Data transmission from the boat

Discuss the IOM class rules and interpretations

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Nigel
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Data transmission from the boat

Post by Nigel » 11 Feb 2012, 18:32

Currently the CR read like this: "C 5.3. Except for control unit positioning and radio link information, no radio transmissions from the boat shall be made."

The most recent 2,4Ghz systems such as Jeti Duplex and Graupner HOTT transmit the receiver battery voltage as a default. This does not require a separte sensor or can be disabled.

It looks as if the CR needs amending in order to facilitate the use of recent RC technology without allowing tactical information i.e. GPS to come from the boats.

What are your thoughts on this?
Nigel Winkley
GER 87

RoyL
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 12 Feb 2012, 17:15

This is a real issue that needs to be addressed. It is very likely that within the next few years, virtually all radios will include built in telemetry and not just receiver battery voltage. And as now written, even if reception by the transmitter were disabled, any signal from the boat, whether or not received, violates the class rules.

In the current world, we allow battery monitors to be included in our boats, we can use a windspeed gauge at any time, and with a little bit of work we can measure boatspeed from shore. I would suggest that so long as there is no automatic control link between data and the boat (for example, the transmitter lets out the sails by itself if a sensor says the boat heels too much), I think telemetry should be acceptable.

Dave Alston
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Dave Alston » 13 Feb 2012, 10:21

Gentlemen,
With respect, simply because this technology is available is no valid reason for utilising it or changing the class rules to accommodate it. Before purchasing such equipment the test firstly the user / skipper should apply is:-

Q1/ How will it benefit / improve my sailing?

The clear answerer to this is that it will bring you NO BENIFIN at all since generally IOM class racing is not duration even and one can check or replace your batteries after each heat if you wish.

Even the fitment of on board digital battery checkers, as sold by the usual pervades of bling, is of NO BENIFIT to man or beast.

The next two questions the CLASS should test are:-

Q2/ How does the Class or some aspect of the Class benefit by the rule alteration/accommodation?

The answer to this is a resounding – IN NO WAY AT ALL

Q3/ Is compliant equipment no longer available?

Again the answer to this is a resounding – NO – there is NO shortage of compliant equipment at economic prices.


So the score is Zero out of three.

I do have a Multiplex Radio and two receivers – one receiver has data transmission the other not. I cannot use the link receiver when racing but I can use it for collection data when NOT racing but seldom do.

Who cares about the battery voltage - check them before to start – rather spend the money on a new battery pack each year or you can buy me a beer and a sausage next time I come to Berlin.

The NON LINK receiver is half the price of the other version.

Nigel
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Nigel » 13 Feb 2012, 22:55

Dave,

all perfectly valid points but a little one sided. Why did the class incl. the use of twin receivers? At the time and until now system operating a single receiver are available and operate with no disadvantge.

Why drive potential newcomers to the sport who already own such a radio into buying a new one allthough their kit would do the job?

I agree that the voltage indicator is of new use but with systems like the new Graupner HOTT, Jeti Duplex or Weatronic it is a default function with any RX and cannot be disabled. At present, the users of such a system would be in breach of the rules and btw this goes for all ISAF / IRSA RC sailing classes.
Nigel Winkley
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Bruce Andersen
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Bruce Andersen » 14 Feb 2012, 03:07

Some of the 2.4 GHz radios used dual receiver technology, so they were allowed as part of that package.

The issue of battery monitoring is of some importance: many of the current IOM designs have the battery below a sealed sticky patch without an exposed on/off switch for overall water resistance. Removing the sticky back tape to expose the battery to disconnect between heats is sub-optimal, so the class allowed on board voltage readouts. These however, require some fitting out etc. and if a battery voltage status can be done via a transmitter, you get the best of both worlds - battery voltage monitoring, no extra "bling" to put in circuit with your on board electronics, and water tight boats! Sounds like a no-brainer, even for the Luddites among us.

More sophisticated telemetry however, has the potential of dramatically increasing cost and complexity, a notion which I am against.
Bruce Andersen - USA 16

Barry Fox CAN262
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 15 Feb 2012, 06:53

This is my own personal take and not "the official" position.

While we have quoted the Section C part of the rules, Section D says:

D.2.4 REMOTE CONTROL EQUIPMENT
(a) The following is permitted:
(1) One or more receivers.
(2) One rudder control unit.
(3) One sheet control unit.
(4) Battery cells assembled in one or more packs.
(5) Electric cables, connectors and switches.
(6) One device to indicate the battery voltage. In addition, items listed
under (1) to (5) may have their own built-in battery voltage indication.

I think you could safely assume that if you read 6 and apply it to 1 and that item happens to display it on your Tx screen then you are in compliance. This section doesn't allow for on board, operational smarts but if you have something on board that reads the voltage then who cares where it is displayed.

And, with my winch setup and Lipo batteries I want to know what the voltage is so that I can use it as long as the voltage is where it is supposed to be but I also want to change it before it dumps. A fine line that you can only maximize by measuring. And the rules don't say I can't measure.

I don't think we need a rule change but maybe an interpretation.
Barry Fox
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Dave Alston
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Dave Alston » 15 Feb 2012, 10:59

Gentlemen,
I will confess that I had now come across the term ‘Luddites ‘ for a very long time. I assume you mean the group of Lancashire workers that went around breaking machines in the 18th century.

Or do you refer to the modern usage - those who are Computer Averse.

But back to the discussion at hand:-

It did not take long for the Armchair Puritans to enter the fray quoting rules did it? However D4.2 refers to equipment that may be fitted to hull or carried onboard.

Tut Tut such a basic mistake. And NO the limitation is that it may not poke out beyond the hull.

It is indeed rule C.5.3 Remote Control Equipment Use specifically part (c) restricting the use of radio apparatus that is relevant as Nigel so rightly points out.

(c) Except for control unit positioning and radio link information, NO radio transmissions from the boat shall be made.

Regrettably the rule writers placed a nasty comma between - information and NO - so creating an exception to the NO clause. So now we have to exploit the two stipulated exceptions:-

The data – receiver line voltage or battery condition:-
(1) is not related to positioning.
(2) Is not related to data link or handshaking.

I am sure that most would agree that there is no need to have seek an Interpretation , it is clear.

But forgive me I have wandered off the point somewhat. You can check your battery at the end of the race and replace it before the next. So it is not necessary or indeed useful and is Bling.

If you are free sailing or just sailing around the pond you can use anything you like BUT you must simply take it off when competing in full class racing.

I have GPS transmission, it is very accurate and if you sail around the course touching each mark you can plot them. I have been working on an onboard sailing optimisation system using a imbedded processor with 4 memories to store mark positions and so far it will sail you to the next mark. It will even beat up and alert you of a wind shift such is the accuracy of GPS.

A bit heavy now @ 200g but this is of no matter since it is of no practical use.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by graham allen » 22 Feb 2012, 12:17

On the subject of telemetry, the MYA has added the following to the current MYA SSIs issued 1 Feb 2012:

2.13. Except for radio link information & monotoring of onboard battery condition no radio transmission from the boat shall be received by the competitor.

This should help stop any form of other information being received and used to gain an advantage if telementry has the ability to do so.

Graham Allen
MYA Racing Officer

Hiljoball
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Hiljoball » 22 Feb 2012, 20:39

Hi Graham,

Adding that statement to the MYA standard SI would seem to apply to all classes racing under MYA jurisdiction invoking those SI. However it raises the question of priority. The IOM class rule is more restrictive and would still not allow the battery telemetry unless the SI override the class rules. So the question to research is whether a regatta SI can override class rules. I'll start to look, but anyone chime in if they already know the answer.

John
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RoyL
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 22 Feb 2012, 23:09

SI's can't over ride the class rules. If they could, you could write instructions and have races where there was no minimum weight or no maximum on sail area etc.

graham allen
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by graham allen » 23 Feb 2012, 14:17

Hi

The MYA is not wanting to over-ride any class rules but only wants to restrict the use of telemetry to battery condition in Uk events until this new advance in control technology has been debated and regulations put in place for its use (or not use).

Regards

GrahamAllen

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 23 Feb 2012, 18:33

Well while you guys thrash this one out,i am using a HiTec Aurora 9 radio which is telementry capable and gives batt voltage on the screen without the need for sensors provided you are using the Optima 6,7 or 9 Rx, you get the main pack voltage if plugged into the SPC port or if not you see the 5v from the voltage regulator of the RMG free of charge.As Bruce said this feature is rather important if using LiPo batts in a sealed boat.Lipo's get destroyed at under 3V per cell so to me it's not bling but a rather very useful tool without having to open up the boat if using the litest batts that are practical meaning that the runtime is around 2hrs 500mah .Be that what it may the Minima (foamy)Rx's for this radio are full range and have no telementry so they are legal.Having moved up to a really nice radio with more programming detail you can dial in the feel of the rudder along with other things much more so than cheaper alternatives so i don't consider it bling,however i'm lucky with this one that i can make it legal by using a minima Rx at a regatta.My conclusion is a really nice radio can improve the handling feel of a boat but the voltage display is very handy info but won't help you sail any faster.Cheers

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 23 Feb 2012, 19:22

Actually come to think of it unknown to me at the time the Optic 6 that i used at the worlds would be consider'd illegal as it comes stock with a Optima Rx,that Rx is transmitting batt voltage just that the Tx is not capable of reciving or displaying it,only now with the Minima can it be tecnically legal,so it's a can of worms.

RoyL
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 23 Feb 2012, 23:29

As I said at the start of this discussion, the issue of telemetry is not going to go away. Today a number of receivers transmit battery information as a matter of course back to the transmitter. Within five years, a lot more information will be sent automatically. Unless the class wants to limit the types of radios that are legal (a viable cost control measure), the issue of what can be transmitted from the boat should be addressed sooner rather than later. And like Peter Allen, I've sailed with an Aurora Nine and its a very, very nice radio. It would be a shame if it and other "high end" radios would not be available to the IOM class.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 24 Feb 2012, 00:04

As i had an optic i already had an Rx,having sold that Tx the Aurora was $279 so it was not an expensive upgrade in my personal switch cost was not an issue,but what a step up with what the radio can do.I see no reason to ban radios if they comply with class rules as it's usually the guy behind the sticks that make boats go fast.This radio can be made class legal but i have no idea of the other brands if they provide non telemetry Rx's,as i said in my last post who would have thought buying a non telemetry radio as the Optic 6 and it turns out to be illegal.It's not the Radio it's the Rx's that are illegal.

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Mr Graham Elliott
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Mr Graham Elliott » 24 Feb 2012, 03:20

Looking into the future, not too far though, most transmitters will have all this technology as standard, they will have to if they want to sell them.

Why not get ahead of the game and allow them now as they obviously appeal to a few skippers who enjoy this kind of nerdy stuff, being able to plot their way around the coarse is like plotting World domination i imagine for some, not knocking it, just jealous i will never be able to master that kind of technical stuff.

I cannot ever see it giving anyone an unfair advantage, period.

Anyway, whats the matter with the £45.00 TX + RX 2.4ghz Planet system that Peter won the Worlds with?

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Lester » 24 Feb 2012, 08:41

Might be worth having a "for example" here, so we can see what could happen if the stable door was opened. (Might also be worth remembering that, once opened, stable doors are more or less impossible to close again.)

The fly boys currently purchase after-market flight stabilisation, artificial horizon, or catastrophe avoidance systems which will hold, or return, the plane or helicopter to straight and level by feeding in some servo movement as needed. My iPhone, Nikon, Wii, and so on all have artificial horizons and accelerometers on chip, and I would think that Futaba etc will have no problem bringing these onto their Rx's in due course so they can feed back to the Tx and allow the computer there to decide what to do given some user programming or parameter input. So... How would I use this?

I'd take the horizon information and use it to drive a little counteraction into the rudder. As the boat heeled, I'd have the Tx mix the amount of heel it receved from the Rx into the rudder servo so as to counter the worst of the weather helm. I might also have the Tx mix this heel signal into the winch so it eased the sheets a fraction. Then, if the Rx could send accelerometer data, I'd mix any rapid heeling signal into the winch so as to dump the sheets instantly and then reel them back in slowly.

The question is, do we want this? I'd suggest keeping the stable door closed on this for the time being, it can always be revisited time and again as needed...
Lester Gilbert
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 24 Feb 2012, 14:34

Lester what you have described is the full use of telemetry and i agree it should not be allowed the rules are already in place.However recieving batt voltage is not quite in the same pot ,it's just useful information for LiPo users and has no bearing on boatspeed,nevertheless it's also illegal.There is no need for a rule change it's already illegal to recieve transmission from the boat other than link data.I'll be using a minima rx now that we've got everybody peeping into each other's boat :D .

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 25 Feb 2012, 02:19

There is a huge difference between receiving data and automated control systems. Having a read out that shows wind speed, battery voltage, boat speed, etc. is very different from a radio system that automatically controls rudder or sails. For example, allowing a readout that shows heel angle to me is fine. Having a radio automatically change the rudder position based on heel angle information is not.

And a factual update. I just left the Eastern US Radio Control Hobby Show and talked to a whole bunch of companies. Every major manufacturer is going to have data incorporated into their systems in the future. Like the HiTec system that Peter talked about, new Futaba receivers will soon have built in battery voltage transmitted back to the transmitter. Limiting IOM radio systems to the lowest cost systems available is a possible route to keep telemetry out of the class.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 25 Feb 2012, 02:37

Simple just buy a radio that meets class rules several options available. :D

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Marko Majic » 01 Mar 2012, 02:24

Hi Peter,

What Lester actually described is an automated use of telemetry data and, even now, it is not something that is forbidden by the CRs (at least not by C.5.3 which is the subject of this debate) as it does not require any of the information to actually be sent to the transmitter (one would imagine that a much easier and efficient way to implement these adjustments would be a simple logic unit built into the receiver itself which is where the data is collected in the first place).

There is no doubt in my mind that C.5.3 as presently written is fundamentally flawed and IMHO MYA SI's verbiage actually niftily side-steps the major flaw in the rule in that it attempts to restrict the information received by the transmitter (or skipper) rather than restricting the information sent by the receiver unit. The bottom line is that, except for the very nerdiest and most technically inclined among us - whenever you use a 2.4GHz (any one on the market) you simply don't know what information might be exchanged between the receiver and transmitter unit and cannot guarantee that it is solely related to the control unit positioning and radio link information. For all I know, my rx unit could be sending version information of its installed firmware on startup or any number of things that don't get displayed anywhere (and might not be documented by the equipment manufacturer) but the rule, as presently written, could conceivably allow for someone to get thrown out of the race (or lose a championship) if another skipper shows up with a spectrum analyzer and can prove that his or her receiver was emitting signals that were not related to radio link quality or control unit positioning. Makes no sense!

I don't know whether the class wants to allow some, all or none of the telemetry data. The only way to find out is to put it to the vote. I, personally, think that if there's no problem with voltage display unit (in principle) then a system that shows it where it is most useful (on the transmitter screen where it can be seen even when the boat is far away from you) makes total sense. But, even if the majority feels otherwise - at the very least the control framework in our CRs should be restricting what is made available to skipper rather than what the receiver (transceiver) beams out because we have little or no control over the latter as it is very much implementation-dependent and, in most cases, not documented by the radio manufacturers...

Cheers,

Marko
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RoyL
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 01 Mar 2012, 04:02

Marko: Totally agree in all respects. Very well said..roy

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 01 Mar 2012, 13:25

So where is this idea of automated telemetry coming from?anyone have a link as i have certainly not read of it's inpending release by any manufacturer or futhermore of it's existance in a testing format.I would agree that all the major brands are going to impliment telemetry in order to compete with the ones who have released it ,however full access of telemetry systems are done by purchasing the revelant sensors and sensor station (MONEY) i doubt they will give it to you for free.So are we about to change C.5.3 for something that don't even exist.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Robert Grubisa » 01 Mar 2012, 18:32

IOM ICA has received official asking for Emergency IOM CR change or intepretation from CAN NCA. See: http://www.iomclass.org/administration/technical/.

IOM ICA TSC are working on it.
Robert Grubisa

RoyL
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by RoyL » 01 Mar 2012, 18:42

From my talks with various manufacturers, it would seem that in the near future no one is talking about integrated, automatic control systems based on telemetry data.

The likely standard telemetry information to be built into most receivers in the near future is battery voltage and servo positions.

Currently, other telemetry is coming from add on optional sensor boxes that require plug in sensors for things like GPS (speed, position), air speed via pitot tube, rpm and temperature for motors, attitude and altitude.

Most likely to be integrated into next generation receivers would be GPS information.

Most important, as Marko points out and Peter raised earlier, what should be regulated by the IOM class rules is what is received on the transmitter not what is transmitted from the receiver.

Hiljoball
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Hiljoball » 02 Mar 2012, 02:50

RoyL wrote:
what should be regulated by the IOM class rules is what is received on the transmitter not what is transmitted from the receiver.
That sounds like the other side of the same coin. As the systems evolve and more function is added, we may not be able to choose what the Rx sends, nor what the Tx receives. We may be able set a TX to not display certain data, or at least choose not to visit those display screens.

If the Rx and Tx share data and display it by default, then we may have to apply an honor system (this is sailing after all), and specify that the skipper is not allowed to use information available in the Tx, except. . .

There are two seperate issues. Telemetric data about battery, on board temp, battery temp, servo position have no effect on sailing. What we need to restrict is the linking of feedback data to influence the sailing of the boat. . .whether it transmits it back to the Tx unit or not. So we need to ban use of gps, heel angle, heading angle, apparent wind etc connected between the on board Rx and the steering and winch mechanicals.

I feel that the current rule wording about two Rx and battery display etc are not the way to define what we want the rule to do. We need to say simply that function is restricted to two controls, winch and rudder. We also need to regulate weight and position of equipment. Anything else leads to built in obsolescence of the wording as the electronics evolve so rapidly.

John
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 02 Mar 2012, 10:24

We need to say function is restricted to two controls,winch and rudder.Quote
John it's possible you can't buy one of those in the very near future,batt telemetry is already available by default on radios that are considerd entry level by the industry therefore everybody is going to do it to compete.I doubt they are going to give much more than that for free though.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Hiljoball » 02 Mar 2012, 15:34

Hi Peter,

Just to clarify. . .what I meant was that regardless of the technology available in the radio system, (whether it is 6 channels or xyz telemetry etc), that we are restricted to only using the two functions, plus battery condition or whatever else we chose to specifie. That way we can still buy the best or cheapest radio without regard to all the gismos. That way we become independent of the technology and have a rule for only what we are allowed to utilize within that technology.

John
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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Peter Allen » 04 Mar 2012, 14:02

Sorry John i misunderstood you,i agree my feeling is to keep telemetry out of the class except for batt voltage as this would seem to be a default feature of present radios and the ones who are going to implement it.It cannot improve your skill or boatspeed but it's handy to have especially for the lipo guys.Long story short we need to embace the things that are reasonable.Who looks at a radio while racing anyway i wish everybody else did.If it gets shot down by TC fine i already know that information.Blowing 20-24 today and 28C sunny Barbados in all it's glory and it's Sunday racing i'm outta here Cheers.

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Re: Data transmission from the boat

Post by Nigel » 21 May 2012, 11:11

Robert,

any news on the Canadian request for an emergency rule change?

Regards
Nigel
Nigel Winkley
GER 87

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