Open source timing software.
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  1. #1
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    Open source timing software.


    Hi guys,

    I have a more or less usable version of my timing program that is ready
    for initial testing, if anyone is interested.

    First the goodies. Here are Windows binaries
    http://ciovil.li/tg.zip
    and here is the full source code
    https://github.com/vacaboja/tg

    Now some info on the program. This program is released under the GNU GPL
    license, version 2 -- basically you can do what you want with it, free of
    charge, no warranty, if you redistribute a (modified) version, you must
    distribute also the source code. If you want to build from source, you
    need gtk+ (I'm using v. 2.24), portaudio2, and fftw3, plus a C99 compiler
    clearly. If you want to run the Windows version, just download the zip
    archive, unzip, double click.

    This program tries to pick up audio from the default audio input of your
    computer, which should be the same that Audacity defaults to, so you can
    test the audio setup with Audacity. It does not fiddle with the volume:
    just check that it is set to a reasonable level. Of course the rate that
    you get from this program, for any watch, is affected by the rate of the
    clock of your sound card: the same holds for all timing programs and there
    is no escape (except calibrating the card against a reliable time source).

    The algorithm I decided to use is quite hungry of computing power, so I
    made two versions: "tg" is the full version, "tg-lt" is a lighter version.
    The light version sacrifices some accuracy and noise resilience for speed.

    My intended audience is amateurs and tinkerers. This program has not been
    written for professionals, neither do I want to compete with
    professionally built hardware or software, nor with those that can write
    better software on their own. In particular I have set to myself the
    following three goals.

    One. Try a less conventional algorithm to deal with bad audio, at the
    expense of lots of number crunching (all other programs for which I did
    find information online use possibly some band pass filter and a threshold
    trigger, we do it differently). I can currently obtain satisfactory
    results from the internal mic of my ThinkPad and a few other lower quality
    mics. I don't know how it will perform with a good piezo, but I am
    interested (probably, for clean audio, mine is not the best approach).
    Your mileage may vary.

    Two. To avoid complaints like this one
    Review: TickoPrint Android App | Watch Guy
    the entire operation of the algorithm is designed to be double-checkable.
    In particular, the waveforms that the program associates to the tics and
    tocs of the watch are shown in real time, so one can check that they are
    properly recognized and properly aligned. The slope representing the
    currently detected instantaneous rate is drawn (the blue lines) on the
    timing-machine-like graph, etc. See also the discussion here for some
    example of such double checking
    Definition of beat error

    Three. Make it open source, so other people can tinker with the source
    code (well, this one was the easy part).

    Usage should be quite intuitive for those that know how an escapement
    works. See also the thread referenced above for more info.

    That's all for now. Any feedback is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member mars-red's Avatar
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    I poked through the source a bit, and have grabbed the windows build. I can't wait to actually try it out, I'll need to dig up the old piezo mic I cobbled together years ago.

    Thanks for doing this, especially as FOSS. I started a half-hearted attempt a few years back but became too bored with learning about FFTs to see it through. I'm glad there was someone else out there willing to stick to it.
    My blog: Hidden Content

  3. #3
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by mars-red View Post
    I poked through the source a bit, and have grabbed the windows build. I can't wait to actually try it out, I'll need to dig up the old piezo mic I cobbled together years ago.
    Thanks a lot!

    Theoretically, you should not need a piezo. For instance, this
    http://ciovil.li/tic4.wav
    is one of the test cases that I have been using (it's a weak watch with lots of beat error and dogs, recorded with some regular microphone). If you can get audio of this quality, then the program -- wishful thinking -- should give you some reasonable output. Audio like this one, for instance, also works apparently well (I'm not the author of this video, I just used YouTube as another source of test cases)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqAAbwwWFkg
    This is the mother of all test cases (I'm not the author of this either)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljp1hllse3g
    the current version, here, does not lock on the 18000 bph. The 21600 is all over the place, and the amplitude is so bad that it's out of the scale, but that's a problem of the watch, not of the program.

    I'm not a Windows user, so the Windows version has not been properly tested. If it gives absolutely no reaction, then just assume that something is wrong with my audio interface. In this case, I would be grateful if you let me know.

  4. #4
    Member mars-red's Avatar
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by contrate_wheel View Post
    .. and dogs, ...
    LOL!!!

    That made my morning.

    I will happily give it a spin on my windows 10 machine and let you know how it goes.
    My blog: Hidden Content

  5. #5
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Kudos to you contrate_wheel !!!

    Both versions are running perfectly (Win10) I've just finished "playing" with your software for a while with simple and inexpensive hobbyist equipment (small amplifier ~10€ + battery ~75ct + guitar pick-up-clip ~2€ + some cables from my junk box + some soldering)

    The algorythm for filtering noise and calculating timesignal IMHO seems to be crazy good.
    I recently adjusted one of my watches using biburo and today checked it using your new programm. My conclusion: 100% plug-and-play 100% working 100% fun

    I try to add some pictures (upload-newbie ... sorry if it fails)

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  6. #6
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    good working but i cant see the amplitude values here, are they available because its an must information of how good the watch is repaired/condition
    Experience on watch movements repair:

    modern swiss movements: 5
    japan movements: 3
    older movements: 2
    chinese movements: 0


    According to above experience grades(smallest 0-5 highest) my advice can be incorect or completely out of mind, so beware and take my advices with caution if the grade is low!!!
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    NOT FOR SALE !!!

  7. #7
    Member mars-red's Avatar
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by emso View Post
    good working but i cant see the amplitude values here, are they available because its an must information of how good the watch is repaired/condition
    While that information would be wonderful, for me the app is still very useful without it because I usually work on older watches with low beat rates and I can get a good idea of the amplitude by eye. It would be great to have an exact, and accurate, value though, so I hope that our friend is able to add that feature sometime.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I guess the amplitude is given.
    Testing another watch (that I cleaned about 1 1/2 year ago and just wound up) a difference is visible (marked in screenshot). In my opinion it'll give about 300° to the one side and about 280° to the other.
    Is my speculation right that the hairspring is not exactly in the middle of the pins?

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  9. #9
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    Re: Open source timing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus Tickalot View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I guess the amplitude is given.
    Testing another watch (that I cleaned about 1 1/2 year ago and just wound up) a difference is visible (marked in screenshot). In my opinion it'll give about 300° to the one side and about 280° to the other.
    Is my speculation right that the hairspring is not exactly in the middle of the pins?

    First of all, many thanks to you for your review, and also to the other
    participants of this thread.

    You are absolutely right that the amplitude is given, and also on the
    method to read it. The decision not to show the amplitude in a numerical
    format is actually deliberate. In fact, you pointed out quite clearly one
    of the reasons that lead me to this decision: let me describe it more in
    detail for the rest of the readers. The amplitude, as your figure
    demonstrates quite clearly, is determined by the timing of the first pulse
    of each tic or toc (relative to the third pulse, and also by the lift
    angle, etc.). It happens quite often that this timing is not consistent
    between the tics and the tocs, so the tics suggest an amplitude of, for
    instance in your case, 300 deg, and the tocs of 280. Some difference is,
    actually, almost always there. So what can we say about the amplitude in a
    case like this? Honestly, the only correct statement, is that we estimate
    the amplitude to be about 280-300 degrees. Any more precise figure, like
    293 or something, would be a misrepresentation. This is not a deficiency
    of the algorithm: you can check with Audacity, for instance, that the tics
    and the tocs are actually different. The data is quite simply not there.

    In conclusion, I elected to let the user, with his human brain and his
    common sense, do the pattern matching and read the amplitude off the
    graphs. That is in keeping with the principle of producing only
    information that can be understood and checked, no magic numbers. In
    conclusion, for me, it is a feature, not a deficiency.

    On the other hand, I started this thread precisely to know your opinions
    about this program, so I am very interested to know if you find that this
    was a bad choice.

    About the reason of the difference, you suggest that it is because the gap
    between the pins is too large. I have completely no idea. Maybe sometimes
    the actual (as opposed to nominal) lift angle of the tics and the tocs is
    slightly different due to manufacturing tolerances, the banking pins being
    a little out of symmetry, or some other form of the multifarious
    phenomenon known as bad luck. I would love to read the opinion of a
    watchmaker.
    David.Boettcher likes this.

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

    See this
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    Now this
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    and this
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    Wow. Just, wow.
    Never had such accurate read using the microphone integrated in my cheap logitech webcam.
    Your idea to use instantaneous frequency is a game changer. Fantastic job
    // ocram
    P.S. Windows binaries OK on all versions except WinXP and below.
    Ticonderoga likes this.

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