous materials or dangerous goods, so shipping them becomes prohibitively expensive. We ship four USB power cords in three lengths: 2 8-inch (20cm), 1 6ft (2m) and 1 10ft (3m). For the base station, you can use a 5.5v cell phone charger plugged into an extension cord (pictured below). The Rover can be plugged into the USB outlets on the boat. Use an outlet that doesn't get switched off when the boat engine is started or stopped. Or for either Base or Rover, you can use a cell phone battery pack from any cell phone accessory location. They're usually around $20 or so. If you'd like a 12v transformer that can be plugged into an extension cord or wall outlet, we've found that thrift stores have boxes full of them priced at a few dollars each. Take one of the blue boxes along and test the jack to ensure it fits. So there are a few inexpensive options for power.
Are the systems waterproof?
The GPS pucks are rated IP67 meaning they are waterproof. The Base and Rover units are not. There are four ports that let water in when submerged. We've had one report of a Rover going for a swim, but after being retrieved, drained, and opened up so it could sit for a few days to dry out, it was useable again. Fortunately it wasn't powered up when it slipped into the lake. Please note that we don't provide warranty coverage for units that have been submerged.
How long does it take to homologate a course?
Using SkiPath PC it takes about 15 minutes to record the positions of all the buoys. When the last buoy's position is entered, the readings can be processed immediately using the official IWSF software package written by Emmanuel Lion (downloadable separately). While still in the boat, a summary table and diagram can be used to see which buoys need realignment.
How long does it take to place a course?
A 3-person crew can place an entire course with individual anchors using the SkiPath PC placement feature in less than a day. No-one needs to get in the water. Location measurement is accurate to the centimeter.