The ProSolo reset team would like to update the membership on our progress and what to expect as we move forward. We received some comments that we used an untested version or configuration. This was not the case. We will never bring untested conditions to an event. Our process is as follows:

1. Testing in the lab. (We have two)
2. Testing before or after an event.
3. When necessary, we would test in “parallel” at an event using isolation as not to interfere.

Following the Peru test in June we came away with a few remaining items in the tree software that needed to be addressed. Those changes were tested in Bristol during practice starts. The start tree is operating to specification and should continue to perform well until we can “road harden” the design for travel. That is planned for the off-season.

The ProSolo system consists of four major components.

  1. Start Tree
  2. Timing consoles and trip heads (Farmtek)
  3. Software (4 major sections)
    • Timing Interface
    • Announce Interface
    • Live Timing Interface
    • Admin Interface
  4. Hardware
    • Network Equipment
    • Laptops and PC’s
    • Wiring Infrastructure

We identified the major issues in the Start Tree and the Timing consoles. Those who participated in Bristol clearly indicated the Start Tree feels “right.” We consider 1 and 2 operational.

As we move on to the System Integration phase of this project, we are focused on challenges that have been around for many years. We tested a network configuration in the lab that appeared to solve the communication delays the modules were experiencing. We then successfully tested it again before the Finger Lakes Tour. We performed real-world testing in Bristol during the practice starts for 2 hours before any issues appeared. We discovered Wednesday night around 9:30 pm the issue involves the start sequence, which is unique in that both the left and right sides send start signals at the exact same time. Our tests on Wednesday night included rolling back software versions to the Peru test. It appeared we solved or reduced the frequency of the issue.

On Thursday morning the issue reappeared, and we tried to isolate the issue by making one change at a time. We tried 9 different contingencies without a major improvement. As the event database grew the frequency of the issue increased. We reverted to a previous arrangement of the software modules, and this prevented the new issue we were experiencing but the older, known issues resurfaced. We now have reproducible scenarios to test in the laboratory to better understand the issues.

We are continuing to test and understand the circumstances that create “missing” or “misplaced” times that lead to reruns; Bristol gave us tremendous insight into the issue. We have not been able to reproduce those issues during a test day or in the lab. We now have the data needed to reproduce it in the lab for further review.

The improvements to date are as follows:

  1. Tree is accurate and operates as designed
  2. Farmtek Timing heads have been rearranged to prevent cross talk.
  3. The FM broadcast was upgraded.
  4. The speakers in the PA system got new weather jackets and broken speakers were repaired.
  5. 60ft times are displayed on the rear of the trailer

We are working on:

  1. Software / Hardware integration
  2. Scanner reliability improvements
  3. Separate/Independent data path for Audit

We are planning upgrades for:

  1. Tree Durability
  2. Trailer Network gear