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Thread: Open source timing software.

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  1. #161
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    This thing is really cool. I was going to download one of the iPhone apps but I'm glad I stumbled across this. One of the things I did was pull up youtube videos of people using physical timegraphers. I was able to get some readings that seemed to match but it was difficult as theres usually background noise or people talking. Also, if the person recording changes the position of their camera mic it affects the measurements. On one video I used you can see clearly in the graph that something is off on one side of the pallet fork, as one line is nice and the other is a mess of dots. What was cool to see was when this program picked up the tiks a very similar pattern emerged. You guys can give this method a try (if you don't own a physical timegrapher yourself) but its not going to give the most consistent results in terms of comparison.

    I tested my watches, which are mostly cheap sub $200 nothings and one tag aquaracer (ETA 2824-2), with my built in Mac microphone and a set of Apple EarPods. Both of which gave pretty much exactly the same reading. One thing I noticed when I tested my Tag, which has been losing about 5 minutes a month, was that if I placed the watch on a flat surface I got a reading of around +2s/d in most positions. However, if I put the watch on my wrist and taped the microphone to the watch I got a reading of about -9s/d. This would be the number I would expect as that equates to almost -5min/month. I feel like this could be due to temperature but it seemed to confirm my observations over the last few months.

    The reason I wanted a timegrapher program was purely out of my own curiosity to see what my watches would register. I only actually learned what a timegrapher was today when I googled "how to test watch accuracy?" so take my mini review from a complete newbie's perspective. Anyway, thanks for the program!

  2. #162
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    I'm seeing some inconsistency between daily error in what tg is reporting vs. the daily error that the watch is actually doing.
    i set my watch on the mic of my mac in all 6 positions and it reports an average of about -20s/d. actually wearing it though, it runs almost +20s/d fast - yes, 40s difference.
    I thought maybe tg it was having difficulty hearing the through the case, so i took the back off, but it reports the same.
    I really don't think it's the software based on the feedback here and my GP is 5 position adjusted (never touched) and tg shows +1 to +2s/d and this is just about what the watch actually runs. but I'm at a loss determining the difference with this watch.

    Has anyone else noticed something like this? I assume this is some sort of user error but i haven't been able to determine what. it seems to just be this watch. it's an 007 with a 7s26c.

  3. #163
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    You could have an issue with the balance arcs becoming short in the transitions between positions. If your watch wrist is pretty active then the short/fast arcs in these transitions could be an issue - even if you settle into a good rate once a position is established for a little bit.
    evilphoton likes this.

  4. #164
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    thank you! I can see that and it explains why when i first set the watch on the mic, the balance arc seems low (say 250 degrees) and the daily error is fairly low. then after it sits for that minute (it actually stabilizes in probably 15 seconds or less), the arc has increased to say 290 degrees and the error has increased. the change is similar each time i set the watch down in a different position. i can see wearing the watch during the day and constantly moving that the balance would run in a fairly constant state of transition, as you say.

    I've slowed the watch quite a bit to make it fit with how i wear it, using tg as a reference that i didn't move the spazzy little lever too far... since if i can see the lever move, it's way too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleotime View Post
    You could have an issue with the balance arcs becoming short in the transitions between positions. If your watch wrist is pretty active then the short/fast arcs in these transitions could be an issue - even if you settle into a good rate once a position is established for a little bit.

  5. #165
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Thanks contrate_wheel. Great effort to write such good software and then supply it as open source.

    Ran first time on Win 7. This just makes life so much easier. Time with watch with something like watch check or a piece of paper, open it up and make a change that should be very close to what you need.

    Thanks everyone else for providing feedback for other items like mikes and amplifiers (which I'm trying to stay away from).

  6. #166
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    It seems like that the latest version doesn't recognize greater amplitudes than 300 degrees. Does anybody else have same kind of results?

  7. #167
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by evilphoton View Post
    I really don't think it's the software based on the feedback here and my GP is 5 position adjusted (never touched) and tg shows +1 to +2s/d and this is just about what the watch actually runs. but I'm at a loss determining the difference with this watch.
    So as we understand, you say you have a GP that tg measures +1 to +2s/d and when you wear the watch you get the same reading. So you can get the software to perform on one watch.
    What are the timing errors on the GP and the 007? I don't know what is acceptable but I have just tweaked a few of mine to be 0.1ms.

    With the 007 I would start by measuring the watch in one position, say face up, and then put the watch on the shelf, face up, for a day and see what it does.
    If you do this in a number of positions and find most are ok then there appears to be one setting which is going very fast.
    If you can find that position then you probably need to go to a watchmaker and tell him the story.
    Last edited by 1afc; May 25th, 2016 at 07:18.

  8. #168
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    Very cool, I look forward to playing with this.

  9. #169
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    Re: Open source timing software.


    Hi friends,

    we finally have a calibration procedure!

    The new version of tg (0.3.1) is available in the usual places. A summary
    of the install instructions for several operating systems is here
    https://github.com/vacaboja/tg

    Before I go into the details, let me thank pbnelson for his install
    instructions: he actually stumbled upon a bug in the Debian distribution
    that interferes with one of the packages needed by tg
    (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugr...cgi?bug=718221). Fortunately,
    the install sequence suggested by pbnelson works around the bug, so I have
    included it in my instructions on github. Finally, I would like to thank
    all other contributors to this thread for many hints and suggestions, the
    past ones and hopefully the future ones!

    As any computer program that emulates a timing machine, tg necessarily
    takes its time reference from the clock of the audio card of the computer.
    There is anecdotal evidence that audio cards have usually relatively
    stable clocks. However, unfortunately, these clocks are often affected by
    a constant deviation from true time, sometimes of many seconds per day. To
    correct for it, one must measure the deviation by comparison to a more
    accurate time source, and then inform the program of its value. With tg,
    this can be done either manually or through an automatic calibration
    procedure.

    The manual setting is straightforward, just input the rate of the sound
    card's clock, in seconds per day, into the "cal" field.

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    The automatic calibration feature works by comparing any analog quartz
    watch (producing one beat per second) to the sound card. Operationally,
    you put a quartz watch on the microphone and then you click on the
    calibrate button.

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    Tg will try to pick up the watch's beat.

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    When it does, you will be notified.

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    Then you will have to wait for a calibration period of about 15 minutes,
    and, at the end, two outcomes are possible: luck

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    and no luck.

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    If the calibration procedure succeeds, the calibration constant will be
    updated automatically. To leave calibration mode, just press the calibrate
    button again.

    Now to some technical details. Most of you will already know, but it
    might be surprising to some, to learn that quartz watches usually do not
    beat at a constant rate. In general, the crystal oscillator controlling a
    quartz watch is set to beat at a considerably fast rate, say +10 s/day.
    The circuitry in the watch is then programmed to periodically apply a
    correction that precisely compensates the rate of the crystal. This
    mechanism, called "inhibition compensation", is cheaper than implementing
    an equally accurate oscillator directly in hardware. For those interested,
    it's easy to find more information on the internet, for instance one might
    want to take a look at this:
    http://tf.nist.gov/general/pdf/2276.pdf

    As an example of inhibition compensation, take a look at the trace of a
    common quartz watch generated by tg's calibration routine.

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    You can see very clearly that the watch is running fast most of the time,
    and every minute the compensation mechanism brings it back to the correct
    average rate. The screenshot has been taken after the termination of tg's
    calibration procedure. The blue lines are roughly parallel to the zig-zag
    trace of the watch, this indicates that tg has computed its average
    correctly, therefore the resulting calibration is accurate (referenced to
    that particular watch, of course). One might ask why, when the inhibition
    mechanism operates, the trace jumps back quickly, but not as abruptly as
    it should. This happens because each dot on the graph is actually a
    short-term average (this is done to minimize the influence of audio
    noise), so it takes a few seconds after the compensation mechanism has
    fired for the average to converge to the new value.

    There is one last caveat that I have to point out: high end quartz watches
    might use very complicated compensation mechanisms that operate over long
    periods of time. See, for instance, this very informative post by forum
    member dwjquest
    An ETA 252.611 Movement's Temperature Correction Method Unveiled
    and this excellent discussion of several high accuracy watches
    More about affordable High-End Quartz
    As a consequence, somewhat contrary to intuition, it is not recommended to
    use a high end watch for calibration, unless, of course, you feel
    comfortable evaluating the trace and understanding what is going on. Also
    radio-controlled watches are not a good choice, because, self-adjusting
    every day or so, they prevent one from getting a feedback of how actually
    accurate they are. The best reference to calibrate tg is a cheap,
    commonplace, quartz watch that you know by experience is within plus or
    minus a few seconds per month.

    Please keep in mind that the rate of a sound card's clock is not really a
    figure of merit for consumer-grade products, because sound cards are not
    designed for accurate timekeeping. So, a sound card that has a rate of,
    say, +4 s/day, is not, on this account, inferior to one that has +0.4. It
    is just the luck of the draw. Stability, here, is the important thing, and
    there is no a priori relationship between rate and stability, so +4 card
    might or might not be more stable than the +0.4 one. Temperature is
    probably the biggest factor impacting the stability of the rate. As I
    said, there is anecdotal evidence that this should not be a concern, see
    for instance this (section 2.3)
    http://protyposis.net/download/608

    Barring bugs, I believe that the core features of tg are now almost
    complete. I will consider adding some built-in screenshot or report
    generation mechanism: there has already been some work done in this
    direction by a github user named wahlstedt. Also an audio input selector
    is likely to be added (currently, tg can only use the default input). If
    you find that any other essential feature is still missing please let me
    know!

  10. #170
    Member pbnelson's Avatar
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Looks great! I pulled the latest source, built it on my Linux Mint (i.e. Ubuntu/Debian) system, and it started right up.

    I calibrated tg using a Swiss Legend watch (a middle-of-the-road quartz). After 30 minutes it had settled down to a -4.7s/d calibration factor.

    I then compared tg to my TG1000 using the same simultaneous monitoring technique I used before. The tg program is now much more accurate, reporting only 1 s/d slower than the TG1000. I manually lowered the calibration from -4.7s/d to -4.0s/d, and then tg consistently reported the same error rate as the TG1000.

    Unfortunately the beat error was still off by a half second. The TG1000 consistently reports 0.2ms, and tg consistently reports 0.7ms.
    Halda likes this.

    p.s. Does anyone know the lift angle on an Orient 46D movement? I'm reduced to begging. If anyone knows, please respond by PM or on my Hidden Content so I can change this stupid signature.

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