Finding Lost Discs

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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby Dag » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:48 am

The RadarGolf folks have the right idea but at $200, their system is a bit pricey. They claim detection range of "30 to 100 feet depending on the terrain". Wonder if that figure would hold for rough "rough" as opposed to the norm on many US ball golf courses.
...there was a time when you were taught to find the best disc for you, not the best disc for your situation on the course, which is how they are sold now. IMO, the flight charts are basically there to point out all the stuff you dont have in your bag and why you suck.

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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby SkaBob » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:44 pm

RadarGolf's system is most likely just an RFID chip and scanner...you could buy/build the same for far less with a visit to Make Magazine's site and the appropriate online storefront, and put tags in/on all of your discs...
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby Dag » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:34 pm

SkaBob wrote:RadarGolf's system is most likely just an RFID chip and scanner...you could buy/build the same for far less with a visit to Make Magazine's site and the appropriate online storefront, and put tags in/on all of your discs...


I had thought just that, more or less, and had spent an evening searching for how to do it. Not being particularly electronics savvy left me with more questions than answers and the thought that what I really needed to do was learn to not throw the discs in the briar patch. Mebbe some day.
...there was a time when you were taught to find the best disc for you, not the best disc for your situation on the course, which is how they are sold now. IMO, the flight charts are basically there to point out all the stuff you dont have in your bag and why you suck.

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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby nohr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:49 am

Until they change the rule to allow post production modifications you can't do anything. I highly doubt a sticker on the top or on the bottom of the disc would change anything.

Having something like this PDGA legal would change the game. And maybe not in a positive way. Lets say you had a device that it was very hard for you to lose a disc. Having this device would allow a player to take riskier shots. Also the player with this would probably never have to take a penalty stroke for this risky shots. Not taking any penalty shots means lower scores and could mean more pay out.
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby smarkquart » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:42 am

Not sure about others but I would not be talking about sanctioned play. There is something about losing discs in sanctioned and the thought in the back of your mind of losing that disc. Do you go with the riskier shot at a chance at winning? Is the risk/ reward worth it if you are down by a throw or two?

However, I am thinking more along the lines of practice and fun rounds. That is the time to try those riskier shots, to learn what you can do. Who really wants to risk losing a disc when you are playing for fun? Especially if it is one of those times when you are alone. I think some kind of economical way should be found so it can temporarily alter a disc without altering its flight (as you are practicing to throw it in such a way where it will fly the same with the "patch" or sticker).
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby Dag » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:35 am

Loc8tor has something a bit closer to the mark. $80 for the basic set-up, a max range (clear LoS) of 600', and a scanner the size of a cell phone are attractive features. The downsides are the size of the transponders (3cm x 2cm x 1cm/<5g) and the cost of additional transponders beyond the two included in the basic package. On the home page there's a concept being floated for a transponder for glasses, which would be more size friendly to discs. The company is also asking folks to send in suggestions so I sent them a request for a more disc friendly transponder.

No, this sort of thing shouldn't be used for sanctioned play but I figure the vast majority of folk's play time isn't sanctioned. Knock on wood but don't think I've lost a disc yet that wasn't deep sixed or forgotten. I am stubborn with the search though and have burned time hunting discs down. Since I know I'll search, if I'm throwing blind hole, there are times where I'll lay up within LoS just to take the potential for brush thrashing time out of the picture. It may be worth 80 bucks, to me at least, to make all this moot.
...there was a time when you were taught to find the best disc for you, not the best disc for your situation on the course, which is how they are sold now. IMO, the flight charts are basically there to point out all the stuff you dont have in your bag and why you suck.

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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby smarkquart » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:02 pm

I know of at least three courses here where there are potentially disc gobblers because of blind shots. During league, non-sanctioned tournaments, a round with enough friends I will take that shot and I know I can hit it most of the time. However, it is next to impossible to practice with that fear of losing one out of sight and having only an approximate area where it landed.

I know it is just best to keep it in the fairway, but it only takes one errant throw to lose a disc, one tiny tree limb to redirect its flight in an unforeseen way.

Hell, today at the Ice Bowl I nearly lost three in the open with spotters watching. One we did declare lost until I went back afterwards and kicked up the snow that had not already been kicked up by all the players who followed our group. Some kind of tracking device would have saved our entire group something like 30 to 40 minutes.

To throw it back out there. Black Jax creates a light pod that is no more than 10 grams. Now those require screwing them into the flight-plate, but the concept still creates the feasibility that something with a tiny battery and good enough range will not affect a disc's flight.

Maybe if you have what you will declare a practice disc, you could tape/glue/ some how fasten a really light and thin washer to the bottom of the disc and use a standard metal detector. Those have decent ranges (again assuming you know the general direction and distance), don't they?
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby Steve » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:05 pm

Remote key finder
I mounted a couple of these to some discs to try out last fall. They did make the disc fly slighty different. The first tree I hit broke the beeper and sent the battery flying off into the grass. I promptly removed the other three and declared failure.

RFID would be the most feasible with just a nice flat sticker. If you were ever questioned during tournament play you could say the disc came from the store with the "anti=theft" sticker.

Another option would be for someone to design and build a small rfid chip to be built into the disc and then license it to all the disc manufacturers. The technology has to be to a point now that this can be done. The disc manufacturers could make all the discs with the chip in it and sell the optional receiver for locating them.
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby ChUcK » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:02 am

Steve wrote:Another option would be for someone to design and build a small rfid chip to be built into the disc and then license it to all the disc manufacturers. The technology has to be to a point now that this can be done. The disc manufacturers could make all the discs with the chip in it and sell the optional receiver for locating them.



This seems like it would make the most sense, but there are a few oddball questions associated with it. Who would make and sell the tracking device? Would the disc manufacturers all make their own rfid chips and trackers? I sure as hell wouldn't carry around 4 different trackers in my bag. I'd want a universal one.

Also, I can't see the manufacturers being too interested in developing this idea any further. A good percentage of profits come from the golfers replacing lost discs and/or stocking up on backups.

That RadarGolf thing seems ok, but do those balls fly well at all? Does USGA-approved mean PGA-approved?


I want to see some physicist design a plastic-sensing device. Something that sends out sonic waves at the frequency of plastic, and somehow receives a feedback signal when it is aimed in a disc's general direction. You could calibrate the thing for each different disc in your bag, in case different plastics resonate at different frequencies as they age and warp. Universally applicable, and the creator would make enough money from it to build his own private disc golf resort, just like how life's supposed to work out.
We are not like those other golfers. We throw our clubs and keep our balls where they belong. -Ol' Bob
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Re: Finding Lost Discs

Postby nasontackett » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:13 pm

I got tired of loosing discs a few years ago too, and I love building electronic devices so I looked into this. The simplest solution for the money seems to be a beeper. Take a look at beepdisc.com where I have some photos and specs on the beeper I am working on. It should go into production in the next few months. I am hoping that they can go for around $10 each.
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