When perfect pass isn't...perfecter

Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 404 Crazy Baller
I have version 9...and used it for the first time this weekend with people who actually care about the timing. Mapped the course, and everything seemed fine except we kept coming out on the very fast side of tolerance. The guys asked me if I could adjust that a bit and the best I could come up with was going to practice mode and decreasing the speed a tic.

Is that the best way to do it?


  • thagerthager Posts: 4,343 Mega Baller
    What type? Classic, StarGazer, ZBox? There are some threads on this here. Do a search. I am a ZO guy so can't remember specifics.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,050 Mega Baller
    Version 9 is stargazer, zbox is a good question.

    Assuming you autocal'd the boat mapped the course and times are good with no skiers in tow, you can either back the skier down a weight category (normal to light). Or go into the background settings and change the background for the weight category he is in down. Its page 22 of the current version 9 manual.

    http://www.perfectpass.com/sites/all/themes/perfectpass - Copy/images/StarGazer3-EventMechv9.0.Dec16.pdf

    If you haven't pulled many different people - I'd first pull that skier as a lighter weight category and see how his times come out.

    Beyond that were the times fast throughout? Or did it pick up and finish fast and have good times early?
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 404 Crazy Baller
    @BraceMaker The times seemed to be consistently fast...when I went in to practice mode and dropped it by about 1/2 mph it was dead on.

    To be fair, I have not done the autocal this season, but the only thing I changed was the belt and prop (same one)

    Stargazer = yes
    Zbox = No
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,050 Mega Baller
    Sounds right, old prop may have needed a few extra RPM to hold a speed.

    Stargazer isn't using GPS as it's speed necessarily. When you calibrate in Autocal it saves an RPM as a baseline for that speed. So I'd redo that first.

    Then if you run some passes with no skier and skier weight zero you should see good times. Run no skier on skier weight N should come in Hot and the with skier should be on target.

    From there if a certain skier comes in Hot run them as a lighter skier, if all skiers are fast adjust baselines. I printed that portion with the baselines as a card and laminated it with a bouy timing chart to keep in the glove box.

    If these guys usually ski behind ZO you can also add z box but you'll want to get these times good first.

    Version 9 seems better.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    You need to get your RPM baselines set even with Stargazer. Once you have your system tuned well you can add Zbox but if you system isn't running right Zbox doesn't help it. It is more finicky than using ZO but you can get it to the point where it gets good consistent times. I have a document somewhere that I stole from someone else on how to tune Stargazer for short setups that frankly helps general Stargazer set up. I can try to track it down if you want.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    Not sure how to attach a document but here are the instructions courtesy of Ed from EZ-Slalom.

    Directions for SG setup.
    1) First thing is to MAKE SURE you don't overshoot your baseline rpm on pullup, especially on a short setup. If you overshoot the set baseline (too high rpm) it takes SG longer to settle back down to the right prm than it does to come up to it. Gauge where your throttle handle should end up when you pull up a skier and be consistant about taking the throttle handle to that same exact point every time (as much as possible) so your pullup's are consistant and you're not overthrottling the pullup.

    2) How quickly your SG engages (locks in) determines how quickly it will settle in to correct speed, which is especially critical on short setups. I have found (and numerous others have confirmed) that LOWERING YOUR BASELINE RPM for each speed will help your SG engage more quickly. On my boat ('05 RLXI, 340 hp Monsoon engine) for 34 mph i.e. I've lowered the BASELINE RPM by about 300 rpm from the OPERATING RPM (in other words rpm the boat is running at at speed) so it's engaging at around 32.5 - 33 mph speed. Again, by not overthrottling on pull up and allowing the SG to engage sooner makes it a smooth transition to correct speed before you hit the entry gate. Overshoot and it's hunting around and won't settle properly before you hit the entry gate; that's where you often end up with a rodeo ride off three ball. Lowering the baseline doesn't affect anything except how early the system locks in. You want it to lock in before it gets up to speed but not too far ahead. The adjustment from lock in to correct speed should be seamless and if you don't over throttle it will be.

    3) Inverting the tach signal probably needs to be at least tried if you're having issues. Several have reported that by simply inverting the tach signal they've fixed their issues without having to do anything else. Malibu's seem especially to need the tach signal inverted.

    4) Once you've done all of the above you probably need to adjust your pre-gate, one ball, and 3-ball settings. On my '05 RLXI at 34.2 mph (55K) the pre-gate is 25 (SG manuals says it should be 80), one ball is 18, and three ball is 20 (all lower than default). You'll have to play with it a bit but once dialed in it's sweet. The analogy is that lowering the baseline's etc is like a binding move. Once you get the bindings (or rpm's in this case) in the right place, the fin tweaks (in this case adjusting the pregate/one ball/three ball settings) are to dial it in perfectly. Note that I run a 13 x 13 Acme CNC prop (stock for my boat is 13 x 12, I think...) so my numbers may not work exactly for your boat. My prop runs a bit lower rpm than the stock prop would.

    BTW I leave my crew weight at I think 350 lbs. Seems to work well there. We usually have two plus gear in the boat while pulling a skier but with 3 in the boat pulling a skier I don't change it and it doesn't seem to matter. FWIW.

    If anyone needs specifics on how to get to the correct menu's to reset stuff I can post that too. Let me know, happy to help but I figured this was enough for one post.

    Cheers, Ed @ EZ-Slalom.com


    Changing Screens/Modes – Use MENU button to scroll to ARROW ICON, press UP. This takes you to MODE screen (Slalom/Jump/Trick). Use MENU to select Mode, press DOWN to select settings within that Mode.

    Slalom Modes – To select among available modes within Slalom mode highlight ARROW KEY and press UP. When SLALOM is highlighted press DOWN to access different Slalom Modes.

    Crew Weight – To access, on main Slalom screen highlight SLALOM and press DOWN.
    View All Ball Times after a pass – press DOWN key.
    False Timer Trigger – Press UP to reset timer.
    Tournament Mode – Press UP & Down keys at same time to enter or exit this mode.
    Kx Settings – Normal is default, to firm up pull select + or ++, to soften up select -.
    SUBMENU SCREEN – To access submenu screen from any Mode press MENU and UP together.

    PRE-GATE/1-BALL/3-BALL ADJUSTMENTS – In GPS SLALOM mode press ON/OFF and UP at the same time to access.
    - PRE-GATE SETTING– Controls speed of boat approaching course. If 1-ball times are slow INCREASE Pre-Gate value; if fast reduce this setting. Default setting is 70. Tweak this value first before tweaking 1-ball and 3-ball settings. Adjust 10 points at a time.
    - BALL ONE TIME – Controls 1-ball time and affects 3-ball time as well. If Ball One times are still slow after adjusting Pre-Gate settings increase this value 3-4 points at a time. Default setting is 22.
    - BALL THREE TIME – Adjusts 3-ball time. A higher setting speeds up boat, lower setting slows down boat. Adjust 3-4 points at a time. Default setting is 18.

    Manually Adjust Baselines – Must be in SLALOM CAL mode. Highlight ARROW KEY, press DOWN to access screen, MENU to scroll within screen.

    Quick Calibrate – In SLALOM CAL mode. Enter set speed and crew weight, drive up to set speed, system engages. Start timing with magnet or hand timer. If you get “OK” time for pass highlight ARROW KEY, press DOWN to access “Quick Calibrate” screen. In this screen press UP to perform calibration. System will confirm “RPM and Speedo Calibrated”. In this screen you can use MENU to scroll around to “Baseline” to manually adjust baseline RPM setting.

    CAPTURE MODE Calibration – In SLALOM CAL mode highlight SLALOM and press UP. At top of submenu you will see “TIMED” which means you will calibrate using magnetic timing or the hand timer. Press UP to change to CAPTURE. Next select your speed, drive up and engage system. Once engaged use MENU key to highlight CAPTURE. At this point both SLALOM and CAPTURE will be highlighted. Once system reaches correct speed press UP to capture that RPM setting. System will give two quick beeps to confirm it has captured the correct RPM setting. Repeat process for each speed. Works better if your baseline is close to begin with.
    Mark Shaffer
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 300 Solid Baller
    Those instructions from @chef23 are old and don’t match pp version 9
    You’ve changed your prop, reset the baselines. Check your return spring by doing a servo motor test (see pp web site for video)
    PP has a lot of ability to get the overall course time right. Usually it will give bad ball times if it has to, to get the overall time right. Normally it is a weird pull due to bad ball times that people want help with.
    The fact your overall time is out means something is way wrong.
    Start with recalibrating. Then check your throttle linkage is smooth and your return spring is working per the troubleshooting vids
    What boat and motor?
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 519 Crazy Baller
    @Keith Menard you mean you installed new software and didn't re-calibrate? The minute you change anything including prop means a straight up re-calibrate.. V9 is fully automatic and easy to do. That will fix your full course timing immediately.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,701 Mega Baller
    @GregHind I didn’t even think about that. I am not sure what version of PP I have.
    Mark Shaffer
  • DynaSkiPeteDynaSkiPete Posts: 137 Baller
    WOW seems like a lot of screwing around.
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 300 Solid Baller
    With the new software, my boat stops accelerating so promptly that observers hit the back of their head on the windscreen if you do a hot start. You don’t need to drive it carefully to engagement point to prevent overshoot any more. Also it is not a good idea to fudge the calibration. Pp have tuned it on purpose, so as general advice fudging calibration is a bad idea.
    If you have a problem after recalibration, you have a hardware setup problem post here and I’ll help. Either way post the outcome here
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 404 Crazy Baller
    @rockdog going to the same exact prop (I had v9 installed last year), I didn't think it would be an issue...also I haven't been able to get it into open water yet...out of storage and into a tight course.

    Again, the timing has been fine...just on the very fast end of acceptable. I will let you guys know how it works out after I get it into open water.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,050 Mega Baller
    @DynaSkiPete - IT IS... it is more complex than it should be but then again it is flexible to use on many many boats. The example that springs to my mind is Android VS Apple. Zero Off is the Apple product, they control the engine ECM and the Patent for the cruise control to work with it. They control who develops what. Perfect Pass is the Android app, it has to be installed on hundreds of different boat/prop/engine configurations, some of those boats are old, some have bigger engines, some smaller, some are outboard, some are Jet and they have to try to make it work. So they have to have some flexibility in the system which means you can have issues. But the reality is that these issues didn't really exist in the system until the whole GPS integration and the accelerometer integration.

    @GregHind - I've noticed that too, before Version 9 I had lots of issues with overshoot on the lock in which you'd get a sag in speed from say 37 to 30 and back up to 36 and down. Now that locks way faster on an overshoot and doesn't drop down.

    @Keith Menard that's why I suspect your just a smidge high on the autocal - it doesn't look for 36 mph on the gps heading into the course its looking for whatever RPM was autocal thought was correct for 36 mph as a baseline. I do think going down on skier weight might be enough to sneak in the times.
    Keith Menard
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,693 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    @DynaSkiPete Yes, it is a lot of screwing around. But it is worth it. And a great outcome is possible with the right setup.

    I am a ZO convert. But these threads are still interesting to me because PP is adaptable to engines other than the Econtrols ECM engines. If the ZO engine hadn't fallen into my lap, the American Skier would have gotten a V6 with a dialed in PP. Your outboard will adapt fine. As will the electric engine I'd like to try sometime.

    PP rocks! As long as it's set up right. Thanks to @GregHind for his insight and the very helpful people at PP.

    Keith MenardSki_Dad
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,499 Crazy Baller
    What @rockdog said.
    And I believe you should be able to run a calibration on a short set up. You just run down the lake and calibrate one speed, then spin and it will automatically go to the next speed.
    In gear. Hit It. Thank You!
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 710 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Insightful thread as I just ordered a new master module and software. @GregHind, I'm guessing it will come with a setup guide that will walk me through the steps? The wife is doing a good job of driving but gets frustrated when Version 7 PP acts up! (1996 Malibu Echelon, Monsoon 320). Wanting to keep my driver so may be asking more questions!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 300 Solid Baller
    @gt2003 yes
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 710 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Got it out yesterday, did autocal then skied a set. Much better than the earlier version with not near as much variance on speed.

    Is it still possible on Version 9.12 to see ball times by pressing the "down arrow" button after the pass? May have to adjust the timing a bit but want to make sure I do the timing without a skier first. I forgot this step yesterday.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,693 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    I got a trick set behind the newest version. He has no paddlewheel so skiing behind his boat used to be pretty worthless. Now, it's OK. The paddlewheel makes PP as good as ZO for tricks. This wasn't there but the speed swings were +- 1/2 mph. Skiable but not perfect. (I still say get the paddlewheel for tricking!)

    It is good to see PP still innovating and improving.

  • KillerKiller Posts: 349 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Guess I missed this one! Ha
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