The first, and most important, thing to understand why you are getting strange readings is how the sensor operates. Our sensor units operate using infrared lights. This light signal is emitted upward (the emitters are the light colored optics on your sensor pad). When the unit is powered, you will see 3 of these emitters firing at all times. These are the trigger emitters. You will see 1 in each of the trigger row openings. It needs to be extremely dark for you to see these with the naked eye. You can, however, see them quite easily through any LCD viewfinder on a camera (including most camera phones). They will appear BRIGHT WHITE through the viewfinder.
This infrared signal reflects off the bottom of your club (or club tape) and back down to the detectors on the sensor unit. When your club goes over the ‘triggers’, the remaining emitters are fired – thus enabling the sensor unit to record all your club data. NOTE: When the sensor unit goes into Putting Mode (Slow-swing mode), you will notice that ALL emitters are on which allows the sensor to record the slower swing speed.
Thus, since the sensor operates with these emitters, it is very sensitive to lighting and reflections. This is also why cleaning the sensor unit is so important. If any dust or debris covers these emitters or detectors, it will disrupt the signal and thus the sensors cannot do their jobs. Here is a quote regarding erroneous readings from the P3ProSwing website (from the support KnowledgeBase):
There are several things that can cause the P3ProSwing to show erroneous readings.
· Dust, dirt, sensor pad lubricant and/or debris in the sensor holes.
· Improperly taped clubs.
· If you hit the ball on the Toe or Heel of the club,
the reflective tape on the bottom of the club will not pass over all of the impact row of sensors, causing the center (at impact) club face reading to appear extremely open or closed.
· Lighting: the P3ProSwing uses infrared sensors and detectors.
Certain artificial (incandescent light - ceiling fans)
and natural lighting conditions can cause erroneous readings.
There should not be any bright lights directly over the pad. If you hold your golf club over the pad, and can see a hard shadow, you may have too much direct light.
· There should not be any reflective surfaces close to the pad such as glass doors, mirrors etc. These can cause false open clubface readings.
· Applying regular black tape to your clubs instead of the P3ProSwing tape.
(If you have an odd shaped or oversized putter, be sure to cover the entire bottom including any holes.)
Here is a list of some common issues reported with the P3ProSwing Sensor units.
- Extremely long distances and/or very high club head speeds- This is usually caused by the club tape allowing the reflective portion of the bottom of the club to show through. Usually it is the leading edge of the tape that has begun to peel back allowing the club to become exposed.
About club head speeds: Let me explain how the sensor records club head speed. Club head speed is determined by the time it takes for your club to go from the entrance row to the impact row (Entrance club head speed) and from the impact row to the exit row (exit club head speed). The distances of these rows of optics are fixed, so once you have the time recorded over these fixed distances, it is a simple calculation to change these thousands of a second per inch into miles per hour. With that said, if anything other than your club head causes these detectors to record, it will cause your club head speeds to be inaccurate. Club head speed is a vital part of the calculation of distance. Note that it is quite normal, when hitting a real golf ball, to see a dramatic reduction in club head speed on the exit. The golf club speed (momentum) is transferred from the shaft to the ball causing the golf ball to ‘launch’. This transferred energy (momentum) is thus lost from the club, causing this dramatic reduction in club head speed and tremendous increase in ball speed (from its standing position of 0 MPH to the calculated ball speed displayed). Note that since all information is recorded from the club, the ball speed is only a calculation and not a recorded value.
- Short Distances- There are a couple of possible reasons for this. The first thing to check is how your club head speeds appear when you are having this issue. If your club head speeds are reduced, then it is likely you are experiencing an ‘environmental issue’ (see below). If your club head speeds appear to be normal, you may want to check the loft angles on your clubs versus the assumed loft angles within the software. You can also adjust the Smash Factor & Launch Angles to adjust distances.
3 Extremely Open (or Closed, if left-handed) Club head reading- This is almost always an environmental issue’ (see below). You will often find that these only happenover 1 of the 3 rows of sensors (as displayed in your club face readings within the software).
Environmental issues – this is somewhat of a generic description, but is relevant to where the sensor pad is being used and the environment surrounding the sensor. The issue(s) could be related to things such as reflection and/or lighting. It can also be caused by fast moving shadows over the sensor unit.
A very common misconception is that if you turn all the lights off in a room, that you cannot have a reflection. Theoretically, this would be true. But in general use, it is not. An example would be to turn all the lights (and your television) off in the room with your television. Now, put your hand in front of the television. More likely than not, you will see a shadow of your hand on the television screen. You cannot have a shadow without lighting and/or reflection. Thus, although it is dark – you still have enough light for a reflection. Being that you are swing a golf club at a high rate of speed and it likely has a high reflective shaft and/or club head, it does not take much light to cause the sensors to fire on a P3ProSwing sensor unit.
Remember that the sensors on the unit are designed to be extremely sensitive so that you can get the most accurate results from it.
This type of problem is the toughest to troubleshoot. The easiest way for the user to work to resolve this issue is to cover as much potential reflective items as possible. Then test the sensor again. Once you have eliminated the erroneous readings, you can begin to uncover things until you find the item(s) that were causing you issues.
Another technique that has been used by a few consumers to identify that your readings are definitely caused by a premature firing of the sensor unit is to point a video camera directly at the optics. Record yourself taking a swing over the sensor. The users noticed that the sensors would fire (emitters would turn on) prior to the club reaching the triggers of the sensor. I have not, personally, tested this but it has been reported a few times as a testing technique.
You’ll note that the ‘Ace Package’ (and Large Hitting Center) was designed with this problem in mind. The cage encloses the unit with black fabric (and a projection screen). This fabric enclosure eliminates any lighting and/or reflective possibilities from all angles except behind the golfer.
Outdoor Use - This is also why the unit is not recommended for outdoor use. The sun emits infrared light (even on the cloudiest of days) which interferes with the sensors emitters. The moon can also have a similar affect. It can be used outdoors, but requires EXTREME shade to operate properly. Also be aware that the sensor pad and power supply are not rated to handle any moisture.