The tests at the Ski World Championships in Schladming 82 had shown the core requirement of mobile and body-worn sensor timers. The individual fabrication of aluminum housings for the installation (see previous model) was complicated and too expensive. So I was looking for its replacement by an electronic stopwatch, that offered enough space for installation . The former USA-model "CRONUS" proved best suited for this; the quality of the plastic housing was excellent.
I contacted CRONUS and ordered about 20 pieces. The electronics has been constantly improved and miniaturized. I had to manufacture 100 special micro-circuit boards and supplementary plastic parts. The IR-sensor was installed in a small aluminum knob . The electronics was powered by NiCd cells, which were also embedded in the housing. The devices could be attached with a rubber band on each ski boot (see picture).
Already In the summer of 82, some devices were ready, and the first tests took place on the
Dachstein glacier (Austria). Measuring accuracy, tolerance and trigger sensitivities of each
unit had to be adjusted and calibrated for all temperatures between -20°C and +10°C by means
of NTC resistors. This happened in a time-consuming process in my small home lab.
The devices could also be installed on a vehicle and used as automatic lap timer. Immediately after completion of the initial
laboratory tests I contacted Heinz Prüller to help me in order to test such a system in the Formula 1.
He promised suppert.. He promised support. In some TV broadcasts he repeatedly reported about my Sensor Timing - system. In August 1982, I went with a demo-equipment to the Formula-I-Grand Prix in Zeltweg and spoke to the racer Marc Surer about the possibilities for testing my lap timer unit. He advised me to go to Williams. Eventually, nothing was going to come of the endeavours. What is known is, that many teams now use the same system, without that I would
ever have received one measly penny...
In November 82 happened again a ski test under race conditions on the Rettenbachferner in Soelden (Austria). The coaches
Kurt Hoch and
Werner Margreiter supported this project. For the tests, the former Austrians ski runners
Ida Ladstätter ( see the images below ) made themselves available.
The Austrian press took note of the tests. Some articles were brought in the
KRONE and in
magazine "Ski-Welt". However, caution was required : The sports journalists had no idea how my device actually works, but they wrote about it. One journalist typed "radio transmission of a stored time data", another one wrote"calling out the intermediate times to the racer", and similar stuff. Mostly they wrote of a "new cool marketing gag" in the sports.
By the way, the mentioned company ALGE-Timing (Austria/Vorarlberg) had nothing to do with the development, just as well as my employer (the mentioned railway machinery industry in Linz). These people became aware of my projects much later, when they heared of my
patents. As I tried to explain the real function of "Sensor Timing" to the above mentioned Mr.
Heinz Prüller (the well-known Austrian sports journalist), and how many applications in the industry could emerge
of, he grew angry...
There are some photos of the test --> see here: