A bespoke software system used at a Sheep Shearing Competition for timing and spectator visual display purposes.
Lampeter Shears – Cneifio Llambed is one of Wales’ most popular shearing matches held on the Welsh shearing competition circuit. The event, held in Lampeter, West Wales, attracts the world’s greatest shearers from as local as the UK to as far as Australia and New Zealand.
The committee of Lampeter Shears are always keen invest in the shearing match and are always looking to improve and develop the competition experience not only for the competitors but also for the hundreds of spectators watching the competition during the day.
After seeing a basic visual display system that Software Systems Developments had set up at another event, the committee were keen to adopt a similar system and further develop it. With the knowledge and expertise of Software Systems Developments in bespoke software systems, a solution named ShearTime™ was developed.
The main requirements of the system were as follows:
- Display of competitor timing information on 6 x 42” Flat Screen Monitors
- Display competitor Name and Country Flag
- A method of manually controlling 6 timers
- Display number of sheep completed with a method of incrementing the counter
- Display of event sponsors during intervals breaks
The solution that we created consisted of five PC’s with a bespoke LabVIEW executable being used to carry out various tasks. All five PC’s were able to communicate data with one another using UDP Transmission over a local network.
One PC was connected to an NI USB 6501 digital input module which handled digital inputs from various pushbuttons to control the competition timers and the sheep counters. This PC transmitted the timing data via UDP network transmission to the display PC’s.
The three display PC’s ran a separate bespoke LabVIEW application which handled the incoming UDP transmissions, manipulated the data and displayed the information on the 42” Flat Screen Monitors. Each PC handled two Flats Screen Monitors connected via HDMI.
The fifth PC was used to send the competitor information up to each of the flat screen monitors before each round of the competition started; Again using UDP communications to the Display PC’s.
During the interval breaks, the system was able to run a rolling display of the event sponsors by simply importing a PowerPoint file that the committee had previously created.
Some future improvements to the system will include Electronic Hand Held counters which will be used to feed in ‘Double Cut’ information into the system which is a factor used in the competition scoring, Eventually, the system could be developed to the stage where it will automatically calculate the scoring for each competitor which will remove the current time consuming and manual method which they currently use.
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