Customer Success Stories
Fairway to Heaven with Foresight Sports and Altium
“Foresight develops at a furious pace and we can't be struggling with tools all day. I've set up templates and other files so that starting a new project is almost instantaneous and I don't need to fuss with configuring outputs or repeating work from other designs.”
Learn how Foresight Sports revolutionized golf for aficionados and educators with insight, innovation, and Altium technology.
Golf is more than just a game for many. Few understand this quite like San Diego, CA-based Foresight Sports, who’ve designed some of the most sophisticated golf data collection in the world. The company creates tools that help golfers and teaching professionals improve every aspect of the game, from the launch angle and spin of the golf ball to the club head speed and face angle at impact, both indoors and outdoors.
As Senior Electrical Engineer Anthony Mucciolo explains, “Our systems are essentially high-speed cameras that take a series of pictures during the first several inches of ball flight, from different angles, then analyzes those images to measure speed, launch angle, and spin.”
The company’s signature devices include portable launch monitors and indoor golf simulation systems, as well as a hands-free, remote control-operated caddy system.
And since 2013, Foresight Sports has relied on Altium Designer for all of their innovations.
“The GCHawk has a six-layer rigid-flex board, three circuit-layer boards, a 14-layer high-speed board and a two-layer LED board with an indicator, all packed into a narrow space. And we designed the whole thing with Altium Designer.”
Game-Changing Tools Built to Last
While Foresight Sports has an extensive product catalogue, their most enduringly popular devices are their simulation systems launch monitors, most notably the GCHawk and the GCQuad.
The GCHawk is an indoor simulation system, allowing golfers to improve upon their games using breathtakingly realistic reproductions of the world’s most iconic golf courses. The GCQuad’s advanced object-sensing and image-capturing technology gives it a leading edge over any launch monitor on the market, whether in a commercial or residential environment.
Altium Designer was essential to the design of both devices. As Mucciolo elaborates, “The GCQuad was the first product in which we used rigid-flex, and we ended up using four rigid-flex boards. The GCHawk only had one, but it was absolutely critical to the mechanical design. If we didn't have that feature it would be a huge pain to interface with our mechanical team.”
The GCQuad was a particularly challenging design, harnessing the framework of two existing products to create a remarkably precise and robust device that could measure every angle of a ball in flight—and withstand balls that occasionally hit the device full-force instead.
“The GCQuad has four different rigid-flex boards and an odd design, so we really relied on Altium Designer to maintain signal integrity and get all of the boards to fit inside the upright, hourglass-shaped chassis,” Mucciolo describes.
Altium Designer proved to be just as vital for the GCHawk’s design. As Mucciolo explains, “The GCHawk has a six-layer rigid-flex board, three circuit-layer boards, a 14-layer high-speed board and a two-layer LED board with an indicator, all packed into a narrow space. And we designed the whole thing with Altium Designer.”
Key features, including Draftsman, stackup, and impedance tools, made designing the GCHawk much easier. “Altium Designer allows me to enter my exact stackup and materials and determine trace/space for matched impedances. All of these features work in conjunction so that the tool can do the heavy lifting—and that means we work faster and with more confidence, even on our most challenging designs,” Mucciolo adds.
“The GCQuad has four different rigid-flex boards and an odd design, so we really relied on Altium Designer to maintain signal integrity and get all of the boards to fit inside the upright, hourglass-shaped chassis.”
Expanding an Existing Customer Base with Altium Designer
The software’s expansive capabilities allow Mucciolo and his team to work with expediency across all of their PCB design projects. “Foresight develops at a furious pace and we can't be struggling with tools all day. I've set up templates and other files so that starting a new project is almost instantaneous and I don't need to fuss with configuring outputs or repeating work from other designs.”
To support Foresight Sports’ full product range, Altium Designer’s library management capabilities make it easy to access part data with ease. “Library creation can take a lot of time, especially when it comes to footprints, so it's great to have a tool that allows you to enter dimensions from the datasheet and outputs full IPC-compliant footprints, with 3D models to boot,” Mucciolo concludes.
The precision and expediency Altium Designer affords Foresight Sports have made it possible for them to grow their audience to include sporting goods stores, who use their tools to help customers find the perfect clubs to improve their results on the green.
Last line: With Altium’s technology and customers who are players, teaching professionals, and specialized retailers, Foresight Sports can continue to dominate the market and produce truly game-changing devices.