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Old Feb 25, 2015, 08:33 AM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
United States, TX, Dallas
Joined Mar 2009
1,679 Posts
Yippee!
A computation-free, reliable estimator for the last Poker flight time nominaton

Hi all

In the last season I have developed a method to determine the flight time nomination for the last Poker flight. The idea was to not use the timer at all, so that he/she can mainly focus on reading air and counting flight time. The method has worked to a 100% for me in multiple Poker rounds. Since those who have timed for me know of it, I thought I can as well share it publicly. Please cite me though if you use and share it.

It works as follows:

1) Program a timer on your radio that counts down 10 minutes.

2) Start that clock 5 seconds before the start of the window.

3) When it comes to your last flight, the moment you have the plane ready to throw, glance at the clock on the radio and simply read (yell) whatever is displayed on it and throw the plane.

As the clock is 5s ahead of the working time, you will always nominate a call that can be achieved. You do not need to subtract anything. Importantly, your helper does not need to count down the remaining working time either, which proved to be a big boon. In addition, it is inherently faster than your timer reading the clock to you and you reacting to what you hear. Here you just read the clock (if you are quick, it can be done in about a second or even less).

If you fumble the catch, just look at the clock once you are ready to throw.

For a tighter nomination, the 10 min clock could also be started 3s or 2s before the start of the window, but I prefer 5s safety buffer (i.e. if the official clock is lagging, etc).

As stated above, it has worked for me to 100% reliability past season and has taken a lot of load from my timers.

This method has evolved out of my previous method that estimated the last flight time when there was 1 minute left in the second-last flight. The old method however needed the helper to read out a working time during the second last flight, which was error prone and some timers got confused. The new method has proved to be vastly more robust and easier to apply in a contest situation. Further the old method required a perfect turnaround to work, whereas the new one is fully adaptive to mishaps.

Best,
Reto
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 08:57 AM
Where is the lift?
cptsnoopy's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined Nov 2005
6,591 Posts
Sounds great, thank you Reto!

Charlie
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 08:59 AM
Just an earth-bound misfit, I
Littleton, CO
Joined Feb 2007
334 Posts
Great idea Reto. Will give it a try.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 10:06 AM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
USA, OH, Worthington
Joined May 2002
6,919 Posts
Reto used this method while I was timing for him last weekend and it worked well. As he relit the last flight, he yelled One Forty.... SIX! and threw the airplane. He turned in that flight with about 3 seconds to spare.

On another note, apparently the timer function on his transmitter draws a lot of battery power

Love ya buddy!!!
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 11:06 AM
Alex Hoekstra's Avatar
Hurdegaryp Netherlands
Joined Feb 2007
403 Posts
Good idea Reto,

I run once into another problem. I called 2minutes 4 times in a row with the intention to call whatever time i had left in the 5th flight. The first 3 times i made my 2 minutes but the 4th time i missed it by 2 seconds. Since i already used more then 2 seconds between flights i only had about 1 min. 58 seconds left so no need to even launch again and those 2 second suddenly costed me 4 minutes. So make sure that the prelast flight is called always a couple of seconds less then half of the rest of the window.

Alex

P.S. I still would like to be able to call until end of the window.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 11:44 AM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
United States, TX, Dallas
Joined Mar 2009
1,679 Posts
Hi Alex

I had the same situation once as you described. Missed my fourth 2 minute flight by a couple of seconds and the remaining working time did not allow to repeat that flight. So in essence you get punished double for not making the time (loss of four minutes instead of ~2min). It is one of the many uglier mistakes one can make in Poker.

While my method can not fix this problem, it can quite reliably avoid a mis-nomination (a time that you can not achieve given the remaining time), be it by calculating it wrongly or your timer screwing up the window time count down.

Reto

PS: the rationale for the current rules is to "punish" those who take multiple flights and reward the risk for those who dare to call 9:58min. It is a weird mechanism, but it works (you will loose quite some points with 5 flights to someone who calls all in). With an end of window call, you would end up with a smaller difference between a quick turnaround strategy and a single "All in" flight.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 12:51 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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That's a great idea!
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 01:15 PM
Oleg Golovidov
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Raleigh, NC, USA
Joined Sep 2004
2,558 Posts
Great idea, thanks for sharing, Reto.
The last Poker call is always a huge mental burden and ruins all concentration on the previous flight, when the pilot (or timer) must figure out the remaining time AFTER landing. At least I try to do that. And my little brain does not have enough CPU cores to handle both tasks well.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 02:01 PM
2015 USA F3K Team Manager
Doug Cronkhite's Avatar
San Diego
Joined Feb 2002
2,182 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Hoekstra View Post

P.S. I still would like to be able to call until end of the window.
"End of Window" as a legal call would be a nice change to this task.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 02:08 PM
In F3J size does matter!
roydor's Avatar
Israel
Joined Nov 2006
907 Posts
Nice idea, I like it.
I have a voice trigger for the timer on my MZ24, I think I will set it up to call the time remaining when I press the launch preset button, it will allow me to get the time without looking down at the TX just as I'm ready to launch, could save another second.

Thanks for sharing Reto!
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 02:52 PM
F3B and F3K
RetoF3X's Avatar
United States, TX, Dallas
Joined Mar 2009
1,679 Posts
@ Roy: Remember that the rules still require that the competitor announces the time, not the radio. Thus the radio, upon pressing the launch preset, would tell you the time that you have to announce, but you would still need to yell yourself what you hear.

But I like the idea with the launch preset! With a freely programmable transmitter like the Taranis, you could create a program that starts a 9:55min clock on the first application of the launch preset and any subsequent pushing of the preset triggers a voice readout of that clock. The whole shebang could be reset by another switch if you do some preparation flights.

I still like the simplicity of the approach as published in post #1!


Reto

@Doug: see post 6 why the rules are the way they are. Benjamin Rodax of the german team explained it to me and it appeared that there was a pretty good consensus on it. It even convinced ardent opponents of the Poker rules, like Mike Smith, otherwise. He now actually supports the rules as is. If you dig a bit in the groups, you can find that shift in opinion after the rationale was explained to us at the last worlds.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 03:27 PM
hot air rises...
jfinch's Avatar
Pleasant Grove, UT
Joined Jul 2005
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roydor, I'm going to program that in my mz24 tonight! Great idea.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 04:35 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Cronkhite View Post
"End of Window" as a legal call would be a nice change to this task.
This has been discussed many times and I agree with you. Some of our European brethern disagree, however.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 06:14 PM
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Thermaln2's Avatar
Reno Nevada
Joined Oct 2007
2,699 Posts
Simpler, glance over at Adam Weston's clock and call a time just short of that.
Has worked for me when I wasn't near my timer. And remember the 3 second of the buzzer.
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Old Feb 25, 2015, 06:22 PM
Kyle Clayton
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United States, VA, Dinwiddie
Joined Feb 2008
2,506 Posts
If you're flying a Tarannis, you can program this function into it quite easily and have a switch set so it will audibly announce the time left to you when you trigger it. In essence, you wouldn't even have to look down, just flip the switch and listen. I have this set up and use it often for for letting me know how much time I have left in my flight. My primary timer is my flight timer and its programmed to reset each time I hit my launch preset, but I should be able to easily set a second timer that will be just a window timer and set a switch to announce the time for it.

Good thinking Jr.!!
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