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pax
05-02-2005, 09:54 PM
Could someone who knows (Garvin perhaps) tell me what is required to cover a set of boards for a live event?

I gather you need the DGT boards (at $700 each, phew) and clocks.
-Do you need extra software, or does that come with the boards?
-How many games can be hosted on a single computer?
-Can the boards be networked wirelessly?

Garvinator
05-02-2005, 10:28 PM
I gather you need the DGT boards (at $700 each, phew) and clocks.
Yes you need the dgt boards, pieces and clocks. I think they total about $1000 per board.


-Do you need extra software, or does that come with the boards?
you need a program called toma and it can be downloaded from www.dgtprojects.com
A single board adaptor will come with your board, which in combination with the toma program will allow you to transmit one board without a licence.
Gary showed me how to operate the program correctly and I made sure that as I was learning that I would be able to teach others who are interested.


-How many games can be hosted on a single computer?
One board can be transmitted without a licence, or as many boards as you can afford to with a licence and the relevant equipment.


-Can the boards be networked wirelessly?
Not that I know of. To transmit multiple boards requires many cables to be connected together and you will discover that gaffa tape is your friend.

The only two people who know in detail how to do a proper dgt tournament coverage are Gary Bekker and myself for multiple boards as far as I know.

The licence that I have is from Gary Bekker covers eight boards. Any person can transmit one board for free, but as soon as you want to do two, you need a licence to transmit and different equipment, cables that you used for one board.

According to Gary, the licences arent that 'expensive' up to eight boards, but to do anymore than eight boards is quite expensive due to licence requirements. Hence why we did eight boards at the Australian Open and Juniors.

One of the biggest costs apart from getting the boards etc is getting the right type of cables and adaptors. It is not a cheap process to transmit multiple boards like at the Australian Open, especially if you are getting everything the first time.

If you have any further questions, dont hesitate to send me a pm or ask on here:)

pax
05-02-2005, 10:36 PM
Thanks for the info Garvin.


Yes you need the dgt boards, pieces and clocks. I think they total about $1000 per board.

Wow, that's steep.


you need a program called toma and it can be downloaded from www.dgtprojects.com
A single board adaptor will come with your board, which in combination with the toma program will allow you to transmit one board without a licence.

ACE sells the TOMA program for $1000. Is that different from the downloadable one?

Bill Gletsos
05-02-2005, 10:50 PM
According to the DGT site the TOMA software you download runs as unregistered and allows one board to be used.
To use more boards you need either a permanent licence or a temporary licence (basically you rent a licence for a given number of days).

The cost of a permanent licence for 2 boards is $US 650. For boards 3-12 it is an additional $US25 per board. Hence 12 boards is $US900.
Boards 13-36 cost another $US20 per board.

firegoat7
06-02-2005, 11:27 AM
Hello

Yes you need the dgt boards, pieces and clocks. I think they total about $1000 per board. The price is dropping all the time. I think the board is about $720 from Brian Jones, the clocks are $120-150.






The only two people who know in detail how to do a proper dgt tournament coverage are Gary Bekker and myself for multiple boards as far as I know.


:eek: Ahem, cough,cough, Ahem

Cheers Fg7

Bill Gletsos
06-02-2005, 11:35 AM
Hello
The price is dropping all the time. I think the board is about $720 from Brian Jones, the clocks are $120-150.
Thats about right.
$725 for the board and $140 for the DGT XL clock (the DGT TopMatch is no longer made).

Garvinator
06-02-2005, 11:54 AM
:eek: Ahem, cough,cough, Ahem
sorry fg7, are you feeling alright, you seem to be coughing. Anything you want to say ;) ;) yes i am aware now that you mention it that you are able to as well :) My apologies.

pax
06-02-2005, 12:26 PM
So I assume DGT have no competitors in the e-board business? The technology required is neither expensive nor sophisticated, so I assume the only reason prices are so high is monopoly.

firegoat7
06-02-2005, 01:12 PM
So I assume DGT have no competitors in the e-board business? The technology required is neither expensive nor sophisticated, so I assume the only reason prices are so high is monopoly.

Yes you are correct, pax. The license agreement for the TOMA software is ridiculous. They are a typical example of MONOPOLY in the market place. Any competitor who genuinly challenged the current product would be successful in my opinion, since the current product is simply not good value long term.
The cost of this technology clearly inhibits their obviously needed usage rates. This is disappointing for chess organisers in the internet age.

Cheers FG7

firegoat7
06-02-2005, 01:36 PM
Dear ACF,


GG has elucidated his concerns about a lack of qualified people to operate DGT technology. It might be a good idea for the ACF to organise seminars statewide in an effort to encourage the usage of the ACF DGT boards for important events.

Adequate training ought to be some resonsibility of the ACF. Who knows, perhaps with adequate training the ACF could also agree on a code of conduct for transmission of internet coverage events, or at least some general information and guidelines that would establish specific basic parameters.

If an organisation, like the ACF, seeks to be recognised professionally by business or government, then they also have to organise professionally the runnings of Australian chess. No long term security can be established by the ACF, if it continues to rely on the personal power of individuals like Gary Becker (despite his enormous and wonderful work), in the dgt case.

Furthermore in cases like this, it allows the ACF to take a proactive stand towards the chess community rather then its usual submissive stance that results from its historically unfortunate political power relationship with the state bodies.

Cheers FG7

Ian Rout
06-02-2005, 01:46 PM
Yes you are correct, pax. The license agreement for the TOMA software is ridiculous. They are a typical example of MONOPOLY in the market place. Any competitor who genuinly challenged the current product would be successful in my opinion, since the current product is simply not good value long term.
The cost of this technology clearly inhibits their obviously needed usage rates. This is disappointing for chess organisers in the internet age.

Cheers FG7
I've never tried it, but Palview has a module which purports to generate broadcasts from PGN files.

http://www.enpassant.dk/chess/palview/palive/index.htm

The PGN files need to be updated in some way, which I imagine is what the DGT set-up does. The documentation specifically refers to being compatible with "sophisticated software that monitors electronic chess boards".

Does anybody have any experience with this?

Garvinator
06-02-2005, 03:24 PM
I think it would be cheaper for most tournaments to pay for Gary, David or myself to travel and do the broadcasting ourselves, rather than pay for the boards etc.

The other option would be to get the boards from the states and ppl that have the acf boards, but then you still dont have someone who knows how to handle multiple boards communication and has the right cabling required.

I know that i would be willing to come to some of the major tournaments to do the transmission if the organisers wanted me to do it.

pax
06-02-2005, 03:44 PM
So how many DGT boards actually exist in Australia, and who owns/looks after them? I don't imagine that it should be necessary to fly an expert out to operate the equipment - I would think anyone with a reasonable amount of computer competence could do it with the right preparation.

(however if the boards need to be flown you might as well fly a person as well I guess).

Garvinator
06-02-2005, 04:10 PM
So how many DGT boards actually exist in Australia, and who owns/looks after them? I don't imagine that it should be necessary to fly an expert out to operate the equipment - I would think anyone with a reasonable amount of computer competence could do it with the right preparation.

(however if the boards need to be flown you might as well fly a person as well I guess).
The acf has ten dgt boards. Each state/territory is entitled to have one board etc, which makes eight. NSW and VIC are entitled to an extra board.

As some states dont want a board or dont know how to operate them and dont see a need to learn how, I have four boards and Gary has four boards as well. I think VIC has four boards because they transmit the Australian Masters etc.

SA has one board and ACT has the other board. To get all ten boards together is an effort and so yes it would be just as easy to have a person collect and bring them i think. That is exactly what I did for mt buller. Got the states like WA and NSW to send me their boards and took four boards with me. Gary brought up the four boards VIC had and ACT brought theirs with them.

The boards would have to be flown in or freighted if you wanted all 8 or so boards to be broadcasted. For the person who is responsible for transmitting the games, it is as much work to do eight boards as it is to do four boards at the tournament site.

One of the major issues is the cabling. I know I keep mentioning it, but special little pieces are required to be set up. Also for six to eight boards, cables need to be laid on the ground and between each board.
As I said Gary showed me most of what I know now and I have a feeling that Gary also showed David how to operate the equipment.

It does take one of the ppl who know already how to operate everything to show a new person how to use everything.

On a personal note, i think for the first time a new tournament is going to do a broadcast, it would be a good idea to have one of the 'experts' there to help out as it would leave the tournament looking rather silly if they advertised eight boards to be broadcast and then they couldnt. Just my opinion though.

firegoat7
06-02-2005, 04:49 PM
On a personal note, i think for the first time a new tournament is going to do a broadcast, it would be a good idea to have one of the 'experts' there to help out as it would leave the tournament looking rather silly if they advertised eight boards to be broadcast and then they couldnt. Just my opinion though.

Its a good thing you qualify the term 'expert' gg because I certainly do not consider myself one. All I would say is that I have some experience with them. That said this is the original point of my post.

By having somebody demonstate the boards with trial runs (real life tournaments of lesser standards), the acf could ensure that an appropriate amount of chess organisers become familiar with the equipment. So in a sense what GG says would be appropriate.

But on the other hand I do agree with pax. It is not complicated stuff, but it is potentially confusing for the newbie. If the ACF liasons appropriately with states and clubs, Im sure that they could ensure that all players in Australian chess would have the opportunity to experience such wonderful technology.

Cheers FG7

Bill Gletsos
06-02-2005, 05:00 PM
As some states dont want a board or dont know how to operate them and dont see a need to learn how, I have four boards and Gary has four boards as well.
I would suggest that the reason you currently have 4 boards is simply because they were lent to you by the various states.
Therefore you should simply return them.

Garvinator
06-02-2005, 05:13 PM
Its a good thing you qualify the term 'expert' gg because I certainly do not consider myself one. All I would say is that I have some experience with them. That said this is the original point of my post.
I only used the term expert cause I was borrowing it from pax ;)


So how many DGT boards actually exist in Australia, and who owns/looks after them? I don't imagine that it should be necessary to fly an expert out to operate the equipment - I would think anyone with a reasonable amount of computer competence could do it with the right preparation.

pax
06-02-2005, 08:13 PM
One of the major issues is the cabling. I know I keep mentioning it, but special little pieces are required to be set up. Also for six to eight boards, cables need to be laid on the ground and between each board.

I find it remarkable that there isn't yet a wireless solution available. Perhaps DGT are working on it, but that will presumably require further substantial capital outlay.

Wireless networking chips are really not expensive. With a wireless option you don't need any cables, and just a wireless enabled laptop to run the peer-to-peer conections. It also eliminates the silly problem of having special sections for the DGT boards..

shaun
06-02-2005, 08:44 PM
You can download free development code from http://www.dgtprojects.com/develop.htm which allows you to do two things I suppose. A) Write your own DGT broadcasting software and B) grab yourself a board and hack a wireless network card into it, and then return to step A.

ursogr8
16-02-2005, 10:31 PM
From what I read here it looks like about $9000 all up for 8 boards.
We (Box Hill) have one trained by Gary Bekker to operate the boards, so now we just need a bright idea of where the money could come from.

ACF got their money from Qld UNI from memory.
Guess we could try
The QUIT (smoking) campaign
or
Tatts
or
?


starter

Libby
17-02-2005, 08:00 AM
From what I read here it looks like about $9000 all up for 8 boards.
We (Box Hill) have one trained by Gary Bekker to operate the boards, so now we just need a bright idea of where the money could come from.

ACF got their money from Qld UNI from memory.
Guess we could try
The QUIT (smoking) campaign
or
Tatts
or
?


starter

Did you catch my post on the volunteer small equipment grants? Or look for other government/council/other grants?

FWIW I was initiated as a chess organiser into the murky and difficult world of swiss perfect where everything was immensely complicated and only the preserve of the special and clever. :doh: Needless to say, the level of difficulty seemed (to me) a bit over-rated.

Lack of familiarity appears the major problem, whether we are talking about SP or the DGT boards.

Some of the posting here echoes my thoughts on a number of issues. Why not have a level of formal training to get people up to speed on these things. If you are paid to run something professionally, you could make a case for value in that if you could demonstrate you were bringing something "professional" to the event - like having completed a simple training course demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the rules, basic principles of event management, operation of DGT boards and use of swiss perfect. A lot of what I have read on the topic of retaining volunteers suggests people feel a lot happier when they understand exactly what they are expected to do, they are trained to do that job properly, and there is a degree of recognition (both in recognised qualification and in the occasional bit of thankful recognition) for what they do.

ursogr8
17-02-2005, 08:14 AM
Did you catch my post on the volunteer small equipment grants?

hi Libby
Maybe I didn't see your post on volunteer small equipment grants. :confused: Feel free to point me somewhere.

Or look for other government/council/other grants?
We pursue this course for funds for juniors to go o/s and for funds as seed money for group coaching sessions. Not sure I would like to hit them for equipment too.


FWIW I was initiated as a chess organiser into the murky and difficult world of swiss perfect where everything was immensely complicated and only the preserve of the special and clever. :doh: Needless to say, the level of difficulty seemed (to me) a bit over-rated.

We have many that can run tournaments with SP. There are some esoteric bits for a few in the know.




Some of the posting here echoes my thoughts on a number of issues. Why not have a level of formal training to get people up to speed on these things. If you are paid to run something professionally, you could make a case for value in that if you could demonstrate you were bringing something "professional" to the event - like having completed a simple training course demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the rules, basic principles of event management, operation of DGT boards and use of swiss perfect. A lot of what I have read on the topic of retaining volunteers suggests people feel a lot happier when they understand exactly what they are expected to do, they are trained to do that job properly, and there is a degree of recognition (both in recognised qualification and in the occasional bit of thankful recognition) for what they do.
Training volunteers is the key to continuity and sustainability. Formalising the training is not a level we have progressed to locally.

regards
starter

Libby
17-02-2005, 09:05 AM
hi Libby
Maybe I didn't see your post on volunteer small equipment grants. :confused: Feel free to point me somewhere.

We pursue this course for funds for juniors to go o/s and for funds as seed money for group coaching sessions. Not sure I would like to hit them for equipment too.




I posted all the info under Grants for Chess Clubs (General Chess Chat). I think Frosty has already applied :) You can get up to $3000 for items to make the life of your volunteers easier. I agree you don't want to be hitting the same places for money but that's where it's worth looking for special purpose grants etc. For example, we can apply for a specific travel assistance grant (ACT Sport & Rec) for our kids going overseas. I don't then, feel I am double-dipping if I find another specific grant/award scheme I can apply for for a different purpose. The volunteer small equipment grants are a Federal Govt grant. I also posted details of the "Find a Grant" website so you can prowl for any other places where you might be able to ask for money.

BTW - "maybe" you didn't see my post? Is that a real "maybe" or are you using "maybe" in the sense that you knew about it all along ;)

Recherché
17-02-2005, 09:16 AM
I find it remarkable that there isn't yet a wireless solution available. Perhaps DGT are working on it, but that will presumably require further substantial capital outlay.

Wireless networking chips are really not expensive. With a wireless option you don't need any cables, and just a wireless enabled laptop to run the peer-to-peer conections. It also eliminates the silly problem of having special sections for the DGT boards..

While there aren't any boards or clocks available that are wireless, there's nothing to prevent you cabling the boards and clocks up to a wireless hub, which helps a little bit.

At the Victorian Open last year Box Hill/CV had the boards and a hub in the playing hall, and the computer managing it all in another room.

ursogr8
17-02-2005, 09:47 AM
While there aren't any boards or clocks available that are wireless, there's nothing to prevent you cabling the boards and clocks up to a wireless hub, which helps a little bit.

At the Victorian Open last year Box Hill/CV had the boards and a hub in the playing hall, and the computer managing it all in another room.

Rob

True
But, not really a repeatable process other than annually.

We do need to move toward either
i) pax >> wireless
or
ii) establish permanent wiring in the Hall and just plug in (to sockets) each Friday. What we can't achieve is placing temporary cabling each Friday.

starter

Oepty
17-02-2005, 06:59 PM
Seeing that this thread has come to the fore again I would just mention that Garry, Garvin and David are not the only ones in Australia that know how to use the DGT boards. Robin Wedding knows seeing he learnt for the last Australian Champs and I also was familar with it then as well. I personally doubt I could do it straight away, but don't think it would take me long to refresh myself.
Scott

arosar
17-02-2005, 08:37 PM
Seeing that this thread has come to the fore again I would just mention that Garry, Garvin and David are not the only ones in Australia that know how to use the DGT boards. Robin Wedding knows seeing he learnt for the last Australian Champs and I also was familar with it then as well. I personally doubt I could do it straight away, but don't think it would take me long to refresh myself.
Scott

How hard can it be?

AR