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SENSOR TIMING - Project 1981  
SRCT-System Prototype 19



The years 1981 and 1982 were successful for the project. I worked day and night. During the day, I worked as a designer in my employer's office, a company for railway-machines and track measurement; part-time, mainly Saturday and Sunday as a representative for a company (ALGE Timing) from whom I hoped for later cooperation and support. The remaining time (after 20 clock) was spent working on my SRCT-project.

My time was limited, because some people became suspicious, and the bullying in my main workplace as a designer increased every day.

In January 1981, the US. Patent Office granted my Pat. 4,245.334. My hope of receiving many letters (I was not familiar with patent practise at that time!) was not fulfilled - except Russell O. Armstrong, who wrote me a letter in July 1981 and wanted to obtain a license for my patent for the technical settlement of marathon races. Since I could not find a suitable english speaking lawyer (neither my Austrian patent attorney H. Huebscher nor the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce were prepared to help me!), the license negotiations failed permanently in 1983 ... see attached pdf-documents.

I had suffered the first setback. The use of "Parablacks" were surprisingly banned, and failed now as a vehicle for elapsed time-, speed- or distance measurements. Some ski manufacturers argued that the advertising logos would no longer be readable on the skis...

In truth, there was another reason: with the help of the German technician Lenz Fischer, the Soviet national ski team worked on the same project as myself. They asked
Tsyganov to start with a Parablack-Timer attached to the ski. This happened in the final World Cup downhill race in 1981. However, the timing triggered only at the starting point. They had no idea how to stop the timer automatically at the desired finish line .. Nevertheless, the ski industry was made aware of it, and prevented the Parablack-project..

Although Mr. Schwartz, the Parablack inventor, stated to me at the ISPO in Munich, that he had great interest in cooperating on the project (after all, I had proposed the idea and had the patents), I decided to redevelope the system from the start, and to mount the sensor timer directly before the binding . (Mr. Schwarz finally abandoned the Parablacks. He never came back on the market).

The sensor electronics, including the NiCd batteries, were now placed in an aluminium housing (see image r. h.). The IR sensor was mounted in a rotatable knob, so that it could be turned to a right or left sided slalom pole (containing an IR-transmitter). A new timer module enabled the acquisition of up to 3 split times plus total time. With this unit, there were hardly any problems. Even in extreme sunlight false trigger signals rarely occured.

Regarding the new devices, the first successful test took place In October 1981 with the Austrian Ladies Ski team at the Reiteralm in Pichl (Austria). Conny Pröll, Andrea Haaser and some young skiers (like Weber etc.) were the test persons.

In addition, the first sales of SRCT-devices were achieved. Coach Hannes Pum (Austrian Ski Team) saw the equipment, was thrilled about it, and aranged the sale of a pair of the equipments to a young ski racer in Innsbruck. See Operation Manual for this unit (Link).

Right from the start, I tried to attain a part time employment as a timekeeper at the Austrian Ski Federation, and to link it with my sales activities for "ALGE Timing". If this had succeeded, I could have established my own enterprise earlier, and the Sensor Timing project could have had a better chance for being successful. University-Prof. Dr. Ernst Raas from the scientific advisory board of the Austrian Ski Team wrote several letters of appreciation, He also raised the question of "miniaturized sensor timing devices" (I had indeed thought at the time already considered the design of mobile digital recording systems for medical purposes; in retrospect, it would have been beneficial for me to realize these ideas.... Regardless, Austrians OeSV-Secretary Klaus LEISTNER stood in the way of my ambitions (see pdf link). I did not attain employment as a timekeeper..  

There are some photos of the test,though not good quality, can be seen here:


 foto 1          foto 2          foto 3     foto 5        foto 6              foto 7





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