Skip to main content

Why is there a red (pink) tint on my IdentiLynx video feed when it boots?

If the IdentiLynx video feed shows up incorrectly (usually pink), it means that the camera’s infrared (IR) filter did not enable correctly during the boot-up. Rather than rebooting the IdentiLynx camera, you can access the camera’s settings directly via the browser. This video shows you how to toggle the IR filter and fix the color issues without rebooting all your network cameras.

How do I use the Electronic Level Indicator in FinishLynx?

The EtherLynx Vision camera offers an optional Electronic Level feature which displays an indicator inside the FinishLynx software to show whether or not the camera is level. Adjust the Vision camera’s swivel until Electronic Level indicator shows green and 0.0 degrees. The Electronic Level indicates how many degrees the camera is away from being perfectly horizontal (level with the ground).

Watch the tutorial here

I have the Through-Lens-Viewer with the Remote Iris feature but the Remote function isn’t working.

The key to enabling the Remote Iris feature is that the lens “Iris” must be closed all the way before inserting the lens into the Through-Lens-Viewer. This is accomplished by using the “Aperture” ring found on the back side of the lens closest to the camera body and turning the setting to the highest f-stop value. The Iris has a small spring-loaded lever arm that extends out from the mounting ring on the back of the lens. This lever must be able to catch on the lever arm for the motor of the Remote Iris feature. If the Iris is manually set open all the way (smallest f-stop, ex: 1.4), this overrides the spring-loaded lever and then the Iris will not close when using the Remote feature or will only close to the point where the Iris was last set to manually before inserting the lens.

Don’t adjust the Iris manually once it’s inserted into the Through-Lens-Viewer. Also be aware that when the lens is inserted and the levers catch for proper function, the Iris will be open to the point where it was last used when the camera was shut down.  If the lens was last used under low light, then it will be open all the way. If it’s a sunny day when you boot the camera, it may be too much light and your image will be washed out.  Do not try to adjust it manually before using the Remote feature in the software because it most likely will not change it or may slightly close the Iris depending on where the two levers were set when the lens was inserted.

How do I know if I have the remote lens?

The Remote lens will say TV Zoom Lens on the inside front rim of the lens casing.  The lens is a standard 12.5 to 75 mm lens with a rectangular enclosure which holds three little motors controlled through the serial port so the Zoom, Focus and Iris can be adjusted remotely.  This lens is a C-mount lens.

The black cable with the 9 pin female connector will connect to the Remote Port on the back of the camera, or if using a Remote Positioner, it will connect to one of the serial ports on the Remote Positioner. There is an additional cable that will connect from the Remote Positioner to the Remote Port on the back of the camera.

If you have a Through-Lens Viewer, where you can look through an eyepiece to align the camera on the finish line, then it will have a manual F-mount lens.  If there is a Serial Port on the side of the Through-Lens Viewer, then the iris can be controlled remotely by connecting the Remote Port on the back of the camera to the Serial Port on the Through-Lens Viewer.

Keywords:  lens, F-mount, C-mount, remote

What is the IP address of the camera so we can ping it to make sure it is working?

The camera is assigned an IP address by the computer upon booting. The IP address is the next one in sequence with that computer. If the camera does not boot, it will not be assigned an IP address and therefore cannot be pinged.

If you want to verify the IP address of the camera, you can open the Camera Settings window and the IP of the camera is listed under the Setup tab.  For ease of troubleshooting, we recommend using the standard IP protocol found in the Quick Start Guides.

Keywords:  Camera, IP, settings, ping

Why do I continue to get the message “Error Aligning a camera”?

When the camera has not booted and the operator clicks on the Red Stop Sign in the upper left corner to access alignment mode, FinishLynx will display this error message.  It signifies that there is no camera available.  Make sure that the camera has booted and the camera information line appears across the top of the FinishLynx screen before attempting to open the Alignment Mode.

The Hardware Control window should look similar to the image below before clicking on the Red Stop Sign to enter the alignment mode.

Keywords:  error, aligning, camera, boot

What factors affect the quality of my FinishLynx images?

Photography basics also apply to FinishLynx image quality and many factors come into play:

  1. Light source
  2. Lens type
  3. Frame rate (fps)
  4. Field depth
  5. Lens speed (f-stops)

Light Source:  Sun,of course, is the best source of light. However, if it’s shining directly into the camera lens, it can wash out your image completely.  The sun is best when it is directly behind the camera and the light is reflecting off the object and back to the camera lens.  Shadows on the camera side of the finish images will also make it more difficult to read hip numbers and identify competitors.  Adjust the iris and gain to account for the amount of ambient light available. If you must use artificial lighting, such as indoor facilities or stadium lights, it helps to add extra light that is shining towards the finish line and reflecting back to the camera lens.

Lens Type:  A fixed lens is going to slightly improve the quality of your images because there are less moving parts and less glass for the light to pass through and be diffused.  A zoom lens does provide flexibility in placement of the camera and several fixed lenses could get expensive so you must weigh your options.

Frame Rate:  The speed of the object moving across the finish line and the frames per second (fps) are closely related.  The faster the object, the higher the fps and reverse for slower objects.  Consider the type of races being timed (sprint versus distance) and the level of competition (youth track versus D1 collegiate races).

Field Depth:  A larger field depth creates difficulty in getting all of the objects, near and far, into focus. To solve this problem, increase the height of the camera location. As the height increases, the ratio of the distances of Lane 1 (closest object) and Lane 8 (farthest object) to the camera decreases, thereby decreasing your field depth.  Closing the iris down (similar to squinting your eyes) will help bring the field into better focus.  Be aware that if the light source is poor, closing down the iris is not a good option.

Lens Speed:  This refers to the f-stops (1.4 to 16) and the distance the iris can open and close in a camera flash (fast is 1.2, 1.4).  Since the iris is fixed during capture on the Lynx cameras, it refers to how wide it can open and how much light will flood the image sensor.  Note: the iris may need to be adjusted when changing the frame rate (a higher frame rate produces a darker image; open the iris to correct).

Learn how to correct overexposed and underexposed FinishLynx images here.

If you want to learn more about taking better pictures, visit our YouTube Channel for tips and watch the “How to take better pictures” video playlist.  It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a basic photography book and learn about some of the things mentioned above if you really want to get the best possible images.

 

Keywords: image, blurry, focus, lens, dark, picture, light

Where should my camera be located in relation to the finish line?

This can vary greatly based on your camera lens and the light source available. We recommend having the camera between 10 to 15 feet from the track and 10 to 15 feet high.

Some things to consider:

  1. Before building any permanent structure, you should test your lens in the location you desire. Make sure that the lens works with a standard setting and doesn’t require digital enhancement to get all the lanes on the track.
  2. If the camera will be used under stadium lights, make sure there is enough light to reflect off the objects and back to the camera to provide readable images.

It’s also helpful to mount the camera higher so that the view of each lane allows you to see over the torso of each competitor rather than attempting to look through a solid object.  As the height increases, it helps to also increase the distance from the finish line so that the hip numbers are clearly visible and not distorted from a steep camera angle.

If you have a special situation where the camera must be placed in a specific location, let our sales representative know or contact technical support and we can help determine the best lens for your facility.

Keywords:  camera location, lens, finish line, height

What type of light will help when capturing in poor/low lighting conditions?

Incandescent Quartz Tungsten Halogen lamps, or overshadowing Metal Halide with Halogen will produce better lighting without creating “striations” or “bars” on the image. LED lamp technology is promising, and may be the solution of the future for photo-finish lighting. According to the speed of camera, you should aim to have between 150 to 300 foot candles, evenly spread across the finish line.

So why do you get those “bars” on the images? Artificial light running on an AC circuit is cycling on and off at 50 – 60 cycles per second, so what you’re seeing is a camera at 1,000 fps taking pictures during the portion of the cycle when the lights are off.

The 5L300 cameras have an option called Phased Light Compensation (PLC) that can be purchased. PLC helps to improve the image by sampling frames before the dark line and after the dark line, then blending pixels to deter the effect of the dark lines in the image due to the AC cycle. Contact Sales for a quote if you are interested in this feature.

The 5L500 Vision camera can be purchased with the option of LuxBoost which can dramatically increase image quality in low-light settings. See the image below for a comparison of the EtherLynx 2000+ and the new Vision with LuxBoost. Contact Sales for a quote if you are interested in this feature.

Read tips on enhancing low-light FinishLynx captures here

Keywords:  indoor, image, lighting, stadium lights, dark lines, halogen